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This month’s features
The power of music to transform and enhance a film should never be underestimated, and indeed, some of cinema’s greatest moments – from Psycho’s shower scene to the crawling opening titles of Star Wars – have all been underscored by some equally distinctive music. It’s easy to see, therefore, why award-winning directors ally themselves with trusted composers, whether it’s John Williams in the case of most of Steve Spielberg’s films or, for a more contemporary reference, Hans Zimmer’s distinctive work for Christopher Nolan’s Batman and Inception films. Even on the small screen, music remains a pivotal component in our relationship with the moving image.
Time-stretching is a technique that broadly speaking has two different applications. The first of these is using it as a functional tool – using it to change the duration of a piece of audio to suit your needs. Rather than using vari-speed to make the audio fit, you can use time-stretching to maintain the pitch information, finding the settings that will ensure the treatment is as inaudible as possible. The second application for time-stretching is as a creative function. Here the aim is not to be discrete – rather, to exploit the extremities of time-stretching and use the artefacts generated by the process to augment or transform your original sound into something new. In this feature we’re going for this second approach, looking at how you can use time-stretching as another sound-design tool in the studio.
Vic Keary Interviewed
Vic Keary’s career in the recording business has spanned over five decades, during which time he has produced and engineered hundreds of recordings as well as building his own equipment. These days, Vic runs Thermionic Culture, manufacturing world-class pure valve recording gear, including some units based on designs he first thought up in the early 1960s. We caught up with Vic, who kindly told us about his illustrious career.
Studio Icons: Coles 4038
As this series has proved time and again, recording equipment designed several decades ago still inspires today’s professional audio designers when building new analogue equipment or re-creating classic sounds with software. A select few of these designs have proven so popular that they remain in production to this day. One such design is the Coles 4038 ribbon microphone, which celebrates its 60th birthday this year.
Ten Minute Master: Pro Tools Error Codes
Pro Tools might be the industry-standard software for sound production, but that doesn’t mean it always run smoothly. And when things go wrong, it’s often in extremely obscure and frustrating ways…
Landmark Productions: The Beatles Tomorrow Never Knows
As John Lennon sang on the closing track of The Beatles’ ground-breaking Revolver album,“Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream.” Tomorrow Never Knows was, in fact, the first track to be recorded for the album, following a three-month break that allowed Lennon to embark on a voyage of self-discovery while experimenting with LSD. The inspiration for the song came from a book called The Psychedelic Experience, co-authored by the maverick psychologist Timothy Leary and based on The Tibetan Book Of The Dead, an ancient work used to guide the dying through the various states of consciousness that precede death.
The tools and techniques of the sound designer are equally useful for creating unique textures and sounds in music production. Rob Boffard shows you how.
Building a Virtual Instrument Part 2
In the second part of this Workshop, Hollin Jones shows you how to take your meticulously sampled audio files and turn them into instruments.
Cubase 7: MixConsole
Cubase 7 boasts a radically redesigned mixer section that streamlines and powers up your workflow. Hollin Jones explores MixConsole.
Logic Pro: Transition Effects
Creating your own transition effects in Logic can bring a new level of excitement and dynamism to your productions. Mark Cousins shows you how.
New products coming under the eyes of Music Tech’s experts this month include Akai’s MPC Studio, Audio-Technica AT5040, Steinberg Cubasis, Native Instruments Scarbee Rickenbacker Bass, Focusrite Scarlett Studio, Waves Element, Adam F7 and more…
Rock, Funk & Metal Drums (568MB)
Nothing beats the sound of a real drummer when it comes to getting groove into your tracks. We’ve teamed up with drum maestros Beta Monkey Music to bring you an exclusive collection of 90 acoustic drum loops and fills ranging from a spacious 40BPM right up to energetic 160BPM workouts. From super-fast double-bass pedal, metal loops and rolling rock grooves to shuffling funk patterns and blistering fills, there’s something here to fit a multitude of genres.
Male & Female Vocals (560MB)
Equinox Sounds has provided something a little different in the form of an eclectic and unique collection of 551 dry and effected male and female vocal samples in 24-bit WAV format. You’ll find a large range of shouts, adlibs, chants, spoken phrases and even screams from 90–170BPM and in several different keys. As an added bonus there are also folders with distortion, reverb and delay, robot, scratch and stretch-style effects whereby each line has been heavily processed to add to the variety.
Sonic Academy Ultimate Drums
Good drum sounds and solid grooves are the backbone of any dance music track. To accompany its new series of drum samples packs, Sonic Academy has put together four massive videos on beat creation in progressive, trance, main room house and dubstep styles. Super-producers Phil Johnston and Chris Agnelli discuss the essential elements that go into defining the drum sounds of each genre, along with specific programming tips presented by layering up drum patterns in Ableton Live.
Samplephonics Funk Guitar,Sax, D‘n’B Breaks & More
Samplephonics is a relatively new company, but it’s already built a catalogue of sterling sample libraries. We’ve got tasters of ten of the company’s latest packs, including D‘n’B synths and breaks from Dark Matter, circuit-bent glitches and grooves from Circuit Malfunction and Twisted Electronics, and unique and original FX sounds from the Splinter FX and Static FX packs. There are also some superb Snake Davis Sax loops along with toe-tapping funk, soul and ethnic guitar riffs.