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Everything posted by bitflipper

  1. I'm wondering about the validity of performing such a test with a YouTube video, given that we know YT never presents audio without modification. Using an oscillator plugin such as MOscillator (one of the freebies in the Melda fee pack) might be more trustworthy. I think we obsess over hearing range because a) it's easily measurable, and b) it's something we all fear losing with age. The question that never gets asked: how much high end do you need to hear in order to create a nice-sounding mix? If your kneejerk response is "as close to 20 KHz as possible", that does not reflect reality. If you listen to MP3s, the upper end has been lopped off (IIRC, at 18 KHz). Same for other lossy compression algorithms. If you listen to FM radio, it's limited to 15 KHz. Your guitar amp likely tops out at around 12 KHz. Hammond organs often occupy the upper end of a mix, but a classic Leslie horn only goes up to about 10 KHz. Truth is, we listen to band-limited audio all the time and rarely notice. The real question is where musical frequencies live. Quick, what's the fundamental frequency of the highest note on a piano? How about a piccolo? Think either one goes above 12 KHz? Think again. Sure, there are overtones that are multiples of the fundamental that can run up into the hearing range of bats. But humans can't hear them. But can you tell when they're not there? Try this experiment. Play the highest note on the highest virtual instrument you have on hand. Pipe organ, for example. Nothing goes higher than a pipe organ, AFAIK. Insert SPAN and note where the fundamental frequency is, and where its harmonics lie. Now add a low-pass filter and start cutting those harmonics until you can distinguish a tonal difference. Find some six-year-olds and repeat the experiment with them. When mixing, by far the most important frequencies are the ones everyone can hear with ease, between ~1KHz and ~5KHz. This is why band-limited speakers have long been used by mix engineers; if it sounds good on speakers that don't go much above 8-10 KHz or below 100 Hz, it'll sound good on a full-range system.
  2. Exactly. "Professional" does not directly imply that you are necessarily good at something, just because someone was willing to pay you to do it. I have been a professional musician, a professional hardware engineer, a professional software engineer, and a professional teacher. In each of those roles, I knew plenty of associates - also professionals - who were flat-out sh*t at their jobs. There were others that I knelt at their feet beseeching them to bestow upon me even a little of their vast knowledge and experience. On the other hand, there's such a thing as the passionate amateur, someone compelled to learn everything they can about the subject of their passion. Such people aren't constrained by the narrow needs of a specific job assignment, but are free to branch out into any related field that piques their interest. I am happy to call myself an amateur mixer, and would be considerably less happy if I had to do it as a (shudder) job.
  3. My first personal computer was an RCA COSMAC VIP. Came with 2KB of RAM (had to design and build my own circuit board to bring it up to 8Kb), no operating system, no keyboard (all data entry via a hex keypad), using audio cassettes for storage. My first serious program was a recreation of Space Invaders, which I played with a home-made controller made from Radio Shack parts. In 1984 I got my first real job in the industry, where they foolishly handed me a roomful of million-dollar superminis to play with. It was there that I learned to code in just about every programming language in existence at the time, ultimately settling on C as my native tongue because it ported perfectly to my Apple ][.
  4. ^^^ + 1 Might have to brush up on my Singlish, though. Yes, that's a recognized language (unlike similar but unofficial hybrid languages such as Spanglish and Taglish).
  5. It was with some sadness that last week I finally contributed my VS-700 T-shirt to the rag pile. At least it was put to one last musical purpose: cleaning up after my granddaughter, who'd just finished spray-painting her guitar as well as the patio table she'd used as a workspace.
  6. Erroneous indeed. Even adding up a half-dozen paid SONAR upgrades, my investment in the DAW has been a drop in the bucket compared to plugins and virtual instruments. And all that's a small amount compared to speakers, interfaces, multiple displays, microphones, acoustic treatments and musical instruments. A free DAW is like a drug dealer offering the first taste for free.
  7. Mine are mounted one over the other, doubling the screen space without changing the desk space. You just have to get an extra-tall monitor stand. They exist for just that reason.
  8. TVs are meant to be viewed from a distance. There are charts for determining the ideal viewing distance for a given TV. Advice that's often ignored, as evidenced by the many times I've visited people's homes and seen a set far too large for the room it's in. It's OK because you simply don't need ideal definition while watching Netflix, where you're not trying to navigate a mouse to a small spot on the screen or nudge an automation node by 10 pixels. Relegating that TV to its intended application, e.g. showing people standing behind you what you're doing, is a good idea. I do like wide monitors, though. Unfortunately, many actually have too high a resolution, making text difficult to read. At present I have a good compromise, two 34" screens at a modest 2560 x 1080 native resolution (4K is a waste for DAWS, IMO). Lots of room for lots of windows to be open at once, e.g. track view on one and PRV on the other, while presenting legible text. Here's the exact model I'm using. I would not go any larger, lest the displays intrude on my line-of-sight to the more important monitors, my speakers.
  9. I have to say, as a longtime Cakewalk user (since 1986) I have noticed the return to the philosophy of Cakewalk's earlier days. Companies that are under pressure to release a new paid version every 9-12 months tend to throw in a lot of half-baked fluff just so Marketing can add to its features matrix and thus justify charging for the same product over and over. Noel and company, thanks to Meng's patronage, are now free to concentrate on just making the product better. Hats off to Meng, and happy to hear Noel giving the guy the credit he deserves.
  10. BTW, in this podcast, Noel says the BandLab user base is 29 million. Not all of those are Cakewalk users, but holy crap, that's a LOT of people. That's about equivalent to the entire population of Texas.
  11. What would be of more interest to NI would be how many of those users actually care about Komplete Kontrol. A small minority, I suspect. At any rate, NI have always marched to their own drum. They are not exactly the most customer-centric company.
  12. Took me all day, but I finally finished the entire 2 hours. Great stuff, even some new (to me) information. "Wasabi"
  13. It will work fine, assuming the device still works. Might want to blow out the MIDI connector first. But you'll have no issues with USB 1.1.
  14. Thanks for the tip! I have had the pleasure of briefly hanging out with Noel. He is the geek's geek, a kindred spirit for sure. He should be thankful I'm not his next-door neighbor, as I'd be knocking on his door every day begging for a cup of nerd. Oh, hey, is that your wife practicing piano? Sure, I can stay a bit. If you insist.
  15. Do they work if you manually draw in the changes as automation?
  16. If the question has been answered, leave it in place but add [SOLVED] to the title. Others may have the same question, so even if you no longer need an answer it may have value to someone else. If you want to remove the question because on reflection it seems dumb, well, the same advice may still apply. The same dumb question might occur to others. Regardless of the reason, John's method works. If you want it gone in a hurry, feel free to PM me or any of the forum hosts to bring it to our attention. (John, scook and wookie all pay closer attention to PMs than I do, though.)
  17. If you asked me what the best day of my life was, I'd have to write down a top-10 list and then sort it before I could answer. Ask me what the worst day of my life was, and I can give you an exact date and time. That was the day I put down my last dog. A comedian once said "a psychic told me I'd have an emotionally devastating experience in 15 years, so I got a puppy to cheer me up." Yeh, I can laugh about it now, but only if I don't think about it too long.
  18. I not only exclude my entire samples drive but any file ending in *.wav or *.flac. There's just no way to embed malware in a wave file. OK, on second thought there might be. A wav file could be a carrier for a rootkit. Most antivirus programs don't check for rootkits, though. And anyway, the rootkit would only be activated if you clicked on the wave file, not if you loaded it into a sample-player.
  19. You might want to post this in the Songs forum, where more people will see it. The folks who hang out there tend to be very community-minded and quick to offer advice. I'd offer to do it myself, but I'm currently overloaded after volunteering to help a friend with his mixes. He needs a whole album's worth of songs mixed - and he keeps sending more! P.S. Listened to your linked song. Honestly, it doesn't really need much work. Tweaks, that's all.
  20. It seems that CbB does report "yes" when a plugin asks "is the host SONAR?". That means any plugins that had previously been exclusive to SONAR should work in CbB without alteration. At least, that's been my experience. For example, SONAR-exclusive plugins such as the TS-64 Transient Shaper won't work in other DAWs but it recognizes CbB as family. I'm guessing you could even uninstall SONAR and as long as you left all the plugins in place they'd still work in CbB. None of this applies to CA-2A, though, as it was sold as a standalone product not locked to SONAR. I don't remember what kind of licensing scheme it used, though. If it required online registration, an emailed serial number, or challenge/response authorization, then the software for handling that would have to be reinstated. That shouldn't be a showstopper, though. I'm sure they could make a deal with one of the online stores to oversee distribution and payment processing, the same way many mom 'n pop vendors do. (btw, +1 to your ADHD suggestion. It's not bad for a freebie, although it might be a bitbridged 32-bit plugin - I don't actually know.)
  21. TTS-1 has tambourine, congas, shakers, cowbell, woodblocks and others. None of them are great, but they work fine if percussion isn't prominent in your mix. I like to use subtle shakers and tambourine in most things, and one of the absolute quickest and easiest ways to throw those in is Skaka from Klevgrand. It doesn't have a lot of instruments (10, IIRC), but they sound good and the sequencer is very easy to use. At 50 bucks I don't know of anything cheaper other than free Kontakt libraries. I'm hoping the success of this recently-introduced product will inspire its creators to expand it by adding more instruments. If I want something fancier, it'll usually be Shimmer Shake Strike from In Session Audio. Compared with Skaka, it's more expensive, requires Kontakt (compatible with the free version, though) and is more complicated to use. However, it has way more instruments (67 with the expansion pack) and more mixing, fx and sequencing options. Sound quality is good enough to feature your percussion front and center. If you already have a fancy drum sampler such as Addictive Drums, Jamstix, Superior Drummer, EZDrummer or BFD, all have percussion expansions available for them. But only if you already have one. I wouldn't go out and spend a lot for one of these just for percussion, although Jamstix is a good value and a lot of fun. Now, if you want to expand your search to include epic movie-trailer style war drums and goofy novelty percussion, that's a whole 'nother list.
  22. I don't think the OP is trolling. He's just frustrated because the application turned out to be more complicated than he'd expected. It makes sense; moving from Garageband to Cakewalk is a big step, akin to going from making PB&J sandwiches to preparing a 7-course meal. It's sad that Matt's response was to quickly give up, because we know we could have helped him along. But I'm guessing he's a young fellow who's never taken on a long-term commitment before. He may be back after he's older and wiser. Or Garageband may be all he'll ever need. To each his own.
  23. I have experienced this phenomenon often. Most of my composing is done on piano, so it'll usually be the first instrument I record. That piano track then serves as the framework for the song that will subsequently be built around it. And quite often the piano gradually sinks into the background as I go. A lot of this comes down to frequency masking - the piano is a full-spectrum instrument and as such is prone to being masked by everything else because everything else overlaps with it, frequency-wise. Consequently, one trick that I often employ is EQ automation. If the song has a piano intro, no EQ will be applied during that part. Later, as other instruments join in, I'll take a whole lot of bottom end off through automation. When the piano is alone, it needs to fill the entire spectrum. But as soon as a bass is added in, it no longer needs to hold down the low end and can be high-passed to give the bass its space. If the backing tracks are lush synth pads (I, too, rely on Omnisphere a lot for such things) that may call for the piano to be thinned even further. It may seem counter-intuitive to ruin the exquisite tone of an expensive piano library, but it's all about what the piano sounds like in context. If the piano is vastly more important to the song than the pads or strings, consider thinning them instead. Many of Omnisphere's pads are very thick, designed to sound awesome on their own. But mixing is all about deciding which track owns which frequencies and carving out a spectral space for each instrument. For similar reasons, panning is another trick I rely on. Because the piano is usually recorded in stereo, I like to use the Pan Knob plugin from Boz Digital Labs. Again, if the piano is featured at the beginning it will be panned center. But as I add strings and synths, I'll slowly pan the piano to one side and move whatever elements compete with it to the opposite side. In a particularly dense mix, I might even split the piano track into two tracks and make the first portion stereo and the latter parts mono. As a general rule, mono tracks are easier to mix and keep them distinct.
  24. I'd suggest un-freezing the track, add the new plugin and then re-freeze without freezing the fx bin. I normally don't freeze FX when I freeze a track, just for this reason: there'll always be some tweaking to fx right up until the end of the mix process. If you decide to go this route, after un-freezing the track, right-click on the freeze button to bring up the freeze options and un-check the "freeze fx" box.
  25. So's Microsoft Edge. It's not the underlying engine that's the problem, but rather the unnecessary crap Google piles on top of it. It's like buying a computer from Dell - it's all Windows underneath, but you're also gonna get a whole lot of garbage you didn't ask for, and which will take a nontrivial amount of effort to remove. Come to think of it, all DAWs must be the same because they're all using the Microsoft C++ runtime library underneath! Well, OK, maybe not Logic. But you can see where this logic could take you...Archie comics and The Old Man and the Sea are the same because they're both based on the same underlying language. Elvis and Hendrix both played guitar. Hawaii and Alaska both have lots of volcanic mountains. Beer and Coca Cola are both 99% water. Gandhi and Freddie Mercury were both Indian. This is fun.
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