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An Introduction to Compression: Basic Compression - A free download from Audio Masterclass

An Introduction to Equalization - A free download from Audio Masterclass

Equipping Your Home Recording Studio - A free download from Audio Masterclass

The new Apple HomePod smart speaker - what difference will it make to your mixing and mastering?

Help! I have too much equipment. What can I do?

A rare Neumann U48 - for sale on eBay

What is production? Part 3: Recording

Is there a special way to record the piano?

Do microphones need rest?

Hum - Can you hear it, even if you can't hear it?

The worst-sounding hit record ever?

Q: How do I place my mic on the hi-hat?

Q: Can I use a low-pass filter to remove noise from my recording?

Creativity Competition - Third Place

Two tracks tie for third place in the Creativity Competition. Which do you think should have won bronze outright?

Considering the number of votes cast, a tie for third place was unlikely, but nevertheless that's what happened. You can read about both tracks here. The toss of a coin decided the order in which they are presented...

Sonic Sculpting by Vakis

"For my submission I mostly worked in Sound Forge with the built in plug-ins like flanger, reverb, distortion and delay, then I threw the samples in Cubase and worked with a few more time based effects.

"Regarding the white noise, I used mostly EQ and messed around with the envelopes to get some samples to sound more percussive.

"Of course there was tons of pitch shifting done mostly in soundforge.In Cubase I used Halion as a sampler and for one sample I used Amplitube to produce more guitar like harmonics."

Vakis


Traillium Khoxs by Ben Law

Ben Law

"The piece was done to the standard 4/4 120bps. I started the piece with a drone, 8th length notes on every half bar till bar 8, then on every 4th bar. A 1 kHz sine wave was used for this, with a envelope, attack equal to the decay (on the 13th bar the drone is pitch shifted to make a counter melody, not a very effective one though).

"The 'stick' sound was made using the white noise with a sharp attack envelope and a 'overdrive' and 'metalizer' plug in. The 'metalizer' plug in was also used to make the sample that sounds like a 'piston' from a train.

"For snare sounds, I made 6 different samples. The first is enveloped white noise with a bit of EQ and reverb, the second and third (the same enveloped sample as the first plus a 'smoother' attacked sample) has a 'flanger' plug in with 0 seconds delay, I also used a '0 second delay flanger' to make the 'big bang'/'gun shot' sample (this gave it some punch, maybe some one could post up why, I figured it out by mistake), the fourth and fifth (the same enveloped samples as the second and third) has a 'overdrive' plug in which makes the first sample sound like a snare with a kick drum and the second like a floor tom with a kick.

"The first melody is the 1 kHz sine wave with a sharp attack and 'resonant' decay envelope. The second/bridge/'conclusion' melody has a faster decay, and has a 'overdrive' plug in and is over layered with a copy, pitch shifted a hole octave. Both melodies have a 'double delay' plug in. I figured out the melodies notes I needed on guitar and pitched shifted them with the pitch shift plug in that comes with Cubase SL, same as all the plug ins used (should really get some good plug ins any recommendations?, I've only just started using the ones as free with cubase). The 'helicopter' was done with a 'rotary' plug in.

"Most parts were sent to some reverb (probably a little to much) apart from the drone.
I spent about 3 hours altogether on the track, should have spent an extra hour getting a mix ('equalized' and compressed)."

Ben Law, London, aged 18

Your comments on these tracks please...

By David Mellor Monday May 1, 2006