Tech Tip's

File Sharing

            These days there are so many new programs that come available it’s hard to decide which ones are best to use. Having these programs is essential in today’s market place. With many independent companies collaborating over long distances it is necessary to pick the correct file-sharing program.
            Having clients that need photos, videos, and audio files for projects are not always the easiest to deliver. With programs like Dropbox and Gobbler you can share rather large files with the click of a button. These programs allow the user to meet the requirements of their clients without fail.
            Dropbox is simple to use. First step is to create an account on their website. Next you will create one or more folders within that account. These folders are where you will upload files you wish to share. When you hold the cursor over one of the folders, a chain link icon will show up all the way to the right. Click the icon and add an email account of the person you want to share a file with. It’s that simple. For even more simplicity to the process install the Dropbox program on to your computer. This allows for you to open a Dropbox folder on your computer like you would any other folder.
            Gobbler is also simple to use program that allows for file sharing, but works much better for those really big files. Just like Dropbox you must go to their website and create an account and install their software on your computer. To share a file open the Gobbler program you installed on your computer and sign in to your account. Click the send file button. Enter the email address to which you want to send files to. Click the plus button to add a file then click the send button. It’s that simple.
            There is one thing that both of these programs require. The person you are sending the file to must also have an account set up through Dropbox or Gobbler. Other than that you are set up and ready to start sharing files. I have been able to share files with people from LA, New York City, Canada, and even the UK. Don’ t limit yourself because of your location, install and get to work!

                       Jason A Phillips

Printing a Wave from Studio Drummer

From time to time we don’t always have a live drummer or even a drum set available to us. The next best thing is to have your drums programmed in MIDI but if you’re like me you don’t want to run all of your mixing and effects through your contact player. By printing your MIDI data out of plug-ins like Kontakt Player you can save computer-processing power for other things. I am going to describe how to do this using Studio Drummer and Pro Tools. Other DAW’s will work the same way a Pro Tools does in this tutorial. 
The first you should do is have MIDI already written in on an instrument track. You should have studio drummer open and getting sound back from the drum kit you have chosen. We need to know how many audio tracks to create in Pro Tools so I will count how many pieces of the drum kit I will use. This is how many audio tracks I make inside of Protools. In the viewfinder of Kontakt there are four tabs that let you select mixer, kit, options, or grooves. By clicking on the kit tab you will visually see the drum kit that is loaded. At the top of the Kontakt player there is a tab labeled output. It looks like a keyboard. Make sure this is on. Once this is on select add channels. Create a mono channel for your kick, snare, HI hat, toms, and a room mic. Create 2 stereo tracks as well, one for your overheads and one for your room mic’s. When you click on add channel tab a menu will open. We select the number of mono tracks we want (8 because we have four toms, kick, snare, hi hat, and room mono). We change the number of channels to one. This makes it a mono channel. Next in the menu is a pull down menu labeled sound card/host output. Scroll down and select unassigned one. Make sure below this a check mark is in the box labeled ascending output assignment. This will label the rest of you seven mono track in order as follows; unassigned 2, unassigned 3, unassigned 4, and so on. Press ok. Click on the bottom of the fade you just created and name them accordingly. Select the mixer tab in the viewer. This is where you will mix the studio drummer drum kit to the Kontakt player. Click the kick drum fader that is all the way to the left. There is a menu underneath the fader that changes when you click different part of the drum kit. I suggest turning off all effect Eq, trans, comp, and tape. You will know that it is off when the yellow light is out. Make sure you are on the settings tab from this same menu. All the way to the right side you will see “output” with a menu pull down. Open it and select what ever you labeled the kick drum as. If you do not see it, the third button from the right at the top is an exclamation mark. Press it. It will reload your settings. Open the menu and select your kick drum. Then go to the snare fader select the settings tab and select the snare drum from menu. Continue until your drum kit is fully loaded. You don’t always need to load tambourine and hand claps so no need to add them if your not using them. Next you need stereo channels for overheads and room mic’s. Select add channels tab this time making stereo channels. Instead of selecting unassigned channels you must select aux. 1. It will automatically put in aux. Left and aux. Right in. Go to you mixer and select OH ST, settings, and select from the pull down menu what ever you named you overheads. Do the same for the fader labeled room. These are your room mic’s and the fader labeled OH M is your mono room mic. Now let go into Pro Tools and create your audio tracks if you haven’t already. Go to your input menu, plug ins, Kontakt player, and select unassigned 1. This assigned your kick drum to that track. Repeat this until your drum kit is playing back through Pro Tools. You can make your room mic and overheads a stereo track or mono. Chose whichever way you prefer to mix. Now all you have to do is record arm your tracks hit record and play. Once this is done it’s a good idea to hide and make your instrument track inactive and you are saving power. 
This process is simple once you do it a few times. Feel free to experiment and try different things with effects and mixing before the printing process. Hope this helps. Enjoy!


             Jason A Phillips

Consistent Mixes - K System

         I would like to explain how I set up my monitors using the K System that was proposed by Bob Katz. By doing this your mixes will be more consistent and reliable. In order to complete this exercise you will need a SPL meter.

         The first thing you must do is decide which K system you would like to use K-20, K-14, or K-12. Each of the three K-systems have there own use. K-20 is for Large theaters, audiophile music, and classical (pg8). K-14 is for home productions, home theaters, and other compressed pop music ranging from folk to hard rock. K-12 is used for broadcasting. I will set my system to K-20. This is what most productions should be mixed at. It will allow for the K-14 to be used at its full potential during the mastering phase of the project.
          I will next turn all of my monitors to 0, all the way down so no sound is audible. Also turn the volume up to max on whatever interface you are using. Open the signal generator you want to use and select pink noise, RMS, and set the output to -20 db. Note that once the first speaker is set I will need to reroute the signal generator to send signal to each individual speaker throughout the process. It is important to calibrate each speaker individually. Next I will choose one speaker and turn the volume up on that speaker only. I will then sit in the mix position and read the SPL meter. I will adjust the volume level on the monitor until the SPL meter reads 85 db. I will continue this process for all of the speakers I need to set (stereo or 5.1).

Special Note Digi 003 5.1 Users: Running 5.1 on a 003 unit is possible but in doing so you lose the volume control knob unless you have an external volume control unit that supports 5.1. What you must do is set your master fader to 0db and run thru the process above skipping the volume section. The difference is the +4db output of each channel on the back of the 003. Think of the +4db output on your 003 as turning master volume up all the way. During the mixing you are about to do be sure to lower your master volume in the DAW to a manageable listening level (I like somewhere between -10db and -15db). Remember during bounce down of the project to set master fader back to 0db before bouncing down. I like to turn my speakers off during this part because 85db is extremely loud listening. This is not the most perfect solution to the problem but it will get you by until you can afford a proper 5.1 monitoring system.

Friendly Fact: Mixing with lower monitor volumes will make your mixes sound more compressed.        

  Jason A Phillips   

Sync Ptrotools & Logic Pro on Mac 

This summer I was asked to record some drums for an artist out of town and I was aloud to use my home studio. This excited me to be part of this project but right off the bat I was worried that I could not fully capture every drum properly. At the time I was limited to only eight inputs and wanted to properly record drums by using at least twelve inputs. My solution to this problem was to buy a second interface (presonus fire studio) to connect to my 003 for a total of sixteen inputs. Below is a procedure to sync these two devices together.

Sync Protools & Logic Pro on Mac

1: Open Audio MIDI Setup

Double click, IAC driver & click “more information” arrow to see port

Click the plus sign to add port then double click then new port and name it.

Click “Apply” and Close Audio MIDI Set up

2: Open protools, under “set up” menu, click “peripherals”, and select “synchronization”.

From the “MTC Generator Port” menu select the port you named from step one.

3: Open Logic Pro, set up to the same bit depth and sample rate.

Open the environment window (command + 8). There will be a line connecting the word “Sum” to the keyboard. Select the line, click and hold while dragging to the left side of the large gray box then release. The line should disappear if you have done this correctly. Close the environment window.

Under the settings menu open the synchronization tab. In the “sync mode” menu select “MTC” and change the time code to the right of “plays at SMPTE” to all zeros.

4: Time to test the sync. Click the protools program and press play. Logic should start and stop when protools starts and stops.

5: The whole purpose of having these two programs synced together is to record through two separate interfaces. I then connect the 003 to the computer and the fire studio to the 003. I then select the 003 from the playback menu in protools then select the fire studio in logic. To make sure each work record arm a track in each program and record through each device.

Jason A Phillips


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