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Miscellaneous Tools for Audio - Read 1st


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Here is an alphabetical list of tool topics in this section:






NOTE: When creating a new topic for any reason in this area, please include the name of the tool in the subject. It will make searching for tool-related topics MUCH easier.

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  • 2 years later...

Here's my list - along with a little info on some of it in case you don't know what you're looking for.


I don't approve of Sony software but they have a free 8 track editor called acid xpress out there that's good for those of you who don't have any dough to spend.

If you have money Sonar X1 Producer is my choice but X2 is coming out soon - or here already. That's just the stability vs new features thing.

Then of course there is ProTools - they are now making hardware independent versions of their stuff available in various "levels" for different types of clients. Pretty much anyone who has a hundred bucks to spare can afford SOME version of their software

I don't use steinberg stuff but I've heard good and bad about cubase

Ableton live is a possibility, though more of a dj/performance tool.

Logic is pretty cool if you have an apple machine of course.



Then there are the NI tools in the Komplete package for sound designers: Massive (synth), FM8(fm synth), Reaktor (the biggest most incredible modular synth ever - more like a programming language really), Kontakt (a really cool sampler with TONS of default sounds), Guitar Rig (lots of studio effects and simulated amps), Battery3 (think a combination sampler and synth but for drums), AB Synth 5 (semi modular synth which is great for long evolving organic sounding pads and soundscapes. GREAT for games) also there are several synths within reaktor (you can build synths within this synth) plus the user community of synths - and it has thousands of them. If you want to design your own sounds, I HIGHLY recommend this stuff. It's roughly 500 but worth every penny, and you get a pretty box and a free dl of a kontakt instrument - sampled vintage synths. Good stuff. If you pick this up don't just use the presets, even though there are plenty, learn to make your own stuff, get in the guts of it and you'll never need another synth.


if you're really into sound you might try one sony tool i think is pretty badass - Sony Spectra Layers Pro. You can visually edit the audio spectrum of your file in time, amplitude, and frequency, using a spectrogram. Oh and by the way the spectrogram turns 3d if you want it to...not very useful but it's a cool trick. You can do a lot of work with this but where it really shines is things like pulling 3rd 5th and 8th harmonics out of a voice and grabbing a little noise - exporting it to a file and then throwing it in your copy of Kontakt or whatever other sampler you have. You can draw in frequencies or harmonics or noise. The tools are rather basic if you 're used to stuff like photoshop but it's pretty cool if you're used to twiddling knobs. This tool DOES take a very intricate knowledge of how sound works though. If you don't have a formal education in sound either don't get this tool or plan to get the education. It's utterly useless without some sort of education in the science of sound. The good part about is that it integrates with your DAW (sonar, protools, etc) so you can open a sound in it and get what you want then send it straight to your project. It runs something like $399 though - like i said only buy it if you understand what you're playing with or you'll get bored fast. It has a demo that is ...30 days i think. Try before you buy.


anyhow - before I write a complete primer on building your studio and recording (which I actually started to do just now - got one paragraph in and decided to save it for later) I'm going to have a snack and go to sleep. Good luck to all you aspiring sound people - and remember that with all the equipment we have, it's not really the money or the gear that limits you (think about what they had in the 60s, 70s, and 80s - anyone can have that now) but instead what you know and your creativity. Commit to being creative.

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