My Favorite Plugins in 2023

Uncategorized Jan 19, 2024

  • The video discusses my favorite plugins of 2023.
  • EZ Keys 2 by Toon Tracks is highlighted as the favorite virtual instrument, praised for its features and songwriting capabilities.
  • The Liquid Sonics 7th Heaven Reverb is mentioned as a recent pickup with a review scheduled for 2024, emphasizing its emulation of the legendary Bricasti M7 hardware reverb.
  • Sound Radix Auto Align 2 is recommended for phase correction in drum and guitar recordings, with improved simplicity and speed compared to its predecessor.
  • Universal Audio's Sound City is praised as a fantastic plugin, offering versatile options for room emulation and enhancing the sound of recorded instruments.
  • Vost EQ's Model N is a new and inexpensive plugin offering various preamp, compressor, EQ, and saturation options, recommended for its NE flavor.
  • SSL Native's 4K Channel Strip is highlighted as another home run, providing a close analog feel and sound, especially when used with SSL's hardware controllers.
  • Kit Plugins, with...
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Top Six Mixing Mistakes To Avoid PT 2

mixing Aug 04, 2023

Last week we took a look at the first 3 mixing mistakes. This week I have 3 more for you to consider!

Problem # 4 - Misaligned Tracks - This is a no-brainer. When you send stems (separated groups of track i.e.. guitar, bass, kick, snare vocal) make sure they all start at the same place. For example, if the lead vocal does not come in until 0.30 then that stem should have 0.30 seconds of silence at the top.

Problem # 5 - Too Much Treble - Last week we discussed too much low end right?. Well I see the same issue with the high end all the time. A lot of sessions I receive have the majority of the tracks with high end of the EQ boosted between 5khz & 8khz. So when you do this on all of the tracks it makes for a very harsh sounding mix. Once agin this is usually due to poor acoustic treatment in ones mixing environment. So be careful to not add too much high end and get your room acoustically treated. 

Problem #6 - Not Using Reference Tracks - This is one that a...

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Top Six Mixing Mistakes to Avoid Part 1

mixing Jul 28, 2023

Over these next two weeks we are going to discuss the eight top mixing mistakes that I hear on a regular basis from home studio / project studio and how you can avoid these pitfalls.

I get a lot of mixes sent to me from students and clients from all over the world. I hear all different styles of music and most of these mixes were done by people in the home studio environment. What I have found is there are several problem areas that are common between most mixes. So these next two blog posts will address these areas and I encourage you to take these seriously as it can make the difference between a good mix and a great mix.

Problem Area # 1 -  Too Much Bottom End  - Too much low end is the most common thing I hear coming out of the project studio and it’s usually caused by an inaccurate mixing environment. The average home studio usually lacks the proper acoustic treatment necessary to accurately reflect the bass in the room, therefore you end up adding a...

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Computer Power - Worth Upgrading?

gear / plugins Jul 21, 2023

Hello Friends!

This week I want to answer a question that has come up a few times recently and that is what type of computer do I use, what are the specs and what to consider when making an upgrade.

Let’s start off by telling you what I am currently using as of the writing of this article. I have a 2013 Mac Pro (trash can) with an eight-core 3.0GHZ processor and 32 GB ram. This also has two video cards, which are ADM Fire Pro D500 cards. The internal hard drive is a SSD 500GB drive and that runs the OS and all the applications. All of my recording sessions run off an external RAID drive set-up, which has three 2TB, drives and this RAID set-up is connected via thunderbolt.

Now prior to this I was using a 2008 Mac Pro, which had a Quad Core processor and 24GB of RAM. I used this every day in my studio for 5 years and it worked like a champ. I upgraded for a few reasons, which I will talk about in a moment. This 2008 Mac Pro is still in use in my home office and it is as reliable...

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Getting it Right at the Source - What Does That Mean? Read on My Friends!

recording Jul 14, 2023

This week in the sprit of release of the new MADE EASY SERIES “Recording Drums in Studio One Made Easy” I wanted to quickly talk about the importance of the recording process itself. What do I mean? Well, you hear me say a lot “Get it Right at the Source” right? I say that a lot in my You Tube videos and I have said that to students in my e-mail correspondence many, many times.

Getting a great mix has so much to do with tracks that are recorded well. Taking the time to ensure that you get well-recorded tracks makes all the difference in the world. Have you ever tried to mix a song where the tracks sound like carp at the very start? It’s a real challenge and most times impossible to make a song sound professional when you start off with poorly recorded tracks.

So this week I want you to think about your recordings and if you are the engineer recording the tracks and mixing them be sure to take the most care and time to get tracks that sound...

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Should I Put EQ Before or After Compression?

mixing Jul 07, 2023

This week article comes form a question I received last week from one of my students. Actually this question has been asked of me several times in the past so let’s answer it here shall we? The question is this.

“Should I put the EQ before compression or after compression.?”

Well, it depends. When I think about compression I think about controlling the dynamic range of a track and gluing it together. Simply put, we are going to lower the volume of the “peaks” in the audio and raise the volume of the “dips” in audio. Once we do that we are going to raise the overall volume of the track to make up for the compression we added. Now, interesting enough the way our ears hear things we perceive compression as making the audio louder and turning up the softer audio parts as opposed to softening the louder parts of the audio.

If I have to do a lot of EQ boosting to a track, say add 10db at 12Khz to an acoustic guitar to give it some air, then I...

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You Want to Get Better Mixes Right Now? READ ON!!!

mixing Jun 30, 2023

This week I want to tell you the secrete to achieving a great mix. There are two things you need to master or at least be extremely good at to ensure you can produce a great mix every time. Actually there are three things but you may only have control over two of them as the mixing engineer. What are they you ask?

A great recording! This is obvious right? Well, I think we all forget this concept more times than not. You hear the phrase all the time “get it right at the source”. Meaning that if you have great-recoded tracks you have a great foundation to work from and it makes the mixing process much easier. So if you are the one who is recording the artist then work on your recording chops. Learn about mic choice, mic placement, recording levels etc. Take great care to achieving a great recording and you will thank me later! If the raw tracks sound great then you are on your way to a great mix!

The next two things are the first two plugins you need to master and really...

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Why Are You Not Better at Mixing?

mixing Jun 23, 2023

Hello Friends & Students!

Some people wonder how I decide what to write in this weekly blog. Where do I get my ideas from? Well, to be completely honest I get the ideas mostly from reading all the e-mails I receive on a weekly basis. I receive anywhere from 3-5 emails per day from my supporters asking me various questions and when I see a pattern of the same type of question I tend to address the topic in a blog post like this one!!

This week I want to address something that I think a lot of newbie mixing engineers tend to forget. There are a lot of my students who feel that they are not becoming better at mixing and mastering fast enough. I mean, they purchase one of my training products and watch them, sometimes watching them several times. Then they work on their next project and they sometimes feel like they have not made as much improvements in their mixing chops as they would have liked. They are looking to go from an absolute beginner to a pro after watching one 3-hour...

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Top Six Mixing Mistakes & How to Avoid Them PT 2

mixing Jun 16, 2023

This week we are going to finish up from last week’s blog. Here are three more mixing mistakes you should try to avoid.

4. Lack of Panning – It’s really important to give your mix some demission by balancing your instrumentation within a nice wide stereo field. A lot of times I hear mixes that are very narrow sounding and everything is crowed in the middle of the stereo field.

 Yes, you want to keep the vocal, kick, snare and bass guitars in the middle but in order to clear out the middle of the stereo filed consider moving instrumentation like guitars, percussion, keys, strings off to the L/R side. This will give you mix a much wider sound and also provide a lot more clarity to your mix. Experiment with panning hard L/R as well as the space between the center and hard L/R.

5. Misaligned Tracks – You would think this is a no-brainer but I can’t tell you how many times I receive tracks and when I import them into the DAW...

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Top 6 Mixing Mistakes & How To Avoid Them PT 1

mixing Jun 09, 2023

This week we are going to look at the first three of six mixing mistakes many of us make and a tip on how to avoid them. Let jump right in shall we?

1. Too Much Bottom End – a lot of home studios usually do not have the proper acoustic treatment to produce an accurate low end of a mix and that usually mean the mixer over compensates and ultimately they end up with too much low end.

TIP – Take great care to properly acoustically teat your mixing room and that will really help you dial in the proper amount of low end

2. Terrible Treble – On the other end of things a lot of mixers want a bit of sheen and polish on their mixes and they boost up the 7K – 10K range and that range of frequency’s will tend to add a lot of sibilance to a vocal and a bit of harshness to high hats.

TIP – Make sure you use a D-esser on both the vocal and high hats or cymbals if they are a bit harsh. This will help you add air to a mix with out becoming to...

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