PSP N2O

One of my all time favorite plug-ins PSP Nitro has been replaced with an all new version. I’ve used Nitro on almost every song I’ve recorded the past few years because it has a very unique and nice sound quality. It mangled audio but also has a professional sounding sheen. The replacement called N2O was rewritten from scratch, adds new modules, extended modulation and about 200 presets. Upgrade price is $69 until Dec 31. $149 to buy it new. More videos: click here

“Up to four sound processing operators at a time; among the available types are: morphing resonant and formant filters, eq, delay, reverb, pitch-shifter, compressor/expander, bitcrusher, distortion, full-wave rectifier and many more. Up to four modulators at a time; the list includes: LFO, envelope detector, ADSR step sequencer. Built-in limiter that uses algorithms from our extremely well regarded PSP Xenon hi-definition mastering limiter. Sidechain (key) input. Expandable architecture – new operators and modulator types to be added in future versions while preserving backward compatibility. – pspaudioware.com

For more info: pspaudioware.com

Spend time to make wicked transitions.

When producing a song I can spend a good 20-30 minutes working on creating a single ear tingling transition. Usually I make transitions when the song is almost finished. The reason I wait until the near end of the song’s creation is two fold. First, I like to hear the entire song from beginning to end and as I do so my brain tells me, “This is the spot where something is needed!”. Second, I use the audio of the full song’s mix to create the effect. You can here the kind of transition I am talking about at :06 seconds right before the vocal starts:

Here’s how it was done using Ableton Live:

  • I rendered one bar of the full song exactly where the transition is going to be placed.
  • I created a new Audio Track.
  • I delete the audio on all the channels where the new transition will be (cut a hole).
  • I drag my rendered clip into the arrangement on the newly created audio track and place it horizontally where I created the hole.
  • Now I play back the song. It should sound just like you have not done anything yet.
  • I experiment by loading different effect plug-ins on the new audio channel where the rendered clip sits. I try and find some heavy mangling plug-ins to really make the transition stand out.
  • I re-render the clip with effects on it. I will usually do 4 different variations.
  • I delete the plug-ins and the original plain rendered clip leaving a blank channel again.
  • I drag in each of my rendered variations one by one replacing them with each other and listening to figure out which one is the most interesting fit.
  • I also reverse each variation (in the Clip View) and listen to how that sounds.

Usually by this point I have a wicked sounding transition. In the audio sample I above I also cut and repeated the last 4 sixteenth notes and automated Ableton’s built in high pass filter to sweep down.

This process may seem like overkill but its the minor sweet effects that are the icing on a good song.

Stamba remix with Creative Commons samples.

The next release on my record label is by French DJ and producer Stamba. I am remixing one of the songs called Deviation. All the tracks on the release are what you would call darkwave, ebm, techno. Don’t you love all these sub-genres? Take a listen:

I recreated his original song in Ableton Live, keeping his vocals but using all my own sounds. Some of the gear and plug-ins used include a Jomox Mbase-01, Vermona DRM1 MKIII, Audiorealism Bassline, Korg Legacy, PSP Nitro, Fabfilter Volcano 2, assorted TC Powercore dynamics and Sugar Bytes Effectrix.

We have released the remix samples under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License. If you want to grab the samples for your own fun head to the discography page for this release at Things to Come Records:
thingstocome.com/discog/TTC-017

The full release will be available on August 4, 2008.