Thematic Forums feature articles
Editing: The Unsung Hero - Some Basic Editing Processes
My last article was on arrangement. This one is about editing. These two articles really both need to be read and absorbed to illustrate a greater point...
Arrangement 101 - Harmonic and Structural Arrangement of Songs
Before getting into the meaning of arrangement, I want to take a moment to stress the importance of arrangement. Arrangement ultimately bridges the gap between the composition and the mix. Give that a moment to resonate, and I will clarify.
Super Heavy Sound Made in L.A. - Interview with Ned Douglas
Last may, we heard that Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) and Mick Jagger had teamed up to form SuperHeavy, an international "superband" also formed with Joss Stone, Damian Marley and AR Rahman (film composer, who previously scored Slumdog Millionnaire among others ND). We’ve had the chance to interview producer Ned Douglas, chief engineer at Weapons ...
Mysteries of Dynamics Processing Revealed - All About Dynamics Processing
A dynamic processor is something that outputs a signal, where the level of the outgoing signal is based on the level of the incoming signal. In other words, a loud signal coming in will come out differently than a quiet signal coming in.
Exclusive Interview with Dave Pensado - World Class Mix Engineer Answers Some Questions
Dave pensado is a man who requires minimal introduction. He’s a world class mix engineer who’s worked on countless hit records. He’s also a teacher & mentor to an entire generation of successful mix engineers (including Jaycen Joshua, Ethan Willoughby, Ariel Chobaz & more).
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."