Record 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.
You’ve finished the audio mix for your latest song. Your audio mix sounds pretty good in your home studio, but when you play the song on your iPod or in the car, you notice one or two bass notes always sound super loud, even though you’ve applied compression on the bass track to try and prevent this very problem. Read more.
Butch Vig is synonymous with the sound and legacy of alternative rock. His work with Nirvana, Sonic Youth, and Smashing Pumpkins rewrote the rulebook for guitar-centric rock production. Vig sat down with iZotope to talk about his creative process, production philosophy, and his affection for iZotope’s Trash plug-in. Read more.
A microphone that picks up sound from the front and back is called bi-directional, or a Figure 8 mic, and there are several cool things you can do with them. Read the post.
If the music program is sibilant overall, the audio can be cut at a lower amplitude, which can help with the distortion caused by the high frequency information. The result, though, is a vinyl record that’s at a lower level, and the surface noise will be more prominent – not to mention, it’s not going to be comparable to other vinyl albums. Read more.
I have sort of an irreverent attitude, so I’ve been inclined to do things that were supposed to be wrong. I always like using cheap or ancient, wheezing gear along with the usual pro gear, because I really think the “action” sound comes from musically effective distortion. Sometimes this oddball gear makes a bold sonic statement you just can’t get any other way. I like tape delays, for instance a [Roland] Space Echo, especially if the tape has a little crease in it. Read More.
Updated Nov. 2019. The recording of a snare drum is the focal point of every modern recording. Let’s outline some mic placement techniques that will help focus in on capturing specific sounds when recording a snare drum. Read the post.
Equalization 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.
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.
Many 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… Read more.
The primary goal of audio mastering is fairly simple: prepare a recording for distribution and ensure it sounds better going out than it did coming in. Read more.
Echoes talks with producer/engineer/studio owner Drew Raison for insights on how to make your home recordings sound better. Drew says, “When you’re working in a home studio, I recommend you keep it simple. Minimal equalization and minimal compression at the time of recording, because you can add that later. You can’t always undo, so try not to make unfortunate decisions at the time of recording. Read more.
Ear fatigue is a condition that can occur during mix down that you may not even recognize is happening. You’re in the studio, you think you’ve nailed the mix, you’ve been adjusting things up and down, tweaking everything until it seems to sound just right. Then the next day, you pull up the mix and think, “What the heck were we doing?” Read more.
I’ve had drummers who won’t take off their front head, and refuse to cut a hole in the front head. I’ve had to work with that. They had gotten the tuning to sound amazing, or they were purists and didn’t want anything inside the drum. The biggest issue you have when you don’t have the mic in the drum is you’re going to get bleed – bleed from the cymbals, and from the other drums – which can be a real problem for the kick, because it’s driving the entire song, and a lot of times when you’re mixing you want to gate your kick and snare. Read more.
I want to hear a combination of the drum – the hit of the drum – and the snares almost equally as loud as the drum. In a standard 4/4 set up, you’re hearing the snare on the 2 and 4. That snare has a space to fill – it’s the answer to the space the kick drum is filling on the 1 and 3. The snare and the kick have to work together to pull the song forward. If you have a great kick sound, and the snare isn’t matching it, you’ll have this imbalance. Read more.