Thursday, December 30, 2010

Goldwave Lesson - Kick Drum

Hey everybody. Sorry about my lack of posting. I've been rather busy lately, but I'm back now with a new video for you. It's pretty basic, but I'm sure there's somebody out there that could benefit from it.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Recent Project

I've recorded something I created with my Korg MS2000 since you gentlemen requested it. This is without any added distortion, just the options built into the machine. It took me a while to get this sound, and I was very pleasantly surprised when I finally did.

Also, in the spirit of Christmas, 3 points to anyone whose post contains the word "sarsaparilla".

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hardware Reviews Part 5

Korg MS2000 - $350-500 used (8.75/10)
I recently purchased on of these used on craigslist and so far I've been digging it. It is the grandfather of the more recent Microkorg. As far as I can tell, the Microkorg is capable of producing the same sounds as the older, larger MS2000, but on the Microkorg you end up having to program everything with a few knobs and a tiny LCD screen. I prefer the ease of use the MS2000 offers as well as its larger keyboard. I'll probably have a more detailed comparison of the two later.

The Korg MS2000 has a surprisingly aggressive tone that works very well for my style of music. Rather than using patch cables like traditional analog synthesizers, it offers a versatile 'Virtual Patch' system. The distortion is nice, but there aren't a lot of options, so I've got mine going through a guitar distortion pedal to further mutilate its sound. The MS2000 has the ability to act as a vocoder, which it does well, but I haven't really messed with it much. It's no longer in production, so if you plan on obtaining one of your own, I wish you the best of luck in finding a used one in good condition at a reasonable price.

-Tasty virtual analog synthesis
-An abundance waveforms to choose from.
-Sexy body with lots of metal and wood.
-Powerful step sequencer

-Only 4-note polyphony
-Not true analog synthesis

Sunday, December 19, 2010

You show me yours, I'll show you mine.

Today we're going to be sharing music we've made. I know there are some other producers among us.

11 points to anyone who shares music they made.
1 point to anyone who shares music they didn't make.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Another Mystery Song

I'm really busy today, but I figured I might as well give you guys something, so here's another mystery song. 5 points to the first one to get it right. 1 point to all the others who get it right after them.

By the way, the last mystery song was Limelight, by Rush.

Also, you get the whole song.

And a music related image.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New Soundfont Made Specially For You

I created a soundfont using a simple distorted saw kick patch I made on my Korg MS2000. Feel free to use it in your productions. It covers a few octaves of pitches, each rendered individually.

MS2000 Saw Kick Soundfont

Also, this comes with some free advice. All the samples are mono because most of the time you really don't need to do any panning or stereo effects when it comes to your kick. It's usually best dead center in the mix.

Also, 10 points to whoever can guess what song this tiny fragment is from. This is an easy one.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Distortion Pedals

I'm looking for a new distortion pedal to run my new synth through and I was wondering if you guys had any favorites. Those of you that play guitar should probably have some sort of idea. It's proving quite difficult to create the effect I'm looking for with effects plugins.

And a related image in case you didn't read the text above it.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

New Keyboard!

I just managed to obtain a near mint Korg MS2000 Analog Modeling Synthesizer for $350. I'll be providing a hardware review for this eventually, but I need some time to work with it. After using midi and softsynths for so long, it's nice to get my hands on a good old fashioned hardware synthesizer.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

EQing Drums and Bass Guitar

The key to EQing multiple tracks is to contain each track in its own space to keep your tracks from competing for the same frequencies. It's important to remember to do this all in moderation if you want a natural sound, but the rules are always different depending on the genre and the sound you're going for.

Here's a loop I put together using drums and bass guitar.


It's generally a better idea to EQ each drum microphone separately, but for the sake of this lesson, I've already combined them.

The first problem that really stands out to me is that the bass is too damn bassy, especially at the low end. This area should already be occupied by the kick, which is too weak.

Now I've cut the low end (100 and lower) off of the bass guitar and boosted it on my drum track. This way the kick will dominate the low bass. Then I boosted an area around 240 for the bass guitar's higher bass sound and lowered it on the drum track. I also boosted 2k or so on the bass track to make the fret sounds louder and to give it more attack. Then I finished with some minor adjustments to the drums to make them sound a little clearer. Here is the final result.

EQd Loop

Keep in mind that the loops were kind of shitty to begin with, and you can only polish a piece of shit so much before it smears. I hope you got something out of this little demonstration anyway.

Monday, December 6, 2010

EQing Basics

EQing (equalization) involves changing the volume of different frequencies in your sound. This allows you to make huge (or tiny) changes to the sound of your tracks. This is an incredibly valuable tool in audio mixing.
This is a simple Graphic Equalizer VST plugin ( The frequencies to the left are the lowest, your bass. As you go right, they get higher and eventually inaudible.

Try right clicking on this plugin in your software of choice and dragging all the way down then moving your mouse left and right while the sound plays. See what changes are made to your sound when you cut certain frequencies. This is a good way to get a feel for which frequencies make up each part of your sound.

Here are some terms you should know. Some are pretty self-explanatory. You don't need to read through all of these now, but this will be here to look back on when I use these terms later.

Bass - The lower frequencies. The kind that make the earth rumble. Yeah, it sounds cool when you turn your bass up too high, but don't be a jackass and crank the bass in every one of your mixes. Uncontrolled, a lot of bass ends up sounding like shit.
Body - The upper bass frequencies.
Boomy - Way too much fucking bass. Back off a little.
Bright - Lots of high frequencies.
Fat (big, full) - Takes up a lot of space in your mix. Sounds badass by itself, hard to mix. Often includes some stereo tomfoolery that makes the sound bigger.
Harsh - Too much upper mid.
Mid - That under-appreciated area between bass and treble.
Muddy - Shitty sounding because too many sounds are competing for the same frequencies.
Muffled - Low upper mids and highs, sounds like you're singing into a styrofoam cup.
Smooth - Easy to listen to, all the frequencies are more or less equally loud.
Thin - The opposite of fat.
Tinny - Sounds like it's coming through bad speakers, like a telephone.
Treble - The higher frequencies. Turning these up might make your mix sound clearer, but it will hurt your fucking ears if you get carried away.
Warm - Plenty of full mids and bass.

Coming soon - EQing advice more relevant to mixing multiple tracks.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Mixing And Mastering

I'm going to be getting into mixing and mastering over the next few posts. I'll be covering EQing, compression, panning, and possibly some other branches of audio sorcery. Hopefully you can all learn something from it and have clearer, more professional sounding mixes. I'd get started today, but I have a rendezvous with my special lady friend which prevents me from doing so.

In the mean time, 20 points for whoever can guess what song this is.