Car Test

I have mentioned previously that I like to use the car test to check how my mixes are progressing, and now that I believe I am fairly close to completing the mixing of a Vocaloid project, it is time to do a car test (in the morning!).

Unfortunately, I have no idea exactly why the speakers in my car seem to work so well for testing my mixes, but I am definitely glad that they do work so well.  Somehow, they have the ability to really highlight what is wrong with a mix, especially in terms of a track being too loud or too quiet, the bass frequencies being too muddy, and the higher frequencies threatening to become too piercing.  I believe that part of why the car test works so well is also due to the fact that I inherent cannot fully devote my entire attention to the music (especially not in Austin traffic!), so if something seems wrong to me while trying to change lanes to avoid being tailgated by the jerk behind me, then it is definitely something which needs to be fixed in the mix.

I wish that I could claim being “right” and only ever needing one car test per project, but that has happened only once.  Still, even if something about the mix does not sound quite right in the car, there is something about playing music no one else has heard and having someone in an adjacent car give me an inquisitive look, especially when I am testing a Vocaloid project on the car stereo.

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Donald Trump Topples Crazy Frog as The Most Annoying Thing in the World

“The prosecution rests, Your Honor.”

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Impressions on Native Instruments’ New Velvet Lounge Maschine Expansion

Native Instruments has released a new future soul Maschine Expansion: Velvet Lounge – here are my thoughts on this expansion, including how I am using it in a new project.

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Magazines? Libraries!

My not-at-all-tech-savvy mother pointed me to this one 🙂

In fact, she and I are both brand-new to the tablet age, and something she discovered through a computer/tablet course she is taking at her local library is that many libraries across the country offer free digital access to newspapers and magazines to anyone with a valid library card.  I honestly had not used or even been in a non-academic library in almost two decades, so I had never even thought about accessing magazines and newspapers in this way.

So I got a library card and went online on the tablet, and while I cannot get my favorite Computer Magazine through the services supported by my library, I am at least able to get other music-related magazines, including up to a year’s worth of back issues – all free 🙂   There is no DVD accompanying these, of course, but just the ability to get these magazines online for free, especially magazines I do not often see such as Future Music, is a major positive in my opinion.

For those who have not explored this option yet, you should!  Beyond the music magazines, there are likely other magazines and newspapers (and eBooks!) which will be of interest… and available for free! 

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Mixing with Free Plugins

Point Blank’s weekly Friday Forum Live! series yesterday devoted an episode to using free plug-ins for mixing.  I already knew about 40% of these, and it was good to learn about many others.  If possible, best to watch this on a two-monitor computer or watch on one computer/tablet and keep a Web browser open on another computer – that enables watching on one screen and downloading the plug-ins from another screen/device.

The one thing I would add is that, while not technically “free” since a magazine purchase is involved, Computer Music always includes a lot of free plug-ins, both instruments and effects, on the DVD which comes with each issue.  Of these, I find that I use ReverberateCM (reverb) and TransectorCM (transient shaping) most often.

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