Be Wise About Your Gear Upgrades

gear / plugins Jun 02, 2023

Buying new gear for our home studios:  What is more fun than that, right? We all do it. No matter how many people tell us we don’t “need” new gear or that the new gear won’t make our recordings any better and “it’s all in how we use the tools we have”, right? I know I have said this a million times to my students and even myself; but there is something exciting about upgrading our gear or adding a new tool that we didn’t current have. I am just as guilty of this as many of you reading this.

So if we have a few extra bucks and want to make a purchase for our studios lets at least make a smart purchase. Lets at least make a purchase that can really help and really be a true “upgrade”. For example, if you already have several vintage style compressor plugins and some plugin company adds their version of the 1176 emulation do we really need to spend $300 on that when we already have 3 other versions of the 1176 in our...

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

mixing May 26, 2023

Struggling to get that perfect, consistent bass sound in your mixes? Don't worry, it's a common issue that we've all faced at one point or another. But the good news is that there are a few tips and tricks you can use to help achieve that solid, cutting bass sound that will sit perfectly in your tracks.

Here are three tips that I've picked up along the way:

  1. Add a Touch of Distortion or Chorus - If you're recording bass straight into an interface, or using a clean amp tone, try adding a small amount of distortion or chorus to help the bass pop. Just keep it subtle - a little goes a long way. Too much distortion or chorus can make the bass sound overly boomy or wobbly.

  2. Play with the Attack Settings on the Compressor - Compressing bass heavily can help achieve a consistent performance, but it can also bring out unwanted frequencies and muddy up the mix. Playing with the attack settings can help combat this issue. If the bass lacks punch, try a slower attack to allow the transient...

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

studio business May 19, 2023

 Get ready to take your home studio business to the next level with these explosive tips! As a successful home studio owner, I am frequently asked how to grow a new business or increase an established one. Today, I'm going to reveal my secret tips that have helped me get to the point where I receive 80% of my work from referrals and word of mouth in my area. But, I want to hear from you too! If you have a tip or idea that has worked for you, leave a comment below.

Tip #1: Build an unbeatable website. Don't settle for a basic website that fails to impress potential clients. Use a professional domain name and create a website that showcases your best work. Add pictures and high-quality videos of your studio to entice clients. Make sure your pricing is transparent, so you can stand out in your competitive market.

Tip #2: Do some free work! Yes, you read that right. Offering a free 4-hour session to a local artist can help you build your portfolio and reputation. If they have a...

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Setting Good Levels At The Recording Stage

recording May 12, 2023

Are you tired of your music recordings coming out with unwanted distortion and clipping? As a professional music mixer, I've worked with dozens of clients from all over the world, with music recorded in all kinds of studios, from high-end to small bedroom setups. And I've noticed a common pattern: most recordings I receive have one thing in common - they're recorded at levels that are too high.

When I import the audio files into my DAW, I often see the master fader peaking in the red zone, even before I touch anything. And when I look at individual tracks, they're usually peaking at -1db to -3db, with some tracks, even showing audible digital distortion. It's frustrating to see talented musicians and producers putting in all that effort, only to end up with subpar recordings due to simple mistakes that could have been easily avoided.

That's why I'm here to share a simple lesson: record at conservative levels. In the digital age, pushing the signal too hard doesn't add any benefits...

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Setting Up Your Mix For Success

mixing May 05, 2023

Greetings to all audio engineers out there! I hope you're enjoying our ongoing discussion on how to set up a professional home recording studio. Today, we're taking a quick break from that topic to answer a question we received about mixing, which is perfect for beginners.

The question was, "How do I start my mix? What should I do first? Do you have a standard process before processing individual tracks?" Well, fear not, as I have a five-step process that I use to start every mix, which I'll share with you now.

First, I create a new project in my DAW and open my empty mix template. This template has 24 mono and six stereo audio tracks, each with a channel-strip plugin inserted, a master fader track with a mix bus compressor and tape saturation inserted, two effect send tracks (one for reverb and one for delay), and four group bus tracks (one for drums, guitars, vocals, etc.). I've color-coded the tracks by group to make them easier to find, and I suggest creating a blank mix...

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

mixing Apr 28, 2023

As a seasoned audio engineer, I've noticed a common issue with many of my students' mixes - they often sound muddled in the low/low mid-range. It got me thinking, have they checked their mixes in mono before making the final print?

Now, I know most of us love to mix in stereo, and it's easy to get carried away with panning instruments hard left and right, leaving the bass guitars and kick drum in the center. But when you fold everything to mono, you'll notice a low-end buildup that can make the entire mix sound muddy and boomy.

Why does this happen, you ask? Well, those guitars and other instruments panned to the sides contain some low-end frequencies that even a high-pass filter can miss, and when all the sound sources meet in the center, those low-end frequencies become too much, and "here comes the mud."

So, here's a tip - try EQ-ing your bass and guitars to sound good together in mono before switching back to stereo. You'll be amazed at how much better and less muddy your mix...

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

studio business Apr 21, 2023

As a new audio engineer, it can be tough to get your foot in the door and start building up a client base. You may offer your services for free but still struggle to attract any takers. So, what can you do?

Firstly, it's essential to focus on self-promotion. You can't expect clients to come to you if you're not actively reaching out to musicians and networking with them. Posting on Facebook or other social media platforms isn't enough; you need to put yourself out there and interact with people on a regular basis.

One crucial aspect of self-promotion is having a portfolio of examples of your work. If you approach someone and offer to record them for free, they will likely want to hear some of your previous work first. Therefore, it's crucial to have some well-recorded and mixed music to showcase your skills.

While offering free work is an excellent way to build up your client base, it's important to strike a balance. Doing too much free work could harm your reputation in the long...

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

in the studio Apr 14, 2023

Do your mixes sound great in your studio, but fall apart when played on different sound systems? You're not alone. Many home studio owners struggle with this issue and blame their equipment, plugins, or DAW. But the real culprit is often overlooked - the room itself.

Without proper acoustic treatment, your room will create frequency voids and reflections that throw off your judgment and make it impossible to accurately hear what's coming out of your monitors. And when you compensate by adding or subtracting EQ, your mix will sound even worse outside of your mixing space.

But don't worry, there's a solution. By investing in the right type and amount of acoustic treatment, you can transform your mixing space into a well-balanced environment that allows you to make better mixing decisions. And the best part? You don't have to spend a fortune.

Visit a site like Aurlex.com and take advantage of their FREE room analysis to guide you through the process of picking out the proper acoustic...

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

mixing Apr 07, 2023

Hey there, let's dive into Part 2 of last week's amazing blog post!

If you want to make your music sound like a pro without breaking the bank, then these next three tips are for you!

Tip number 4: Mix at a low volume. Yes, you read that right, the secret to making your tracks sound BIG and FULL is by mixing at a low volume. I know, it might sound counterintuitive, but trust me, it works! Not only will it save your ears, but it will also allow you to mix for longer periods of time. And don't worry, you can always do a quick check at a louder volume, but for the most part, keep it low. How low? Well, if you and I were in the same room, we should be able to have a conversation without struggling to hear each other. It should sound like background music. Try it out and see for yourself!

Tip number 5: Take breaks! I know, you're eager to finish your masterpiece, but taking short breaks every 30-40 minutes can make a huge difference. Use this time to reset your ears, grab a drink, or even...

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

mixing Mar 24, 2023

Hello to all my fellow audio engineers!

I'm here to share some tips that can instantly improve your mixes, and the best part is that it won't cost you a penny! These concepts have worked for many mix engineers for decades, and I started seeing major improvements to my final mixes when I started using them.

So let's dive into the tips:

  1. Pick the section of the song that has the most impact to mix first. This could be the final chorus or 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. If you mix this section first and make it "slammin", then everything else will fall nicely underneath. Mixing the verse first and making it sound amazing will push everything to the limit, leaving you with nowhere to go from there. In other words, you don’t want the verses of the track to sound “BIGGER” than the chorus...

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