I learned a lot of sound techniques and theories while in school. But I believe the most valuable thing my SCAD professors taught me was how to learn outside of school. One way was by requiring us to subscribe to at least two music/sound production magazines. And almost five years later, I still receive my Electronic Musician digest, but it hasn’t stopped there.
Over the years, I’d often dive into internet searches looking for ways to solve technical issues and began to notice people were slowly putting tips, tricks, how-to’s, do it yourself’s, etc. all over the web. I personally liked to do blog and forum searches because they often provided a vast amount of info on a specific topic, and provided hands on examples/downloads you could play around with. I believe it taught me how resourceful these communities can be.
Owning a few different DAW’s, and taking part in their forum communities has proved helpful for some products. Some companies understand the forum community relationship (meaning users and the creators) better than others. One I’ve been very impressed with is Image-Line, the creators of my favorite DAW FL Studio. They are committed to community involvement, development, challenges/competitions, and probably most importantly, keeping consistent presence by keeping users informed at a reasonable rate. Another equally important thing to mention is that I often see someone from admin lurking about troubleshooting with people and trying to help. I’ve even seen them ask a user to upload their project so they could look at it themselves. And it’s always the same two or three admins too. I can even name two off the top of my head.. Scott and Reflex. 😛
On top of all that Image-Line has for years provided an abundance of tutorials of their workstation in’s and out’s, techniques, and tips/tricks from a novice to a professional standpoint. They even provide tech-geek advance discussions about the creation and analysis of sound. It’s the first place I learned about the Loudness War. In the spirit educational benevolence, they often share they’re knowledge with the theory that in the end its up to you what sounds good. It often gives me a sense of empowerment that makes it fun to make noise. So I enjoy checking out their videos tutorials.
And so I leave you with today’s trick, compression. Because along side various EQ’s, Compressor’s are the most used in my arsenal. Below is a playlist of videos about compressors and compression made by Image-Line. And Though you may not have these exact plugins, the same idea/theory can be applied to mostly any plugin with similar parameters. I also embedded a video below the playlist to help understand what the loudness war is. Enjoy!