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By David Franz | Monday, May 21, 2012

How to use the Pitch tool in Melodyne to tune a vocal

Artists use Melodyne for corrective or creative pitch adjustments in nearly every genre of music. When using Melodyne for pitch correction, you may not hear the effect. However, when using Melodyne creatively, the idea is to hear the effect. Regardless of the application, the Pitch tool and its related subtools are often the tools of choice to create pitch alterations in Melodyne.

By David Franz | Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Strategies for using a de-esser to eliminate sibilance

We’ve all heard that annoying hard “s” sound that happens when a vocal track is recorded with a less-than-optimal microphone choice. That high-pitched irritation is called sibilance and it can be found on all kinds of vocal tracks, whether your recorded voice is singing, or speaking words for a podcast or a book on tape. This challenge is very prominent in the recording world, and for anyone recording an individual with a natural accentuation or particular penchant for emphasizing words that contain the letter “s,” a de-esser can be a welcomed friend of the ears.

Also known as a frequency-dependent compressor, a de-esser is made specifically to only compresses certain frequencies that we want it to reduce in volume, and does not compress the rest of the track’s frequencies. For vocal tracks, this usually occurs in the frequency range between 6-8 kHz. When the de-esser compresses the particularly offending frequency, it leaves the rest of the frequencies in the signal alone, which maintains the natural sound of the original performance.

By David Franz | Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Foundations of Audio: Tips for creating groove-based, rhythmic echoes

Well-timed long delays (echoes) are an excellent way to fill in part of a song’s rhythm track. Examples of echo effects can be heard in current electronic music, classic rock, reggae, and many other genres. Where would U2 be without the sound of The Edge’s delay pedals? Where would Steel Pulse be without their delayed snare hits?

The reason echo effects work so well is their ability to stay in-time (locked to the tempo of the song) and their ability to create interesting rhythms that add dimension to the overall sound of a song.

When creating delay effects with long echoes, you can define specifically when echoes are heard in rhythm with the entire song. For instance, you can set echoes to repeat every quarter note or every eighth note. Or, you can get more complicated and create a unique rhythmic pattern by placing the echoes on multiple subdivisions within the groove of the song.

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

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