A Professional Guide to Audio Plug-ins and Virtual Instruments

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If you are an audio professional needing a complete reference to the complex world of plug-ins and virtual instruments, look no further. Mike Collins, author of Pro Tools for Music Production, has meticulously surveyed the scene, showing what's available and how they integrate into the various host platforms. The book explains the differences between TDM, RTS, MAS and VST plug-ins, how they can be used with different MIDI + Audio programs and shows the range of options available. It also explains virtual instruments and how these can be used as either plug-ins or stand alone products. A must for every recording studio.

The book combines explanations, overviews and key concepts with practical considerations and hands-on examples. The reader will gain a broad understanding of the options available, how they work and the possibilities for integration with systems as well as the end result. The book also includes a section on how to write your own plug-ins and a suggested standard plug-ins portfolio for those wanting to get started quickly.

Audience: Professional recording engineers using Pro Tools, Digital Performer, Logic Audio or Cubase VST. Semi-pro users, colleges and students.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A lavishly produced, encyclopaedic reference guide for the professional and non-professional alike."
Music Tech Magazine

"As an overworked composer/programmer/engineer/producer, I have trouble keeping up with new product releases. Mike Collins' excellent new book is a well informed reference source for all those that need to know quickly what plug-ins are available for what platform, what they do and how to use them. It also demystifies some of the more esoteric areas of software development. Where keeping up with developments in software takes time, and time is money, this book is worth every penny. Keep it by your bed!"
Steve Parr, vice-chairman of the Music Producers Guild and co-owner of Hear No Evil Studios

"Mike Collins has done what you hoped someone else would do, months and months of research into audio plug-ins and software sound creation tools, one of the fastest growing areas of software development in the music industry. Mike provides summaries, in-depth information, advice, comparisons and user tips to help you make the right choices when spending your hard earned cash on those elusive enhancements for your music and sound creations. A life-long musician, sound engineer and music technology writer, Mike writes from an un-paralleled position of expertise in an accessible, entertaining and informative manner. If you want an easy route to finding out about this area, here is your roadmap.
When it comes to computer based recording, Mike knows what he is talking about and will not rest until he is sure of the facts. I know this book will save me untold hours and provide me with reliable, accessible and up-to-date information as well as a balanced overview of the marketplace, no less than I would expect from one of our best music technology writers."
Alex Boyesen, AV Production Manager, Digital Broadcast, Capital Radio

"This book covers the world of possibilities - if you want to know what there is, you will probably find it here.
The idea of virtual instruments - having a Hammond organ, a Steinway piano or whatever on your laptop - this is truly groundbreaking magic. It"s almost like science fiction to learn that this is possible. Now you can get the sound of a great Hammond organ in a garage. No fiddling around to get the sound - and no transporting the organ!
This book brings out one of the most important aspects of the plug-ins: the way the user-interfaces are presented in full colour - often with animation of the controls and displays - has made the use of plug-ins much more acceptable to musicians who wouldn"t normally use a computer for anything.
It seems to me that the whole audio world is changing. Almost in the way it changed in the 1920"s from acoustic recording to electrical recording. And now it seems you can do so much without hardware. You can make first class recordings with no hardware at all - purely in cyberspace.
Commercial pop music has really changed in the last few years because of the availability of all these plug-ins. It has changed the way the public hears music. For instance, the Cher record persuaded the public to accept an effect that could only be created using a computer plug-in and it has become the norm now. The way you can change the character and personality of a voice is completely new.
This book has something for everybody from the techno-boffin to the most computer-phobic vocalist in the band."
John Leckie, Producer (Baaba Maal, Dr. John, Radiohead, Simple Minds, etc.)

"This is a hugely impressive book. Someone had to do all the hard work - and I"m glad it wasn"t me!
I will be constantly referring to this book to help me out during my productions.
Musicians today have to be engineers as well - this book makes what can be very complicated accessible to the "late-riser"!
What you are getting here is really useful and unbiased guidance.
Buy this book before you put your system together and it will help you to make truly informed decisions about what you need.
The very clear and concise writing style makes what could be very complicated very accessible and undaunting.
Some of the tips are so simple yet so effective. Just putting plug-ins you are not using into an "unused" folder is not something that would have occurred to me! One is always looking for the complicated solution rather than the simple one when something goes wrong.
Mike is not afraid to state his opinions about these products openly - unlike many magazine reviewers."
Simon Boswell, Film Composer (Shallow Grave, This Year"s Love, A Midsummer Night"s Dream, Warzone.)

"I"d like to sincerely congratulate Mike Collins for this incredibly useful and aesthetically pleasing work. The research is outstanding and the critique both enthusiastic and refreshingly unbiased. The illustrations also give a real insight to the software developer"s priorities. A marvellous book to grace any studio"s bookshelf.
A fantastic amount of information particularly clearly presented. Why doesn"t every manufacturer ask Mike Collins to write their manuals? A truly pertinent companion volume to "Pro Tools 5.1 for Music Production" that will appeal to any body involved in music recording and production"
Haydn Bendall, Recording Engineer-Producer (Ex-Abbey Road, now working with DAT Productions on 5.1 film soundtracks for DVD release.)

"The book is thoroughly well-researched and is an ideal companion to anyone operating any of the listed studio products. Copiously illustrated, with plenty of colour screen shots, it is well worth the space on the studio engineer's bookshelf." - Lighting and Sound
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780240517063
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 7/28/2003
  • Pages: 654
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.66 (h) x 1.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Mike Collins (Author)
Mike Collins is a studio musician, recording engineer and producer with more than 30 years experience of making records. He has many credits on UK chart singles and albums, for radio and TV broadcasts, advertising jingles and movie scores.

Mike was awarded a BSc Degree in Electroacoustics-with-Music from Salford University in 1979, became a Member of the Audio Engineering Society in 1980, and was awarded an MSc Degree in Music Information Technology, with Distinction, in 1989.

After graduating, he spent 14 months working on transducer designs for Standard Telephones and Cables (STC), followed by a couple of 6-month stints as a Planning & Installation Engineer for Neve Electronics and as a Film Sound Consultant for Dolby Labs, before joining Yamaha's London R & D Studio in 1986 as Senior Recording Engineer and Music Technology Specialist.

Working freelance since 1988, Mike has regularly reviewed music and audio software and hardware and written about a variety of audio and music production topics, with more than 2000 articles and reviews published in Pro Sound News Europe, Future Music, Computer Music, Macworld, MacUser, Personal Computer World, Sound On Sound, AudioMedia, Studio Sound, Electronic Musician, EQ, MIX and similar publications.

In parallel with this, Mike established a career throughout the 1990's as a studio musician, MIDI programmer, recording engineer and producer working on Top 40 albums and singles in the leading London recording studios including Abbey Road, Mayfair, Townhouse, Eden, Strongroom and Sony Whitfield Street Studios, CTS and Lansdowne Studios. In 1997, Mike set up a project studio equipped with a high-end Pro Tools system and has since been involved in everything from dance remixes to TV ads, background and featured music for TV and video, album editing and compilation, and, since 1999, producing jazz, blues and soul recordings. Notable projects include working on music for a Deutsche Bank promotional video, co-production credits on Ayetoro, an experimental jazz/Afrobeat album, and, in 2010, working as a freelance audio transfer engineer at Iron Mountain's studio facility in Slough, helping to digitize Universal Music's vast library of master tape recordings. Most recently, Mike has set up a 'boutique' record label to release recordings he has produced - see http://rudenoterecords.com/author/rudenoterecords/

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Table of Contents

About the author; Introduction; Overview; Optional Digidesign Plug-ins; Digidesign-distributed Plug-ins; Digidesign Virtual Instruments; Third-Party Plug-ins; Waves; Steinberg and Third-Party VST Plug-ins; MAS Plug-ins; Virtual Instruments; Software Samplers; Bitheadz; Propellerhead; Miscellaneous; DSP Cards; 'Roll Your Own' Plug-ins; Key Issues; Appendix

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012


    What should this be?
    Oh my....

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    Posted September 15, 2012



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