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Blogging with the Experts: Kevin Bowe

As a service to all audio geeks in the blogosphere, the Institute of Production and Recording is in process of tapping into its expert advice via those who have “done it” and are still “doing it”. We have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to all things media. Whether it be Sound Design for Visual Media, Audio Production, Audio Engineering, or even Music and Entertainment Business, we cover just about everything Media Arts related, and we have the in house expertise to help with even the toughest questions.

This first entry was put together by Kevin Bowe (an audio Jedi in his own right). Kevin is a busy guy, so be sure to thank him for doing this. And, as the communications guy at IPR I plan to moderate this blog on a daily basis. So, what this means for your education/interaction with IPR is you can be assured there is somebody with significant experience on the other end of this, helping you find answers (I too am an audio and music business geek).

Kevin has also agreed to address blogger questions (i.e. moderation at my request). If he is able, you will definitely hear from him. We’ve agreed that I will act as sort of a human “push notifications” guy – this way your payoff for contributing to the discussion might just be a conversation with Kevin Bowe (or whoever the given blogger is). I won’t brag about Kevin here, but you should check out some of the links I’ve sprinkled throughout the text above to learn more about his brand of creative, personal genius. Oh, and have fun with this!

SoundToys plug ins – Written by Kevin Bowe

This will probably sound like a shill for a corporation but I really HAVE to express my love for this suite of plug ins. Why? Because I use them all the time and they always make me happy and they almost always make me money! The two things that come to mind when I’m using a plug-in are first…. SOUND QUALITY!!!! not “what it does” but “how does it sound”? There are plug-ins around that do what they’re supposed to do but they also ruin the quality of the source signal i.e. it might compress the snare but if it makes the snare SOUND BAD then it’s not useful to me. SoundToys plug-ins just plain sound good.

The second factor is the interface, when I open it up does it make me feel good? In this case, YES. When I open a SoundToys plug in it’s like a friendly hand coming out of my computer saying “join me and let’s play and have fun!” as opposed to a middle finger saying “if you can figure me out then best of luck to you pal”. The other things that make me love the SoundToys suite is that there are many very useful presets that can be used as a great starting point and actually assist you in learning what the plug in does well.

My favorites in the bundle are obviously EchoBoy, which I think anyone who uses this stuff would agree with, it’s full of almost every kind of delay you would ever want to use from tasteful to freaky. But there’s so much more inside….. Phasemistress is an AMAZING phase shifter that can be used in traditional or non-traditional ways. The ability to easily sync to tempo is really a plus, I’ve used it to make an acoustic guitar “melt” into a mix by picking a very slow one bar pattern and syncing it to tempo. It’s like syrup over pancakes! You might think all tremolo plugins are the same…. until you try Tremolater. It models all styles of vintage trem. from Fender to Wurlitzer and beyond. The tape/tube simulator is the best I’ve heard (Decapitator) and I’ve actually used it on 5 or more tracks in one mix on occasion. It’s just a mix of compression and EQ but, man, it does things I’ve never heard before. On the freaky side, Filter Freak is way, way too much fun for tempo synced step filters, etc. The new compressor Devil Loc is the most unique dirty compressor plug-in I’ve heard, not to be used on everything but on certain things it’s just perfect. So try these things out, they are very fairly priced, the process of downloading and installing them is easy (unlike some other companies!!!!) and customer service is unmatched. It’s basically a guy named Mitch who runs this joint and he’s very available for help and tutorials, plus he’s hysterical. Hit and get started.



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