Recording & Mixing articles
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.
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...
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?