Spider Silk Spun Into Violin Strings

“Shigeyoshi Osaki at Nara Medical University in Japan has studied the properties of spider silk for 35 years. In the past decade he has focused on trying to turn the silk into violin strings, even taking lessons on what was required of a string in terms of strength and elasticity.”

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Ira Glass on the Secret of Success in Creative Work, Animated

Engraving these famous words in your memory just got a little easier: Filmmaker David Shiyang Liu has captured Ira Glass’s legendary interview on the art of storytelling (yep Logic Pro users, that’s you) in beautifully minimalist and elegant typography. The message: to bridge the gap between ability and ambition is to actually do a huge volume of work.

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

(via BrainPickings)

The Anatomy of a Tear-Jerker

How come Adele’s ‘Someone Like You” produces such intense sadness in listeners? The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the science behind it. Read all about the four features of chill-provoking passages, goosebumps, dopamine, and the musical device called the “appoggiatura”.

An appoggiatura is a type of ornamental note that clashes with the melody just enough to create a dissonant sound. “This generates tension in the listener,” said Martin Guhn, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia who co-wrote a 2007 study on the subject. “When the notes return to the anticipated melody, the tension resolves, and it feels good.”

Full article.

The Production Power of Filters

In this video, Alex Case talks about the importance of using filters in your mix. You can EQ a sound all you want, but when it comes to depth and distance, filtering is key. Also: know your filter slopes. Don’t miss this.

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Tips On Organizing And Bouncing Aux Buses In Logic Pro 9

logic pro organize buses

You probably know the drill by now: You start a new project from scratch in Logic Pro 9. You create some audio tracks, some instruments, some MIDI tracks perhaps. Some of these you assign to aux buses for sub grouping, some of these you put sends on (and a bus is created automatically), and you may also create some aux buses for printing stems. That’s a lot of aux buses with three different purposes. Since you’ve created these as you went along, your aux bus structure has quickly become messy. And what if you decide to delete a track, rendering a bus obsolete? The bus stays dude!

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Learning Basic Music Theory With Wolfram Alpha

To start learning basic Music Theory for free, or improve your current knowledge, give Wolfram Alpha a try instead of Google. Consider Wolfram Alpha a scientific knowledge engine that can compute whatever can be computed about anything. It accepts free-form input, and presents results without the clutter that search engines sometimes spit out. Wolfram Alpha is a long-term project, you can expect its capabilities to grow in the years to come. Imagine the questions you can ask it in 5 or 10 years… Just be sure to keep the URL to this database somewhere in the back of your head.

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Article: Recording and Mixing Mid/Side Tracks

mid side processing configuration

Dirk Ulrich’s (Brainworx’s lead developer) article on how to record and mix M/S tracks got posted on the Universal Audio blog. The article will walk you through how to record and EQ a Mid-Side (M/S) recording session using the Brainworx® bx_digital V2 EQ Plug-In (there’s a demo for that). The piece includes links to demo files (drums, vocals, acoustic guitar and bass) you can use in your favorite DAW, plus tips on setting up your microphones and DAW for Mid/Side mixing. Don’t miss this.

The Science and Mathematics of Sound, Frequency, and Pitch

What is up with Noises?

In this mesmerizing video, mathemusician (!) Vi Hart explores the science and mathematics of sound, frequency and pitch. From Pythagoras to the anatomy of the ear, Vi uses stop-motion hand-illustrations to reveal how simple mathematical ratios make pleasing melodies. A must-see (although I wish the narrative was recorded at a bit slower ratio).

(via Brainpickings)

White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” Performed In a Blast Lab

In this video, the Inside Knowledge crew plays The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” on the Imperial College Blast Lab – a place where scientists study how explosions affect the human skeleton. Instruments used: main sensor output cable, blast rig, hammer & storm case, oil spray, blast plate, laces to contain dummy leg during blast, and an accelerometer cable & fastening strings. (via BoingBoing)

Logic Pro Direction Mixer: The Mid/Side Trap

logic pro direction mixer

When set to MS Mode, the Logic Pro Direction Mixer can decode audio that’s been recorded using a Mid/Side microphone technique. When set to LR Mode, it can pan a regular stereo signal, and easily sum a stereo signal back into mono. Although its interface may suggest otherwise, the Direction Mixer is not a tool for encoding a stereo signal (L/R) into a Mid/Side signal. To illustrate this, I’ll use Mathew Lane’s DrMS.

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Keycommander Does Ableton Live 8 Too

For those of us suffering from Multi-DAW Syndrome:

I’ve just finished a handy tool to help you memorize Ableton Live Keyboard Shortcuts.

This should make remembering keyboard shortcuts for Live a little easier. Let me know if I’ve made any mistakes, or if you’d like to see things changed. Future projects: Pro Tools and Melodyne.

Have a good weekend!

Update: Melodyne Studio 3.2 version available.

Auria: 48-Track Recording System for iPad

Now get this: Auria is a 48 track digital audio workstation designed exclusively for the iPad. Auria introduces innovative features such as AAF import/export for moving sessions between popular DAWs (like Pro Tools and Nuendo), 64-bit double precision architecture, and up to 24 tracks of simultaneous recording using compatible USB audio interfaces.

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Logicblog.info’s Top 15 Articles For 2011

The Popular Posts list you see on the right side of this blog, only shows what’s been popular since I have made the switch to WordPress, so those stats are rather young. To close of 2011, here’s a list of the 15 most-read articles of 2011. From a place with short shadows and tall cocktails, I wish you all a kick-ass 2012!

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It’s All But Quiet On The EQ Front

surfer pitch tracking eq

BIG news on the EQ front. Suppose you’re EQ-ing a vocal track, and you find an overall sweet spot to be at 1.8Khz. Then the vocalist shoots up a full octave. Will that sweet spot still be sweet? Probably not. The EQ plug-ins (or hardware) you’ve made the adjustments with aren’t aware of the pitch of the source material. And this ‘unawareness’ is what makes EQ adjustments rather ‘static’ on material with a wide tonal range.

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Vocal Alignment With Slicing Mode

I did some heavy duty Vocal Comping this week. I worked on thick prechoruses and even thicker choruses containing 4 or 5 vocal takes for the lead vocal melody alone. It’s unbelievable how much work this used to be in the days without Take Folders, Flex Mode and Transient Detection!

Back in the day, I would basically cut up every syllable and align them by hand if I needed a tightly aligned chorus. These days I would normally put Flex Mode to Monophonic for solo vocals, but this time it was giving me too much artefacts. Flex editing certainly has its quirks. Then I thought about it: do I really need to align every syllable and consonant, and make all lengths the same too? Next time you’re aligning vocals, ask yourself the same question.

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Programming Swing In Logic Pro

akai mpc

Let’s dive into programming ‘swing’ in Logic Pro. Some call it ‘groove’, or ‘shuffle’. It’s what you get when you delay every even numbered note in an 8th or 16th note pattern. Logic Pro offers a myriad of swing presets and quantizing parameters to get your groove on. We’ll quickly look at those. To keep workflow tight, we’ll also have a look at how to quickly select the notes that make things groovy, if you want to go beyond the presets…

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