Anyone who has worked with audio in any capacity has likely seen a graphic depicting a waveform. These waveform graphics display the amplitude expressed across time, but do you really know how those waveforms are generated and why we express them the way we do?
It’s all about pressure and how sound moves through a medium, like air. Changes in air pressure are picked up by our ears, and our brains translate those pressure changes into sound information.
Brian Lee White explains how air is compressed and rarefied to create waveforms in his Foundations of Audio: EQ and Filters course. Check out his explanation in the video here, and then dive further into learning about using EQ and filters to improve the sound of your waveforms…I mean, music.
For more on how to properly apply equalization (EQ) to improve the overall sound of your mixes, watch the full Foundations of Audio: EQ and Filters course in the Online Training Library®.
NAMM stands for the National Association of Music Merchants, and its purpose is to promote the benefits of making music by strengthening the music product industry. Every January, they put on a huge trade show in Anaheim, California, where companies large and small come together and show off their music-related products and services. NAMM is a musician’s paradise, really, with displays of every instrument you can imagine, and all the latest technology and gadgetry available to create music. If you’re headed to NAMM this year, make sure to carpe diem with our three tips for getting the most out of NAMM, and be sure to stop by and say hello to the lynda.com staff who will be at the trade show from January 19 through January 22 with demos of expanded audio training content on display.
Three ways to get the most out of NAMM
1. Expand your view
One of the main purposes of NAMM is to present what’s new in the audio industry. Nowhere else can you hold the products in your hands, ask questions to their creators, make contacts at the companies, and even potentially get great show-only discounts. As you walk the floor, you’ll expand your view of what you can do in the music industry…and you may even run into a few rock stars along your path.
2. Check out the H.O.T. Zone
The NAMM trade show is mainly known for its gear and instrument booths, however they’ve slowly over the past few years been building out the H.O.T. Zone. Short for Hands-On Training, the H.O.T. Zone is a mini-educational conference by itself, with excellent speakers, panel discussions, and clinics on extremely pertinent topics in the music industry. Check out a session or two at NAMM and learn something you can apply immediately to your musical career from industry experts.
3. Join Us for #NAMMchat Q&A on Twitter
If you can’t make it out to Anaheim, join audio experts and lynda.com authors Bobby Owsinski and Brian Lee White for a no-hype debrief on the key trends, important information, and announcements coming out of NAMM. They’ll be available live on Twitter to answer your questions about NAMM, music technology, and the business in general.
The Twitterviews will be held at these times:
January 24 from 12:30-1:30 PST: Brian Lee White @brianleewhite
January 25 from 12:30-1:30 PST: Bobby Owsinski @bobbyowsinski
Simply tweet your questions or comments to @brianleewhite, @bobbyowsinski, or @lyndadotcom with the hashtag #NAMMchat on 1/24 and 1/25.
*Editor’s Note: On January 11th and January 20th the lynda.com blog mistakenly reported the #NAMMchat dates as January 23 and January 24. The dates of the #NAMMchat will be January 24 and January 25, both at 12:30pm PST as mentioned above. Associates will be standing by to assist any audio lovers who may tune in on January 23rd. Please pardon our error!
Now that Logic Pro is for sale in Apple’s App Store (and for a much lower price than it was previously), there’s been a rush on users purchasing Logic and upgrading to Logic from GarageBand.
While both GarageBand and Logic have always offered access to the standard Apple Loops library as well as additional Jam Packs, with Logic Pro 9 users also get the added benefit of creating their own Apple Loops, complete with descriptors and search tags that make any hand-made Apple Loop completely searchable in Logic’s Loop Browser.
If you’re a new Logic Pro user, or are considering upgrading from GarageBand, check out Scott Hirsch’s Logic Pro 9 Essential Trainingto learn more about recording, editing, and mixing music with Logic Pro.
Compression is a tricky effect to master when mixing and mastering. Sometimes compression is meant not to be heard; that is, to be transparent. Other times, it’s certainly meant to be heard as it’s used to push a signal into harmonic distortion.
Recording with compression is an even more delicate art: Where a heavy hand can ruin an amazing recording, a light touch can control and enhance very dynamic performances.
One of my favorite things about being part of the team at lynda.com is that everyone—staff, authors, and members alike—shares a passion for life-long learning. My colleagues on the Content team not only work hard to plan the best training possible on the subjects most critical to our members, but we also take advantage of the vast Online Training Library® to solve problems, learn skills outside our respective wheelhouses, or just stare hypnotically (and sometimes enviously) at the amazing stuff our lynda.com colleagues have created.
I was thinking about all this in light of my personal ambitions for 2012. It seems to me the standard (failed) New Year’s resolution has two strikes against it right from the outset. First, it usually involves some kind of annoying self-deprivation I’m not emotionally ready for. And second, I don’t usually have the resources readily at hand to shore up my chances for success.
But this year I have a new plan for 2012—one that’s made possible by the carefully crafted content my talented colleagues have created in the past 12 months. Rather than withhold good things from myself, I’m going to luxuriously dive into the lynda.com Online Training Library® to help me with some of my learning goals and intellectual curiosities. No deprivation, no willpower, no need to schlep to the gym with all the other January wannabes, just me happily keeping my resolution to learn new and useful things with the following content to help me indulge my goals:
1. Manage my time more effectively. Dave Crenshaw’s Time Management Fundamentals course was a big hit with members this year. I knew it was also resonating with the lynda.com staff when I heard the nefarious term switchtasking bandied in more than one meeting. Here’s a free-to-all movie that explains how trying to do two things at once makes them both take longer and become harder to do well:
2. Begin to understand code. As an author, blogger, and wrangler of wonderful designers dedicated to teaching design tools, I have the basic skills I need to tweak a blog post in HTML or search for structural issues in an .inx file, but that’s as close as I get to understanding code. And yet, the idea of learning programming calls at the edges of my creative consciousness the same way wanting to paint with watercolors does. Simon Allardice’s Foundations of Programming: Fundamentals is a compelling, and more importantly, non-patronizing tool for getting your bearings in the world of creating through code. This What is programming? movie from chapter one is a great sample, and Simon’s wonderful presentation makes me actually want more programming exploration:
3. Organize my 2011 digital photos (before I start taking 2012 pics). I used to be an editor of books on digital photography, including two editions of the seminal text on the subject of digital asset management. I’ve had advice from the very best. And yet, I’m still horrible about organizing my digital photos. Derrick Story’s Organizing and Archiving Digital Photos is full of practical information that you can put to use to organize your photo library without pressure or recrimination. If you’re a lynda.com member, dive into chapter six with Derrick’s Setting strategies for using keywords segment. For non-members, start with Dealing with your legacy collection in chapter three.
4. Make sure meetings are worth everyone’s time, including mine. The members of my brilliant team at lynda.com mostly work from their respective homes across the country. That being said, although I don’t have the same dread of meetings that many people who work full-time in an office do because I’m often desperate for human connection regardless, I have discovered that, from home or in an office, a satisfyingly effective meeting can really connect you to your colleagues in a way that’s critical for distributed teams. Enter Dave Crenshaw again with his Effective Meetings course, and particularly this lynda.com member-exclusive video on Meeting virtually. For non-members, check out Understanding the principles of successful meetings in chapter one.
5. Create effective and engaging blog posts. In Online Marketing Fundamentals, Lorrie Thomas Ross had me when she said, “Blogs are facts married to opinion.” I love her advice to make your personality come through in the blog, and I’ve clearly taken it to heart. Members of lynda.com should check out this movie, Blog Content creation ideas in chapter eight, to see why Lorrie is a woman after my own heart (and in possession of some really great advice.) Non members can get a broader view of the topic with Components of online marketing in chapter one.
6. Effectively Draw at least one simple shape in Adobe Illustrator. I’ve written a book on Photoshop and created that book (and many others) in InDesign. I feel functionally comfortable with both applications, but for some reason Illustrator has always daunted me. When we launchedDeke’s Techniques at the beginning of 2011, I forced myself to go step by step through every Illustrator technique just to see if I could follow along. Deke’s video on how to draw a heart in Illustrator (lesson number 42 in the Deke’s Techniques series) gave me that “I rule” moment that convinced me I may one day be able to add this application to my skill set. (And it also prepares you for Valentine’s Day, so I’m one holiday ahead of the game.) Check it out:
7. Communicate with color in video. My esteemed colleague who handles the training courses for the Video segment here at lynda.com, Rob Garrott, launched a weekly series in 2011 called Design in Motion. Some of the content is way over my video-novice head, but this movie on Communicating emotion through color correction got me thinking I might actually be able to foray with relative confidence into communicating effectively and emotionally within the video medium.
8. Get the most from my new camera. Although I haven’t indulged in a new camera this year, the new collection of courses from Ben Long helps people who have the most recent Canon and Nikon offerings learn how to use their particular toys to take well-crafted photos. And if my budget doesn’t come through with a new camera in 2012, there’s always Ben’s general Foundations of Photography series. Try this intro from the Exposure edition and see if you can resist watching the rest of the course:
9. Set up speakers for good sound. The Audio segment at lynda.com got a huge boost of content this year. In the popular Audio Mixing Bootcamp, industry expert Bobby Owsinski covers all the tips and tricks a budding audiophile might need. And although I may never master the art of sound, watching this helpful Determining the audio listening position movie from chapter one may inspire me to get that speaker in my office out from behind the potted plant.
10. Take beautiful pictures of all the delicious food I’m not avoiding. Finally, since I have no pressure to deprive myself of gourmet meals in charming restaurants this year, I can spend some time with noted food photographer Bill Robbins’ course on Food and Drink Photography guilt-free. Chapter seven includes a great lynda.com member-exclusive video on Finding the right location and lighting in your favorite restaurant to take the best photos of your dinner. My foodie friends on Twitter will be drooling with envy.
What are your hopes, big and small, for learning in the new year? What are your favorite lynda.com movies for providing the inspiration and instruction that you need to move toward them? The Content team and entire staff at lynda.com will be working hard to bring you what you most need in 2012, and until then, we wish you the most peaceful, joyous, and learning-rich new year.
Remixing a song is a skill that requires a lot of musical and technical know-how. Two of the most important elements to consider when beginning to create a remix are determining the original tempo of the song you’re remixing and lining up the vocal stem track to the beat.
Apple’s Logic software provides a handy plug-in called the BPM counter that helps to determine the tempo of a piece of music. Check out how to use it:
Often, remixers receive vocal stem tracks that don’t clearly align with the tempo grid when they’re imported into a project. That is, it’s unclear from the raw stem file where the downbeat is in comparison to the vocal performance. Check out how to align a vocal track with the tempo grid of a project:
In Remixing a Song in Logic, renowned remixer and author Josh Harris takes us through all of the remixing steps as he literally remixes a song in front of our eyes and ears. He covers all facets of the remixing process—aligning the vocals, working with loops, programming bass and synth parts, adjusting the remix arrangement—all the way to mixing and mastering the final version.
Check out Remixing a Song in Logicin the Online Training Library®, and look out for new training on the leading digital audio workstations coming soon.
Ever wanted to know how music gets edited into TV shows and movies? In Music Editing for TV and Film in Pro Tools, Skye Lewin shows you how putting music under picture is both an art and a science.
In this course, Skye will discuss how to edit and maneuver audio in Pro Tools, edit music to picture, create alternate audio edits, conform an edit to a picture if the scene has shifted, perform special effects, and use QuickTime to present edit revisions. He also discusses ways to utilize navigation, viewing, editing techniques, and key commands to speed up your editing process so you can focus more time on being creative.
The video used for demonstration in this course is a short film entitled Eli, starring David Anders (Alias, Heroes, 24, Once Upon A Time) and the music used is from composer Simon Hunter (CSI, Burn Notice, Iron Man trailer, Fast 5 trailer).
Pro Tools, the industry standard digital audio workstation, offers users a number of new features in its latest version, Pro Tools 10, including clip gain, real time fades, the ability to bounce your songs directly to your iTunes library, and the ability to share your music directly from Pro Tools with SoundCloud.
Avid has included some new plug-ins and made enhancements to its existing plug-ins, even adding a new plug-in format called AAX. There are also new importing and exporting features, audio engine and disk performance enhancements, extended system capabilities, added support for more file formats, and some interface and nomenclature changes.