Blog Archives

Studio One

Guest Blogger: William Edstrom, Jr. is the author of Studio One for Engineers and Producers. For his full article, visit presonus.com.

I’ve done projects in just about every DAW on the market. To use most of these systems you need to be in a very technical frame of mind. About three years ago, I was looking for something simpler—something to get creative songwriting ideas out. That’s when I discovered Studio One. The workflow made sense to me and it helped me write.

As I got more interested in Studio One, I discovered anther great thing—a community of users that were amazingly helpful and enthusiastic. I started contributing to the PreSonus Forum with some free YouTube videos which lead to my work with Groove 3. I went on to create four volumes (24 hours worth!) of video training for Studio One.

When I started talking to Bill Gibson at Hal Leonard about some book concepts, I really wanted to do a Studio One book. I think they see the potential for this DAW because they have already published Larry the O’s book Power Tools for Studio One with a second volume on the way…

Keep reading this article on presonus.com!

Studio One for Engineers and Producers

Studio One for Engineers and Producers is specifically designed to help engineers and producers who are already comfortable using another DAW software platform make the transition to Studio One. Text, illustrations, and video examples (on the accompanying DVD-ROM) demonstrate the creative, practical, and technical benefits provided by PreSonus in this modern, well-developed, flexible, and user-friendly application. All instruction is presented in straightforward and simple language that gets right to the point, taking into consideration the need for amateurs, home studio owners, and commercial professionals to get up to speed very quickly.

This Quick Pro Guide starts by relating Studio One’s layout and functionality to other common DAWs, to identify the most important similarities and differences. It then follows the creative process through the normal progression of a modern recording/production, to help the reader get to work as soon as possible. This new cross-platform (Mac/PC) DAW is built from the ground up for speed, efficiency, and power; Studio One for Engineers and Producers is the perfect tool to shorten the pathway from installation to inspiration!

Tips on Desktop Mastering

SteveTurnidgeHeadshot
Steve Turnidge
is the author of Desktop Mastering. Below are his tips on desktop mastering. Some of these videos are excerpts from the DVD-ROM that comes with the book.

 

DVD-ROM TOUR

Desktop Mastering videos from Steve Turnidge
Special Place

Within You

Lay Your Plan on Me

Fill the Ocean

Data Cascade

Tour of Desktop Mastering

Find more great pro audio tutorials on our MusicPro Guides YouTube channel!

Desktop Mastering is a conceptual guide, intertwining a broad range of knowledge regarding audio engineering principles and practical applications for those wishing to enhance their own as well as their clients’ work. In addition to providing a step-by-step in-depth survey of a successful mastering plug-in chain, Desktop Mastering covers real-world practical applications, the fundamentals of audio and electronics. Also included is a personal guide to the business of mastering, leveraging emerging social networks for positive personal and business results.

Tips for Reason Users

Andrew Eisele is the author of Power Tools for Reason 6 and two books in Hal Leonard’s Quick Pro Guide series, The Power in Reason and Sound Design and Mixing in Reason. Below are some excerpts from DVDs that come with his books, great tools for users of the DAWS program, Reason. Visit our MusicPro Guides YouTube channel for more useful videos like these.

BASIC RECORDING AND EDITING

More tips from Andrew Eisele
Reason Overview

Synthesizers

Drums

Sequencing Drums

Samplers

Mixing Tips

Visit our Power in Reason playlist and our Pro Tools for Reason 6 playlist for tips on effects, mastering, automation, creating motion, quantizing MIDI, adding warm distortion, and more!

Q&A with Steve Turnidge

Steve Turnidge is the author of Desktop Mastering (Hal Leonard Books). The following is an excerpt of Mix Magazine’s interview with him. Please visit Mix online for the full interview.

Mix: What advice about mastering would you give to students that they can put to use immediately?

Steve: First, make a distinction between hearing and listening. We hear all the time, but listening is a conscious event. Bring attention to your listening.

Second, work to get an accurate listening environment. Investigate speaker placement, especially, and work toward accurate frequency response from your system. Tuning your listening position sweet spot with a Real Time Analyzer and room EQ is a great start. You wouldn’t operate on someone without an X-Ray to see where the internal organs are, and you shouldn’t make critical changes to audio without knowing that what you are hearing out of your system is closely equivalent to what went in to it.

Third, work at a consistent level. You can check things softer or louder, but find a position for your volume control and only work there. Train your ear for a given output, and your decision making process will receive a consistent input.

Lastly, I’d make sure that the students have a clear view of the stage of music production they are working on at any given moment. There are generally four stages of production: Tracking, Mixing, Mastering and Distribution. These stages closely reflect the stages of baking a pie.

Tracking is like getting the ingredients together: the fresher and cleaner the source material is, the better the pie will be.

Mixing is like, well, mixing. This is where all the components are blended together and placed in the pan. It is important to realize that the freshly mixed and prepared pie is not yet ready to eat: it still needs baking.

Mastering is the baking phase. Among the most common errors mastering engineers see are half-baked pies. This is when compression, limiting, and high levels make the mastering job more about restoration than enhancement. If the mixed file sounds like it is ready to go on the radio, it is probably not in an appropriate pre-mastered state.

The last stage, distribution, is like the hot pie on the windowsill, drawing the audience and fans from far and wide.

It is important to know and work appropriately on the stage you are in.

Keep reading this interview on Mix’s website!

Desktop Mastering is a conceptual guide, intertwining a broad range of knowledge regarding audio engineering principles and practical applications for those wishing to enhance their own as well as their clients’ work. In addition to providing a step-by-step in-depth survey of a successful mastering plug-in chain, Desktop Mastering covers real-world practical applications, the fundamentals of audio and electronics. Also included is a personal guide to the business of mastering, leveraging emerging social networks for positive personal and business results.

Some History from Mixerman

Today is the 10th anniversary of Mixerman’s first book, The Daily Adventures of Mixerman. Since then, we’ve gone on to publish his books Zen and the Art of Mixing and the new Zen and the Art of Producing. Check out his website to join the conversation!

The following is an excerpt from the just-released Zen and the Art of Producing by Mixerman (Hal Leonard Books):

Since Homo erectus first thought to stretch an animal skin tightly across a hollowed tree trunk and then cleverly bang it with a stick, music has been an important force in human existence. Music became a way for early humans to convey their deepest thoughts, feelings, and intentions, all while celebrating life itself. The medium was certainly useful, whether performed to win over the opposite sex for propagation, to curry favor with the gods for rain, to warn nearby tribes of imminent war, or to express thankfulness for life itself, including the inevitable passing of it. Music was not an arbitrary expression—it had a purpose. It still does.

It seems that the act of sharing music is important to us as a species. It is human interaction and societal culture that propels music, not the needs of any given individual. Music is a communication tool, and as such is meant to include others. Oh, I can hear the arguments now. But what of those who acquire great solace playing their instrument alone? Why, that’s nothing more than preparation for an audience. And what of the teenager who listens to sad songs alone in her bedroom? That might be a good point, were someone not actually singing to her. A successful performance creates an inherent connection between singer and listener, even in the form of a reproduction.

Of course, long before the drum was invented, man most certainly sang—whistled even. We couldn’t live among the birds for very long without attempting to mimic their songs (although it seems to me that song is as instinctual to man as it is to bird). Singing was certainly an important step where the creation of music was concerned, but it was really only half the equation. Man needed something more. Man needed a beat. A pulse.

Oh, I’m sure some of you might bristle at the suggestion that a pulse is a requirement for music. Depending on how you define “music,” it would certainly be debatable. But if there’s a melody involved, there must be a pulse. Without one, note duration is undefined within the melody itself. Perhaps a rubato melody lacking any semblance of time falls within the definition of “music,” but unless that melody can be repeated, there is no song— an important distinction—and without a performance of that song, there is no production.

The moment man first combined improvised singing and drumming, he made a great leap forward where music is concerned, but without some organization and repeatability, that first attempt would travel only as far as the sound itself—perhaps a few miles. Improvised music could not be reproduced, and was therefore local and transitory. But once someone set a definitive melody to a drumbeat, the whole game changed. Not only did we now have a song, but we had a production of it as well. With the production of a song came repeatability. Now a song could travel beyond the scope of its initial performance. A song could be reproduced.

Passing a song from one person to another by rote is admittedly a rather crude form of reproduction fraught with problems. If you’ve ever played the game of “Telephone,” you understand it’s unlikely that a song survived many generations of hand-me-down reproduction without undergoing some kind of metamorphosis. The first successful songs were likely nothing short of open-source projects subject to constant changes down the line. There’s no telling how a particular song might have changed over time. Further complicating matters, as a song morphed, so too did its production. After all, drums were mostly limited to rhythmic function. Eventually, harmonic instruments would come into play.

As man developed tools for hunting and war, his capability to produce musical instruments expanded tremendously. It probably didn’t take long for early humans to figure out that they could produce a tone by blowing across a hole in a hollow stick, or by plucking a stretched vine. The creation and construction of scalable instruments, however, required tools. As our tools advanced, so too did the complexity and quality of our instruments. Once ore could be successfully removed from rock, all bets were off. Metal allowed artisans to shape instruments with absolute precision and stunning quality.

Just as the technology of the written word developed, so too did the written language of music. Using reliable, ergonomically precise standardized instruments in conjunction with Western scales and notation, composers were able to write more complex works. A single composer could not only designate who played what when, but also notate it in a manner that allowed for consistent repeatability. This was a major advance in reproduction technology. Now a record of both the song and its production could be preserved and reproduced centuries later, without requiring a direct transfer from one human to another. All that was left to reproduce was a particular performance. That would require electricity.

It’s remarkable when you think about it. Thomas Edison wasn’t just responsible for harnessing and delivering electricity; he also invented many of the early products that used electricity. This included his 1877 invention of the phonograph (of all things!). With the phonograph in conjunction with the microphone, the world had its first practical recording and playback device. Now, man could reproduce a song, a production, and a particular performance. Granted, the recording was a distorted facsimile of the original, limited in bandwidth and smothered in scratchy noise, but that didn’t matter. Poor sound quality was irrelevant given the convenience (sound familiar?). Music fans were no longer relegated to localized live performances. Music could now be automatically reproduced by the consumer, and therefore sold. Enter the Music Business.

The phonograph wasn’t the only popular reproduction device of the time. The player piano was invented in 1876, and proved to be a remarkably popular form of entertainment. The great thing about the player piano was that it allowed families with limited musical ability to gather around it and sing together . . . but then, so did the phonograph. And the player piano, with its programmed mechanical reproduction, required human power, while the phonograph offered automatic reproduction. It’s no mystery then why the phonograph ultimately won the battle for dominance. Regardless, they were both exceptionally popular forms of entertainment at the turn of the 20th century. In 1902, up to 75,000 player pianos and 1.5 million piano rolls were produced. Mean- while, phonograph records were selling in the millions.

With the invention of the phonograph, composers no longer required sheet music to convey their vision of a production. They could record an actual performance. Of equal consideration, the end user could automatically reproduce that performance on a later date, at any location, as long as there was electricity available. While this new recording technology opened up the scope of music and the distance that it could travel, there were still physical limitations. A piano and corresponding roll, or a phonograph and disc, were needed in order to reproduce music. Given the times, it seems unlikely that such technology was available to anyone but the very wealthy. Even so, it had to have a stunning effect on how a song was spread.

Before recording technology came into play, a song would have to be passed from person to person—traveler to traveler—over the course of many years in order to reach human consciousness. Even with the public’s limited access to phonographs and records, a song at the turn of the 20th century could reach every corner of the Western world in a matter of months. This must have been nothing short of miraculous from the standpoint of art and commerce—that is, until radio came into play.

The first experimental radio transmissions occurred in the late 1800s, but it wasn’t until 1920 that the first commercial public radio station—KDKA of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania—started broadcasting. Few people heard that maiden broadcast, mostly due to a lack of receivers, but this changed dramatically in a short time. Receiver manufacturers had difficulty keeping up with a radio craze so widespread that nearly 60 percent of households had a receiver by 1930. Now a musical performance could be reproduced and broadcast to people separated by thousands of miles. Music could travel the world, not over the course of years or months— but in a matter of days. If the inventions of the phonograph and the player piano led to the creation of the music industry (and they did), the accessibility of radio exploded it wide open. Isn’t it ironic that the Internet, for all intents and purposes the 21st-century equivalent of the radio, may have caused an equal and opposite implosion of the complacent, century-old music business?

Books by Mixerman…
    

 

Follow Mixerman on Twitter
Like Mixerman on Facebook

4 Pro Audio Tweeters to Follow

This is an on-going column on our blog where we will recommend people on Twitter in different categories. If you have other suggestions in these categories, please leave your ideas in comments, and we will give our favorite suggestions a shout out on Twitter.

Alan Parsons, author of The Art and Science of Sound Recording @ArtScienceSound
Follow if: you are a fan of Alan Parsons or want a glimpse into music and the industry
Recent tweet: I remember when dubstep was just called “LFO-Locked-Filter-On-Square-Wave-Bass-Synth” in the ’60s

Quincy Jones, author of Q on Producing @QuincyDJones
Follow if: you’re a fan of Q or want insight into the music business
Recent tweet:  Had a blast w/ @BrunoMars @EmilyBearMusic @DAChesterFrench & everybody at @Spotify last night launching my new app.

Steve Turnidge, author of Desktop Mastering @arsdivina
Follow if: you’re interested in pro audio or behind-the-scenes of being an author
Recent tweet:  is sequencing a Norrish Reaction CD with Winston Norrish and Geoff Ott…

DJ Shortee, author of Spin Now! @DJShortee
Follow if: you’re a fan of the “Queen of the Scratch World”
Recent tweet: Yay! Our latest Urban Assault [aka Faust & Shortee] single just dropped today on Beatport!! Hope you like!!

Mixing and Mastering

Hal Leonard has started a new video series of author video chats with MusicPro Guides and Quick Pro Guides authors, which you can view at MusicPro Guide’s YouTube channel. Today we continue the series with Glenn Lorbecki author of Mixing and Mastering with Pro Tools. Interviewed by Hal Leonard author and editor Bill Gibson.

Mixing and Mastering with Pro Tools

Avid’s relatively recent move to open the Pro Tools software platform to third-party interfaces has given the user numerous new options, making Pro Tools’ renowned recording platform available for Mac and PC systems – not just Avid hardware. Given Pro Tools’ high-tech enhancements in connectivity, functionality, and session portability, users need a practical guide to get up and running quickly and efficiently. This Quick Pro Guide cuts to the chase and gives you the best of Pro Tools at your fingertips, with plenty of sessions, audio examples, and video assistance to guide you along the way.