Making decisions that improve the quality of your final product – based on what you’re hearing – is the basic skill underlying all successful music production. Here are some strategies for improving your listening skills. Read More.
In our July Disc Makers Twitter chat (#DMchat), Brian Lipski, mastering engineer and manager of The SoundLAB, gave us an introduction to audio mastering for musicians of all genres. Read More.
Do you have questions about what mastering engineers do and how they achieve their results? This introduction to the mastering gear in The SoundLAB gives you a glimpse into our mastering suites and the gear we use to make your music sound great. Read More.
Using stereo widening plug-ins in audio mastering to try to expand your mix’s stereo width won’t sound natural and could cause major issues with your finished track. Read more.
Supplying audio files in compressed formats or applying heavy limiting or compression during mix down can compromise your master and negatively impact your audio mastering results. Read more.
In 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.
If 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.
Music metadata is the information embedded in a digital audio file that is used to identify the content of the song, including the song title, band or artist’s name, the name of the album on which the song appears and which number track it is, the genre of music, and year the song was released. Read more.
The process of transforming your musical ideas into a finished product you can share and sell begins with your audio recording sessions and continues through to the delivery of your packaged CDs or vinyl records. The choices you make at each step affect the quality of your final product, so familiarizing yourself with this process at the earliest stages will help you produce the best possible results. Read more.
When deciding how to prepare and submit your audio master for CD manufacturing, there are several format options to choose from. A complete body of work on a CD-R, individual audio files such as WAV or AIFF (with any variety of bit-depths and sample rates), and DDP 2.0 file sets are the most popular formats. An analog reel to reel master or DAT (digital audio tape) also provides high quality, though used less frequently with the advent of newer digital options. Read more.
You’ve heard the term “ISRC” thrown around, but what is it, and why do you need it? An ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is a 12-digit alphanumeric code that serves as a unique and permanent identifier for any sound recording or music video. So where a UPC is tied to the “carrier” of the track – e.g. the CD or LP – an ISRC identifies individual tracks. Read More.
The holiday season, especially the golden month between Thanksgiving and Christmas, is the most lucrative time of the year for retail sales. As an independent musician, it can be a time for you to move a ton of product – professionally manufactured CDs, merch, and more. There are many ways to take advantage of this time of the year, and our new guide answers questions about how to prepare your order and make your new release something special for the holidays.
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Think you’re ready to press CDs for your new self-released album? Before you gather your materials to submit for CD manufacturing, there’s rehearsing, music recording, audio mastering, CD package designing – and all the various promotional and sales activities which may require your CD being completed. While it’s hard not to get excited and schedule your band’s CD album release party when you get to the mixing phase, being patient and creating a long-term album release timeline will help you maximize your efforts and make your CD manufacturing experience run smoothly, rather than racing to meet a deadline. Read more.
Trevor Horn is rather unique among his peers in that he enjoyed a highly successful career as a musician before moving to the other side of the glass. As half of the eighties pop duo the Buggles (he was the one with the nerdy glasses), he co-wrote, co-produced, and sang lead on their smash hit “Video Killed the Radio Star,” perhaps best known today as the first video ever played on MTV. He and co-Buggle Geoff Downes were then briefly integrated into prog-rock kings Yes (an experience he later described as “awful”) before he made the decision to end his touring days and focus full-time on record production. Read more…
As the producer of classics from Frank Zappa, The White Stripes, and Kurt Elling – Joe Chiccarelli draws inspiration from a variety of sources in the studio. It’s hard to believe that the same individual who produced the rough-and-ready White Stripes’ Icky Thump was also responsible for the ephemeral, moody ambience of The Shins’ Wincing the Night Away or the slick jazz of Kurt Elling’s Night Moves. Read more.