3 Tips For Achieving a Great Bass Guitar Sound in Your Mix

mixing Apr 06, 2020

Do you ever struggle with getting a good, solid, consistent bass sound in your mix? Do your mixes always sound either too boomy or too thin, or do they simply not cut through the mix and sit well in the track right?

We have all had this issue at one time or another and I have a few tips I have picked up along the way and they have really helped me, so I want to pass them along to you.

1. Use Small Amounts of Distortion or Chorus - Most times people record bass by simply plugging straight into an interface directly and they don’t use an amp. Or they use an amp and the tone is rather clean. One way to make that bass “pop” is to add a little of distortion to grit things up. Not too much, keep it barely audible and you will be surprised how much this helps. Another thing you can try is adding a pinch of chorus to the bass track. Again, keep it subtle. Too much will make the bass sound too wobbly.

 2. Spend Time Playing with the Attack Settings on the...

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How Do I Go About Getting New Clients? Here Are 5 Tips

studio business Mar 30, 2020

 Ok, this time I am going to address the question I receive ALL THE TIME from people who are just starting out as a home studio owner and/or someone who has been in business for a short while and are doing ok but want to grow and get more business. I am going to share with you a handful of tips that I have used over the years that have worked for me, to the point where now I get about 70% of my work from referrals / word of mouth in my area. I know there are far more great tips than what I am about to write here, so please chime in and leave a comment below if you have an idea or tip that has worked for you personally.

 1. Build a professional-looking website.  This seems pretty obvious but I will tell you that in my home state, when I first started out, the very first thing I did was research all of the recording studios in my state and let me tell you how piss-poor 98% of the websites that I found. They were basic at best and looked very armature. Almost...

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Setting Good Levels At The Recording Stage

recording Mar 23, 2020

I mix dozen of records every year for clients all over the world. These artists have their music recorded in all different types of recording studios. Some are more high-end studios while others are the simple 1-room studios in a friend’s house. Regardless, I see a very similar pattern in many of these recordings.

I first will import the audio files into my DAW of choice or I will simply open the session files that was sent to me. I then put all the fader at 0db and hit play and guess what I see? 85% of the time when I look at the master fader it’s a wonderful shade of RED! Yes, clipping right from the get go. I look at each individual track and they are almost always peaking at around -1db to -3db. Even sometimes specific tracks have audible digital distortion as well. I put my hands over my face and shake my head.

This weeks lesson is about recording / tracking at constrictive levels. I teach all my students that you should be tracks in the digital domain at -10db to...

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Setting Up Your Mix For Success

mixing Mar 16, 2020

Hello once again. I hope everyone is finding the last couple of posts regarding starting your very own professional home recording studio useful. What do I mean by professional? Well are you taking in clients and producing great products and making money in the process? Then to me, you are considered a professional.

Anyway, this time I want to take a quick break from our last discussion and answer a question I received in an e-mail the other day. I thought this would be a perfect tip for the very beginner as it pertains to mixing. The question was.....

“How do I go about starting my mix? What should I do first? Do you have a standard process you follow before getting into processing individual tracks?” Any help would be really appreciated. Thanks – Alan

Well thank you Alan for your question and as a matter of fact, yes I do have a 5-step process I do to start of each and every mix and here it is…..

1.) Create a new song or project in my DAW and open my...

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Mixing in Mono....What's the Point?

mixing Mar 09, 2020

 I listen to a lot of my student's mixes after the have taken once of my MADE EASY courses and have found that several of the mixes have a bit of “mud” in the low / low mid range. When I hear this I wonder if they checked their mix in mono before the final print.

Most of us mix in stereo almost all the time and we do a lot of panning of instruments to the hard left and hard right (guitars for example). So that usually leaves the bass guitars and kick drum up the middle. It’s pretty easy to get things sound well balanced from a frequency point of view when you use the entire stereo field. However, when you fold everything to mono all of a sudden there is a low-end build-up that make the entire mix sounds a little muddy or boomy.

The reason for this is those guitars and other instrumentation panned to the left and right have some low end frequency’s in them even though you use a high pass filter you may not grab and roll off enough low end. So when that...

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Is Doing Work For FREE Really the Way To Attract Clients?

studio business Mar 02, 2020

I have discussed this topic with many of my private students over the years. Here is the basic question I receive a lot.

“I am a new recording engineer and I offer my services for free and I can’t seem to get any takers, any advice”?

I always answer this question with a question. I’ll ask my student, “are you constantly meeting and interacting with musicians on a regular basis and no one needs to have any recording done or did you simply put up a Facebook post or two and you are waiting for clients to find you?"

When you are new to this game I know it can be difficult and sometimes intimidating to put yourself out there but in this game, especially at the beginning, it’s all about self-promotion. At least until you are at a level where past clients will do a lot of the promotion to other artists for you.

Here is how I would tell you to start. Make sure you have a portfolio of examples of your work that people can listen too. If you were to walk up...

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Acoustic Treatment Is The Least Sexy Thing But It's Important

in the studio Feb 24, 2020

I must get three e-mails per month from people who are frustrated because their mixes do not translate outside of their studio. The e-mails go something like this…

“Hi, David – I have a question. I have been mixing for about a year and I am having a terrible time getting my mixes to sound good on a variety of different sources (ie. car, i-pod, hi-fi system etc.) I work on a mix for days and get it to sound perfect in my studio and as soon as I bring it to another sound source the entire mix falls apart. What am I doing wrong here?”

When I receive an e-mail like this the very first thing I ask is:

“What type of acoustic treatment do you have in your mixing space”?

Most time the response is either “none” or “I have a few panels of foam on the front wall behind my speakers”. Here is where the issue lies.

We are all so caught up on the latest vintage/analog plugins, outboard gear, the latest DAW, etc.,  that we forget...

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6 Things Improve Your Mixes That Wont Cost You a Dime PT 2

mixing Feb 17, 2020

Ok, let's pick up from last week's blog post.....Here is PT 2

4. Mix at a low volume. Actually, as low as you can possibly stand….LOL. This is something that took me a while to wrap my head around and was very challenging for me to stick too. Our instinct is to turn things up, make the room rock! Everything sounds good a louder volume levels right? You want the drums to sound BIG, turn them up! LOL. Well, the real secret is to make those drums sound BIG at a low listening level. If you can do that, then regardless of the volume that the listener listens to your mixing masterpiece, it will always sound BIG and FULL and it WILL ROCK! Not to mention mixing at low volumes will save your ears and allow you to mix for longer periods of time. Now, this does not mean don’t ever do a quick 10-second check of your mix at a louder volume. You need to do that as well. Break the pattern of what your ears are hearing so they “reset” themselves, but do most of your mixing...

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6 Things To Improve Your Mixes & It Won't Cost You a Dime PT 1

mixing Feb 10, 2020

After my last post, I thought I could take it one step further and give you a few tips that will instantly improve your mixes and the greatest part is that it does not cost a penny! Yes, totally FREE with no gear, plugins or anything else to purchase! These are concepts that have worked for many mix engineers for decades and when I started to use these techniques several years ago, I started to see major improvements to my final mixes. So here we go……

 1. Pick the section of the song that has the most impact to mix first. Maybe that’s the final chorus or maybe it’s the bridge section. You want to find a section where all the instruments are playing and it has the most going on. The concept is to make this particular section, the climax of the song sound as BIG as possible. This is where you want the most punch / payoff. If you mix this section first and make the track “slammin” then everything else will fall nicely underneath. What you...

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Gear - What Do I "NEED" vs What Would I "LIKE"

studio business Feb 03, 2020

Ok, the last post I started to lay the foundation for you to start thinking about getting started with your own recording studio business. Hopefully, you started to create your business plans. Have You? Why not? This is important and cannot be overlooked. So stop reading this right now and finish your homework!! As I said in the last post, it does not need to be anything fancy or complex. A simple list of start-up and monthly costs will do for now. Refer to the last post for all the details.

For those of you who have done your assignment and are ready to move on….. This time I want to focus on the gear and what you “NEED” to have vs what you “WOULD LIKE” to have. Now keep in mind that this blog focuses on mainly the beginner audio engineer/mixer engineer. We realize that that is the majority of my audience even though I know that there are more experienced guys/gals reading this. So with that in mind, let me first say something...

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