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Pro Tools: Virtual Instruments and Effects, New Course at Berkleemusic Commences with New Term April 5

Berkleemusic has announced another brand new course for its new term, coming April 5: Pro Tools: Virtual Instruments and Effects. Berkleemusic is the online, continuing education arm of the Berklee College of Music.

More info on Berkleemusic: or http:/

Pro Tools: Virtual Instruments and Effects

Course Authors: Dave Franz

An industry standard for years, Pro Tools expanded its scope and functionality with the release of Pro Tools 8, which contains six new powerful virtual instruments and twenty new great-sounding effects. In this course, you will learn how to play these new instruments to improve your overall musical productions, whether for TV, film, commercials, Web sites, video games, or the productions of artists you may be working with. You will learn what each parameter in each instrument and effect can do, how they work in

concert with each other, how to design sounds based on those parameters, how to be more creative with the effects and instruments in Pro Tools, and how to improve the overall sound of your musical productions.

The first six weeks of the course cover each of the six new virtual instruments in Pro Tools: Boom, Vacuum, DB-33, XPand! 2, Structure Free, and Mini Grand. The second six weeks focus on how to use effects plug-ins by category: EQ & Filters, Dynamics Processing, Delay & Modulation, Reverb, Harmonic/Distortion Effects, and finally Pitch Shift, Time Shift, Stereo Width Phase Scope, and Dither. You will learn about the parameters that control each virtual instrument and effect and be given tasks that put your new knowledge to practical use. You will work on weekly projects that build to create several larger projects and, by the end of the course, you will have created several pieces of music using the virtual instruments and effects in Pro Tools.

You will also learn important background information about each instrument and effect, and listen to examples of how they are properly used. The course features a wide array of artist examples, including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, Peter Gabriel, David Bowie, Fiona Apple, Stevie Wonder, Edgar Winter, Pink Floyd, Marvin Gaye, Talking Heads, Prince, Justin Timberlake, The Beastie Boys, Human League, Chicago, Harold Faltermeyer, Tangerine Dream, Tears for Fears, Jimmy Smith, Deep Purple, Bob Marley, The Meters, Joey DeFrancesco, Spencer Davis Group, Radiohead, Elton John, Coldplay, Thelonius Monk, Bill Evans, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Glenn Gould, Maurice Ravel, Rachmaninov, and George Gershwin.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

– utilize automation and MIDI Learn functions
– create, edit, and arrange drum beats in Boom
– adjust VTOs, Filters, Envelopes, Modulation, and Arpeggiators to create new sounds using Vacuum
– tweak the Tonewheels, Vibrato, Drawbars, and Cabinet to create new organ sounds in DB-33
– use the Smart Knobs to modify all the synthesizer parameters to edit sounds in Xpand!2
– use Structure Free to load, play, and edit sample-based instruments
– choose and fine tune a piano sound by changing the Model, Dynamic Response, Tuning, and Room sound in Mini Grand
– use EQ plug-ins for improved and more creative mixing
– utilize compressors, limiters, de-essers, gates, expanders, and side chains for many mixing applications
– make use of delay, modulation, and “spreader” plug-ins for more creative mixing
– adjust the parameters on a reverb effect to create an appropriate ambiance for a track
– set up an effects loop and add effects to other effects
– use distortion and harmonic effects to your advantage while mixing
– apply Pitch Shift and Time Shift to alter the pitch and length of audio regions
– utilize Stereo Width, Phase Scope, and Dither to put the finishing touches on a mix

About David Franz

David Franz wrote the book on Pro Tools–literally. Professional producer, engineer, musician, and expert Pro Tools user, Franz collaborated with Digidesign and Berklee College of Music to write the first-ever book about using Pro Tools, Producing in the Home Studio with Pro Tools, now a bestseller for Berklee Press and in its second edition. Franz uses Pro Tools everyday in his studio, on stage with his band, and in the classroom.

Working mainly from his own commercial studio, Underground Sun Studio in Venice, CA, Franz has worked with many musical artists from all over the globe in almost every genre of music. In addition to producing music for other artists, Franz is also a composer, writing music for film, TV, and corporate clients, as well as a performing musician.

Translating his real-world studio, composition and touring experience into transferable knowledge, Franz has contributed to Electronic Musician, Keyboard Magazine, and DigiZine, Digidesign’s online and print magazine. He has also written another book for Berklee Press called Recording and Producing in the Home Studio.

Franz wraps all these things together when teaching online courses for He has written two courses, Producing with Pro Tools and Recording and Producing in the Home Studio, teaching those along with the Production Workshop and Pro Tools 101 courses. He has been teaching online since the launch of

Franz holds a BS and MS in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech, where he wrote his Master’s thesis on mathematically modeling jazz improvisation. After Virginia Tech, Franz studied Music Production and Engineering at Berklee College of Music.