Audio Fundamentals Tutorial

What Audio Software Should I Get?

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21 Videos | Length: 1hr 45min 0sec
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  • image description 1:04

    Introduction

    Adam welcomes you to the course and discusses what he will be covering.

  • image description 6:48

    Measuring Loudness

    A loudness metering/measuring tool should be one of the first plug-ins to get. In this video I explain why. Spoiler: it's because every playback platform and situation "loudness normalizes", and so you need to be aware of how your track will be "loudness normalized" (i.e. turned up or down). Get this wrong and you're wasting time spent mixing.

  • image description 7:45

    Visual Feedback

    This may be the most important video in the course. Whenever possible, choose the synth/effect/plug-in with visual feedback, over one that doesn't. This is especially important for newer producers who are learning, and establishing concepts, but I also explain why visual feedback is significantly more efficient for experienced producers too.

  • image description 6:21

    Aliasing & Quality

    Learn about aliasing and how some synths/plug-ins/effects are higher "quality" than others. I share some examples and how to test plug-ins for yourself. I also explore whether or not this difference in audio quality/fidelity actually matters.

  • image description 5:33

    Plug-In Latency

    Before purchasing a plug-in, make sure to check its latency (the time it takes for the sound to exit the plug-in, after entering). It's important to check as there are some use cases (e.g. live performance) where medium to high latency is unusable.

  • image description 5:25

    Gain & Loudness Compensation

    When testing plug-ins, make sure to gain and/or loudness compensate. In other words, you want to make sure you like the change the plug-in is making, not just the fact it may be louder. Remember, louder sounds better. I also explain the difference between gain and loudness, where gain compensation is more important, and where loudness compensation is more important.

  • image description 5:45

    How to Choose a DAW

    What DAW should you choose? You can make the best tracks in the world with any of them, so how do you choose? I give lots of reasons as to why I think you should choose the most popular DAW, which right now is Ableton Live.

  • image description 6:13

    Using Multiple DAWs

    Whether starting out, or an experienced producer, should you consider using multiple DAWs? Let me explain why the answer is no. Spoiler: it's to do with speed, and having keyboard shortcuts locked into muscle memory. And also, if you really need to use a feature in a different DAW, how do you go about it?

  • image description 2:24

    Choice Paralysis

    It can often be useful to choose a plug-in/tool that gives you a fixed, limited number of options. In this example I compare a parametric EQ with nearly infinitely options for cutoff position, to an analog EQ with only 10 options. This can help you make decisions and move forward with the track, and you very rarely even need 10,000 options for cutoff. 10 or 11 positions is fine. This is a cure for what we call "choice paralysis."

  • image description 4:55

    When to Choose a Different Plug-In

    If you find yourself getting into a creative rut, creating the same things over and over again, create a "pattern interrupt" by downloading a new plug-in. This can even be a worse plug-in than your usual one!

  • image description 7:16

    Each Sawtooth Wave is Different

    You'd think a sawtooth wave in one synth is the same as a sawtooth wave in another, as it's a simple mathematically shape, but that's not the case. "Standard" waveforms are different in different synths. Also, "standard" filters (e.g. low pass filters) are different in different synths.

  • image description 2:29

    One Plug-In Instead of Five

    If you can do something using just one plug-in, instead of five, use that one plug-in. As I explain in this video, one plug-in is more stable, easier to learn, quicker to use, and easier to understand.

  • image description 2:06

    Monophonic vs Polyphonic Synths

    When new to production and choosing a synth, here's a technical detail that's easy to overlook. Get this wrong and you won't be able to play chords with your newly acquired instrument. This is especially important if you can only afford to buy one synth.

  • image description 3:49

    Storage for Sample Based Instruments

    Learn to categorize instruments into two types, oscillator based instruments (e.g. Serum), and sample based instruments (e.g. Kontakt libraries). Sample based instruments can take up hundreds of gigabytes worth of space, and so you need to consider storage before committing to an instrument like this. Do you need to buy additional hard drives? Will you need a hub therefore to use them? Will this make your live performance setup annoyingly more complex?

  • image description 3:08

    Wavetable Synths

    When choosing a wavetable synth, if it's your only one, make sure to choose one that allows you to import wavetables. Otherwise, you'll have a fixed number of "starting blocks", which means eventually you'll run out of starting sounds/tones/timbres to build from. Bonus: choose a synth that allows you to create your own wavetables too! (e.g. Serum, Phase Plant, or Icarus).

  • image description 7:46

    Plug-In Limiters

    When do you need a plug-in limiter? I explain why: for simple tasks the built-in limiter's fine, but for complex tasks (e.g. mastering a messy mix) a plug-in limiter is needed and will make your life much easier.

  • image description 7:37

    Plug-In EQ

    Do you need a plug-in EQ? Short answer is: probably not (but some have features that advanced users sometimes need). I also share an argument in favor of plug-in EQs, if the pretty interface makes you feel good.

  • image description 5:14

    Plug-In Distortion Devices

    Let me share with you why a distortion plug-in should be maybe the 3rd, 4th, or 5th plug-in you should consider getting. Spoiler: it multiplies the number of waveforms you have available to work with.

  • image description 2:05

    Plug-In Drum Machines

    If considering a drum machine plug-in, note that drum machines work for some genres, and not others, so make sure to check it works for your genres before buying. If the drums aren't right for your genre, the track will sound "wrong" in a way that's hard to put your finger on.

  • image description 6:19

    Plan Time to Learn a New Plug-In

    This is one of those things that sounds obvious, but almost no-one thinks about when considering a new plug-in/tool/DAW. It's a very common mistake. Have you mentally budgeted time to learn it? Each plug-in has its own idiosyncrasies, and it takes time to familiarize the interface into muscle memory.

  • image description 4:58

    Learn One Thing at a Time

    It's better to spend 4 to 6 months becoming a master at one synth/delay/compressor/etc.. than buy a new one every other week and never quite figure any out. It sounds obvious but this is one of the most common mistakes I see when consulting with producers.

Product Overview


Studio guru Adam Pollard brings you a collection of insightful music studio video tutorials! Get helpful insight and information on how and why to choose certain DAWs, plug-ins, and virtual instruments, including studio workflows and solutions. This series is designed for new music studio producers and engineers who want the opinion of an experienced studio producer.

NOTE: No manufacturers sponsored this video series, or were involved in its production. Adam is simply giving you his opinion based on years of studio production work, so it could seem biased and or one-sided at times.

Adam begins with important audio software basic requirements, such as being able to measure loudness, get visual feedback, testing a plug-in for aliasing and its overall quality, the difference between gain and loudness, and how to choose a DAW that's right for you.

Next, you'll get pointers on whether or not you should use multiple DAWs, how to avoid choice paralysis, and why you should use one plug-in instead of five in your mixes. Adam then goes into important workflow and studio solution tutorials that focus on topics like storage options for sample based instruments, how to choose a wavetable synth, should you use EQ and Limiter plug-ins, why drum machines don't always work out best for a track and much more.

To see what these music studio video tutorials show you, and how they can help you make good decisions when purchasing gear and setting up your studio, see the individual music studio tutorial descriptions on this page. If you're ready to start planning which studio software to purchase or add to your production studio, this music studio video series will save you both time and money... Watch “What Audio Software Should I Get?" today!


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RobP
Submitted 1 month ago

Quite good but could be better

This course covers most of the plugin basics, but is missing a few things such as reverbs, delays, modulation effects etc. It scratches the surface and it's perfectly suitable for beginners, however there should be more informations about different popular plugin brands and how to choose between them.


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

dreamstate42
Submitted 1 month ago

Very biased and subjective

This course is pretty hit & miss. On one hand it provides useful information for people starting out, but on the other hand a lot of the information provided is highly subjective and one-dimensional. To give an example: The author suggests only using one primary DAW and gives his "pros" for that approach, but does not offer any real counterpoint to consider, i.e. splitting up composition and mixing / mastering into different DAWs to underline the difference in mindset during these very distinct steps. It also almost seems like paid sponsorship in some videos, because only plugins from a couple of developers are mentioned and "recommended".

I am a: Beginner, Hobbyist, Musician, Producer, Sound Designer, Game Designer, Ableton Live, Bitwig Studio, Logic Pro

Response from Customer Service:

I am very sorry you did not find this tutorial to be up to your standards. By nature it is subjective because the author, Multiplier, is giving his viewpoint based on years of experience working in the industry.
I can assure you, however, that our tutorials are not paid sponsorships and the manufacturers mentioned were not involved in creating this tutorial. These are the opinions of someone who has sucessfully been working in the music industry for years and sharing his opinions and experience to those who may want to hear his take and apply to their own path in the industry.
If you'd like to discuss it further, feel free to email us.... support@groove3.com and we'd be happy to go over this in more detail.

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

fmknupp
Submitted 1 month ago

This guy is a beast

Straight foward. Simple and extremelly Effective tips right there


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

RobP
Submitted 1 month ago

Quite good but could be better

This course covers most of the plugin basics, but is missing a few things such as reverbs, delays, modulation effects etc. It scratches the surface and it's perfectly suitable for beginners, however there should be more informations about different popular plugin brands and how to choose between them.

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

dreamstate42
Submitted 1 month ago

Very biased and subjective

This course is pretty hit & miss. On one hand it provides useful information for people starting out, but on the other hand a lot of the information provided is highly subjective and one-dimensional. To give an example: The author suggests only using one primary DAW and gives his "pros" for that approach, but does not offer any real counterpoint to consider, i.e. splitting up composition and mixing / mastering into different DAWs to underline the difference in mindset during these very distinct steps. It also almost seems like paid sponsorship in some videos, because only plugins from a couple of developers are mentioned and "recommended".

I am a: Beginner, Hobbyist, Musician, Producer, Sound Designer, Game Designer, Ableton Live, Bitwig Studio, Logic Pro

Response from Customer Service:

I am very sorry you did not find this tutorial to be up to your standards. By nature it is subjective because the author, Multiplier, is giving his viewpoint based on years of experience working in the industry.
I can assure you, however, that our tutorials are not paid sponsorships and the manufacturers mentioned were not involved in creating this tutorial. These are the opinions of someone who has sucessfully been working in the music industry for years and sharing his opinions and experience to those who may want to hear his take and apply to their own path in the industry.
If you'd like to discuss it further, feel free to email us.... support@groove3.com and we'd be happy to go over this in more detail.
Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

fmknupp
Submitted 1 month ago

This guy is a beast

Straight foward. Simple and extremelly Effective tips right there

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

1. When did you start dabbling in music?

I started producing music just over 5 years ago, right about when Skrillex's Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites EP dropped.

2. What training have you had?

I'm fully self-taught, and haven't had any formal training. I use online resources and learn a lot by talking to other producers about how they do things too.

3. When did you get into recording?

(same answer as number 1)

4. People you have worked with/for?

DJTechTools, iZotope, Output, CAPSUN Pro Audio, Loopmasters, Plugin Boutique, Industrial Strength, 5Pin Media

5. Why are you so good at training people?

I've had a lot of experience in the EDM space, from producing tracks and sample packs that have charted on sites like Beatport, through to DJing internationally and running a record label. And on the training side I've produced thousands of tutorials, and also tutor people one to one.

Products by Adam

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    Ableton Live 10: Tips & Tricks

    Adam Pollard, aka Multiplier, delivers some of his best tips and tricks for Ableton Live 10. Discover and explore a vast range of topics covering workflow, editing, production, mixing and more, all allowing you to get the most from Ableton Live 10!

  • image description
    tutorial video

    Ableton Live: Creating a Track from Scratch

    Adam Pollard aka Multiplier brings you an in-depth video series all about creating a track from scratch with Ableton Live! Shown in version 10 but applicable to other versions and DAWs, see how to make a modern day track starting with just the kick drum, all the way to mastering and exporting the song for all the world to hear.

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    Beginner’s Guide to Mastering with Ableton Live

    Adam Pollard aka Multiplier, delivers a mastering video tutorial series designed for the beginner, covering the important topics needed to master your music in Ableton Live! Learn the basic principles and terminologies, as well as specific steps to take to get great sounding master files that you can publish to the world.

  • image description
    tutorial video

    Beginner's Guide to Music Production Hardware

    Adam Pollard aka Multiplier presents an in-depth video series for those just getting into making music and the endless options for studio gear. Save endless hours of research trying to find answers to the most basic questions, when setting up your first studio and all the gear that goes with it!

  • image description
    tutorial video

    Creating Electronic Music for Online Video

    Adam Pollard presents a series of producing Electronic Music for Online Video tutorials! Learn how to design and produce Electronic music for the endless amount of video content found on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and more. These production videos are perfect for those who know how to use their DAW, but want to go deeper into the specifics of Electronic music creation for online video.

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What Audio Software Should I Get? is rated 4.0 out of 5 by 3 .
Rated 3.0 out of 5 by from Quite good but could be better This course covers most of the plugin basics, but is missing a few things such as reverbs, delays, modulation effects etc. It scratches the surface and it's perfectly suitable for beginners, however there should be more informations about different popular plugin brands and how to choose between them.
Date published: 2019-11-05
Rated 2.5 out of 5 by from Very biased and subjective This course is pretty hit & miss. On one hand it provides useful information for people starting out, but on the other hand a lot of the information provided is highly subjective and one-dimensional. To give an example: The author suggests only using one primary DAW and gives his "pros" for that approach, but does not offer any real counterpoint to consider, i.e. splitting up composition and mixing / mastering into different DAWs to underline the difference in mindset during these very distinct steps. It also almost seems like paid sponsorship in some videos, because only plugins from a couple of developers are mentioned and "recommended".
Date published: 2019-11-04
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from This guy is a beast Straight foward. Simple and extremelly Effective tips right there
Date published: 2019-11-02
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