Category : In the Studio

12 May 2017

Getting A Better Feel From Your Kick

The four-on-the-floor kick drum is one of the staples in dance/pop music. But getting it to sit perfectly in your production can be a little trickier than just hitting “quantize” on the MIDI track. There are two ways to greatly adjust the entire feel of your track – just by moving the kick drum part around a little. Let’s take a look at the two most common moves to make: Pushing it forward. This is just what it sounds like. […]

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 […]

15 Apr 2017

Overusing Effects Is Dangerous: Here’s How to NOT Do It

Have you ever been accused of overusing effects? If your answer is no, then you probably haven’t done very much recording. It’s a trap every beginning audio engineer falls into from time to time. Even experienced engineers can let it happen if they’re not careful! So how can be you be sure not to do this? Like this: Split the Difference The most dangerous time to overuse an effect is when you get a new plug-in. You want to really […]

13 Apr 2017

One Plugin for Every Tracking Session

Tracking sessions can be awkward.  Especially vocal tracking sessions.  For bands, sometimes the only way to make everyone’s schedules align is to send the vocalist into the booth right after you finish tracking guitars.  (My normal flow is as follows: scratch guitars & tempo mapping, drums, real guitars, bass, keys/etc, and finally vocals.) I’ve noticed a pattern emerge when comparing projects where I get to edit and mix all of the instruments first before tracking vocals against projects where the […]

12 Apr 2017

54+ Reasons to Buy a Gaming Keyboard

54+ Reasons to Buy a Gaming Keyboard.  I hit the Macro Record button, followed by the macro I wanted to assign it to, in this case, G9, typed the title for this post, then pressed the Macro Record button again.  Then, to begin this article, I simply pressed G9 and it typed exactly what I did the first time.  Watch, I’ll do it again. 54+ Reasons to Buy a Gaming Keyboard Yes, in this instance I could have just hit copy/paste, but why do […]

10 Apr 2017

Interpreting Feedback from Your Clients: The Secret to Happy Customers

You’ve probably heard the saying – “the customer is always right.” But as engineers, sometimes we’re “right.” Actually, most times we’re “right.” Contrary to what some artists think, there’s no such thing as the “umph” knob on the kick drum channel. But it’s our job as the engineer to make them think there is. If you deal with feedback this way, you’ll be your client’s superhero. Here’s the process: You’re going to get a request that sounds outlandish at first. Maybe it’s […]

10 Apr 2017

Understanding ADSR to Manipulate Your Synths

You’ve probably seen the knobs on your virtual synths labeled ‘A’, ‘D’, ‘S’, and ‘R’. But do you know how to use them to fully control your sound? These are very powerful knobs – they control the envelope, and therefore can change your sound quite drastically. Let’s take a look into how it works and how you can use it. The first thing to understand is what the “envelope” is. It’s basically the “shape” of the waveform. In synthesis, it […]

09 Apr 2017

Loud Mixes and Masters – the Right Way

In today’s competitive commercial music scene, loud is viewed as better. Whether you like it or not, you need to be able to get your mixes and masters loud if you want to sound like the commercial pros. But that doesn’t mean you have to destroy the dynamic range and overall quality of your mix. It’s all about doing it the right way and getting loud tracks without squashing all of the life out of them. Here’s one of the […]

09 Apr 2017

Do you *love* great headphones and audiophile gear? Check this out

I’ve long been a fan of Grado headphones…the required headphones for many a critical listening class. But if you think your Beats by Dre can compare, I would challenge you to both check out this amazing tour of the components used to test *Every. Single. Pair* before they go out the door. Here’s the crazy thing…even a simple $99 set like the SR80e’s will give you a *much* more accurate listening experience, and you’ll actually *save* money in the process. […]

08 Apr 2017

Free Soft Synth – Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day – here’s a free soft synth you probably didn’t know about! Sometimes getting a new plugin or VI can spark your creativity and help you write something completely new – so save this one until you’re having that “writer’s block moment.” It’s called Kairatune by Futucraft. It’s a mono synth that has a pretty wide range of sounds – everything from tight bass to hard hitting leads. Enjoy your fresh new sounds! Click here to get your […]