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Posts from March 2006

Tips: FL Studio 6 - Using the browser to quickly find and load presets

Tips_fl_browserMany people load presets into FL Studio generators/instruments by clicking the "Plugin options" then selecting "Presets". The disadvantage of this method is that once you've selected a preset, the list disappears - so to load a different patch you have to go through all the clicks again.

In FL Studio 6, there is a faster way to browse and select presets for generators using the "Browse"  menu.  I've listed the steps below and provided an image of the process as a reference (click the image to see a larger view).

In this example, I've loaded the Wasp XT into a channel in the step sequencer. I clicked the button for the generator which launched the Wasp XT window.

In the top left corner of the window, click the "Plugin options" icon (Step 1) , then click "Browse Presets" (Step 2). This will cause all the presets for the generator in question to magically pop-up in the browser window on the left. Now you can see all the presets for the generator in question. To load a preset into the generator, simply drag from the browser to the generator (Step 3).

I hope you found this little tip helpful. Checkout our FL Studio Video Tutorials for more detailed instruciton.


M-Audio MicroTrack 24/96 - Mobile digital recorder for musicians, sound designers, podcasters - Save $99.66

Get the M-Audio MicroTrack 24/96 2-Channel Mobile Digital Recorder on Musicians Friend and save SAVE $99.96.

Whether you are a musician,  sound designer, or podcaster - one of the most important features to consider when buying a portable digital recorder is audio quality. Consumer level voice recorders and devices (such as mp3 players and PDAs) are fine for note taking, but they don't have the audio quality, or the support for pro mics that are required for pro results.

The M-Audio's Micro Track 24/69 is a high-fidelity 2-channel digital recorder that is a great choice for musicians on the go, those into podcasting, and sound designer who want to grab sounds at remote locations, then import the recordings into their digital audio editing software. Check out these features:

M-Audio MicroTrack 24/96 2-Channel Mobile Digital Recorder Features:

  • 2-channel WAV and MP3 recording and playback
  • Storage via convenient CompactFlash or microdrives
  • Drag-and-drop file transfer to PC and Mac via USB 2.0
  • Separate left and right input level controls with signal and peak indicators
  • Professional balanced 1/4" TRS inputs with mic/line switch
  • Dual microphone preamps with phantom power for studio microphones
  • 1/8" TRS input with 5V power for use with stereo electret microphone (microphone included)
  • S/PDIF coaxial input for digital transfers
  • Monitoring via RCA line outputs or 1/8" stereo headphone output
  • Stereo output level control
  • LCD screen
  • Navigation, record, hold, pause, delete, menu, and power buttons
  • Software for editing and file format conversion
  • 64MB CompactFlash card included
  • Powered via USB, rechargeable lithium-ion battery or power supply (both included)

M-Audio MicroTrack 24/96 2-Channel Mobile Digital Recorder Specifications:

  • MP3 recording: 96 to 320kbps at 32, 44.1 or 48kHz
  • PCM recording: 16 or 24-bit at 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, or 96kHz
  • Battery life before recharge: 7 hours playback; 4-5 hours recording via line in or dynamic mic; 3 hours recording with phantom power engaged
  • Compatibility: WAV, MP3
  • PC requirements: Windows 2000, XP; USB 1.1 or 2.0 port
  • Mac requirements: Mac OS X 10.3.9 or greater; USB 1.1 or 2.0 port
  • 2-7/16"W x 4-1/3"H x 1-1/8"D
  • 4-13/16 oz. without card; 5-1/4 oz. with card



Ableton Live 5 - Right-Click

Live_right_clickOne of the new features in Ableton Live 5 is right-click context menus. I mention this feature because it seems likes a small thing and many of you might over look it (or forget to use it if you are upgrading from a previous version).

This little feature is a huge time saver. For example, the image on the left (click to see a larger view) is a snapshot of a the menu that pops up when right-click in the MIDI Note Editor. As you can see, with right-click, you can quickly change things like draw mode and grid snap making this a rapid way to say  - change the grid for high-hat note entry.

I recommend as you work with Live 5, you start right- clicking on interface elements to see what handy menu's pop-up.


Cakewalk Rapture Virtual Synth is shipping - good deal at Musicians Friend

Cakewalk_rapturesm_1Cakewalk is shipping their new new virtual  synthesizer.

Musicians' Friend is selling it for for $199! (save $89)

Rapture Highlights:             

  • Wavetable synthesizer with cutting edge sound manipulation capabilities, well suited for electronica-related music styles
  • Non-aliasing resampling engine for pristine sound quality
  • Over 500 professionally-crafted sound programsSix fully-programmable, stereo sound-generating Elements
  • Multi-waveform Oscillators with ring modulation
  • Two 16-mode filters per oscillator with LoFi and Drive
  • Over 40 Envelope Generators, LFOs, and Step Generators for superior parameter modulation
  • Comprehensive MIDI Modulation Matrix
  • Mix and modulate all Elements through global FX and dynamic Step Generator
  • Superbly designed graphical envelope generators and LFOs for ease of use
  • Expandable with native support for SFZ sample formats
  • Mac formats: AU™, RTAS®, VSTi™
  • Windows formats: DXi (32-bit & x64), RTAS, VSTi

Axiom Series USB/Midi Keyboard - Great Solution for Live and Studio

The new Axiom Series of USB/Midi Keyboard hit the market. Check out these features - velocity-sensitive, semi-weighted key action with assignable aftertouch, 8 rubberized trigger pads for drum programming, 8 endless rotary encoder knobs, 6 transport controls, pitch/mod wheels, and a backlit LCD. It also offers assignable sustain/expression pedal jacks, octave up/down keys, transpose up/down keys, 20 memory locations, and USB or AC power operation. Comes with Enigma librarian/editor software for unlimited control of MIDI setups with your computer and Ableton Live Lite 4 music production software (Ableton is offer free updates to Live Lite 5 by the way).

Click to See Larger Image

M-Audio Axiom 25 25-Key USB MIDI Controller $179
M-Audio Axiom 49 49-Key USB MIDI Controller $249
M-Audio Axiom 61 61-Key USB MIDI Controller $249


Ableton Live Lite 5.0 - Free Update for registered users

Now registered uses of Live Lite 4 and Live Delta can update to Live Lite 5 for free. Many of you have Live Lite 4 and don't know it as it came bundled with many software and hardware packages. There are so many great new features in the 5 update, it is definitely worth the effort to dig through you discs to see if you have it.

Just to remind you of what's new in Live 5 - here is a marketing blurb:

"New additions to M-Audio's version of Live Lite include full ReWire Support, MIDI Remote Control, Mackie Control Support, Complex Warp Mode, Clip Freeze, Plug-in Delay Compensation, Arrangement Locators, Live Clip Format, Searchable Browser, New Preset Management and Effect/Device groups, and new effects such as Beat Repeat and Saturator."

So what's the difference between the full and lite version?

  • Live 5 has an unlimited number of audio and MIDI tracks - Ableton Live Lite 5 gives you four audio tracks and four MIDI tracks.
  • Live Lite 5 will not include compressed audio support and records in 16 bit quality.

If after using the lite version you decide to someday upgrade to the full version, "your experience and files are completely transportable".

Registered owners of Live Lite 4 and Live Delta can download a free update to Live Lite 5 from Ableton's website at

You can get the full version of Ableton Live 5 here - Ableton Live 5 Real-Time Music Production Software.


Academy awards related to music and sound


Thought I'd recap the Oscar winners related to music and audio.

(photo from flickr user wannabehipster)

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

  • Winner - “Brokeback Mountain” (Focus Features) Gustavo Santaolalla
  • “The Constant Gardener” (Focus Features)
  • Alberto Iglesias   “Memoirs of a Geisha” (Sony Pictures Releasing) John Williams
  • “Munich” (Universal and DreamWorks) John Williams
  • “Pride & Prejudice” (Focus Features) Dario Marianelli

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

  • “In the Deep” from “Crash” (Lions Gate) Music by Kathleen “Bird” York and Michael Becker Lyric by Kathleen “Bird” York
  • Winner - “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” from“Hustle & Flow” (Paramount Classics, MTV Films and New Deal Entertainment) Music and Lyric by Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman and Paul Beauregard
  • “Travelin’ Thru” from “Transamerica” (The Weinstein Company and IFC Films)Music and Lyric by Dolly Parton

Achievement in sound editing

  • Winner - “King Kong” (Universal) Mike Hopkins and Ethan Van der Ryn
  • “Memoirs of a Geisha” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Wylie Stateman
  • “War of the Worlds” (Paramount and DreamWorks) Richard King

Achievement in sound mixing

  • “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” (Buena Vista) Terry Porter, Dean A. Zupancic and Tony Johnson
  • Winner - “King Kong” (Universal) Christopher Boyes, Michael Semanick, Michael Hedges and Hammond Peek
  • “Memoirs of a Geisha” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell, Rick Kline and John Pritchett
  • “Walk the Line” (20th Century Fox)Paul Massey, D.M. Hemphill and Peter F. Kurland
  • “War of the Worlds” (Paramount and DreamWorks) Andy Nelson, Anna Behlmer and Ronald Judkins