Downloading and Listening

Each session on this page is provided as a zip file. When you extract them, you’ll find each session has been split into topics, and we often include links to more from each artist.

Scoring short films with Chris Ankin

This is an in-depth conversation with Chris Ankin about his career writing music for film, from the 1980’s through to 2020 when the interview was recorded. Chris has some neat adjustments in place to make his process more accessible, we got to listen to the resources he gets given by directors. We touched on budgeting and deliverables, how Chris keeps his composition chops fresh, then got into chewing the fat about disclosure of our visual impairments around clients and how people react to blind folk when we’re working.
Duration: 1 hour, 7 minutes.
Download Scoring short films with Chris Ankin.

Self-recorded guitar and vocals with Matt and Estelle

For this session we were joined by guests Matt and Estelle, a guitarist and vocalist who posted their cover version of a song in the REAPER Access WhatsApp group asking for feedback. The song is a tasty brew of acoustic guitars, clean electric guitars and vocals, all self-recorded in home spaces, some of it on a shoestring budget. We loved what we heard and they were both relatively new to recording themselves with REAPER, so we figured meeting with them for an in-depth exploration of their project would be a fun way to find answers to some of their questions with plenty of musical context.
Here’s what we covered:

  • Matt described some affordable measures he took to improve the recordings he can make in a room that doesn’t have any proper acoustic treatment yet.
  • Scott showed a handful of edits he did on the guitars to help maintain the delicate vibe throughout, tighten up timing a little and patch up the one actual mistake in an otherwise brilliant performance, comparing the raw recording versus his touch-up each time. He also tweaked an amplifier simulation plug-in to improve how one of the electric guitar parts sits in the mix.
  • Working on the vocals, we discussed managing multiple tracks with Estelle, Scott showed how he coaxed two very different reverb sounds from a free plug-in, then showed how he sometimes uses a quiet delay to add even more space.
  • We introduced Matt and Esttelle to a couple of virtual instruments, experimented with what a simple, functional bass line could bring to the table and discussed other potential layers they might want to add to their productions in future.

If you’re new to recording yourself at home or you’re trying to get the hang of editing your own performances, chances are good there’ll be some takeaways for you here.
Duration: 1 hour, 56 minutes.
Download Self-recorded Guitar and Vocals with Matt and Estelle.

Wrapping up 2023, listening to your productions

Scott and JennyK wrapped up 2023 by listening to a random selection of the productions people have done with REAPER and OSARA throughout the year. Nineteen very excellent musics and nearly good jokes in between!
Download Wrapping up 2023

Sound Design to Enrich Storytelling

Justin from Skyclad Sound joined us, walking through how he designed the magical realism audio environment to enhance a short story. If you’re at all curious about sound design, this session provides tons of insight into the thought processes, decisions and workflows he uses to get jobs done. There’s gentle sculpting, heavy-handed cranking, the making of a fantastic beast and everything in between. We also did some live tweaking of the scene based on the feedback in chat.
Download Sound Design to Enrich Storytelling

Songwriting and Self-Producing with Noah Lawson

This stream turned out to be something like the lovechild of a longform interview and a listening party. Noah Lawson, a songsmith and multi-instrumentalist from the UK joined us for a deep dive into his creative processes. We covered songwriting, recording, production and mixing, all in context of songs from his excellent ‘When the Night Goes to Sleep’ album. Plenty of good tips here for DIY artists and producers alike.
Download Songwriting and Self-Producing with Noah Lawson
Like the songs you heard? Visit Noah on BandCamp for more top quality tunes

Send Us Feedback

Feel free to get in touch with feedback on the content you’ve heard, and share thoughts on what you’d like to hear us covering in future.