From Fine to Fantastic: Beyond Static Sound Design

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Video in TIB AV-Portal: From Fine to Fantastic: Beyond Static Sound Design

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From Fine to Fantastic: Beyond Static Sound Design
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this is alpha and he will be presenting
the talk from fine to fantastic beyond static sound design let's welcome him who's ready to rock in this Sunday morning it's not a Sunday morning but we can rock still can rock hard alright he so and this is talk from fine to fantastic beyond static sound design and before I start I want to ask you some questions
quiz time question number one whose first time on solid this year you're lying I see one two three four five people six ok who is the first time on so no at all like this is what I'm asking the question is who wasn't here last year alrighty I see one two three four five six people out of how many we have good who is making music with open source software here oh nice that's like 70% of you who is not making music with open source software then one two oh yeah yeah you're making music on Linux but with fruity loops right okay shame on you I love you anyway never mind well nice ok I don't she's not making music open source of verbs alright that who knows me do you know my face no nice that's lots of people like 60% who doesn't know me then that's this dude is lying all the time haha hey you all know me I shouldn't be done introducing myself I guess someone doesn't know me okay at least one person good then I have the excuse to follow on mmm do you have you heard my music maybe you know what I'm doing like stuff on Bandcamp some of them use YouTube yeah how many that's like 30% I guess I'm trying to say that loud so it's on the record you know have you saw my videos on YouTube about open source music stuff who saw that lots of people like an hour forty five percent I guess nice and maybe some of you are supporting me on patreon actually No all right you know there's 24 people world wild so it was a slim chance but still alright so for those of you who don't know me there's a quick introduction so probably have heard this
piece of music last time so I'm making
videos about open source software for
music production I'm also on patreon and there are some people supporting me so I can do it more
there's some of that stuff and I want to
show you some excerpts my recent work now explosions well distortion is like
it's a totally legit video that's an
explosion it was a video about love shaker it's a distortion plugin that's a
music video I made with blender for the
practice blender
and that's a piece from my last year's
album it's on YouTube just cool visualizer I didn't bender [Music] let's drop this is dummy lmms by the way
I also play some guitars this is from a to where our more than to our video on YouTube [Music] it's my plan to maybe make some more
videos about guitars third and last you need to install our door and the fusion so I'm gonna add sudo and this will do it that's 219 megabytes yep a different
note and that was last year so now this sounds just like a capital
and that was last month livestream I made you know the air horn meme that was live
[Music] I have got a few have been here on this recording and that's a track I made for the wolf shaper video I also discovered
my phone can record in slow motion and I
had some fun with it I think it's really interesting yeah my wife didn't let me love it but I think it's really cool I like the small my dad and then it's you seeis it fades out into a coffee mug I think it's it's just I love this part
what's wash what are you doing I'm introducing myself to the audience don't you see honey I'm watching the live stream but it's bullshit cut that off now but that was so funny you don't
enjoy the video no it's not funny nobody gives a shit about your stupid coffee being flash in the toilet I do the point make it worth your time oh and and send my love to nails what is there
something I don't know you should always never tell your root password to your wife that's that's the thing so you
already know my wife Kasia she's lovely we we made some music together we've
opens her software I don't know why she's calling me right now it's rude alright so today I want to inspire you to shift your music productions to a higher level and give you some knowledge and show you the tools so we have I'll be using our door because that's my weapon of choice and in the end there will be our Q&A session like an every talk but I guess there will be a practical session also and I think you can give suggestions during a practical session and just throw your questions at me then because I it's not totally planned so we may shift directions yeah and I want to take a selfie from the stage in the end if you don't mind because that's really cool I think no yes alrighty so more questions ahead but first I'm gonna play two pieces of music and I want you to try and spot the difference so here comes the first one
okay so what do you think about this what's interesting not so much right no actually it was the same loop repeated four times boring huh that's lazy that's criminal okay now I'm gonna play the second version of this listen closely [Music] [Applause] what do you think of that well thank you I deem you think it's much more
interesting right a needs more cowbell you're definitely in one I miss cowbell here too however like it's interesting when I listen to these two pieces I always feel like the first one is much longer do you feel the same it's actually the same land it's just that the second one has much more expression things are changing you're not bored things are doing things so I want to ask you what do you think I did between the two things I have some
suggestions do you think I added new instruments in the second part and you are correct there are no new instruments shit I rehearsed this to say huh no you were wrong but you're right there are no instruments do you fingers and I played with the notes I changed the MIDI data you're way too smart what the heck hey what do you think about the facts have I added new effects ah gotcha hahaha yeah I didn't add any new effects however some effects were set up in the first part in such a way that they didn't affect the sound they were always there weren't on bypass I know it's kind of cheating yes oh yeah I didn't do that I didn't cheat in that way okay yeah yes sorry I'm alright but the point was what do you think is the tool I used to make the difference yes you're right
it's automation it's lots of automation
actually so another quiz time hmm do you know what is automation who knows what is automation okay see like 40% of hands in the air right okay so how many of you have Adam used automation in a project one two three four five six and oh it's quite quite still 35 percent okay do you use automation in every single project one two three one two two hands I do and you fucking should be because automation is the key to survival and the post-nuclear society when the bombs fall when the fallout comes you don't want to be coming to me and saying oh I'm fatigued is information now it's too late you had a fucking lifetime to learn this stuff and you did nothing and now you're all gonna die of radiation poisoning and all your backups are gonna be destroyed too as excuse me I'm sorry I think this is
from a Ron talk moving on so what is
automation automation is a way to make the da W turn the knobs and move the faders for us it's a tool that makes the computer music more expressive more humane hmm computer music can get very boring and like we can feel very detached from it but with automation we can make things change slightly or not so slightly during the course of our piece so we don't have to just make our presets and leave it there we can make them evolve over time and that creates very interesting effects so this is what I'm going to be talking about and also it's not that hard actually I think like a lot of starting out people are afraid of automation they think like it it's so complicated it just I don't know what it is what it does it's not just me let's just dive in and I'll show you that automation is not that hard so now I'm gonna do a practical demonstration I'm going to show you how to use automation in order 5.12 our door 6 is not out yet so we're sticking with that there are some problems in our door 5.12 some difficulties and hopefully I'm gonna show you some ways I found to work around the limitations to get the music done how you like it yeah let's just dive right in nope
for some reason my keyboard is not working as it were working okay you know
what I'm gonna disable Wi-Fi because that can there are hackers here I want to be on the safe side so I have a little piece that I made it's a different piece but if we have time I'm gonna open up the session for the track I were playing in two versions and we can take a look there at what I did what I used and how it affected how the automation affected the whole thing so I have some music here I just made some simple things not too much stuff hopefully and let's start with the basic basics so every track in our door has this button here with author a for automation and if you press it it opens up a menu we can access different automation parameters like we can automate different parameters of the track we can automate the fader which is this guy we can also automate the mute button so you can basically make a track go off for a while you can also automate the punning it's in two parameters because we have the width and we have the panning of course we can switch this to a stereo balance and then we have just one track for panning okay I'm gonna close the - let's just focus on this fader automation now
I'm gonna switch this back to stereo and reset the padding so by default this is an automation Lane so it's like a track that is assigned to a track or a bus and it holds automation data so we can draw some points here now if I play it nothing happens because the automation tracks have four modes the the basic mode is the manual mode it means it's gonna ignore everything that you have on the lane and just go with this value that you put here so it's the manual control no automation in use if we want to actually read the data from here we can use the play mode and now it should follow this automation so you see the volume the volume of the track is changing and that's very useful because we can alter our mix and this is also something that exists in the industry like you have a static mix or you just find a perfect setting for your faders when everything plays as good as it can and then you go to the dynamic mix you use automation to alter the balance in some parts of your song to make it feel more musical there are other modes there is a write mode when you play in write mode everything on the line is gonna be overwritten with what you have here so we can record some motion lets me let me play this and move the fader so it records everything however as you can see there's quite a lot and it will be quite difficult to edit so this is something you can use but maybe it's not optimal I personally prefer to use the draw tool in the draw mode to just insert the points on my own and move them around it this way it's easier for me to marriage later and there is the fourth mode which is now automatically enabled when you enable the right mode you play and you stopped the transport Artur will automatically go to the touch mode and that is very wise because if it wouldn't do that you would be again with the right mode and trying to listen to what you've done would overwrite your automation let me just show you if I leave this in right and just want to listen just erased all my work so that's no good that's why it switches to touch mode touch mode is like a combination of the play and right modes when you are in the touch mode it will play back whatever is there but we can also touch the control at any time and add new automation information to the session so it won't remove anything unless we touch it that's why the touch mode is pretty useful if you don't want to mess up your automation I suggest you just put it on the play mode because then you can't break it if you accidentally move a control it's the safest way okay now more things if we right-click on an automation Lane we have some options we can change the state of course and we can clear all data and that removes all the automation points we have and switches it back to manual mode so if you decided this automation isn't really needed for this you can just right click go clear and then you can just hide this automation Lane now hiding the automation line is not the same as clearing it you can have some data here just not make it too loud and we need to make it play and it can just hide this automation Lane let's play it again and watch this fader it's still in effect actually the automation mode play shows us that the fader is in different color and we can't touch it we can do anything you see this fader here we can do it things we can do move it and it's it has dark background this one is a light background it's locked because it only plays automation so the play mode is is it's good if you want to lock down the automation and not break it and because yeah you forgot that was automation I tend to keep all my automation lanes open but sometimes if you have too much and the session you're trying to crawl is too long it's it's gonna get in the way so however there are tools to help with that when you go to the automation menu for a track we have some options here on the top it says show all automation when I click this we get all parameters for all plugins on this track so this is a mess right I can scroll forever here and we could actually you know do something in and change something and record something but well it's not really a good way to discovering what is there I think but there are your options there is hide all automation so just clears it for us it doesn't remove any data it only hides it from the front of you and there is also show existing automation that is very useful because it only shows the automation lanes that actually contain in some data I find this very useful all right so let's have some fun and see what we can do with this base line to make it more interesting with automation I'm not going to use the fader I'm gonna clear this automation and hide the track and now let's just loop it I'm gonna go to the grab mode of the G key I will select all these regions I'm gonna select a Presta right square bracket to put loupe markers around the selection and then press the L key to little bit it's a bit quiet there's some sidechain compression with the kick I'm gonna disable it for now so we have a clear view just click here now what I want to
do is play around with this filter [Music] because it's not really fun when I move it if I leave it it just static I don't want this static sound I want it to move so I'm going to go to the automation processor automation and here there are all the plugins I have on this track as you can see in the same order that they are in this plug-in table I'm gonna go to that Col filter and select frequency it's this now so when I move it you see the sphere moves to let's see if I put it in the touch mode it doesn't really work this way that's not a problem how do you want to put it in the play mode and now I'm going to make this larger press D key to go into the draw mode or click here and that was just at some points and listen see what happens let's play it [Music] well this is a bit too deep I'm gonna move it up when I click or just them hover my mouse over a point we can see the value in Hertz so that's helpful to to know what you're doing there's one problem the scale should be logarithmic it's not it's like it's quite troublesome because you have too much resolution in the base and too low resolution too high so it's a bit difficult but you can get used to it I hope our six is gonna do something about it so you might think we could do this with other with an LFO right like a low frequency oscillator maybe just in the synthesizer oh well maybe but we can't do something like you know this of an LFO so LFO and envelopes can only take you so far because they are actually doing the same thing every time you hit a key and that's boring and automation allows you to include at variation that is dependent on the just the position of the playhead in your song so it is actually expression for example you know many MIDI keyboards have something called expression wheel or expression expression lever like if you would use this expression wheel for every single note exactly the same way it's kind of pointless because expression is something you used to accentuate parts of the music to make them stand out and I think automation is perfect for that okay so our baseline is done let's see what else we have let's maybe re-enable this sidechain compressor and hear it with the drums I have here synthesized it's a bit quiet [Music] now without the automation it's gonna be pretty boring if I switch it to manual and just pick a value we don't want that alrighty let's move on what else can we mess up with automation make it more interesting let's see about the drums do you have any ideas any maybe requests what should I mess up oh yeah sure let's go hi-hat I'm gonna loop so let's automate the panning right I think it might be good to switch it to stereo balance so we can do this right okay so let's open an automation Lane for pan for hi-hat and now we can make it zoom across the room yikes okay if I do this it's a full cycle let's change it to play and give it a go works there was a glitch so I think looping in order isn't perfect oh also I have oh no sorry I have a different thing here there's a slight slightly different pattern here to play on the drum transition however I had also another idea for the hi-hat I have added here in a delay plugin which is hmm a stock art or plugin it's pretty useful and you can see if I play this we can get some crazy comping effects and I really like this so I wanted to make this automated I can actually try and go with right right in here this works because that's a generic plug-in interface created by our door although lat spa plugins are exposed in this way because they don't have a custom user interface and now I can just play it and now it's changed to touch so if we won't break it let's listen if it works yeah kind of crazy I like it alrighty what else can we mess up I have some ideas but maybe you have better ideas yes tempo [Music] you have found a loophole I wasn't prepared for that a tempo is a little bit different but sure we can change the tempo during the song there is here's the temple um Lane I would say and you can actually add a new tempo marker you can change the tempo say make it dramatic 100 p.m. and now it can be at a ramp so if I change this you can click ramp to next and now it's gonna smoothly change the tempo so now I I haven't tried this it might break everything let's try it works however tempo is not handled tempo is not handled with automation it's it's a different thing but you can you can do that however I would like to return to the static tempo for now so I'm gonna right click here and remove this tempo marker so we're back to where we started as you you might have noticed that the automation didn't stretch properly along with the tempo change our automation turned out to be too short so we would have to correct that manually I don't know if our 6 is gonna do it better maybe I should stop talking about that our 6 because we know it's not there okay I have an idea this is something I really like to do let's go with the snare bit crush it and we can do this we can beat crush the snare let's see crush I like golf crusher let's see what we
can do that's pretty short I expected it to be more spectacular oh yeah somehow somehow I lost all audio do you get a sound for me it could be I think it worked like
that yeah I think it that plugin just broke the stream see okay you know what I'm gonna save the session yay troubleshooting whoa no talk is good without proper breakage let's reload the session dem instruction practical demonstration that won't help me now
unfortunately hmm may I ask how much
time do I have left all right we're not sure perfect alrighty I have an idea for the snare actually I want to use M verb which is a very nice sounding reverb unit when a play with this mix knob and automated to enable the reverb just for some parts so I'm gonna go to process automation I'm a verb and go find mix and now it's gonna be fun
go play i s yes I think so Falk TX is maintaining that I guess so he knows yeah so we can have some fun just enable the reverb for a short while and then disable it or even make it like reverse reverb tail just increase it here and then just cut it gated reverb yeah and interesting things the hi-hat delay was still going let's see how does
it sound together with this bass no it's kind of kind of blurring out I think I should make it louder oh yeah now we can hear this shame it's kind of delicate because there's lots of other sounds happening we could do something with the lead I guess does this table is fight Cheney [Music] if people can do something with the OBX t synthesizer right now we've been only automating parameters of effects which can also automate parameters of synthesizers and that is super fun to an
LFO we're gonna make it do these things
let's see Oh big ste hmm many options this is one thing that is difficult about automation that it's not always obvious what you should pick but let's see LFO frequency yeah let's take that what what else do we got LFO amount 1 & 2 I think amount 1 is 4 - sending it to pitch let's do this now let's play it [Music] it's funny we get kind of like a formant sound like someone's saying something a little bit like frequency modulation because the LFO is so fast it's actually in the audible range so we get kind of a frequency modulation thing actually let's draw some automation for this and see what we can do maybe let's leave it's somewhat I guess so yeah all plugins that expose parameters all the parameters can be automated unless they don't expose them some plugins don't expose parameters or not all parameters I think [Music] was a frequency also have some fun here kinda starting detuned I really like like I use automation a lot because I already know that it's really fun and
also it makes you makes your sounds like do more than one thing maybe I'm gonna make it much less deep so this is some expression things are changed we have accentuated different parts that's what I think automation is is really cool for
okay what else do we got hey yourself here's a little superstar superstar can we do with it we could automate an EQ that's a neat thing I really like using not filters are very nice let's change this band which number it is on two three four five six - knotch now we're gonna cut a hole and here is I think notches are really cool so we need to automate frequency of band 6k let's find it a process automation EQ 10 Q filters 6 frequency there you go I'll just said to play and let's draw something see what it had what this okay we could start somewhere lower oh yeah this scale is messed up yeah it's really not very pleasant oh yeah we have some sound you see we could just try to add some modulation effects that have their own allophones right like phasers or choruses and it's all
fine and dandy but you don't really get this amount of expression unless you're driving with automation if you just put them on and let the lfos go and go your listeners brain is gonna figure this out or just using an l phone there's nothing special about it but if you do it with automation make the parameters change it's starting to get interesting let's try to maybe do something totally weird here just go like this I think it's not weird enough let's let's try this still not weird weirder okay maybe we can change the cue so a little bit lighter so we can hear the effect more yeah I like it I like it [Music] hey okay I think that's it do you have any ideas questions answers yeah do you have any questions right ah there's a microphone so it will be streamed and recorded if you try to automate for example the the volume is there a way to do it a cumulative instead of just take over the the slider entirely so can it be like
overlaid on top of what you have on the fader exactly because if you automate something you want to be slightly slightly louder in some piece pieces are lower in others and then you want to increase the entire volume of the entire track is that plausible I would used an amplifier plug-in then hmm because you can you have it in the stack you can disable it because this fader section is
basically an amplifier that is just tied to the interface in a very nice way so we can just add a new plug-in and let's just go amplifier and there is a plug-in a built-in plug-in called a amplifier I just I'll just add it and we have a gain control here and we can just automate that and then it's independent from our main fader so we can just have the static mix here and the dynamic part here let me let me just do it let's automate the gain so let's see we want
to yeah let's make it zero I can right click on a point and do edit and then you can type a value it is sometimes very useful and what I also do by the way it's a little bit of a of a sidetrack but I think it's important you can go to the settings edit preferences and there is
audio hmm editor yes preferences editor you have ignore y-axis click position when adding new automation points actually by default have this enabled it's very handy because when you have this on if you click the point is that
it on the line so it can be very precise you can then just move it if I when I had to disable it when I click here I have this point right here and I have to move it in position if I wanted here so I think it's easier mmm then again you can just then it's easier also when you have you know like zero decibels here I can click multiple times and say I just wanted to make this last phrase louder so I just added zero decibel points and then can make a louder switch it to play let's solo it here's an amplifier yeah so it works and I can still use this fader and it's all like layering on top of each other so it's relative you can also have multiple amplifiers for different things and you can disable them and listen if it's good is if it's better then I emphasize this or not yeah I guess you could also use some VCAs maybe and automate the VCA or automate the track but not the VCA and maybe it will superimpose on top of each other but I haven't tested it so I'm not sure anymore questions can you pass the mic
so let's assume I have like a controller in front of me is a motor wheel is there like an easy way that I could use the mod wheel for whatever specific parameter I have selected so I could first record cutoff and then record the fader automation without doing like crazy complex readjustment somewhere in the background can you can you pass me a keyboard because I haven't took one this time because my backpack can stretch yep I mean there is a way to assign MIDI CC controls to to automation lanes oh yeah thank you do we need some power or just over USB okay there is a port yep perfect okay well now it's I think it it's reversed okay let's see if if it's detected automatically I guess oh yeah
Wow here so sweet so I can mmm let's clear the filter automation maybe and I can there was something like middle clicking with control I think I'm maybe I have to enable this first an option so I go to edit preferences and there is
control surfaces what is this let's go with generic MIDI I will enable this show protocol settings and now I just select the keyboard I think it's will be this I don't know well let's let's try now I think if I
control middle click yes if I have any touch control surface enabled when you control and middle click on anything it will open this little box and you can operate a controller and it will assign it however there is something you need to my keep in mind like this is now like it's in a safe mode so if it's not detecting movement close enough to what it already is set to it will skip it so I can move it too fast it's gonna get are it so I always go again to the
settings control surfaces the protocol you use the settings and I make the smoothing all the way up is it that I haven't used that in a while so please
forgive me if that's all right yeah now [Music] Wow no you can do it you can also record this way so let's take a different part but you know what let's copy the drums ah interjection another important thing to copy automation data or move it around unfortunately you need to use ranges here is a range tool or range mode so you can select a range of time and then holding ctrl you select your tracks and you have to select your automation lanes too separately it's a bit tedious sometimes they don't want to select like now so it's sometimes flaky now at most the time it works and now I can go ctrl C to copy this into memory now make sure your edit point this is the Edit point is set to whatever you want it to for example I've had set to playhead that means it's gonna be pasted wherever my playhead is so if I place my playhead here I can have my mouse whatever ctrl V and there it is but I can also use my mouse so now I can push my mouse here press control V snapping takes effect so I have magnetic snapping to beets that's why it's not it's precisely on this beat not but because it's snapping helps so this is how I like rearrange pieces or duplicate parts with automation it's a bit troublesome right now but it works okay so let's record some bass or maybe someone wants to record some bass [Music] okay let's go to the ground mode deselect the tracks let's find the base track okay we have record let's go to touch mode and put it here and I can just shift space I know it sounds terrible I didn't prepare for that but you can do that you can record your performance with MIDI and automation data so if you are a hands-on control the controller type of guy the order can do it for you alright any other questions thank you