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By David Franz | Monday, April 09, 2012

Tips for getting rid of hums, rumbles, and buzzes on audio tracks

Noisy audio tracks are one of the most common problems encountered when producing video. Voiceover tracks, dialog tracks, background noise for a scene, and any other type of audio source may include unwanted hum, rumbles, or buzzes. Having high-quality audio is a major factor in producing excellent video content. So, what do you do if the audio for your video project is subpar and includes a lot of noise? Here are some tips on how to reduce the noise on your audio tracks.

First, it’s important to know that these unwanted noises are actually made up of harmonic tones, and to start reducing these noises, knowing what to listen for can help.

By David Franz | Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Keeping your Pro Tools tracks time-aligned using Automatic Delay Compensation

When you add plug-in effects to your tracks in Pro Tools (EQ, compression, reverb, etc.), your computer needs a little bit of time to process the tracks through the plug-ins. This processing is also not instantaneous. In relation to the other tracks in the Pro Tools session, the track literally plays back a little later than when it was originally recorded. That means, the tracks are no longer time-aligned.

To solve this issue, you can utilize Pro Tools’ Automatic Delay Compensation (ADC). ADC figures out what track has the most delay caused by plug-in processing (including the small amount of delay caused by using busses in your signal routing), then automatically delays every other track to match up with the longest delayed track.

For instance, if your largest amount of plug-in delay equals 1000 milliseconds of delay, then a different track having only 10 milliseconds of delay will actually be delayed an extra 990 milliseconds to align with the other track, so they both are delayed by 1000 milliseconds.

There are several settings for ADC in Pro Tools. Watch this video from the Pro Tools 10 Essential Training course to hear more about the differences between the offered ADC settings.

During a mixing session is usually the time when you’ll need the largest amount of ADC. You’ll likely have plenty of plug-ins that will be causing various amounts of delay on different tracks. Watch the following video to see how to implement Automatic Delay Compensation best in a mixing session.

For more training on Pro Tools, check out Pro Tools 10 Essential Training. If you’re interested in learning more about audio in general, I recommend checking out our Foundations of Audio courses that include our innovative Get In The Mix Pro Tools session files (no Premium membership required!).

Interested in more? • All audio courses on lynda.com • All Pro Tools courses on lynda.com • All Foundations of Audio courses from Brian Lee White and Alex Case

Suggested courses to watch next:Pro Tools 10 Essential Training • Audio Mixing BootcampFoundations of Audio: Delay and Modulation

By David Franz | Monday, March 26, 2012

Adding and formatting staff lyrics in Sibelius 7

Adding notes to a musical score is the basis of scoring your music, but what if you want to add lyrics to your score as well? Whether you’re creating a full score that includes every instrument in your musical masterpiece, or a simplified lead sheet that only shows the lead melody, lyrics, and chord changes, Sibelius 7 makes it easy to add the lyrics.

Usually, when added to sheet music, lyrics are aligned centrally under their respective melody notes. If you prefer, sometimes you can also adjust the font, font size, word placement, and many other elements of the lyrics to create what you consider to be the best presentation of your work.

Watch here as author Jenny Amaya adds and formats lyrics on a score. Navigating the Sibelius 7 ribbon and menu items, she shows you how to lay out multi-syllabic words and words that extend across several notes, and she demonstrates options that will help you make your score look pretty:

For more training in Sibelius, check out Jenny’s courses Sibelius 7 Essential Trainingand Sibelius 6 Essential Training.

Interested in more? • All audio courses on lynda.com • All Sibelius courses on lynda.com • All courses from Jenny Amaya on lynda.com

Suggested courses to watch next:Film Scoring with Pro ToolsMark Mothersbaugh, Music ComposerAudio for Film and Video with Pro Tools 9Finale 2012 Essential Training • Pro Tools 10 Essential Training

By David Franz | Thursday, March 15, 2012

New Get In the Mix interactive audio exercise files

Get in the Mix downloadable exercise files in Foundations of Audio: EQ & Filers courseAs part of our focus on audio training expansion, the lynda.com audio segment is pleased to announce the release of a new type of interactive exercise file that brings the author directly inside your Digital Audio Workstation.

In all of our new Foundations of Audio courses, we are now including Get In The Mix interactive exercise files (affectionately called GITMs) that are available to all lynda.com members. GITMs are native, high-fidelity project files purpose-built for your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). The author uses instructional video and audio tracks to walk you through the session or project, referencing listening examples in the DAW timeline. The author shows you how to effectively use digital signal processing plugins such as compressors, EQs, and delays, by leveraging the DAW’s built-in mix automation capabilities. The result is that you can watch as the authors turn the knobs and tweak the settings of plugins in your DAW in real time. Simply download the relevant GITM .ZIP file from the lynda.com website (located in the exercise files tab on the course’s page), open up the 24-bit session file in your DAW, and press play to follow along with the instructor as they demonstrate how to master a variety of audio production techniques.

GITM files are currently available for Pro Tools and Logic Pro users, and we are looking into rolling out GITM files for additional DAWs in the near future. The GITM sessions are free to any lynda.com member and include, in addition to the author-led training, musical material at the end of each session/project file in the form of practice tracks that you can experiment with on your own.

In addition to the Get in the Mix sessions that all members have access to (about 6-10 GITMs per course), Premium members of the lynda.com Online Training Library® also have access to all of the raw audio example files (WAVs) that are used throughout the GITM-equipped course. These raw audio files include listening examples and real-world audio demonstrations that illustrate production concepts, and can be imported and played within any DAW.

For those who don’t want to use the Get In The Mix files within a DAW, just watch the Foundations of Audio course movies within the lynda.com course player like normal. The course movies designated “Get in the Mix” will automatically play the author’s tutorial demonstration, and you can still stop, start, and rewind as necessary (What’s the difference in a nut shell? GITM exercise files are interactive and play in your DAW; watching the course movies designated “Get in the Mix” in the standard lynda.com player just gives you the instruction—no DAW needed.)

Here’s an example of a Get in the Mix movie from chapter four of the Foundations of Audio: Compression and Dynamic Processing GITM-equipped course:

Now—dig in, try them out, and let us know what you think of the new GITM files!

Interested in more? • All audio courses on lynda.com • All courses from Brian Lee White on lynda.com • All Logic Pro courses on lynda.com • All Pro Tools courses on lynda.com

Suggested courses to watch next:Foundations of Audio: EQ and FiltersFoundations of Audio: Delay and ModulationFoundations of Audio: Compression and Dynamic Processing

By David Franz | Friday, January 20, 2012

A #NAMMchat reminder, plus a two-minute lynda.com audio summary

The audio channel at lynda.com is making a lot of noise at the NAMM show this year. NAMM (short for National Association of Music Merchants) is a massive conference and convention for all music-related products and services. In other words, it’s a giant toy store for musicians!

From January 19-22 lynda.com will be on-site at NAMM unveiling our expanded audio course offerings, meeting new audio folks, connecting with industry leaders, and checking out all the new gear.

If you’re at the show, please come by our booth (#4711) to say hi. If you can’t make it, check out this short demo of what the lynda.com audio team has been up to:

After the NAMM show, we’ll also be doing several twitterviews (interviews on twitter) with two of our audio authors, Brian Lee White and Bobby Owsinski. We’ll discuss key trends, the coolest news from NAMM 2012, and we’ll answer any questions you might have about NAMM, music technology, or the business in general.

Follow us on twitter @lyndadotcom, and join in on the conversation at these times:

January 24 from 12:30-1:30 PST: Brian Lee White  @brianleewhiteJanuary 25 from 12:30-1:30 PST: Bobby Owsinski   @bobbyowsinski

Simply tweet your questions or comments to @brianleewhite, @bobbyowsinski, or @lyndadotcom with the hash tag #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!

Interested in more? • All audio courses on lynda.com • All Logic Pro courses on lynda.com • All Pro Tools courses on lynda.com

Suggested courses to watch next:Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools 9 • Audio Mixing BootcampiTunes 10 Essential TrainingDigital Audio Principles

By David Franz | Friday, January 13, 2012

An introduction to EQ and filters

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®.

Interested in more? • The full Foundations of Audio: EQ and Filters course on lynda.com • All audio courses on lynda.com • All courses from Brian Lee White on lynda.com

Suggested courses to watch next:Foundations of Audio: Compression and Dynamic ProcessingLogic Pro 9 Essential TrainingAudio Mixing BootcampMixing and Mastering with Pro Tools

By David Franz | Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Three ways to get the most out of NAMM

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!

Interested in more? • All audio courses on lynda.com • All Logic Pro courses on lynda.com • All GarageBand courses on lynda.com • All Pro Tools courses on lynda.com

Suggested courses to watch next:Virtual Instruments in Logic ProAudio Mixing BootcampFinale 2012 Essential TrainingFoundations of Audio: Compression and Dynamic ProcessingJason Bentley’s Twilight Remix: Start to Finish

By David Franz | Friday, January 06, 2012

How to create a custom Apple Loop in Logic Pro 9

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.

In Logic Pro 9 Essential Training, author Scott Hirsch demonstrates exactly how to create your own Apple Loop, or Apple Loop library, from any audio files in your Logic project using the Apple Loops Utility.

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.

Interested in more?• The full Logic Pro 9 Essential Training course • All audio courses on lynda.com • All Logic Pro courses on lynda.com • All GarageBand courses on lynda.com • All courses from Scott Hirsch on lynda.com

Suggested courses to watch next:Virtual Instruments in Logic ProAudio Mixing BootcampRemixing a Song in Logic ProFoundations of Audio: Compression and Dynamic Processing • Pro Tools 9 Essential Training

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