Drums and Bass Set Up at Sunset Sound with Marc Martel
We are back at Sunset Sound Studio in Hollywood, where we are recording a song with the wonderful Marc Martel. We will be focusing on the recording of the drums and bass, and will give a breakdown of how we…
These are the 5 most sampled drum beats in hip hop
By Dave S We hate to break it to you, but there’s no secret recipe when it comes to crafting the ultimate hit. There’s no secret chord, syncopation or melody that is certain to make people get up and dance…
Top 5 Favourite Plugins with Billy Decker (Sam Hunt, Chris Young)
Billy Decker is with us today sharing his Top 5 Favourite Plugins! With 25 years of industry experience, Billy Decker has worked with some of the biggest names in the Nashville music scene. Country superstars including Sam Hunt, Rodney Atkins…
What Is a True Peak Limiter?

True peak levels differ from the volume we read in our DAW. In digital audio, we understand the absolute ceiling to be 0dBFS (decibels relative to full scale), and any signal above that can cause clipping. We can push a…

The Best Cheap DIY Vocal Booth Options

The key to getting better sounding vocal takes at home is a DIY vocal booth. Believe it or not, it doesn’t have to be terribly fancy, and it especially doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. If your vocal…

Motu M4 Review | ‘Premium’ Entry-Level Interface?

The M4 by Motu is an impressive interface at a super affordable price. In this Motu M4 review and spec breakdown, we’ll take a look at what sets this audio interface apart! Motu M4 Audio Interface The affordable desktop interface…

JamKazam Review: Collaborate Remotely

We’ve come to understand the importance of remote video conferencing more than ever before over the past year. For musicians, though, software like Zoom doesn’t quite cut it. In order to jam or rehearse remotely, you need low latency, high-quality…

Sonnox Inflator Review: Loudness without Compromise

The Sonnox Inflator plugin has been around for almost two decades. It’s sort of a mysterious desert island tool for many engineers, somewhere in between a compressor and a limiter. The Inflator is able to increase perceived loudness, and it…

Apollo Twin X vs MkII: What’s the Difference?

Universal Audio is one of the most famous names in all of recording. Founded by Bill Putnam in 1958, the company has been at the forefront of technological advances for more than 60 years. If you’re thinking about adding a…

Arturia KeyStep Review | MIDI Controller

The Arturia KeyStep is a riff on the portable MIDI controller, combining classic keyboard functionality with polyphonic step sequencing. It can control both digital and analogue gear thanks to a variety of I/O, and the 32-key layout offers a bit…

Kilohearts Phase Plant VST Review

Phase Plant is an award-winning, semi-modular software synthesizer. Its unique workflow and functionality make it a go-to virtual instrument for many music producers and sound designers. With virtually limitless combinations of generators, modulators, and effects, you can spend hours creating…

Two Handed Tapping Style Guitarist: Sarah Longfield
Sarah Longfield is an American YouTuber, musician, and multi-instrumentalist based in Madison, Wisconsin. She is known for her two-handed tapping playstyle and use of an eight-string guitar. Longfield started her YouTube channel in 2007. She gained a boost of followers after collaborating with Rob Scallonon a series…
RE20 vs SM7B: Battle of the Broadcast Mics

Today we’re looking at two competitors, the RE20 vs SM7B. Both are celebrated mics, often used similarly for radio, podcast, and voiceover. That’s not all they can handle, though, with the RE20 becoming a a favorite on low-end instruments like…

Cytomic The Glue: Best SSL Bus Compressors?

Cytomic The Glue is an affordable SSL-style bus compressor plugin. The plugins gets its name from the SSL hardware’s famous ability to ‘glue’ mixes together. Even though there are tons of SSL bus compression plugins on the market, Cytomic makes…

Best Audio Interface for Mac | Entry-Level & Beyond

Apple computers are standard in creative industries because of their reliable and uncluttered operating systems. People make music on PCs as well, but sometimes have a harder time finding compatible hardware and software. Or, they encounter bugs and have stability…

Kaotica Eyeball Review: Is It Worth It?

The Kaotica Eyeball is a microphone isolation ball with an integrated pop filter. It’s a big foam sphere you slide over the microphone capsule to protect it from reflections. The Eyeball intends to keep untreated room sound out of your…

AKG C214 Review | Condensers Under $500

The C214 is a fixed-cardioid large-diaphragm condenser microphone. It shares many of the same qualities that have made the C414 a studio staple for decades. In this AKG C214 review, we’ll highlight its specs, compare it to popular competition, and…

Haas Effect: What It Is and How It’s Used

The Haas effect is a psychoacoustic phenomenon discovered by Dr. Helmut Haas in 1949. Also known as the “precedence effect,” the law states that when one sound is followed by another with a delay time of approximately 40 ms or…

Albums That Changed Music: Love – Forever Changes
Love was an American psychedelic and folk-rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1965. Led by Arthur Lee, Love was one of the first racially diverse American rock bands. Their style drew from an eclectic range of sources including hard rock, blues, jazz, flamenco, and orchestral pop. While finding only modest success on…
How to Use Auto-Tune for Vocal Tuning

The really interesting thing about Antares Auto-Tune is that just about everyone has an idea of what it is. For engineers, it’s a very useful tool and effect; but the fact that it’s recognized by almost everybody, beyond studio pros,…

Choosing the Sample Rate for Your Project

Sample rate is one of the first things you’ll be asked to choose when you open a new session in your DAW. Alongside bit depth, it can have an impact on the fidelity of your audio recordings. What is sample rate? Digital…

Neural DSP Archetype Plini Review

The Neural DSP Archetype Plini is a state-of-the-art amp sim and effects plugin. Built to Plini‘s exacting specs, the plugin covers the wide range of tones the modern prog guitarist is known for. Following the breakthrough of Neural’s Fortin Nameless…

Pro Tips for Mixing Electronic Music with Mat Zo
Matan Zohar, better known by his stage name Mat Zo, is a British producer and DJ. Zohar released his debut album, Damage Control, via the Anjunabeats and Astralwerks labels on 5 November 2013. His second studio album, Self Assemble, was released on 25 March 2016 under his own Mad…
Secrets to Mixing Rap Vocals

It’s easy to underestimate the trickiness of mixing rap vocals. Some engineers will write the genre off thinking that it’s just a 2-track and a vocal, so it must be simple. But the intricacy lies in having leads, stacks of…

Making An 808-Style Kick with Matt Lange
Matt Lange is joining us today to share how he makes an 808-style kick! Matt Lange is a multi-platinum selling electronic music producer, DJ, composer, and musician. His music challenges categorization, and a hallmark of Matt’s work is his devotion…
Akai Professional MPC One Review

Akai Professional’s long-running MPC series is one of the most recognized sampling workstations ever made. Originally named MIDI Production Center (now Music Production Center), Akai introduced the first model, the MPC60, in 1988. Roger Linn, who developed the popular LM-1…

PreSonus FaderPort: Does Your DAW Need One?

The PreSonus FaderPort gives users tactile control over features in their DAW. With transport buttons and a single fader, it’s main use is for writing automation in a hands-on way. Control surfaces like these bridge some of the gaps between…

Spotify Playlist Placement | Have Your Music Heard

Digital streaming is the #1 way people consume music. Streams equated to almost 85% of US album sales in 2019, which means pushing physical copies is a thing of the past for most artists. Beyond just uploading to the platform,…

The Audio Mixer: Key Features & Functions

At the most basic level, an audio mixer combines multiple signals and routes them to a common output for recording or amplification through a sound reinforcement system. “Signals” are those sounds captured by microphones or received from electric instruments. Also…

Aphex Aural Exciter | Breathing Life into Recordings

The Aphex Aural Exciter is one of the most recognized exciter effects. Its main job is to add a bit of top-end sheen to a signal while imparting some subtle harmonic distortion as well. Lots of engineers like it on…

Is Waves Vocal Rider the Solution to Levels?

Vocal levels are one of the most important things to get right. Even with all the compressors in the world, nothing compares to putting in the work and riding the fader — automating the levels in each part of the…

Cherokee Studios Founder: Bruce Robb Interview (Art Garfunkel, The Lemonheads)
Bruce Robb is an American musician, record producer, engineer, and music supervisor. He is most recognized for his time as a member of “The Robbs” during the 1960s, then as a founder of Cherokee Studios in the 1970s; followed by decades of producing,…
How To De-Ess Vocals | Settings for a Pro Mix

Sibilance is what we call the hissing noise made by ‘ess’ and ‘shh’ sounds in the voice. We don’t notice it in conversation, but it can get really harsh on a recorded vocal. A de-esser can take care of excess…

Is Aria Mastering the Best Automated Service?

Online mastering services have taken the industry by storm over the past several years. These automated systems promise professional mastering, delivered instantly—all for a very reasonable price. This is attractive and convenient to artists looking for fast, affordable turnaround. Aria…

Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor

The Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor is nothing short of a modern classic. The thing is a monster, equally recognized by its imposing looks and its premium sound. For engineers who need unrivaled dynamic control, the Shadow Hills gets the job…

Arturia MicroFreak Review | Hybrid Synthesizer

The Arturia MicroFreak Hybrid Synthesizer is an exceptional piece of gear, whether you’re looking for your first affordable hardware synth, or you just want to add some unique sounds to your collection. It blends wavetable and digital oscillators with analogue…

Softube Saturation Knob | Free Plugins

Softube Saturation Knob has been around for a long time, but that doesn’t make it any less great than it was when it first came out. This plugin from Softube is easy to use, sounds great, and best of all,…

Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti” and the Birth of Rock ‘n Roll
In the mid-fifties, rock ‘n roll was emerging onto the popular music landscape, as wider audiences began to discover the energy and vitality of rhythm and blues records. While many of the first rock ‘n roll performers (like Elvis Presley)…
Ableton vs FL Studio: Which DAW Is Best?

For years running, Ableton and FL Studio have been ‘specialized’ DAWs. They cater mostly to the electronic music production crowd, with workflow, virtual instruments, and effects streamlined for that purpose. Arguing Ableton vs FL Studio is tough, because each has…

Arturia MiniLab Mk2 Review

The Arturia MiniLab MK2 is a portable USB MIDI controller for end-to-end music creation. While its predecessor emphasized a huge bundle of included software, Mk2 pares that down and instead focuses on the quality of the hardware. Arturia MiniLab Mk2…

Getting Pro-Sounding Mixes FAST
There are two crucial factors to building a successful career as a mixer: 1.Having the skills to turn out amazing mixes 2.Working highly efficiently Get Template Mixing with Billy Decker here! Most courses cover the first part in detail. And…
Vocaloid 5: Virtual Singers in Your DAW

Vocaloid is a very unique type of voice synthesizer software. Initially not meant to be a full commercial product, research on its technology began in 2000. Yamaha then got involved during the development process, and the first version of Vocaloid came out in…

Ultimate GUITAR MIXING On 7 Different Songs
Today we have another episode for our Ultimate Guide Series, where we will be looking at Guitar Mixing! There are so many different ways that you can mix guitar! In this video, we will take you through 7 different ways…
What is Audio Bit Depth?

Bit depth in digital audio is one of the settings that affects the recording’s overall resolution. In technical terms, it’s the actual number of bits (binary digits) in each sample. What is bit depth? Bit depth and sample rate work…

SurferEQ by Sound Radix | Adaptive Pitch-Tracking EQ

SurferEQ 2 by Sound Radix is a genuinely innovative equalizer plugin. It’s been around for a while now, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less impressive today than it was at release. Sound Radix incorporated real-time pitch-tracking technology to completely…

MXL 990 Review | Best Budget Condenser?

MXL produces a range of cost-effective microphones. The MXL 990 is one of their most innovative creations, pairing high-quality sound with an unbeatable price. About MXL MXL Microphones is the pro audio sector of Marshall Electronics (not to be confused…

Monitor Isolation Pads | Home Studio Accessories

Monitor isolation pads are a small but important addition to any home studio arrangement. In this article we’ll look at what they are, whether they’re 100% necessary, and how you might make some of your own! What are monitor isolation…

Open Back Headphones: What You Need to Know

Studio headphones come in different styles, with the two most common designs being closed back and open back. Many engineers prefer open back headphones for critical listening applications like mixing and mastering. Let’s find out why! What are open back…

Country Mixing Legend: Billy Decker Interview
Billy Decker was born on August 28, 1967 and raised in Nebraska. He received a B.S. in Criminal Justice from the University of Nebraska and then went on to be the salutatorian at Full Sail Center for the Recording Arts…
Strymon Iridium Review | Portable Tone On the Go

Strymon has been making top-quality pedals in California since 2009. Many guitarists know them by their acclaimed reverb and delay units—the Big Sky and Time Line, respectively—which effectively raised the bar for time-based effect pedals. Last year, Strymon entered the…