Quick Look: Sends With Benefits

In this Quick Look Tutorial we take a brief look at the advantages of using send / return FX channels vs simply using insert effects. This specific tutorial applies reverb as a send effect and we look at the processing paths that open up when isolating the wet track, such as allowing you to equalize, compress and gate the 100% wet send effect alone.

Quick Look: Compression Limiting Individual Tracks & Mixes

In our latest video tutorial, we take a quick-look overview of using limiters in audio mixing, explaining what the separate sections of a limiter do (threshold, release, dithering, etc) as well as the exact changes it does to your audio when contrasted with ordinary compression.
We also look at the somewhat controversial technique of using a limiter on individual tracks and busses versus applying it only as a final stage mastering effect.

Spoiler alert: in mixing, don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do. Because what sounds good to your ears is what matters most.

♫ Doo Dee Doo Doooooooo ♫


With that said, it’s important to understand the limits of using a limiter in this way (nice pun, huh?) and its potential for ruining your mix when overused.

Korg Gadget: New All-In-One App For iOS

Korg is back in the iPad app space again with an “all-in-one” box offering called “Gadget.” With a wide variety of percussion and instrument synthesizers coupled with a fairly robust sequencing engine Gadget eschews the in-app purchasing model in favor of giving you an entire mini-DAW workspace right out of the gate. Gadget is optimized for use with the iPad Air and newest Mini models. Check out the full hands-on with the guys from Sonic Touch in the video below.

Love For Old Music Gear In An ‘Easy Hook-Up’ Software World

I love vintage recording gear. I really do. Actually, to be precise, I have come to find I like the idea of vintage gear a lot more than actually hosting it in a studio environment. I’ve recently been cleaning house of all of my relic SCSI gear that went along with various hardware samplers and began to wonder what place hardware will have in a rapidly software recording, and peforming, lanscape? There is no way around it, I have fallen in love with software. I have fallen in love with its many efficiencies, varieties, and cheap price tags. I have also fallen in love with a relatively uncluttered space which often makes my work easier. Still, there is a nostalgia for old hardware that I can’t seem to replace with software. I don’t have a warm place in my heart for Kontakt 1.0 the way I do for an old EMAX or Akai sampler. Memories and workflows are much more specifically attached to actual physical gear I owned far more so than any software I have used through the years. I don’t know why that is.

Hardware is currently available dirt cheap on eBay, local classifieds, ditches by the side of the highway… and I still sometimes get a flutter of excitement when I see an Akai S5000 for under $100. Kind of like how a guy in his 40’s or 50’s always idolizes that car he wanted when he was 17 but was so unattainable at the time. But, like the car analogy, I always come back down to earth and realize, sure I can now own many multiples of S5000’s but where exactly will I put these old dust boxes and would I really actually use any of them? I know I have tried to reclaim past glory only to get frustrated with slow transfer methods, SCSI errors and a whole host of annoyances I have since been conditioned to be impatient towards.

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Hello Inter-App Audio! So Long Audiobus?

audiobus dead because of inter-app audio on iOS7?

Does iOS7 mean the death of Audiobus as we know it?

Well, it’s been a year since Audiobus – the third-party magicapp that routes audio between iOS apps – was released and it looks like we may be saying a quick and tearful goodbye… sort of. As amazing as Audiobus has been it always was considered a bit of a hack around Apple’s walled garden, even to its makers. Since then Apple has clearly seen the value of offering audio and midi routing between apps and has now included it as a core feature with the release of iOS 7. It’s now up to the app developers to update existing audio apps to support the new routing system – a bit of a bitter pill to swallow for some considering that the mad scramble to support Audiobus is just barely in the rear-view mirror.

To hasten adoption of the new standard, it seems there are quite a few bugs popping up between the way Audiobus routes signals between apps and the new way under iOS 7. That leaves developers with a choice between focusing support for the current accepted standard (Audiobus) vs a potentially limitless future that, perhaps unfortunately, only Apple can provide with Inter-App. If developers rally around Inter-App, where would that leave Audiobus? There may still be room for Audiobus in the marketplace yet, but it may possibly be in a diminished role that serves as an add-on to what Inter-App audio ends up providing. Perhaps it can function as a handy visualized routing system for all midi and audio paths currently flowing on your device (although it looks like it may have competition going forward with JACK)

As it stands, it’s still a bit of a wild west in the land of audio production on iOS. Standards have yet to be set in stone, and there are still growing pains to be felt. But with the release of Inter-App audio it appears the future is a little bit clearer, and brighter, for everyone using the platform. Until then, expect to see a lot of bullets flying in attempt to shoot down those bugs.

May 2014 UPDATE: Audiobus 2.0 has hit the App Store with unlimited input chains as a new core feature, and seems to have ironed out much of its existing iOS 7.0 stability issues. Meanwhile Inter-App audio is still struggling with adoption and has a lot of bugs to iron out. The audio production game is still wide open on the ever-changing iOS platform.