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  Digital Media Insider Podcast 8: A Theme Come True
Subject:   Using Music in Podcasts
Date:   2007-04-13 15:33:44
From:   robert shaver
I'd just about given up on listing to podcasts... then I happened to click on "Digital Media Insider Podcast 10: Annoying Audio". This has got to be the best podcast I've ever heard. It used the audio media in the most creative and entertaining ways.

So now I'm subscribed to "Digital Media Insider" and listening to the podcasts in reverse order.

I do create some podcasts and plan to do more. I also produce video for various reasons so I was interested in what you said about creating your own theme music.

Since I have Final Cut Studio, I've been using the loop composer in Sound Track Pro, but I'm not very satisfied with my results. Can you recommend and articles or books that might help me improve my skills in that area?

How much did all the software you used to create your example cost? I looked at Albeton Live but spending another $500 just doesn't seem like the way to go.

Best regards,


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  • David Battino photo Music Software
    2007-04-13 23:10:50  David Battino | O'Reilly Blogger [View]

    Robert: Some of the software I used is expensive, but there's a vast number of free and inexpensive programs out there as well; check out kvraudio.com and dontcrack.com.

    I particularly like Ableton Live, but you can get many of its features in the lite versions bundled with some M-Audio hardware. Apple GarageBand and Steinberg Sequel are very capable and cost less than $100.

    Also, I used multiple programs because I had them, but in many ways it's more efficient and expressive to pick one "instrument" and learn it well.
  • David Battino photo Using Music in Podcasts
    2007-04-13 22:54:12  David Battino | O'Reilly Blogger [View]

    Robert: Welcome aboard! Regarding loop composing, one effective technique is to set up slight variations with volume and filter envelopes. It's very easy to simply let a loop chug away without evolving, but that can grow boring quickly.

    Similarly, try muting sections of loops to open up some space in the arrangement. Today's multitrack audio programs make it easy to create huge layers, but that gets muddy and it's hard to know what to focus on. In an earlier interview, BJ spoke of reducing his compositions to a tiny ensemble. If the theme worked on, say, piano and drums, he'd know he was on the right track.

    The "Support Our Loops" chapter in my book (www.ArtOfDigitalMusic.com) has more ideas. Look up Francis Preve's (www.fap7.com) books as well. I hope to interview him in an upcoming episode.