Rhythm Creation - Music Production and Sound Reocording

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Came across this nice little video posted on metacafe posted by Babblin5. The video shows how you can make some 5.1 surround sound headphones. Although I haven’t tried it myself, I liked the look of this little tutorial and am sure it works quite well. If you want to have a go at producing with surround sound but lack the equipment and the funds maybe a pair of these homemade 5.1 headphones might be fun to have a go at making and using. Enjoy!

5.1 Surround Headphone Hack! - video powered by Metacafe

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This featured web site is a great little site for all us musicians who want to release our tracks for distribution on the internet (or anywhere else). When releasing our tracks most of us want our listeners to distribute them around as this is great and free exposure, but it does kind of feel like you've either got to copyright your music completely or just give it away and let anyone do what they like with it. Thankfully this is where Creative Commons comes in.

Creative commons is a non-profit organization which provides pre-written licenses for us musicians (as well as many other forms of licenses for other mediums). All you’ve got to do is go on their web site and choose a license that you feel will work best for you, allowing you to keep some of your rights intact whilst waiving certain other rights, kind of like "Some Right Reserved" rather than "All Right Reserved".

Creative Commons Logo I release all my music files and sample files on Rhythm Creation under a creative commons license. I believe people find the licenses very easy to understand as Creative Commons provide some very easy to read "Human-readable" versions of the licenses setting it out in plain English (or any other language) the rights that you are keeping as well as what you are letting your listeners do with your music.

They also provide you with some nice buttons and links so you can direct people from your Web Site, Blog, My Space to a copy of the licenses. It really is a great way for us musicians who want to keep some rights reserved and not all rights reserved or reversed.

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Here is a great list of 10 sites I have come across which you will be able to find most of the samples and sounds you require for your music production or anything else you might need a certain sound for. I have listed whether they are Royalty Free or if they are copyrighted in anyway as best as I can.

BBC OneMusic Sample Bank - Over one thousand samples to use in your music free (Free to use for non-commercial purposes).

DrumSamples.org - Download free drum samples for music production (Royalty FREE).

Find Sounds - Free site where you can search the Web for sound effects and musical instrument samples (Unsure about copyright of samples as finds sounds from multiple sources). This one seems to have disappeared since this post was made.

Looperman - Loads of loops, beats and samples for free for members (Membership is free though) (Royalty Free).

Free (Scrabble) - Image from Stock Xchng (www.sxc.hu) User:spiders Philharmonia Orchestra Sound Exchange - Loads of single hits, phrases and full orchestra samples played by the Philharmonia Orchestra (Free to use for non-commercial purposes).

SampleNet - Nice set of samples, most are in Mp3 format though (Copyright Free).

SampleSwap - A completely free and lovingly maintained collection of 10,000+ quality audio samples, drum loops and vocal snippets. (Royalty Free).

Soundsnap.com - Find and share free sound effects and loops (Royalty Free). This one is no longer free since this post was made.

The Freesound Project - Collaborative database of creative-commons licensed sound for musicians and sound lovers (Royalty Free as long as you specify sample maker in credits - Creative Commons License).

Worldsamples.com - Loads of sound effects, most are free (Creative Commons License). This one seems to have disappeared since this post was made.

If you know of any others, post it in the comments of this post. Hope you enjoy searching these sites and find the sounds you want.

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ADSR. You may have seen these letters on synthesizers and samplers. This tutorial is a quick guide to what ADSR is and how you can use this section on your hardware or software to shape your sounds. It is an extremely powerful section, and should be one of the first things you learn when learning how to program synthesizers or samplers.

ADSR stands for Attack, Decay, Sustain and Release and does a very important job of shaping our sound from as soon as the note is pressed until you can no longer hear it.

A is for Attack
Basically this sets the amount of time after a note is pressed that it takes the sound to reach the full volume level, attack starts as soon as a sound plays when a note is pressed. Setting this low will mean the full volume will be reached very quickly, a snare drum has a very quick attack as it reaches full volume straight away. Setting this high will mean the sound fades in slower like for example a cello would. As you can see the attack is a very powerful in shaping the start of your sound.

D is for Decay
As soon as our sound has reached its full volume after the attack, it moves on to the decay. Decay basically sets the amount of time it takes for the volume to reduce to the level of the sustain after the attack section of the sound. If we set this to a low setting (less decay) the sound will minimize in volume slower to the level of the sustain (next section). If we set this high your sound will drop almost instantly to the level of the sustain.

S is for Sustain
ASDR Image - Image from Stock Xchng (www.sxc.hu) User:matthias Our sound attacks and then decays to the level of volume set in the sustain section. If you set this to nothing, your sound will not have any sustain and so won’t carry on further than the decay section (even though the note is being pressed). If you set this higher your sound will maintain the volume for the amount of time you pressed down a note. A snare drum has no sustain, where as something like a trumpet is being sustained for the amount of time that it is actually being blown into (note being pressed).

R is for Release
As soon as we release our note the release section takes over (provided our sound didn’t die away completely because of a high decay setting) . The release is by how long you can still hear a sound after the note finishes being pressed, if this is set to a very low setting our sound will finish very quickly and no audio will be heard. If we set this to a high level our sound will continue to sound for much longer even though we are no longer pressing down on the note. A Gong has a long release (We are no longer hitting the gong, but it’s still vibrating creating sound)

Quick Recap
  • Attack - The amount of time after the note is pressed it takes for the sound to reach full volume.
  • Decay - The amount of time it takes for the sound to decay to the volume of the sustain section.
  • Sustain - The amount of time our sound stays sounding whilst the note is being pressed.
  • Release - The amount of time we can still hear the sound after the note has been released.
Hopefully after this tutorial you can fiddle around with the ADSR section of your synth or sampler whether hardware or software and visualize in your head the settings you need to achieve the sound shape you require and therefore feel you have much more control over the sound coming out.

Tutorial Written by Edward Cufaude for Rhythm Creation.

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In my previous post, I talked about using a keyboard to play drums in to make them sound more human instead of programming in with a mouse and after a little search around the net came across this brilliant little video. He can play better than some real drummers.

Original YouTube Posting.

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