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New Theatre Tour – Music by SMARTassMusic

Sample Project 2- Theatre Show Live and Recorded Music

Sinatra Arrangements
The brief for this project was to produce arrangements for the live musicians and a click track synced to a video with additional instruments recorded. Sounds simple?

There’s so many Sinatra shows around that this had to be done well -every note was transcribed from the original recordings and then painstakingly re-recorded….tempo synced to the originals to give the correct feel. It was no easy task!
Have a listen:

Posted in: arranging, Audio, Music

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No1 iTunes Album Produced By SMARTassMusic

Sample Project 1- Vocal album recording

Tom-Solomon-no1 albumWe were approached last year by West End vocalist Tom Solomon to record his double album (Beautiful Day).
We’re very pleased to say that this album reached No1 in the iTunes classical chart!

Not only did Tom need the album recorded, he also wanted arrangements written for live musicians and click tracks for live performance.

We transcribed and arranged all of the material and used a mixture of virtual instruments and two of London’s busiest session musicians – On drums we used the great Accy Yeats and the amazing James Pusey on guitar.

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Sinatra Arrangements

Sinatra Arrangements

A while back, I heard this solo piano backing track through a great stereo system at a gig and it caught my attention. When I asked the singer about it he said “you did it”.
That really is embarrassing. I’d never heard the track in a live environment and I thought I was listening to a real piano. It was actually a virtual piano and I’ll let you into a few secrets about why this sounded so authentic.

1. Transcription:

I’d transcribed the original performance note for note, from the original Frank Sinatra performance:

sinatra arrangements

2. Phrasing:

I also recorded the new piano part in sync with the original so that the singer could phrase very naturally, having rehearsed the original Sinatra version. This is quite a complex thing to do, technically and musically and does require some experience to make it work.

3. Performance:

We’ll take it for granted that now we have the notes written down, we can play them properly, sensitively without having to program them in.

4. Mixing:

When most people use a virtual piano, they tend to just export to audio and maybe use some compression, EQ, and reverb. I like to treat a virtual piano just like real grand piano recorded with several microphone positions. I export several stereo tracks, adding different amounts of reverb and send them all to a group channel. I can then mix this much denser, more complicated sound which gives the piano more of a realistic timbre.
Yes, all this takes far more time than most people like to spend.

For more information on written arrangements or recorded arrangements visit smartassmusic arranging or music production

Posted in: arranging, Audio, General, Music

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Online Audio File Converter WAV, AIFF, FLAC, MP3s

smartassmusic_100x100Have you’ve ever needed to convert your audio files quickly and not had the right software to hand?
We know exactly how frustrating that can be so we’ve just added a really cool feature to SMARTassMusic which allows you to convert all of your music into the most useful audio formats, and it’s REALLY fast 🙂

You can see here that in my account I’ve converted “Urban Symphony” to MP3 (128kbps) and I’ve chosen to convert “Insomnia” to all available file formats.

CONVERTER2If you login into your account and navigate to your “downloads” page you’ll now be able to download your purchased music in the following formats:

For explanations of each file type click here 

The converter is incredibly quick and when I tested  a 4 minute WAV  the site converted it to AIFF in 6 seconds!!

In your account area you can quickly review each purchased track by pressing the play button and  download the WAV file at any time. To convert the WAV file choose an alternative format from the drop-down menu an additional download button will appear in a few seconds.
To save server space your converted files are deleted after 24 hours but your WAV files are always in your account and you can revisit and convert/ download as many times as you want.

Posted in: Audio, General, Royalty free music, Tutorials

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Adding Audio to Your Site – “Why” and “How” Answered

For those of you that surf the ‘net often, you might be noticing audio clips that are popping up. Some will start playing as soon as you enter a site, and others you are beckoned to click “play” to hear their message.

Adding an audio clip to your website gives a personal touch where reading text is hard to portray. It puts a voice to you representing your product or service and can make a big effect on how you are perceived. It assists your website visitors so they can gain a better understanding of what you offer – just as a face-to-face meeting would – having an audio clip helps your web audience build that important relationship with you.

Audio also enhances your professional presentation – in most circumstances. In my opinion, having an audio clip (whether it is music or a voice-over) automatically play when a web page is opened is not a good idea. It is forcing the visitor to listen to something they may not have cared to hear and more importantly, it interferes with the music or radio program they are playing while surfing. It is best to provide an invitation to listen to the audio clip when it is appropriate to introduce it in your website content. This way, you are making your visitors feel comfortable and you appear professional and trustworthy at the same time.

From a marketing perspective, audio can act as an “attention grabber”. You have the ability to guide your website visitor through your site and talk about the product or service you have to offer. The audio clip can also be a powerful motivator to explore and discover your site.

There are several ways to utilize audio on your website:

*Personal Messages: Add a personal greeting by means of introducing yourself, your products or your services. This is a quick way to capture their attention as opposed to counting on them to read all of the text you have provided. In fact, simply do that – read what you already have written on your site! This will give your visitors a lasting impression once they hear your voice.

*Promotional Message: Promote a sale, special give-away, or announce a brand new product you want to let everyone know about. Your passionate message speaking about how much you truly believe in your product or service will be sure to catch people’s interest.

*Audio Testimonials: Ask your clients to record a quick sound byte for you and post this audio message, along with their name and website address (or contact information) and it becomes a powerful way to tell others of your credibility. Your visitors will be more apt to believe the testimonial if it’s attached with a live voice of your client. Your client also wins by giving them some extra exposure of their business.

*Audio Instructions: If you offer a product that needs some instruction, provide an audio clip that explains the steps involved. You can accompany it with a picture of what you’re talking about. Seeing and hearing how something works is very powerful and will give people the confidence they need to purchase what you have to offer.

* Audio Invitation: If you have a free e-newsletter, it’s important to try and get as many people to sign up for it as possible – they are your target market just waiting to hear more from you! By using an audio message inviting people to sign and explain what they will get for their efforts (answering the “what’s in it for me” question), can be very effective. Be sure to mention that you are giving away a free item to anyone signing up – such as a free article, e-book, or piece of artwork etc – people love receiving something free!

How to Put Audio on Your Site

Digital audio can come in many different formats, but the most common and safe format to use is MP3. There are several ways to going about creating these MP3 files – some more expensive than others. I’ll detail a few here:

*Recording the audio on your home PC: There are lots of audio recording software available for you to install and start recording your message. All you need is a good quality computer microphone, a quiet room and you’re good to go. Here are a couple of software suggestions:

– Audacity is a free, open source audio software program you download and install yourself.
– Web Audio Plus 1.0 is another free software program. I found instructions to use it here: How to put audio on your website
– Sony Sound Forge is a software package that you purchase. Sony Sound Forge enables you to create CD tracks and web audio files. You can even capture audio from an analog source and digitize it onto CD’s and MP3’s.
– Internet Audio-Video. These guys offer several different pieces of software in one bundle – which includes creating your own video as well. But be careful making your own video clips, if not done professionally, they could work against you. I’ll be talking more about video next month.

* Using an on-line service:
– BYOAudio is an audio recording service where you can use your computer microphone or call in via the telephone. The MP3 sound clip is produced for you. They have a sale on right now for a 30-day trial for $1 and after that, it costs $19.95 a month.
– Audio Generator is also a monthly fee-based audio generating service. Beware – you have to sign up to get any information on them and then it is a very intense marketing campaign you need to endure. I was turned off right away – but that’s just me.

* Hiring a Professional: With this option, you hire a local audio recording company and go into their studio where they record your voice-over, do edits to make it sound professional and perfect, add some background music and then your audio file is ready to be burned to CD or uploaded to your website.

As you can see, there are many options to consider on how to go about adding audio to your website; in my opinion, give the free open source software a try first and see how that works. If you find it’s too difficult to manage and you want an easier way, try the services offered. Once you have your audio clip created, simply contact me or your web developer to have it added to your site.

PS. The resources mentioned above are sites I have found in my Internet searches – I do not make any guarantees; I’m just sharing my research results and do not endorse any of them personally.

Kind regards,
Susan Friesen, B.B.A.
eVision Media ~ Definitive eBusiness Solutions
evisionmedia.ca

About the Author: Susan is a professional website developer with over eight year’s experience in the industry. With a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, concentration in Computer Information Systems, she is able to provide a unique and caring service to her clients not only as a website designer, but also an eBusiness Advisor; assisting individuals, businesses and organizations establish and brand product or service effectively on the World Wide Web. Contact Susan today for your free consultation on building your website presence to the effective marketing tool is can be. susan@evisionmedia.ca or visit http://www.evisionmedia.ca

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Susan_Friesen

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Virtual Instrument Techniques for Pro’ Results

virtual instrument tips

If you search through many royalty free music libraries it won’t take long before you come across cheap midi sounds from the past 20 years of computer recording. With the sophisticated virtual instruments available today this need not be the case and with enough care, these instruments can sound impressive, musical and even move you.

Here’s my tips to getting the most from virtual instruments:

Always Think of How The Real Instrument would Play :
You should learn as much as you can about the real instruments that you are emulating. Think of how the musician might physically play a certain phrase as well as the range of the instrument and which register sounds weak or particularly strong? What type of articulations suit the instrument and perhaps where it may be positioned on stage. You should include the inaccuracies that might occur with real instruments. It’s easy to make computer music sound too precise and in real life, this isn’t always the case. The individual instruments of a string section won’t start or end a phrase at exactly the same time-it shouldn’t sound messy, but it should include a human element.

Realistic Strings: (more…)

Posted in: Audio, Music, Royalty free music, Tutorials

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