Video Tutorial – Create a Dolby THX-Style Polyphonic Glide (CM206)

Here’s a link to one of the video tutorials I created for my Pitch n Glide feature, as found on page 67 of the August 2014 issue of Computer Music magazine. It demonstrates how to use long portamento times on multiple instances of the same synth to create a huge-sounding polyphonic glide that resolves to the chord of your choice over a set period of time:

 

 

So, if you fancy creating your own version of ‘Deep Note’ (the original THX glide), give it a go. You can find the rest of the videos that accompany the other tutorials in the article on the cover DVD of the print edition, or downloadable via the CM vault for digital editions.

Electro Legends: Gary Numan – Cars, Love Hurt Bleed Video Tutorials

Electro Legends: Gary Numan – Cars, Love Hurt Bleed Video Tutorials

Numan ELS CoverThe third, and as it turns out final, instalment of Future Publishing’s Electro Legends Series of digital magazines is now available to download. This time around the focus is on Gary Numan, looking both at his earlier iconic works and also featuring a sneak peek or two at his latest album of new studio material, Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind). My contribution to this edition takes the form of separate video tutorials on how to program synth sounds from two Numan tunes, old and new. Firstly, I demonstrate how to recreate the famous Polymoog lead sound from Gary’s 1979 hit ‘Cars’, swiftly followed by a breakdown of one of the main synth sounds from one of the new album tracks entitled ‘Love Hurt Bleed’.

The digimag also features a four-part video exclusive with the man himself, as well as a 3D video exploration of classic album Replicas and a look at Gary’s synths. It’s available through the free Computer Music and Future Music iPad or iPhone apps at a very reasonable £1.99. Go get it!

Video Tutorial – Create a Basic Trap Build & Drop

Video Tutorial – Create a Basic Trap Build & Drop

You would have to have been living under a rock during February of 2013 to avoid the global internet phenomenon that was Baauer’s Harlem Shake. In this video, taken from my ‘Beats’ cover feature that appeared in issue 194 of Computer Music magazine, I demonstrate the basics of how to assemble your own trap beat from classic 808 drum samples, even throwing in an automated, pitch-shifted snare roll for good measure. If this doesn’t get a bunch of randomly-costumed people throwing themselves around the room, I don’t know what will. Happy trapping!

Electro Legends: Prodigy – “Invaders Must Die” Synth Sound Tutorial

Electro Legends: Prodigy – “Invaders Must Die” Synth Sound Tutorial

Electro Legends ProdigyThe second instalment of Future Publishing’s Electro Legends Series of digital magazines is now available to download via the Computer Music or Future Music iOS apps. Focussing on the work of The Prodigy, my contribution to this edition is a four-step video tutorial demonstrating exactly how to reproduce the kind of grungy, fuzzy dirt-fest that is the lead/bass synth sound from ‘Invaders Must Die‘.
Also included is a classic interview with Liam Howlett, the inside story of the band’s rise to fame by the founder of XL Recordings, a look at the band’s live drum setup, a load of free samples and much more besides, all for a paltry £1.99.

So if you’re a fan of Liam, Keith et al (Al? who’s he?), get your iPad out and download the Prodigy Special today!

Computer Music 195 – DAW to DAW, Syncopation, Logic Pro X Review

Computer Music 195 – DAW to DAW, Syncopation, Logic Pro X Review

CM195 Cover 500Computer Music Issue 195 is now available, and this month I’ve contributed three items – my  regular Easy Guide column, a feature tutorial and a review.
First up, if you’ve ever tried to export a project from one system on one computer and open it successfully on another, you’ll know how tricky it can be. So, on page 55 you’ll find my DAW to DAW feature, a handy five-page guide to transferring projects between different platforms. Encompassing MIDI files, effect and instrument presets, project files and the creation of stems, it takes in file transfer options like Dropbox before showing how to import a set of stems originating from Logic Pro X into a Cubase project.
Elsewhere, Apple’s announcement of Logic Pro X was one of July’s big news items, sending magazine editors and freelancers alike scurrying to shoehorn coverage of the app in before their deadlines. I was lucky enough to snag the official CM review, which starts on page 88 and continues for 3 pages of in-depth examination and honest critique.
Meanwhile, my regular Easy Guide column takes a more rhythmic approach this month, examining the basics of syncopation and what it means to today’s electronic musician. You can find the column in its regular slot on page 70, and the accompanying video can be found on the cover DVD for the print edition, or downloaded from the CM vault for digital editions.
So, with the usual shedload of other good stuff to be found in this issue, it makes for a cracking holiday read. Speaking of which, I’m just off on mine, so have a great summer everyone!

Electro Legends: Kraftwerk – Create the Perfect Robot Vocal

Electro Legends: Kraftwerk – Create the Perfect Robot Vocal

Electro Legends KraftwerkNow, this is an interesting one. Future Publishing have embarked on a new, digital-only venture focussing on legendary synth-pop pioneers. The Electro Legends Series kicks off with a study of German legends Kraftwerk, in the form of a digital magazine, which is available now from within the iOS apps of Computer Music and Future Music magazines.

It’s the first in a new range of digital specials, which is also due to profile artists such as The Prodigy, Hot Chip, Depeche Mode and Gary Numan.

The unofficial app contains interactive features that will appeal to both music makers and regular fans of the artists. The Kraftwerk edition contains a classic interview with founder Ralf Hütter, a contemporary live report, Autobahn revisited, exclusive analysis by OMD’s Andy McCluskey and Ultravox founder John Foxx, plus videos, tutorials, samples and more.

I was honoured to be asked to provide a four-step video tutorial for this pioneering publication, in which I demonstrate how to get the perfect Kraftwerk-style robot vocoder vocal sound.

The Electro Legends Series: Kraftwerk is available now for £1.99. To buy it, simply download the apps of either Computer Music or Future Music.

Video Tutorial  – How to use the eaReckon CM-COMP 87 (Free with Computer Music 194)

Video Tutorial – How to use the eaReckon CM-COMP 87 (Free with Computer Music 194)

Here’s the 13-minute long tutorial video I shot recently for the September 2013 issue of Computer music magazine, detailing the features and controls of the fab eaReckon CM-COMP 87 virtual analog compressor given away free with the mag this month.

Not only is it a thorough overview of the plug-in, it also demonstrates how compressors work in general and gives some real-world examples of how you might use one. So even if you don’t have this particular plug-in, it’s well worth a watch if you’ve ever wondered what this compression business was all about.

Computer Music 193 – Vocals Cover Feature, Harmonisation, Zebra CM and Nektar P1 Review

Computer Music 193 – Vocals Cover Feature, Harmonisation, Zebra CM and Nektar P1 Review

CM193 Cover 500The August 2013 issue of Computer Music is out now, and in a packed issue for me this month, I’ve written the cover feature guide about how to get great vocals by various different means, and what to do with them once you’ve got them to make them sound epic. Spanning a whopping total of 13 pages, it covers:

• Tweaking vocal samples to fit your track
• Recording vocalists
• Using online vocal session services
• Using vocal compression and effects for a professional sound
• Comping a perfect vocal from multiple takes
• Beefing up backing vocals
• Arranging ad-libs using a sampler
• And loads more…

All this is, of course, accompanied by the usual throng of videos, audio examples and step-by-step walkthroughs to guide you through the processes involved. The feature starts on page 32, and I’m really proud of it. A lot of work went into it, and the CM team have made it look fantastic, so many thanks to Lee, James and everybody involved.

This issue also marks the 2nd instalment of the ‘Dave Clews Easy Guide’ music theory column. This month I attempt to de-mystify basic harmonisation – in other words, I show you an easy way to find the chords that work best with any given melody, using a twelve-step guide and, of course, a video too. You’ll find the column on page 72.

Elsewhere in the issue, on page 102, you get to read what I thought of the Nektar Panorama P1 control surface with deep integration with Reason and Cubase. The verdict might not be what you’d think!

Finally, if you turn to page 16, you’ll find my 4-page, in-depth guide to all the features and controls of the brilliant u-He ZebraCM synth that comes free with the mag every month as part of the 30-strong CM Plug-ins suite. This synth really is amazing considering that it’s a giveaway – this alone is well worth picking up any single copy of the mag, packing a sonic punch that you would have had to shell out hundreds of pounds for not even five years ago.

So if all that isn’t reason enough to head into Smith’s for a copy, or download the digital version via Newsstand or Zinio, I don’t know what is!

Video Tutorial – How to Use a Compressor (CM190 HorNet Fat-Fet)

Video Tutorial – How to Use a Compressor (CM190 HorNet Fat-Fet)

Hornet Fat Fet Video StillHere’s a link to a recent video tutorial I did that appeared on the cover DVD of the May 2013 issue (CM190) of Computer Music magazine.

It gives you a guided tour of what all the knobs and buttons do on the HorNet Fat-Fet vintage analogue-style compressor plug-in, which is kind of cool and can be found given away free with each issue, print or digital. Aside from that though,  it also functions as a useful primer on how compressors work generally, and what it is that they do. So if you’ve ever wondered what a compressor really does, or you fancy bagging a free one for use in your own projects, why not check it out?

Working with Cubase 7’s MixConsole (Video) – Computer Music 188

Working with Cubase 7’s MixConsole (Video) – Computer Music 188

Cubase 7 MixConsole Vid Here’s a link to one of the videos I created for the Cubase 7 New Features guide that appeared a couple of months back in Computer Music issue 188.

It takes an in-depth look at the revamped MixConsole, focusing on the redesigned layout, new Q-Link button, channel search feature, channel strip modules and more. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Video Tutorial – Classic 80’s Gated Reverb Drum Sound – Computer Music 187

Video Tutorial – Classic 80’s Gated Reverb Drum Sound – Computer Music 187

Gated Drum Reverb w Plug-ins 640Check out this link to one of my ‘creative noise gating’ tutorial videos, as featured on the cover DVD of issue 187 of Computer Music magazine.

http://www.musicradar.com/tuition/tech/how-to-replicate-classic-gated-drum-reverb-with-plugins-569525

During the late 1980’s, the drum sound of the moment was the massive, beefy gated reverb sound favoured by Phil Collins, Power Station’s Tony Thompson and the like. Originally the product of SSL desks, several mics, hardware gates & compressors and numerous patch leads, you can now get this effect easily within your DAW using just a couple of plug-ins. Let the 80’s revival continue!

This video is just one of a collection of seven creative gating techniques featured on the DVD this issue. If you want to get your hands on the others, plus a whole bunch of other useful stuff, pick up a copy of Computer Music 187!