Apr 19, 2010 Mikail Graham Special

Apr - 05 2010 | By

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DIGITAL AUDIO PLUG-INS – EPISODE 1: WAVES 'digital signal processing pioneers'

Waves Contact Info

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  Join guest host Mikail Graham on the April 19 episode of ZenTech, where he will feature an interview with Shachar Gilad, Product Marketing Manager for WAVES, a company that pioneered DSP based audio plug-ins. WAVES offers the most diverse range of DSP based audio plug-ins in the world, currently featuring more than 100 different plug-in tools for both Mac and PC based Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) such as Pro Tools, Logic Studio, Cubase, Nuendo, Sonar, Ableton LIVE and Bias Peak to name just a few of the top companies supporting this kind of technology.

Seasoned pros please note: this will be a digital audio 101 type show explaining the basics of DSP audio plug-ins, what a DAW (digital audio workstation) is, the basic of digital mixing and plug-in processing using WAVES plug-ins, along with discussing WAVES role in the history of audio plug-ins and some of their groundbreaking advancements in audio DSP.
Towards the middle of the show we will be featuring audio demos of various WAVES Signature Artist plug-ins from world renowned engineers like: Tony Masserati (Tupac Shakur, Destiny's Child, Notorious B.I.G., Black Eyed Peas and others) and Chris Lord-Alge (Green Day, U2, Foo Fighters, Bon Jovi, Dave Mathews Band and many others) and Eddie Karmer (engineer for Jimi Hendrix. Led Zeppelin  & many others). We will also touch on where WAVES is heading in the future, their online education portals, YouTube videos, WAVES Update policy, plus you'll learn how you can download FREE DEMOS of any of their plug-ins to try at your leisure in your own studio.

For info on WAVES online WEBINARS click here
To check out their Online Video Support click here
To check out ther various support Books & CDs click here
To check out the WAVES YouTube channel & tutorial videos click here
To check out a YouTube video demo of Vocal Rider click here

Thanks for your support…


 Additional Notes

Editor's comments delimited by < >

Notifications of new show notes and edits are tweeted at: twitter.com/ddhart
They're tagged with #Zentech

Mikail hosted the show alone, today. For most of the hour, he played a prerecorded interview.

Early sound recording/editing programs were incompatible with each other. In the late 1980s things changed when audio plugins came along. For modern editing programs that are capable, new features can be added by installing a plugin, a relatively short piece of code, no need to replace the entire program. For instance, you can make the audio sound like it was recorded on tape or amplified with a vacuum tube amp or add reverb.
Some programs that support plugins…
On the Mac:
Digital Performer, Pro Tools, Logic, Garage Band, Bias Peak and others.
On the PC:
Nuendo, Cubase, Sonar and others.
Plugins cost vary from shareware to $1000 or more. And, since they usually focus on a small set of features, learning use them tends to be simple.

Shachar Gilad the product marketing manager for the Israeli company Waves was interviewed. The company pioneered digital sound processing using plugins. They support virtually all current editing programs with about 150 plugins.

Their first plugins were Q10 and L1 for the program called Sound Designer.

Shachar described how early mixing was done with hardware. A simple analogy is adjusting the equalizer or treble on your stereo. Then Q10 came along to do the equalization using software. L1 was a level maximizer and allowed the audio to sound as loud as it could and still be friendly to all playback mechanisms. There are plugins now that allow doing many more effects.

"Artist signature" plugins try to emulate the effects that a particular mixing engineer (usually someone well known) would use, personalizing the resulting effect and allowing you to see how they achieved it.

"Modeling" emulates, in software, particular hardware gear that sound engineers used in the past, including how it looks and sounds (filter curves, harmonic distortion, noise, etc.).

Before and after examples of edited tracks were played.

They talked about "formats" <I'm not clear on this concept, but I think it's about how the plugins handle the data internally while they're doing their thing>. They talked about time division multiplexing (TDM) and native formats, saying many people think TDM sounds better than native though native is being used more these days.

Waves has clinics, webinars & videos to help people get up to speed on using plugins. They also have an educational division at sound.org where books are available for would-be sound engineers. And they have an education program with certification.

Demos of their plugins are available that you can use free for 10 days, along with tech support.

Vocal Writer is a leveling plugin for editing vocal tracks. It's different than a compressor in that it doesn't "color" the sound. It also automatically adjusts the vocal level to sound good as other musical instruments change their volume.

Ban Piracy is an initiative, in conjunction with Waves, to discourage the pirating of audio software.

Their consumer division has psycho-acoustic technology called Maxx that tricks the mind into thinking it's hearing sound that's bigger than it really is. This is useful in the case of TV speakers, which tend to be physically small, as well as the sound from laptops & telephone speakers.

Waves also working on tools for mixing engineers who work in live venues such as concerts.

Informative videos from Waves can be found here.

There was just enough time to take one caller who asked for the best way to transfer files between various studio software programs.
– Various companies have tried to develop methods but they don't always work right.
– Mikail recommends saving separate full-length tracks so they remain synchronized. Then save them out to a drive, like a flash drive. And remember to save at a sufficiently high quality to preserve fidelity.

Mikail invited listeners with questions to email him at…
tosradio at gmail dot com

Last updated: 7:15 PM 4/19/2010 

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