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Top 21 Blog Tutorials & Articles of 2010

2010 has been a massive year here at macProVideo and we'd like to thank all of our excellent authors for their articles and hard work... and thank you for joining us on this software tutorial journey!

2011 is going to be bigger and better - and you can expect to see even more quality tutorials, reviews, quick tips and interviews than ever before. But, 2010 isn't over yet, so... before we begin the countdown to the new year, here's the 21 most popular posts this year, in no particular order!

From all of us here at macProVideo.com have a very happy, prosperous and creative 2011!

AUDIO

01 - 5 Amazing ways to use Logic's Marquee Tool

The Marquee Tool is one of Logic's hidden treasures. If you haven't explored the marquee tool before, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how versatile it is and how quickly it can help you achieve certain tasks during Editing, Arranging and Mixing. In version 9 it was quietly updated to make it a super tool. It is always my Command-click tool and I now have no need to waste extra clicks of my mouse calling up the scissors tool. In fact, I often wonder how I ever got by in Logic without it!

Read Article here

02 - Complete Beginners Guide to Apple Logic 9 : Part 1

So you've just opened that shiny new Logic Pro or Logic Express box and spent the last 4 hours or so installing it on your Mac... what next? If you're completely new to Logic and/or the world of DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) then this beginners guide series is designed are for you!  How to use Logic Pro.

At a glance you may find Logic's interface to be a bit intimidating. Even if you are well versed using it's younger sibling, Garageband, Logic is quite a step up... and it's complexity may take a short while to get to grips with. If you're anything like me, you're probably impatient to start creating music right away in Logic. In the first of this three part series, we're going to start from with the basics and work our way up. So let's take a look at how to create and record sounds using Logic's built-in software (virtual) instruments.

Read Article here

03 - Halloween Sound Design Part 1: Creating Eerie Vocal Effects in Logic

In this post, I'm taking a break from my "meditative, angelic-based musical creations" and, in anticipation of Halloween, I'm delving into the darker recesses of sound design. I'm going to show you step-by-step how to create an eerie... ghost like sound effect in Logic using only one vocal sample. We're aiming to create such a scary sound that those pesky trick-or-treaters will be running from your door before you can dish out the sweets! Of course, you can also use the techniques from this post to design sounds for more conventional means, like film, tv, animation and video games. All this can be done with a simple recording of your voice and some trickery in Logic (or any DAW - so you Ableton Live, Cubase and Pro Tools users... do continue reading!)

Note: If you're easily scared please DO NOT click the 'Read Article here' link...

04 - Parallel Compression in Logic 9

Parallel Compression, also known as New York Compression, is a way of beefing up the sound and retaining the dynamic range of the original signal. It works by mixing the dry (or lightly compressed) signal with a heavily compressed version of the signal. Although infamous due to it's use on drums, this technique can be used for any instrument in any virtually any musical genre with great results. In fact, it's a technique that, whilst commonly applied in the Mixing stage, can even be used when Mastering a track to give it more presence.

In this tutorial we'll explore how to apply parallel compression using the Bus Send technique in Logic Pro, but you can follow along in Logic Express or any DAW of your choice.

Read Article here

05 - Create the T-Pain Autotune effect in Logic

One of the most popular vocal effects plug-ins used over the past couple of years has to be Auto-tune. Listen to T-Pain and Cher and a whole host of other contemporary musicians and you'll probably know what I'm referring to. Yes, it's that warbling pitched effect on vocals that you either love, hate, love to hate... or hate to love.

Auto-Tune was designed to correct intonation and pitch issues without introducing artifacts on solo instruments and vocals. However, like almost every "correction" based plug-in it's used in a creative way to subtly, or drastically, alter the vocalists pitch and actually introduce a synthetic feel to the sound.

Rather than rush out and buy Auto-Tune (which you might like to do anyway), Logic has the tools built-in to emulate this effect.

Read Article here

06 - Using Mainstage as a "Jazz Trio"

Christmas is around the corner and many jazz pianists might be finding that they are busy with holiday parties. Playing solo lounge piano during cocktail or dinner soirees can be fun but after awhile, we may get a bit tired of playing by ourselves and wish we had a few other musicians to "trade off" with. The problem is, the boss spent the extra money on Christmas bonuses and can't afford to hire 2 other musicians for upright bass and drums. But... Steinberg's Groove Agent and MainStage can help you out.

Read Article here

07 - Logic Vs. Pro Tools

Last month at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) trade show several people came up to macProVideo.com's booth to ask me which Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) I think is best: Logic Pro 9 or Pro Tools 8. I get asked this question a lot ... in some ways it's a tough question because at the end of the day both Logic Studio and Pro Tools do exactly the same thing ... they let you make music. And they both do it well.

While both programs, for the most part, do exactly the same thing, there are a few major differences between the two that you should understand to make an informed decision.

Read Article here

08 - Being Impulsive with White Noise in Cubase

No one can deny Cubase is a powerful and capable music making tool. It's vast feature set and the  designer's attention to detail are beyond reproach. The wonderful convolution reverb plug-in, REVerence, is no exception. REVerence sounds great and the included impulse responses are from interesting and fancy locations. Unfortunately, I'm not really a fancy kind of guy. Don't get me wrong, I love a good church reverb every now and then, but there's not one gritty preset in there. Where's the back alley, bathroom, or jail cell settings? Fortunately the designer's attention to detail includes a little tiny import button. Pushing this button opens an entire new world of creative reverb possibilities.

Read Article here

Video & Graphics

09 - 5 New Audio Editing Features in iMovie '11

Although iMovie '11 sports a virtually unchanged interface to it's predecessors, Apple have added extra features to make creating movies for any purpose easy and fun. Advanced audio editing, new themes, storyboarding, new transitions and  even a Timeline... are some of the note worthy additions. So, if you were hanging onto iMovie HD 6 out of preference for working in a Timeline, then now is a great time to see what iMovie '11 can offer you.

We here at macProVideo have picked out five of our favorite new audio editing features in iMovie '11 to share with you. These are not necessarily the ones that have generated the most attention, but ones that have made our lives easier!

Read Article here

10 - Super 7: Essential Final Cut shortcuts & tips

Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express have rapidly become the Video Editors dream on the Mac. In days gone by, video editing required a massive outlay of tens/hundreds of thousands of dollars on equipment. This is no longer the case for most needs. Apple have done their part in making creative video editing tools available for everyone. iMovie is included with every newly purchased Mac. Despite some of it's limitations, iMovie is a great, easy to use non-linear video editor. But it isn't for everyone, and if you are beginning to outgrow it, the next step up is Final Cut Express or Pro. In today's tips, we'll explore a collection of 7 essential Final Cut tips. Although designed for new users, seasoned FCP veterans out there may find this helpful too.

Read Article here

11 - Fantastic 5: Essential Final Cut shortcuts & tips - Part 2

In this second edition of Final Cut Essential shortcuts and tips we'll take a look at some more editing and navigation tricks designed to speed up your workflow. Whether you're new to Final Cut or consider yourself an intermediate user, read below to find out how to spend more time creatively editing and less time being stumped!

If you missed the first part, check out Super 7: Essential Final Cut shortcuts & tips above.

Read Article here

12 - The Camera Never Lies: Content Aware Fill in Photoshop CS5

Can Photoshop CS5?s Content Aware Fill Help My Photography Stay Authentic?

The truth of my photography lies in my intention, that is, how I intend my photograph to look and what it says to it's viewer. As soon as I pick up my camera I have begun to manipulate my image. The subject catches my eye and I set out to capture it. The edits begin before I click the shutter and thanks to Photoshop's amazing retouching tools, long after too. Whether you want to create photography for a client or simply want to get some family snaps ready for print, Photoshop CS5's revolutionary retouch feature, Content Aware Fill, will prove invaluable. Let me show you how to get the best from this feature in an easy 2 part process, and also what to try when the results are not quite pixel perfect.

Read Article here

Productivity

13 - Tip: Create your own Services in Mac OS X Snow Leopard

Mac OS X Snow Leopard is widely thought to be the most advanced operating system currently available. It is indeed beautifully designed, intuitive to use, stable and secure. Snow Leopard can also be setup to automate repetitive common tasks and give you control of these tasks using a keyboard shortcut. In today's tip we're going to build our own Service in Automator. Services are built-in to your Mac's OS and are context sensitive commands that allow you to achieve a task or perform a function without needing to open the associated application.

For example, let's say you have downloaded some pictures from your camera and you're browsing through them in the Finder. You notice some of them are displayed incorrectly and need to be rotated. To rectify this you may choose to open those images in Preview, rotate them, save them and then quit Preview. Services takes out the hassle by allowing you to apply an operation found in one application (e.g. Preview) to an item in another application (in this case the Finder).

Read Article here

14 - Quick Tips: Dictionary tricks in Mac OS X

Do you want a quicker way to look up common words? Wish you had instant access to an encyclopedia? Need help with spelling or word usage? Or perhaps you'd like to find synonyms for a commonly used word or even learn how to pronounce it?

Built-in to Mac OS X is a very capable and flexible Dictionary application. You can find it in your Applications folder. It has much more functionality than a simple 'look-up a word' style dictionary though... and like many areas of your Mac OS X operating system has some clever ways to conduct dictionary and thesaurus searches and even access Wikipedia!

Read Article here

15 - Controlling Keynote Remotely

When I'm not composing, producing, or creating courses for MacProVideo, I give multimedia lectures on the Beatles.  My lectures, which I call "Deconstructing The Beatles," take audiences on a virtual trip into the studio to see and hear the Beatles as they create some of their legendary songs.  The presentations are driven by Apple Keynote running on a MacBook Air and include a wide selection of embedded audio and video and complex timed transitions.

I prefer to deliver my lectures from memory rather than standing behind a podium with a laptop.  So, it was important for me to find a good way to control my Keynote presentation remotely.  Thankfully, Apple came to the rescue with Keynote Remote -- a $0.99 app that turns your iPhone or iPod Touch into a remote control for Keynote.  Keynote Remote has an added advantage in that it can display presentation notes right on your device.  If I forget a name or date, a quick glance at the presentation notes on my iPhone keeps the presentation moving.

Read Article here

16 - iTunes Tutorial: iTunes for sensitive material

iTunes is a great application for managing large amounts of music. But you can not only use it to manage a music collection, but also for other kinds of sounds! It is also great as a research database for spoken text, or sometimes even PDF files. I have found iTunes to be very good at managing a collection of the work I have done.

But those areas of use that are not "standard" often present a couple of potential problems:

Read Article here

Interviews, Reviews & Articles

17 - 5 Essential Music Creation Apps for iPad

The holiday season is almost upon us and it'll soon be time to think about sharing gifts with your loved ones. If you already have an iPad, or suspect there might be one coming your way soon, well done! You have one of the most impressive E-Reader, portable game console, Web browsing, Video viewing, touch based tablet computers available.

What really stands out about the iPad are the huge number of apps on the iTunes App Store just waiting to be downloaded. In this article we'll take a look at 5 music creation apps that every iPad wielding musician should take a look at. (In no particular order)...

Read Article here

18 - Interview with a VP: Steve Horelick - Part 1

In the first of the macProVideo.com Interview series I popped behind the scenes and caught up with Steve Horelick, VP of Audio Products over Skype. It's always a pleasure talking to and gleaning information from Steve H. He is one of those rare people who is not only a hugely talented and famous composer, Logic Trainer and Video tutorial Trainer and Producer, but also a genuine all round nice guy!

In Part 1 of this interview Steve opens up and candidly shares his insights on Logic's Environment, live performance vs recorded music, scoring for TV/Film and Computer games and getting ahead in the music industry. This is truly a one-off opportunity to discover more about Steve H than ever before.

Read Article here

19 - Interview with a VP: Steve Horelick - Part 2

This is the second part of an interview with the renowned musician, trainer and producer, Steve Horelick.

In part 2 of this interview, Steve opens up and candidly shares his insights on Logic's Environment, what's in the pipeline from macProVideo.com.com and how his personal philosophy on life shapes his everyday work with music production.

Check out Part 1 of this interview here... or read on to discover more about SteveH...

Read Article here

20 - Hands-On Review: ARC System (Audio Room Correction) by IK Multimedia

Advanced Room Correction, or ARC by IK Multimedia is a software plugin that acts as a correction treatment without really having to "Treat The Room". It's a solution for those of us who are NOT in the ideal recording or listening environment. Most project studios consist of a desk, a computer, a set of speakers and maybe a couple of pieces of gear somewhere nearby. The room could be a bedroom, a living room, and if you're really cramped for space, a closet!

Hopefully not the latter but with today's computers it can be done. The recording environment itself is not always the biggest problem. In fact, it can be eliminated completely with the help of virtual amplifiers and virtual instruments. Logic 9 is just one example of a whole array of great virtual instruments and now, guitar pedals and amps. A close up mic can do a lot for dealing with room issues and that is a big help on the recording side. But what about the listening part of the equation?

Read Article here

21 - Gear Review: APC 40 for Live use or in the Studio?

I did about 6 months of DJ gigs with the APC 40 - including some big festivals like Coachella on the west coast and the All Points West Festival on the east coast. I even gave it a healthy coating of dust at Burning Man, playing the Opulent Temple. It was never the same after that dust storm... But it gave its life so that many could dance. Here's my feelings (and experience) on using the APC 40 as a gigging MIDI Controller with Ableton Live.

Read Article here

Tell us what you want...

We'd love to hear what you think. Is there a gem of a tutorial (video or blog based) here at macProVideo you're bursting to mention? Let us know in the comments below!

Finally, what do you want to learn and read about on this blog in 2011? Tell us in the comments below of any topics (reviews, tutorials and quick tips) you'd like to see here at macProVideo. Thanks!

Rounik Sethi

Rounik Sethi | Articles by this author

Rounik is the Executive Editor for Ask.Audio & macProVideo. He's built a crack team of professional musicians and writers to create one of the most visited online resources for news, review, tutorials and interviews for modern musician and producer. As an Apple Certified Trainer for Logic Pro Rounik has taught teachers, professional musicians and hobbyists how to get the best out of Apple's creative software. He has been a visiting lecturer at Bath Spa University's Teacher training program, facilitating workshops on using music and digital media tools in the classroom. If you're looking for Rounik, you'll most likely find him (and his articles) on Ask.Audio & macProVideo.com.

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