For 4 weeks we are running a community tip competition again as we have 4 very special silver iLoks to give away. We have awarded three winners so far so there is just one silver iLok to go. You have been continuing to send in your tips and so here is another selection of tips.
Everybody uses Beat Detective for drums or rhythm stuff. I use the Beat Detective smoothing option for make general fades through my regions. For example, when I'm editing a vocal track I can end with a lot of regions . To avoid clicks, I use Control+F (Windows) Command+F (Mac) to crossfade them. The problem that appears, is that if you didn't selected the whole regions (from the 1st region to the last region ) in the track, you will end with a Cross In - Cross out fade in the middle of the track . You can avoid this by using Smoothing -- Fill gaps and crossfade option inside Beat Detective.
Here are some of my personal favourite not-your-every-day shortcuts for the Mac:
- ctrl+alt+cmd+w = show/hide last touched plugin / audiosuite plugin
- ctrl+cmd+p = enable/disable Dynamic transport
- shift+alt+d = duplicate highlighted track
- ctrl+alt+up / down arrow = Clip gain increments (obv clip must be selected)
- ctrl+alt+up / down arrow = track height variables (all channels)
KeyRemap4MacBook is a great add-on app for the Mac that enables the 'fn' button (in conjunction with ctrl / alt / cmd) to access numeric keypad shortcuts & has been invaluable to me.
Note: This turns '7, 8, 9, 0' etc and downwards, into a makeshift numeric pad.
Installing this add on opens up a world of 'Window' , 'Clip' & 'Event' shortcuts to be accessed on your MacBook keyboard. Here are some of my favourite fn tips:
- fn+cmd+J = show/hide Transport
- fn+option(ctrl)+I = Elastic properties
- fn+option(ctrl)+J or K = rewind/fast forward bar-by-bar
- (side note: ctrl+ < or > = the same function)
- fn+alt+8 = Beat detective
While listening to a song for an analysis I usually turn off most of the lights so it'll be very dark in the studio, just leaving the LavaLamp on. I also turn my computer display at an angle so there's nothing between me and studio monitors. Reducing luminosity helps to concentrate on listening, you free your mind from visual information that can distract. When it's dark and figuratively speaking, you start seeing instruments floating in front of you, it also helps while mixing - it's much more easier to arrange tracks with lights turned off. For example, you see with your ears that it's enough reverb for a pad-synth.
Another tip is that I use colour not only on tracks but also on it's position in the timeline. For example, guitar tracks in verse are light red, in chorus are dark red, in bridge it's just red.
I find the following useful for speeding up the assignment of "one time" delay effect sends, for instance on the end of songs or choruses. You can assign the send as normal then...
- Alt+Click the Send fader to snap it to 0dB send level.
- Hold down Command+Control and hit the right arrow key 5 times in quick succession to view the Send Level Trim automation lane.
- Hit Command+A to select all of the automation on that track, then drag it down to -infinity.
Now by selecting the small section that you want sent to the delay and pulling up the trim to the desired level with the Smart Tool, you can send only a few words or hits at a time, without losing the ability to easily open the Send Fader and adjust the overall Send later in the mix process.
It sound far more complicated to read than it is to do, and after a little while of using this method you should be able to assign a small section of a track to special FX busses within seconds of the artist asking "Can I have just the word 'impatient' echo please?"
What Do I Need To Do To Try And Win A Silver iLok?
- Send us your tips and tricks that help you in your productions. Use the Contact Us page please.
- Take a look at the community tips that are on the site to see the kind of thing we are looking for, and also to make sure we haven't covered the tip already.
- Each week we will pick out one winner over 4 weeks as we only have 4 iLoks. However we have awarded three silver iLoks already so there are only one to go.