Lord Maitreya's Internet Marketing Adventures

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A short post today

We talked about publishing video and audio content this week in class.  I figure that, since most of the important stuff was covered, I’d give you a little bit of a background into how I publish my OWN original content on the web.  As mentioned in previous posts and in-class nonsensical ramblings, I produce music as an extracurricular hobby.  I use a variety of software and hardware, and my studio, while modest and low-budget, is most dope.  Trust me, when my sister throws parties, I tend to wind up doing a live performance.

Without further adieu, I will once again post the URL to my content page on Acidplanet, which hosts all of my top-notch tracks (most of the music I produce doesn’t meet my standards for publication).

http://www.acidplanet.com/artist.asp?songs=549210&T=2784

Yes, I produced all those songs.  I know, I’m quite amazing.  Since the odds of ever landing a record contract range from nonexistent to laughably impossible, I post my tracks on there just so people will listen to the damn things.  I never cared about money or fame, I produce music because music doesn’t make fun of you, and it always tells the truth.  I make music because sometimes even my painstakingly assembled vocabulary is incapable of properly articulating my emotions, so I make music that properly conveys those emotions better than words ever could.  Yes, I do have a tendency to get personal in my song descriptions, but that’s my modus operandi.

Now, on to the point of this post.  You’ve seen the content, but you may be wondering how it’s made.  Well, I’ll show you a couple images of software and hardware that makes it all possible:

(I don’t have a digital camera, so my hardware photos are taken from online sources.  Rest assured that I DO, in fact, own this equipment)

First, the venerable Korg Electribe Es-MKii rhythm production sampler- the bread and butter of my sampling ability

Bad-ASS

(Image courtesy of sequencer.de)

Next up, we have my favorite piece of equipment, my Korg PadKontrol.  My chopping abilities would be severely hampered without this amazing tool.  A full MIDI-enabled USB device, it allows full sync with software programs, and since I have it daisy-chained with my Yamaha PS-109 as a MIDI slave, cuing samples, chops, and VST’s is a snap with this bad boy, whether I’m using the velocity-sensitive pads, or the keyboard.

Yes, this thing will rock your face off

(Image courtesy of Thaisecondhand.com)

Next, we have a very old piece of equipment from the ’90’s.  The old-school Yamaha PS-109.  This thing was so obscure, there are barely any good photos of it.  I really only use it for synthesis.  I don’t use any of its built-in sounds, because I already have over 75,000 samples and 100 VST synths.  This thing doesn’t have anything I wouldn’t have otherwise, except for a nice bank of keys from which to cue chops and synth notes. Daisychained with my PadKontrol, destructive chopping is no longer an impediment to composition.

OLDSCHOOL

(Image courtesy of imageshack.com)

Now, onto the REAL tools of the trade, where the magic happens.  Sure, I can make drums on my Electribe and play rhythms on my keyboard, but the software is what REALLY gets things going.  Here are some screen captures of two of my favorite software applications:

First off, Acid Pro 6- This software can be, and often IS, used for podcasting.  The track-based flow of the program allows layering of audio very easily, and chopping, cutting, and pasting is as easy as MS Word.  Just highlight the part you want to alter, and alter it.  Very simple, very intuitive, and it’s the industry gold-standard in audio-editing.  I’ve been using this program since I was thirteen years old.  I could hammer out a professional podcast in less time than it takes me to write this post.

(Image courtesy of… oh wait, it was a screen capture)

Next, we have a program that is often misunderstood.  FL Studio, formerly known as FruityLoops, is an amazing production tool.  Notice that I said PRODUCTION TOOL.  It’s awful for mastering (Acid Pro’s strong point), and isn’t very good for sampling (Audacity and Acid are my go-to programs for that).  FL is perfect for actual production of NEW material, be it synthesizers (Minimogue VST is pictured in the image), chopping (PadKontrol’s dominion), or loop production.  This tool is wonderful, and most of the songs you heard on my Acidplanet profile were made using this program in conjunction with Acid Pro.

(Image courtesy of MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!)

So, what do the elements of my totally awesome home music studio have to do with podcasting?  Everything!  Podcasting is pretty easy, as it turns out.  All you really need is a mic, some audio software (some hardware if you want to do interviews and the like), and a purpose.

Here’s the flow of a podcast (I’ll try to keep this brief)

Let’s say I wanted to make a podcast about my cat, Lord Oxford Von Peppinsthein III (yeah… that’s his real name).  Let’s say I’ve spend numerous drunken evenings sampling his coarse meowing and purring, and I want to make an appreciation podcast show; and, for my first episode, I want to spotlight some music that I’ve made inspired my my furry feline compadre.

Zeh PEP!

In this case, I already have the music made (the production company I manage my music under is called “Peppinshtein Productions” for god’s sake).  What I would do first is write a script about the things I would talk about.  I would talk about my cat’s insatiable appetite, but unyielding standards for the food he eats (we cook him chicken), his ability to cause untold amounts of destruction, and some theories about his origin (truth be told, he just showed up at our house one day and decided he lived there.  Seriously).

So, I have my script, my sound effects, and my music.  What I would do now is load all the currently existing songs and tracks into Acid Pro and paste them in their proper places, and then I would pick up my trusty dynamic microphone and record the speech segment, using the PadKontrol to cue samples of Pep purring and meowing where appropriate, kind of like a douchy talk show host.

The end result would be a screen full of track information, kind of like this.

Now what?  I have all my tracks where they go, I’ve run a dynamic/compressor filter on my voice, faded the music tracks in and out using volume envelopes, and put vocoders on my cat’s meow to make him sound like T-Pain.  How do I get it online?

Well, you need to render that piece of audio into one file, for starters.  For podcasts, quality is key, and in computer talk, quality is “bitrate.”  The bitrate of a song is essentially how much space per second the file occupies.  A lower size is better for space-saving reasons, but the quality will be noticeably bad, typically shrinking the overall equalization range by up to 4,000hz, effectively making the range anywhere from 4,020hz – 16,000hz  as the working range of the file.  Seeing as how the human frequency range of hearing is 20hz to 20,000hz, this severely shrinks the effective frequency range of your track.  On the other hand, rendering at a higher bitrate, say 320kbp/s (which is ENORMOUS), will take up insane amounts of space on your hard drive, but the audio will retain crystal-clear equalization and sound more organic.  It’s all about how you want it to sound.  I typically split the difference and render at 156kbp/s and call it a day.

Next, you need to post it somewhere.  Acidplanet.com has a podcasting service, so I’ll post there.  You’d go to “add new song/podcast” and select the file from your computer.  You’d then wait for the file to load, and then put in the information, like title, series, episode, and other information.  Then, you’d just have to sit in front of the computer and desperately click refresh every ten seconds in the vain hope that someone comments on your podcast about your cat.

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April 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments