Link: Propellerheads Set To Enter Digital Audio Workstation Market |

Future Music is reporting that Propellerheads is going to unveil their new digital audio workstation soon.

This will not be an update to Reason, which will retain its own product category, but will be a new standalone product that will have full-on audio recording capabilities.

I’m interested, but do we really need another DAW? I’m still hoping/wishing that Reason becomes a plugin suite.

20 Seconds: Twitter For Audio

To try to get the creative juices flowing I’ve started a new Tumblr blog. I call it 20 Seconds.

The goal is this: every day post at least 20 seconds of audio. It doesn’t have to be great. It just needs to be about 20 seconds long. 20 seconds is arbitrary, but I think is long enough to come up with any hook or other part that is the basis of most projects. It’s also short enough for people to listen to it immediately and forego saving it for later – never actually listening to it.

I’ve never used Tumblr before, but it’s pretty cool for audio. Each audio post gets its own player. All you have to do is upload an MP3. Plus, an outlet like this basically requires me to spend some making music every day. I think of it as Twitter for audio; move the twitter addiction to something i claim I want to do, like make music.

Plus, the audio player seems to work with RSS readers, so if you subscribe to the feed you can get the audio right in Google Reader, NetNewsWire, or whatever else you use.

So check it out if you’d like.

Mixing for MP3 Is Stupid

In my opinion.

Once in a while I’ll read something about mixing engineers and how they create different mixes for CDs and digital music services. The arguments are that encodes don’t recreate certain frequencies well, like anything below 100hz. So because of that they may suggest boosting the low-end on anything that will be used for an MP3 encode.

I think this is a bad idea.

I think mixing and mastering engineers should work on music for ears, not encoders. These days, bitrates for digital music stores are about 256k, which may as well be lossless for most people. And someday we all may get lossless encodes – which leaves a catalog of mixes that were poorly engineered in the hopes of making up for the weaknesses of an MP3 encoder.

Plus, there are so many variables to think about (which mp3 encoder? bitrate? AAC/WMA/OGG?) that trying to create the perfect mix for each of them means chasing your own tail, and it doesn’t account for the fact that I, and many others, will be ripping the official mix to a digital format anyway.

Besides, mixing for a certain encoder means giving those encoders a pass. Better to let the flaws of the encoder shine through so that the market can choose to not use that encoder and move on to something better.

However, I think you should arrange your album for digital formats. Please spare us hidden tracks or 5 minute stretches of silence that were a trend during the 90s. Downloading a 10meg file of 256k CBR encoded silence is obnoxious.

Audio Damage Not Amused

Related to the post “Yes – it does make you a bad person”, Audio Damage celebrates their 5th anniversary.

We’ve thrown a few elbows in the industry, made a lot of friends, bought a bunch of ads, faced some fairly intense competition, bitched and moaned about inconsequential shit, and dealt with shit that isn’t inconsequential at all. We’ve moved the corporation from one state to another and moved my actual ass to a different state entirely. We’ve put up with rampant idiocy from people that style themselves members of the creative community but are actually members of some kind of bullshit that doesn’t have a name.

Their link, not mine.

Related: I’ve been trying out Audio Damage’s Automaton. Really cool effect. You can build your own timed distortions with it.

Edit: The Audio Damage folks respond directly to YACHT:

know this: wrong is wrong. If you have to ask whether you’re a bad person or not, that alone should be all the answer you need. We are willing to accept piracy as a fact of life in the business we’re in. We’ve never done more than pay lip service to copy protection, and we’ve tried to put a value on the product of our creativity that makes that product easily attainable, to the point where piracy simply isn’t worth the trouble.

Waferbaby has edited the original interview. Go to Audio Damage’s post to get up to speed if you’re just seeing this.

Making a “Favorites” Folder In Logic Pro 8

Once in a while I write Logic tutorials on this site. Lately I’ve been thinking of doing some videos. This video takes a look at how to quickly create a Favorites folder for setting aside your favorite Audio Instrument presets. Reason has a great way to do this – you just drag and drop to a list in the file browser. Until Apple comes up with a way to do something like that, consider this method.

Logic Pro 8 – Saving Your Favorite Software Instruments on Vimeo.

For other Logic tutorials, I highly recommend SFLogicNinja’s videos on Youtube. Where other videos go through basic concepts (like how to make a marker) to try to sell video sets, SFLogicNinja goes through some more advanced topics and doesn’t try to sell you anything.

Link: Recreating Thom Yorke’s “The Eraser” on a Monome

Via Create Digital Music:

…here’s a video that really demonstrates how the Monome turns a set of buttons into a way of arranging and performing music. Adam, aka makingthenoise, covers Tom Yorke’s “The Eraser” using a Monome 40h, Ableton Live, and the SevenUp Live software setup.

Reconstructing The Eraser with the monome from makingthenoise on Vimeo.

Link: Metallica’s New Album Sounds Better in Guitar Hero than CD

I haven’t heard it yet, but Death Magnetic has apparently been squashed flat – no dynamics at all, unless you’re listening to the Guitar Hero version:

Via 1up:

Metallica’s latest album, Death Magnetic, was finally released to the world on September 10 — including to Guitar Hero III players, as the album was also released in-full as downloadable content. But according to keen-eared fans who’ve heard both versions, it turns out the sound quality in the Guitar Hero DLC is actually better than the quality of the retail CD. And according to Ian Shepherd, a mastering engineer and DVD author at SRT, they aren’t just hearing things.

Check out the difference in the waveforms between the Guitar Hero version (top) and the CD (bottom) that SRT Mastering Engineer Ian Shepherd notes:


microKorg Editing – Hardware Synth Software is BLAH

I’m thinking of writing a longer post about the state of hardware synth editor software – but the below is interesting to me.

Here’s a quick video demonstration of someone using the Windows version of the microKorg editor.

Now check out this shot from the OSX version.


You basically drill down into each patch – and since every property is a new window it gets real messy real fast. It’s a lot different than their Windows software.

The current microKorg OSX software also hasn’t been updated since 2002 – yet the microKorg is still one of the most in-demand synths today in 2008. 6 years – no development.

Here’s an example of patch editing on the OSX microKorg software:


Which is similar to our old buddy, SoundDiver:


Perhaps Korg asked the eMagic people to make a modified Sounddiver for the microKorg – and since SoundDiver isn’t actively developed anymore it has stagnated.

Granted – It seems like it’s been that long since the Windows Software was updated, too.

I think this whole hardware synth editing problem could be fixed if hardware synth developers started doing the following:

  1. Put a CD (or download code) of the VSTi or Audio Unit version of the same synth in the box
  2. Let users edit the synth through the software synth interface
  3. Let users load those settings they make on the software directly to the hardware synth in an easy way that doesn’t mention anything old-skooly, like ‘sysex’)

I might buy a lot more hardware.

Being Afraid of Failure Doesn’t Help


This morning I was listening to some of my old music projects from 10 years ago. I think anyone who creates for a living or for themselves gets a little embarrassed going through their old material, and this wasn’t any different.

There’s a video on Youtube of Ira Glass talking about this stage – basically working through the sludge. It’s something you must do before you can create the level of creativity that you really want. Nearly everybody has to go through it.

I think the main difference between now and then is this; my musical output is far greater 7-10 years ago then it is today. Part of it is because I don’t spend as much time on my own music, but another part of it is that I hold back on telling myself that I’m finished or that I always start but never finish. Back then I didn’t really know what I was doing – I was just messing around. Today I have a good understanding of music theory so I think I intentionally avoid trying the obvious and instead go for the painful road of trying to do something new.

That has to stop.

Continue reading “Being Afraid of Failure Doesn’t Help”

Propellerhead’s Electric Bass Refill and Site Update

Propellerhead Software announced the Electric Bass Refill for Reason.

The Reason Electric Bass ReFill puts eight fully playable electric bass guitars into your Reason rack. Featuring selectable basses and bass rigs plus a wide selection of music style patches, this ReFill lets you add dynamic, natural sounding bass lines to your productions.

The Electric Bass Refill should be available starting May 28th.

They also updated their site’s design for the first time since 2003! Looks great. Check out their sites from 1997 to today.

How I Wish Leopard’s Quick Look Worked for Logic Pro

What it looks like now:

What a Logic project looks like with Quick Look

Just a big icon which doesn’t fulfill the purpose of Quick Look.

How I wish it worked:

Forgive the amateur compositing.

The Logic Quicklook Proposal

What’s the proposal?

  • Arrange view right in quick look window
  • Play button and progress bar just like if you were viewing a media file so you can confirm if this is the right project
  • Bonus points if the song position line would move along with the progress bar

Do you agree? Let Apple know.

Awesome New Reason Refill – REASON ACCORDIONS!

I love this new Refill From Propellerheads!

What’s better than having a real, high-quality accordion recording on your tracks? Having a hypersampled accordion rig that gives you full creative control over your accordion sound throughout the session of course!
Introducing Reason Accordions – the hassle free, creativity sparking way of adding studio-grade accordion sounds to your mix. With Propellerhead Software’s ground breaking Hypersampling technique, we have captured these fine accordions in painstaking detail using state of the art equipment and instruments.

What better way to kick off your April Fool’s sessions than with Reason Accordions!