BlogThe usual and unusual happenings involving me and my musical projects

Upgrading Cubase 7 to Cubase 7.5 Audio Tools

neo | Jan, 1 2014 at 8:01 UTC | Audio Tools

About a month ago Steinberg released a decently sized update to Cubase, bumping it up from version 7 to 7.5. When I saw the feature list, I was all about updating. Problem was, I couldn't seem to get the program to actually update my existing install.

No matter what I tried, Cubase 7.5 kept installing as a brand new version, available alongside my current version 7 install. This wouldn't be a huge deal if it weren't for the fact I'd need to reset all of my configuration settings across the entire program, as well as recreate my project templates. Thankfully there was an easier way.

I discovered copying the XML files from my Cubase 7 user folder (as well as the "Project Templates" folder found within), to my Cubase 7.5 user folder, my settings all copied into Cubase 7.5. Thank you, Steinberg, for keeping configuration file compatibility between versions.

The Brand New NickOlman.com News

neo | Dec, 31 2013 at 1:53 UTC | News

After finishing up the music discovery portion of Discovering The Spectrum, it only seemed appropriate to revisit my own site. Using what I had learned the past few months, I was able to easily create a brand new site version, complete with a backend maintenance system and internal blog, the latter of which my site has never included.

Here's to a new site in a new year, hopefully bringing about a lot of new music.

Discovering The Spectrum News

neo | Dec, 31 2013 at 1:32 UTC | News

As of late, a lot of my focus has been placed on developing a new experimental music discovery site. The long hours have paid off however; I am pleased to announce the arrival of DiscoveringTheSpectrum.com.

The Deepest of Black Waters Track Deconstruction

neo | Nov, 30 2013 at 12:53 UTC | Track Deconstruction

Though it was not the point of origin for the album, The Deepest of Black Waters was Smear Campaign's first completed track. The name for the track came from an old demo I had of an Opeth-esque metal track, which was never going to be finished and was much less fitting for the title. 

Like it's successor, Ghost in the Machine, this track was inspired heavily by my discovery of PaulStretch, a utility created by Nasca Paul that essentially stretched audio to extreme lengths, without changing the pitch. I had this ability before, but Paul's utility allowed for realtime experimentation and a unique smearing ability.

The make up of this track is rather simple, consisting of only three parts, which I like to refer to as the drone, the ambiance and the melody. The drone was originally a percussive synth line that I created a few years back with the discovery of "Details" by Frou Frou. Blurring these percussive hits produced a rather peaceful drone reminiscent of crashing waves.

The ambiance and the melody were both created using tracks from a collection of guitar experiments I compiled while Ryan Boland and I were working to compose instrumental horror stories. We did succeed in creating one piece, a 9 minute journey set in a ghost town, but the parts used in The Deepest of Black Waters were not a part of that. They were outtakes.

Before anyone begins to think this piece was just three random bits stretched and thrown together, I should add that these source files took a lot of trial and error time to find. Beyond this the mixing, triming, effect layering and arranging processes were all quite involved. This piece is much more than just three audio files stacked atop one another, it is an intimate arrangement of sound design.