iCreate 115 – GarageBand Notepad & Logic Editing

iCreate 115 – GarageBand Notepad & Logic Editing

iCreate 115 506I’ve been so busy over the past couple of weeks trying to get all my commissioned work finished in time for Christmas that I’ve got a bit behind on my posting of announcements of published work. One of the issues that snuck out onto the shelves in the meantime was issue 115 of iCreate, which is still available from all the usual outlets, both physical and digital.

In this latest info-packed edition, which focusses on using your Mac for a wide variety of creative projects, you’ll find two tutorials from me. Firstly, as part of a huge music-making feature entitled “Form Your Own Band”, my step-by-step guide to basic editing in Logic Pro can be found on page 18, designed to help get you up and running if you’re exploring beyond the boundaries of GarageBand. Meanwhile, my GarageBand tutorial on page 38 demonstrates one of the application’s lesser-known features, the Notepad, which allows you to save notes about song lyrics, chord ideas and any other notes concerning your session along with your project.

So if you don’t already have a copy, now’s your chance to grab one while it’s still around!

Computer Music 186 – Shortcuts to Success

Computer Music 186 – Shortcuts to Success

CM186 Cover 500The latest issue of Computer Music magazine features my four-page tutorial on the effective use of keyboard shortcuts and how they can radically speed up your music production workflow. Entitled Shortcuts to Success and found on page 60 it focusses on some of the features offered by Logic, Cubase and Ableton Live that enable you to customise your keyboard layout in a way that puts your most-used tools and commands directly beneath your fingertips. So if you’re looking for some cool ways to increase your productivity when producing your productions, check it out!

Computer Music 183 Out Now – Sample Your Surroundings, Write Memorable Melodies (With Video)

Computer Music 183 Out Now – Sample Your Surroundings, Write Memorable Melodies (With Video)

Issue 183 of Computer Music magazine hit the shelves this week, and nestling between its covers you’ll find not one, but two features from me this month.
On page 55 you’ll find a five-page guide to sampling the sort of everyday objects that you find lying around the house, to convert into unconventional musical instruments. With affordable, powerful audio workstations available to everyone these days, it’s never been easier to create your own sounds from scratch, and this guide shows you some easy ways to do it using a microphone, Logic and some of the amazing free plug-ins that are out there. So, if you want to record some coffee-tin percussion, make a one-octave wineglassophone or transform a grill-pan rack into a playable synth patch, it’s well worth a look. There’s also a page of tips to inspire you to create your own sounds from whatever else you can find to hand, from matchbox shakers to laundry-tub kick drums and more.
Following straight on from this, on page 60 you’ll find my feature on how to get things moving if you get stuck writing a melody. Kind of a sequel to the chord progression feature in last month’s issue, this tutorial illustrates a few reliable, theory-based techniques for taking melody lines in a new direction should you find yourself not knowing where to go next. Backed up with audio examples and another set of video tutorials produced and narrated by me, all of which can be found on the cover-mounted DVD, this four-page guide should hopefully supply you with some inspiring tricks that you can rely on time and time again.
Elsewhere in the issue, there’s the usual excellent mix of news, reviews and interviews, along with a big feature on unmixing and another massive batch of free samples and a free mix bus plug-in (Satson CM) on the DVD. Congratulations to the CM team on another great issue, which can be picked up from all good newsagents or downloaded as a digital version via Newsstand for iOS or Zinio for Mac and PC.

Computer Music 181 Out Now!

Computer Music 181 Out Now!

The new issue of Computer Music magazine hits the shelves this week, and inside you’ll find my four-page guide to MIDI editing by numbers. This is an in-depth illustration of how, using Cubase’s Logical Edit function and Logic’s Transform window, you can leverage the power of simple maths to perform instant, wide-ranging edits on multiple events in your MIDI sequences with just a couple of clicks. Want to fix all your note velocities to a value of 100, or all note lengths to 16th-notes? Randomise velocity within a certain pitch range? Rearrange and randomise drum loops? Add a bit of human randomness to a sequence? Use custom keyboard commands to adjust velocity? It’s all laid out here, and the article starts on page 50.

Elsewhere in the issue, I also have a review of Zynaptiq’s remarkable Unveil plug-in. The audio equivalent of a sheet of kitchen roll, this signal focussing plug-in removes excessive reverb from an audio file, allowing you to re-process it with a more suitable effect. Find out exactly what I thought of it on page 84.

The CM team have done their usual excellent job with this issue, with a detailed look at how to use the amazing Sylenth1 soft synth, a feature on how to maximise the stereo width of your mixes, and loads of other tutorials, interviews and reviews – not to mention the usual ton of free stuff on the cover disc.

WaveMachine Labs Bring 48-Track Digital Multitrack to the iPad with Auria

Could this be the iOS answer to ProTools?

This week marked a pioneering iOS app release in the shape of Auria from WaveMachine Labs. For what I’m led to believe is an introductory price of £34.99, this astonishing app will transform your iPad into a fully professional digital multitrack recorder and mixer, complete with effect plug-ins. iPad 2 or 3 owners can benefit from an incredible 48 tracks of audio playback, while iPad 1 users are limited to 24, which is still not to be sniffed at.

Auria’s list of professional-friendly features is impressive: 48 tracks of simultaneous mono or stereo playback, up to 24 tracks of simultaneous recording (when used with a suitable interface), 96kHz sample rate support, 8 assignable subgroups, 2 aux sends, waveform editing, full automation, full delay compensation and Dropbox and Soundcloud integration. A vintage-inspired PSPAudioware ChannelStrip on every channel includes built-in Expander, Multiband EQ and Compressor effects.

In addition, AAF import & export promises the transfer of complete projects to and from other Continue reading

Apple’s Acquisition of Redmatica – What Does This Mean for the Future of Logic Pro?

It’s been reported this week that Apple has successfully acquired Italian software company Redmatica, creators of KeyMap Pro, EXSManager, GBSampleManager, ProManager and AutoSampler, software solutions that enabled the creation and management of large sample and sampler instrument libraries on the Mac. These apps have built up a solid reputation as serious time-savers for professional Logic users. News of this acquisition provoked an interested raise of a single eyebrow (I’m getting better at this) on my part, as I’m always on the lookout for any hint of a development that might indicate an update to Apple’s ageing Logic 9 DAW any time soon. It begs the question, why would Apple assimilate a company that makes software products that enhance the user experience of the now-very-creaky EXS24 sampler, if there was not a major rewrite in progress of the DAW of which it forms a major component?

It has been hinted that the takeover is telegraphing a boost to GarageBand’s feature set, and while the long hiatus between iLife updates means that this may also be the case, GarageBand users as a demographic are far less likely to possess the kind of large sample libraries that Redmatica’s software was designed to complement. The most logical assumption is that there’s a new version of Logic in the pipeline, and that the functionality of Redmatica’s highly-regarded products is being integrated into it. Almost three years after Logic 9 was announced, this kind of development is one of the surest signs yet that some exciting changes are finally on the horizon for Logic users.
Whatever the reason, Redmatica founder Andrea Gozzi has now closed down the company, posting a rather terse message at http://www.redmatica.com to that effect, hinting that no further support or updates will be available from that source after June 12th. Could this be another clue to its imminent reappearance as part of the much-anticipated Logic Pro X / Logic 10? Exciting stuff for Logic users.

Guide to Audio Restoration – Computer Music Issue 175

Ever wanted to get rid of an annoying hum or tape hiss from an audio recording? My 5-page feature tutorial “Taking the Hiss” on page 48 of this month’s issue of Computer Music magazine turns the spotlight on what’s possible with the latest audio restoration software. Logic, ProTools, iZotope’s amazing RX2 and Adobe Audition are all featured, along with an amazing piece of software called Photosounder that literally turns sound into images so that you can edit out unwanted noises using image editing software like Photoshop, then turn the doctored image back into sound again, without the noise… incredible stuff! With audio examples for all the step-by-step guides included on the cover DVD, if you’ve ever been troubled by crackles, pops, squeaky chairs, coughs or burps (sounds like the average morning around the breakfast table in our house), this is your comprehensive guide to noise removal using noise profiling, spectral editing, even a pencil tool. As ever, there’s lots of other great stuff in the mag too, so check out Computer Music 175 in all good newsagents – now!

Logic Pro Goes Download-only

Apple have today relaunched their professional digital audio software solution, Logic Pro, as a download-only title available from the Mac App Store. Retailing in the UK at £139.99, this represents a considerable saving on the £399 RRP of the now discontinued Logic Studio bundle. Mainstage 2, the live performance application, is available separately for £20.99.

The new Logic Pro package is interesting in that it makes the Logic app available as a standalone application, rather than being part of a bundle. While the content included with the app itself initially appears to be greatly reduced in volume, Apple are making an additional 19GB of content (presumably Apple Loops, EXS24 instruments, synth presets and Space Designer impulse responses) available to download from within the app. Logic Express users will be interested to note that the high-end features thus far denied to them are now available at this price point, although it hasn’t been made clear whether there is an upgrade path from the Express version to this latest, Mac App Store version. For anyone considering moving up from GarageBand though, 140 quid is something of a bargain in my view.

As far as a brand new version, in the light of the furore surrounding the recent market repositioning of Final Cut Pro, nobody is really sure what Apple has up its sleeve for Logic. Will the next major release be a dumbed-down version for hobbyists that leaves professional users frothing, or will it be a totally re-written, re-structured ProTools killer? One thing we can definitely say is that, two and a half years after its last major update, this is a very interesting development in the evolution of the Logic product. Watch this space…