Gain Staging

Advice on how to make good use of the meters in your DAW and learn how to properly read them. 

Should You Be Mixing On BlueTooth Wireless Speakers?

You probably have an Amazon Echo or Google Home wireless speaker in your house. Almost everyone has a BlueTooth wireless speaker and they are only going to become more popular. The portability of these small sound systems is going to start setting new standards for music production. Now that music lovers can take music with them anywhere they go, you’ll have to consider what your mixes sound like on these little sound systems. So Yes, you will need to start using these little monsters as part of your post-production workflow.

One of the ways you can start to incorporate these speakers into your workflow is to mix down an MP3 of your track and load it up on your smartphone. You could also put it on a streaming platform that allows you to keep the track private. Either way, you want to try and recreate how others will potentially listen to your music once it is publicly released.

You’ll need to check levels and listen to how the compression reacts to the small speakers. I just listened to a few major award-winning tracks on 2 of my wireless systems. When the bass line came in on both of them, the sound got swallowed and started pumping the cones. It didn’t sound very good and I actually removed the songs from my playlists. Now these songs may sound good on a larger system, but they didn't not make the cut for the smaller wireless systems. This is a big deal! If your mixes do not translate well to these little bundles of joy, you’ll find yourself looking for another job. That doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, so let’s look a few of the options that you can consider.

ANKER SOUNDCORE 2

I’ve had Anker Soundcore speakers around my home for a few years. They seem to last a long time on a single charge, so they’re good to have anywhere in the house or even in the backyard. You can now buy the new version and pair a few of them to a single source. This is good if you want to have sources to monitor in different parts of your home or studio.

They come in black, red, and blue. So you can pick a color that works with your studio decor. Right now there is a $5 coupon on almost every wireless speaker, so don’t wait and buy one today.

 

AMAZON ECHO

The wireless speaker system that is projected to be in every home in the USA by the year 2025. If you don’t already own one, it might be time for you to pony up and get one. To be honest, you could have more than one Bluetooth speaker in your studio to check your mixes. This line of devices will be the most common and probably should be one of the options you choose to use. I don’t recommend the little Echo Dot. Yet, it is popular, so maybe you do want one to use for reference. The nice thing about this line is that is has a SUB! For those of you that love bass, this may be a good option to check out.

New studio membership benefits

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NAMM 2019

Some thought and highlights from the 2019 NAMM convention in Anaheim, CA.

High and Low Pass Filters on Vocals

EQ settings for vocals sometimes feels like you’re trying to find buried treasure. An endless task of moving knobs and listening to the changes just seems overwhelming. Then comes the conversation about filters on vocals that almost always arises in every session.

Prism Sound Titan

I’ve added a new flagship interface to the studio to add more clarity and depth to our production. I met Frank Oglethorpe at an event in San Francisco and got to hear the Atlas & Titan in action. The audio detail was giving me chills and put me in a space where the music was visual.

The Titan was in a small studio room that had treatment on the walls. It was an ideal situation to test out the ability of the DA and hear some recent mixes I’d just finished vs. mixes at the hosting studio. There was a difference in the low end where the frequencies had more depth without the mud. I immediately knew I had to demo a unit at my studio to hear if the mixes benefited from the converters in the Titan. 

Engineer David Hughes at Shine On Studio.

Engineer David Hughes at Shine On Studio.

I connected with Jeff Briss from Cutting Edge Audio and got the approval from Frank to demo a Titan. When it arrived, I wasted no time connecting it to the HDX system. The first mix I played came to life and filled the room with rich detail and precision clarity. My eyes got large and my ears were saturated with excitement. This was such an amazing experience that I knew a Titan was the missing piece for the studio. 

I’ve had the Titan now for a few months and the response is exactly what I want to hear from my clients. Everyone loves the full sound and clarity that the audio has on every system they playback their music. This was a serious investment and it has already paid dividends that make it worth every penny.  

I highly recommend Prism Sound and their audio interfaces. Send me a message and I’ll hook you up with info on how you can connect with the right people to demo a unit for yourself.  

Mixing | Keyboards & Synthesizers

Mixing | Keyboards & Synthesizers

Keys and Synths are line level instruments that typically come directly into your console without amps being mic'd up. Let's discuss a little bit about running DI lines into your preamps or interfaces. 

Mixing Guitars | Solos

Mixing Guitars | Solos

Guitar solos need to pop and stand out in a mix. They're the pinnacle or crescendo of a song in many cases, so they need to have that grand finnale attitude. Let's dive into a discussion about mixing guitar solos. 

Vocal Mixing | Reverb EQ Secret

Vocal Mixing | Reverb EQ Secret

There are some great secrets that have been used by engineers over the years. Dialing in your reverb with the mix has always been a challenge for many young and aspiring producers. Here are some tips from the engineers at Abbey Road studios on how to get a tighter and balanced reverb level into your mixes. 

Recording Hip Hop Vocals Tips and Techniques

Recording Hip Hop Vocals Tips and Techniques

Getting ready for a big studio session? Then you will want to prepare for giving your best performance on the mic. Knowing what to expect and making sure that you get the most out of your studio time is essential to making a great album. Here are some tips and things to consider before you step into the studio.

Recording Drums | What Preamp to Use

Recording Drums | What Preamp to Use

Tracking drums is an art form that takes time to develop. Choosing the right preamp to pair with your studio setup is never an easy task. There are so many options out there and it can seem a bit overwhelming. This article dives deeper into some of the options available and I give you some personal advice on the preamps that I like to use for drum recordings. 

Podcasting 101 - How to start up a Podcast

Podcasting 101 - How to start up a Podcast

Podcasting is a great way to sharpen your audio production skills. You have opinions and podcasting is the perfect way to convey your thoughts in an engaging media. Here are some ideas and options for gear to get your podcasting career heading in the right direction. Click on the post title to view the entire article.

Producing Music - Where to start

Producing Music - Where to start

Producing is the construction of music. You have to make choices about the project as a whole and this will include things like EQ, panning, compression, lengths of the delay, when to delay, when to chop up the vocals, when to add guitar solos, how the song begins and ends, and everything else that happens in between. This is not an easy task, but it does have huge rewards that are long-lasting if you do it right.

Plugins - An open discussion

There are way too many plugins out there and you may feel confused on which ones to buy and incorporate into your workflow. Here is an open discussion for you to ask questions and get insight for all those plugins. I'll regularly post any new releases or deals that I come across for those plugins that you should consider adding to your system.

Using Playlists in Pro Tools

Using Playlists in Pro Tools

Learn more about how to get the perfect take for your vocal recordings using the playlist feature. Get your sessions more organized and utilize your engineering powers to be more efficient in the studio. Click on the post title for the full article.