How-To
Recreating Vintage Analog Effects for EDM Production
Jul 10 2013 1:52PM
Having a note-perfect recreation of an analog effect gem in your arsenal is only the first step toward nailing the Indie and NuDisco genres of electronic dance music. If you really want accuracy in emulating the’ 70s and ’80s
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The Art of Synth Soloing - A Little Rough Around the Edges
Jul 5 2013 3:27PM
Back in the April column, I left you with a lead sound that faded into harmonics via a controller, and said we were on our way to emulating classic guitar feedback. Let’s continue with that exploration. The logical next step
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The Art of Synth Soloing - Pitch Programming Potential
Jul 3 2013 1:16PM
Let’s continue having fun with oscillator pitch programming, which we started last month. Using an envelope generator to shape some variations in pitch tuning can add interest to your lead sounds. Actually, we first explored
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The Virtual Orchestra Part 3 of 9: Woodwinds
May 21 2013 2:00PM
Sampled woodwinds are generally easier to navigate than the brass instruments we looked at last month. Their rounder attack, lighter tonal weight, and mellower timbre makes blending, layering, and mixing sounds less of a
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The Virtual Orchestra Part 2 of 9: Brass
May 15 2013 6:17PM
Last month we discussed general methods for getting the most out of software-based orchestral instruments. Now, let’s dig deeper into each section of the orchestra, starting with brass. Getting realistic brass digitally has
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Tracking Analog Synths That Have No Presets or MIDI
May 15 2013 3:00PM
Now that real analog synths are back with a vengeance, producers have to contend with—gasp—no programmability. Many of the best analog beasties shipping today—like the Arturia MiniBrute, Doepfer Dark Energy, and Tom Oberheim’s
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Tune Up, Fade In, Jam Out: Advanced Oscillator Tricks
May 15 2013 3:00PM
In the previous column, we started tuning oscillators in various intervals. This month let’s have some fun with bringing in transposed oscillators using a performance controller. In today’s world of soft synths, oscillator
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Everything Old is New Again, Again
Jul 23 2013 8:56PM
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Electronic dance music is like fashion that you can hear. It goes through predictable and well-defined stylistic cycles in which a sound begins in some underground scene, rises to
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Scratch That Itch
Jun 21 2013 1:26PM
Over the past few months, there have been some really innovative iOS sampling apps that let you “scratch” your samples—notably Marcos Alonso’s Samplr. While this sound isn’t exactly like scratching a record, it’s an extremely
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The Virtual Orchestra part 9 of 9: Advanced Techniques
Jun 11 2013 7:00PM
Since the inauguration of this column in the October 2012 issue, we’ve been discussing each section of the modern sampled orchestra in detail. For this final installment of the Virtual Orchestra series, let’s look at a
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The Virtual Orchestra Part 7 of 9: Percussion in Context
Jun 5 2013 4:00AM
Last month, we explored the basics of orchestral and cinematic percussion. As the function of the percussion section expands in orchestral music, so must our concepts of how to approach them in our scores. Let’s take a look at
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The Virtual Orchestra part 8 of 9: Piano and Harp
Jun 4 2013 2:00PM
Practically any instrument you can think of can be put into an orchestral setting these days, especially in film, TV, and video game scores. However, there are a few auxiliary instruments commonly found in symphonic orchestras
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The Virtual Orchestra Part 6 of 9: Percussion
May 31 2013 12:00PM
Other-worldly percussion in an orchestral landscape sounds thoroughly modern. When excitement is called for, not having loads of massive percussion often sounds empty and, well, quaint. I can’t imagine the driving intensity of a
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The VIrtual Orchestra Part 5 of 9: Advanced Strings
May 27 2013 7:25PM
Creating realistic string parts with samples is an art in itself. While it is necessary to have at least one quality library, the lines quickly blur between traditional orchestration and modern sequencing. Knowing when to
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The VIrtual Orchestra Part 4 of 9: Strings Basics
May 24 2013 9:00AM
Many film and TV scores live or die on how well the strings are conjured. Fortunately, the state of the art of sampled string libraries is finally approaching a level of illusion that can convince all but the most refined
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