Archive for the ‘Audio’ Category

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10 Things

August 18, 2014

Skärmavbild 2014-08-18 kl. 08.00.38

Your musical heroes are not really heroes, they are arrows pointing in the direction of your own potential. Do not allow the thought that “some have it and some don’t”, it’s simply not true. The truth is that some people work for it (unfortunately very few) tirelessly & consistently until they get it. Some of the best artists actually took longer to get there than you would expect.

I recently joined one of those synthwave producers type pages on Facebook, figuring I’d pick up the occasional production tip, tutorials etc. and early on found this great article by musicsoftwaretraining.com. Entitled 10 Things they don’t tell Music Producers …til it’s too late, it offers some great pointers/advice that I honestly feel can be applied to all sorts of creative endeavors and not just music/producing.

Pointers include Your first attempts at making music won’t be greatMost of the tools you think you need, you don’t and Musicianship is optional. Check it out here and a second article entitled Why Quantity is more important than Quality makes for some interesting food for thought. Check it out here.

 

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C1-L1 Vintage Compressor

June 18, 2013

Sweet baby Jesus, somebody must’ve been listening in on my wishes ’cause outta nowhere I get the news that Propellerhead just launched the Red Rock Sound C1-L1 Vintage Compressor for Reason - based on Vladislav Goncharov‘s completely insane Molot VST! Yes! Apparently there must be more “dirt enthusiasts” out there that actually want saturation and coloration on the sounds they’re working with – especially when working with digital audio as it is too damn clean for my punker tastes – but I was completely dumbfounded when I saw the news on Facebook.

Now, I’ve already gushed about this goddamn beast of tube madness, so just head on over to Propellerhead’s official website to download the trial version – or buy it as it’s available for just €39.00 (roughly $50). And for those that don’t use Reason you can still get this VST for free at Goncharov’s official website (but do show some courtesy and PayPal him some money so he can continue his great work). Go! Go! Go!

copyright Red Rock Sound 2013!

copyright Red Rock Sound 2013!

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Nerdgasmus Maximus

April 17, 2013

‘Scuse Grampa while he’s having a ten-minute nerdgasm, kids, but I found this YouTube video via my pal Troy Church at The Bigfoot Diaries‘ official page on Facebook and this is just audiophile heaven! I was oblivious to Quality Record Pressings, but according to information gathered they’re at the top of their game when it comes to mastering and pressing vinyl records.

This is just a total nerd dream as owner and all employees truly mastered their art – and yes, honing a craft is an art – and I can watch this clip over and over. Passion is so rare these days and watching a highly skilled worker perform is just as fascinating and inspiring as say the The Scientist at work in the studio clips I posted last year. So give it a spin and make sure you check out their official website here.

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Reason 7!

March 14, 2013

Well, once again Swedish software company Propellerhead pushes the envelope with Reason 7, good news indeed but kinda frustrating as I only recently got the 6.5. and getting this new version sure isn’t in the cards for the near future. Still,  they’ve sure expanded on this one! For peeps using outside MIDI instruments they just added the option of automating them via the program – once again staying true to the great idea of keeping everything in one place – and there’s also some nifty updates when it comes to processing audio recording.

The factory sound bank has been expanded – kinda mind blowing considering 6.5 offers a whopping 5100+ sounds just for the three damn synthesizers! – and they’ve also expanded the mixing console enabling grouping channels, which is great for say drums or creating a wall of guitars that you can control with just one fader.

That’s good and all, but I gotta admit the most thrilling news is the so called Audiomatic Retro Transformer, that enables you to emulate old retro sounds, giving your digital creation a nice and warm analog feel. All in all it looks great and if nothing else you can download the beta-testing version and fool around with it to see what it can do. More info here.

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Pic o/t Year!

December 30, 2012

copyright ???

Yeah, well, “picture of the year” might be a bit overdoing it, but this meme is not only funny but oh so true. As I’ve dabbled with video editing and gotten a taste of what that software can do I gotta say you movie folks sure have a lot of advantages, as you actually can “fix it in post” as the saying goes. It’s not the same when it comes to sound. Oh, I am longing for some sort of VST that effectively brightens up a muddy sound without it turning into a trebly mess that’ll shatter your teeth fillings, or maybe evens out a badly miked drum kit when the tape masters are no longer available. Or maybe a highly effective noise remover that doesn’t end up turning the sound into something robotic – which most do if you crank it up and give it a listen. But what you’ve got coming in from the mike is what you get, and until someone out there start adding some of the said functions to audio editing software then the old musician saying “you can’t polish a turd” stays true.

Anyway, I got this from TapeOp Magazine‘s official page on Facebook, and if you’re unfamiliar with the magazine/website – really? – you sure have a lot of great info, tips & tricks etc. waiting for you. Unlike some other magazines I’ve seen/read over the years, this one is run by people who are true audiophiles and instead of just promoting the latest digital toy released on the market they fill every page with interviews and articles covering all sorts of creative recording techniques from the initial babysteps with cylinder recordings more than a hundred years ago to modern sessions using digital formats. I highly recommend anyone who’s remotely interested in audio/recording to check them out. You’ll find the official website here.

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Pic o/t Day

December 25, 2012

The legendary brown sound.

Well, I am a true believer in trial-and-error, as theory only can go so far and nothing makes you get your gear together like a good mess up. And boy did I go to school today, ha ha ha. I’m not going near that damn thing ever again for the rest of my life, and in the rare occassion I would I’d approach it with extreme caution. Damn! If any of you audio geeks wanna know I can tell you that an FM Oscillator set on sinus waveform will turn a distorted bass into a “building cleanser.”

Anyway, after three great days of just good food and tons of sleep I woke up early feeling energized and rejuvenated and pretty much spent all day adding the finishing touches to the remix EP I’ve been working on for the last couple of weeks. I sent out some rough MP3s a couple of days ago, and now it’s just a matter of doing the final bit of tweaking and then I’m done. While on the subject:

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Eddie Kramer Exhibition

December 10, 2012

Audiophiles rejoice! Legendary producer/engineer Eddie Kramer shares anecdotes as well as advice in this great lecture from back in the 90s. Not only the chief engineer of Electric Lady Studios Eddie’s also engineered and produced tons of now classic albums. Led Zeppelin‘s Led Zeppelin II, Jimi HendrixCry of Love, KissAlive! – he’s worked on all of them.

After an initial speech Eddie opens up the mike for a Q&A and here’s where it gets good. There’s tons of nice little information, tips and tricks and fun drawing from his 30+ years of experience, all told in a laid back, intimate style. Eighteen parts in total – check them out!

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Pic o/t Weekend

November 30, 2012
Parrr-Tay!

Parrr-Tay!

I’m busy.

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Armageddon Dub (updated)

November 24, 2012

So, yeah, this is gonna be yet another one of those posts aimed towards the fellow audiophile, so all you normal people can move along while us nerds drool and whatnot.

Recently I find myself getting almost a Hunter S. Thompson-esque air when it comes to the Molot tube compressor I wrote about earlier. Using this insane piece of technology on everything from drums to the final stages of mastering I’ve kinda adopted his body language and spout off “oh you magnificent beast!” in the same way good ol’ Doc used to talk about Cadillacs and .357 Magnums. I love this gadget. For all its unruliness and unmatched depth of ugly this takes whatever comes through it and sends it straight off to that “whoa! territory” I’ve mentioned in an earlier post. This is a wild buck impossible to tame. Pure masculinity. No holds barred. You just gotta buckle up, buy the ticket, and take the ride with a big grin on your face, ha ha ha.

So with that hunk of Russian primeval just ready to pretty much hurt anything I might point my finger at, plus me reading the great interview Sound on Sound did with French madman Phillippe Zdar about mixing The Beastie Boys‘ great (and final?) album Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, I was curious to try out his mixing technique – especially submixing sounds by splitting an audio source into threes (lows, mids and highs) and treat them with a different chain of EQs and compressors. Even though I’ve never been much of a rap/hiphop fan, the Beasties are totally different because they (1) have a unique approach to the form that keeps it interesting and (2) have a genuine punk/hardcore background giving them a street cred that no PR staff in the world can fake, resulting in a musical style that’s energetic and raw. Listening to that album I was blown away by its creativity, the variety of the material and just how dense the damn thing sounded. So of course I had to look it up, read up on the techniques used achieving it and then find an excuse to take what I’ve learned and just try it out.

As soon as I came home Friday afternoon I started working on a dub song using a classic drum loop and pretty much spent all evening working on it. The initial try had me ripping off my earphones again of course ’cause that damn Molot is kinda like dealing with a 900 lb gorilla trying to quit smoking, but once I had the levels right and started getting into it – using mainly tube compressors, expanders, a classic spring reverb and the occasional dub delay – I knew I was onto something. Cranking up the volume the track sounded hot, dense and just jumped at you. I went to bed around 1:00 am and oddly enough had my first nightmare in years. I summed it up earlier Saturday morning on Facebook, so ‘scuse me while I cut and paste:

Wow. I woke up way too early today on account of having my first nightmare in years. Ironically (’cause I don’t believe in the Mayan ‘The World ends in December 2012!’) I found myself in a quiet post-apocalyptic world, sneaking through the streets (’cause if you start hollering out who you are and where you are before you’ve gotten your bearings or a firm grasp of the situation you’re a damn idiot) trying to figure out what the hell had happened.

After breaking into a TV-station I saw videos of chaos, politicians desperately trying to maintain the illusion they were in control (while their bodyguards/police/military were being torn apart by brainless maniacs in the background), tv-presenters crying as they reported the latest updates and then just silence. No specifics mentioned but after all the initial chaos it all just went out like a lightbulb.

And I am aware that it’s anticlimactic but that was the horror of the dream. The silence. Cities completely devoid of life. The horror and unbearable sadness of waking up one day with everything just gone and no one to explain how or why.

Yeah, I agree. I definitely gotta cut back on the weekly amount of The Walking Dead episodes. Anyway, drawing inspiration from that I dug through my old industrial samples and worked out something that would’ve fit the horrific scenario. The title Armageddon Dub was pretty much a given. It turned out fine but way too dark and industrial-sounding for what I had in mind for the Call Me Greenhorn full length. I’m on the fence about it right now, but I’ll make up my mind about including it or not some time soon. It’s available via SoundCloud, so check it out and please share!

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Molot!

November 23, 2012

Well, I’ve noticed that I’ve got some fellow audiophiles among my visitors so I thought I’d share the latest find when it comes to free VSTs available: Meet Russian behemoth Molot! And dear God is this a fierce beast! You know the climactic scene in Evil Dead II when the demonic dimension rips through the fabrics of reality and the Rotten Apple Head comes through the door to swallow Ash? Well, this piece of tube-powered compression emulator kinda does that with your sounds.

I initially tried it out on the unmastered track of Call Me Greenhorn‘s album teaser – and to be honest I don’t have a title for that one yet – and I had to rip my earphones off ’cause it damn near took my head clean off. And I live for that kinda sound. There an almost endless amount of variety offered plus some nice presets if you’re new to it or just wanna save some time (personally I found the “room” setting kinda nice ’cause it had a slight SSL feel).

Based on the same technology that gave the World that other beast (the Sovtek-powered Big Muff distortion pedal), it’s a primitive, no-bullshit chunk of gnarly oomph! that does not aim for sophistication. Like author Vladislav Goncharov himself says: “[If you're...] Looking for transparent compressor? This not your choice. This compressor adds a lot of coloring to sound.” And he’s not kidding. This’ll color everything. It’s loud and noisy and ugly and just everything that makes rough and raw music great.

You can download it here, and he’s offering some limiters and clippers as well that I’m gonna check out as soon as my damn ears stop ringing…

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