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Gain Staging - Levels are Everything for High-Resolution Recordings

Updated: Studio Recording
gain stage

It's hard to blame musicians for not having a perfect gain stage... Most have never even heard of this aspect of signal processing. Ignorance won't save you though. It's either done right or you've compromised your ability to have the highest quality song at the end of the day. Your gain matters at every step, from the preamplifier, equalizer, compressor, converters, and even when printing […]

Understanding Mix Bus Compression

Updated: Mixing & Mastering
mix bus compressor

There are very few topics and techniques that amateur mixing and mastering engineers will avoid out of the sheer complexity and thus confusion. One of them is stereo bus compression and auxiliary bus compression. Today our goal is to remove this shroud of mystery so all of us can enjoy the fruits of this advanced mixing technique. It's not nearly as complicated once you understand […]

Instrument Miking Techniques & Tips to Capture Your Best Sound

Updated: Studio Recording
instrument miking

There's a danger to studio recording and mixing the results. We all fall prey to using our eyes instead of our ears. It's simply a part of how our brains are wired and how we survived all this time. But the beasts of the recording jungle, your clients and audience, will eat you alive if you listen with your eyes instead of your ears. It's […]

Guitar Inlays - All About Those Fretboard Markers

Updated: Guitar Guru
guitar inlay

“Playing guitar is easy, just follow the dots!” Playing the guitar is that easy, huh? I guess that explains why my grandma shreds like Steve Vai, right? I guess that's why nobody rage quits daily... There may be some truth to that "dot" statement, but we can’t always follow the dots these days. Sometimes we have to follow the diamonds, vampire bats, roses and thorns, […]

The Best Music Business Schools & Colleges to Launch Your Career

Updated: Careers & Marketing
music business schools

Lots of musicians take a strange path through this life of musical hardship. While they work their craft and attempt to gain exposure they fund their low income lifestyle by waiting tables and other measly day jobs. That's not a judgement statement. You've got to do what you've got to do and are willing to do. But why not play on easy mode and work […]

Music Business Jobs & Careers - Get Paid Doing What You Love!

Updated: Careers & Marketing
music business careers

Just because other people sell out to some corporation and are willing to hate their life for the off-chance they might retire one day doesn't mean we have to live like that. You can put off what you love until you're too old to do it, or you can live for the present. Of course you'll need to be responsible enough to consider the future […]

Music Business Degree - Major & Masters to Industry Career

Updated: Careers & Marketing
music business major

Have you ever wondered why musicians will hit the big time and immediately start their own record label? They begin to arrange and market their own tours, hire a team to run their merchandise booths, and focus on the business itself as opposed to the art. Why? Because trends come and go within the industry, but the industry stays the same. And if you want […]

General Guitar Maintenance & Care

Updated: Guitar Guru
guitar maintenance

Guitar maintenance is one of the most important, but also the most overlooked parts of guitar ownership. A properly maintained guitar will give you the best performance possible, no matter how cheap or expensive it is. On the other hand, lack of maintenance can severely limit what that guitar can give you. What many guitar players don't realize is just how complex this instrument really […]

Studio Subwoofers: All You Need to Know (and More…)

Updated: Mixing & Mastering
mixing subwoofers

There’s nothing that can match the mind-bending power of deep bass. Its sheer might is a big reason why we still shell out absurd amounts of money to see an action movie in the theater (which is crazy expensive now even if you don’t shell out the cash for popcorn and a soda!). It also manages to make any car ride infinitely cooler when the […]

How to Use a Patchbay

Updated: Studio Recording
patchbay guide

So you finally got sick of climbing behind your desk or wiggling under your rack to change your audio signals' path through your now giant recording gear collection. I don't blame you. The dust, the spiders, the cat hair, and other surprises aren't worth the trouble, especially when there's an affordable and genius solution on the market. Take into account that most of us end […]

Bigsby vs. Fender: The Merle Travis Guitar Story

Updated: Guitar Guru
merle travis bigsby fender

Of the many American musicians known for writing country and western songs, none are as synonymous with the genre as the great song-crafting guitarist Merle Travis (1917 - 1983). Others come close but they don't come before this historical icon. He gained popularity in a time and place when the people needed a voice for their experiences and emotions that otherwise weren't being validated. His […]

How to Play Guitar – The Fool’s Gold Method for Beginners

Updated: Guitar Guru
learn guitar fools gold method

The first time I grabbed a guitar, 50 years of guitar gods from Jimi Hendrix to Jack White riffed, soloed, and whammy barred their way through my head. But the cavalcade of axe men quickly disappeared, replaced by a flood of doubtful thoughts. I was confused. I was intimidated. I wondered if my age and my “real world” responsibilities were too much to overcome. The […]

Delay & Echo: A Guide to Using Time-Based Audio Effects

Updated: Mixing & Mastering
delay and echo

Everyone loves delay. One of the first effects pedals a guitarist goes after is a delay. The first thing a kid does on his family trip to the Grand Canyon is scream "Hello?" and wait for the response to come bounding back. Delays and echoes are not only pleasurable but they're a great way to introduce complexity and a sense of fullness to a keyboard […]

Guitar Strings Guide - All You Need to Know... (And More!)

Updated: Guitar Guru
guitar string guide

Every player has said to themselves, “These strings are still ok, ill just keep on picking them…” Next thing you know, your intonation is shot and you break a string while wiping off the accumulation of six months of rust and dead skin cells. "It’s economical and a time saver," I kept telling myself, “I saved a few bucks and got more life out of […]

Miking Your Acoustic Guitar Like a Pro

Updated: Guitar Guru
acoustic guitar miking

Acoustic guitar has a variety of voicings, from the instrument itself as well as how it’s played. It can be full-range, evocative, and expressive. Driving rhythms can also explode with surprising power. The softest whispers of delicate strings can frame quiet, emotional vocals. The voice your guitar gives depends on so many factors and each of these impacts how best to capture the particular sound […]

Types of Electric Guitars - Body Styles & Shapes

Updated: Guitar Guru
electric guitar types

When I was a kid, I had a natural attraction to organized sounds. Music has always been a part of my life, whether my family was singing together at holiday gatherings or my friends where writing their favorite band names on their Trapper Keepers. Music is so pervasive in our day-to-day lives. It's always present, whether through the radio, in commercials, movies and TV, and […]

Types of Acoustic Guitars - Body Shapes & Sizes

Updated: Guitar Guru
types of acoustic guitar shapes

It’s definitely important to buy an instrument that you like the look of, but upon closer inspection, you'll find that the shape of the body effects the tonal properties of the guitar more than you may have previously realized. Let’s take a look at some of the varieties of acoustic guitar bodies, and why a player may choose an instrument based on its sound as […]

Subtractive EQ vs Additive EQ in Mixing

Updated: Mixing & Mastering
subtractive vs additive equalization

Since you're reading this you're likely familiar with the issue, but for the sake of those fortunate enough to not have dealt with it, let's explain the typical conversation surrounding this topic. It always boils down to some variation of: Cut instead of boost. Attenuate instead of amplify. Never add when you can subtract. People have very strong convictions about this and half of the […]

Mixing with EQ: 23 EQ Tips to Sculpt the Perfect Sounding Song

Updated: Mixing & Mastering
eq tips

But all of these knobs and settings are staring back and grinning, daring you to even try to understand what they do. Have no fear. With these 23 EQ tips, you'll have a broad overview of what the knobs do and what must be done for your music to rival the professional mixes. It's nowhere near as scary as it seems on the surface. The […]

Musical Modes Explained

Updated: Music Theory
modes explained

It's easy to run into modes and think, "What the heck is going on? Why does all of this need to be so convoluted and complicated?" It does seem that way at first until you work with modes enough to spot the pattern. Then not only does it click into place but you can even work your way through it in your head! The pattern […]