MIDI FAQ for beginners

07 Hardware SynthesizerMIDI, or Musical Instrument Digital Interface, is a language by which computers, virtual instruments, and hardware samplers/synthesizers can communicate. There are a lot of unfamiliar terms and concepts in the MIDI world, so let’s take a look at a few questions that I typically hear from first time users. Read more.

Virtual synths and the art of imperfection

QuadCurve EQSynthesizers are musical instruments. You wouldn’t mic a drum set by taking the first mic you found and pointing it the general direction of the drummer. A little extra effort spent on avoiding unnatural sounds when mixing synths with acoustic instruments, improving expressiveness, and tightening timing inconsistencies can help you get the most out of your virtual synths. Read More.

Using MIDI Controllers On Stage

Akai MIDI ControllersThe technical elements of a live performance have changed dramatically over the last two decades. Artists – including Foster the People, Passion Pit, and Capital Cities – have integrated samplers, triggered sound sources, and MIDI control surfaces into their live shows. As a result, MIDI controllers have been steadily rising in popularity and are a prized piece of gear for beat makers from the hip-hop and electronic world, as well as across a host of other genres. Read more.

MIDI controller

Using a MIDI Controller In Your Home Studio

As the home studio has evolved, so too has the MIDI controller to fit the needs of the musician and the software that has become a part of the studio arsenal. Controllers now have moved well beyond acting as a keyboard for module synths and enhance any musician’s DAW and SoftSynth, enabling one to retain a tactile experience in an environment that seems to require more and longer use of the computer keyboard and mouse. Read more.

virtual instruments

Using virtual instruments: Eight home recording tips to make your tracks sing

With multi-track recording programs like GarageBand, Pro Tools, and Logic becoming nearly ubiquitous amongst tech-savvy musicians, it’s easier than ever to take your own music all the way from first inspiration to finished audio file without leaving your room. But just because these high-powered tools are available, it doesn’t mean we all know how to use them well. Read more.

Home Recording: Choosing Your DAW

pro-tools 8Home recording has exploded over the past decade as digital technology has given musicians more and more powerful tools for capturing and mixing music on laptops and desktops. One of the key choices a musician or engineer must make is which DAW to invest time and money into.

What’s a DAW you say? Well, why don’t we see what wikipedia says: Read more…

Drum Sampler Picks

The new breed of drum samplers are affordable, flexible, and really easy to use. PSE takes a close look at four top programs.

For many home and project studios, the dream of setting up a full-size drum kit and inviting a drummer to “let ‘er rip” is just that. For those who don’t have the luxury of a fully isolated recording space, drums pose one of the most difficult challenges to creating realistic recordings. Read more…