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Recently I posted about mine and others experiences of starting to mix content to the new loudness specs to see how easy or otherwise it would be.
Well there has been an interesting thread on the Linked In Pro Tools Users group which has some interesting posts on it.
Firstly here are links to the key documents. The R128 spec for Europe from the EBU and the ATSC spec for the US.
Other useful articles are the EBU loudness site and an article in TV Technology which will be of more use to our US friends.
In this video Russ shows how to use Structure FREE with the GM sound library to create tracks, just to stay in the 80s theme, there’s even a cheesy 80s track thrown in! :)
Another year has passed on the blog, who can believe it that we enter our fourth year on this journey of creativity as Pro Tools users.
Thank you for your ongoing support, input, passion and patience.
Here’s to a wonderful break for every one of you and an amazingly creative and succesful 2012!
Avid have announced the first cs update for Pro Tools 10 HD. Pro Tools HD 10.1 brings in support for the new HDX hardware.
Pro Tools HD 10.1 is an update that supports Pro Tools|HDX. It is a free update for Pro Tools HD 10 owners.
For more information about Pro Tools|HDX, please see the following pages:
So I finally made a decision and melted the credit card. I posted my initial thoughts ….
I have a Harpertown Mac Pro and it very much looks like if I want HDX I am going to have to replace the Mac Pro as well.
We then have the rumours about the future of the Mac Pro and Apple’s continuing move to the consumer market and away from the pro market. So should I spend a load on money on a machine and cards for a computer forma factor that might not be around? On the other hand you can delay making just about any equipment related decision because of a rumour of what might be round the corner.
Steven Slate Drums 4.0 is now available as a holiday prerelease!
3 long years in the making, Steven Slate Drums 4 Platinum is the most complete and versatile drum instrument containing 100 preset drumkits including the new Deluxe Series kits, which Steven recorded with the most extreme precision and detail resulting in amazing playability. The Deluxe series kits are unprocessed, yet sound so big and rich, very little processing is required to make them sit in the mix. SSD4 has everything you could ever want in a drum instrument, starting with the new SSD Player, a new VST AU RTAS drum sampler built from the ground up by the award winning Slate Digital team. More here
A request by some of your buying the GM sound set for a pound, here’s how to browse them fast, now that is a serious bargain sounds and training for a pound!
Native Instruments are offering a FREE synth Skanner, although I don’t think heads will explode (anyone who gets that reference first can have a blog library on me)
SKANNER ingeniously mixes sampler and synthesizer. The two oscillators ‘scan’ a sample; at low frequencies you get the ‘scratch’ sound of the sample being read back and forth, while at higher frequencies the dominant force is the oscillators being shaped by the sample waveform. The resulting sounds are raw, dirty and highly unpredictable – from simple sine waves to walls of noise.
We’ve been running top tips throughout the year, quick snapy ideas and pointers to help you with your music production. Here’s a round-up of them;
- My 8 Top Tips To Better Songwriting
- 5 Top Tips For Getting A Great Vocal Performance
- 10 Top Tips For Getting A Great Bass Guitar Sound
- 9 Top Tips For Getting Gear Cheap Without Having To Steal
- Pro Tools 10 -Your Top 30 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Answered
- 8 Ways To Save Money In Your Studio
- 5 Ways To Add Value To Your Studio Offering
- 7 Easy Ways To Spice Up Your Synth Parts
- 7 Ways To Build A Great Studio Business
- 10 Ways To Detox Your Pro Tools Studio
- 5 Ways To Get New Customers Into Your Studio
- 5 Ways To Make Sure You Get Paid
- 5 Ways To Get Your Drums In Perfect Time
- 5 Ways To A Great Acoustic Guitar Sound When Recording
- 5 Ways To Get A Great Electric Guitar Sound On A Budget
Hope some of these have helped maked your music, business or bank account better!
You would have to have been living on the moon in the last couple of years not to have heard of the Native Instruments beat making hardware and software combo Maschine, it is now ubiquitous in the studio and DJ world of beat construction and control.
The first question our consumer culture usually ask on the launch of a product, or in some cases before, is ‘when is the next one coming?’ and ‘what will it be?’ The obvious assumption is that the next version will be bigger as well as better.
Native Instruments have decided the evolution of Maschine is smaller in the form of Maschine MIKRO.
This review sets out to answer two questions, firstly, how does Maschine MIKRO stand on its own merit and then of course secondly, how to it compare to its bigger brother. One question that sometimes nags at us when buying a product is will I spend the rest of my days wishing I had gone the whole hog, I had a friend who asked that question when Yamaha launched the DX7 and DX9, the DX9 was in fact the baby brother. He decided to go the whole hog for fear he would spend all his time wishing he was playing the DX7.
Maschine (if you have been living on the moon) is a USB and MIDI hardware controller for beat making, paired up with software which works in either standalone or as a plug-in. It also ships with a huge drum library. In a recent update it also acts as mission control for the entire native instruments library as well as host to most VST and AU plug-ins. In a nutshell Maschine kicks ass when it comes to beat-making, I don’t have the stats, but I’m guessing it’s the top selling product in its class, if its not, then it should be.
As I’ve already said Maschine MIKRO is a smaller version, physically 60% of its big brother. So let’s get right down to the question of what got dropped from the full version.
- No physical MIDI in and out.
- About 25% of the original LCD screen real estate
- No dedicated rotary pots and buttons
- No dedicated groups section
- No dedicated volume, pitch and swing knobs
What you do get is the same software and the same library that ships with Maschine. You also get what Native describe as the same quality pads found on Maschine; I disagree, I think the pads on MIKRO are better.
If you’ve not used Maschine before then the list above may not really make much sense, so the best way of explaining what you get with Maschine that you don’t get with Mikro is ultimate live performance control. If you plan to use Maschine in a live environment where you want to be able to tweak your performance in a instance, then with MIKRO you will find this much harder.
However in a studio setting MIKRO will tick the box of many new users to the world of Maschine beat making. In some ways I found MIKRO a lot easier to get around, it felt like the early days of Roland 505 or Alesis HR16 drum machines; in fact in a human sense MIKRO feels a lot more like a drum machine and Maschine Snr a production studio - that’s not to take anything away from MIKRO as when it comes to making beats and the power of the software, its exactly the same.
If you are new to beat making and want to get into Maschine and don’t need the performance tweaking knobs and buttons, or ever need to connect it to external MIDI hardware then MIKRO is going to tick your boxes. It sounds exactly the same, the software is exactly the same and the library exactly the same.
What Maschine MIKRO proves is that bigger is not always better, just different. Maschine MIKRO proves that small is not only beautiful but also powerful.
Which one should you buy? Only you can answer that question, I hope the facts I’ve given help you in making that choice. If you are asking me if you should buy one of them, if you make beats then the answer is if you ignore Maschine and Maschine MIKRO when choosing your beat-making device, do so at your own risk.
Machine MIKRO is small, powerful and amazing value - for that reason it gets my final Editors Choice Award of 2011 and deservedly so!
Russ has set up a similar thread at the AIR Users blog and I thought it would be a good idea to see what the post community thought were the best product of 2011.
Mine is Nugen Audio’s VisLM-H and VisLM-C loudness meter plug-ins.
I’m a huge fan of Amazon, I have have always found the buying experience excellent, so with limited time I used them to get my son’s Christmas present. Serendipity or irony, he had called me a few weeks ago and asked for the M-Audio Keystation Mini 32, so I jumped on Amazon and used my one-click for pain-free buying.
Sadly then it all went south, as the package was tracked from Amazon to the delivery hub and then didn’t move for nearly 2 weeks.
Not wanting to disappoint my son, I decided to opt for a plan B, I was heading into London and so I called a dealer near the pub I was meeting friends at, West End Productions. They had one and I got it for a better price than I had from Amazon, plus great service from Shona.
It just goes to show, that whilst online shopping can offer convenience, it doesn’t always offer the assurance and professional friendliness of a decent music retailer. West End Productions don’t know I’ve written this, but I think credit where credit is due - it’s hard on the high street right now, so perhaps I should lead by example and get off my butt and support the good music retailers we have, perhaps in future online should be my plan B?
2011 brought us a lot of new stuff, the reality is that if you work in this industry, then every year we are bombarded by thousands of new products to tempt us to purchase.
So the question is, what one thing significantly improved my workflow or the quality of my work?
We have a lot of contenders, Pro Tools 10 arrived, as did a host of new interfaces, plug-ins, outboard and hardware synths and drum machines. Of course we can also add to this instruments and microphones.
So I have to ask myself, what one thing has made the most difference to me? You may be surprised to know, it’s also one of the least expensive things in my studio, but now it’s the one thing I reach for all the time and I wouldn’t be without. My product of 2011 is the M-Audio Keystation Mini 32.
Well done Avid, sometimes it’s the things you least expect that make the biggest difference.
Now tell us what your product of 2011 is…
Shaun Farley has put these two video tutorials from a ‘post’ perspective on his web site. He says…
I decided to put these two tutorials together to share some simple tricks that I use in Izotope RX2. They’re nothing overly complex, but they are kind of unique….and handy to boot. I just thought I’d share them and hope you find them useful.
A de-essing trick using RX2’s Spectral Repair function. Can you spot the moment when my dog decided he needed to shake (jingling tags). lol
Perhaps the word ‘favourite’ may not be the most appropriate, even the pros sometimes get things wrong, even worse they end up entombed on MP3, CD or vinyl forever.
For a bit of seasonal festive fun, how about letting everyone know your favourite, or perhaps your ‘how the hell did that get past?’ moment in musical history.
One that has always ‘troubled’ me is from one of my favourite tracks of all time. ‘King of Pain’ by The Police and from the album Synchronicity (ironically). Even worse The Police are my all time favourite band!
The track starts with a cool marimba riff and Sting singing over it, you can count it as a 4/4 pattern, then when the band comes in at around 1:07 the edit is appalling, either a stray snare hit (unlikely with the human drum machine that Stewart Copeland is), whatever it is it jars me; intentional or not?
So, care to tell everyone you particular production faux pas?
I’m thinking about how I might be able to make some changes next year, things I might do more of and some things less. Here are my suggestions.
- Buy less gear and learn to use the stuff I have better.
I have a lot of plug-ins and hardware, a lot I don’t use. I think 10 items I know like the back of my hand are better than a 1000 I dabble with.
- Listen to at least one new artist a week.
I need to stay inspired and get my ears around new sounds and ideas.
- Spend less on gear and more on training.
When was the last time you saw someone selling used training? Education is always an investment, the same can’t always be said for gear!
- Invest some of my time in helping the next generation of music makers to be better at it than this one.
I want some good music at my funeral - need I say more?
The problem with home recording is that too many of us work in isolation. Collaboration can be a pain in the ass, but get the right one and you can end up with magic.
These are mine, how about sharing yours.
We’ve been getting requests from community members who want to give a Blog membership as a gift.
Now you can give the AIR Users Blog gift certificate to a friend or a member of your family so they can enjoy free access to hundreds of videos in HD and thousands of free sounds.
Priced at £8.99 or $13.99 it takes a few minutes to buy and then download the secure certificate in PDF form which you can either send in digital format or print to gift.