From the category archives:

Recording & Mastering

The four essential elements of EQ and your audio mix

by Sean McLaughlin April 4, 2014

Frequency Ranges and your audio mix Mixing music is the craft of taking multiple audio tracks and combining them together onto a final master track. The way we combine tracks is equal parts art and science, and if you think of your audio mix as a three-dimensional sonic image, its four basic elements are level (height), EQ (height), panning (width), and time-based effects (depth). Read more.

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Pre-production tips for recording drums

by Dan Gonzalez March 18, 2014

pre-production and recording drums Every studio recording should begin with pre-production, as prepping for a studio recording is the only way to take advantage of the time you have. Record yourself playing your band’s songs to understand how your tracks will come together in the studio. Review your recordings and focus on your parts to understand where improvements need to be made to lock down the tracks. Read more.


Writing, recording, and performing children’s music

by Michael Gallant February 18, 2014

Gasoi on writing children's musicWhen you’re set to start writing children’s music of your own, Gasoi recommends a little introspection. “Find that place within yourself that reminds you of your own childhood, that place of innocence, fun, and abandonment. Tap into happy memories from your own childhood, things that bring out that fun and exuberance. Regardless of the style of song, bring a joyful spirit to what you do.” Read more.


Producing great hip hop vocals

by Michael Gallant January 22, 2014

Ken Lewis talks hip hop vocalsOne of the biggest mistakes I see in the studio is checking the mic with the artist behind it. It takes them out of the zone. I’ve seen engineers do it dozens of times and I see the look on the artist’s face when it’s happening. When the artist sets up behind the mic, he or she either has the mindset of being ready to give a great performance – or is scared to death and doesn’t need anything else throwing him or her off. Read more.


Isolation headphones and your home recording

by Keith Hatschek and Jeff Crawford December 11, 2013

EX-25 isolation headphonesWhether as a front-of-house live performance mixer, a remote broadcast/recording engineer working in a church or club, a recording engineer working on a studio session, or simply recording instruments in your modest one-room home recording studio, being isolated from your audio sound source is essential to producing a quality finished product. In order to make the best decisions about levels, EQs, dynamics, or effects, it’s necessary to hear the uncolored sound on its own. Read more


Don’t boost – reduce! Subtractive equalization and your home studio mix

by Dan Gonzalez November 26, 2013

Snare drum recording tipsEqualization is one of the most powerful tools an audio engineer can get their hands on. Unfortunately, some beginners and home studio users habitually reach for it without understanding what it can do to a mix. To avoid a gain staging dilemma, apply subtractive equalization to your mix. Instead of boosting your favorite signals, try limiting yourself to cutting. We can call this concept “carving.” Read more.


This is the Remix – Eight Tips on Reinventing Your Music

by Michael Gallant October 24, 2013

Justin Lassen“It’s a mistake to remix from a stereo master,” says expert remixer Justin Lassen. “If the track is already mastered and has its dynamics already defined, there’s only so much a remixer can do. If you are going to remix, import the stems from the original session, mute everything, bring in elements one at a time, and figure out a game plan as to how you’re going to tell the story of the remix. Read more.


Producing Background Vocals

by Mihai Boloni October 3, 2013

Live Background Vocals For any given song, the specific approach to producing background vocals is dependent on the production style and genre, but when listening to any modern song on the charts, you can quickly pick up that there is a lot going on. Serious thought has been put in to the arrangement and presentation of these parts, which usually means quite a bit of editing work. Luckily for us, this type of work and associated workflow is what Pro Tools does best. Read more.


10 Mixdown Tips For the Aspiring Audio Engineer

by Dan Gonzalez September 24, 2013

 Mixdown Console View in SONAR X2 ProducerBeginning a mix is something that many people have a hard time figuring out. There really is no single correct approach to the mixdown process – every audio engineer has his or her own way of handling an audio mix. If you have trouble getting your mix started, try developing a workflow for yourself, and you will soon have the ability to pull up stems from just about anywhere and begin blending your tracks with ease. Read more.


The Mantra of a Successful Recording Studio

by Disc Makers September 19, 2013

How to run a successful recording studio Our latest recording studio guide, The Art of Running A Successful Recording Studio: Advice and Insights From Studio Pros, focuses on how professional studios can better navigate the waters in the new music industry. Eight of our esteemed Disc Makers Studio Partners offered excellent content for the guide, including what they see as the qualities to success in the recording studio business. Read more.


SNL Drummer Shawn Pelton Shares Recording Session Performance Tips

by Michael Gallant August 29, 2013

Pelton SNL When it comes to a great performance in your next recording session, how do you summon your musical mojo and nail that transcendent take? Known as the house drummer for Saturday Night Live and recordings with Ray Charles, Sheryl Crow, Pink, Rod Stewart, Shakira, and Elton John, Shawn Pelton has built a tremendous career by capturing such in-studio magic. The top-call New York studio drummer offers performance tips on how to bring your own best playing to every take you track. Read more.


Get Our Most Comprehensive Home Recording Studio Guide Ever!

by Disc Makers August 27, 2013

The Home Studio Handbook home recording studio guide The Home Studio Handbook includes material from our popular home recording studio guides – plus we’ve added a wealth of additional recording tips. Our new guide starts with vital information on how to make your own home recording studio – whether it’s a professional A-room or a budget-conscious home recording studio setup – and ends with creating a great mix. The 40-page Home Studio Handbook is free and available for download now! Read more.

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Home Recording Tips – 10 Mic Placements For Acoustic Guitar

by Dan Gonzalez August 22, 2013

Home recording with small condenser Microphone placement is the foundation for any pro studio or home recording. We present 10 different placement techniques for a simple acoustic guitar recording. Each technique yields a different result. Read more.


Using Auto-Tune in Your Home Studio

by James Creer July 24, 2013

auto tuneMany people want to lay blame on the tools for their work sounding robotic or unnatural, but this doesn’t have to be the case if you learn how to use your tools properly and pay attention to what the settings do. Of course, there is a limit to how much tuning or editing you CAN do to a less-than-perfect performance, but we’ll give you an inside look at the most commonly used parameters and how to use Auto-Tune effectively. Read more.


Audio Mastering – The Mysterious Post-Production Art Form

by Izotope June 24, 2013

Audio masteringAudio mastering’s primary goal is fairly simple: to prepare a recording for distribution, ensuring it sounds better when it goes out than it did when it came in. It all begins with the mix – you’ve just finished mixing what you think is a good recording. The playing is good, the recording is clean, the mix is decent, yet when you hear it next to a track from your favorite artist, your recording is missing that “X factor.” Read more.