The Top 5 for Overdrive - The gritty details on our five favorite overdrive pedals
With over 100 overdrive pedals listed on just one gear-shopping website, how does one choose the top five? The first order of business is to define the terms: An overdrive pedal should have enough volume to distort a clean amplifier before adding gain from the pedal. It should also have enough gain to provide a dirty sound on its own, though any...
Understanding Compressor Parameters - A guide to mixing music - Part 28
Now that we've discussed the possible uses for compression, let's take a look at the way a compressor works. To do that, I'll explain to you, in a theoretical way, the different parameters commonly found on such processors.
12 Quality Plug-ins for $100 or Less - Signal processing and effects plug-ins that won’t break the bank
Although top-of-the-line processor and effects plug-ins can be expensive, there are alternatives available that offer quality performance at budget-friendly prices. In this article, I’ll look at 12 such plug-ins, all costing $100 or less. I’ll cover signal processing and digital effects plug-ins in the following categories: reverb, delay, compre...
The Different Forms of Granular Synthesis - Sound synthesis, sound design and audio processing - Part 20
In the previous article we introduced the concept of granular synthesis. Today we'll take a look at the different applications for it.
Sonokinetic Plays a Capriccio - Sonokinetic Capriccio review
The supply of virtual orchestras has become more and more abundant. There's a seemingly never-ending rise in the number of samples, instruments and content available, in general. But what about how they're used? Sonokinetic has come up with a unique answer with Capriccio.
These Are a Few of My Favorite Synths - A synth expert picks his top 5 virtual instruments
I’ve been writing about synthesizers since the 1970s and reviewing virtual instruments since the 1990s. Still, when Audiofanzine asked me to pick my "top 5" software synths, it was no easy feat, as there are so many good ones to choose from. After careful consideration, I chose the five that I've found most useful in a variety of musical situati...
Why We Compress - A guide to mixing music - Part 27
In this second installment dedicated to dynamics processing during mixdown, we'll take some time to discuss the whys before moving on to the hows.
Advice from a Guitar Tech - Kurt Bloch talks setup and maintenance for electric guitars
Kurt Block knows electric guitars. He has been working on them for three decades. He started out working on guitars in the bands he was in, and nowadays maintains the guitar collection at Gibson’s entertainment relations office in Seattle, one of eight in the U.S. — and 20 worldwide — that the company maintains to put on promotional events and p...
An introduction to Granular Synthesis - Sound synthesis, sound design and audio processing - Part 19
In the two previous articles we looked at the principle behind sample-based synthesis. Among other things, this allowed us to establish that, thanks to digital technology, the frontiers between the different sound-generation modes ─ like simple waveforms and complex pre-recorded samples ─ have become more and more porous.
Slated for Excellence - Review of the Slate Digital Virtual Mix Rack
The release of a channel strip plug-in doesn’t typically generate a lot of excitement, but it sure has in the case of Slate Digital’s Virtual Mix Rack (VMR). Slate’s hardware emulations are considered among the best in the industry, and VMR offers a flexible suite of processors in a virtual 500 series rack…