Compression is an oft-misunderstood and sometimes over-used effect that enjoys (?) a wealth of online forum punditry. Sonic Sense has done an exemplary job here in plainly illustrating the rudiments of compression while cutting the crap. This video begins by demonstrating exactly what the basic compressor controls do, and then follows up with audible examples of the compressor being applied during tacking AND in a full mix, so you can very clearly hear the effect applied in the context of a full song. Demos include vocals, snare, and bass.
Thanks to Sonic Sense for not only clearing up some of the mysteries of compression, but also for choosing the ADL 700 as the right tool for the job.
[This just in from good friend and four-star general in the war against the machines, Brian Botkiller! He shares his latest track, “Morphogenic Residents,” and details some of the methods to its particular brand of oddball. When not repairing his Buddy Holly glasses with gaff tape or tracking down elusive rhymes for “morphogenic residents” and “triskelian,” Brian Botkiller is one of the main guys at OBEDIA, who have been slingin’ their brand of world-class recording technology training to the masses for nigh on ten years now. Strongly recommended.]
I usually record and mix/master in Studio One, but I don’t do a lot of virtual instrument work, so I wanted to do a track entirely in Studio One and explore it a bit more. MC Tahina is an old friend and part of one of my favorite bands of all time, The Gluey Brothers. He wanted to do a track together, so I had him come over to Botkiller studios. He showed up, and while walking him in I said, “I’ve got the drums set up, and you can plug your guitar into Studio One if you want.” He said, “I’ve only got lyrics,” which I thought was awesome. So, we needed a beat. I opened up NI Battery and Impact, and laid down a quick beat, then did some overdubbing with my DDRUM Dominion kit. I wanted to fool with the timing on the audio and MIDI, so I quantized it in some crazy ways and got a cool groove out of it without having to do more work, because Studio One does everything in the blink of an eye.
Next, Tahina did his vocals. I plugged straight into my PreSonus FireBox, my favorite audio interface of all time, and gave him a click and headphone mix, and he just went for it. We had vocals in minutes. I then opened up some previously saved channel strip presets (another favorite S1 feature,) and had a vocal mix in no time. We then laid down the bass, using Native Instruments Kontakt. Tahina did those, on the fly, on a MIDI keyboard straight into Studio One. I did some edits here and there, quantized fast, and boom, bass done. Here’s some video:
I wanted something else in the track, so I took out my turntable, dropped a plate on it, ran it into my FireBox’s SPDIF input, and did some scratches. I’m no Mix Master Mike, but I really liked how they added to the track. We then sat down and just mixed organically, with me laying down some light backing vocals and other little bits. He was really impressed with how fast Studio One allowed me to work. I got everything done fast, and then jumped into mastering in the Project pane, and my song was done.
This was great because the weeklybeats project (http://www.weeklybeats.com) requires me to write, produce, and record a song per week. It has to be turned in by Sunday at 6pm MST, and I really like the project. It’s not a competition or anything, but just a personal challenge—by the end of the year, I should have written 52 new songs! I wanted to do it to get myself into the practice of writing faster, and releasing fast, instead of agonizing over a track forever. It’s really opened my mind and made me work fast and be creative. This is why Studio One is always in my workflow; I can’t do fast production like this in any other DAW, hands down. It’s the fastest daw in the west, east, or anywhere else.
As always, thanks for what you do and for being awesome.
Hear the track below.
Local to Louisiana? Looking to up your rhythm section chops? Look no further than Music Inc. of Louisiana in Gonzalez. This Saturday, May 24, James Cook and Kent Slucher of the Luke Bryan band will reveal some of their gifts of groove to an appreciative audience. Plus, you might win a killer Aguilar Tone Hammer pedal, just for showing up—Come on down!
If you ask me, the real answer to the analog vs. digital debate is “let’s stop arguing and make some music,” and Alberto Schettino of FuseRoom Studio agrees. In fact, he’s got an audio workshop coming up on March 22 & 23, that focuses on exactly that—balancing fuzzy analog yin with precision analog yang.
He says, “This is a 2-day workshop at Fuseroom Studio in Tuscany, Italy, where I will transform a raw recording session in PreSonus Studio One to a final mix, integrating all of my high-end analog gear and digital plug-ins into the ultimate hybrid mixing experience!”
Sounds great! Why not use the best of both worlds? Click here to learn more and register for the event.
Generally, at NAMM, we run around with cameras and try to interview artists and get them to say nice things about us. Ever the forward-thinking rabble-rousers, Hero’s Last Mission brought their own camera to catch Rachel and Phil at the PreSonus booth and talk about what’s new with us. Turnabout is fair play.
Hey! It’s cold outside. We’re experiencing one of the most brutal winters here in Baton Rouge that we’ve ever seen. So, why not stay indoors, get your producing on, and warm up your studio with some hot PreSonus gear? For a limited time, we’re offering the following killer deals. You can take advantage of these offers at a local PreSonus dealer or at your online store of choice. To find a dealer, click on one of the following links:
Buy Sceptre Monitors, get Monitor Station FREE!
Two great products that play well together. The Sceptre monitors are enjoying a lot of critical (and user) praise right now, and must be heard to be believed. Don’t throw out your old monitors, however, as with the Monitor Station, you’ll be able to hear your mixes on both pairs – a critical tool for knowing how your mixes will translate to various listening environments. Click here to get further details on this world-wide offer, as well as the required rebate form. But maybe before you do that, you should check out these killer reviews of the Sceptres.
Buy Eris E5 or E8 monitors, get Studio One Artist Free!
Click here for more info on this deal, but the long and short of it is pretty well summed up by the above. No rebate forms, just savings. Get your Eris, register them at my.presonus.com, and your Studio One Artist activiation code will be available there auto-magically. Currently the Eris speakers are enjoying a five-out-of-five AVERAGE user scores at Guitar Center AND Sweetwater, and we just can’t help but feel like celebrating. History has shown that the best way to share that celebratory spirit is to give away free kick-ass stuff. In this case, it’s Studio One Artist. Don’t forget to grab the free 2.6 update when you install it!
Save $30 on the AudioBox USB until April 30, 2014!
The trusty, sturdy AudioBox USB is aimed squarely at the back-to-basics recording mindset. You get two 1/4″ XLR combo jacks, ideal for recording guitar and vocals simultaneously, MIDI in and Out, Main Outs for your monitor speakers, and a headphone out. Keeping things simple also means keeping them small, and the AudioBox USB will slip right into most any laptop case for recording on the go. Furthermore, it’s USB bus-powered, which means you don’t have to worry about pesky dead batteries or AC power cables mucking up your session. Also, it’s now $30 cheaper, for a limited time. No rebate paperwork, no fuss. Click here for more info.
International Sales Director of Mystery Mark Williams recently made an unusually local expedition into the Louisiana bayous, searching for the storied crystal cog that has been missing from the Antikythera mechanism since its discovery near a Greek island in 1900. Exhaustive research has led Williams to believe that the fabled gear may have wound up at the bottom of Hackberry Bayou, as a plane carrying the precious cargo was last seen flying over the area in 1936—never to be heard from again; feared crashed.
It’s suspected that this arcane mechanism was an early attempt by the Greeks to solve latency issues in their early audio recording endeavors—a work of mysterious genius that PreSonus feels may hold the secret to unlocking divine audio quality in future products.
While this mission was sadly thwarted by a pack of rabid alligators (don’t get between them and their young), it has only re-doubled Agent Williams’ efforts to find the missing crystal cog. But for now, the location of this ancient power remains lost to history…