Forum member "Kitekrazy" sent me information on a terrific free plug-in after he saw the "10 Very Useful Free Things" thread. This is great for folks who are interested in working in the soundscape, gaming, movie soundtrack genres. You can come up with unique beds of sound texture with this utility very easily. I've tried it, and it works fantasticaly well.
Paul's Extreme Sound Stretch
(click the image to go to site)
As explained at the site:
"This is a program for...extreme sound stretching of audio...e.g 3 minutes stretched to 3 hours...and for applying special effects by 'spectral smoothing' the sounds. It can transform any sound/music to a texture...
It produces high quality extreme sound stretching. While most sound stretching software sounds bad when trying to stretch the sounds a lot, this one is optimized for extreme sound stretching. So, the stretch amount is unlimited.
You can play the stretched sound in real-time (including the possibility to "freeze" the sound) or you can render the whole sound or a part of it to audio files.
It has many post-processing effects, like filters, and pitch/frequency shifters.
Support for WAV, OGG VORBIS files and MP3 files.
It is FREE Software."
I've posted info on this next item before, but this site can't be plugged enough. As it says on their website:
"Freesound is a collaborative database of Creative Commons Licensed sounds. Browse, download and share sounds."
(click the image to go to site)
It is THE go-to site when you need to find sound effects and textures. It's another must-have tool for people interested in producing cinematic and gaming pieces.
Found audio can be used in so many different ways. For instance, I developed a group clapping sound for "Tom Sawyer" by starting with a Freesound post of a group of people jumping up and down. I isolated one stomp, thinned out the EQ, then triggered it in my project file as an instrument. The list is long of VSTs that will enable you to trigger audio clips like that - drum machine plug-ins, loopers, Sonar's "Drop Zone" and other synths. Anything that lets you load sound and then trigger it from your keyboard or from hand inserted notes will do the trick.
Forum member Rodney Money "composingatnight" recently posted a very simple-to-follow tip for making sampled trumpets sound more authentic. Highly recommended. If you haven't been to the thread before, you'll see that side issues are discussed, but the main point Rodney makes is very helpful:
Earlier this year, Jim Synder "jdsnyderii" did all JABB users an enormous service by adapting Tom Hopkins' demos for ARIA. There are Sticky Posts still up demonstrating some great advanced user tips for working with JABB, but the tutes were done with Kontakt Player (the sample player for Garritan instruments before ARIA), so are no longer applicable. Jim fixed that by adapting Tom's work for ARIA:
Important tip for Finale users: Over the years I've noticed that some Finale power users seem to know how to access and work with MIDI data while other Finale users seem unaware of how to do that. The question came up recently about how to control GPO Vibrato via AfterTouch, the way DAW software users do. The answer is to use Finale's MIDI Tool:
How to use the Finale MIDI Tool
And from the 1st to the most recent, here are all of the "Tip Of The Week" threads in this still relatively new series: