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Whether one is producing music, podcasts, game sounds, or film sound effects, Digital Audio Principles provides the tips and techniques that will make the project a success. Author Dave Schroeder explains the basics of digital audio production techniques and covers the essential hardware and software. He also discusses sound theory, frequency response, the range of human hearing, and dynamic range.
Now, one of the newer kinds of software that exists that's really interesting and fun to play with is Loop-based Music Production software, and this basically lets you bring in samples or loops and arrange them in kind of a grid format and create music from pre-existing sound clips, or you can also create your own loops or samples, and that's where it really gets interesting. Some of these are hybrids and involve things like recording audio and sequencing a little bit of MIDI. But the thing that they do that makes them different from multi-track recording software is their ability to deal with loops and kind of the interface that create that gives you kind of a grid system for laying these things out.
Loop-based software is great if you want to make some quick tracks from existing stuff, like if you're trying to come up with a little bit of music for an intro to a podcast or something short for a video project, and you can also create original samples and really create original compositions. There's kind of a myth that makes it seem like you're just always going to make a piece of music that someone else's samples are. You're just kind of like putting a puzzle together. But it's true that you can actually create your own pieces of music, original pieces of music by creating original samples, and original loops. Loop-based really has more to do with how you arrange the sound files, and kind of a streamlined functionality for working with sounds in little chunks as opposed to the 3-minute guitar take.
Some popular loop-based software titles include ACID, Ableton Live, and GarageBand. Let's take a look at GarageBand real quick and kind of get a sense of what the loop-based environment can look like. GarageBand is a good example of a loop-based piece of software. It's developed by Apple, and if you buy one of their brand-new computers, I know it comes with that. So you might have it, and it's a pretty cool program, you can do a lot of neat stuff with it. You can do audio recording, and you can do other things like other pieces of audio software, but what sets it apart or what kind of makes it interesting is that it has this Loop- based feature built into it.
You can see that it looks similar in some ways to multi-track recording, it's got a Timeline, and it displays the data from left to right along the time and gives you some controls to the left. But what's different is that it's kind of based on this grid, and you can pull different sounds into this grid from a pre-existing library. I can pick a category, when I click on that, it loads up different sounds in that category. So right now I have process-picked, and now you can just click on these and take a listen. Wow! (audio playing) These are different samples and loops that I can use.
They will be drumbeats, guitar sounds, anything you can think of, but they are built in a loop format, so it can play and then play again, it can loop seamlessly. So anyway, I've built a little track here, I have picked some drums out there that I thought were pretty entertaining and a bass track, and so that sounds like this. (audio playing) Now, I am not an aficionado, but I know that that's almost just half a song, and we need a little bit more.
So I am picking out some guitars, let's choose this one. So I am going to drag this out and create a new track, let's drag it in there automatically without any magic or some magic, creates a new track. So now I have my electric guitar track at that sample, our loop is out there, and I can move it around on the grid, and it snaps to the grid. It snaps in different increments. So it will always be in time when you hear it just depends when it will stop, and when it will start. So you can drag it out, and now I can play it.
When we get there we will hear that guitar part. (audio playing) That's one loop. Then I can just drag that and make it loop three times. So now we get it three times. (audio playing) So this is pretty cool. You can really customize little pieces of music. If you are working on bumpers for podcast or things like that, you can make short intros or outros.
You can really customize when and where you hear sounds. Here we can end and go to the guitar solos to be able to limit it. Then we can drag all kinds of different stuff in if you want to--well I better see what that is before I pull it up there, learn my lesson. Whoa! It's like a whole piece of music, here. Here's a good break. So we can create another track, and if we want everything to pick up again, we can copy and paste those loops, move them back like this.
So we come out of our super quiet breakdown with some sensitive vocals or some imagery of something sad and then all of a sudden we're getting serious, and then we're back to our main theme. It's kind of a modular way of making music, you can move things around in different boxes and slide them all over the place, and it's really interesting how quickly you can make pretty interesting stuff that's customized and not just in terms of like when things happen but also in terms of the kind of music, the mood, the atmosphere you are able to create.
So if you don't want to hook up the guitar out, play a 3-minute guitar track, this is a great way to be able to make music without having to do that. But I should say that where I think this loop-based stuff really gets interesting is when you start to create your own loops and your custom samples. I think loop-based software offers a lot of possibilities when you start to create the loop content yourself. So anyway, it's something to think about. If nothing else, it's a lot of fun to work with. You can definitely use loop-based software to make really interesting things, and it's a cool new addition to the kinds of digital audio software that are out there. In the next movie, we will take a look at plug-ins.
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