Virtual Instruments feature articles
5 Top Soft Synths You Might Have Missed - These synths may be lesser known, but they sound awesome
To help you avoid making music that sounds like everyone else’s, I want to tell you about some premium-quality soft synths you may not know about. Although none of these instruments are terribly obscure, each deserves more attention than it normally gets. Some are relatively new but haven’t gotten much ink, while others are all but forgotten by ...
- 10/19/15Getting started
MIDI Learn Explained - Control your software remotely with real knobs, buttons and faders
I’m often surprised by musicians who use their mice or trackpads to change MIDI software parameters, and then complain that they miss using real knobs and buttons. I’m surprised because they could use knobs and buttons if only they’d take advantage of MIDI Learn (sometimes called MIDI Assign), which gives you the ability to assign the physical c...
5 Free Vintage Synth Plug-Ins - Classic synth emulations that won't cost you a dime
You often hear that a $1,000 laptop today has the power of a billion dollars worth of computer equipment from 50 years ago. Likewise, the equivalent of thousands of dollars of vintage synthesizer gear often exists in the form of a low-cost or even freeware plug-in. To say it’s a beautiful time to be a computer musician would be an understatement.
5 Cool Plug-ins You May Never Have Heard Of - These instruments and effects may not be well known, but they sure are powerful
Some people become addicted to plug-ins; others become connoisseurs. That is, they're borderline addicts but too refined to splurge on just anything. They need a certain something, which is what the following plug-ins — all available in AU/VST formats for Mac or Windows—have. These instruments and processors do things a little bit differently, ...
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...
- 02/17/15Getting started
Get Up to Speed with Apple Loops - A video lesson on using Apple Loops in Logic Pro X and GarageBand
Whether you're a Logic or GarageBand user, you can spice up your recordings with a huge range of instrument loops and sound effects via the Apple Loops that were included with your DAW. Here's a video tutorial to get you going right away.
- 08/24/14Getting started
Getting Down to "Bassics" - Create Authentic Sounding MIDI Bass Guitar Parts
If you're a recording musician who doesn't play bass, creating realistic MIDI bass guitar parts can be a challenge. The tips and techniques offered in this article will help you put together authentic sounding tracks.
Power Tips for the Pro Tools Novice — Part 2 - Tips on How to Efficiently Use Pro Tools
In part 1 of this article, we looked at preference settings and key commands. Here in part 2, the focus will be on the Smart Tool, some important timeline options, and how to create customized session templates.
- 06/24/14Getting started
Power Tips for the Pro Tools Novice – Part 1 - Learn How to Produce Music Faster and More Efficiently with Pro Tools
Avid Pro Tools features industry standard audio recording, editing, and mixing, along with a reasonably well-featured MIDI section. But with an application this powerful, getting up to speed can take time. In this two-part story, we'll present a selection of tips and tricks to help you work more quickly and efficiently in Pro Tools.
- 06/14/14Getting started
Cheap Synth Apps with Rich Sound - Five Cool iOS Synthesizers for Under $10
The quality and variety of synthesizers available for your iOS device just keeps getting better and better. Although many of the top, name-brand synths will cost you in the range of $20 or even more, there are some great ones on the iTunes Store for half or a quarter of that price. Here are five synths that range from free to $9.99, and offer a ...