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Pro Tools 8 Essential Training unveils the inner workings of the industry-standard software for music and post-production. Musician, producer, and educator David Franz demonstrates all the concepts and techniques necessary for recording, editing, mixing, and mastering in Pro Tools 8. He teaches how to create music with virtual instruments and plug-ins, edit with elastic audio for time and pitch manipulation, create a musical score, and mix with effects loops. This course can help any music producer, sound engineer, or hobbyist become proficient in Pro Tools 8. Exercise files accompany the course.
Boom is a drum machine style pattern sequencer. You can create your own patterns, use the impressive collection of preset patterns, or edit those presets and easily trigger and switch between the patterns with the mouse, using a MIDI controller or programming MIDI data. First let's load up one of my favorite preset patterns here, McBombs. The number after the name of the beat refers to the tempo that the beat was originally created at. In this case it's 136. I'm about to play it back at 120 BPM in the session and it will just sink right up to that session tempo. Let's listen.
(Music playing.) Boom has ten drum kits and they are listed right here, the Eight-O8, Nine-O9 are based of the classic 808 and 909 analog drum machines and the Fat versions are processed harder hitting versions of the 808 and 909 sounds. Let's talk about the interface and how to use it. In this section right here, this is called the Matrix, the matrix display gives us a visual display of what samples are being sequenced to play in the pattern. So we can see the Kick, all the notes in the Kick pattern are here, Snare, Hi-hat etcetera. If you click on a note in the Matrix, you can add or delete them. So if we click this Kick note, it's actually going to get lighter in color which means that the velocity is going down and if I click it one more time, it goes away.
So I'm going to add the note back and it's going to be at full velocity. That's what it means when the light is bright like this and there are three velocity levels that are possible. So this is the full value, hard. That's kind of medium and this is soft and then when the note is totally off. Below the Matrix we have the Swing, Volume, and Dynamics controls and these are global controls that affect all the notes in the pattern. Swing adds swing quantization, Volume adjusts the overall output level of Boom and the Dynamics knob scales the difference between the three different velocity levels. In other words, turning it all the way to the left makes all the Dynamics equal.
So if you do that, there is no Dynamics in the beat at all. However, if we turn it all the way to the right, the differences between the hard, medium, and soft velocity levels are very dramatic. So I'm going to play this beat back. Let's listen all three of these and I'll change the values and you can hear the differences. (Music playing.) So you can tell here with the Dynamics knob, if we turn it all the way to the right, essentially the Ride pattern almost goes away. You can't even hear it at all. However, if we turn it all the way to the left, it's just as loud as the kick drum.
To the right of the Matrix we have the Instrument section and this enables you to alter the panning, level, tuning, Decay as well as Mute and Solo individual tracks. So I'm going to solo this Kick and we'll take a listen to it, and then I'm going to adjust some of the parameters and we'll hear how they sound. (Music playing.) You can also select the sample. So if I wanted to change this sample and use a Kick from a different beat, I can go on here and click and choose a different sample.
(Music playing.) It's pretty cool that you can do that on real-time. There is also this mysterious adjuster button right here and you can use this button to calibrate the sound of the instrument in some varying ways. I'm going to click on this and play it back and we'll hear what we can do with it. (Music playing.) Basically, it allows you to change the intensity or the impact of the sound and when I'm adjusting it, you can see it down here in the Info Display and Setup button. So let's go back to listening to the full beat and I'm going to try out these different speeds and use the Triplet button here. So we've got regular speed X1, X2 is double-time, and X 1/2 is half-time. (Music playing.) You will notice that when I hit the Triplet button, it creates a triplet feel and it only makes use of the first 12 steps of the beat as opposed to 16. The last four steps are actually grayed out. And when I talk about the steps of the beat, I'm talking about these right here. This is the Event bar and it consists of 16 event switches or each event switch corresponds to a 16th note in the drum pattern.
To add or delete notes in the drum pattern using the Event bar, just select an instrument and then you will see each of these notes as highlighted where a note is in the pattern. I'll Solo this Kick and watch it as it plays through. (Music playing.) So to add a new note, I can just click on a button here and add the note. And you will notice when I click on it for the first time, it's bright and that means that it's at full velocity. I can click it again and again and reduce the velocity back down to no note at all. And every note that we add here is reflected up here in the Matrix.
So check it out. There is it right there and I can click that and it will change it down here too. Let's talk about the Edit mode. The Edit mode switch is used to toggle between editing a pattern, Pattern Edit right there, or switching between patterns in a current preset, and that's the Pattern Select. For instance I'm going to load up a difference patch here. Let's load the preset Electrobump in the trunk. And now I'm going to set the Edit mode to Pattern Select and we are going to listen to a bunch of the varieties of this beat. There's actually 16 varieties that are all programmed to these 16 buttons here.
So let's play. (Music playing.) So it's easy enough to just switch between the patterns by clicking these buttons or you can use a MIDI controller to do the same thing. If I want to edit this particular pattern, I can just switch down to Pattern Edit and then add particular notes, if I want to add a different Snare drum or a different Snare sound or if I want to add more Snare notes in there, I can just click and add notes to the pattern.
Now there are 128 preset patterns and they are all up listed here, and each of them has 16 variations. So that's a total of 2048 present beats for you to choose from and to edit if you need a place to start. You can also change patterns together to create a rough song arrangement. So if I press Play and we use the Pattern Select button, I can press Command on a Mac or Ctrl on Windows and click the various event switches down here to have Boom switch between the different beats all in a row and it will play one measure of each and switch between the beats. You can also do this from a MIDI controller by just holding down the various notes between C2 and C3. So let's try this out. (Music playing.) So you see it switching between these four different patterns. And of course the last thing that you can do in Boom is create your own patterns with MIDI notes. And for this I'm going to choose the Lazy Eastern pattern and bring this down and you will see that I've already got a beat that's created in here.
So what I'm going to do is highlight this one bar and unlink the Timeline and Edit Selection so that I can play this and then add notes or subtract notes with the Pencil tool to my heart's content while it is cycling through. Let's talk a listen. (Music playing.) So obviously the possibilities are endless with creating beats with Boom. Now I really like this drum machine. I think you will too once you get to know it.
It's pretty powerful as a beat creation station and when you dig a little deeper beyond the presets, you can really create some great beats.
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