Ableton Live Tutorial – Better Sound with Hi-Quality EQ8

February 22, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized · 1 Comment 

More info – http://bit.ly/w4n2mS
In our new Ableton Live video tutorial series, “Did You Know?”, Ableton Certified Trainer, Dubspot Instructor, and electronic musician Thavius Beck checks out less explored and slightly hidden features in Live. In this newest installment of Did You Know?, Thavius explains and demonstrates an often overlooked an even more often misunderstood feature; Hi-Quality mode on the EQ8.

The EQ8 has a Hi-Quality setting that is not enabled by default. We are able to find the Hi-Quality setting by right-clicking on the EQ8′s title bar and selecting “Hi-Quality” from the contextual menu that appears. Once that has been done, the EQ8 will be in Hi-Quality mode, but what exactly does that mean?

This is a question that took me quite a bit of investigation to find the answer to, and one that requires more explanation than I intended for these particular videos, but this series is all about sharing esoteric knowledge (as it relates to Live of course) so that is what I will do right now.

When Hi-Quality mode is enabled on the EQ8, the audio being fed into the EQ is oversampled by a factor of 2 (meaning the sample rate of the audio is doubled. If your session’s sample rate is 44.1kHz, enabling Hi-Quality will make the audio being fed into the EQ8 88.2kHz). Then the EQ changes are calculated at the doubled sample rate, and finally the audio as it leaves the EQ is undersampled by a factor of 2, or basically brought back to it’s original sample rate.

Why does this happen? It all has something to do with what is referred to as the Nyquist Point. The Nyquist Point is one half of your sample rate, so if your session’s sample rate is 44.1kHz, the Nyquist Point will be 22.05kHz, which is right at the upper limit of human hearing, and just beyond the furthest right edge of our EQ8′s GUI. Any audio that produces a frequency higher than the Nyquist Point cannot be accurately reproduced digitally and will have aliasing or digital distortion as a result.

Because of this, the EQ8′s frequency range was initially limited to 22kHz on the high end (when working on a session with a 44.1kHz sample rate). If your EQ is in normal mode (not Hi-Quality), and you create a notch on the 4th EQ point (reduce the gain all the way on the 4th point), start to increase the Frequency on that 4th point. You’ll notice that as you get closer to the Nyquist Point (22kHz when working with a 44.1kHz sample rate), the curve of the EQ gets squashed so that the curve doesn’t extend beyond 22kHz. Now, enable Hi-Quality mode and try the same thing. Notice how the EQ curve remains intact no matter how close you get to the Nyquist point.

So what does this mean in terms of practical application? Well, it means that you will probably only notice the effect of the Hi-Quality EQ8 if you’re working on a session with a 44.1kHz sample rate, and the improvement will really only be noticeable on the higher frequency sounds effected by the Hi-Quality EQ8. As for specific instances for when you’d want to use the Hi-Quality setting and not, I think that is really for the individual to research a bit further, do a few A/B comparisons, and decide for themselves.

As I was doing my research for this post, I searched a few forums to help me gather the info I needed, and I also reached out directly to the Ableton HQ. Here is a very helpful and informative series of posts from the Ableton forums.

And below is the explanation for the Hi-Quality setting directly from Matt Jackson at Ableton HQ:

“The main difference is that the entire signal is oversampled in high quality mode. Actually the slope isn’t changed.

To get technical, in normal mode with a project sampling rate of 44.1kHZ, you have a nyquist frequency of around 22kHZ, the limit of the EQ. Because – in the design process – the filter is derived from an analog prototype, which has no such a limit, all frequencies (and up to infinity) must be matched to the available frequency range of the digital filter, resulting in the squashed slope near nyquist frequency.

If you look at the EQ in normal mode, you’ll see the filter slopes warp as they get very close to the 22kHZ mark. If you change your project sampling rate to 88.2 or higher, you’ll see that this warping no longer happens.

This is because the nyquist frequency is now much higher than 22kHZ.
The same thing happens when you turn on high quality mode when working at 44.1kHZ. Then Live over samples just the EQ so that the filter gives the correct response all the way to the end. (There is no change in the bottom.)”

AURIA: 48-Track Recording System with VST support for iPad

January 18, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

So is it time to fully get rid of your stationery studio and move over to the iPad, at least Auria may be a big first step in that direction

Auria is a 48 track digital audio workstation designed exclusively for the iPad. Built from the ground up to be used in professional studio and live tracking applications, Auria includes the necessary tools for recording, mixing, and editing any project. Auria introduces innovative features such as AAF import/export for moving sessions between popular DAWs (like Pro Tools and Nuendo), 64-bit double precision architecture, and up to 24 tracks of simultaneous recording using compatible USB audio interfaces.

WaveMachine Labs has teamed with PSPaudioware to offer a powerful vintage-inspired channel strip on every channel, plus a mastering processor on the master and subgroup channels. Auria also features a first among mobile apps – in-app purchase of VST plugins; Auria includes several bundled plugins (convolution reverb, stereo chorus and delay, classicVerb and a pitch processor). Plug-ins by PSPAudioware, Overloud Audio Tools, Fabfilter and more will be available through in-app purchase. WaveMachine Labs is pioneering the effort to develop the VST standard on iOS, allowing manufacturers to easily port their existing plugins to the iPad.

http://www.AuriaApp.com

“I Only Wanted to be Alone” courtesy of James McCartney

{cacophony} – sound installation

January 4, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

This sound installation depicts the possible problems of the flow of information. It tries to reflect the human misaudition, the lapse of information and the social problems which derive from these. The design is clear and it has a transparent structure. Using analog technology and ignoring complicated ones are all used to strenghten the expressiveness of installation.

After turning on the wlakman the tape starts to move. Each walkman plays the sound, which is on the tape, in a different point. However, the sound is the same the constants are chaotic. The reading points are not the same distance from each other. Some walkmans are louder while others are quieter so the consonants are not homogeneous. If you bend closer to the walkmans you can easily notice where they are in the course of replay.

SPRINGS – sound library

December 15, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

‘Making of’ a new sound library of springs – check here for more info:

hissandaroar.com/sd010-springs

Make massive layered sounds with TRANSFORM

December 9, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

And here’s the pitch: This video demonstrates how to use Transform to make massive layered sound effects like the ones heard in the original Transform trailer.

TRANSFORM is an extensive collection of field recordings, sound effects and designed sounds developed by sound designer Jean-Edouard Miclot (a.k.a. JEDSOUND). Bundled with sample mappings for many popular formats, TRANSFORM’s painstakingly recorded and processed sounds will find their home in the arsenals of sound designers, editors and music producers alike.

AVAILABLE NOW @ http://twistedtools.com/

Audio Demo made by Richard Devine using sounds from the sample pack.

Motiongraphics and Editing by axiom-crux.net

FEATURES:
Over 1.64 gigabytes of field recordings, sound effects and designed sounds

24bit/96khz WAV audio embedded with Soundminer enriched metadata

46 sampler instruments for a variety of popular *formats

*Ableton Simpler/Sampler, Battery 3, EXS24 MKII, Kontakt 3, Maschine and Reaktor 5

A brand new version of Twisted Tools’ MP16, called MP16c
Kore and Maschine templates for MP16c

TouchOSC MIDI and OSC template for MP16c

Kyma Instrument

Bonus kit by Richard Devine

Additional content by Twisted Tools and Jedsound

Pierre Henry documentary – The Art of Sounds

December 5, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

http://youtu.be/1uVCYL8zVBk

Experimental French composer Pierre Henry, one of the pioneers of musique concrète, is the subject of this documentary that traces his development of a new sound that shocked the music world. During the 1950s, the radical innovator and his colleague Pierre Schaeffer created a unique form of music based on electronically modified environmental noises.

Director: Eric Darmon

Filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola Talks about the Evolution of Movie Sound

November 30, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

As early as the Apocalypse Now movie in 1979 when Francis Ford Coppola and sound designer Walter Murch pioneered a quadraphonic sound system for the film tour, Coppola has made sound and audio technology an important part of filmmaking, including building a dedicated mixing facility, American Zoetrope. In 2010, under the direction of Coppola, Zoetrope was turned into one of the first post-production facilities to install a Meyer Sound EXP cinema loudspeaker system on its rerecording stage and has since upgraded the other rooms to EXP. Tetro and Twixt are two of his movies that were mixed on an EXP system.

In this video, Coppola chats about the evolving role of sound in his storytelling and his sound facility in Napa.

Learn about American Zoetrope: http://www.zoetrope.com/
Learn about Meyer Sound EXP: http://www.meyersound.com/products/exp/
http://www.meyersound.com/news/2010/zoetrope_studio/

Recording BEACHES – sound demo

November 25, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Making of second ambience library for HISSandaROAR, recorded with three stereo mics:

Sanken CSS5
Sennhesier MKH70 x 2
DPA 4060 x 2

hissandaroar.com/ambience-libraries

If you’ve ever had to sync waves to picture then you will appreciate the need for a collection of cleanly recorded waves of various scales; from gentle idyllic waterlaps to more turbulent surf. Each location in this new library was recorded to six tracks, capturing a narrow & coherent stereo image with a Sanken CSS5 microphone, a dynamic & exciting pointillistic image using a pair of Sennheiser MKH70s, and a more diffuse, brighter image using a pair of omni-directional DPA 6040 microphones.

Each ambience in the library contains a minimum of three minutes duration for each of the three sets of stereo mics, in all fourteen beach locations, along with a photo to clearly identify the setting, and GPS coordinates incase you’d like to visit on Google Earth. This library aims to provide sound editors with the ability to easily choose which location and recording/s best match the perspective and point of view of your footage. Alternatively if you need a micro-nap, hit play & transport yourself to a pristine Pacific beach, far far away….

Addictive Synth Loop Recorder

November 23, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Showing the new Loop Recorder and SoundCloud export added in Addictive Synth Version 1.2

Dynamic wavetable synthesizer

• Six dynamic wavetable oscillators per voice, up to 48 total.
• Continous morphing between two oscillator sets.
• Realtime editing of up to 128 partials (overtones).
• Realtime editing of filter structure to create arbitrary body resonances.
• Extensive modulation possibilities using up to 4 LFOs and 4 Envelopes.
• Control matrix allows real time control of five parameters using the X/Y touch pad, the modulation wheel and the tilt sensors of the iPad.
• Monophonic or polyphonic with 8 voices.
• 128 factory presets, unlimited user presets can be shared.
• Up to three effects concurrently usable selected from: equalizer, phaser, flanger, chorus and stereo/cross delay.

Shō- Japanese Mouth organ with Native

November 16, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Background information:

I made a recording of a Shō (japanese Mouth Organ) playing several chords.I processed the file using Absynth’s granular engine and envelopes.

Sho and U

In the 8th century, a variety of Chinese sheng were introduced to the Japanese court. Some of these instruments, called u by the Japanese, are still preserved in the Shoso-In Imperial Treasure House in the ancient capital of Nara. The present day Japanese free-reed mouth organ, or sho, evolved from these instruments. Sho are traditionally used to produce a chordal texture in Gagaku, the music of the Japanese court.

The present day sho is much thinner than the sheng, although its design is similar, with the pipes arranged in a circular fashion extending from the top of a wooden wind chamber. It usually plays at least an octave higher in general, to the sheng. The sho is an extremely expensive instrument to purchase, as the pipes are usually constructed from blackened hundred year old (or more) bamboo that has been part of a thatched roof, directly above the kitchen in a traditional Japanese house. These houses are rare now, and as such, so are the pipes to make a sho.

Many contemporary composers, both in Japan and in the West, are writing for the sho, and sho virtuosi like Miyumi Miyata and Ko Ishikawa are performing these works internationally, on both the sho and modern reconstructions of the u.

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