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Choosing and Using Audio and Music Software

Book Description

This comprehensive reference features all the major audio software: SONAR XL; Cubase SX; Logic Audio Platinum; Digital Performer; Nuendo; Pro Tools; Peak; Spark XL; SonicWorx; Audition (Cool Edit Pro); WaveLab; Sound Forge.

If you need advice on which systems to purchase, which are most suitable for particular projects, and on moving between platforms mid-project, this book should be your one-stop reference. Mike Collins is a trainer and consultant who has been tackling these issues for years and his expert advice will save you time and money.

Each section covers a specific system, providing a handy overview of its key features and benefits, including help with setup. "Hints" and "Tips" appear throughout these sections, addressing issues such as how to record drum loops using a virtual drum-machine, recording basslines and keyboard pads using virtual synthesizers, and adding strings, brass or other instruments using virtual samplers. Mike then illustrates how to convert these MIDI recordings into audio tracks to mix alongside vocals, guitars and any other real instruments. The many short tutorials provide both a source of comparison and means to get up to speed fast on any given software.

Mike Collins is a music technology consultant and writer who has been making music in London's recording studios variously as a MIDI programmer, session musician, recording engineer, producer and arranger since 1981. He offers freelance Pro Tools engineering, consultancy, troubleshooting and personal tuition, as well as presenting seminars and lectures on related music technology and audio recording topics. Mike has written over 500 articles for magazines such as Macworld (UK), Pro Sound News Europe, Sound on Sound and AudioMedia, and for Electronic Musician and MIX in the USA.

Mike's wide-ranging career and experience enables him to bring excellent insight from all sides into his writing, from technical detail to creative expression. Starting out as a musician and club DJ in the 1970's, Mike moved into professional recording in the 1980's, initially as a Songwriter/Producer for EMI Records. Later he worked as a Songwriter for Chappell Music; as a Film Sound Consultant for Dolby Labs; as a Music Producer for TV recordings; and as Senior Recording Engineer and Music Technology Specialist at Yamaha's London R & D Studio. Throughout the 1990's Mike worked as a MIDI Programmer on records, films and music tours with bands such as the Shamen and film composers such as Ryuichi Sakamoto and David Arnold. Mike was Executive Consultant to Re-Pro (The Guild of Record Producers and Engineers) between 1996 and 1999 and Technical Consultant to the Music Producers Guild (MPG), contributing to the Education Group and organising and presenting Technical Seminars between 1999 and 2002. He has a BSc in Electroacoustics and an MSc in Music Information Technology.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Halftitle
  3. Title
  4. Copyright
  5. Contents
  6. About the author
  7. Acknowledgements
  8. Introduction
  9. Part 1: Background
    1. 1 A Little History
      1. MIDI sequencers
      2. Scorewriters
      3. Hard disk recorders
      4. More music scoring
      5. Virtual studios: multi-track audio recording, editing and mixing
      6. Waveform editors
      7. Goodbye Studio Vision, hello Nuendo …
      8. Pro Tools finally becomes professional
      9. And then came Pro Tools HD, and we waited, and waited, and waited …
      10. The main players
      11. Honourable mentions
      12. Ownership
      13. Applications
    2. 2 What’s Out There
      1. Overviews
        1. Host platforms
        2. Audio waveform editors
        3. Mac waveform editors
        4. PC waveform editors
        5. And the rest …
        6. Music scoring
      2. How to make comparisons
      3. Choices
        1. Which software?
        2. Mac or PC?
  10. Part 2: MIDI + Audio Software
    1. 3 Cakewalk SONAR XL
      1. Overview
        1. User interface
        2. Automation
        3. More views
        4. The Process menu
        5. More menus
        6. Virtual instruments
        7. Plug-ins
        8. Working with video
        9. OMF import and export
        10. Conclusion
      2. SONAR tutorial
        1. Configuring your MIDI + Audio hardware
        2. Optimizing for lowest latencies
        3. Archiving unused audio tracks
        4. Importing loops
        5. Working with Groove clips
        6. Using the Loop Construction window
        7. Using SONAR’s software synthesizers
        8. Converting DXi tracks to audio
        9. Exporting audio from SONAR
      3. Summary
    2. 4 Cubase SX
      1. Overview
        1. The Project window
        2. The Sample Editor
        3. The MIDI editors
        4. Even more editors …
        5. Fades
        6. The Project Browser
        7. The Mixer
        8. True Tape
        9. Autosave
        10. The menus
        11. Plug-ins and virtual instruments
      2. Cubase SX tutorial
        1. Audio and MIDI hardware
        2. My setup
        3. Optimizing for lowest latencies
        4. Getting started
        5. Recording virtual instruments as MIDI tracks
        6. Recording virtual instruments as audio
        7. Recording audio
        8. Mixing audio and MIDI
        9. The Pool
        10. Inserting audio from the Pool into tracks
        11. Offline processing
        12. Freeze edits
        13. Using Export Audio to create final mixes or stems
      3. Summary
    3. 5 Logic Audio Platinum
      1. Overview
        1. Setup
        2. Opening Logic files from other setups
        3. Audio hardware and Drivers Preferences
        4. Mac OSX Audio MIDI
        5. User interface
        6. Recording basics
        7. Monitoring
        8. Monitoring with effects
        9. Recording with effects
        10. The Arrange window
        11. The mixers
        12. Setting up Instrument channels in the Environment
        13. The Parametric Channel EQ
        14. Creating audio input channels
        15. More features
        16. Save As Project
        17. Project Manager
        18. Freeze
        19. Offline Bounce
        20. ReWire 2
        21. Routing MIDI tracks to ReWire destinations
        22. Routing audio inputs from ReWire Instruments into Logic’s Audio Mixer
        23. ReWire Master & Slave
        24. Audio Instruments
        25. Conclusion
      2. Tutorial
        1. Overdubbing a real bass guitar to double a synth bass
        2. Editing overlapping regions
        3. Applying crossfades
        4. Using the scissors tool
        5. Moving Audio regions around in Logic’s Arrange window
        6. Moving Audio regions around using Logic’s Event List
        7. Moving regions back to their originally recorded positions
        8. Scrubbing Audio to find edit points
        9. Accurate editing
        10. Fixing a note played late
        11. Fine-tuning edit points (with Update Arrange Position off)
        12. Fine-tuning edit points (with Update Arrange Position on)
        13. Bouncing an edited track to disk
        14. Stop the sequence
        15. Multiple sessions
      3. EXS24 Sampler tutorial
        1. Using the EXS24 Sampler
        2. Bouncing files to disk
        3. Creating a Logic Audio Instrument
        4. Creating a Group
        5. Multiple Zones and Groups
        6. EXS24 Instrument Editor
        7. EXS24 files
        8. Converting files from Akai CD-ROMs
        9. Automation
        10. Editor view
        11. Controls view
        12. Troubleshooting
      4. Summary
    4. 6 Digital Performer
      1. Overview
        1. Freeze tracks
        2. User interface tools
        3. The windows
        4. Control Panel and Tracks windows
          1. Control Panel
          2. Tracks window
        5. Voices
          1. Voice allocation
        6. The Mixing Board
        7. Spectral Effects
        8. Plug-in effects
        9. Editors
          1. The Sequence Editor
          2. The Event List Editor
          3. The Graphic Editor
          4. The Drum Editor
          5. The Notation Editor
          6. QuickScribe
        10. The Markers window
        11. Soundbites
        12. The Waveform Editor
        13. The Chunks window
        14. The POLAR window
        15. Open/Save File formats
        16. The menus
          1. The File menu
          2. The Edit menu
          3. The Region menu
          4. The Audio menu
          5. The Project menu
          6. The Studio menu
          7. The Setup menu
          8. The Windows menu
      2. ReWire tutorial
      3. Tempo tutorial
      4. Summary
    5. 7 Nuendo
      1. Overview
        1. Nuendo terminology
        2. The Project window
        3. The Sample Editor
        4. The Audio Part Editor
        5. The Mixer
        6. Automation
        7. The menus
          1. The File menu
          2. The Edit menu
          3. The Project menu
          4. The Audio menu
          5. The MIDI menu
          6. The Scores menu
          7. The Pool menu
          8. The Transport menu
          9. The Devices menu
          10. The Window menu
          11. The Help menu
        8. Video
        9. Virtual Instruments and ReWire
        10. Exporting your work
        11. Nuendo vs Cubase SX
      2. Tutorial
        1. Getting started
        2. Setting up
        3. Setting up effects sends and returns
        4. Group channels
      3. Working with VST Instruments
      4. Summary
    6. 8 Pro Tools
      1. Overview
        1. The Mix window
        2. The Edit window
        3. The Transport window
        4. The rulers
        5. Setting tempo and meter
        6. Using the Click
        7. New features for Pro Tools 6 TDM
          1. Browser, browser, browser …
          2. Editing features
          3. Playback Cursor Locator
          4. MIDI features
        8. Plug-ins and processing
        9. ReWire
        10. Saving sessions
        11. Moving Pro Tools sessions between systems
        12. Import Session Data
        13. File import and export
        14. OMFI and AAF
        15. The System Usage window
        16. The Session Setup window
        17. The menus
          1. The Pro Tools menu
          2. The File menu
          3. The Edit menu
          4. The AudioSuite menu
          5. The MIDI menu
          6. The Movie menu
          7. The Operations menu
          8. The Setups menu
          9. The Display menu
          10. The Windows menu
      2. Tutorials
        1. Importing tracks from CD into Pro Tools
        2. Import Audio From Other Movie …
        3. Importing audio using DigiBase Drag & Drop
        4. MIDI Setup
        5. Setting up to record MIDI into Pro Tools on the Mac
        6. Recording onto a MIDI track
        7. Playing back a recorded MIDI track
      3. Summary
  11. Part 3: Audio Waveform Editors
    1. 9 Berkley Integrated Audio Software (BIAS) Peak
      1. Introduction
      2. File formats
      3. Preferences dialog
      4. Options menu
      5. Transport controls
      6. Audio menu
      7. Recording audio
      8. Alternative audio I/O settings
      9. CD audio extraction
      10. The user interface
      11. Waveform editing concepts
      12. Operational aspects
      13. Looping features
      14. Undo features
      15. DSP effects
      16. Plug-ins
      17. VBox
      18. TDM versions
      19. De-noising
      20. Level meter
      21. Audio analysis tools
      22. Akai CD-Rom import
      23. Batch processing
      24. Sampler support
      25. Playlist features
        1. Creating a new audio document from a playlist
        2. Exporting the playlist as a text document
      26. CD burning
        1. Using Jam with Peak
      27. Internet audio
      28. QuickTime video
      29. Summary
    2. 10 TC|Works Spark XL
      1. Introduction
      2. File formats
      3. The user interface
      4. Transport controls
      5. Looping features
        1. The Loop window
      6. Undo features
      7. DSP effects
      8. Plug-ins
      9. Spark FXMachine
      10. De-noising
      11. Level meters
      12. Audio analysis tools
      13. Akai CD-ROM import
      14. Batch processing
      15. Sampler support
      16. Multi-track operation
      17. Playlist
      18. CD burning
        1. Using an external CD-burning application
      19. Working with high resolution recordings
      20. Dither and noise shaping
      21. Internet audio
      22. Summary
    3. 11 Prosoniq sonicWORX
      1. Introduction
      2. File formats
      3. Record audio
      4. Importing audio from CD
      5. Waveform editor
      6. Looping features
      7. Undo features
      8. DSP effects
      9. Real-time DSP plug-ins
      10. De-noising
      11. Level meter
      12. Audio analysis tools
      13. Akai CD-ROM import
      14. Batch processing
      15. Sampler support
      16. Playlist
      17. CD burning
      18. Internet audio
      19. Unique features
      20. Summary
    4. 12 Adobe Audition (Cool Edit Pro)
      1. Introduction
      2. File handling
      3. Getting started
      4. User interface
      5. The waveform editor
        1. The Waveform View
        2. The Spectral View
      6. Using Edit mode
      7. Topping and tailing
      8. Wave Properties
      9. Looping features
      10. Undo features
      11. DSP effects
      12. Plug-ins
      13. De-noising
      14. Audio analysis tools
      15. Batch processing
      16. Sampler support
      17. Cue List
      18. Play List
      19. Multi-track editing
      20. The menus in Multitrack mode
      21. The Effects menu
        1. Frequency Band Splitter
        2. Vocoder
        3. Envelope Follower
      22. Mixers
      23. CD burning
      24. Summary
    5. 13 WaveLab Audio Editing Suite
      1. Introduction
      2. File formats
      3. Waveform editor
      4. Markers
      5. The Edit menu
      6. Audio Signal Generator
      7. DTMF Generator
      8. Databases
      9. Workspaces
      10. Backup
      11. Looping features
      12. Undo features
      13. DSP effects
      14. Plug-ins
      15. De-noising
      16. Audio analysis tools
      17. Batch processing
      18. Samplers
      19. The Audio Montage
      20. Grabbing audio from a CD
      21. CD burning
      22. Summary
    6. 14 Sonic Foundry Sound Forge
      1. Introduction
      2. File formats
      3. Extract audio from CD
      4. Recording
      5. How to choose an input device and adjust levels
      6. Waveform editor
      7. Simple synthesis
      8. FM synthesis
      9. Generating telephone tones
      10. Looping features
      11. Undo features
      12. DSP effects
      13. Acoustic Mirror
      14. Wave Hammer
      15. De-noising
      16. Level meters
      17. Audio analysis tools
      18. Batch processing
      19. Sampler support
      20. Multi-track operation
      21. Working with video
      22. Playlist
      23. Burning a basic CD
      24. Summary
  12. Appendices
    1. 1 Transferring Projects Between Applications
    2. 2 Music Scoring with Sibelius
    3. 3 Music Scoring with Finale
  13. Bibliography
  14. Web Contacts
  15. Index