Thursday, April 19, 2012

Some New Links To Free VSTi's And VST's, I Found The Best Free VSTi Samplers Anywhere.

A fast post to let you know of some places to get great free vsti's and vst effects. The site that offers the best, sampled real instruments I found is amazing, the real instruments are as good as any sampler costing hundreds of dollars. The link to the best of the best in true instrument samplers, drum machines and some decent synths is at DSK music, download them all. The acoustic guitar will blow your mind, the strings and others. I have included a couple screen shoots of a few of the best ones they have.


Below the link has some good stuff, the top few are broken links, but most will take you to good old KVR's site. If you cannot get the download from Kvr on the download, I use the manufacture, creator’s web site, and that way, you also see many more things KVR does not list.

There is a good astral lopper, a delay in a beta version that is good. Notice the new vsti that they will soon have out, it looks amazing, so book mark it and check back sounds like a winner.

The plug in is designed to fit in with Ableton live, not sure if it works with your software, it may.

If you have not subscribed to computer music you should, also their site has many free plug ins, many they develop and they always have great free samples, wavs, tutorials, gear round ups, this magazine had a different name years ago, I have been a long time reader of this magazine, and now it's on line, what a day we live in.

There you have it, more ways to make pro recordings for pennies on the dollar.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I wanted to give some random tips to getting different effects and tricks

I had a detailed post about dynamics, it is coming, today I am writing on the fly about some cool tips and tricks to getting different sounds, like how did they do that effect, how does that band get that odd re verb etc.

1. Pink Floyd, their signature odd re verb effect how do they do it, well it is simple .The take a sound , a vocal, they reverse it, than apply destructive re verb, and than reverse the sound or vox back to normal, it gives that odd full reverse effect and that's it a cool tip give it a try, you must, after you reverse your track apply destructive effects re verb chorus, destructive means it applies the effect , if it is not destructive, meaning it did not put the effect on the sound wave and you reverse it, you will have a simple normal re verb, so destructive is a must.

2.A good vocal tip to fatten up a weak vocal is simply to copy the vocal track and than slightly pan the vocal to left and right, this gives a natural chorus effect, you can also try and add re verb to one vocal, the copy vocal add a chorus effect, or dry, and pan them even further left and right, or have one dry take and one with a lush re verb and pan the re verb track only ,or both, try different panning on a doubled track and see how full you can make that sound.

3.when working with loops, many times there is a glitch a space and nothing can be done , trick , I have used many times. At the point where the loop is silent, clipped out whatever, add a single hit crash cymbal, a bass drum, a timpani and place it , till you cover up the track so the space, problem is not heard, use a good long re verb on it so in reverberates into the start of the next loop, a cover up yes, but very, very effectual I have used this hundreds of times and it also adds many time to the song.

4.If recording a band, say at practice or a gig, or church, use 2 ambient mikes, placed on , near the floor left and right, this will give an ambiance to the track that can add a real great live sound. A condenser is best. You can use on mic, but two is better, make sure they are near the floor on a low stand, or one on a wall or both on a will, there are decent mics that attach to things like walls for this purpose. You can make samples of real room re verbs this way and use your own natural re verbs. In Samplitude pro , the go to audio recorder I use for audio and mastering, it has a natural room re verb plug-in, but you must load that short re verb sound you recorded where ever you were and load that sound , it samples it and reproduces that unique re verb sound you recorded

You use this pro recorder to go out and do location recordings, of traffic, people, noises, anything, also you can use this to record a live performance, I used it sitting around the mid section, in the middle, that is essential, and the recording blew my mind it sounded as good as a CD, all I did was transfer the sound to my samplitude and edit the wave  for any unwanted sounds and mastered it, it recorded in wav. file so mastering is possible, This little recorder is truly amazing and you can make pro recordings, sound effects, great recordings of your practices that beat any table top recorder. Tascam also has one like it around 200.00 plus that records the same way, but is a four track recorder, and it is used for many, many things.
Try these 5 tips and tricks out, I have plenty more to share, drop me a line, and ask any question, or enroll in my email free recording school its free and email is free, so ask away.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Single Channel On A Mixer And What A USB Mixer Set Up Looks Like

Very top of this xenyx mixer  This is faded sorry , so I will write what we can not read, this is a short simple post

XLR in 
1/4 in insert
for external processor

next gain volume
Compressor great, a must pre fader needed for vox esp.
to the right a low cut fader this reduces the unwanted 40Hz hum effect inherent in sound and muddiness

Next your EQ's high, mid high, mid, low a great 4 band eq as mentioned on the last post 4 bands gives great control over sound

Next 4 aux sends 4 is unreal in what I think may be the best USB mixer in the price range Behringer has the great xynex pre amps that can produce a true pro preamp for your condenser mic, this not the norm to have 4 auxiliaries, this is where you use all the effects you want and use auxiliaries to send to different channels, like a re verb on one aux sent to the whole mix at the end .

A mute that mutes signal from main mix, next a mute and a clip light, in digital clipping will cause unwanted digital distortion; clipping is the big thing to watch out for. also above this is a button for sub mixing as said say 6 channels sub mixed into one stereo pair for drums

The last is the single fader
Note the grey white area, I mentioned on the last post, this is the designed sweet spot, where the fader should be set for the best sound with out clipping and tailored max volume, you can go above this if the sound is weak, or below, this is the best place to start and all mixers are designed with this spot at 0 dB normally.

I will cover next the dynamics, compressors, limiters, gates, multi band compressors and other dynamics.

The pitcher next is the same USB mixer and how a typical set up would be, it shows a lap top PC, if at home just look at it as your desktop

USB mixers are great, software mixers are better and can do a lot more, but a outboard mixer is many time needed by the home recordest, as you can see by the pitcher, you can record a small band in one shot, and it a big deal using just the USB port.  Until next time, have a creative day, next post great detail on dynamics and the use and abuse of them a must read.

USB mixers are great, software mixers are better and can do a lot more, but a outboard mixer is many time needed by the home recordest, as you can see by the pitcher, you can record a small band in one shot, and it a big deal using just the USB port. 
Until next time, have a creative day, next post great detail on dynamics and the use and abuse of them a must read.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Mixer, A Software Mixer Intro To Mixing The EQ and The Fadder Part 1

                                                        Software Mixer

This is mixing 101. In this article I am using as an example a screen shoot from my Samplitude pro 7 mixer, it is set to 8 Channel strips and one auxiliary. The AUX 1 is a routing situation that allows you to route several channel strips to that aux. The reason is, say you have mic'ed drums and want all the drums to be on one channel to process and mix. You can have almost limited aux, busses, routes etc with software mixers that cannot be done on many outboard mixers. The software mixer is a great flexible mixer.
You can control the mixer by way of automation, meaning you can do an automated mix as you record as you would on any mixer, it’s called ridding the faders. This is done in recording and in live sound use. The mixer is one of the most important items you use, but not the most important, the effects, pre amps, mics, proper mic placement, etc. are of greater importance, the mixer second, it is where you bring it all together.

At first the mixer with many, many channel strips can look scary, this is what you do to understand the massive mixer, it is just a group of channels and each one is the same, so forget about the many mixer channels and look at the one individual channel of your mixer, as it is the same all the ay across the monster.

This lesson will focus on the EQ and the fader.

This mixer has a great four band EQ many mixers have three, that is OK, but four is better. Some have on EQ that is called the Q, this is important as it allows you to really control certain frequencies you could not. On many lap top recorders and some cheaper outboard mixers you will see only two EQ’s, this is not good, just a low and a Hi. You need at minimum 3 EQ’s, and four if at all possible, or as said three, with one being the Q filter.

EQ is just like what you have on a home stereo, the bass and treble, or bass, mid and treble. On a mixer like this, you can as you see adjust the exact frequency you want to assign to the EQ, not doable in most outboard mixers, pro ones yes, but most No.

It is an electronic filter. Basic electronics, very basic will be covered later and dB formulas, a Hertz chart. Knowledge of what instruments lay within a given hertz is very important. A pre mix, rough mix can be quickly done when you know what instruments are on what channel and basic EQ adjustments made. In a pro studio, the second or JR engineer will do the rough mix, and set up the mics.

The frequency chart, or Hertz chart can be printed out and posted on your wall until you get to know them, it will not take long.

EQ is essential in the mixing of instruments, due to what is called the masking effect. Say you have a rhythm Guitar, a vocal, some pad sounds, these may all be in the 2 to 3 KHz range, and so it will mask each other, you use the EQ and sometimes reverb to make a sound farther back in the mix, more on that in another article. You would for example take the lead vocal track that is taking up the same hertz spectrum and attenuate, raise the EQ level a tad in the mid to mid high range this will pull out the vocal and make it so you can hear it. When you add EQ adjustment, you will have to make volume adjustments as EQ makes the sound louder.

An EQ is an electronic circuit called a filter as I said; it has resistors and capacitors, more later on that.

EQ is another post, as there are many, many different types of EQ’s and they do different things, this is 101 mixing stuff, with your ear and hands on practice you will learn how to do a good mix, mixing takes a while to master, but a basic good mix is essential. Panning, I will just mention, you want to pan sounds as well to avoid sound masking, and to set sounds in the proper stereo spectrum, this takes time and good ears. Panning can do wonders with EQ and Effects, as you will read later.

The Volume sliders are just that for volume. Most mixers are designed with a sweet spot. The pitcher above you will see the upper top portion of the slider, fader has a white-grey area, this is the desired optimal setting, and outboard mixers may use red, grey, blue, white, etc. markings to let you know that is where the faders are engineered to be used at for max loudness, and the sweet spot. Go above this, yes, be careful, as your sound will distort, you can not fix a recorded distorted vocal, can not be done, it is a must you redo the take, as nothing can help distorted sound, nothing.

This is where dynamics come in, compressors, limiters, gates etc, and again dynamic effects another teaching and a complex one at that.

Try and keep trying, do not be afraid of a lot of channel strips on a mixer as said, they are just the same one channel strip, multiplied many times. We will look next time at one channel strip and master that, once that is done, channels 2 to 64 LOL are all the same. I hope this simple primer helped. Have a great and creative day. Practice makes perfect, so write on, sing on, play on and mix on. You are now in the mix.