From the category archives:

Recording & Mastering

Some things I wish I’d known before making an album

by Chris Huff January 26, 2016

making an albumIn life, and when making an album, things happen. The more you understand about the process and the more detail-focused you are, the better your chances for success. So here are some things I wish I had been told before I started putting together an album’s worth of material to be pressed and distributed. Read more.


Music production basics – Part 2: audio compression and panning

by Robert Willey December 2, 2015

music production basicsOne way to control the amplitude of a signal is by running it through a compressor, which turns down the volume each time the signal gets louder than a preset threshold. Understanding the functions of compression and panning are part of music production basics and will help you in the recording and mixing phases of your project. Read more.

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Music production basics – Part 1: amplitude and automation

by Robert Willey November 24, 2015

music production basicsControlling volume is one of the most important elements in audio production. Understanding amplitude, volume, normalization, and automation are all part of music production basics and will help you in the recording and mixing phases of your project. Read more.

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What is the difference between loudness, volume and gain?

by Ken Theriot November 20, 2015

loudness volume and gainSometimes “useful” is better than “precise,” though it is helpful to know what the differences are between technical terms in the recording studio. Even if you do misuse terms like loudness, volume, and gain on a regular basis. I work in the audio world and I still had to look up the exact definition of “gain.” Read more.


Are you ready to work with a vocal producer?

by Keith Hatschek November 10, 2015

vocal producer in the studioTraditionally, a record producer is tasked with the big picture – the entire recording process. A vocal producer is a specialist who concentrates on getting the best vocal performance possible. We spoke with David Pramik to learn more about the role of a vocal producer and what benefits an artist receives when working with one. Read more.


Audio mastering basics for your home studio

by Izotope November 5, 2015

audio masteringIf you focus too much of your work on a single instrument in a complex arrangement, you likely will miss the fact that even if you have improved the sound of that one instrument, everything else may have been impacted negatively. Get the mix you want, mix down to a stereo file, and then perform mastering as a separate last step. Read more.


Virtual instruments – the secret ingredient of film, TV, and video game music

by Martina McConnon October 28, 2015

virtual instrumentsEver wonder who plays the Hollywood scores? Not so long ago, film scores were recorded in studios and on sound stages. These days, that brilliant score might not have been played by a live orchestra. Technology allows virtual instrument developers to create near-identical versions of real-life instruments. Read more.

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Choose quality over quantity for your next CD release

by Johnny Dwinell October 15, 2015

CD releaseAll too often, I’ll see an artist find the funding for her recording only to fail miserably at project management. Too many independent music artists are engrossed with recording a full length CD, so they focus on how to achieve that goal within their budget rather than making the most of the money they’ve raised. Read more.


A record producer’s pre-recording prep work

by Michael Beinhorn September 28, 2015

record producersIt never fails to amaze me that many people who identify themselves as record producers commence work on recording projects without knowing anything about the songs or artists they’re going to record. Yep, people are getting paid to make records without knowing a single note of the music they’re going to be working on. Read more.


Disc Makers, Samson, and Sweetwater team up for a $5,000 studio gear giveaway

by Disc Makers September 18, 2015

studio gear giveawayCo-sponsored by Samson, Sweetwater, and Backstage, the #StudioLife Sweepstakes offers a $5,000+ prize package that includes a mixing board, keyboard MIDI controllers, microphones, monitors, and more, as well as a CD package from Disc Makers and a distribution package from CD Baby. Read more.


Home recording tip: save samples to speed up noise reduction

by Ken Theriot September 16, 2015

noise reduction home studio recording tipIf you record audio in a place where the same noises are often around, and you are not able to prevent them, then you’ve probably found yourself removing them from your audio recordings using noise reduction software. Unless you’ve built or purchased a sound-proof recording booth, there WILL be noise. Read more.


A look at Ringo Starr’s enduring musical influence

by Keith Hatschek and Peter Hackett September 9, 2015

Ringo's musical influenceFew would argue that the drumming of Ringo Starr was one of the most singular aspects to the band’s music. We’re here to make that argument. Ringo’s playing added shape and texture to the band’s iconic recordings while carefully creating patterns and dynamics to create and resolve tension within each song. Read more.


The record producer and pre-production

by Michael Beinhorn August 27, 2015

record producerRecord production is comparable to a wide variety of jobs – from office manager to school teacher to film director to lion tamer (and clinical psychologist). But at its core, record production is mainly about being a conduit that helps the entire creative process flow – a record producer’s primary directive is to help the artist excel. Read more.

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Are your home studio acoustics killing your mix?

by Keith Hatschek and Jeff Crawford August 14, 2015

mixdownWhen it comes to recording and mixing your music, most of us agonize over which software plug-ins to buy or what microphones and preamps we can afford. It’s also crucial to assess the acoustic properties of the room in which you will make your most critical audio production decisions during mixdown. Read more.


Four ways you can fund your next music project

by Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan July 31, 2015

fund your next music projectYou’re a musician – of course you want to record your music, make CDs, have an album release party, create new merchandise, and go on tour. Trouble is, you don’t have the cash on hand to make any of these things a reality. How can you raise the money to help fund your next music project? Read more.