Category : In the Studio

07 Apr 2017

Saving Your Plugin Settings and Channel Strips

It may seem like a tedious and unnecessary task, but if you do this one thing, you’ll save yourself countless hours down the road. You’ll not only save time, but you’ll actually become a better mixer. It all starts with a little file management – let’s get started. Create a folder on your hard drive (internal or external, it doesn’t matter too much for this.) Call it [Your Name] Presets. Then, create several folders inside this folder. Title them “Vocals”, […]

06 Apr 2017

The Best Software Purchase You’ll Ever Make

For years Pro Tools has been regarded as the industry standard DAW, and understandably so.  Though my opinion could be biased, it seems to me that everything I look for and want in a DAW, it does. Any tool, any trick, it can do.  Any shortcut, it has it.  From user interface to logical navigability, all is as it should be. Outside the pool of “believers” there is always grumbling. I often hear, “Pro Tools crashes too much!”   In […]

04 Apr 2017

Need a Bigger Low End in Your Production? Try This Bass Trick

If you’re looking for a beefy low end, then you’ve probably tried every trick in the book. Boosting EQ, compression, low-end harmonic exciters – you name it, it’s been tried. My favorite trick that seems to work every time? Doubling the bass with two (or more) tracks. But if you’re looking to actually add that low end punch into your productions, there’s a few things you need to know. Because bass can so easily become obnoxious and “muddy”, you’ve got […]

03 Apr 2017

5 Steps to a Successful Multi-Tracking Session

Multi-tracking is an essential skill set that any engineer must have. But it’s not quite as easy as it might seem. It’s a lot more than just hitting record. It can be a stressful situation, even when you’re just multi-tracking with three musicians. Let’s go through 5 steps to a successful session: 1. Set up the cues perfectly and make sure they are ready before the musicians arrive. That means go through each set of headphones and make sure that […]

03 Apr 2017

Future Proof Pro Tools Sessions

On one of the main Nashville producer engineer forums, this topic came up yesterday as a long time producer discovered he could no longer open sessions he archived 10 years ago to CD and DVD. In that case it turns out that the media has simply started to go bad, causing corrupt files and sessions that could not be imported without a lot of extra hassle. But even if you have backups saved to ultra-reliable hard drives or tapes, what’s […]

02 Apr 2017

Mastering: The Dark Art Revealed

So many misconceptions revolve around a single term in the recording biz: mastering. Some people believe that mastering makes a terrible mix sound radio-ready. Those people ask for refunds after they get back a poor master. Some people believe that you need a million dollar room in order to even think about mastering. When does a million dollar room hurt? Never. But is it necessary? Nope. In order to understand exactly what mastering is and how you can do it […]

01 Apr 2017

The Secret to a Smooth EP Master

When you’re mastering a single track, it can be challenging – but nowhere near as challenging as master an EP or album. With a single track, you’ve got to make sure it sounds balanced, even, and commercially competitive. But with a collection of songs, you’ve got to make sure they sound good together. There are a lot of ways to do this, but one technique seems to be the most consistent across the board: Choose a “reference” master. And no, […]

01 Apr 2017

Are You Developing the Hook for Better Recordings?

Name a piece of music. Chances are that you can sing, hum, or identify its “hook.” A hook is an incredibly important part of any recording. And if you’re not highlighting it in your production, you’re missing out. There are a lot of misconceptions about what a hook actually is, so let’s figure out how we can define a hook. Then we can figure out how to develop it and use it to our advantage in a production. A hook […]

29 Mar 2017

Shut Up and Mix

No one sets out to be an Audio Engineer without goals and dreams they wish to accomplish in mind.  Goals, projects, and doing, are inherent to the term “engineer”. Wikipedia defines “Engineer” as, “a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics, and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical, societal and commercial problems.” While we may not be using mathematics to solve societal and commercial problems, we certainly use knowledge of process to creatively (with ingenuity) accomplish a […]

27 Mar 2017

5 Reasons You Need to Record a “Scratch” Vocal

Whether you’re producing a song you wrote or working on somebody’s song, there are a few essential things you need. For example, you probably need a tempo. Things getting pretty messy when you decide not use set the tempo and use a click track of some kind. You’ll probably also need to check in on the key of the song. Unless, of course, you’re making techno music. (Kidding.) But one of the most important things you’ll need is a “scratch” […]