Knowing Your Effects in Addictive Drums Part 1 (SONAR X3 Producer)

Intro

XLN Audio has mastered the art of sampling with their flagship program Addictive Drums. Not only have they been able to capture three incredible kits (standard in full version), but they allow the user complete control over the samples with an in depth effects engine. At first listen the provided presets speak for themselves, but as a power user you should not rely on the presets to define your sound. Let’s take a look at how much control you, as the user, have over the Snare drum and how that can benefit you.

First off, where does a great Snare sound come from?

The answer is easy, it comes from a great snare drum. A drum that is in tune, has a good balance of midrange and high-end, and is properly in phase with the rest of the drum set will always produce good results. A “great” snare sound can be subjective in the music world because many people have their own ideals and opinions about styles. The tactics and techniques used for capturing that snare drum is where the “magic happens” so to speak. XLN Audio provides three solid drum sets with three different kinds of Snare Drums.

Control, Control, Control!

Open up Addictive Drums, solo the Snare, and drop in a simple set of 4 hits and set them to loop mode. Like so:

Let’s take a look at the different options you have within Addictive Drums for creating a great (more…)

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The Case For Getting Your Drum Sounds With Overheads First

What’s the reasoning?

Why should you get sounds with the Overhead microphones first? Well, think about the perspective of a drum set at shows, in practice spaces, at clinics, and in store demos. A drum set is perceived at a distance, so why shouldn’t that be the first thing you check when you are finding the sound of your drum set? You don’t place a microphone on every single individual person in a choir, but rather you find the right balance with suspended microphones at great distances. Afterwards you place spot microphones to enhance one section or another, but it’s the overall sound that you are attempting to capture. The same logic should apply to a drum set when finding the right tone of your drum set. (more…)

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7 Pre-Production Tips for Drum Recording

To kick off Drum Month at Cakewalk we’ve decided to include some tips about the types of pre-production topics that can come up before you enter the studio with a drummer. These tips can apply to drummers, guitarists, producers, and engineers alike.

1. Can the drummer play to a click?

This is something to consider when a band or group approaches you for a recording. Depending on the budget, you will either spend a lot of time in the studio, or a lot of time editing drums. Spending time in the studio is much easier than spending hours and hours behind an editor. Don’t be afraid to sit in on rehearsals and even record them to get an understanding of timing and how proficient the drummer is. Here are some solutions for drummers who have a hard time playing to just a click:

  • Have someone else in the group play along with the drummer
  • Use song demos as guide tracks
  • Record in shorter sections, instead of longer sections
  • Try different percussion as click tones. (Cowbell, woodblock)

The reality is that if a group wants to record themselves, then they need to have their songs ready for the studio. This brings us to number two.

(more…)

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12 Reasons to Check Out the Polybius 8-Bit Game Pack (Z3TA+2)

Here are a few sound examples of the presets from the Free Polybius 8-Bit Game Pack for Z3TA+ 2. These are all inspired by classic video game titles.

1. Game Over 02

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29 Shortcuts Music Creator 6 Touch Users Should Know

1.  Record [R]

With a track record enabled, selecting [R] will begin recording.

2.  Play/Stop [Spacebar]

This starts playback of your project. Selecting [Spacebar] again will stop playback.

(more…)

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Melodyne’s DNA: Subtract or Isolate Instruments From an Audio File

Melodyne Editor’s Direct Note Access (DNA) technology allows you to analyze polyphonic audio data and produce a visual representation of it. With this technology you can essentially drop in any polyphonic audio, even full fledged productions. This kind of technology could be used to remove vocals from a track, isolate instrumentation from mixes, or analyze the arrangement across a staff. Regardless of it’s use, the amount of time you could spend geeking out over your favorite top 40 hits is infinite. Here I will briefly show you how to isolate or subject parts of instruments from a mix.

To do this,

  • In SONAR, right-click on your audio file and go to Region FX > Melodyne > Create Region FX.
  • Make sure that you have Polyphonic Mode enabled.
  • Let Melodyne analyze the audio file.

Once analyzed, Melodyne wil (more…)

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Make Your Voice Sound Like Daft Punk with Melodyne Editor and SONAR X3 Producer

Certain effects have defined generations of music. The decade of the 80’s for example was a major era for reverb. In today’s pop music, the use of pitch correction software seems to be an effect that many artists and producers are utilizing creatively. Daft Punk has been using this effect for a number of years now, making them one of the first to bring this vocal style to the level of popularity it is today.

SONAR X3 & Melodyne

To create a Daft Punk inspired vocal effect (more…)

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SONAR X3 Quicktip – Hum a Melody and Convert it to MIDI with ARA

As a musician, inspiration can hit you on the train, during dinner, or even while you’re driving somewhere. Many musicians that I’ve worked with carry some sort of recorder around with them. I know sound designers who always have a device ready for taking samples, and guitarists that hum melodies to themselves when they feel they’ve come up with something original that they want to remember.

Given that we live in a very digitized world, it’s easy to hum and capture a melody, and then email it to yourself or import it later for inspection. SONAR X3′s ARA integration is a great tool for taking melodies and easily converting them to MIDI. Here’s a melody that I recorded off the top of my head by simply humming it to myself:

(more…)

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Is Your Project Ready For CD Manufacturing? A DIY Album Release Checklist

This post originally appeared on Disc Makers’ blog. Reprinted with permission.

- Before scheduling your album release, plan for the steps that lie between songwriting and disc manufacturing –

Releasing a CD is a big deal for any artist. This is your baby, your calling card, the result of a lot of hard work, and your best chance to earn revenue. You spend a lot of time writing, rehearsing, and recording — and that’s all just leading up to the CD manufacturing process.

Before you gather your materials to submit for CD manufacturing, there’s rehearsing, recording, audio mastering, designing your package — and all these processes can take longer than you might expect. Then there are the numerous music promotion and sales activities, and much of your PR may require your (more…)

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Singing Tips – Don’t Tax Your Voice Before a Vocal Performance

This post originally appeared on Disc Makers’ blog. Reprinted with permission.

Resting before a vocal performance is key, but environmental things, like being in a place where the decibel level is too high, can adversely affect your capacity to sing.

What makes a great vocal performance? There are many answers to that, and they don’t all require being the most technically gifted singer with a five-octave range. Confidence, charisma, and the right repertoire are among the many subjective elements that go into any great performance – live or when recording vocals in a studio – in addition to having chops as a singer.

“‘Synthesis’ is this fancy word we throw around in our college,” says Daniel Ebbers, Associate Professor of Voice at the Conservatory of Music of the University of the Pacific, “and I do think it’s an important thing. We study all these things individually, but it’s the synthesis, a command of your vocal instrument, a command of the stage, a command of the language and the language you use – all these things synthesized together make a great vocal performance.”

Of course, much of what helps a performer reach the point where all these elements come together is preparation, practice, and experience. A good vocal warm up, and general vocal care, can help ensure peak vocal performance.

(more…)

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