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13 More Vocal Recording Tips

Updated: Studio Recording
tips for recording vocals

The difference between solid production and perfect production all boils down to which recording engineer is willing to go the extra mile to take advantage of those last diminishing returns. Most of the time, the temptation is to grab your best mic that's probably already plugged in and on a mic stand, stick it in front of the vocalist, and press record.  The reality is […]

Close Miking: Why, When, & How?

Updated: Studio Recording
close miking

Everyone has heard of this term.  It's so common that people who have zero clue what they're talking about will offer up the solution: "Just close mic it!" But what does this really mean?  Why was the technique developed?  What does it offer over other techniques such as distance miking?  How do we use it and when should we use it? There are other microphone […]

Anticipate Success: Make Marketing Easier With These 8 Music Production Tips

Updated: Careers & Marketing
8 production tips

Imagine this scenario.  You or your band release an EP of six tracks and three of them are awesome. You've printed CD labels and slip covers into those thin jewel cases and started handing them out to friends.  One of your friends went the corporate route and ended up playing your music in the car with a wealthy businessman on their lunch break. It just […]

Recording Studio Cables: All You Need to Know

Updated: Studio Recording
studio cables

"No, no!  Not the Cat-5, bring me the XLR.  No, that's the TRS to TS!  No, not the optical... Nevermind, I'll get it myself." It's easy to get frustrated and have zero tolerance for audio cable confusion, but that was all of us at one time or another.  You have to start at the beginning, but that doesn't mean you can't take the accelerated course […]

10 Compression Myths & Mistruths

Updated: Mixing & Mastering
10 compressor myths debunked

Most of us in the recording industry have a solid understanding of how compressors work. We know how to tweak the settings to achieve our goals in a mix. But even the most well-informed of us are hanging on to some misconceptions about the technical aspects of how these crazy machines function. Let's start with the most simple myths and misguidance that's out there and […]

What is a Studio Compressor? What Does It Do?

Updated: Studio Recording
what is a vocal compressor

An audio compressor is one of those pieces of gear that everyone tries to get by without for some odd reason.  Guitar players, for instance, feel they should be able to achieve the effect with their fingers.  Vocalists try to do the job of the compressor by moving closer and further away from the mic.  Some mixing engineers will even automate the volume or literally […]

What is a Preamplifier? Why Do We Need Them?

Updated: Studio Recording
what is a preamplifier?

It goes like this:  If you're recording with a microphone then you need to use a preamplifier, no questions asked. It is 100% possible to record without one and you have the same percentage of a chance to get horrible results.  The reason I'm so adamant about this is that I recorded my first 30 songs or so without one because I had no clue what […]

5 Tricks to Bring Your Drum Programming to Life

Updated: Beat Production
drum programming on fire

There's a ton of advice out there being spewed every time someone asks "How do I program realistic drums?"  The answers are always the same... Learn how a real drummer drums Use real drum samples instead of synth-based Layer your sounds on top of each other Yeah yeah yeah.  Here's the problem with that nonsense.  Knowing how a real drummer swings his sticks tells you nothing […]

Mixing with Reverb: How to Use Reverb for Depth Without Creating a Mess

Updated: Mixing & Mastering

Do you ever listen to professional mixes and wonder how in the world they have so many lush reverbs flowing throughout the soundscape, yet everything still sounds crystal clear?  How come you can't achieve the same? The answers are here. Most of the time we jump in, grab a reverb that has a sound we like, dial it in to a certain volume on varying […]

What is Tape Saturation? Which Are The Best Saturation Plugins?

Updated: Mixing & Mastering
what is tape saturation?

Lots of listeners hear older recordings and realize that something sounds different than the new crystal clear, extremely sterilized, computerized recordings of today.  It's not just a sense of nostalgia.  There is definitely a difference but it's hard to put your finger on it.  Even audiophiles have a difficulty nailing down just what that subtle feeling is that separates the new from old. There's a […]

Vocal Warm Up Exercises for Singing

Updated: Gigs & Live Performance
how to warm up your voice for singing

There are countless occupations that ask for you to put your best voice forward.  From singers, actors, and radio personalities, to teachers, salesmen, and almost any other professional... it's not only what you say but how you say it.  The key is preparation through vocal warm up exercises. Confidence and trust arises out of consistent daily practice and pre-performance warm up routines.  Knowing your material […]

14 Tips for Recording and Mixing Vocals - The Right Way...

Updated: Mixing & Mastering
14 tips to better vocal recording and mixing

The two most important aspects to "recording and mixing vocals" is implied in that phrase right there.  There is the recording phase and then there is the mixing phase. When recording, representing your voice in the most accurate and pristine way is about what not to do.  It's a somewhat passive stage where as long as you nail your performance while dodging specific recording mistakes you'll […]

Music Industry Artist Networking & Branding Basics

Updated: Careers & Marketing
music business branding

We all believe that success in the music industry should be based on musical skill of some sort, whether that's songwriting, technical playing prowess, or some other talent.  But unfortunately the industry has been taken over by businessmen who have their sights set on one goal... profit. This means that these record executives, A&R scouts, and anyone else looking to turn a buck or two […]

Ear Fatigue Symptoms When Mixing With Headphones & Monitors

Updated: Mixing & Mastering
ear fatigue

The whole lot of us are guilty... guilty of not taking care of our ears even though it's our livelihood.  We listen to our favorite records too loud, we go to live concerts without ear plugs, and we sit in movie theaters till our ears bleed and ear drums rupture and the world ends! Okay, it's not that drastic but it's not far from the […]

Audio Mixing for Dummies

Updated: Mixing & Mastering

The best way for beginners to start producing acceptable mixes is not to focus on what they should be doing but to simply avoid what they shouldn't be doing.  If you can make it past the handful of mixing mistakes most newbies make, you're no longer a newbie.  And we can get you there in one easy to read discussion, called the 'Audio Mixing for […]