2009 is about to finish, and 2010 is coming with a crescendo. In this article we'll have a look back over the year at the most popular tutorials on Audiotuts. If you missed them the first time - and even if you didn't - they're definitely worth a look.
Much of the credit for Audiotuts' success this year goes to Joel Falconer, who was behind the wheel as Editor until August, and continues to contribute as a tutorial writer, and edits a few other Envato sites. Thanks, Joel. I'd also like to thank our other regular writers - Mo Volans, Ryan Leach, Björgvin Benediktsson, Toby Pitman, West Latta and Bobby Owsinski - whose helpful, relevant and easy-to-follow tutorials make Audiotuts a site worth visiting. And to everyone else who have taken the time to submit tutorial this year, thank you.
You'll find below the 15 most popular tutorials of 2009. I'll follow up with a series of short articles over the next day or so that bring you the top 10 tutorials in various categories. I hope you enjoy looking over the best Audiotuts content of the year.
5 Most Read Tutorials in 2009
These are the five most visited tutorials as recorded by Google Analytics. Many of them are from earlier in the year as they have had more time to accumulate visits.
1. 47 Sites Every Recording Musician Should Visit
Adrian Try, November 6th
In a recent “Open Mic” we asked you, “Which music-related sites do you visit regularly?” This article is a summary of the great suggestions given in the comments to that article. You can make the list even longer by commenting on this article.
2. Creating Ambient Music With Logic’s Delay Designer
West Latta, April 1st
The idea of using delays or loops in ambient music goes back over 50 years to the time of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, where tape loops were used to add special effects. Musical pioneers such as Steve Reich and Karlheinz Stockhausen continued experimenting with tape loops, and the technique became even more popular following the work of Brian Eno and Robert Fripp in the 1970’s.
3. How to Create a Spooky Half-Life Monster Sound
Ted Griffioen, July 3rd
If you ever played a game like Half-Life without sound you will acknowledge this: the scare factor comes, at least in large part, from the sound effects. Monsters don’t really seem dangerous if they don’t make a scary sound. Close the curtains and inform the neighbors, because in this tutorial we will transform your own voice into a monster you never thought you had inside you!
4. 14 Sites That Help You Practice Music More Effectively
Adrian Try, June 18th
I admit it. I’m at a low point when it comes to practicing music. It’s not that I never practice – I just don’t practice enough to be consciously improving. It hasn’t always been that way. I can point to a number of very effective periods in my musical life where the right practice has led to quantum leaps in my playing. During those times I spent at least an hour practicing every day (sometimes more), had a focus each week on what I wanted to get good at, but didn’t spend all of my time just focusing on that one thing. I divided my time between theory, warm-ups, scales and licks, and practicing other things I’d learned over the previous months.
5. 5 Ways to Get More Life Out of a Song After It’s Finished
Ryan Leach, May 28th
We all know that writing and producing music takes a lot of work. From coming up with the initial ideas to making everything sound great, hours and hours of labor go into the process. Rather than putting yourself through the struggle of staring at a blank page or session every time you want to write something new, use these tips to get more mileage out of the music you’ve already poured your heart into.
5 Most Commented Tutorials in 2009
These five tutorials have attracted the most comments from you, the readers. Good tutorials can generate interested questions and great discussions. Though that doesn't necessarily mean you agree with everything in the tutorial!
1. How to Achieve Good Translation in Your Mixes
Mo Volans, March 4th
What is ‘translation’ and how does it relate to our mixes? A mix that displays good translation will play back well on a number of sound systems, with all its individual elements remaining clear and balanced. In this tutorial, we look at how you can achieve this with your own mixes.
2. How to Configure Your Axiom Control Surface with Logic Pro 9
Joel Falconer, August 14th
MIDI controllers with control surfaces are quite common and affordable these days. They can control just about any aspect of your DAW, but their strength is in allowing you to control the DAW while at the keyboard as opposed to being used for a mixing session after tracking is finished. Since the Axiom doesn’t come with any Logic presets, let’s take a look at how to configure all those buttons, faders and knobs from withing Logic.
3. How to Use Buss Compression
Mo Volans, May 4th
Compression can be a pretty confusing subject. With so much jargon and literally thousands of different compressors to choose from it’s no wonder some less experienced producers get a little stumped from time to time. One area of compression that appears to remain a mystery to some is that of buss compression. This is one that I’m asked about a lot, so let’s take a look at the ins and outs of the process and shed some light on the subject.
4. How to Create Excitement in Your Music with Tremolo
Ryan Leach, March 26th
Tremolo was always one of those plug-ins that my eyes completely skipped past. It wasn’t until some experimenting and tips from other composers that I began to see the potential behind this simple device. In this tutorial we’ll look at some examples of how tremolo can help you make some truly interesting and unique sounds, including several techniques used to create the final piece from the “How To Create a Compelling Ostinato” tutorial.
5. A Basic Guide to Acoustic Treatment
Mo Volans, April 6th
After touching on the critical subject of acoustics and room treatment in a few recent tutorials, I felt it was fitting to create a basic guide to acoustically treating your work space. I get asked about this subject a lot so I’m hoping a run down of the essential technique and kit needed will be of some help to readers.
5 Most Clicked Tutorials in Twitter in 2009
Make sure you're following Audiotuts on Twitter for updates of when tutorials are available, as well as additional interesting links from around the web. We have been tracking Twitter clicks since August, and the following five tutorials have attracted the most clicks from our Twitter followers.
1. How to Use Multi-band Compression in Mixing and Mastering
Mo Volans, August 3rd
In some of my recent tutorials I have been breaking down the processors used in a typical mastering chain into individual subjects. So far we have looked at buss compression, M/S processing and stereo enhancement. In this tutorial we are going to look at multi-band compression.
2. How to Pump Up Your Drums Using Reason’s Scream 4
Mo Volans, August 31st
Reason 4 has some great instruments and processors. Even if it’s not your main DAW, it’s a wise move to check it out and use it as a Rewire slave. Scream 4 is one of the standout plug-ins in Reason’s arsenal and can create some really extreme distortion and saturation effects. One of its lesser known modes is the tape compression setting, this can work wonders on just about any sound but really shines on drums.
3. How to Program and Produce Beats with Propellerhead’s Redrum
Mo Volans, December 28th
If you are a Reason or Record owner you are lucky enough to have access to one of the best virtual drum machines out there. Making great beats quickly is a breeze using its step sequencing system and editing sounds is just as easy.
4. How to Create Post Production SFX Using Reason
Simon O'Reilly, December 4th
When working in post production for film and television, gaming and other types of media, sound effects are half the picture. There are many sound effect libraries available on the market these days and although the sounds can be of high quality, getting into the routine of dragging and dropping sounds from libraries can take all the creativity out of the production process.
5. How to Master in Propellerhead’s Record
Mo Volans, December 14th
As the new Props application Record offers a great buss compressor and full mastering suite I thought it would be useful to show a typical mastering set up and the workflow involved when mastering and delivering a new project.