Audio Watermarking your tracks in FL Studio (or other DAWs)
So, we all know the hassle. When sending out your tracks to labels or DJ’s or showcasing them on social media you never know what happens with your tracks. Sure, the bigger labels are all credible, but we’ve all heard of fraudulent smaller labels, DJ’s, or people ripping off tracks of social media. Most of us have been looking for ways to increase the security for their tracks. Sending a registered letter to yourself (with a copy of the track) and not opening it, is one of the solutions. Registering the track at copyright / composer societies is a second. Both are not bad options, and I definitely recommend to do the latter. But wouldn’t it be great if there was a way we could be involved in this ourselves a bit more? Well… luckily there is!
Watermarking your tracks
There are several VST’s that make it possible to translate images into sound information. This means you can turn your logo, or a text (for example: “GhostProducer.nl”) into an audio waveform you can then place into your projects. The resulting sounds can be high, loud and harsh, but with a bit of tweaking it’s possible to put this into your projects in a way that’s barely audible. So your listeners won’t get bothered. But when taking a look at your track through a spectral editor / viewer you will clearly see your logo or text passing by throughout the track. What better way to prove the track is yours?
(Click to enlarge)
Step by Step
- Create an image, preferably 516 x 516 pixels in size. This matches Harmor’s frequency bands. This makes it easier to get the image in the right size. Make sure to set a black background, as black background means ‘silence’ / no frequency played.
- Open up Fl Studio and add an instance of Harmor into your project
- Click on Visual Feedback to show the spectral viewer. (1)
- Click on ‘IMG’ in order to load the image (2)
- Set the IMG – FREQ to linear (3) and HZ mode (4)
- Set the Frequency Multiplier to 4 or 5. (5)
- Load up the image by dragging and dropping it or by using the menu (6)
- Set the time knob, so the sound starts at the right timing. (7)
- Play the sound a few times until you clearly see something happening in the spectral view.
- Use the IMG coarse speed (8) and IMG fine speed (9) knobs to tweak the speed and proportions of the image in the spectral view.
Now once you have tweaked it to your liking, you can have your harmor playing a note in the piano roll. Keep an eye on the spectral view to see if you’re playing the right notes. Since the proportions of the image are directly linked to the note you’re playing in. Once you’ve set up everything right, you can export the sound to a wav file. You can simply import these wavs into your new projects and mix them to your liking. And voila, you’ve audio watermarked your tracks. Just make sure to disable these sounds when sending your track off to mastering. 😉
Here’s a nice example of what you can do!
Hope this production tip helps you with your tracks. Happy producing!
And if you need any help, you know where to find me! 🙂
Michael de Kooker
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