You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April, 2006.

Habituation is the name for our tendency to respond less to something the more we’re exposed to it. While the concept is academically important to psychologists and biologists, it also has enormous significance for anyone serious about mixing or mastering music. We likely come by this tendency through evolution. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors relied on habituation […]

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Drumagog is the granddaddy of drum replacement tools, and it’s certainly hard to beat for quality and features. However it also costs several hundred dollars, which is a deal breaker for many home studios on a budget. But there are some great free alternatives. I’ve listed them here in order of my preference, though several […]

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This “ambience clinic” from Electronic Musician has some food for thought about creating sonically interesting spaces with reverb and delay: Another way to save CPU resources is to use two instances of a power-efficient mono reverb plug-in to create a unique stereo effect … That approach offers interesting sonic possibilities and also works with hardware […]

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Some details on the recording of Ryan Adams’ album Rock And Roll. Candiloro used Neumann U47s on all vocals … For guitars, Candiloro always settles on two Shure SM57s, positioned on the amp right where the cone and paper meet. For bass, the L.A.-based engineer miked an Ampeg B15 cabinet with a Sennheiser 421. Drums […]

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Terry Manning (yes, that Terry Manning,) posted a great breakdown of his vocal tracking and mixing technique on ProSoundWeb: I like to build a special area for the singer, moving tall baffles into a “squared-off U shape” behind and to the sides of the singing area, not only for the purpose of controlling unwanted reflections, […]

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Are you tired of folks constantly asking why you haven’t been signed yet? Wish they would leave you alone to focus on your music? Here are 8 reasons why you might want to avoid a major label record deal. Many contracts still apply deductions for packaging, free goods and returns reserves in calculating an artist�s […]

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This article from Sound on Sound magazine dissects James Brown’s I Feel Good to learn how we can add real feel to programmed drum beats. … the timing of each instrument in a live performance constantly changes from section to section, so a fixed one- or two-bar groove template will only ever provide a certain […]

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Musictech Magazine maintains a fairly comprehensive microphone reviews page, with reviews of many popular consumer class mics. The reviews are glossy and informative. (Note that you’ll need a PDF reader like the free Foxit Reader to read the reviews.)

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If you’ve read about Equal Loudness Contours, but have difficulty applying the concept, try out this fantastic application (Flash) from the University of NSW: This site allows you to measure equal loudness contours–the frequency response of your own ears. The flash script allows you to play sound files with a range of frequencies and sound […]

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If you record live drums in your home studio, proper setup of your drum kit plays an important role in capturing a good sound. Clearly, a poorly configured kit is harder to play which will affect the quality of your recordings. However, there are some less obvious issues to consider: Mic placement: A well arranged […]

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Elemental Audio offers a free Spectrum Analyzer [Mac/Windows, RTAS/VST/AU]. While you should use your ears to make important mix decisions, a spectrum analyzer is a great tool for finding problem frequencies (for example, where to set a de-esser,) and Elemental Audio’s offering is as straightforward as they come.

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An hr.com user gives a detailed description of his vocal “sweetening” technique, complete with examples: So, what is this “effect”? Simply, it is a stereo effect that pitch shifts one channel up 12 cents, and pitch shifts the other other channel down 12 cents, then uses a delay of about 25ms. The effect, again, is […]

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While he’s got a vested interest in assuring you that mastering at home is a good idea, Dave Moulton’s Tips ‘n’ Tricks for Mastering article is still a great resource for those learning the craft. I’ve taken you through this brief review because I believe it is essential to get and keep in your head […]

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The Web contains dozens of pages written for amateurs learning to mix. Some pages are simple collections of tips, while others are in-depth walkthroughs, containing advice of benefit to even seasoned engineers. I collect the best pages here, updating as I find tutorials with something of value. If you’re new to the science (and art) […]

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