With iOS7 comes huge promise for the future of professional audio integration within iOS itself, as well as integrating with external pro studio setups. For the latter we have a major game changer in the release of the iConnect MIDI interface featuring realtime midi messaging and audio pasthrough between your desktop DAW software and your iOS music making app of your choice. What does this mean? It means you can essentially turn all of those beautiful sounding synths, drum machines and audio tools within your iPad or iPhone into real-time instruments you can play and record midi events to from your existing desktop sequencer setup. This is a brilliant merger between the charm and creativity found in oldschool external midi setups, with the accessibility and variety found in modern virtual instruments.
Check out a fantastic discussion and demonstration of the power in this humbly priced device from SonicState. Skip to 12:40 to see the magic happening:
You’ve probably been hearing a lot about mid-side processing and are thinking, “great, one more thing I have to learn just to make my tracks presentable.” Well, not really. MS processing is just another tool you can use to add depth to, or clean up, your mixes and in practise it is just another way to apply the fx and mixing routines you are allready familiar with. MS processing at its base is simply a different way of splitting up a stereo signal. Ordinary stereo signals are split between a left and right channel, whereas an MS processor takes a stereo signal and splits it between the sum and difference channels. The sum channel would be any audio signal which is equivalent in both the left and the right channel, or in other words, the mono audio material which is dead center in your stereo field. The difference channel would be all other audio content. The terms “sum” and “difference” are just another way of understanding “mid” and “side” processing.
Once you have your mix separated by its middle (sum) and side (difference) audio content, it will sound exactly the same as your usual left/right channel stereo mix with the notable exception that you can separately process the middle of your mix from the sides of your mix. This is useful in a myriad of ways, but here are some common uses of the technique:
She’s a thing of beauty ain’t she? Believe it or not, this unassuming little plugin can totally change the sound of your mix.
For its fancy sounding name and esoteric roots, sidechain compression is an extremely simple studio technique both in principle and practice. What is sidechain compression? Basically, it is the same as ordinary audio compression except that it uses another audio source as its input, and then uses the resulting gain reduction on the destination audio track. The most common application of this method is in the ubiquitous ‘ducking’ or ‘pumping’ effect heard peppered throughout just about every dance track recorded in the last 15 years. This effect is achieved by using the kick drum as the sidechain input, which then sends the resulting gain reduction to, usually, a sustained sound on another track like a pad, chord, or noise loop.
Have you ever found yourself building an elaborate sampler or keyboard patch made up of layers upon layers only to be disappointed when bringing it into your mix? You find out that either it stands out over top of everything else, or else you need to bring it way down to a barely audible level, making you wonder, “dude, where’s my sound?”
This doesn’t only happen with synthesized sounds; you may have layered your drum hits, vocal takes, bass or guitar parts and come to the same conclusion.
This article will help you understand why this happens, and what you can do to avoid it, or if necessary, fix it in the mix. You will come to learn one of the central tenets of mixing: sounds that appear great in isolation don’t necessarily sound good in the mix. The most common reason for why this happens is as follows:
For this tutorial we are going to show you how to take a mediocre, boring, flat, or just plain wretched sounding kick drum, and magically engineer it into a bass-rattling behemoth. “But, why should I bother learning how to make my own kick drums?” you ask…Well, because, the kick drum is the corner-stone of almost all modern recordings. Check out any hip hop, rock, pop or dance track on the radio today. Front-and-center is a big, beefy kick. Since the kick drum has such high energy content, it goes a long way towards producing the perception of BIGNESS and LOUDNESS in a track. Often, you’ll have a kick drum in your track that you selected for its character… but then you realize its bass output is no good in the context of the rest of your mix. At any rate, you are unlikely to escape the need to take a kick, and pump it up to the next level at some point during your recording.