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Posted by on Nov 22, 2013 | 2 comments

Combating Noise in Plug-in Chains

This article is going to be a little less template, and a little more workflow. We all have our favorite plug-ins. We probably also all have plug-ins we’d love to use, but run into limitations that keep us from pulling them out of the tool box. For instance, I have a couple of plug-ins from Waves that can add some really cool sonic character when I’m designing a sound, but also introduce more noise than I like when I start pushing them too hard. The problem is, I like pushing those plug-ins hard to get that character. Even when not pushing them too hard, I can still hear noise added by the algorithm. I’m not a fan of unwanted noise. So, I recently started experimenting with an old analog technique…

Companding

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Posted by on Nov 5, 2013 | 5 comments

Workflow And The Benefits of Templates

Guest Contribution by Rob Warren.

One of the most important aspects of audio production is the workflow.

No matter which DAW you use, workflow is critical to creating smooth and fast production. Setting up and accessing pre-made templates is easily one of the most effective ways to save time and effort, which in business, is money.

Workflow can be described as the fastest, most fluid means of getting from point A to point B. I have several different types of workflow that I use when I’m working, and I use different DAWs, depending on the job at hand. For example, if I’m composing music, I typically use Logic Pro, and I have probably 30 or so pre-designed templates based on what type of music I’ll be writing (orchestral, rock, electronic etc). The tracks within the templates are generally organized by instrument or instrument types, and then placed in Track Stacks (Logic’s term for bus groups). These group tracks act as busses, so any effects are added to the group and used as needed. I also have a “near” and “far” reverb on separate aux busses, to use for giving a distinct sense of depth to various instruments, which helps to “position” them into a simulated live orchestral setting, or just to create a choice of “space” for any production (see fig. 1).

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Posted by on Jan 4, 2013 | 14 comments

A Plug-in Vector Matrix

Guest Contribution by Charles Maynes

This isn’t just a panner…

The best things in life are sort of free…

Peter Gabriel once described his creative process as being an “X” and ”Y” sort of thinking- Basically trying to segregate his “artistic” thinking from his “technical” thinking. In this DAW universe we live in, we seem to be constantly flipping modes…and often times we want to be able to dynamically treat sounds with control that allows a sort of “area” like surround panning interfaces allow.

And we have that available right now…at least if you are using ProTools, but I expect most surround capable DAW would allow the same functionality.

Here’s how it works…

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Posted by on Dec 29, 2012 | 8 comments

Creating the Spaces of Ambience

Guest contribution by Michael Theiler (Kpow Audio)

Situating an Ambience

When creating ambiences for games (this applies equally to film), I am striving to make them blend into the background and not mask any important in game sounds. For most ambiences, these are the most important qualities that I am attempting to resolve.

In order to achieve this, I need to firstly focus on the repetition and timing between audio occurrences in the sounds. This means spacing sounds, and adding and removing sound occurrences in my audio sequence. I then work on the frequencies in the sounds, using equalization to mold them into the right sound. Finally, I work on their sound propagation and the sound of the space in which they are to inhabit. These are the steps necessary to mould sound into something suitable for the space. Just adding reverb is not enough – the sound needs to be purpose built for the space’s reverberation and delay treatment.

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Posted by on Sep 2, 2012 | 0 comments

Saving Space with Linear Audio in Pro Tools

George Hufnagl over at CreatingSound.com recently wrapped up a super-duper 3 post series on Saving Space with Linear Audio in Pro Tools. In a nutshell:

When working on projects with limited audio space, such as apps for mobile, browser-based games or packaged electronics/toys, it is often necessary to squeeze as much out of that space as possible in order to meet or exceed the expectations of the project. From the standpoint of the sound designer, this is likely achieved through compressing the sound files in various ways. However, when working with linear audio that contains gaps of silence or recalls repeated audio, precious space can be saved by editing within your Pro Tools session and exporting the resultant files and session data for programming. While the processes for identifying and editing these two elements are different, their functionality in implementation is essentially the same.

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