It's been a big year! In 2010 we've seen some great tuts, some interesting series, and introduced Quick Tips. We recently published our thousandth post. I'd like to thank our brilliant authors, and also thank you—the Audiotuts+ community—for your interest, involvement and comments.
Here are the Top 15 posts of the year, categorized by written tuts, video tuts and articles. Their popularity was measured by taking into account the number of times they have been visited, and the number of comments they inspired. Congratulations to all of the authors involved for your useful and insightful work, and for often going beyond the call of duty.
Top 5 Written Tutorials
How to Create Organic Ambient Instruments in Ableton Live
In this tutorial we are going to use Ableton Live’s “Sampler” and some of its built-in audio effects to produce wide, organic, ambient textures and pads, originating from a single one-note instrument sample. It’s a great way to create MIDI-playable ambient pads with a warm and evolving character, and most of all to be able to use our own original and custom ambient sounds, without having to scroll through hundreds of synth presets to find the right one, which usually leads to losing patience and inspiration.
How to Build Tracks So That Instruments Relate to Each Other
Are your instruments fighting each other to get the main role of the track? This tutorial is about techniques for having instruments relate to each other in ways that will allow them to share time in the spotlight and work together. This tutorial also covers using note placement as a way to compensate for having multiple instruments in similar frequency ranges. Keeping with this theme, we’ll also explore using melodic content that is already in the track to inspire new instrument parts, so that like characters in a play, the instruments will agree and disagree on points, but in the complete composition they’ll work together to present a distinct theme.
How to Make the Synth Sound from Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance”
In this tutorial we are going to cover how to create Lady Gaga’s famous synth sound from “Just Dance”. Despite all the advancements in sound synthesis, sometimes the best sounds are the ones that are most simple. In fact the basis for the entire sound is one simple square wave!
I will be using FL Studio and the synth Sytrus for this tutorial but any synth that allows for an LFO to be applied to pitch and phase will work.
Using Ambient Techniques For Composing
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about limitations and possibilities in relation to composing. Using computers and software packages such as Logic, Cubase, Sonar, or Reason, our musical possibilities are nearly endless. Even so, I often find myself sitting in front of my workstation, clicking through hundreds of synth or sampler presets rather than actually writing music.
The great ambient and minimalist composers of our time clearly understand the potential pitfalls of our nearly limitless options. Their solution is to attempt to create with less – to create a complete musical world in any given moment, but to do so under a specific set of rules or restrictions. Those rules and restrictions can vary widely from composer to composer, but fortunately for us, using any one of their techniques can be helpful for nearly any style of music.
An Introduction To 3D Mixing
Mixing is arguably the most important stage of the music production process. When done properly, one can do everything from add energy and warmth to a sound to completely alter the feel and flow of an entire piece of music.
In my next few tutorials, I will be taking an in depth look at the mixing process to help you gain a better understanding of mixing concepts and in so doing, present one possible workflow scenario to help you streamline the process. For these tutorials I will be using Logic, but the concepts can be applied across the board.
Top 5 Video Tutorials
How to Use Glitch Techniques
This tutorial is an overview of different glitch techniques to spice up your music, we will go over stutter, stretch, algorithmic cutting and other glitch editing techniques used to create complex effects simply.
For this tutorial we will be using Logic Pro, but the plug-ins we are going to be looking at are available for both Windows and Mac operating systems, so the information will still be relevant. We will look at four different plug-ins popular for glitch and learn how they process audio.
Guitar Lesson: Creative Power Chords
In this video guitar lesson, I show you how to add thirds to your power chords to give them a more distinctive sound. TAB, chord charts, and an MP3 to jam with are all included.
How to Work With Groove-based Samples
This four-part screencast continues to answer questions I have recently received by email or that I’ve been asked by my one to one students. This episode concentrates on how to rip samples from existing productions and sync them to your current projects tempo.
There are plenty of ways to do this and some methods are DAW specific. I’ve tried to concentrate on techniques that can be used with any DAW or at least are common to a few different titles. I you have any questions about the methods used here or suggestions for future tuts just let me know!
Guitar Tut: Open String Runs
Here is the first of Toby Pitman’s guitar tuts. I’ve been looking forward to these! In this video guitar tutorial we’ll cover the basics of open string runs. It’s like having a sustain pedal for your guitar!
Producing Great Sound on Location
This video tutorial begins the series Producing Great Sound on Location. In this and future video tutorials, Jonah Guelzo will cover different topics that relate to production sound, what equipment is needed, and the techniques essential for getting the best sound for your next film, or video production piece.
Top 5 Articles
Will Apple’s iPad Revolutionise Music Production?
Apple’s tablet has been coming for quite some time now. The little device has inspired more dreams, guesses, mock-ups and rumors than just about any other toy in history. Other companies have been racing to get their own tablets out before Apple. And maybe you’ve been dreaming of the possibility of the perfect music production machine inside a small tablet. Can the Apple iPad possibly live up to all that hype?
Are the Volume Wars Killing Music? Which Side are You On?
The party is in full swing, your iPod is plugged into your biggest and best speakers, and you’ve just hit Play on your grooviest party mix playlist. The bass is thumping, the crowd starts to move, and so far the neighbors don’t seem to mind. Then something happens. This song sounds so much quieter than the other ones. People start to sit down. What a crappy song! Would you like to be the producer responsible for that track? No way! And thus the Volume Wars came into being.
Compression plugins are commonly used when mastering. One of the aims is of this is to maximize the volume of the album. But when there is a war for maximum volume on the playlist, how far do you take this, and what do you sacrifice to achieve it?
Monitor Speakers Roundup: Audiotuts Readers’ Favorites
You can spend countless hours mixing and mastering, but if you’re not accurately hearing what your music actually sounds like, you’re wasting your time. There is no substitute for good monitor speakers. We recently asked you about which you use, and this article wraps up your answers. It summarizes the “hive mind” of Audiotuts+ readers on the best brands and models to use.
Over 90 Free VST Effects Plugins
VST plugins can add power and flexibility to your digital audio workstation. They can also be very expensive. Here is a collection of over ninety awesome effects plugins that have one thing in common: they’re free. Check the details for each plugin to see if it works on your system. If you’re strapped for cash after Christmas, this list is just what you need.
25 Tempting Music Apps for the iPad
What would it take to tempt you to grab an iPad? These 25 apps might just whet your appetite. And if you can’t afford to buy an iPad, read on for how you can win one in AudioJungle’s new competition.
When iPads were first announced, we asked whether they would revolutionize music production. We – and many of you – couldn’t see it becoming the hub of our musical world, but thought that it might be a good peripheral device or controller.
Well, they’ve been out for a while now, and it’s time to round up a list of useful audio apps. How have they influenced your music making?