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Kadmium

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    Jesse Higginson

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  1. It's hard to go past Quantum Leap's RA for this type of thing. I've used it on quite a lot of game soundtracks (I'd be lost without it, to be honest) and I heartily recommend it.
  2. Since you mentioned Snappleman, I'm going to assume you mean hard rock guitar. These concepts apply to everything, but the following will be tailored to hard rock guitar. OK, first up I'm going to introduce the concept of a "signal chain". That's a fancy way of saying a bunch of effects, one after the other. First thing in your chain is your guitar, which should be set on a bridge humbucker, with volume and tone at maximum. You can adjust this later if you need to, but chances are you shouldn't. Second is the impedence transformer. "Well what the hell is that?" I hear you ask. Guitar outputs are high impedence things, and impedence is a concept best left to electrical engineers, but it's important that your gear is impedence matched, otherwise high or low frequencies will get rolled off (depending on the mismatch). An impedence transformer is the thing in a DI box (or an audio interface's instrument input) that takes it from high (guitar) impedence, to low (microphone) impedence. If you're plugging a guitar into the line in or mic in on your interface, stop. You're doing it wrong. Use the Instrument input if you have one, or use a DI box to go into the microphone input. Next up is the mic preamp. Clean ones are good to have. Solid state is the way to go here - tubes are good for overdrivey guitar amps but you don't really want that type of character here. Set your preamp gain so that your heavy peaks (palm muted chords, probably) don't overdrive the input, and give yourself a little headroom on top of that. Next up is your A/D converter, which takes your (now line level) signal from analog to digital. Not much we can do about that, except make sure it's working in 24 bit, and probably at 44.1khz (or higher, if you're a high-def snob, but don't bother with 48khz unless your final destination is DVD). After that, we're in your DAW (digital audio workstation, the software you're using to record). Record your tracks (tightly - timing is very important, so make sure you're ALWAYS precisely in time). I recommend four tracks, panned 100% left, 85% left, 85% right, 100% right. Now apply your effects chain. You'll want a high gain amp plugin first (take your pick from LePou's stuff, Onqel's X30 or Nick Crow's stuff). Be conservative in the setup - don't stray too far with the EQ. If you're setting the bass and treble on 9 and the mids on 1, you're doing it wrong - don't ever do that. Small steps. After the amp, you need a cab. Cabs usually come in the form of "Impulse Responses", which is a way to measure the difference a guitar cab and microphone make to your signal. Fantastic piece of technology. You need a plugin to load IRs (LePou's fabulous LeCab does quite well) and later you'll want cab impulse responses (Red Wire or Recabinet), but the one that comes built into LeCab will serve you well for now. Now, before the amp model, you'll probably want to insert a tube screamer to tighten up the bass response. Don't underestimate the importance of this - it's the difference between flabbiness and tightness in your rhythm playing, and it's easy, so do it. Take your pick from BTE's TSS or TSE's 808. Set the overdrive pretty low and the volume at half, with the tone somewhere between zero and half. Have fun. It's about now that you realise that good guitar tone requires good bass tone and a good drum sound to support it. That's a post for another day. Good luck.
  3. Hi guys. Not sure if any of you know this already, but I'm the sound and music guy for Halfbrick Studios, a Brisbane-based game developer. We recently released the PSP Minis game Blast Off (which was also previously an Xbox Indie Games title) and got a good response to the music, so I convinced the higher-ups to let me release the soundtrack for free as a Christmas gift to game music lovers. It's available in MP3 and Apple Lossless flavours. Merry Christmas, enjoy, and don't be afraid to leave comments and opinions .
  4. There's always this one, which was my (winning) entry for the April 2008 DoD
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