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Product Review + Free Horn sounds from Diginoiz!

August 14, 2014 1 comment

Product Review + Free Horn sounds from Diginoiz!

 

Diginoiz Orchestral One Shots

202 perfectly sounding multi-format one shot sounds

“Orchestral One Shots” contains 202 perfectly sounding multi-format one shot sounds in Hip Hop, R&B, Modern Pop and more genre.

 

So yeah, I picked this up from Diginoiz and had some pretty high hopes after hearing the demo. This product does not disappoint. I loaded up the 202 bits of juice into NI Maschine and was inspired instantly. I place this Orchestral One Shots into the category of essentials since it’s just so useful. I know there will be a point where I’ll be working on a track and ask myself “What goes there?” and answers like these usually fit nicely. They also pitch well, so the options vary.

 

“…a package of over 200 orchestral one shots, ready to use in Your compositions and productions. If You are in love with hard and dynamic sound or You are looking for something that will enrich Your music, You are in the right place. In “Orchestral One Shots” You will find hip-hop strings, brass, pianos, orchestral drums, hits and more! All of the sounds are in one-shot form with root key included. Have a nice and creative time with our “Orchestral One Shots”



 

AVAILABLE FORMATS

“Orchestral One Shots” contains 202 orchestral one shots, 288 mb multi-format material (24 bit WAV, 24 bit AIFF and 16 bit WAV) ready to use in your favorite sampler or sequencer, both hardware and software, including: Logic, GarageBand, Soundtrack, Digital Performer, Sony Acid, Ableton Live, Adobe Audition, Cakewalk Sonar, Pro Tools, Emagic EXS24 and many more.

 

DOWNLOAD DETAILS

 

Every purchase you make is containing 1 multiformat ZIP files

 

Wav / Acid / AIFF (237 MB)

– 202 instrument sounds (24bit WAV)

– 202 instrument sounds (16bit WAV duplicate)

– 202 instrument sounds (24bit AIFF)

 

 

INSTANT DOWNLOAD PRICE: €20.00 EUR

 

More information, free audio demo & demo pack visit:

http://diginoiz.com/series/orchestral-one-shots/

 

————————

Diginoiz free brass loops

Free Brass is Bad-ass

This is free and free is a lovely price. I have no idea why it’s free…buy anyhow. Pretty simple: 50 horn/brass loops/ They sound like hooks to beats, but can be easily chopped and rearranged to be whatever you need to choose to flip.

 

How do I get them?

Follow the normal and simple procedure like it was a purchase and after checking out with your cart (cost of zero) you’ll get the download link.

Thanks Diginoiz!

 

 

Produced specially for You, a product of the highest quality in the Urban genre, that will bring Your tracks to the next level. “Heavy Hop Brass” is a collection of 50 heavy, melodic and climatic brass loops. All loops were prepared on professional equipment with highest attention to detail in order to obtain the highest standard of sound. All of this You can find exclusively at Diginoiz.com to free download!

 

“Heavy Hop Brass” contains 50 perfectly sounding loops (85-105 BPM) in Hip Hop, R&B, South Style and Modern Pop genre.

 

Download Details

 

Wav / Acid

– 50 instrument loops (24bit WAV)

– 131 MB total size

 

INSTANT DOWNLOAD PRICE: FREE

 

More informations, free audio demo & demo pack visit:

http://diginoiz.com/series/heavy-hop-brass/

 

The Ear Wax Sessions opens Strong on Strong Island

EAR WAX SESSIONS

Talent on display in a new weekly showcase

 

Artist/Producer Showcase & Open Mic

 

Ear Wax Session Flyer

Sign Up and Show Out

The Challenge: Bring together a whole host of talented folks, put their gifts on display and watch the networking and sharing begin. Create a music scene on the disconnected island where quality connects can collect.

 

The Clear Choice: Every Tuesday going forward, you bring yourself down to the Amityville Music Hall. Take part and be a part.

 

Who’s Doing the Damn Thing?

Alex Yake taps MSFTZ Ent and brings together a huge cast of talent. The event was run by hosts: the engaging frontman @Chad_Law and the sexy and stylish @Rah_Licious. DJ Shuttle kept the tunes on point with a mix of today’s hottest joints and some popular classics. Wristbands were bandied about so all ages were welcome at the watering hole.

 

So what’s it like inside?

The Amityville Music Center is like a slice of Manhattan. You know what happens when you wander down any side avenue of the culturally rich east side and pop your head in a funky bar. The crowd is mixed in mind, but matched in mutual love for all things musical. You’ll get that here, at the AMC. It’s a long bar with a dance floor and stage. There’s an outdoor patio to cool out, cool off and chop it up with your new friends. There are vendor stations where you could peep some fly dresses for your missus by Claudana Designs. [if you was drooling over hostess Rah_Licious in that white joint, yeah Claudana did that] There were tables with slick tees from Brand Rockstar, Dinner Land and I Seen Thos. There was also a huge table in the back with numerous business cards.

 

 

Ear Wax Sessions Flyer Backing

A-List of performers

From freestyle to fashion, the Ear Wax Sessions delivers front and center.

The night started off with the producer showcase as Mike Marshian played his bangas followed by beats_by_lawrence who did a live show, manipulating his music via controller. A few crowd cyphers broke out and yeah, beats is in the building. The performance section started strong with Civil Satellite and ending just as strongly with a set by One Take Carter. Afterwards, the open mic section, where events usually fall off, was thankfully populated with artists worthy of attention. So all in all, it was a great night of music and entertainment. Bookmark your Tuesday nights for the Ear Wax Sessions.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

So yeah, as we sit around the campfire and wonder what it would take to change the dire direction of music and return Long Island to a launching point for talent…the Ear Wax Sessions says ‘bring it’. And you should do just that. Bring yourself for the pure enjoyment of talent. Bring yourself to share your work and passion. Bring yourself to perform in front of a supportive crowd. Bring yourself to network and tap into undiscovered resources. Bring yourself to be part of Long Island’s best showcase for talent.

 

As Local as Local News Gets

What’s the point? Well, this is the kind of event that’s needed locally to connect artists to a supportive network. There are lots of places that do not have an active music scene or any engine in place to develop and push talent. This event and these kinds of showcases are vitally important for the future of our art. Supporting the arts is supporting yourself. Git down, come on down.

LIKE and FOLLOW

https://www.facebook.com/theearwaxxsessions

 

 

Roland TR-8 Rhythm Performer,TB-3, VT3 Sam Ash

March 24, 2014 1 comment

Roland TR-8 overview with TB-3 and VT-3 VIDEO

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Roland TR-8

The Roland TR-8 Rhythm Performer

Sam Ash Huntington hosts Roland’s Demo Day as Dave Dickerson stops by to run through the features of the new AIRA line. TR-8 Rhythm Performer, TB-3 Touch Bassline and VT-3 Voice Transformer.

Studio AVX and the Roland TR-8

 Sound examples from the Roland AIRA TR-8 Rhythm Performer

 

Kit samples captured through USB. Elements normalized and fed into Propellerhead Recycle 2.2.4 and exported as individual slices.

Drum kits were left at default positions with no additional tweaks.

Some sounds, including High, Mid and Low Toms are excluded.

Sound Manipulation Examples :

 Tuning a Kick

Kick sample is started at 0%, 9, midnight, 3 pm and 100% or 6

Decays a Kick 1 and 2

Tune 12 O’clock

Attack at 0%

Compression at 12o’clock

Snare Tune + Snare Snaps

Taken through six positions and captured

Tune and Compression at 12. Decay at 0
Snare Decay

Tune, Compression and Snap at 12.

Taken through six positions and captured

http://www.StudioAVX.com Better Sounds for Beats

Producer’s Edge XC Subscribers have been sent a package containing all the audio samples and kits.

Check your email for download links.

*What’s an XC Subscriber?

IsoBuster: Powerful Data Recovery Software Return of the ASR-10 Part II

January 2, 2014 1 comment

IsoBuster: Powerful Data Recovery Software

Return of the ASR-10 Part II

The tool for recovering and retrieving the difficult grabs.

–words by Drew Spence

IsoBuster Software

You recovery is covered

After replacing the floppy drive with an SD card reader, I needed a way to create the images of my floppy disk library so that they could be archived and later transferred to the SD disk- mounted in the ASR-10. The problem is, Ensoniq uses a unique file system that a standard PC floppy drive can’t read. The ‘image’ is a complete and exact copy of the floppy disk stored as a regular file on your PC  that can be moved around and manipulated like any other type of data. The ASR-10 will see this image and treat it like an actual floppy disk.

OmniFlop [that doesn’t flop like Reggie Miller]

We need to get Windows to see the floppy drive in an Ensoniq sort of way and so we replace the Windows drivers with the OmniFlop drivers.

[http://www.shlock.co.uk/Utils/OmniFlop/OmniFlop64.htm]

[Griffin’s note: make sure you grab the right drivers for your system. 32 or 64bit]

We had to put in a little extra work to circumvent the Windows 7 driver system, but that process went off without a hitch. You can find out the Whys and Hows on that same Omniflop website under Overview. With the new drivers working, I basically have an ASR-10 floppy drive on my PC.

Enter the Iso

For a very reasonable $39.95 USD, you get a robust and feature laden software recovery tool. It can pull from CD/DVD, Hard Drives, USB Flash drives, Zip drives and on and on. Mind you, I had tried just about every free solution out there, including some recommended by the hardware manufacturers themselves, but none worked. I mostly got two errors No floppy in the device or continuous prompts for formatting. Not good. I spent hours trawling through forums and always saw damaged hardware as the suggested problem. I know my floppy drive worked fine on the PC and I know my floppies had projects on them.

On one site, IsoBuster was suggested as an end all-be all solution and I realized I never thought about using recovery software to get my images made from the ASR-10 floppies. IsoBuster saw my disks and made images easily. The newest update, which is 3.3 reads the ASR-10 formatted Disks and creates an image that is 1,600 KB. That means everything is there and the job is done. They have full instructions on their site and have tech support should you need any help with their products. Now that I have this tool, I’m digging through all my old CDs and DVD+Rs that wouldn’t mount and getting back my lost files. Life is good. http://www.isobuster.com/isobuster.php Demo version is available.

ASR 10 FlexiDrive Installation and Notes

December 24, 2013 5 comments

FloppyEmulator.com Return of the Ensoniq ASR-10

Part I: FlexiDrive

Harden your Hardware and forget your Floppy – words by Drew Spence

FlexiDrive

FlexiDrive Multi-Volume mounting mission

They don’t make them like this anymore. We turn back to a time when a sampler meant you recorded audio and created…samples. The Advanced Sampling Recorder is a classic piece pulled from the days of hardware-only, in a time when a collection of crates was known as your soundbank. Writer Sean Maru has covered the ASR-10 in great detail in his Vintage Series article in issue 01 (page 35).  Here, we take a look at ‘dropping the floppy’ and adding a more modern storage system to the ASR-10.

FloppyEmulator.com is all about replacing the floppy drive on your machine with USB and SD mounted media. They cover a wide range of brands, including Kawai, KORG, Yamaha and Roland.

[More info here: http://www.floppyemulator.com/category/applications/musical-instruments/]

For this article, I will focus on my own experience with the ASR-10. I chose the $385.00 USD FlexiDriveMV-SD, which is a multi-volume SD card-reading drive. I could have also chosen the USB reader for the same functionality and cost. The idea is to have EVERY floppy disk saved on a single SD card (including the O.S. Disk). They boast a single card solution can store up to 2,500 Disks and that’s more than enough.

Faceplate and Facepalms

Firstly the disclaimer: Producer’s Edge Magazine is in no way suggesting you follow this article or video as an instructional guide and is not responsible for any damage to you or your equipment. Maintenance and upgrades should only be done by qualified persons and any attempted alterations may void your warranty.

My package from FloppyEmulator.com arrived shortly and included a nice SD card reader and a 4 Gigabyte Kingston SD card.

There are numerous screws on the bottom of the ASR-10. I removed these to lift the faceplate and get access to the internals.

ASR-10

ASR-10 Internals

b-drives-fit-same-way

The FlexiDrive sits in the same bay and connects to the exact same cables from the floppy drive. I took pictures as a reference to see how everything was connected. I also took note that the ASR-10 was upside down, so the drive bay would be installed upside down. Although the FlexiDrive came with proper mounting screws, I reused the ASR’s screws. I used two different screw drivers, a normal Phillips for the body screws and a smaller PC Phillips-head driver for the smaller screws that secure the drive’s mounting bay. Since the holes are in a tight space, I used tweezers to hold the screw in place and then screwed down from the space above, in the drive mount’s frame.

ASR-10 Internals

ASR-10 getting Screwed

d-Hold-in-palce e-Screwing-inmplce

Once secured, I only used a few bodily screws to put the faceplate back on since I wanted to make sure the new drive worked before closing up the ASR-10. Nuts! The drive powered up, but the ASR didn’t see it. I opened her back up and re-secured the drives’ connecting ribbon and voila, we are in business. Oh wait! I forgot to make an image of the O.S. Disk before removing the floppy bay. No problem, you can find ASR-10 Operating Disk images on the internet in various places.

AND HERE: http://www.ProducersEdgeMagazine.com/griffinavid/asrosimage.zip

When I start the ASR-10, she tunes the keyboard and then asks for the systems disk. I use the browser on the front of the new FlexiDrive and load the image of the O.S. floppy and the ASR-10 boots up.

Overall, I’m quite happy with this purchase and the tech support from FloppyEmulator.com. It’s a relatively expensive solution, but when weighed against the cost, concern and hassle of maintaining an extensive library of floppy disks, it’s more than worth it. FloppyEmulator.com

**** NOTE: You can load an image of your ASR-10 Operating Disk and save it to the INTERNAL DRIVE of the FlexiDrive and load that image first upon start up.

This means you can skip the step I show of loading your ASR-10 O.S. Image every time you start the ASR-10. This is much better solution. The instructions are located in chapter 2 of the Settings & Functions pdf.

Alternatives Storage Recommendations -10 (well, maybe two, not ten)

There are other solutions for working with a single loading floppy bay emulator. The HxC Floppy Emulator is a hardware unit designed to retro-fit and can be found on a few sites and eBay for ~$70.USD

There are numerous USB to Floppy drives available, ranging from $30 to $60 USD. These work for normal PC floppy drive operations but DO NOT work for reading/writing/emulating our specialized drives and their formats.

My modern PC [Griffin Avid edit: It’s really old, but runs Windows 7 just fine] doesn’t have a floppy bay/drive so I decided to visit the nearest mom & pop computer store and pick one up for $15 USD. I had old spare ribbons sitting around and luckily, my mother board had the right slots. The next mission is to archive all of my old floppy disks, on my PC and then transfer them to the SD card reader on the ASR-10. isoBuster is next.

Brand Spotlight: Smith Audio

Smith Audio

High power high output loudspeakers

By now you might be familiar with Davidson Electronics. We featured this wizard-run workshop in issue 08 with DJ Premier. They are one of a small number of manufacturer-authorized repair shops. That certificate of quality means sending your unit to Davidson is the same as sending it back to original factory for work and repairs. Beyond that, I felt like a valued customer. They gave me the honest truth about my options and even guidance on what I could do to save costs. If you’ve ever worked with an IT department or a mechanic, you can understand what’s it’s like to walk away unsure or unsettled. Gear repair is a mix of both and it takes a solid approach to walk way feeling smarter about your gear and have trust in the finished job. Davidson nails this so my curiosity was piqued when they asked me to walk in the back and see what they had cooking.

powerful, natural sound reproduction in a uniquely tight, efficient package

Enter Smith Audio

Down the hall and to the right is an empty room with just a mixer and a set of speakers. The wizards threw a switch and I was blown away. It was a huge sound, but maintained detail. Lots of detail. They sounded incredible, but looked…smaller than they should. I discovered a new brand called Smith Audio that brings us high output, high-powered loudspeakers for live venues, arenas, clubs and concert halls. Their Pro-30 Series is also suitable for theaters, hotels and churches.

What we have next is the story of an American product (wholly manufactured here in the U.S.A.) set to remind us of what’s possible when quality is more important than quantity, when craft saves in cost and service serves the client. To get the full story, PE Mag sat down with Smith Audio for this exclusive one-on-one interview.

—  We are giving our clients “what they want”…NOT “what they need”. Only those big fat companies with huge ad campaigns insist upon “what you need”. Smith Audio is all about “what you want”. —

Could you please tell a little about your personal history and how repairing gear became so important to you?  Smith Audio: Servicing gear, in the beginning, was a necessary evil. I ran an entertainment company. At that time, we couldn’t afford “down time” and equipment problems were dealt with “in-house” as much as possible. As my career progressed, I eventually became the service manager at a well known Lighting Distributor that sold intelligent lighting and pro audio equipment. My “hands-on” repair experience became sharper and sharper.

Where does the technical skill come from and what tools are available for learning how to repair a piece you may have never worked on before?

Nothing beats experience. At age 16, I owned a vending machine business. My earliest repair experiences were repairing the vending machines that I sold to various locations. My knowledge of tools came from my childhood. My father owned a couple of hardware stores in Brooklyn. Talk about tools?!?! I was using many tools by the time I was 12…repairing everything from door locks to toasters. I learned, early on, that there are many similarities between seemingly unrelated pieces of equipment.

Smith Audio Speakers image

Critical Craft conserves cost

Somewhere there is a transition from providing a service to becoming a manufacturer. Why speakers as your main focus?

Speakers are the very LAST link in the audio chain….the final delivery of sound to your ears comes from the speakers. Having serviced thousands of speakers is what gave me the “vocabulary and criteria” to judge speakers for their qualities, attributes, and shortcomings.

I don’t want you to go into Loud Speakers 101, but what makes up a Smith Audio system? Is it a combination of speakers for lows and highs, an X number of drivers? Is there a need for a sub?

A Smith Audio system is comprised of a highly developed cabinet that was designed around the characteristics of specific drivers/speakers. The 2 most important aspects of our design are: a unique chambering system that eliminates unwanted anomalies in the lower frequencies, while enhancing the projection of desirable sound waves. In conduction with a proprietary crossover, less power is needed to deliver a very potent and coherent sound pallet. Although lower frequencies can indeed come from smaller speakers, subwoofers are designed to deliver the lowest possible frequencies. In order to project the lowest frequencies and create a “sensation” that can only be produced by moving air, subwoofers are specific to these lowest frequencies. Our mid-high cabinets are usually flown, or at least off the floor. Subwoofers perform best when on the floor. Thus, the combination of subwoofers AND mid-high cabinets will satisfy the most demanding audio requirements.

How does your history and familiarity with the top manufacturers influence or affect the design of your own line?

Over the past few decades, I have been inside of nearly every pro-audio speaker for repair purposes. Upon teaming up with Davidson Electronics Corp., my repair experience has expanded exponentially. The Davidson Electronics team consists of some the best technicians I’ve ever known. Over the past 9 years, my relationship with Davidson Electronics expanded and enhanced my knowledge of audio technologies that I have applied to the R & D of the Smith Audio products.

Does you product lean on any of the technology or systems and is there an idea of doing the same thing but cheaper? Are you looking at what you repair the most in their systems and avoiding those parts and components?

Smith Audio made a critical decision, early on, to avoid anything that is dictated by cost. Our goal was simply to produce the best possible product with NO concern for costs…the best woods, the most reliable speakers and drivers, the best crossovers, the best hardware.

At Davidson Electronics, we repair virtually every product in the industry…The best, the worst. One thing we discovered, along the way, was that there is absolutely NO need to outsource anything. Unlike other companies that have hundreds, or even thousands of employees and huge costs of doing business, Smith Audio is a very small company that would rather concentrate on ultimate quality as opposed to a huge ad campaign and trying to disguise outsourced products with fancy graphics and cosmetics. The larger companies spend more time and energy on cosmetics cause they figure the public reacts to the visual aspects of their products. Our products are 100% American made. …and THAT is the extra bonus. The advantage to being 100% American-made makes it even easier to support our products with immediate attention and availabilities. Our warranty is 7 years. No other company offers a 100% American-made product with this warranty. If they did, they would have to charge so much for their product that it would be cost-prohibitive.

Smith Audio diagram

I see. Once you introduce better components and create a system meant to deliver more sonic power, you then leverage you position as a boutique manufacturer to keep prices down. As I understand Smith Audio is Made in the USA. Seeing that you could save on costs by manufacturing overseas, why decide to have all your products done here?

We never really “made a decision” to be American-made. It just turned out that way. Let’s face it. Any company, regardless of the type of product they manufacture, can be American-made. As these huge companies become greedy for market share, they simply have to outsource so they can continue doing business. Outsourcing has become the magic bullet by which manufacturers can boost profits. Smith Audio will not compromise its “build qualities” for the sake of profit. We believe that profit comes from quality and hard work…Quality and hard work will ultimately lead to a great product. It’s no different for musicians is it Drew? The best artists/musicians don’t compromise their craft for the sake of profit. Go back in time and you will see that the best songs throughout history were not written with a dollar in mind. Ask Paul McCartney or Stevie Wonder, or any great performer whether they wrote their music with a single dollar in mind. Ask ’em… [heh heh].

Let’s talk about deployment in the field; how large a venue can your system support and do you have any real-world examples of Smith Audio in larger spaces?

Smith Audio is about an ever expanding system. It starts with our 1230 and Mobile sub. The more cabinets added, the bigger the system becomes. Yes, just those 2 products can be tailored to smaller venues and/or arranged into huge systems that could cover an arena.

One more reason Swizz Beatz is unbeatzable

In the opposite direction, it’s no secret that a producer’s edge is the use of loud speakers to monitor and tailor their mixes for the club. It’s the reason so many records sound incredible for that sonic space and has helped us properly define the term club banga. Super-producer Swizz Beatz has just had a fresh installation of Smith Audio. Could you tell us a little bit about how this happened and what problems you were expected to solve.

We were approached by one of Swizz’s engineers. He came to us with a dilemma. Swizz needed to monitor his mixes at nightclub levels to fully understand the potency of his mixes. Upon cranking up the levels on some of the world’s greatest studio monitor systems, the amps and drivers were failing simply because studio monitors were never designed to be used in nightclubs. On the other hand, larger PA-type systems typically don’t sound very good in a recording studio. Due to the smoothness and coherency of the Smith Audio products, Swizz was now able to hear a higher quality of sound that has typically not been associated with high power sound reinforcement systems. This has given rise to a new definition for term “reference”. The music has progressed, the listening criteria is progressing too. We believe Smith Audio is ahead of it’s time. Soon, others will realize that high SPL does not mean less sound quality.

We are giving our clients “what they want”…NOT “what they need”. Only those big fat companies with huge ad campaigns insist upon “what you need”. Smith Audio is all about “what you want”. Swizz has exactly what he wanted: High SPL without compromising the quality that he demands. Just ask him!

And he has your flagship system? What level system was Smith Audio replacing?

OMG! At Swizz’s studio, they were struggling with all sorts of products sold commercially…none of which were holding up to the demanding criteria. Yes, Swizz has our “flagship system”…the same system that has become the cornerstone of our live install applications. We are ecstatic that he has found a solution with our products.

What about clarity at these loud volumes? How does Smith handle the lows and critical highs as those decibel levels?

Our tuned chambers, patent pending design, in conduction with mechanical time-alignment are the key elements that make the Smith Audio products so “listenable”. These principles will soon be clearly explained on our new website…coming soon!

I understand this is a high-end company that makes pro-level products. Is there any interest in distilling this technology and system into pro- sumer level products like regular studio monitors?

Wow! That’s a good question. We are presently developing our “Lounge Series”. This new series will address the needs of high quality sound in “near field” contexts. We have pioneered an entirely new high frequency device that may revolutionize high frequency delivery as we know it. No, it’s NOT a ribbon tweeter. That’s all I’ll say for now.

I see. As a final thought, I’d like a summary of what it means to you, personally, to add your product into the stream and what you learned in doing so.

Personally, it has been a long awaited pleasure to serve great talented musicians and engineers. What we have learned is what we kinda suspected all along…and that is: When you stick to your convictions, it’s only a matter of time that others will come to respect your efforts. Our conviction was primarily to serve the needs of those dedicated to their craft. Those people are musicians and the engineers who struggle to present their craft to the rest of the world. Without technology, communication is stifled. Technology must couple with creativity. When they couple, the sum becomes greater than the parts.

And finally, you have a solid list of clients and some high words of praise from notable people. But there seems to be no interest in making Smith Audio a generic household name. What is your final ambition and what should we think about when we come across Smith Audio products?

Uh…actually we would relish making Smith Audio a household name. But the public will decide that. Not us, not a slick ad campaign. This is evidenced by the internet, social media, etc. We know that the “word” gets out faster than ever. Good AND bad. We’re counting on a bright future that will be riding a wave of quality. People talk. Sound travels. There’s no better advertisement than “word of mouth”…so to speak.  You’ll hear from us.
Producer’s Edge thanks Smith Audio for taking the time to talk to us. Find out more by visiting http://www.smithproaudio.com/

Setting Goals as a Producer

May 17, 2013 1 comment

Forum hound Griffin Avid chimes in over at FutureProducers and drops a gem or two…

A poster named Benjah had this thought and question…

Music Production Producer at console

Without a definite end, you may find yourself at the beginning.

Setting Goals as a producer.

So my summer has started and I am trying to Create a goal and a Plan for improving my production skills.

My only problem is the goal is extremely fuzzy. ” Considerably improve production skills.”

All research suggests that goals are best set as Specific Measurable, Attractive, Realistic and Time-Framed statements.

So how do i go about Making a Goal like this for production? What do you guys do? What is your goal setting process like? And while your here you can also give me some general suggestions on the process of improvement.

What is your goal setting process like?
=============================================================================
So how do i go about Making a Goal like this for production?
I say if your goal involves becoming a better producer, you need to do some producing.
Make your end goal to produce a real record by summer’s end.
If that’s the finish line; to release a project, then you can work backwards, step by step figuring out what you need to do and be doing week by week, day by day.

I don’t know too many people who just keep getting better and better (forever).
I know early on, it’s technical concerns…how do I…what fixes….what’s the best…
But after that, it’s all what you choose to do….
and I don’t think you make better choices without EXPERIENCE.

What I see are artists who always like their newest stuff more so they think they are improving-
when really they are just staying in the same place, which is slightly behind the curve.
When strings were poppin, they made 100 beats with strings….
When 808s were what’s up, they made 100 beats with 808s…..
When trap beats are….you get the idea…that guy will always be following the current trend trying to be relevant and always remaking his catalog.

That is also close to eras, like when you kept making the same kind of beats….and then you switch up. It’s possible that people could like a certain style of tracks more, but you don’t really find that out till you get out there and show some consistency.

What do you guys do?
First, pick your lane/direction. Understand that your goal is to be the best (you can be) in that direction.
I say you get past the technical concerns.
Can you make music? You got that part down yet?
Next, grab some acapellas and make some remixes.
Mostly, it’s about working with vocals. If that’s what’s at the end, why spend all your time playing around with loose beats and unfinished instrumentals?
Make some songs with other rapper’s vocals. That is the process.
You’ll learn to work harder and construct bridges, hooks, intros, outros, variations and you have the original track as a bar to rise to.
Not only can you share that music as a primer for what’s to come, you can use that feedback (FROM A LOT OF [regular = not other producers] PEOPLE) to figure out your weak/strong areas.
Real data on what works and what doesn’t.

Your music needs to improve to the point where NO ONE has technical concerns and feedback is only like or dislike or they like one track better than another.
When people want copies of your music to listen to and rappers want to rhyme and make songs with them…
makes it pretty easy to figure out how close you are. People should like and want to listen to your remixes. Someone should suggest you send it to the artist.
Comments like that are your gauge. If everyone just says “That’s nice” or “That’s cool” you’re not done yet.

What is your goal setting process like?
I write a list and have documents called planners. Planners are outlines for projects [title, song names, artists, business ideas even a tally of money spent]
There is also a list I have with things to do. It’s on one sheet of paper and as I do something I cross it off. When I get everything done that can be done in a day, I can relax fully.
There are so many things to do, you can’t possibly carry them around in your head, you’ll need to write them down. One column might be small stuff and another might be far off stuff that needs prep time.

And while your here you can also give me some general suggestions on the process of improvement.
Honestly, the simplest one is to decide who your target audience is and expose yourself for feedback.
There’s no point to using your imagination. “Boy when they hear this…”
“This is something they ought to like” “I wonder if…”

I’ve already typed too much but there is a balance between pleasing yourself and pleasing others.
You can do both, but if you (mentally) can’t; then you should pick one and accept your decision (and its consequences and/or benefits) and keep it moving.

– Griffin Avid 2013

Software Review BEATCLEAVER by Oscillicious

BEATCLEAVER by Oscillicious

Software Review BEATCLEAVER by Oscillicious

Mac OS X and Windows PC,  Words by Drew Spence

"Warp and repitch your samples with a new state-of-the-art 
time stretching engine. Four presets for stretching different 
source material like drum beats ensures your transposed and 
time-stretched samples keep their character. Better yet, 
BeatCleaver preserves transients so your drums remain punchy 
and crisp."
BeatCleaver audio chopper logo

A chopping choice!

I remember the early days of beatmaking when your music didn’t have an exact tempo, well it did but it was determined by the ‘proper sounding pitch’ of the main sample. Whatever speed made it loop right was the setting for everything else around it. With the amount of remixes and exacting sub-genres to land in, controlling tempo is more important now than ever before. Beatcleaver by Oscillicious promises to give us BPM freedom while preserving quality and punch.

The standalone software (No VST) presents an open window with several slicing options at the top. I chose file Open Audio and was taken to an included library of 13 drum loops ready for editing. They are sponsored by MPC-Samples.com and have an authentic mid 90s bend. I jumped straight to my own library and started working on a 120 bpm loop. I was able to shoot it up to 127 with no problem. Next was dropping it down to 100 bpms in order to convert this loop into a hip hop drum kit. Once again, we had no problems. So far, so good.

My next task was bringing in a raw sample, running at an unknown speed and adjusting the starting and ending points. Easy enough. I was able to add slice points while the sample was playing by hitting the shortcut S. After, I adjusted my new slice points manually with a simple click and drag. The highlight of Beatcleaver is the amount of control and quality-preserving options you have for time stretching. In most cases, the preset settings will get the job done -once you’ve set ‘cleaver for drums (percussive) or music (harmonic). You can even select a smaller area to work on (getting it perfect) and then apply that edit to the entire sample. And finally, there are fade settings for the beginning and end of slices to eliminate any pops and clicks.

Beatcleaver screen capture

Simple interface for audio chopping

Chopping as a Way of Life

Aside from the straight studio tool meant to change and adjust the tempo of samples and loops, there is another use for chopping up music for in-studio or live production. You cannot miss the header that says Slice in 4, 8 and 16. Perfect for those of us who want to chop longer sections of music into parts and then retrigger those parts in a new order. Whenever you hear a drum machine or beat tool discussed, the invariable question of “how does it chop samples?” always surfaces.

Quite well is the answer. You can dial in slices by bars or beats and cleave all the way to 64 slices or gross quarter-of-a-bar. This is also a simple choice for live producers or DJs who want to chop their songs into smaller sections for live triggering. Seeing how the iPad is so cumbersome with import and export options, it makes sense to prepare the material on your main platform and transfer the finished bits after.

I have used Propellerhead Recycle to chop music into pieces and then drag and drop the slices into Native Instruments’ Battery to emulate a common MPC workflow. Now, with every DAW having some kind of sample container that combination is a very expensive solution to simply prepare chops of audio. Obviously those two products do a lot more, but for quick and easy chops or, um cleaves, Beatcleaver is going to be a winner at only $29.

MIDI Ins is in

You can use MIDI input to control the triggering and choose the base note. This option increases the usefulness and allows you to demo your chops and arrangements before final export. I have spoken to one of the designers and Beatcleaver has a few surprises coming. The only one I am cleared to tell you about now- is the coming ability to manipulate individual slices and add effects. Yes! There are a ton of other updates and added features coming so even if you don’t plan on buying Beatcleaver today, it makes sense to follow their blog and stay on top of this gem. http://oscillicious.com/blog/  (twitter @oscillicious)

Aside from my fantasies involving features including the kitchen sink, it would be nice to see a preview option so one can audition loops and samples before import and an automatic slice tool, based on some kind of detection sensitivity control.

Beatcleaver supports the formats AIFF, Flac, M4A, MP3 and WAVE and exports to WAVE and AIFF. 16, 24 and 32-bits at 44.1 KHz. Beatcleaver retails for only $29 and is an instant download and also has a free trial version available. More info http://www.oscillicious.com/beatcleaver/

Oscillicious also has a groove station called Jam Deck, a synthesizer called Sodasynth and a modular-samples-based instrument called Analog Extracts that is also a VST. Check them out http://www.oscillicious.com/

Deconstructing the Construction Kit – Samples for music or sample-based music?

February 1, 2013 Leave a comment

Look and Listen! More lunacy with Loops

BFA Hands on Fantom

We have two articles on this subject already, but new questions about using royalty-free samples in the production system have come about. And so, how many samples may you sample before your song is no longer a song, but instead a series of samples? And more importantly, why does any of this matter?

Well this whole idea is personal and totally subjective. There is a reason each individual makes their own bar for considering when their art is their own.
I don’t walk down the purist path because there is always someone more PURE than you. And if you believe more pure is better than objectively, factually someone will ALWAYS be better than you. Even if their output is horrible by your own standards. It’s putting the Process before the Product.

For drums….we can create a line of thought that gets ridiculous but makes logical sense.
Guy A uses a step sequencer loaded with samples to make his drum pattern.
Guy B says A is not as good because he uses drum pads and really finger drums.
Guy C says B is not as good because his electronic drum set is more real playing than cheating with pads.
Guy D says C is not as good because he plays a real acoustic drum set.
Guy E says D is not as good because he samples real world noises and natural sounds and is more original than using something as limited and boring as a drum set.

Guy A loads D’s samples and creates a drum pattern…and somehow he’s the fake-est for doing so.

BFA Drive

Think of all the reasons for NOT using construction kits/samples/presets/templates etc……

1. Someday someone might use the same sound.
2. Someday someone might recreate my song on youtube and make it look easy.
3. Someday someone might sampleID one of my tracks
4. Someday someone might have a beat/track/song that sounds like mine.

And now deal with the reality that ALL of these are based on FEAR.
Afraid of how someone who is meaningless to you will think about you and your art.
This is a self-esteem issue when you only have imaginary confidence -based on what you think *might* happen in the future over your music.
As opposed to dealing with the reality of whether or not it’s WORKING FOR YOU.

Make music for money, hope it makes you rich.
Make music for fun, hope you’re having fun doing so.
Make music for no other reason than you are driven to do so, then I hope enough of the two previous reasons happen to sustain your desires.

BFA hands on controller

This (PURITY) is IMPORTANT as an INDIVIDUAL CHOICE is- it may well decide how far and how seriously you take your music.
If you INVEST yourself heavily (Money, Emotion, Time, and Effort) in your music, you are more likely to take your ambition to an end result.
Not saying the end will make you rich, famous, popular but it’s harder to walk away from something you care about.
And if your music is YOU, then you will care enough to do something with it.

Anyone can noodle, move some sounds around…press some buttons, slap some keys…
Mixdown, limiter, upload and post on a profile/forum.

Anyone can tear down that process. Criticize, belittle, analyze it…
What they can’t discredit is the effect and impact your music has on others.
That’s the part that isn’t subjective and determined by a peers opinion.

If you can accept that idea then you will realize the importance of picking a creative workflow and ethic that TOUCHES YOU FIRST so that you are inspired, no – DRIVEN to give your music a chance to touch others.

Griffin Avid is a Media Editor for Producer’s Edge Digital Magazine.

Production related videos http://www.Youtube.com/GriffinAvid

Previous articles dealing with using loops and samples in your music.

https://producersedge.wordpress.com/2010/02/27/using-construction-kits-in-your-production-loops-of-music-phrases-etc/

https://producersedge.wordpress.com/2010/02/27/drum-works-ii-the-ideology-of-loops/

Drew Spence has Adventures in Poor Taste – the interview & Mark of the Griffin

Drew Spence & Mark of the Griffin have Adventures in Poor Taste

I hope everyone’s New Year is off to a great start. The Producer’s Edge office is counting down to Winter NAMM and we can’t wait to see what all of our favorite manufacturer’s have in store- eh, no pun intended.

As most of you know, I’ve been working on the comic book and web series Mark of the Griffin. It’s about a regular guy who gets recruited into an organization called the AGENCI and grows to become a fearsome vigilante-like detective. I illustrate the comic, create the soundtrack and run around in the web series. It’s been an awesome experience and a well-received project.

I did an interview with the hugely popular blog Adventures In Poor Taste. Check it out. Thanks for all your support and don’t forget to ‘be a Mark’  tweet, share and like.

Check the interview!

Drew Spence on Adventures In Poor Taste

Oh and one more thing. New music from Domino Grey. This is a special song with an important message to help start the New Year get rolling. A big thank you to RadioWaves.US for adding on. We have a lot going on in 2013, I hope to hang with you some more.

– Drew Spence

Editor In Chief, Producer’s Edge Digital Magazine