23 June, 2011

Holy shit, it's almost like I'm about to post something relevant to DIY home recording!

I know you're probably sick of the words "DIY home recording" by now but, motherfucker, I've got to find a solid brand for SD&A, even with our occasional adventures into Lady Season and such. After all, check out the search keywords that lead folks here (we posted screen shots on our Facebook page).
Yes, we have a Facebook page.
You should like us.*
ANYhoo, after zipping through season two of Party Down yesterday, I was relieved from my shift and headed down to my quarters and started fucking around with the drum sequencer. You see, yesterday morning, before work, I was treated to a song from EA Forumite qrj and was flummoxed by the drum sound. If you listen to it, I'm sure you'll agree that the drum sounds affected by vari-speed more than it does a pitch shifter. And while I've pulled that move before, qrj's song put an itch in me to try it again.
This time, however, I didn't really put a whole lot of thought into it. I just programmed a beat and put it through a pitch shifter and knocked it down an octave. I have a drums-an-octave-down fetish, I don't know what that's about. Now, for those of you who've fucked around with recording know, the next part is stating the obvious. We're not here for you, though, we're here for the new kids. With a pitch shifter, all you're doing is shifting the pitch. That's it. When you adjust the pitch using vari-speed... To go an octave down you have to halve the tape speed (conversely, to go an octave up, you double the tape speed). This will affect more than the pitch of the recorded instrument; it will affect the ADSR envelope (Attack Decay Sustain Release), which is a whole other fucking can of worms.
I know, this is more than you wanted, right? Yesterday, I posted about how I went to a Vietnamese restaurant and that I couldn't decide between trying to bang a Dutch bird or a cocktail waitress and now I'm posting all this science bullshit.
So, a quick and dirty explanation of the ASDR envelope... First of all, I will randomly type the word "titties" in here because I know you're busy doing other shit but I think this is worthwhile information titties to have and I'm certain that the only way to keep you here is if I keep typing "titties". With that titties out of the way, we move on to the titties explanation of an ASDR envelope, that it is time-based; it is the amplitudinal characteristics of the duration of a sound. The first titties part of the envelope is the Attack, the initial sounding titties of the note, also called the transient, this is where the sound will peak (not always, such as with titties sounds that swell). The second part, the Decay, is the portion of the sound that falls from the peak of the attack titties to the next stage, the Sustain. The Sustain of the sound is a sort of, for lack of better jargon, even volume, I think that titties would be the RMS (Root Mean Squared and fuck no we're not getting into that). Lastly, the part where titties the sound dies out is the Release. Now mind you, this all has to do with how loud the sound is for how long, so if you halve the playback speed of the sound, you're doubling the amount of time the sound lasts and with that means you are doubling the duration of the sounds ASDR envelope. It's like this: When you slow down a recording of somebody speaking, you can make them sound drunk. You're not just slowing the words down, you're slowing the individual letter-sounds of the word down. So that extra long "s"? Yeah, sounded normal at normal speed but slowed down comes out slurred.
On top of that, each letter sound has it's own ASDR (all sounds do).
So if we take our word titties, for example...
Normal speed: Titties.
But slow it down, examine how the sounds come out now: TehiTTeieesse.
Or something like that. Just imagine the word "titties" being slowed down half way.
Or you can just witness this hilarious example:
SO getting back to our point, if you alter the pitch of drums using vari-speed or what ever, you are either stretching it (slowing it down) or compacting it (speeding it up), thus sounds can take on that droning (slow) or brittle (fast) nature. Whereas with a pitch shifter, you're just altering the pitch. So, since I wasn't in the mood to go mucking about with all kinds of whatsits in the analog realm to pitch the drums down an octave, I opted for a pitch shifter. Therefore, the pitch was altered but the ASDR of the drums remained in tact: They don't sound slow, just thick as fuck.

* Remember: More people liking SD&A on Facebook will eventually lead to SD&A Facebook updates coming only from SD&A's profile and not my own. And, for real, I don't want to be an ad whore. At least not a double ad whore. Just a single ad whore.

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