I’m frequently asked about the software I use to get all my shit done (cartoons, graphics, audio, blah blah).  This page covers all the software I use on a daily basis!

I’ve been using the same software for well over a decade.  In most cases, the same version of the same software.  What can I say, I’m a man of simple needs; I tend to stick to the classics I know and love.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…right?  Most of this shit shouldn’t come as a surprise…but now you know!  😀

(Note that Adobe software is priced at around ~$20.00 USD per month (for individual programs).  I spend ~$50.00 USD per month for Adobe’s package deal which gives you all of their applications…I use most of ’em anyways, so fuck it.)

Without further ado…

Jump to Graphic Software  Jump to Video Software  Jump to Audio Software

Graphic Software

For cartoons ‘n images ‘n shit.

Adobe Flash

Price: ~$20.00 USD / Month

I make my cartoons with Flash (now called Animate), and have an ongoing love-hate relationship with this shitpiece of a program.  It’s what I know, so it’s what I use.  While I do use Adobe Animate depending on the circumstance, I prefer (and still create new projects) in Flash CS3.  In my opinion, Flash 8 was the greatest iteration and lacks nothing I need; Flash CS3 is (more or less) a re-branding of Flash 8 after Adobe’s acquisition of Macromedia.

All Flash cartoons are converted to video with Swivel.  I occasionally use other pieces of software in conjunction with Flash, listed below.

Primary Version(s):
  • Flash CS3
  • Animate CC
Primary Usage:
  • Animation (cartoons).
  • Vector illustration.
  • Interactive interfaces.
Pros and Cons:
  • Great drawing tools (CS3).
  • Fairly easy to ‘trick the system’ and accomplish anything.  Learning curve required, of course.
  • …fair learning curve (all versions).
  • Clunky, bloated, and slow as fuck at times (Adobe Animate).
  • Crashes more than most software, FOR NO DAMN REASON (Adobe Animate).
  • Really fucking bi-polar when it comes to supporting various tablets (Adobe Animate).

Adobe Photoshop

Price: ~$20.00 USD / Month

Photoshop is a program you use to make cool graphics and…Photoshop a bigger dick on yourself.  I mean, it’s Photoshop.  Who doesn’t know what Photoshop is nowadays?  Again, I generally use CS3 – but do just fine in older iterations; they haven’t added anything I’ve needed since Photoshop 7, possibly earlier.  Maybe I should take a training course…I’ve been using the same damn tricks for years.

Primary Version(s):
  • Photoshop CS3
  • Photoshop CC
Primary Usage:
  • Graphic and web design.
  • Backgrounds and visual elements for cartoons and movies.
Pros and Cons:
  • This shit swims in my blood…hard to say!
  • …it’s better than GIMP?
  • Not exactly the best software for freehand drawing/linework.

Video Software

Moving pictures ‘n motiony stuff.

Sony Vegas

Price: ~$600.00 USD

Vegas is video editing software (originally published by Sonic Foundry).  In my opinion, it’s the best video editing software out there.  It’s fast, reliable, and very intuitive.  Example project, I did the entirety of ‘Pee-Pee’s Gayhouse‘ in Vegas (minus recording dialogue, which was handled by GoldWave – listed below in ‘audio software’).

Vegas is basically the video equivalent of Sony ACID (also listed below).  However, I’m pretty sure you could use Vegas strictly for audio editing, if you’d like!

Primary Version(s):
  • Vegas Pro 13 (64-Bit)
Primary Usage:
  • Editing and publishing video.
Pros and Cons:
  • Easy as fuck to learn and use.
  • Drag and drop interface (video, audio, images).
  • Unlimited track layers.
  • Several export formats.
  • Some advanced features (masking, chroma key, etc.) require a bit of a learning curve.
  • It’s a little pricey.*

* Vegas Pro IS a bit pricey.  However, there’s another version of Vegas I use called ‘Movie Studio 13 Platinum’.  It runs for ~$80.00 USD.  As far as I can tell, editing and exporting is nearly identical to Vegas Pro!  No idea what’s going on there…but it seems to be a solid alternative.  Check it out!

After Effects

Price: ~$20.00 USD / Month

I always keep After Effects holstered and ready to rock for a variety of purposes – primarily special effects, particle effects, mastering video, etc.  It’s always primarily visual; I rarely use it’s audio or animation features, but it’s always there to add magic to shit.  There’s a lot of good plugins out there, as well!

AE is an old beast.  Not much can be said about it…it’s just…AE.  If you’re familiar with Photoshop, but NOT AE, you’ll find it’s easier to pick up than you think.  It’s capable of a ton of shit!

Primary Version(s):
  • After Effects CS3
  • After Effects CC
Primary Usage:
  • Motion graphics.
  • Particle effects (rain, sparks, smoke, etc.)
  • On occasion, video editing and exporting.
Pros and Cons:
  • You can make lots of cool shit if you know what you’re doing (moreso, what you want).
  • Lots of 3rd party effect plugins offer unlimited results.
  • Lots of export formats and options.
  • Newer versions work with SWF (Flash) files.
  • Fairly annoying learning curve, as…
  • …interface is clunky and, at times, counter-intuitive.
  • A bit bloated – often times slow and choppy as fuck, regardless of your setup.

Audio Software

Music, sound, recording…stuff for your ears!

ACID Pro 7

Price: ~$150.00 USD

ACID Pro is a digital audio workstation (DAW).  Originally called “ACID pH1” and published by Sonic Foundry, it was later acquired by Sony.

Don’t be fooled by the keyboard in the icon.  While it’s intended and sold as music software, I primarily use it for everything BUT music production.  An essential piece of software for me, I use it every time I need to work with audio.  In other words, pretty much every damn day.  Very streamlined and quick production process!

Primary Version(s):
  • ACID Pro 7.0
Primary Usage:
  • Mixing full audio tracks for cartoons and videos.
  • Chopping, editing, and exporting vocals and samples.
  • Mixing vocals and effects into instrumentals.
  • Layering sound effects to create unique sounds.
  • Simple musical jingles.
Pros and Cons:
  • Fairly easy to pick up and understand the basics.
  • Drag and drop audio, easy to layer and arrange.
  • Easy slicing [S], crossfades, and volume changes (clicks n’ drags) – all around easy as fuck to get the job done!
  • Small learning curve on advanced techniques.
  • Litters your root folder with bullshit .SFK files (harmless waveform data needed for your project).

FL Studio

Price: ~$200.00 USD

FL Studio is a digital audio workstation by Image-Line.  Some people are put off by FL Studio (“YOU SHOULD USE ‘REASON’ OR ‘ABLETON’, UGH”) – which is most likely due to it’s early history of being loop-based software.  Nowadays (and for a long while now), it’s a heavy-hitter!  It can do anything music-wise, it’s fairly cheap, and you’ll find it’s incredibly intuitive and easy to use after a short learning curve.

Primary Version(s):
  • FL Studio 10 Producer Edition
Primary Usage:
  • Making music of all types and genres.
  • Mixing and mastering audio.
Pros and Cons:
  • Fairly easy to pick up and understand the basics.
  • Excellent interface; very clean and intuitive.
  • Easy-to-use pattern sequencer and timeline.
  • Loads of great, built-in VSTs and tools.
  • High compatibility.
  • Countless tips and tutorials to be found online.
  • Finicky at times, easily forgivable.

Goldwave

Price: Free or $45.00 USD

GoldWave is a highly rated, professional digital audio editor.  It’s fully loaded to do everything from the simplest recording and editing to the most sophisticated audio processing, restoration, enhancements, and conversions.

Yeap, good ol’ GoldWave.  I’ve been using this software for God damn…15+ years now.  Every time you’ve heard my voice, it was more than likely recorded in GoldWave!

Primary Version(s):
  • GoldWave 5.XX (or whatever the fuck is out).
Primary Usage:
  • Recording all of my dialogue.
  • Audio compression, peak reduction.
  • Audio edits (fades, volume, etc.)
  • Simple effects (pitches, mechanizing, etc.)
Pros and Cons:
  • Easy to learn and use.
  • Loads of audio effects, editing, and interface options.
  • Really lightweight.
  • Free with registration reminders, otherwise cheap as fuck (fo’ life).
  • Wack interface looks like some bullshit outta the 90’s.  So does their website.  Get your visual side together guys, you look untrustworthy!

…there you have it, my entire arsenal.  That’s all she wrote!  People have different tastes and opinions on software, of course.  I figure it never matters what you use to get shit done, so long as you’re getting shit done!

Stay creative, my friends.

Stampy