Rhythm Creation - Music Production and Sound Reocording

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Here I have chosen 10 really great synths which are not only pretty decent for various sounds, but also free for you to use. I haven't written anything about each one, but I have tested and used them all out myself and I wouldn't put them here if I didn't think they were useful for use in your own music. Personally I feel the more VSTi instruments that you can call on to use in your music the better and these should be some of the first that you try out.

Click on the name of each one to visit the homepage where you can download them for free. I have provided a screenshot of each one for you. If you are new to VST Instruments then check out our Beginners Guide to Using VST Instruments, if you need a free VSTi Host check out SAVIHost.

Enjoy your new collection of soft synths, by using this wide variety you should be able to make some pretty good sounds for use in your music.

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I don't think anyone will disagree that your music working space needs to be comfortable, but we also want to make it so that everything in our workspace is easy to use, easy to reach and make us want to be in our music studio. To achieve this our music making area should be clean and free from clutter and also keeping it that way too. Sort out all your wires so that you don't have to keep going behind your equipment, if you have some cable ties it could be a good idea to use them to declutter too.

Most of us will be using software on a computer to make music and therefore clean and free from clutter doesn't just apply to the physical world, it also applies to our desktop environments too. To declutter our computer we should make sure that our software is easy to startup and get going quickly. Solve those computer problems and make our applications quick to get going by setting up the preferences to our liking. It might be worth creating a template file in your software too to allow you to get going as quickly as possible. We basically should streamline our computers ready for knuckling down to making some beats.

Whilst we are making music one thing that could improve our productivity during our precious music making time is to take away all the distractions from the room. For example games consoles and telephones could be removed and also internet could be disconnected to stop you from checking your email and social networks and getting distracted.

I'm not one to plan specific times to make music, but if your area is comfortable and it is quick and easy to start making music you are going to end up spending more time actually making music when you are in there and you won't have to plan specific times. You'll just be able to go and do it. By making your music making studio more comfortable and time friendly, you will probably improve not only your music making productivity but also your music too.

What do you do to improve your music making studio/area to improve your music making time usage?

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Getting listeners to listen to your own music can be a tough job, especially when you're starting out and therefore we have to try to make use of all the tools that are at our disposal to get our music listened to. One of those tools we have to make use of is YouTube and all the other video sharing sites around the internet.

If you have some video footage of your latest gig or some other great footage then you should be all set and ready to upload some great videos but many of us don't have any video to hand. Not to worry though as we can easily and quickly put together a video containing a collection of pictures or photos instead for the eye candy and your music for the sound.

Here are a few ideas of the sort of images you could use to make your own videos to go with your music...
  • Album/single covers.
  • Photo's of you/your band.
  • Photo's from your latest gig.
  • Your or your band's logo.
  • Photo's from free stock photo web sites which fit your music.
Once you have your photos and of course your track it is very simple to make a video that you can upload to these sites. If you are using Windows you can use the freely available Windows Movie Maker which should already be in your Start Menu. You could also try out VideoSpin from Pinnacle which is free to download and use. If you are on a Mac or using Linux then I am not sure of any alternatives but I am sure there is something similar out there which will work in the same way.

For my videos I used Windows Movie Maker as it is very simple and quick to use. All we do is import our chosen pictures and music and then arrange them on the storyboard at the bottom. We can also add some simple transitions between the images if we want by choosing Tools > Transitions and dragging the transition we want to the join in the storyboard between the images.

Once we are happy with the result in the preview video we can save the movie (which saves as a .wmv files in Windows Movie Maker) and upload it to our video sharing site account.

This method is not only quick and easy but also quite effective in getting extra listeners to find your music. Make sure you add an extra picture which has the URL of your web site or MySpace page so that viewers of the video can find out more about your music and that you also add the URL in the description of the video.

If you give some tracks away for free as I do, you could even put something along the lines of "If you like this track, download it for free from this website" to encourage them to get MP3 versions of the tracks. For the small amount of work I am sure you will find it worth it.

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Sometimes we find a great sample that we really want to use but unfortunately there is a click at the beginning or end of the sound. For this tutorial I am going to be using Audacity which is free to use and can be downloaded from the Audacity Website for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows and GNU/Linux. You should be able to use any similar software to do the same technique.

Here is a simple kick drum sound and if you listen carefully you will hear a click at the end once the sample has finished.



If we was to put this into a drum beat we would get unwanted clicks all over our drum pattern. If we look at our sound in Audacity we can see that the reason this click is heard is because the last section of our sample ends while the sound waveform is either above or below 0.

We can solve this very easily by highlighting the last few milliseconds of the sound and going to Effect > Fade Out which will make the waveform fade down to 0 and eliminates the sudden stop which was causing the click. If the click is at the start of a sample we can instead highlight the first few milliseconds and choose Effect > Fade In and this will achieve the same thing but at the start.

Here is our new click-less drum sample using this technique.



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On Remix Comps they list read here.

The guide takes you through the process to allow you to enter your first remix contest, from downloading the remix stems right through to creating your remix.
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