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Reamping with VST AmpRack

It’s easy to overlook the software that comes bundled with your DAW, but sometimes, in the wealth of features that the “full-fat” versions of Cubase and the like are endowed with, there’s a real nugget.  VST AmpRack is one of those nuggets, offering the ability to create your perfect pedal board and amp/cabinet combination, even how you would mike it up and the settings you’d have on the virtual desk.  It’s not necessarily as immediate as EZMix and requires more thought than the Waves plugins I’ve looked at over the last few weeks, but it certainly shouldn’t be ignored.

 

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Adding a Solid State Drive (SSD) as an audio drive

mx100-2-5-ssdOne of the main upgrades that you can do to improve the performance of a computer is to replace the collection of spinning metal plates that make up your hard disk with something that has no moving parts at all – a Solid State Drive or SSD.  Although my PC is well specc’d for a laptop – 6GB of RAM, 750GB hard disk and Core i7 processor – that drive is a 5,400rpm model.  Which, for most things you’d use a laptop for, is fine, but not for audio, as the normal recommended speed is 7,200 rpm, which is not that common as an OEM component.  However, my laptop also comes with a spare 2.5” drive bay, so I installed a 512GB SSD drive as a second drive yesterday.  Normally, people install an SSD as a replacement for their primary drive, to get fast boot and load times for programs, but I had different priorities.  I don’t mind waiting a few minutes for Cubase to load, but it’s once I open a project that the hard drive really starts to get stressed.

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Stereo effects on a mono source

Reamping a DI guitar signal is a great way to ensure that your tone balances with the rest of the mix, not to mention allowing you to comp multiple parts if you want to without worrying about clashing delays and mismatched reverb tails.  However, a mono track can only have a mono output and if you want a stereo effect, you have to do some clever routing to divert your mono signal to a stereo output.  Or do you?

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On not paying the price

UltrachannelScreenshot3As something of a prelude to Monday’s video on YouTube, (in which I will show how to build up a sound selection of legitimate plugins without the necessity of paying full price), I wanted to highlight a couple of current offers that weren’t available when I recorded the video, but are time limited:

Native Instruments summer upgrade – I talk in the video about how NI sometimes have sales, well here’s proof. Available for the next week, existing users of NI software have the opportunity to upgrade to the latest version or crossgrade their product to Komplete, all for 50% off. The prices are still a bit on the eye-watering side, but if you’re in the market for an upgrade, now is your chance.

At the other end of the scale, Eventide are offer their new UltraChannel channel strip, (which will retail at $249) after the offer ends, for FREE, until July 8th. You will need to have an iLok account, (although not an iLok itself), in order to download the license key, but that’s a small price to pay for such a well-configured plugin. It’s available in VST, AU and AAX versions for both Windows PC and Mac.

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Reamping with JJP Guitars

So you’ve got a recorded guitar that’s already got an amp sound and you want to beef it up, but you don’t want to add any more overdrive or distortion.  Amp-simulating plugins aren’t what you need, but the JJP guitars plugin from Waves might be what you’re looking for.  With genre-specific variations on the theme of each preset, it uses different effects processed in parallel with and blended with the original single to enhance the original recording.

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Reamping with EZMix2

It’s easy to become a little bit snobbish when looking at the multiplicity of plugins available today and confuse realistic recreations of, (say), a classic compressor with “the way it should be done”.  To borrow a phrase from one of my favourite bad guys, “there are no rules”, certainly in how you approach making music.  In this video, I look at one of the simplest plugins around, (for the user), yet one capable of the most powerful end results if used with a little taste – EZMix2 from Toontrack.  A positive case of the ends justifying the means, for once?  You decide.