Crossfades (Quick Tips)


Hey, it's Josh Doyle from Triple Threat Artists!

Today I want to talk about Crossfades - and when you would want to use a narrow crossfade versus a wide crossfade, and how it can impact some of the creative edits and creative choices that you want to make.

I'm going to start here with a simple vocal just by itself. And let's check this out - and we're going to make some some creative edits to this. We're going to change it up. So let's take a listen here.

(Audio Plays)

Okay, so let's let's take the ending first. Let's suppose that I wanted to extend how long she holds this very last long note here. So let's find where she kind of settles on that long note.

(Audio Plays)

So it's right around here.

(Audio Plays)

All right, so let's say that I wanted the vocal to last twice as long on that note here. So good to do a command 'D' to duplicate. All right, and now I'm going to zoom in here and make sure we've got a little crossfade leftover. So let's just listen to what we have here.

(Audio Plays)

Okay, so we have that little pop happening, right? Now, let's do this. Let's first take this section and just bring it back over a little bit. So we have a bit of audio from both sides to crossfade with, and now I'm just going to do a small crossfade on this like that. So it's something really small. You can barely see it when I zoom out. And now let's listen.

(Audio Plays)

Okay, so that got rid of the pop, but you can still kinda hear the point where the edit happens, right? So in a case like this, when I've got long notes that I'm trying to make a seamless transition, I will do a wider crossfade something maybe like this. And now let's try this and see what this sounds like.

(Audio Plays)

All right, and we're getting just a little bit of of the previous note in there. So now let's listen. I just nudged it back over so we're we're getting kind of a cleaner transition.

(Audio Plays)

Okay, so now you hear that. Now you can still hear a little bit of the point, but it's not such a drastic point, right? Kind of a smoother transition

(Audio Plays)

And especially in the music - that's gonna just blend right in.

So now, let's now let's take a listen to a section where we might want to use a small crossfade. So let's see. Let's start here.

(Audio Plays)

Okay, so let's suppose that we wanted to duplicate or maybe extend this beginning section here. Let's do something like that. I'm going to duplicate this and let's hear what it sounds like now.

(Audio Plays)

All right, so we've got those pops in there, but let's suppose that we generally like that idea. So I'm going to select both crossfades, do the command 'F' in Pro Tools, and now that is going to automatically create, let's see, a 10 millisecond crossfade automatically on both of those. So that's what just happened there, right? So now we've got crossfades on both of these. So now let's listen

(Audio Plays)

So that's okay. You know, this isn't going to be perfect because it's still gonna sound like an edit, but let's see if we can just make this a little bit smoother. Let's drag this out a little bit and see what that sounds like.

(Audio Plays)

All right, we're, we're kind of getting there, right? We're, we're smoothing this out a little bit. Sometimes it takes a little finessing.

(Audio Plays)

Bring that back just a little bit more.

(Audio Plays)

All right, and maybe let's make this crossfade a little bit wider.

(Audio Plays)

Let's just bring it back. Maybe something like this.

(Audio Plays)

All right, so now we're getting a little bit closer.

(Audio Plays)

So there's still a little bit more finessing that I would do with this, but you can hear how where you place the crossfades at the edit point, and how wide of a crossfade you choose, can really impact how the edit sounds.

So give this a little consideration next time you're editing pieces of audio together. All right. Have fun!




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Create Harmony Using a Melody Track

Hey this is Josh from Triple Threat Artist! 

I've got something really cool to show you! I made a harmony out of just one vocal track! I'm just gonna jump right in here and show you exactly what I did. This is the full thing right here.

(See video for full explanation and demonstration)



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Pitching Plugin of the Pros: WAVES SoundShifter


Hey it's Josh from the Triple Threat Artist!

I just wanted to jump on here real quick and share this new plugin that I recently found. I hear that this one is really popular in the EDM and dance producers world! They've known about this for a while but I just recently found out about it and I'm super impressed with it. The sound quality is amazing for what it does and it's really simple to use.

It's called SoundShifter and it's made by Waves (see note below for purchase information) and what I've done here is I've just thrown this on an acoustic guitar buss and it basically just shifts the pitch up or down however you want. You can see here that I've drawn in some automation so it's gonna go up and then back down. Just listen to the quality of this!

(See video for complete information!)

The SoundShifter plugin will have full functionality for ProTools users, but other platforms can benefit from the sound shifting capability.

Let me know in the comments what you guys think about this one!


- Josh

Here's a link to purchase SoundShifter - contact our friend Kyle Malone ([email protected]). Kyle is our go to man at Sweetwater. Let him know you're a student with the Triple Threat Artist! No guarantee he can offer any consideration, but worth it.


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Tricks for Recording Troublesome Vocals 🎙

Hey everybody, it's Josh from The Triple Threat Artist again to talk about troubleshooting difficult singing situations. Or.... You could say it another way. Troubleshooting difficult singers!

Sometimes we get a singer that we're working with. It might be ourselves, or perhaps it's somebody else. We might just have a really difficult situation with 'sibilance'. Sibilance refers to, for example, S's - the over pronunciation or exaggerated S's in our performances.

I would like to talk about that and then discuss 'plosives'. These are the hard P's and B's. Plosives are a consonant that is produced by stopping the airflow using the lips, teeth, or palate, followed by a sudden release of air. The most common are the P, D, G, and B. They can jump out in certain phrases.

I'm going to talk about different ways to troubleshoot these two issues. I've got a little prop here. We're going to use this fun little mic!


One of the first things that I do when I've got a sibilance issue, I will angle the mic up or down from where the singer's mouth is. A lot of times we'll just have the mic right in front of their mouth or something like this. And you'll find that if you make an S sound with your mouth and move your jaw - the sibilance - the S sound - can actually be directional.

*See video for full information including demonstration*



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What You Need To Know About Mixes and Stems

Hey everybody! Its Josh from The Triple Threat Artist!

Today I'm going to talk about stems, and the final files that you're going to need, or that I recommend that you have, whenever you're finishing up a song.

A lot of times people just bounce their final mix, and maybe an instrumental mix, but I recommend that you actually do stems also, even if they're not immediately requested.

It's great for archiving your song, and if there's ever a time where you need to go back - you know, several years later - five to ten years later to redo a mix or something like that - having the stems is a great way to save your place. Especially when plug-in manufacturers might not keep their plugins updated.

Opening old DAW session files can be a big pain - so this is a great way to archive your session.

So the very first thing that I do is I will pick my start point and my end point and I will just do a bounce of the mix…




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The 2-Track Challenge (walk-through)

*Partial Transcript Follows - See Video for Full Information*

Hey everybody! Late last week I put out a new challenge for the Triple Threat Artist group and I want to go through what that challenge might look like.

In your session - when you go after it - basically the outline is that I want you to create a piece of music - something really simple. It's not really about the music in this challenge - it's about how good you can make the music sound using only two instruments - two sounds - really.

So let's say that in my example here I've got a bass drum and an acoustic guitar. These are going to be the two sounds that I'm using. For each one of these you can double it so you can have two acoustic guitar tracks - but I want them playing the exact same thing so we're really just using it as a thickener effect .

I use a closed mic on the bass drum and then one room mic. Those are my two bass drum tracks that I can use to kind of thicken up the bass drum sound.

Then, with that, you can bus those two tracks of each instrument - each to their own aux track and to their own bus, and then you can process them there. Then you can send them to your master bus and process it there - but the only plugins that we're using is our compression and EQ.

We can then use two effects - so a reverb and a delay if we want. In this instance, I'm just using a little bit of reverb on the acoustic guitar. We'll go through how this is all laid out here.

(See video for the remainder)

Can't wait to see what you guys come up with. Happy Producing !!!! 


xxx - Josh

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1% Improvements

Hey everybody!

Today's little nugget of inspiration comes from James Clear. He's an author who wrote the book "Atomic Habits" (it's the book I'm reading right now).

He's got a little section in there that talks about "1% improvements" and about how we think that we need to be making these big leaps and bounds in the process and the progress that we make. And how, everybody, no matter what you're doing, gets frustrated when we don't see improvements every day we're working on something.

He has a couple of stories about this. One is the British cycling team that was notoriously horrible for decades. So much so that a bicycle manufacturer didn't want to sell them bicycles because they didn't want to be associated with the British team. They were that bad! They didn't want the British team to be seen riding their bikes.

They got a new coach and this coach was all about these 1% improvements. These little micro improvements that everybody else ignored. He believed that if you keep adding up these 1% improvements, you eventually get to significant improvements! And have advantages that other people wouldn't have.

He also uses the metaphor of ice freezing or rather ice melting. Ice melts at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, zero degrees Celsius, and if you're making these little one degree improvements, you might not see anything happening. So, if ice melts at 32 degrees Fahrenheit and you're starting at 20 degrees - you move from 20 to 21, nothing  happens.

21, 22, nothing happens. 23, 24, 25, til you're all the way there and you're thinking nothing is happening!  Until... you get to that 32 degrees, and the ice melts! You're like, oh!! It seems like magic! But really, it's all of those degrees that you had to go through to get to 32 degrees before anything happened.

What we need to remember is that as long as we're making progress, as long as we're moving forward, these progresses are adding up. It's all accumulative.

All right, so remember that and keep moving forward!



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Fun with Metronomes (Part 4)

Today's talk is about metronomes -- playing with them and making them fun!

Welcome Back!

We're going to do something that's one of the more challenging things to do -- set your metronome to beat one.

Before we get there -- we're going to work our way up. We'll start with it set to beat one and three. And then, we'll remove beat three and just have beat one happening. So all you get is your downbeat!

I've set my metronome to 30 beats per minute, and I've got my eighth notes happening - so that's gonna give me the sound of beat one, and then beat three. Then I take my eighth notes out and that gives me a beat one here. You'll hear what I'm talking about.

So we're going to count this set as one, two, three,, two, three, four. But instead of doing that, I'm gonna play my snares on two and four,


So now I've got the feel of it and I'm going to take out that beat three and only have my beat one. So....

All right, it took me a few measures to get there, but I started to feel more comfortable with it as it went.

Now, if we want to start adding in the things we talked about in our last lesson, where we started to introduce some of our drum fills and things like that. This is where it really starts to get challenging. So I'm going to go back to get my feel here. Then I'm gonna start to add drum fills on the one beat. So I'll do a 16th note drum fill on beat four and see if I can maintain that feel here.

One, two, three,, two, three, four.

And now, I'll see if I can do a two beat. So beats three and four 16th though.

All right! We could keep building that up. We can throw in some triplets and and all kinds of different things. And then we can start to expand the number of beats that we do and things like that.

So jump into this! See how it goes for you. I would love to see some video replies on this.

Don't be afraid to make mistakes and share them. I certainly made mistakes and was not perfect in these demonstrations, but hopefully it shows you how I go about using the metronome to improve my time.

I especially do these in the songs that I'm about to play live, or that I need to prepare for, because I want to make sure that I have a really good sense of time in the studio . And then, I'm not relying on the metronome so much for everything. I want to feel like the drum fills and things that I do have their own momentum, their own time. And I don't feel timid when I approach the things that I'm wanting to do.

Good luck and have fun out there!



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Fun with Metronomes (Part 3)

     This is part 3 of a 4 part video series on building your rhythmic confidence
                         by using a metronome in unconventional ways

All right! We're back for week three of our series on metronomes!

This time we're going to build on what we did last week with the one bar of 'click', and one bar of silence only.

Now, we're going to combine it with what we did in week one. where we're going to play those on the off beats on the ends. So it's going to sound like this..."one, two, three".

(Drums Playing)

Just like that. Now, to make it a little bit more interesting, I don't want you to jump into playing riffs and drum fills just yet. I want to see if you can just change the voicing of something that you're playing.

So, I'm going to play one of my toms. I'll just change the, 'and' of two and the 'and' of four. All right? I'm just gonna just change that. Maybe I'll take it off of my high hat and just put it on my Toms or something like that. So let's try that..."one, two, three".

(Drums Playing)

Alright, so that was me just improvising. But just those offbeats there. Now what we could - after you spend some time playing around with that, we can start to do just a little bit of improvisation. But I would say, just keep it to one beat. All right?

You could do one beat of triplets or 16th notes or eighth notes, whatever you want it. I'll just do 16th notes.

Let me reset this here. We're doing to do the same thing again. Just playing on the offbeat., two, three, four.

(Drums Playing).

There we go.

So now, we can build that up. Maybe here I'll try something a little bit different. Maybe I'll try doing a triplet just on beat four there. So..."one, two, three, four".

(Drums Playing)

All right! Now, I think that was a little bit more challenging -- because triplets to me feel like they're slowing down. Especially when you have the eighth note thing.

So it's a very interesting feel. And, you have to have a lot of confidence in your time. All right.

When you're doing that in your bar of silence. then, if you really want to take it to the next level --  you could do a bar of regular time with your click and then your bar of silence.  And, you could do that all eighth note, triplets. Let's see what that sounds like. Let's see if I can make it through. Okay, one..."two, three, four...".

(Drums Playing)

Oh! see I lost it there, but that's all right! I think that was kind of fun. I knew that I was throwing myself in the deep end on that one. It's been a while since I've done these kinds of tests with myself, but I think that's fine. So yeah, so those are going to be the challenges for this week. See what you can do. Really push yourself.

But don't go too fast. Do what I did at the beginning, where you just do one. If you're going to start doing your riffs and fills and stuff like that, just start with one beat in the silence. And then you can switch it around, like I just did with my 16th notes.

But before you go onto two beat drum fills and three beat riffs and things like that, really make sure that you 'can I do a drum frill on beat one and then go back to my beat. 'Can I do a drum fill on beat two? Can I do my riff on beat three?'

Make sure to test the waters all the way through before you start adding beats or fills and before you start pushing yourself too fast.

All right!

Good luck and have fun.



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Fun with Metronomes (Part 2)

  "Playing along to a metronome with 1 bar of click
and then 1 bar of silence"

Part 2 of a 4 part video series

Hey everybody!

All right! In the second part of this series we're going to start by referencing a quote by Miles Davis,

‘it's not the notes that you play it's the notes that you don't play’

So what we're gonna do with the metronome today is, we'll have one bar of click and then one bar of silence. What this does is, make us rely on our own time for a short amount of time - for one bar. One bar of click to give us the the tempo to play with and then it's gonna go right into a bar of silence.

So this is what it sounds like: one-two-three-four.

Now, this is what its sounds like when I play along with it.  We're just doing the beat, no drum fills, no riffs, or anything like that.

(Music Playing)

There it is so. You could tell I had to hit my start button and jump into it. Most of the time I would have it programmed on my DAWs, so I could just have it looping - but you hear me making excuses for myself.

You do that for like five minutes straight - just have that loop and then the silence and you'll really start to settle into it. You'll start to really own your own time and start to feel real comfortable with it.

The other thing that you can do with this is to set it up, so that it's playing two bars of click and then two bars of silence. Then you can stretch it on to three bars of click and three bars of silence - four bars of click four bars of silence. I would challenge you to do that this week again with no drum fills - no rifts = no extra anything. Just set up something simple that you can enjoy playing for a while. And really own the time. Have fun with it!

Alright - see you guys next week!



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