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Acid Music Studio Basics

Updated on July 10, 2011

Welcome to Acid Music Studio

My First program for making my own music, was Acid Music Studio, and I have yet to find fault in the program, for what it can do, at the price it costs. Ive been using the program for a couple of years and have learned a lot of tricks and fun ways to get results.

Acid music studio uses a very easy pick and paint loop system. All you need is to pick a loop (a small piece of sound, that can be looped to play as long as you need it) and paint it into your workspace. The number of tracks allowed is only limited by your computer’s ability to handle them.

It also uses a very easy to use loop selection system. You have a window that you select your loops from, this window is an explorer style folder-subfolder viewer. When saving loops it is best to use organization because the simple file and folder selection system becomes less simple if every things a mess.

Acid music studio works with 70 to 200 beats per minute. Basically how fast the song plays.

It comes with a small selection of decent audio effects for production work, and there are many others online for free. I will go over the effects later.

The program contains a very easy-to-use split tool. This allows you to take any loop and chop it up for customization. It also contains a tool called the chopper. The chopper does the same thing as the split tool only is far more in depth.

By using it’s also easy to use copy and paste tools. You can take one loop and use it to create your own customized riffs, and solos.

Acid music studio also has built-in MIDI and synth program add-ins (computer instruments). It also includes live recording capability. These features, I have not used much, but intend to do so in the future. I will convey my findings in my blog. I’m looking forward to using them more with the exception of the built-in recording capability because I use other software for those functions. SoundEngine, which is a free program, with a lot of power.

Pitch shift, pan envelope and volume envelope:

Pitch shift allows you to change the pitch of a loop. This allows you to take one loop and make it sound different. Much like the changing the beats per minute this allows you to take a small collection of loops and make it seem much larger.

Pan envelope allows you to move the sound within the stereo field. The stereo field is your ability to hear left and right and directly in front. This would typically be called a 2.0 speaker set-up. By moving the sound of your track or individual loops from left to right or center. You change the effect of what people will be hearing. This is one of your most important tools. When you watch a movie in a theater and you hear the sound move all around you, this is action in the stereo field. In music this is used to give a more lifelike sound.

When recording drums the position of the drums in a typical drum set will be taken into account. Bass kick in the middle, and other drums arranged from left to right. This gives a sensation of actually being in front of the drum kit.

Volume envelope is your other most important tool probably more important than any other. It allows you to change the volume of each individual track, also giving a more lifelike feeling by giving contrast to each individual track or loop. For example in rock music the guitars bass and other instruments will be louder when they are only playing by themselves, and will all become quieter during singing or vocal tracks.

Another nice thing about acid music studio. Is its ability to render in 13 different types of sound files. This allows you to control exactly how big a file and how nice you want the finished product to sound on your computer.

The file sizes range from raw audio, MP3s, Windows player audio files. Etc. Each file type allowing you to control the size of the file. And the quality at which you wish to save it. Lower file size equals less quality. These file formats work by removing certain aspects of the song which normally not hearable, do contain aspects of how you hear the song and make it sound better.

Think of how singing in the bathroom sounds. The type of walls used, and close space gives a very nice tone to singing. And while parts of what you are hearing are not completely audible they do add vibration which you feel. Converting to MP3, removes really extreme levels of these sounds and sensations. Strictly speaking this does not lower the level of the music’s quality a great deal. But for those who like extreme quality recording it will be a noticeable difference.

Well I think that about wraps up the written introduction.

Introduction to Acid Music Studio

Basics Of Acid Music Studio Part One

These are the absolute basics of using Acid Music Studio. Bringing up the program, selecting loops, pasting loops, and other very bare basics of the software. These instructions should help you get started pretty smoothly. If not the forum is available for questions.

This is the first set of training video’s. By the time you have completed the 5 videos, you will understand the basics of acid music studio.

If you don’t have the loops that are supposed to come with the program, or you are using the free version ( Acid xpress ). Just get whatever free loops you can and follow along. Do a search for “free loops, or free sound loops”. You should find some decent stuff. You can also go to Sony, and look through their loop collections, they usually have free samples of each library you can grab. Most sites that sell loops have samples, although the loop samples are generally of lower quality than the ones in the collection.

Getting Started With Acid Music Software

Basic of Acid Music Studio Part 2

Creating Separation In Acid Music Studio. In this instructional video I will be going over the Pan envelope tool.

Start by listening to the rendering of the first video's track. (Link to audio removed due to hubpages flagging)

As you can hear, it's a rather messy mix of sounds right now. Not super bad, but the elements in the track need separation. They are stepping on each others toes and getting in each others way.

Its one of the biggest sins of using any program like Acid Music Studio, leaving all the elements pan'ed directly centered. By leaving all the elements of the track that way the ear has a harder time picking out the various aspects of the song.
By using some simple Pan techniques you separate the various elements of the track so the ear can hear them as parts of a whole, not just a whole lot of mess.

Once you've listened to the first track and see what I mean, move on to the part two video and I will show you the quick and dirty way to create separation.
The simple explanation is that you take parts of the song that have a close volume level, then pan them to opposite channels (left and right speakers).

This is called the stereo field.

Making a Track in Acid Music Studio Part 3

Ok on the last video we made the track lift and separate. Using pan and volume to break up the "messiness" of the track. Start by listening to the Audio rendering for the first track. You should be able to hear how that little bit of tweaking helped.

(link to audio removed due to hubpages flagging)

Notice how the elements of the track are no longer stumbling over each other to get noticed? By using a little bit of my separation technique in the song you will be able to make any track more easy to listen to.

As a Music Producer; whether just for your songs or someone else's, that's your main goal, to make the songs better and easier to listen to.

Ok now that you know something about cleaning up a messy track, here's the next problem. We have a nice little jam there, but its repetitive. The second biggest sin of using Acid Music Studio and related Software Programs is repetition. Using loops tends to make a song monotonous, and/or repetitive. Some people like music that just keeps going on the same, most don't.

You will need to find ways to break up the repetitive nature of loop based music. So here's what we can do about that. Keep in mind this is only an example. In reality making a track sound really badass can take hours, but don't feel overwhelmed. That's what Im doing this for.

By placing odd, or just unique elements into the track you can break things up. I have made a dance track and just thrown 5 or 6 new elements into the track randomly. The fun part is taking those random elements and making them sound good inside the song. That is where you can spend hours crafting a track. Its also where things start getting more artistic. Acid Music Studio makes it easy to go in a craft your songs just the way you want them, or just throw something together in a few minutes for the fun of it.

Making a Song with Acid Music Stuido Part 3 Video

Making a Song with Acid Music Studio Part 4

Ok last time we added in some stuff to make the track sound less repetitive. Now we are really going to add some color to the track. By using Audio FX you can make or break any track, or make one song into many very different songs. Its all in how you use them. From using Reverb to give a music hall effect or using distortion to "crunch up" some Metal bass, its all effects( FX ).

The way you use the audio effects on a track determines a lot about that track. In Acid Music Studio there is a nice simple set of FX. Depending on how you apply the audio effects can seriously change a song, destroy a song or make it the most bad ass track you've ever made.

Vocals for example.

If you use a little bit of reverb on them it makes it sound as if you are in a large space, like a concert hall with a high ceiling. If you use a lot of reverb it can make it sound as if you are in a small space with close walls, and everything is wildly echoing around you.

A little bit of Delay can make vocals sound important by creating small amounts of repeating words. Large amounts of Delay can make vocals sound distant and creepy, even ghostly.

Here is some basics on using FX in your songs.

For Guitar try duplicating the track and putting the second at a lower volume, with some distortion on it.

Try the stuttering effect of the Phaser, flange and Wah Wah effects, or the depth enhancement of Chorus.

With Bass use Distortion for that nice crunchy Metal Sound, or a bit of delay to create a haunting melody.

With Keyboards and especially Synthesizers, the skys the limit when using effects. Use your imagination, and never let anyone tell you you cant do it.

(link to Audio Withheld to avoid further flagging)

Making a Song in Acid Music Studio Part 4 video 1

Making a Song with Acid Music Studio part 4 video 2

Making a Song in Acid Music Stuido part 5

(Part 4 audio link withheld to avoid further flagging)

Then Watch the last video. This one is about wrapping up a project.

Ok you've got your song done. Now What? Here's a video all about how you finish things up for a track. Acid Music Studio Makes it easy to render (code a track into a file format like Mp3 or wma) a song into the most widely used file formats.

The types I use are .wma (Windows Media Audio file), .Mp3(Most widely used audio file type), .wav (standard file for raw sounds and loops),

Ok you will also see the template selector, this tells you what quality you will end up with:

.wav files are high quality, high diskspace files.

When you convert audio to mp3 or any other low space file type you are cutting out extreme frequencies, and other less hear-able portions of the music. Plus side, they arent super important if you don't mind a little less quality. Down side, if you do the portions of audio removed do affect the way the music sounds and more so, how it feels.

.wav files keep all of that information.

.mp3 files are the best as far as lowering quality vs lowering file size is concerned, at least in mainstream use.

.wma don't work as well as mp3's but they get the files smaller. That makes them good for websites.

You will also see kbps at 64, 96, 128, 160, 192, 256 and 320. kbps stands for kilobytes per second. Meaning the number is how many kilobytes the file will take up per second of the file. 128 is lower CD quality, anything higher just leaves in more of those bits I was talking about.

Acid Music Studio is nice enough to tell you right next to each one, what kind of quality it is.

And there you go, I have walked you through the basics of creating a track.

Part 5 video

Making a Basic Dance Song In Acid Music Studio

How to create a simple dance track in Acid Music Studio.

In this video set I go over creating a basic Dance song with Acid Music Studio, In real time. From start to finish I create a simple dance track while you watch.

The basics are simple really... You need a steady kick drum beat, one or two additional drum elements to keep things interesting and some synth (other instruments are fine) loops to spice things up.

The trick is in arranging them so its both fun to dance too, interesting for the listener, and artistic enough to satisfy you. Unless you're like me, in that case you're never really satisfied. That's what remix albums are for.

I go over laying down kick drum and the use of breaks, using bass, synth tracks and some simple tricks for making the most of a few loops.

Here is the Actual Song, ive just named after the videos: (Link to Song with held to avoid flagging)

Making aBasic Dance Track Part 1

Making a Basic Dance Track Part 2

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