Saturday, August 8, 2009

Pro Tools: diY 808 Kick!

Music Producers: If you are a fan of the 808 kick drum sound, here's a tech tip on building one from scratch in Pro Tools! The original kick drum sound came from a Roland® TR-808 Rhythm Composer drum machine.

This might be where the 808 kick gets it's namesake number in addition to the new generation 909 coming from the TR-909. Rumor has it that the infamous kick sound actually started life off as an acoustic wave generated from a "tom" sample and altered through eQ'ing and mixing-in low freq sub-harmonics with the sample in the 50-100 hZ range to come up with the super sub sound.

808 Kick Drum Tip:

open 1 mono audio track for an acoustic kick sample..

import audio acoustic kick drum sample..

select track..

select "region bin" to import audio..

audio file pops up in region bin..

drag kick sample from bin to mono track..

kick sample in track..

open aux "fx" track and insert gate on channel..

open gate and adjust settings for kick drum..

click "sidechain" to key gate from other track..

insert "signal generator" on FX track..

open signal gen and adjust settings to taste
[set frequency to low sub range 50-150 hZ]..

buss kick to fx track through send
[example: bus17 on an aux send]..

kick track

bring aux
send fader
to unity..

signal flow»
= post

"key input" on gate» set to same "buss"
as aux send from kick track
[here it's bus17 input]..

hit "play" on transport and listen to new 808 sound!

adjust settings on signal generator..

match the sound to your kick drum»
play with the sound w/boost @ 100hZ tone +/- 50
experiment here between 50-150hZ frequency range
and make adjustments on the signal generator [oscillator]

check the samples below
1» naked acoustic kick drum and
2» kick w/50 hZ tone +boost

now go mix and have some 808 fun!

Mike the AudioK9
indie audio engr

Naked KiCK drum [acoustic drum only]
NakedKiCK-24barBNC - minddelay

808KiCK [mixed w/50hZ tone]
808KiCK-24barBNC.wav -

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Pro Tools: Edit Tools

Today we will venture into the microcosm of Digidesign® Pro Tools 'EDIT TOOLS'. This is a continuation of software series for quick startup into the life of digital recording with computer-based audio gear.
Above is a screenshot from the top of a new Pro Tools® session- showing the 'edit tools' close to the transport section. Now for the quick start break down..

To explain the 'edit tools'- it's easier to just open up a new pro tools session- here's 1 with a 909 kick sample. The highlighted portion is a pre-recorded region with the 909 kick played from a Roland® Dr. Rhythm DR-770 drum machine.

And here's a shot of the Digidesign® Pro Tools LE 7.3 editing tools you will use to cut up and manipulate audio files in your session, once you get going.

With the 'selector' tool, highlight the region to edit..

Right click [CNTL click] the selection and click "cut"..

now click in a spot in a new track and CNTL click, "paste"..

the copied region shows up in the track at that exact spot..

use the "grabber" tool to slip/slide the region around in the new track- and grid mode provides a visual guide to align beats with any song tempo set in transport bpm..

with the trimmer tool you can extend the region for more sample..

the "zoomer" tool will allow you to zero in or focus on a specific portion of the audio region that you select while using the zoom tool..

here is what the new zoomed region looks like..

Next, let's break down the "edit tools" section on the pro tools edit window..


2 "ZOOMER" tool»

3 "TRIMMER" tool»

4 "SELECTOR" tool»

5 "HAND" tool»

6 "SMART" tool»

7 "SCRUBBER" tool»

8 "PENCIL" tool»

EDIT TOOLS at top of edit window..
  • shuffle/spot/slip/grid section
  • horizontal/vertical zoom section
  • EDIT TOOLS section
  • transport section on edit window

QUICK BUTTONS at below edit tools section..
  • "Tab To Transients"
  • "Keyboard Focus"
  • "Link Timeline and Edit Selection"
  • "Link Track and Edit Selection"
  • "Mirrored Midi Editing"
  • "Grid"
  • "Nudge"
  • "Cursor" position

TRANSPORT [floating window]

Tip: Hit the "PLAY" button to hear region playback!

Now go follow the "new session" quickstart guide article to get a recording session going, start recording a guitar track with a click track or play in some samples from a drum machine, and start playing with the EDIT TOOLS. Once you get started editing your own audio region files in a Pro Tools session, the knowledge will just ooze from your brain into you mouse-clicking finger tips. And you will soon find yourself well on your way to editing madness!

Have fun editing your way to digital geek heaven- and check back for the next installment of digital recording with the dog.. "How2 get a good input volume".

Peace out homedogs!
Mike the AudioK9

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