Sampling and Audio Production

Even though some of the content could use updating, I really enjoyed this class. The instructor, the course materials and assignments were all great. I really liked how one topic would build on another, with everything leading to the final project. It was very clear, logical and methodical. I feel fortunate that the instructor I had was also the course author. It was obvious that he is a subject matter expert and seems to really enjoy teaching the class.

The course started out with the basics of sampling with “What is a Sampler” and then went through essential operations and editing, creating single and multi-sample programs, then onto offset tunings, group settings, pitch shifting and sample synthesis through MOD & Amplifier Envelopes/LFOs/FIltering, etc.

The class then started getting into specifics on the primary application we were working with, “Reason”. I had never used Reason much before this class but found that I really liked working with it. In this section we learned about the various samplers in Reason like the NN-XT, Dr. OctoRex, Redrum, the Kong Drum Designer, NN-Nano, Nurse REX player, as well as working with REX files.

The course then focused on Digital Signal Processing techniques and file based processing with normalization, time compression/expansion, time stretch/compression, pitch shifting, fade in/out, time warping as well as a number of plug-ins in another app we worked with Audacity (be sure to check out Paulstrectch).

Next we started creating and modifying our own samples, using some of the techniques we learned about in previous weeks. This is when things started getting really interesting, custom tailored sound libraries, purpose made for specific projects. This is also about the time we started learning about other features in Reason, like the Mixer, re-sampling within Reason as well as some of it’s real time effect processors like the Alligator Triple Filtered Gate, The Echo, The Sweeper, The Pulverizer and the Audiomatic. All really fantastic plug-ins. 

Then, in the last few weeks of the semester we learned how automation works with various instruments within Reason to start preparing for the audio mix of our final project. We also learned a bit about my favorite sampler in Reason, The Grain.

All in all this was a great course and I would recommend it to anyone that wants to learn about creating their own custom instruments and/or sound design in their productions.

Here’s my Final Project.