April 26, 2007

Power Trips...

by Chris Randall

I've been thinking about making video tutorials for the Audio Damage products, to be included in our new (and nearly done) site, plus perhaps a series of "power tips" things for this site. A comment in this thread a couple months back got me looking at Camtasia for producing this sort of thing. I fear a bit of confusion viz. audio, but otherwise this looks like a handy tool.

I've downloaded the 30-day trial, and I'm going to give it a try by attempting to make a featurette about Dr. Device. We'll see how that works. But my question is thus: what would the Audio Damage customer like to see in tutorials? If I was going to have only one for each product, should it be a short general overview? Or a workout of a particular feature? Or a half-hour complete overview?

In considering your answer, perhaps maybe a link to a video tutorial you like, versus one you don't would be handy. Compare and contrast, etc.



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Apr.26.2007 @ 9:27 PM
First of all, I agree with most of the previous comments.

I'm not sure exaclty how to explain this, but here it goes.

For dubstation - video showing how to program the plug to achieve the effect that many people want it for: dub delay. Then show how to automate the plug to achieve some of the dub-style effects. For example, pitch drops (this was a major thread at Ableton a while back, close to when DS was released). Then perhpas repeat the demonstration (programming and performance) to show some untraditional sounds and techniques that some people might not be aware of.

Perhaps show something simialr for 914A: traditional programming and application, then something out of the box and unconventional. I personally, would love some tutorials on 914A.

Or you can showace three or four plugs together: DS -> 914A -> Reverence, for example (or other combinations fo the chain)


Apr.26.2007 @ 11:10 PM
Adam Schabtach
To answer the off-topic query: no. I'm no longer a Waves customer because I'm no longer a buyer of anything that uses PACE copy protection in its various forms, including iLok. I've had so many bad experiences with PACE that I just had to stop using it altogether. This came to a head with Waves. I had some major install problems with one of their bundles because of PACE, and the only help the Waves support people could offer--after having me spend hours jumping through various hoops--was to ask whether it would be inconvenient to reformat my entire hard drive. I stopped keeping my anger, frustration and disgust in check at that point, and the telephone conversation didn't last much longer.



Apr.27.2007 @ 12:53 AM
The AD plugs are so simple to use, I wonder what tutorials are even needed? Some cool techniques would be nice, though. How about a series of short, single-topic videos about unconventional stuff, like mentioned above? I'd D/L them, throw 'em on my iPod and check 'em out from time to time.

BTW ? Has everyone seen DiamondDave's latest? link [www.youtube.com]">link [www.youtube.com]


Apr.27.2007 @ 2:41 AM
Just a quick overview of what to do to get started. If it gets too long people will loose interest. That said, if you were to do a half hour one as well to give people the option to learn more about the software, I don't see how it can hurt. If anything it can be a show of faith to people who may be borderline customers. Doing a half hour long video will show your customers that you believe in your product.

Apr.27.2007 @ 3:16 AM
Doing a 'basic introduction' might be useful for new customers of your plugins, since some people might actually prefer that to a quick glance through a small manual ("dude just tell me where the presets are!") And then some in-depth discussion of the internals for intermediate users is useful too. I don't see why, at least for the majority of your plugins, both of these couldn't be 5 mins a piece (or less for something like dubstation). Then some 'tricks' for 'advanced users' with off-color commentary accompanying clips of the sonic-mayhem. Well that part could be as long or as short as u care to bother with i'm sure, considering how many people read your blog.

The issue is that is really 3 different videos (or even more if you did the 'advanced' stuff in short clips that people could watch one by one). Rather than watching a 30 min video to get at all that content, I think it's advantageous to have some interactivity. BUT, I don't know what the program is capable of these days. Oh, a bit of background info...

I used to use this program (Camtasia) when it was called RoboHelp. During that era it was very useful for creating short clips that you could then bring into Flash project or call as external flash movies as needed to script something larger (which was also how I did my 'editing').

Then Techsmith bought it. Now I have used another one of their products in the past (SnagIt) to do videocd's of software demos, so I think they make products that are fine. Anyway, I wound up calling the flash movies by themselves and sticking with all of the graphical options available within Camtasia. which made the presentation a bit more bland imo. But I was able to do things on the content outside of Camtasia was problematic back then, no idea if that's improved since I haven't done anything like that since.

It does look like they've incorporated a number of features for editing & improving flash capabilities in the current version, and I'm sure it's up to the task that you're looking to put it towards. So my vote(s) would be to you publish individual shorter clips separately or tie them into a single release with some navigation to allow users to hop around. Did I use enough words to say that? lol


Apr.27.2007 @ 3:55 AM
a few spurious thoughts...

As an example, a beat juggling tutorial is gonna mostly be a
close up of turntables + mixer right?
link [www.youtube.com]">link [www.youtube.com]
only yes when it really needs to
imho dont just turn on some screen capture software
& show a few things with a bit of voice over...
other than for beginners that shit is real boring
& audio damage plugs have attitude & that should
come across in what u choose to show....

if its power tips its aiming to inspire & that isnt purely techncial...
i'd suggest u consider doing & shooting the tips live
with a decent sound system & a couple of synced cameras....
these days that synced multi camera stuff is easy w final cut
& when i watch Robert Henke using/demoing an aspect of ableton
its as much about how aesthetically HE uses what he uses
as opposed to generically how anyone can use it
link [www.youtube.com]">link [www.youtube.com]

this guys protools tutorials are at least ok in terms of pacing
but they are really techniques for the gormless
(his accent & genre grate)
link [womb.mixerman.ne...]">link [womb.mixerman.ne...]
& is a good example of boring/purely functional

also a valuable tip - finish them in the middle of something
interesting, so anyone intrigued will watch the next one...


Apr.27.2007 @ 1:13 PM
Zachary Vex does wonderful, funny, heart-warming demo videos for all his pedals
link [zvex.com/videos.htm...]">link [zvex.com]

I don't know if I can imagine you as heart warming, but...

Don't be afraid to properly demo the super-simple effects - even something with two knobs can be inspiring if you show how the different settings are balanced to shape the sound.


Apr.27.2007 @ 1:24 PM
Chris Randall
Shit. I'm heart-warming like a motherfucker. I'll warm the fuck out of some hearts.

Judging from the tenor of the email we get to the [email protected] line, there is a large segment of our customer base (and the music-making public) that doesn't have the faintest idea of what they're doing. I actually end up answering a lot of basic production questions, which I find surprising, as we make products that are a bit esoteric.

I think this is due to our pricing model, which makes Dubstation and Reverence both attractive to a user who is perhaps upgrading from the built-in reverb and delay in their DAW for the first time, despite the fact that both plugins are sort of meant to obtain a particular sound, and not necessarily general use effects.

So, with that in mind, despite what AI readers in general (who tend to be a more savvy bunch) want to see, I'll almost certainly end up doing a basic run-through for each plug, plus a power-user video. For more sophisticated stuff (the chaining and advanced user tricks and tips type thing) I'll probably post them here instead of on the AD site.

What I _will_ do is try out a couple different techniques here before I go and make 30 different movies for the AD site, so hopefully you guys will help me tune the information so it is most useful.



Apr.27.2007 @ 1:43 PM
You shouldn't worry about being too simple. I learned this working in Alesis tech support. People would call in, "how do I set the knobs on my compressor for my voice?" I started out by answering, "well, that depends, you might want..." After a while I realised that they were totally lost and just wanted me to say "Set ratio to 6:1, attack to..." and then they would tape the knobs in place where the Alesis guy told them to put them.

I'm sure that explaining what an aux send/return is and why the mix should be set 100% wet would be helpful for a lot of people.


Apr.27.2007 @ 2:14 PM
Right on CR. I discovered AI through purchasing AD plugs. As someone becomes more savvy with their tech, they probably will gravitate toward more sophisiticated sites as well (AI sophisticated...well, I think it is).

I would just like to re-affirm my previous suggesstion however. Showing how your plugs can be used to achieve *that sound*, I think is a wonderful marketing device. Again, there were huge threads awhile back on Ableton which described how to produce the dubby pitch drop (a shoot out between PSP 42 and DS, I believe). Taking my suggesstion further, you could release some basic videos for those who haven't pruchased the plugs, and then onece purchased, they are subscribed to series of more advanced videos.

Or you can guerilla style it, and post some vids on YouTube full of AD/AI attitude. IN fact, whatever you do, it should have that AD attitude, as someone suggested.


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