Sound Techniques articles
Vocals Processing Tips: Part 2 - Composite Vocal Tracks, Compression, and Reverb
Hard disk recording techniques have affected every aspect of recording, including vocals. Although overdubbing vocals has been a common technique for years, today's programs let you do multiple tracks of vocals, and make a "composite" with all the best bits. We'll cover how to do that, then talk a bit about compression and reverb.
Vocals Processing Tips: Part 1 - From the Basic to the Esoteric, Here Are Proven Ways to Enhance Your Vocals
It was late at night, at a live-in-concert recording session in Germany. As several thousand fans waited anxiously, the vocalist walked onstage, and picked up a set of headphones. I saw him plug them into the mixer, and figured he was going to make one final check of his vocal sound before the band kicked in. He then turned the preamp gain contr...
Salvage Your Drum Tracks - Wimpy Snare? Muffled Kick? Lousy Drum Part? There's Hope!
If a pop/rock/dance track doesn't have a great drum sound, you're in trouble. Big trouble. The Drum Replacement 101 solution is to have a drummer come along and play with the original track, then erase the old drums. But this doesn't always work, and if you try to add drums after the fact to a track that doesn't have them, the process becomes ev...
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 ...