Max McAllister
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Max is a Los Angeles-based writer, musician, and engineer at the Brewery Recording Studio.

7 Studio Cable Management Ideas That Will Quickly Organize Your Space

Studio cable management gets out of hand. There seem to be a million cables plugged in everywhere for even small home studios — there’s just no way around it. Fortunately, you can invest a little bit of money to better…

7 Best Desktop Computers for Music Production in 2022

We’ve checked out tablets and laptops, and now it’s time to have a look at the best desktop computers for music production. Understanding Music Production Computers As tech gets better and better, even budget computers are reasonably powerful. What that…

7 Best Laptops for Music Production in 2022

The good news for beginners is that there’s a solid chance you can start recording with whatever laptop you already own. In the event you’re looking for a new laptop for music production, we’ll check out some of the most…

Best iPad/Tablet for Music Production

It’s hard to beat the convenience of a tablet for music production, whether you’re a frequent flyer or just enjoy the flexible workflow. Using a Tablet for Music Production in 2022 The most common use for a tablet in music…

9 Best Closed Back Studio Headphones in 2022

Closed back studio headphones are an essential piece of equipment to have on hand. They provide the best isolation with minor sacrifice to sound quality. But because they isolate the listener from the room, they’re the ideal option to use…

SSL Native X-EQ 2 Review (Still the Best?)

In the vast world of software EQ, is there still a place for hardware titans Solid State Logic? Let’s decide in this SSL Native X-EQ 2 review. SSL Native X-EQ 2 Review SSL calls the Native X-EQ 2 a mastering…

What Is Metadata and Why Does It Matter?

Metadata is an important element of music distribution. You’ve probably heard the term tossed about before, though the meaning of it isn’t always clear. What Is Metadata? At first glance, metadata seems like an overly technical term. It’s basically data…

9 Best Open Back Headphones for Mixing 2022 [Any Budget]

Searching for the just the right pair of open headphones to mix on? We’ve done some digging and come up with the best open headphones ranging from $50 to $500 — there’s a pair for every budget! What Are Open…

Best Computer for Music Production in 2022 [Any Budget]

The computer is the hub of the digital recording studio, so you’ll want to make sure you get the appropriate one for the job. Luckily, there isn’t a single best computer for music production, but rather a number of choices…

Best Speakers for Vinyl Record Player in 2022 [Any Budget]

Shopping for the best speakers for a vinyl record player can be a little daunting. With so much variety out there, how do you know which ones are actual quality? What Speakers Do You Need for Your Turntable? As of…

Boss Katana Air Wireless Guitar Amplifier Review

The Katana amp series by Boss has a fantastic price-to-features ratio, making it one of the go-to choices for beginners as well as experienced players in need of a solid practice amp. The lineup is extensive, and today we’ll be…

8 Best Bass Guitar VSTs in 2022 [Free & Paid]

Virtual Studio Technology (VST), developed by Steinberg in 1996, is a plugin format compatible with a majority of DAWs and operating systems. VSTs include both effects and software instruments, and it’s the closest thing we have to a universal plugin…

Splice Sounds Review: Is the Subscription Worth It [2022 Guide]

One of the most important assets for any music producer is access to high-quality, royalty-free samples. Splice offers millions of one-shots, drum loops, instrumental loops, and sound effects. Over the years, it’s developed into a complete online community for producers…

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…

Room EQ Wizard | Free Acoustics Software

Room EQ Wizard (REW) is free room acoustics software for measuring and analyzing room and loudspeaker responses. The analysis helps you optimize your studio by finding the best spot for the speakers and listening position. Shooting the room gives you…

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…
What Is Lo-Fi Music and How Do You Produce It?

Lo-fi music has exploded in popularity over the last several years, its cornerstone being a mellow, “rainy day” kind of sound and feel. The genre has a massive following on platforms like Spotify and YouTube, so you’ve almost certainly come…

What Is a DSP and What Does It Do for Music?

DSP is a concept that gets thrown around a lot in audio, so it’s important to understand just how integral it is to the modern music production process. What Is a Digital Signal Processor (DSP) Firstly, DSP can stand for…

What Is a DI Box for Guitar and What Does It Do?

Ever wondered what a DI box is and why you’d need to use one? Look no further as we discuss all things DI for guitar! What Is a DI Box? The purpose of a DI is to convert an unbalanced,…

Creating Space in Your Mixes

One of the hallmarks of a great mix is separation between every instrument. Most mix elements have wide frequency spectrums—even a kick drum can extend well into the high mids and above. When so much information exists in every instrument,…

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…

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…

10 Best Home Studio Mics in 2022 [Any Budget]

What differentiates a “home studio” mic from a “pro studio” mic is generally the budget of whoever’s purchasing it. Aside from that, the best mics are the best mics! We usually recommend starting out with the highest quality microphone you…

The 9 Best Acoustic Guitar Pickups for Any Playing Style in 2022

Acoustic guitars benefit from pickups when you need to amplify the signal in live settings. Having a microphone on stage fixes the player to one spot, and the sound might suffer from bleed or being off-axis should the guitarist move…

Vocaloid 5 Review: 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…

The 10 Best Small Tube Amp Options for Home Use in 2022

Being a guitar player sets you on a path of tone chasing — there’s no way around it! There are so many ways to tweak the sound of our instrument, from the guitar itself, to pickups, pedals, strings, plectrums, and…

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…

Humbucker vs Single Coil Pickups: What’s the Difference?

Apart from the amp, pickups have one of the biggest impacts on tone. It’s common to swap them out until you find just the right set that complements your playing style. To better understand humbucker vs single coil sound, we’ll…

Who Makes the Best Guitar Stands? [Top 10 for All Budgets]

You may be wondering, “who makes the best guitar stands?” Below are 10 of our top favorites to keep your guitars safe and secure! Keeping Your Space Organized and Functional Is Key We talk about workflow and efficiency in the…

Avid Pro Tools First | Free DAW Overview

Avid Pro Tools is the industry standard. It’s the platform for virtually every studio because it excels at tracking, editing, mixing, and production. Pro Tools First provides an introduction to the gold standard DAW without committing to a pricey monthly…

Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro Review: The Headphones Studio Professionals Swear By

In this Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro review, we’ll take a look at one the industry’s enduring pairs of iconic headphones. The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro Headphones Are a Studio Workhorse Beyerdysweenamic has a been a manufacturer of professional audio equipment…

Inspired Acoustics Inspirata Reverb Review

Inspired Acoustics isn’t necessarily one of the better known plugin developers out there. The reason being, they’re responsible for an impressive collection of virtual pipe organs which is a pretty niche offering. No matter, the level of detail the Inspired Acoustics…

How to Do Reverse Reverb in 3 Easy Steps

Reverse reverb, sometimes called reverse echo or reverse regeneration, simply takes the reverb tail of any instrument and reverses it. Creating it is a matter of printing the wet signal of a reversed audio track. Reverse reverb is typically accompanied…

Tips for Recording Metal Guitar

It’s hard to think of another genre where guitar tone is as important as it is in metal. It’s so essential that an entire subgenre has been nicknamed ‘djent’ — onomatopoeia for a palm muted chug. Recording metal guitar with…

The 8 Best Wireless Guitar Systems in 2022

A wireless guitar system is a perfect way to clean up and professionalize your rig. If you’re tired of lugging around long cable runs, then it’s time to go wireless. Why Consider Using a Wireless Guitar System The main reason…

The 5 Best Online Sequencer Options in 2022

Imagine telling a producer or engineer in the ’70s, “Fifty years from now, people will be making music on the internet, sitting on on their couch.” “The what?” would be their obvious response, but time-traveling aside, technology has really revolutionized the…

Tube Amp vs Solid State: What’s the Difference?

If you’re a guitar player, there’s a good chance you’ve pondered the tube amp vs solid state amplifier debate. Most of the love gravitates toward tube amps, but there have been notable solid state players over the years as well.…

Tunebat BPM and Key Finder Review

Tunebat is a free resource catering primarily to DJs and other creatives seeking info about songs and audio files. What Is a BPM and Key Finder? A BPM/key finder like Tunebat analyzes audio files through its algorithm, and spits out…

The 6 Best Shure Microphones for Your Home Studio

Shure microphones have a wonderful reputation in the recording industry as some of the best, most reliable, and most affordable mics around. Shure started as a one-man radio company back in 1925, and by the early 1930s were one of…

How the ‘Loudness Wars’ Made Music Sound Worse (And What We Should Learn from It)

Science tells us that people prefer their music loud. As sounds get louder and louder, their overall frequency curve begin to flatten out, so you can more easily hear the whole “picture.” The “louder is better” philosophy usually begins with artists…

LUFS vs dB: What’s the Difference and Why Does It Matter?

With so many ways to measure loudness, you’re definitely not alone in wondering what the deal with LUFS vs dB is. What Are LUFS? LUFS stands for Loudness Units Full Scale. It provides a standardized means of measuring loudness. There…

Celemony Melodyne 5 Review

For over 20 years, Melodyne has been the not-so-secret weapon behind pristine vocal and instrumental performances. Celemony’s founder, Peter Neubäcker, started developing the Melodyne concept in 1997. Three years later he began the company, and in 2001, industry-changing software was…

Understanding the Shepard Tone Effect and How It Creates Tension

Some of the effects we employ in sound design, mixing, and even songwriting take advantage of our perception of sound—a branch of science known as psychoacoustics. The Shepard tone is a prominent example of how our ears can trick us!…

Understanding Different Audio Cable Types & Their Uses

There’s a good chance you’ve handled all, or most, of these audio cable types already—even if you weren’t explicitly aware of their inner workings and categorization. In any case, a fundamental step toward becoming a well-rounded audio engineer is knowing…

Cockos Reaper DAW Review – The Best Value DAW in 2022?

Reaper DAW, developed by a small company called Cockos, originally came out in 2006. The software immediately gained traction from its professional feature set and affordable price, and shows no signs of slowing down in 2022. Could Reaper be the…

The 10 Best Dynamic Microphones for Any Budget in 2022

Looking for the best dynamic microphone to fill out your recording arsenal? We’ve tracked down a number of them for various applications. What Is a Dynamic Microphone? Dynamic mics are a style of passive microphone that operate on the principle…

The 5 Best AKG Microphones for Any Budget in 2022

AKG microphones are among the most reputable in the industry. Best known for their high-end offerings, AKG produces a wide range of mics for any budget and application. For 75 Years, AKG Has Been Perfecting Their Line of Microphones AKG,…

Vocal Compression for Beginners

Learning to mix an up-front, in-your-face vocal takes practice. Understandably the most important aspect of a song across numerous genres, a great sounding, competitive vocal has the power to stand out from the pack. But how do we even get…

What Does a Cloudlifter Do (And Should You Be Using One)?

Having trouble moving the meters with low-output microphones? Is your preamp tapped out and introducing noise? You might need a Cloudlifter. What Is a Cloudlifter? The Cloudlifter CL-1 is an inline gain boost designed and made by Cloud Microphones. It…

Best Kontakt Libraries for Every Collection

Native Instruments‘ free sample player, Kontakt, is every music producer’s entry point to the industry’s largest collection of sampled instruments. Kontakt is a universal host to hundreds of realistic sampled libraries from dozens of manufacturers. The best Kontakt libraries should…