Improve Your Studio on the Cheap - 9 free or inexpensive ways to make your studio better
The most direct ways to improve your studio are by upgrading the gear and adding professional acoustic treatment, but doing so requires a significant investment. If you're not ready or able to drop a chunk of change into your setup right now, there are lots of inexpensive ways to improve your studio both in terms of efficiency and sound quality.
Attack and Release in a Compressor - A guide to mixing music - Part 29
In this installment, I'll show you a way to set a compressor that helps you understand what each parameter does. This method is by no means the ultimate solution, however it ought to help you grasp the main compressor parameters so you can find your own way, which will be very useful in the future.
Frequency Modulation or FM Synthesis - Sound synthesis, sound design and audio processing - Part 21
In the fifteenth article of this series, I briefly mentioned FM while introducing the different forms of synthesis. Now, the time has finally come to discuss it, but before we do that I must first talk a bit about...
Panning to the Extremes - LCR panning can make your mixes come alive
Conventional mixing wisdom states that when panning elements in a mix, you’re free to utilize the entire left-to-right spectrum. With the exception of elements like kick, snare, bass and lead vocal that are generally are panned to the center, tracks can be placed anywhere in the left-right panorama. But there’s a different panning strategy, refe...
The gritty details on our five favorite overdrive pedals - The best overdrive pedals for electric guitar
With over 100 overdrive pedals listed on just one gear-shopping website, how does one choose the top five? The first order of business is to define the terms: An overdrive pedal should have enough volume to distort a clean amplifier before adding gain from the pedal. It should also have enough gain to provide a dirty sound on its own, though any...
Understanding Compressor Parameters - A guide to mixing music - Part 28
Now that we've discussed the possible uses for compression, let's take a look at the way a compressor works. To do that, I'll explain to you, in a theoretical way, the different parameters commonly found on such processors.
12 Quality Plug-ins for $100 or Less - Signal processing and effects plug-ins that won’t break the bank
Although top-of-the-line processor and effects plug-ins can be expensive, there are alternatives available that offer quality performance at budget-friendly prices. In this article, I’ll look at 12 such plug-ins, all costing $100 or less. I’ll cover signal processing and digital effects plug-ins in the following categories: reverb, delay, compre...
The Different Forms of Granular Synthesis - Sound synthesis, sound design and audio processing - Part 20
In the previous article we introduced the concept of granular synthesis. Today we'll take a look at the different applications for it.
These Are a Few of My Favorite Synths - A synth expert picks his top 5 virtual instruments
I’ve been writing about synthesizers since the 1970s and reviewing virtual instruments since the 1990s. Still, when Audiofanzine asked me to pick my "top 5" software synths, it was no easy feat, as there are so many good ones to choose from. After careful consideration, I chose the five that I've found most useful in a variety of musical situati...
Why We Compress - A guide to mixing music - Part 27
In this second installment dedicated to dynamics processing during mixdown, we'll take some time to discuss the whys before moving on to the hows.