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Author Archives: dean

18 Apr 2017

Surprise! How To Change It Up In Your Productions

Songwriting and producing can be pretty formulaic. And it shouldn’t be. It should be surprising, creative, and inventive. We shouldn’t be able to predict exactly what’s going to happen in every song. But how can you avoid this fate when producing your tracks? Here’s a few tips for avoiding the obvious in your productions: [wc_box color=”primary” text_align=”left”][wc_heading type=”h1″ title=”Borrow something from another genre.” text_align=”left”][/wc_box] In rock music, guitar solos are a given on just about any track. That’s not the […]

18 Apr 2017

Want a free ebook about buying microphones?

Check this out! Sound On Sound has put together a nifty buying guide for microphones and is giving it away in free ebook form! Just follow the link to get your very own copy! http://www.soundonsound.com/smartguides/usdigitaleditions/mcbg.php “Microphones: Products & Practice is your essential guide to choosing, using and buying microphones. This authoritative publication gathers in one place all you need to know about every type of microphone for the stage and studio. In addition, it includes detailed technical specifications for hundreds […]

18 Apr 2017

Motivation and Creativity

I recently read an interview with the multi-talented writer, actor, comedian, and PC John Hodgman in which he offered a look into his daily routine – a common practice for interviews with highly effective people. What was the first thing he mentioned about his daily schedule? “10AM–2PM is set aside for writing. No meetings, phone calls, email, or other business may be conducted. This not only clears the decks for creative work during the day, it also makes me feel […]

18 Apr 2017

Sampling with the MPC Renaissance

In this quick 5 minute video, Young Guru (engineer for mega hip-hop acts like Jay-Z, Kanye, etc.) shows us the basics of sampling and how to use the MPC Renaissance to do it. Here’s a few tips for sampling that you can use no matter what platform you’re using: – Don’t settle for clicks and pops – make sure that you’re chopping up your sample cleanly and only starting and ending a certain sample at the “cross-zero” point. This will […]

18 Apr 2017

More Tracks Doesn’t Equal Bigger Sound

More tracks doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get a bigger sound. In fact, it can sometimes mean the opposite. A lot of producers and engineers seem to think “more is more” and start piling on the tracks. But unless those tracks are carefully arranged, you’ll end up with a muddy, unclear production. And it all stems from the confusion between high track counts and big sound. They aren’t the same thing, and one doesn’t lead to the other in […]

18 Apr 2017

Looking for some Tape Emulation?

How about trying out the Kramer Master Tape plug-in by Waves? This tape emulating plug-in not only gives a pretty realistic tape sound to your productions, it also looks really cool. I tried it out on a few productions of my own, but I wasn’t as impressed as I thought I might be. Some of the other tape emulators, such as Slate’s plug-ins, seem to have a more drastic (or even recognizable) effect on most tracks and styles of music. […]

18 Apr 2017

Stock Plugins & Snowflakes: The Secret to Making Something Out Of Nothing

Snowflakes are pretty cool. Especially close up. The coolest thing is that every one is unique. Just like a song. But without certain photography tools, we would never be able to really appreciate the nuances and beauty of these flakes. In the same way, we can’t always appreciate a great song without a great recording to showcase it. But you’ll be surprised what we can learn from a Russian photographer who took some pretty amazing pictures with a pretty crazy […]

18 Apr 2017

Audio Interface Choices. Choices, choices, choices.

So we finally did it. After months of deliberation, we’ve swapped out the Pro Control and HD2 system in Studio A, and gone to…. Well, we’re just not sure. Part of it was easy. The Pro Control was an awesome board, but it was always limited to just using Pro Tools. Frankly, while we’re still primarily a Pro Tools shop, we were getting plenty of requests for covering new DAW’s, and thus, needed a new console. So we went with […]

18 Apr 2017

Setting Record Levels in Your DAW

One of the biggest issues in home recording is proper gain staging. I hear it all the time – “Pro Tools didn’t clip, but it sounds distorted still.” Or maybe “there isn’t much dynamic range in my recording, should I use less compression?” A lot of this confusion boils down to a misunderstanding of proper gain staging and level setting during recording. Once you understand that, you’ll be ready to make the most of your digital and analog gear. Gain […]

18 Apr 2017

Want To Get Better Faster?

There’s only one way to get better at anything – especially engineering and producing music. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but maybe not quite like this. Practicing is everything, but Geoffrey Colvin offers an interesting insight that could take your game up – and fast. I had the opportunity to see Colvin, the Senior Editor of Fortune Magazine, speak a few weeks ago. He was a brilliant speaker – the title of his speech (and new book) is “Talent […]