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Posted by on Jan 31, 2016 | 1 comment

Macros for Audio Production – Automating Your Workflow

This article was born out of an idea for a GDC audio talk proposal. Another one of my proposals was selected so I thought I’d turn the core idea of this one into a DS post in case it’s of use to the community.

Professor_Lucifer_Butts

used under creative commons, click for source

Do you use macros in your music/sound production? If the answer is yes, then this article isn’t for you. Given January’s theme is all about time management, I feel duty-bound to say you should make better use of your time and read one of the many other fantastic articles here on this site. If however, any of the following apply, read on!

  • “I don’t know what a macro is”
  • “Macros are just shortcuts right, like CMD C to copy?”
  • “Macros are only used by programmers.”
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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 | 8 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 | 15 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 | 9 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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