On Plugs, Digital Aural Madness and V.I.

I wrote a treasure hunt for my digital audio class that I will share with you. Go on this mental hike for fun and plug in some headphones to wrap yourself in aural delights…

OK, so first up: Check out this article from Sound on Sound Magazine (my favorite audio mag published in the U.K.) and read about the recap of the Music Expo SF that occurred earlier this month. For your own fun and learning, answer the following questions:

1. Name two of the workshops they mentioned that had to do with mastering and who were the people guiding the session.

2. Take a close look at the photo of the attendees. See the happy writer/sound engineer/educator seated in the middle in the blurred shot of the photo? That’s ME!

3. List all of the brands who were there exhibiting. After the complete list, choose one and write 3 lines about what the company manufactures.

4. Let’s look at “spectral filtering” for a minute: Check out this web page from Stanford University CCRMA . Go there first and peruse the information. Yes, keep scrolling and scrolling.

WHOA. Now do you see why we call this audio “engineering?”  Yes, it’s because it’s DEEP. OK, so I don’t expect you to even click on one link there, but just in name only, which one catches your attention?  List it for your #5.

5. What does CCRMA stand for?

6. Now check out the background on one of CCRMA’s professors Poppy Crum. (Great name, isn’t it?) Read about the course, but more importantly “About the Professor.” What is Poppy’s role and for what company does Poppy work?

7. Read the overview of the Music 257 class. Does is not sound like the most amazing class? Wow! What would it teach you if you were to take the course?

8. Now that I’ve taken you down a deep rabbit hole, let’s get back to Canvas: Check out the link for the Empirical Labs Distressor EL8 Read through the information page and watch the goofy video of the Empirical Labs rep describing the unit and also demonstrating it to the video team. Do you hear the sonic difference? Now, go to this Slate Digital FG-Stress link.  First, read about the plugin and then watch the less-than-2-minute video on Plugin Development featuring Fabrice Gabriel.  How many compressors are found in this ONE compressor plugin (replicating the hardware version which is called “emulation.”)?

9. Look and listen to the links on the Bricasti M7 reverb.  LIST 3 of the features of the M7. This is a $4000 hardware reverb!

10. Go to the VerbSuite Classics at the Slate Digital link provided. Watch the video of Mr. Slate reading from his teleprompter about the plugin. MORE IMPORTANTLY, listen to the sonic demonstration in the video including vocals, acoustic guitar, and snare drum. How many pro reverbs do you get with the Slate Digital VerbSuite Classics? And with this question, what can you tell me about LiquidSonics? (do a little digging) .


I’ve been over the moon as a Waves plugin user since the 1990’s! Go there now! Great deals! Sign up to receive updates to get some of the most excellent plugs used by the world’s top audio engineers at a fraction of the usual pricing. Waves plugin deals are outstanding!

How about some favorite Virtual Instruments? (V.I.) Here’s a great blog post on someone’s favorite FREE synth VST plugs.

Here is a FABULOUS resource at Sweetwater Sound: A Guide to Buying V.I.

Spectrasonics Omnisphere2 has been capturing my cochlea. From their homepage: “Go wild with using the new Granular Synthesis, Harmonia, Innerspace and many other creative tools inside Omnisphere!”  Yeah!

Of course, everyone LOVES Native Instruments Komplete 11!  Turn up your cans to hear the sonic beauty in the homepage video.

What’s new in Reason 10?  Grain Sample Manipulator and Europa!  WOOF!

So much more to report here, but so little time. I’ve got grading to do.

Until later…

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