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Learn audio skills as a game, free, with your ears as guide

You are probably equipped with ears as sharp and precise as the world’s top sound professionals. What you lack, then, is training.

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Tell Us About Yourself For a Chance at $2500 in Free Brainworx Plug-ins

CDM quietly turned ten years old last year. And that means it’s time to get a fresh picture of who you are. We need to know who’s reading, what you do, what you want to see on the site, and what devices we need to target. So, we’ll ask a couple of short questions – it’ll just take you about two minutes to fill out. And you can sign up for something new called CDM List, to stay informed via email and get free stuff and deals: We also want to give you a chance to get a big reward …

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Circuit-Modeled Dynamics, Plus One Free Plug-in, From FXpansion

Quietly, FXpansion have been making some well-loved, circuit-modeling instruments in the DCAM series. They may not be a household name, but just ask around artists – producers I know consistently bring up the DCAM name and just talk about it sounding damned good. Now, DCAM turns to processing and not just synths. DCAM Dynamics is a suite of plug-ins, each based on models of analog circuitry. There’s a good range of stuff here, covering the gamut from fine-tune adjustments to more creative applications, and I’m eager to try them. Best of all, the freebie here isn’t just a cut-down throwaway, …

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Volume Wars: Dynamic Range Strikes Back with Campaign, Plug-in

Photo: Orin Zebest. Are you sick of the death of dynamic range? Are you mad as hell at squashed audio that means to be “loud” and only wind up with the actual sounds smooshed out? Alternatively, are you guilty of some detail-squishing dynamic abuse yourself? A campaign is on to get the dynamic war out of comment threads and forums and onto the streets. Taking a positive tack, the Pleasurize Music Foundation isn’t simply attacking overcompression and dynamic distortion: they’re suggesting an alternative path, in which restored dynamic ranges bring back joy to your life. There are opportunities to sign …

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whitelabel: Free VST Plug-ins for PC, with Cool Granular, Delay, Sidechain FX

Plug-in crafter daz disley writes to alert us to his Windows VST plug-in collection. The beta-grade plug-ins are all available as donationware. There are various warnings about “try at your own risk,” which reads to me as an invitation. Three effects have been polished into finished versions; you can get all three for EUR25 if you want to use them beyond 28 days. But the betas are free to try. There’s some nice-looking stuff in the beta-level collection, including: granulOSO: a granular “sample masher,” a bit like some of the Reaktor ensembles out there — and delicious as a result. …

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“Loudness War”: Music Over-Compression, Demonstrated on YouTube

Talk to everyone from armchair music production critics to dyed-in-the-wool pro engineers, and you’re likely to hear about how today’s records are over-compressed. (We think this is what Bob Dylan meant when he said records “have sound all over them.” But we made fun of him anyway.) To audio lay people, though, it may be tough to describe exactly what this means. One music fan has taken the battle to YouTube, with a graphical and aural demonstration of exactly what the technique (technically “brick wall limiting”) does to the sound. Rather than approach this the traditional way, he takes a …

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