Sound Techniques feature articles
Mixing - The 12 Step Program - When it’s time to mix a recording, you need a strategy
Mixing is not only an art, it’s the crucial step that turns a collection of tracks into a finished piece of music. A good mix can bring out the best in your music—it spotlights a composition’s most important elements, adds a few surprises to excite the listener, and sounds good on anything from a transistor radio to an audiophile’s dream setup.
Mastering Basics for Musicians - Add that Final Polish to Your Mixes
The article title alone is enough to cause some professional mastering engineers to run to various forums and start complaining. "That's what's wrong with this industry, these kids don't know how to master, you gotta have a professional do it, blah blah blah."
Speakers Meet Mastering - And Mastering Loses...
One of the main functions of mastering is to make a mix transportable: In other words, it should sound good over any playback system
Seven Ways to Reduce Noise - When Noise Attacks Your Signal, Fight Back!
Is noise really a problem? After all, analog tape hiss is almost extinct. We have 24-bit converters with signal-to-noise ratios that far exceed that of the CD. Low-level hum? Today's signals have plenty of level to overcome what the cables might pick up, and besides, cables are better shielded too. Yes, it's a beautiful, noise-free world...
What Does "Sample Accurate" Mean Anyway? - Make Your Timing Tighter Than Tight
If you think that "sample accurate" has something to do with random drug tests, you're probably browsing the wrong web site. But if you've heard the term applied to digital transfers, loop timings, edits, and more, you're in the right place. Our mission here is to get to the bottom of sample accuracy, and explain how it affects our world of reco...
Recording & Processing the Ultimate Vocal - Proven Ways to Enhance Your Vocals
So what’s the best way to record vocals these days? The answer, of course, is that anything goes if it gives the sound you want. Following are some of the possibilities.
Big Sounds without Overcompressing - It's Possible to Get "hot" Masters without Losing Dynamics
I was driving along one of those Floridian roads that goes between the coasts, and is flatter than the Spice Girls without auto-tuning . . . in other words, a perfect place to crank up my car's CD player. As it segued from a recent CD into Simple Minds' "Real Life," which I hadn't heard in a while, I noticed it was somewhat quieter, so I turned ...
Quieter Recordings - One dB at a Time - Sometimes Little Improvements Add Up to Big Ones
The whole is equal to the sum of its parts…as anyone who ever used analog tape will attest. Who can forget that feeling of hearing yet another contribution to the noise floor whenever you brought up a fader, as one more track of tape hiss worked its way to the output?
Panning Laws Revealed - Panning According to Craig Anderton
The idea of panning seems pretty obvious, right? You turn a panpot (real or virtual) to place a sound somewhere in the stereo field...
Mixing in a Plug-In World - To Your CPU, Mixing Is the Ultimate Power Trip
You gotta love plug-ins, but they’ve changed the rules of mixing. In the hardware days, the issue was whether you had enough hardware to deal with all your tracks. Now that you can insert the same plug-in into multiple tracks, the question is whether your processor can handle all of them.