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manning1 #3933 09/04/07 08:08 PM
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re sound deadening materials for a control room.
up further in the tips.
(addendum).
Russ Demussel sent me the following pm....
which i'll quote in its entirety as an option for folks to consider.

"In reading your tips about cheapo sound deadening materials I have a suggestion you might add to it. You can get foam carpet pad. It's cheap as it gets. It's usually around 4 to 6 feet wide and you can glue/staple it to the walls and cealing. That's what I've got in my sound booth. Blue carpet pad. And it is fire resistant. Very hard to get it to burn. It will melt and puts out a horrible stink when burned. but doesn't seem to flame up. Just a thought. "

manning1 #3934 09/09/07 07:49 PM
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tips...38.(sorry , been busy.)
makeing sure you can hear yourself while recording.
(and other monitoring ideas.).

a common complaint i hear from people new to recording and
friends is....I CANT HEAR MYSELF VERY WELL WHILE RECORDING A TRACK.
this is all down often to incorrect choice of gear often or incorrect organisation sometimes.
for example a friend of mine has a little simple usb audio device for getting audio into/out of the pc.
the problem is a lot of these newish little gizmos often dont have a ton of power for powering headphones.
some do but some dont.
i think i mentioned earlier when recording tracks one should aim
for peaks of no more than -6b, and some pro engineers are suggesting that traks sound even
better if one doesnt have the best sound card convertors recording at even lower levels.
thus the temptation can be to push up the master fader in ptw to compensate and get more level going out to
whatever feeds the phones. it depends on the rig.

BUT..if u have probs hearing yourself, mebe your hooking the phones off
a sound card with a wimpy phone output for example.

therefore i suggest you consider a proper HEADPHONE AMP.
(OR use an old home stereo with a powerfull output to phones.)
in my case ive been useing a older fostex line mixer that i pulled out of
storage (from a studio i sold off.) that has a powerfull phone output.
(sometimes you find em used for 80 buks.)

the hook up would be...
sound card stereo out>>>headphone amp>>>phones.
some headphone amps let several pairs of phones to be hooked up.
usefull for jamming with friends for example.

you can even build your own ..eg.(dunno how good this is...
google for more headphone amp schematics..there are lots.)
http://www.national.com/pf/LM/LM4910.html
or
http://www.national.com/pf/LM/LM4881.html

(note national also have all in one IC's that will drive speakers also if u search.
some of their all in one chips are pretty inexpensive.
but if u dont know electronics....TAKE A SAFE ELECTRONICS COURSE.)

in summary .if your haveing probs hearing yourself.
ENSURE...
1. your sound device passes thru the signal being recorded
to the output.
2. try a reasonably powerfull headphone amplifier.
(pro audio shops that sell audio mixers normally sell them.)

let me now cover something else.
ive never done this...but thought i would mention it.
there is a huge debate currently going on tween hugh end pro
audio engineers (i'm just a songwriter..i dont profess to be a gold record
guy..i just try hard n have fun...lol.)
about two terms ITB and OTB.

ITB = in the pc (box) mixing.
OTB = out of the pc mixing.

how do the two differ ??

for OTB normally a sound device with multiple outputs is
utilised..whereby tracks can be sent from the pc to an external mixer.
for final mixing to stereo.
(in the same way as multitrack tape machines were used in past days.)
some engineers feel a better mix is created this way.
but others feel just as good mixes can be done totally in the pc.
anyone reading this might check with pg support...cos i'm ITB.
but...its my understanding with the right sound card/device you could do OTB with
ptw.
i mention this , just in case anyone is interested for example in
recording a lot of tracks in ptw....then haveing say 8 sound card outs going to 8 ins
of an external mixing console.
ie...just another possibility to consider.

in this scenario...the external mix/monitor console would create the final stereo mix
master. and of course speaker/phone monitoring would be hooked up to this mixer.

now let me comment on speakers.
for monitoring some people use just one set of speakers.
(for value for money i'm kinda partial to yorkie monitors or yorkvilles.)
but i would suggest a speaker switch being fed by a studio power amp,
that in turn can switch tween various speakers.
1. proper monitors (eg the yorks.)
2. a pair of "ratty" speakers. (YES..the problem is lotsa people have them.)
3. a mono speaker mebe. some studios use a tv speaker.
also some people chek mixes on boomboxes as lots of people have em.
(note...u can now get boomboxes fed by a usb port on the pc !).
there are many approaches.
heres an example of a speaker switcher box...
(for non powered speakers.)
http://www.maplin.co.uk/module.aspx?ModuleNo=29754&doy=search
(google for many other deals.)


(REMEMBER...put fast blow fuses in speaker lines...!)

simply turn off the speakers when recording with phones.
(note...try and choose monitor speakers that are shielded if your useing an old computer
monitor.)

(if u google youll see lots of power amps for speakers,
as well as speakers with power amps built in.)
(more to come.)

manning1 #3935 09/10/07 07:48 AM
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manning1,

foam carpet pads are not actually very absorbent - mostly closed cell foam. Open cell foam works better. Auralex makes pretty expensive stuff, but there is a knock-off company in Michigan that has similar products for a fraction of the price.

http://www.foambymail.com/soundproofing.html

Another cheap way to go is to find the used office furniture outlet in your area - find out if they are selling any of the old cubicle partitions that normally have quite high absorbent properties. If they are ugly, cover them with some light, decorative breathable fabric.

-Scott

rockstar_not #3936 09/10/07 04:10 PM
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rockstar.
cheers.
yes i'm aware of the issue with carpet pads.
i just wanted to include russels comment.
and let him have his say on the subject.
i mentioned office partitions up thread.
god bless.

manning1 #3937 09/21/07 10:01 AM
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an update.
firstly i apologise for not posting tips for awhile.
ive been rather unwell, then got flu on top. jeesh.
finally i'm getting better, but next week will be flying to uk for a month to spend time with my poor old mum.
cos i dont know how much longer i'll have her for.
thus i hope to get back to this in early november.
v v sorry/apologies.


retired puter engr....powertracks on amd......NICE !
"what is the black art of audio engineering ?"
my silly songs...motagator.com/bmanning
see my tips in the tips section.
manning1 #3938 11/23/07 05:30 PM
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tips...039.
a usb tip.
hope this helps someone.
you get cliks or pops with a usb audio device
for recording into or playing back from ptw.
(or even in another application).
you think its ptw thats the problem right ??
well.....no.
read the following.
firstly check if you have other devices plugged into the usb
bus that might lock out the usb sound device.

BUT if this isnt the issue....i had probs with one usb sound device i
was testing. heres how i solved it.
and got trouble free audio.
in case you get probs ..try this.
1. ptw options>>>preferences.
2. click on the AUDIO TAB.
and up come the audio driver settings.
3. NOTICE CAREFULLY >>>>>TRACK BUFFER SIZE SETTING.<<<<
by useing a different setting i cured the problem and
obtained trouble free audio.

in summary i feel some folks dont spend the time understanding
the various settings in this dialogue.
therefore my recommendation is really and i mean REALLY understand what each does. cos they are important.
and u might be blaming your sound device or ptw wrongly.


retired puter engr....powertracks on amd......NICE !
"what is the black art of audio engineering ?"
my silly songs...motagator.com/bmanning
see my tips in the tips section.
manning1 #3939 01/27/08 06:23 PM
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tips...040.
the ptw.ini file.
heres a tip to be aware of.
might help in troubleshooting.

locate the file ptw.ini useing win search.
now clik on it.
notice how the settings display ?
these are YOUR SETTINGS.
dont change anything tho'.
notice how it reflects your devices also ?

it can be usefull to peruse this file if you wish to
say troubleshoot whether a device you have installed
has a problem. for example mebe you "think" you
installed it properly but mebe in actual fact you didnt.

its just usefull to know about this file and how it might help you.
for example resolving device driver aspects.
(but dont change anything....make changes in ptw preferences.)

let me add there are various other files you can display if u clik on
em in your pt folder.(text files.)


retired puter engr....powertracks on amd......NICE !
"what is the black art of audio engineering ?"
my silly songs...motagator.com/bmanning
see my tips in the tips section.
manning1 #3940 01/28/08 04:32 AM
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Quote:


the hook up would be...
sound card stereo out>>>headphone amp>>>phones.
some headphone amps let several pairs of phones to be hooked up.
usefull for jamming with friends for example.





Big thanks manning1 for all the gems in these posts.

Just chipping in with a bit of first hand experience. I have an
ART HeadAmp4 4-Channel Headphone Amplifier .

Works an absolute treat. Cannot recommend it highly enough.

Regards,

Marc

mglinert #3941 01/28/08 02:39 PM
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mg..(i like mgb;s.) cheers.
tips...041.
re back up drives.
i'm real happy with my seagate freeagent usb back up drive i got for 90 buks. but still new.
its also got 8mb cache.


retired puter engr....powertracks on amd......NICE !
"what is the black art of audio engineering ?"
my silly songs...motagator.com/bmanning
see my tips in the tips section.
manning1 #3942 02/26/08 09:30 AM
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tips...042.
topic..."things that go beep in the night".

scenario.
you boot up n you hear "continuous beeps" coming from your system.
like a morse code type of idea.
mebe these didnt happen before but you changed your pc config somehow.
for example added real memory.

resolution.
this is prolly the motherboard sending out an ERROR MESSAGE.
find out model of motherboard.
go to manufacturers web site of the motherboard n download the tech manual
on the mother board.
(or on manufacturers web siteor contact tech support.)
look in the error code section of the manual.
the "beeps" normally are a "error code".
your motherboard manual will tell you what they are.
if this happens resolve it at the earliest.

manning1 #3943 04/09/08 03:51 AM
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tips...043.
a little tip if your on a tight budget.
re sound devices.
i needed another little roughing out songs rig.
anyhoo to cut a long story short.
i got a toneport gx for it not expecting much .
this unit is 70 buks n frankly floored me for the money.
its a combo device. its more than just a sound device.
its a sound device/mic processor/guitar input/guitar amp emulations built in
plus mic pre emulations built in.
i expected latency.
ran a test in ptw yesterday just useing bog standard mme , no probs.
all lined up. flawless install in xp.
its an asio device but ran great in standard mme.
so i didnt bother with asio.
loaded up an old ptw project , recorded a track no probs.
even the MS synth came thru fine in the mix.
(this unit has no midi).
as always caveat emptor. do your own testing n make sure you can return
within 30 days. if a prob with your pc.
but for me.works flawless.
it has so many fx n guitar cab emulations built in its daft.
its a lotta fun just plugging in a guitar n wailing away.
yesterday it gave me in the space of an hour 10 more new song ideas.
note...to use a pro xlr mic with it, just use a xlr>>qtr inch convertor.
oh.by the way looked at ptw meters on input.
this is a low noise device.
its usb which surprised me.
count me surprised.
god bless.
ps.a tip instead of useing its phone out , plug gx stereo out into a proper powerfull
headphone amp. turn down the backing , turn up the the headphone amp when doing vocs.
i even sang thru a guitar cab emulation for some neato recorded sounds.
BUT DO YOUR OWN TESTING. what works for me might not for you.


retired puter engr....powertracks on amd......NICE !
"what is the black art of audio engineering ?"
my silly songs...motagator.com/bmanning
see my tips in the tips section.
manning1 #3944 09/25/08 07:13 PM
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tips...044.
a really neat tool ive been playing with is..this..
http://www.thesycon.de/deu/latency_check.shtml

why is this tool usefull ?
heres the reasons.
1. it might help you track down cliks n pops n dropouts
in your recording daw.
2. i would suggest people use it when shopping for a new system.
cos it might save you probs with a particular config.


as a benchmark my amd system has 8 microsecs which is pretty good.
what you want to see is figures in the green.
for example right now ive been helping a friend looking at laptops.
and am finding this tool is really helpfull for assessing laptops.
lots of laptops i'm finding are not measuring up.
so..particularly for laptop shoppers i suggest its use.
.....................................................................
tips...045.
been testing out a audio teknica at 2020 mic i was given as a present.
this is a cheapo mic. not bad on vocs ive found.
of course you can make any mic pop if you pound it.
so if you ever get pops with this or another mic, use a pop screen with the pencil trick.
.......................................................................

tips...046.
you know the story, you dont have the best room to do vocal recording in.
now there are various products one can buy to stop reflections.
quite expensive too.
so try this cheapo solution. .
take an old outside of an old computer case, or any piece of bendable metal...
and curve it sorta in the shape of a "U".
line it with some sound dampening material.
make it so the mic on a stand is sorta enveloped by it at the back and sides of the mic.
ie..the mic is within the "U" boundaries inset sorta idea.
then sing into mic.
heres another diy idea on you tube i came across.
in a similar vein.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CV5Rl-IK-eo
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

manning1 #3945 06/15/09 11:43 PM
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Can you please compile your tips in a copiable format in your website so we can download it? Thanks!!

manning1 #3946 08/23/09 07:32 PM
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manning .... tnx for the tips ... this could help me a lot for now ...


Join Music social Network
http://www.punkai.com
Have Fun!
freakme #3947 08/26/09 05:41 AM
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cheers.
tips...047.
heres an inmteresting tip.
hope it works for others as well as it works for moi.
normally i use top o' line akg phones for say
recording vocs.
well my dear wife got one over on me..lol.
she bought me as a likle present a pr of senny ear buds
for my mp3 player. (11 buks !!)
thought nothing of it.
but being the experimental type i wondered if they could be used
into my headphone amp for tracking. instead of the akg's.
cos friends are always asking for inexpensive solutions.
well i was SURPRISED for two reasons.
1. i dont need oodles of amplification compared to akg's.
2. ive never been able to hear myself so well (my vocs)
while tracking. great clarity.
BE CAREFULL OF LEVEL. they can pack a wallop.
dont burn yer ears out.
mebe they wont work well for some folks..
but they sure do for me.
so i use em all the time now for tracking vocs.
they are senny mx160 series if i remember.
proper set up is important n monitoring etc.


retired puter engr....powertracks on amd......NICE !
"what is the black art of audio engineering ?"
my silly songs...motagator.com/bmanning
see my tips in the tips section.
manning1 #3948 09/24/09 11:48 AM
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tips...048
subject..expensive control surfaces and add in dsp cards.
the reason for this post is i see lots of people buying
the above for their studios..but ..
i'm not sure some buyers are aware of certain pitfalls.
in theory they sound wonderfull..but..
there are pitfalls.

before buying make sure you can get service/support
a few years down the line.

heres the issue.
these items contain a lot of custom puter chips n smt.
(surface mount technology) and are not items the individual can fix.
also the other aspect is obsolescence.
for big studios that think nothing of dropping 10k on gear
its no big deal. but for the small studio that cant afford
to keep on rebuying it is.

in summary if such a unit fails you could be left with
a doorstop if the manufacturer goes out of business
or the custom chips in the unit are no longer available.
as happened to me once.

in summary..before buying ,
ask these questions.
1. is the unit upgradeable ?
2. for how many years will the internal circuitry be available
in case a problem develops.
and how long will i be able to get service.

its not like in the old days when an op amp could be replaced
in a audio mixers channel.
this stuff is rather complex .

myself, ive reached a point where i refuse to buy any product
that contains digital circuitry unless i can be assured of upgradeability
and future service. eg will the unit work when windows 8 rolls around for example.


retired puter engr....powertracks on amd......NICE !
"what is the black art of audio engineering ?"
my silly songs...motagator.com/bmanning
see my tips in the tips section.
manning1 #3949 10/02/09 05:06 AM
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tips...048
powertracks..daft fun triks with the MS synth\for added drum sounds.
(for ruff quik guide traks for a real drummer for example.)
and useing pitch transpose midi music in the edit menu.
heres the gig.
notice under edit menu is fill trak with drum pattern.
for the purpose of this example...
clik SELECT PATTERN and choose rock.dp.
fill 50 bars or whatever.
play it back useing the ms synth.
sounds pretty boring does it not ??
lol...well not necessarily.
(i was showing a friend this trik recently.)
lets say you have rock.dp as track 1.
duplicate it to track 2 and mute track 1 for now.
we will now experiment with the pattern on track 2.
and as we find different beats/sound combos we will use the ptw
piano roll to transfer to free traks so they are on their own.
let me give you an example.
edit>>pitch transpose midi music
VERY IMPORTANTLY NOTICE THE BOX MARKED VALUE !!
this is very important to the trik.
IT CAN HAVE POSITIVE AS WELL AS NEGATIVE VALUES.
(tho youll prolly find more interesting experiments with positive values.)
as a start enter 1 as value. and play back.
NOTICE THE DRUMS HAVE CHANGED.
dont like it ??
without changeing value (keep at default 1)
keep on cliking edit>>pitch transpose and ok and playback.
till you hear something you like.
or you can have fun and put any number in.
for example lets put a value = 9.
notice now the hihat sound ??
lets say we like it , how do we strip it out ??
easy. bring up piano roll . hilite the midi notes FOR JUST THE HAT.
then right clik and copy.
then in traks view clik on trak 3.
then edit>> 1 trak paste.
now we have the hi hat extracted onto its own trak 3 !!
but lets say you dont want hihat all way thru..
you would like a change in the song.
once again dupe the hihat trak..and use same trik as before .
midi transpose.
for example that hi hat trak. try a value of transpose...
value = -20..now we have STICKS !!

triks like the ones above in conjunction with midi editing
can be used to build a more interesting guide ruff drum
trak.
when you find something nice. just split the notes out onto their own trak,
of course softsynth plug in could be used also .
but the whole idea is to tart up a boring drum pattern.
nothing to stop you finding free midi drum patterns on the net,
importing them to ptw and applying the above triks on them.
for example lets say you find a nice drum roll. but the sound is boring.
see what you can do to useing the above methods to create something new.
anyway its fun !!


retired puter engr....powertracks on amd......NICE !
"what is the black art of audio engineering ?"
my silly songs...motagator.com/bmanning
see my tips in the tips section.
manning1 #3950 12/30/09 08:36 PM
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Bumping this back up.

Sundance #3951 01/02/10 07:29 PM
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hi sundance.
happy new year.
tips...049
topic... handling third party plug ins.
it seems in various daw host software sometimes people
have trouble loading a particular plug in.
sometimes plug ins can be downloaded as just a simple naked dll.
others require unzipping and.or clicking on an installer that comes with the plug in.
a typical problem ive seen friends have is after downloading a particular plug in
they cant seem to load it in their fav host daw software.

heres one reason why.
sometimes its hidden deep in the layers of a directory/file structure.
thus sometimes its difficult to find.

heres a simple solution.
instead of haveing plug ins scattered deep in a dir structure..
set up a folder on the desktop called "plug ins".
ie a central easily located folder containing your plug ins.
this way when you want to try a plug in..
you know exactly the folder it will be in ..
viz "plugins folder". or call it a unique name like
"thirdpartyvst's".
you could even set up 2 folders.
one for instrument plug ins and one for fx.
this way you will know exactly where to go to load a plug in.
so when you download a new plug in just set it up
in your central plug ins folder.

now the question becomes ..but i already have 50 odd plug ins
scattered around my system. what about them ??
do i move em all to the new plug ins folder ??
on this aspect you might want to be carefull..
cos i dont have a good answer.
mainly cos i dont know every plug in.
if the plug in was downloaded as a simple naked dll with no installer.
you should be ok moving it to the new plug ins folder.
but if it used a special installer i would be carefull.
you might ant to ask the developer of the plug in bout this aspect.
cos it might be hairy depending on the plug in and how it was registered
in windows.

something else i do re plug ins is...
if i am trying a new plug in for the first time i
try and assess how much of my pc resources it uses.
i would suggest folks be sensitive to this aspect.
i also undertake a performance test.
i look for clues like how fast does the plug in take to load and display.
and does my system seem to suddenly become much more sluggish.
after a time you sorta get a feel for this.

i personally stay away from plug ins needing dongles etc.
but thats up to the individual person whether they make that decision.
cos i dont want to get into that debate as its been debated on
various recording forums.

the other thing to be aware of is even the most powerfull
system has a limit to its resources.
it is also important to remember that if you wish to run lots of plug in instances
you should really assess your memory needs.
cos plug ins can consume lots of memory depending on how the plug ins are designed.
a typical problem ive seen is someone records a few traks and loads a few plug ins..
and gets a sense of security that all will be ok with more traks and plug ins.
please dont make this assumption.
also its important to remember that the OS itself needs memory.
in summary if you have low real memory and/or an older processor
monitor very carefull useing win task manager your processor and memory useage.
particularly problems ive seen are with systems with older processors
and 512 or 1 gig of ram. thus i normally recommend at least 2 gigs of ram.
to be on the safe side. anyhoo memory is cheap these days.
many studios with heavy plug in needs are now in fact useing much more than 2 gigs of ram.
in summary ..if you want to use lots of plug ins but have a low real memory system.
you might want to monitor carefully your memory useage.
another good clue to look out for is when the time read outs in your daw
are not as fluid as usual. and become "sticky".
this is a clue that your system might be getting under strain.

finally just cos your mate fred loves a certain plug in..still make sure
you test it on your own system.
cos for all you know your mate fred might have a super duper i7 system
with scads of fast memory while you still have an older single core system
with slower memory for example.

good luck n happy new year.


retired puter engr....powertracks on amd......NICE !
"what is the black art of audio engineering ?"
my silly songs...motagator.com/bmanning
see my tips in the tips section.
manning1 #3952 01/03/10 09:17 PM
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tips...050
topic. some plug ins i tried today. a heads up.
today i tested a bunch of plug ins i have here.

each month...and i suggest folks check it out..
computer music mag from computermusic.co.uk
has a load of free plug in software.
my dear wife n friends occasionally get me the mag as a bday or xmas present.
from my tests every single plug in i tried loaded fine for me.
the only thing to be aware of is that SOME midi plug ins
triggered from a midi trak need changeing the midi channel.
eg i had to do that for erratic.
i suggest folks check out computer music mag
cos its very interesting the freebie plug ins they give on their dvd's included with the mag.
heres my comments bout specific plug ins ive had with various
computer music mag versions from different months.


for midi traks...
1.astralis orgone..a very wild synth ...loads of settings.
i'm no synth expert but synth freaks should try this freebie.
2.amb bass rack..bass sounds.
3.cm303..bass sounds.
4.cm dominator..synth sounds etc .
note ..dominator is kinda amazeing...
actually it freaked me out...loads of stuff once again for synth freaks.
fill a trak with a drum pattern for example n try some of the dominator presets.
for rhythmic synth sounds for example.
this is a serious synth for free imho.
5.cm genesis..another synth.
6.erratic cm from delamancha.co.uk..
a very interesting drum sample player with lots
of off the wall drum sounds included.


audio plug ins.
1. cm vocoder..very very interesting vocoder effects.
2. cm compressive martin eastwood...
an interesting comp with lots of comp settings.
compressor freaks should try it out.
for free it might just float your boat.
3. magnus ambience..lots of reverb settings.
4. tal reverb. another reverb.
5. sanford phaser cm.

in conclusion if your looking for some plug ins and are new
to recording or even a vet ..if you dont know about it..
computer music mag free dvd's that come with the mag
might have some usefull plug ins you can use in your songs.


retired puter engr....powertracks on amd......NICE !
"what is the black art of audio engineering ?"
my silly songs...motagator.com/bmanning
see my tips in the tips section.
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