Izotope Vinyl free plug-in

okie dokie no jokie,

Izotope has given us the low-fi simulator plug-in Vinyl for free, as a 15th anniversary present.

It has settings to emulate the sound of a scratchy record, with parameters for the surface noise of the vinyl and also the warbly sound of a motor which does not play at constant speed.

Vinyl is handy for adding some texture to those digital sounds which are just way too crisp and clean.  You can exxagerate it for a vocal sample, or run your sweeps and risers through it to use during a breakdown where it will be more obvious.  I haven't tried it on a whole mix yet but that could be cool too, especially for something like an acoustic band that needs some woolieburger on it.

How To Use
I put Vinyl in the same category as my saturators -- they're things to add early in the FX chain.  

Somehow I get better results when I use them as part of the sound-shaping, instead of strapping them on at the end and wishing for some big magical change.  

Another way to say that is you might want to use a high-pass filter after Vinyl, to avoid low frequencies which do nothing for your sound.

Subtlety is the name of the game.  


the Dub Scrolls: production techniques

Alright, this site is not going to hurt your eyes in the dark, I can tell you that right away.  White font on black background for all you late night cats.

The Dub Scrolls is full of techniques for getting bass and drum sounds as well as for signal routing to create them.  If nothing else this will give you some good ideas about things to play with, especially when it comes to using equipment completely the wrong way on purpose.

For example from the drum loops page:

"Take your drum loop and separate it into two loops, one with all the frequencies over 1khz and the other with all the frequencies below, it's really simple but you can boost the low end without loosing the crispy treble and make the high end grimey without making the bass muddy."

And from the bass page:

"Jungle-Bass: Take a sine wave then heavy distortion on it and then filter it with lowpass."

That is so simple!  Who needs Massive, right?  (wrong)

Old heads will recognize terminology on the Dub Scrolls that you don't see so much anymore, and the descriptions are a bit dated but the recipes still work -- filters, EQ & compression apply to Ableton Live just as well as to a patchbay and a 19" rack.

These are tips coming from producers who worked with samplers and sequencers at a time when those were two different pieces of hardware in your studio, not two different applications in your laptop.  

Take it like a recipe book and have some fun doing sound design with simple elements, you'll be surprised to hear what you can come up with.