Monday, 30 June 2008

Bob Katz on Mastering

Electronic Musician has an interview with the mastering engineer Bob Katz, author of "Mastering Audio: The art and the science"

In the interview Bob discusses various mastering-related issues such as advice for artists/recordists bringing their products in for mastering, mastering techniques (the use of compressors, filters, EQ, M-S, etc...) and the "loudness race".

Scripting in Kontakt

Electronic Musician has an article on Scripting in Kontakt; it is aimed primarily at v3 but it seems as though everything would apply to v2 as well.

It takes you through how to declare variables, set up interface controls, handle note handling and MIDI controllers. It also gives you some basic example scripts that you can use as a starting point for your own custom scripts.

Another useful site is Nils Liberg's Scripting Tools. Here he offers a freeware script editor specifiaclly designed for handling Kontakt Script code - this is useful as it includes many helpful features such as highlighted syntax code which will make it easier to produce complex scripts. He also offers some of his own custom scripts for download which you can either use as is or edit/tweak them to suit your specfic needs. Nils has also written a fairly comprehensive scripting tutorial which you can access from his site.

Another useful resource is the Kontakt forum on the Virtual Instrument Composers Forum which has regular posts discussing scripting and other Kontakt based issues.

Article on the business side of game audio

Electronic Musician has an article called "Preparing for a career om game audio production".

Its reasonably useful, but mainly it stresses that you must know about your chosen profession and the "tools of the trade" ie software packages, audio editors, etc...

Interview with Ben Burtt from MoviesOnline

MoviesOnline has an interview with Ben Burtt, primarliy focussing on his new film, Wall-E, but he also discusses some of the fundamentals of sound design / sound for film.

He talks about his use of a graphics tablet to provide him with an expressive input to control sound files:
"I could reassemble the Wall-E vocals and perform it with a light pen on a tablet. You could change pitch by moving the pen or the pressure of the pen would sustain or stretch syllables or consonants and you could get an additional level of performance that way, kind of like playing a musical instrument. But that process had artifacts in it, things that made it unlike human speech, glitches you might say, things you might throw away if you were trying to convince someone it was a human voice. That’s what we liked, that electronic alias thing that went along with it, because that helped make the illusion that the sound was coming from a voice box or some kind of circuit depending on the character."

He also discusses how he likes to use real sounds when working on sci-fi / fantasy films as it helps to convince the audience that what they are hearing could actually exist:
"The world is full of sound and we found for a science fiction film like this – and others I’ve done – the idea of taking real natural sounds and imposing them into the fantasy film gives the illusion that these things are real because we kind of recognize them even though we can’t identify them specifically, but you say “Oh, it sounds like it is really a motor so I kind of believe it.” That has been the trick in these films."

All in, an interesting interview that gives you a little insight into the creative process involved in this new film and also some background info on the sound design industry in general.

Friday, 27 June 2008


via createdigitalmusic

The AirPiano is gesture sensing MIDI controller. It consists of an Arduino board and IR sensors, the prototype instrument provides the user 3 layers each of which contains 8 individual "virtual switch". When a switch is triggered a MIDI note message is passed and a LED under the switch is activated to provide the user with visual feedback to aid in the learning of the instrument.

The developer has posted 2 youtube videos of the AirPiano in use:
The first demonstrates its use a controller for Ableton Live.

The second demonstrates its use a more traditional melodic MIDI controller.

Whilst it looks like a fun thing to play around with I'm not convinced by it really. I don't really see the advantage over a 'normal' MIDI controller which gives you tactile feedback. The developer suggests that it could be used to make a more interesting performance which is true, but a 'normal' MIDI controller can still be played as an instrument. I think that there could be potential to do some interesting things with this controller given more time spent experimenting with it.

More info can be found at