Waves and Discovery (Pt. 2)


It would have been physically impossible to make my audio gains in the past few months without Waves plugins.  A plugin is software inserted in the audio chain of your DAW  (digital audio workstation).  It is generally an emulation of the original processing hardware desired.  They are indispensable for sound-shaping.

Mixing “in the box” is a term used to describe mixing done completely using a computer.  The only hardware used is your audio interface where you can monitor what you’re mixing or plug in microphones or guitars if you choose.  The advantages are immediacy and convenience.  One can change gear at the click of a mouse, unlike the old days of unplugging the unwanted hardware, dragging out the gear you want to try, and plugging it all back in.

Waves Audio was founded in 1992 . Its first product was the Q10 Paragraphic Equalizer.  It was the first commercially available audio plugin.  They now have over 200 plugins that can process audio in a myriad of ways.  Each piece of replicated gear has been carefully modeled, down to the 60 or 50hz hum of the original hardware.  Waves even puts a couple of extras not on the original equipment!

When I listened to the Beatles while growing up, I dreamed of recording at their EMI (Abbey Road) studios.  Their producer (George Martin) used Abbey Road equipment to decorate the sound much like an artist uses colors.  I now am able to use that same equipment in software form, from beginning to end (as well as many other studio gear combinations).

Every recording studio is filled with audio processing gear.  It is expensive and cumbersome.  Each component has its own distinct sonic character.  It’s what we look to for “spice” in our recordings.  The ability to change these quickly is vital.  Waves makes this economically and physically possible.  I use their plugins exclusively now and recommend them.   They aren’t paying me for this endorsement, either!

Discovery (Pt. 2)

Another discovery I made was the in the music of Tony Joe White.  He had just released his 42nd album in September, then unexpectedly passed away in October.  Tony Joe White was a true original.

He was driving a dump truck in Marietta, Georgia in 1967 when he heard Bobby Gentry’s “Ode To Billie Joe”.  He was inspired to write his southern-based “swamp rock”.  He wrote “Polk Salad Annie” (among others), drove to Nashville, signed with Monument Records, and had a #8 hit with fore-mentioned song.

He wrote the huge hit “Rainy Night in Georgia” that was made famous by Brook Benton.  Tina Turner would record four of his songs on her 1988 “Foreign Affair” album.  (Tony Joe played  guitar and harmonica on it as well.)

He made great music right up till the end of his time on this earth, doing what he loved.  That’s how to do it!

You can discover Tony Joe White, too!

© 2018 J. Mark Witters      Skyypilot.com

The Outlier Saga

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The Outlier Saga…

The Outlier saga begins in March, 2018.  I had retired from a job I had for thirty years to devote more time for music and video pursuits.  I scrapped my web hosting service, began learning WordPress, set up a new website, fired YouTube, Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn, learned a new video editor (Filmora),  began a blog, and just walked away from anything that I could not support.  Also, we began a two month home renovation, so it was a very transitional time,  indeed.

Now What?

Now, we began by getting a  couple of sounds together…  I chose Waverazor to get a bass we can drop in when needed.  Then, I added a couple more sounds using Waverazor (again) and Syntronik.  SampleTank 3 is a VST I often use, and this time is no exception.  These plugins are made by Ik Multimedia.  I chose a 16 instruments-worth of sounds that I think might work.  My philosophy is simple- use a lot of instruments for small stretches.   If I’m bored, you’ll be bored, right?

I needed to have a title track for my new album-“Outlier”, so now what?  First, I had to shove away the clutter by getting the Skyypilot website back up, start a blog, switch my video host to Vimeo, learn  Filmora (for editing my videos), and began to use some new, essential Waves plugins.

Let the Music Begin!

After choosing 87 bpm (beats per minute), let’s let the music begin!  I just started out on Waverazor and got sounds for the two tracks that those two instances occupy.  Then, I picked a sound that Syntronik would trigger.  These samples are from vintage synthesizers, so that’s always interesting.  Putting old sounds with new is a good thing for we short-attention span folks!  No instrument is totally set in stone at any point (in my view).

OK, now I let the recording roll along and sparsely fill the space with sounds and little themes that I attempt to stitch together.  After starting and stopping for about 8:37,  I decide to end the free-form with a little rock.

I  put a rhythm and two slide electric guitar parts through Amplitube 4, another fine Ik Multimedia product for guitar and bass processing.  You can completely change any guitar tone AFTER the recording-invaluable!

I decided the bass parts would be shared with a sample from Ethno 2 , Waverazor, and Waves’ Codex.

Get a Groove Going

Time to get a groove going on the Outlier saga…  I put together midi loops from Waveform 9,  DrumCore 4, and various odds and ends.  Usually, I have a couple of different-sounding midi kits that blend together.  I selected drum kits in DrumCore 4 and one of in previously chosen SampleTank 3 instruments.

Now, I put my simple blues guitar theme on it- two slide and one rhythm guitar.  Next, I added a simple bass part, trading with a Waverazor instrument track.  I filled in a couple of chord progressions with SampleTank 3 instruments and percussion from Waveform 9.  

Taking Shape

This song is taking shape.  Next, I wrote  the lyrics to rock section- “Walk Away”.  After singing along a few times, I have a melody in a framework.

The end has a call and response thing going on.  I decided to be the three piece one-man chorus, so there you go…

The Choices…

All the choices we have in audio plugins are staggering.  I use mainly Waves and IK Multimedia plugins, but I’ll describe these and the others more in depth as my blog slogs on…  You have to “fish or cut bait” at some point, and live with your choices.

I’m finishing up this 16:30 monstrosity soon…

To be continued,,,

© 2018 J. Mark Witters    Skyypilot.com