Friday, October 29, 2010

IK Multimedia is proud to announce that AmpliTube 2 for iPhone is now available on iTunes app store!

Have Your Guitar Recording Studio Always In Your Pocket.

This is a major update to the leading guitar amp and fx system for iPhone and it is one of the most powerful music creation apps available.

When combined with the
iRig interface adapter, you can now take with you a complete effects rig, a powerful mobile recording studio and a superb practicing tool, all in one!

Here are the new free features included with
AmpliTube, LE and FREE:

    New recorder with insert FX and re-amping

    New speedtrainer to slow down/speed-up imported songs

    Enhanced sound quality derived from AmpliTube 3

    Import songs directly from your iPod library on your device

    Import songs directly from iTunes with file sharing

    Export recordings to iTunes as WAVs with file sharing

    Send recordings by email as MP3s

    New preset naming

    New set-up panel with input/output settings and metering

    Now settings can be retained after closing the app

    Keep playing with the app in background with multi-tasking

And to expand your recording and playing capabilities even more, here's what is new as in-app purchase:

    New 4-track recorder with pan, volume, send FX and insert FX + New Master FX section with Reverb, EQ and Compressor (available for only $9.99)

    5 New Stomps effects suitable for playing or recording guitar, bass or any other type of instruments or vocals: Compressor, Reverb, Parametric EQ, Graphic EQ and Limiter (available for only $2.99)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Review of “Mixing and Mastering with IK Multimedia T-Racks, The official guide”, by Bobby Owsinski.

I have reviewed books in the past. Also, in the past I have used many a good ole' book, as reference guides, as I learned how to use new recording software and/or musical recording equipment. I use books for vital information about scales, musical theory, and just about every musical topic that you can name. None of which have been so simple for me to consume knowledge from, or as easy for me to understand as “Mixing and Mastering with IK Multimedia T-Racks, The official guide”, by Bobby Owsinski and published by Cengage Learning, has. This is a powerful statement for me to make, so let me explain what I mean.

I knew enough about mixing and mastering to be dangerous. The more that I learned about mixing and/or mastering the more confused I became, and the more questions I had. I had all sorts of questions about when to use “limiters” or “compressors” to clean up a track, and what about using EQ's when it comes to perceived levels of frequency? Yep, with each new thing that I seem to learn, two more questions pop into my mind.
With just the very first time that I thumbed through “Mixing and Mastering with IK Multimedia T-Racks, The official guide”, Bobby Owsinski, I had most of these answers! Bobby Owsinski relates to us the “overall art of mixing and mastering” with explaining (broadly) just what mixing and mastering is. He does not try to over complicate a single thing, even though with his background and experience, he certainly could. I understood just what he had to say, without any new questions!
Bobby Owsinski has been mixing and mastering for a very long time. He “speaks” the same language that all of us recording nuts speak. He has a way of explaining things simply. With each paragraph that I skimmed, the mystery of mixing and mastering seemed to dissolve.

Bobby Owsinski starts “Mixing and Mastering with IK Multimedia T-Racks, The official guide”, with explaining just what each unit that ships in IK Multimedias T-Racks does, and how to set it up for best use. This section alone is a worthy read, and worth the price of the book alone!

Bobby Owsinski explains just what turning each knob on the T-Racks devices actually does. Bobby Owsinski explains when to use just which device and how they are most often used in mixing and mastering. Keep in mind that the whole time he is speaking as a musician, so I seldom needed to re-read a single sentence of “Mixing and Mastering with IK Multimedia T-Racks, The official guide”. However, you will want to re-read this because this is awesome stuff!

Next, Bobby Owsinski actually answers the very questions that we all want to know. Things like “at what stage is a song considered ready for mixing?”, “When, and exactly what do I compress”, “How do I set up the compressor, and which type of music do I compress differently”, etc. Have you ever asked questions like these? Well, ask no more. Just read what Bobby Owsinski has to say.

Not only does Bobby Owsinski answer these all too common questions in “Mixing and Mastering with IK Multimedia T-Racks, The official guide”, but he has a way of conveying confidence to the reader! His simple way of looking at mixing and mastering really conveys inspiration. For the very first time, instead of thinking the usual “That mixing voodoo magic is way too complicated, and better left up to the engineers to accomplish”, I actually thought to myself “Hey, I can really do this!”. I was gearing up to mix my own music!

Next, as the book reads, is a section dealing with proper monitoring. A simple enough topic, but with huge results! I decided to implement Bobby's advice when it came to monitor placement. He discusses how to “listen” to our music, and also how to practice listening to music prior to a mixing session. Bobby writes about placing monitor speakers as to better hear what is happening. By doing this very step, using Bobby Owsinskis exact measurements, I could not believe the difference in separation and spacial quality of the music coming out of my monitors! In fact it made many prior unheard mistakes become glaring issues. Now I know what is meant by the term “the sweet spot”, and will have better mixes from here on.

Perhaps the chapter that has become my favorite to read and re-read, is titled “Using T-Racks Dynamics during mixing”. I can't tell you the amount of “aaahhhhaaaa” moments I have had. Bobby Owsinski also explains which T-Racks devices “sound” better when placed onto certain types of tracks.

This chapter was quickly followed up with Chapter Four “Using the T-Racks EQ and Metering during mixing”. These two chapters together have changed my process for the better. Bobby Owsinski explains what to look for while using the meters, and how to get the best sound out of what you have, and all the time while using T-Racks devices! Who knew that I had what it takes to better mix all along?

Bobby Owsinski makes sure to explain that each song is different, each genre needs its own unique set of adjustments, and that the most important piece of gear is our very ears. Bobby details the simple tricks that we can all do in order to tune up our ears before each session.

The over all theme here is that Bobby Owsinski not only gives us the information that we so desperately crave, but he also writes as a musician. He inspires confidence into the reader as he relates that this can actually be done at home with T-Racks! He just has an uncanny way of sparking that flame of confidence in the reader, and he actually manages to relate the mixing and mastering processes as a “You can do this” type of task. Well done!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Propellerheads Record drum takes demo!

Recently I was asked to “take” the all new Record Drum Takes refill from Propellerhead for a spin. I am completely open to new, perhaps better sounding and easier to program, drum solutions. This is new ground for me, at least when it comes to using Record. Let me explain the “reason” for posting this thought, and please excuse all of the puns.

Record has already brought me much enjoyment. Record has shaved a lot of time off of my creative process, to say the least. One (and perhaps the only) minor complaint that I have with Record and/or Reason is the sampled drum sounds found within.

I find myself using the ID8 inside of Record to quickly “sketch in” the drum lines. This is fast enough due to Rex loops and midi, but this approach often lacks the specific details that I wish to accent in my drum lines. Often times I later re-visit the drum line and change from the ID8 to a couple of Redrum machines. This allows for much more realistic drum lines, better sampled sounds, more control of the samples, and it comes with all of the midi editing features that I love so darn much. However, as a “realistic sounding drum junkie” the Redrum machine, sometimes, just does not cut it. Especially when I am looking for realistic “rock and roll drum kits”. Welcome Record Drum Takes!

First of all, we are not talking about midi information or Rex files here. We are not dragging midi into a player and then selecting drum samples for the midi to trigger. Propellerhead has done their homework, and they have come up with a cool idea for their drum Refills, which is Record Drum Takes. Multi “microphone'd”, multi tracked recordings of drums! Yes, real drums!

Downloading the “Alt Rock” Record Drum Takes refill took a few moments. This usually means that a lot of information is being downloaded, and a quality product is on its way. I get cautious when plug inns don't take very long to download. Record Drum Takes Refills come with a lot of information alright, so let me explain what I have found.

The information is not so much in a ton of drum lines to choose from. However, the drum lines that you get are very well recorded, using tons of perfectly placed microphones. Each “drum line” is very well recorded and they open up into in Record like a real session would in any studio session. In fact, each “drum session” contains such extras as room mics, overhead mics, a “compressed mic channel”, and the usual microphone placed on each piece of the drum kit.

Each microphone has its own “channel” on the mixing console just like a real professionally recorded drum session would! There is a lot of information here, in Record Drum Takes , and the beat goes on.......

There is a lot going on inside of Record Drum Takes. The Record Drum Takes “drum sessions” open inside of Record in a rather brilliant way. The different styles of a session are laid out as intros, verses, choruses, bridges, and so on. At the tail end of each drum session you will find all sorts of drum rolls and fills. You simply edit the lengths of the parts that you wish to use and then add the fills where you want them. So very simple!

However, using all of the usual copy/paste/select sort of edits that I usually perform while in Reason and Record ,(while using the Record Drum Takes Refill) took a few minutes to understand. In fact, it is different that what I was used to. This was entirely my fault, though, as I was in the middle of a “Cool new software rush”.

Since the drums are actually recorded in a multi track format, with actual microphones running all over the kit, you must select/copy/paste the entire “stack” of tracks as a whole. Each drum and/or cymbal hit is picked up on many of the different tracks, through each of the microphones. At first, this sent me into a confusion due to drums being heard where I did not want then to be heard after I edited a part. hit me!

I was dealing with the real deal here! Mic bleed is a real thing that happens as we record drums in recording studios, and Record Drum Takes is just that. So, make sure to delete/copy/paste/select the entire row (top to bottom) of drum microphone inputs as you work with the Record Drum Takes. Just to put what I am saying in another way, if you like the hi hats in one part of the drumline, and you decide to copy it and paste it into another part of your song, then you must use (copy and paste) all of the tracks (snare, kick, room, etc) in the copy and paste.

Now that I understand where I was getting muffled drum hits (or ghost notes)from, I corrected my mistakes. Now I find working with Propellerheads Record Drum Takes the only way to go! The drums being edited are real, they are played by real people, and they are recorded in a real studio.

Lastly, Record Drum Takes has an embeded NNXT, as a seperate instrument. The good folks at Propellerhead thought to include this NNXT set up with all of the drum hits laid out across your midi keyboard. This makes for easy adding of last minute cymbals or whatever else you might need. Plus, the bonus of getting these midi notes right on a grid, plus quantizing them, is alweays a joy.

The Record Drum Takes work in Record just as you think that they might. If you have ever used a mixing console to record multi-tracks of drums, then you will feel very comfortable using Record Drum Takes Refills. Record uses the best possible approach when it comes to use. The mixing console is the best recognized item in a studio, and we all know how to use them.

Propellerheads Record Drum Takes is a home recording/multi trackers dream. I now have a choice, well, when it comes to drums anyway. I have “midi programmable” live samples that I can program in Pro Tools, or I can add real multi track drum scores into my recordings. It will be interesting to see which way I go from here!

Propellerhead has a very cool idea in Record Drum Takes. They sound amazing. They are easy to use. I love how I can perform simple EQ and compression tasks to these drum tracks (just like in a studio) and get the exact results that the pros get. These recorded drums are of professional quality! I ask you all, “what else should we be placing into our recordings but the best?”.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Here is my first video review for Propellerheads Record 1.5 and Reason version 5. This video is only 10 minutes in length, but that is enough to get my likes and dislikes across.

The next post will cover Propellerheads new Drum Takes for Record 1.5. See you then!

Please do not forget to enter to win your very own Irig from IK Multimedia, and me, the Home Recording Weekly blog! Follow this here link to learn how easy it is to enter!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Propellerhead Releases Record Drum Takes vol. 1–3

Three new ReFills bring multitrack live drums for Record

Propellerhead Software today announced the immediate availability of Record Drum Takes—big league rock and pop multitrack drums played by skilled session drummers for Propellerhead's brand new recording software Record. Record Drum Takes builds a steady foundation for any rock or pop creation.

Each Record Drum Takes ReFill arrives in Record song format with two separate three minute backing tracks of live drumming, organized in classic song form with intro, verse, chorus, bridge and breakdown, fills and variations. Alt Rock comes with hard-hitting, American drums with lots of attitude inspired by alternative and college rock, Folk Rock brings a large, warm sound, with plenty of room, while Dry Indie provides two classic, laidback, dry and distinct indie pop drum tracks.

The differently styled tracks in the Record Drum Takes ReFills all come as multitrack recordings, allowing users to freely shape the drum sound by adjusting the levels of the independent kick, snare, hihat, room, ambient and other microphones. Cut across all eight drum tracks to arrange and rearrange once the drum sound has been mixed to perfection. Play along to the Record Drum Takes drum arrangements, or paste them into an existing song. The entire drum mix will follow right along, and utilizing Record's automatic time-stretch, Drum Takes instantly adapts to the song’s tempo.

Included with the Record Drum Takes ReFill are also multisampled versions of the kits, for adding that extra snare or crash cymbal right where it is needed.

Although recorded using state of the art technology in a professional recording facility and performed by an experienced drummer with an unmistakable feel for music—the playing in these Record Drum Takes ReFills is sparse and to the point: a perfect foundation for any alternative, pop or rock production.

Pricing and availability....
The three Record Drum Takes ReFills Alt Rock, Folk Rock and Dry Indie are available exclusively for download through Propellerhead’s web shop today, at EUR €29 / USD $29 each.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

IK Multimedia Releases “Mixing and Mastering with T-RackS -The Official Guide”

Learn mixing and mastering from world-class pro-audio author, producer and engineer, Bobby Owsinski

IK Multimedia and Course Technology PTR/Cengage Learning are pleased to announce the release of the official mixing and mastering guide for the award-winning T-RackS software, “Mixing and Mastering with T-RackS, The Official Guide”, written by world-renowned pro-audio author, producer and audio engineer, Bobby Owsinski.

Mixing and Mastering with T-RackS, The Official Guide” offers home studios, pro musicians and engineers a personally guided tour of T-RackS 3 software from studio legend, Bobby Owsinski. In this inspiring 192 page pro-audio guide, they will learn how to professionally polish their recordings and mixes with T-RackS 3 mastering software, giving them the techniques needed to achieve the professional sound quality required to finalize their audio productions – from studio to radio, podcast, television or feature film soundtracks.

Featuring T-RackS 3 software modules, this essential pro-audio handbook teaches musicians the full spectrum of all types of audio processing from the most widely used signal processors, as Bobby Owsinski demystifies the real usage of compressors, limiters and EQs, all while providing real world examples of their sonic effects. “Mixing and Mastering with T-RackS, The Official Guide” includes the crucial principles of mixing and mastering audio, with techniques such as: how to prepare the environment and mindset for mixing, and how to set up the studio for optimal monitoring. Not only that, but Bobby Owsinski guides the reader step-by-step and clearly explains the mastering world, providing solid advice on “gluing” audio tracks together to create the feel and mood that musicians and engineers want to hear from their mastered audio files and recordings.

Chapters Include: Mix Preparation, Monitoring, Using T-RackS Dynamics during Mixing, Using the T-RackS EQ and Metering during Mixing, Mix Buss Compression, Preparation for Mastering, Introduction to Mastering, Monitoring during Mastering, Metering, Mastering, Mastering with T-RackS 3 and Exporting Your Project.

“T-RackS is a simple yet powerful app that has all of the features you need to do a great mastering job. One of the things that’s makes all T-RackS versions so popular is the warm analog sound that the processor modules provide, since they closely emulate the circuitry of some of the vintage hardware devices that many pros have come to love. Modeling the sound of a piece of hardware is not a trivial process, but IK Multimedia gets better and better at what amounts to a new art form.” Bobby Owsinski, award-winning songwriter, producer, engineer, and author of audio handbooks

Pricing and Availability:

Bobby Owsinski’s new book, “Mixing and Mastering with T-RackS -The Official Guide” can be purchased directly from the IK Multimedia web store ( , or through, Barnes &, and from select IK Multimedia music instrument retailers and distributors around the world for a list price of $29.99 U.S.D. (excluding taxes).

For more info and a 10-day, fully functional trial version of T-RackS 3, please visit: .


Serj Tankian, Propellerhead Software and Electronic Musician would like to invite fans to get creative and remix "Disowned Inc.", a track off of Tankian's new album, Imperfect Harmonies.

Beginning right now, Propellerhead is offering a fully functional trial version of its newly released Record Software to the first 500 people to download from the link below.

Participants of the contest will also be provided with a link to download the instrumental and vocal stems of “Disowned Inc.” to begin their remix and will have until November 7, 2010 to submit their entry.

Entries will be judged by Serj's record label, Serjical Strike. Serj will pick the 1st and 2nd place winners amongst the 5 finalists.

The Grand Prize will include the Full Suite (Reason and Record) from Propellerhead Software + a signed copy of 'Imperfect Harmonies' + a Serj Tankian t-shirt. The runner up will win the Reason Propellerhead software + a signed copy of 'Imperfect Harmonies' + a Serj Tankian t-shirt.

Good luck everyone!

Go here (link to to create your Propellerhead User account (If you already have a User Account, you do not need to create a new one).

Download the Record software here (link to

Email after you have downloaded the software to receive your unique code to unlock all the features of Record and receive your download link to the audio stems for “Disowned Inc.” within 12 hours.

Create your remix as a wave/aif file and then convert it to an mp3 format (no larger than 6mb).

Submit your entry to by November 7, 2010.

Serjical Strike will announce the 5 top finalists as well as the 1st and 2nd place winners on November 22, 2010.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Record 1.5 review.

Upon opening and installing Record 1.5 and Reason 5, I was helplessly pondering the question of “Would this software actually change the way in which I record?”. After spending many long weeks using Record 1.5 and Reason 5 at the recording desk, my answer is a loud and proud “Yes!!”. Let me explain ...

I decided to spend some time working with this incredible, and very powerful software before posting a single word about it. You know, just so that I could “get to know it inside and out before I dare to compare it to the whole Pro Tools thingy”. So, I decided to clear my current “project list” and to spend some time creating some new music, using nothing but Record 1.5, Reason 5, my M-box as the audio interface, and some instruments like an electric guitar (via direct-in) and an acoustic guitar via some condenser microphones. Everything else would come straight from Record 1.5 and Reason 5.

To begin, I am extremely impressed! In fact, more impressed than I ever thought that I would be. Let the “ever loud fact” that I have not opened up Pro Tools, at all, since I first opened up Record 1.5, stand for just how impressed I am. Propellerhead has found a way to include the quick passed recording and editing tools of their Reason software and placed these work styles and tools into Record 1.5.

Perhaps the single most important fact that impresses me the most with Record 1.5, is the speed in which I am able to get audio recorded. It is captured before it is ever forgotten.

The three main “screens” or areas that you work on music within Record 1.5 are very comfortable to work with, very well laid out, and every bit as realistic as one can ever hope for! This only adds to the speed of a session, as I felt rather familiar using Record 1.5, right from the start. This software has completely changed the way that I audition new ideas, and for the better!!!

The second most important fact that I love so much about using Record 1.5 is just how great this freshly recorded audio sounds!

The EQ section is very well laid out, and also offers a high pass filter and a low pass filter right at the top of the track on the console! Then there is a compressor section, effects routing, and lastly the usual panning dial and volume sliders. You see, Record 1.5 has been designed with the home recording musician in mind. The main section, or one of the three main screens, of Record 1.5 is set up just like a mixing board found in every recording studio that I have ever been in. Modeled after a professional mixing console, Record 1.5 makes it a snap to get my tracks, and my entire mixes, tight and right, right from the get go.

Whats more, Record 1.5 is set up to work like Reason in certain cases. What I mean is that one can quickly solo a track, and “loop play” it back. This makes for dialing in a tracks EQ a cinch, and then combining it with the other tracks (sonically) a breeze as well. It is these little ideas that are worked into Record 1.5 that make it so darned comfortable, and so quick to use.

The ID8 has become my newest very best friend!

This creative tool lets me get my ideas down fast; so they are not lost. Plus, the ID8 is easy to use when I re-visit these first ideas and build upon them. The ID8 can be drums, pianos, and many other “quick writing instruments” that one might need in a hurry. Within each instrument type, there are several different selections for them, right on the instruments face plate! For example, if you choose drums with the ID8, you can quickly select from acoustic kits, electronic kits, and techno kits. This makes writing easy and fast, just what I like!

Now, with Record 1.5, creating a track to record on, adding the instrument you wish to record with, and then recording your parts can be done with two or three mouse clicks. This is true for midi instruments and analog instruments alike! Wow, this is refreshing!

Included in Record 1.5 are POD guitar and bass interface modules, with great sounding amps, speaker cabs, and effects. This makes “plug and play” truly possible. Once more, I can now record a guitar track in mere seconds, and then work with it just like it is midi!

That is what I said, “just like audio is midi”. This is just one more feature that I just love, love, love. Because of this single feature, I will have a hard time ever learning to record without Record 1.5.

Arranging your music is just one more of the many fast and the easy things to accomplish while using Record 1.5. With the unique “blocks” option, and the whole Reason-like song line interface, moving entire sound clips is easy! Re-arranging your music becomes a simple task, as well as the usual copying and pasting of clips.

What's more, Record 1.5 seems to know just what editing task it is that you are doing and/or just what it is that you want to perform. I found that in the older versions of Reason, I struggled with many of the (copy, paste, etc.) tasks. Record 1.5 seems to follow along with your edits, and puts the cursor just where I needed it to be. It is uncanny, in fact, how well this software works along with the music writer/editor.

So, now that I have explained my favorite things about Record 1.5, the question still remains. Is Record 1.5 as good as ProTools?

I shall answer this in two ways. First of all, we must ask “as good as.... at what?”. If I were to choose only one of the two programs for getting music down quickly and easily, it would be Record 1.5, hands down. If we are talking about minute mixing and/or mastering to video, then Pro Tools wins, hands down.

Record 1.5 will be my “go-to” program from now on, for roughing out songs. I will (from today on) choose Record 1.5 for writing, recording, and mixing all of my new songs. However, I will then “dump” them into Pro Tools for all of the extreme editing and/or mastering, as well as the ability of using all of my much cherished plug ins. I simply like my Toontrack and IK Multimedia RTAS plug inns way, way too much.