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

The 18 Best Mics for Acoustic Guitar in 2024 [Any Budget]

Recording acoustic instruments can be a ton of fun. There’s intimacy in having an artist simply sit down with their acoustic guitar and play. Because there aren’t many moving parts from a technical perspective, you have more energy to focus…

The 11 Best Mastering Plugins in 2024

When it comes to mastering in-the-box, you’ll want a great compressor, a limiter, an EQ, and most of the stuff you’re already familiar with for mixing. Many of the best mastering plugins combine the parameters you’ll need into a single…

The 13 Best DAWs for Windows [2024 Complete Guide]

Most of today’s DAWs are cross-platform, making it easy to choose if you’re running PC. Some titles are Mac-only, like Apple’s own Logic Pro, but for the most part options won’t be limited if you’ve chosen Windows as your primary…

Best Vocoder Plugins 2024: Fun Vocal Effects

A vocoder is an effect we’ve heard in music from the ’70s to the present day. It’s frequently described as the ‘robot voice’ heard in songs like “Intergalactic” by Beastie Boys. Like everything else, vocoders have gone software in the…

What Is the Best 1176 Plugin? (Our Top 6 Favorite Compressors)

The best 1176 plugin will become a go-to on just about every mix. There’s good reason why it’s one of the most famous compressors of all time, and in plugin format, you can use it everywhere. What Is an 1176…

The 10 Best XLR Cables for Microphones [2024 Guide]

It may not seem like it at first, but having quality cables is very important. You can spend thousands on a signal chain, but it’s often said that it’s only as good as the weakest component. Even though cheap cables…

12 Best EQ Plugins in 2024 [Free & Paid]

Equalization is one of the most powerful tools we have as mixers. It can make instruments sound better, make instruments sound different, carve out space in a mix, add clarity, remove muddiness, and so much more. In that sense, the flexibility of…

8 Best FREE Guitar VST Instruments in 2024

Guitar is one of the toughest instruments to sample for a plugin. There’s so much detail and nuance that’s just too easy to lose in translation. Most of the time they end up sounding over-processed and fake—really far from the…

The 10 Best Drum Machines for Creating Your Beats [2024 Guide]

One common trend we see more and more these days is electronic producers gravitating back towards hardware as opposed to working strictly in the box. Many artists find that tactile control is hugely beneficial to the overall creative process, since…

The Best Bass Amp for Gigging [2024 Guide]

For a lot of musicians, nothing beats the feeling of playing a live gig. Performing live captures your band’s raw energy night to night in an environment that’s way less sterile than the studio. And depending on the style of…

The 6 Best Center Channel Speakers for Any Budget [2024 Guide]

A center channel speaker is a component in any surround sound set-up for post-production, surround mixing, or home theater entertainment. Typically when designing a surround system, you would match the center speaker to the others, and oftentimes brands will offer…

Best Audio Interface for Mac in 2024 (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…

Roland Cloud Review: Is It Worth the Subscription?

As we all know by now, the subscription model is in full swing. Everything from the professional tools we use on the daily to the ways we unwind and entertain ourselves at night has some sort of all-access service for…

The 7 Best Delay VST Plugins 2024 [FREE & PAID]

Delay plugins are essential to every mixer’s toolbox! It’s one of the most common effects we use all the time to give instruments dimension and energy. The great thing about delay is that it can be subtle for a little…

14 Songs with a LOT of Bass (Best Songs for Subs)

Bass is responsible for a lot of the visceral connection we have with music. Sub bass, especially, physically resonates with us if it’s loud enough at a concert or club, for instance; bass is a huge part of music and…

13 Best Vocal Plugins For Home Studios in 2024

When it’s time to mix a singer, you should be armed with some of the best vocal plugins you can get your hands on! We’ll be looking at a variety of compressors, EQs, and other plugins that really shine on…

12 Best Kontakt Libraries for Every Collection in 2024

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…

14 Best Open Back Headphones for Mixing 2024 [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-Back…

The 10 Best Keyboard Amp Options for Studio & Live Sound (Any Budget)

A keyboard amp is the best solution for gigging players who need to project to a crowd but also be able to hear themselves on stage. Even if you run straight to FOH through a PA system, many keyboardists find…

5 Best FREE VU Meter Plugins in 2024

Before people started working in-the-box, VU meters measured the average level of a signal. You’d see them on consoles and outboard gear for measuring input or output level as well as gain reduction on compressors. The default digital meter is…

The 10 Best Guitar Cases for the Road in 2024

Having the right case for your guitar is a prerequisite for touring, gigging, carrying to and from rehearsal, and for safe storage at home. Some are built to withstand heavy duress, like air travel, and others are designed with portability…

The 8 Best Multi-Effects Pedals for Live & Studio Guitar Sounds

Multi-effects pedals are one of the best ways to gain access to dozens of common guitar processors in a single unit. They certainly take convenience to the next level, and today’s digital processors have never sounded better. It’s common for…

The 16 Best Piano VST Plugins in 2024 [Free & Paid]

Looking to add some indelible magic to your productions that nothing but a piano can provide? Well, we compiled a “best piano VST” shortlist that’s still ten entries strong. Take your pick of the best free and paid piano VST…

The 6 Best Desktop Synths for Home Use & Live Performance [2024 Guide]

A MIDI controller is often one of the first accessories producers purchase when fleshing out their home studios. This valuable and versatile piece of equipment primarily lets users play their collection of software instruments, as well as provide some tactile…

The 15 Best Dynamic Microphones for Any Budget in 2024

Looking for the best dynamic microphone to fill out your recording arsenal? We’ve tracked down 15 of them for a variety of instruments and applications. What Is a Dynamic Microphone? Dynamic mics are a style of passive microphone that operate…

25 Best Waves Plugins for Mixing in 2024

Waves plugins have been around since 1992 when the company first introduced its Q10 Paragraphic EQ. The Q10 broke new technological ground as the first audio plugin ever, with sound quality comparable to, or better than, its hardware equivalents. Over…

The 8 Best Wavetable Synthesizers 2024

Wavetable synthesis is a technique used in certain digital music synthesizers to produce natural, note-like sounds. An existing instrument’s note can be sampled and parsed into a sequence of wavetables. Wavetable synthesizers differ from subtractive, additive, and FM/AM synths. In wavetable…

The 20 Best Virtual Amp Sims in 2024 [Free & Paid]

A great amp sim can take your guitar recordings to the next level since not many of us can record a 100-watt tube head at home. There are attenuators, sure, and lots of modern amps are being built with direct…

The 17 Best Home Studio Mics in 2024 [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 14 Best ASMR Microphones for Any Budget

ASMR is one of the most popular, if not slightly unusual, entertainment trends of the last several years. ASMR creators attempt to trigger the listener’s “autonomous sensory meridian response”—a tingling sensation that begins at the scalp and moves down through…

The 13 Best Studio Subwoofer Options for Music Production

Most of us work on two-way active speakers which include a tweeter and a low/midrange driver anywhere between 5″ and 8″ in size. Many of the larger popular speakers have impressive low-end extension, but even then, they lack the power…

The 8 Best 500 Series Racks for Your Home Studio in 2024

A 500 series rack is one of the best ways to add a bunch of outboard firepower to your studio in a compact form factor. It’s possible to keep a variety of processors like preamps, compressors, EQs, and more all…

The 10 Best Overdrive Pedals for Guitar in 2024 [Any Budget]

An overdrive pedal is one of the best essentials for guitarists of all genres. It’s a versatile enough effect to make varied use of it, whether you need a bit of a boost for leads, or you want to completely…

Apogee Quartet Review: Is This Interface Worth the Price?

Apogee audio interfaces, a cornerstone of the brand, are revered for their exceptional audio fidelity and pristine sound reproduction. Whether capturing the delicate nuances of a vocal performance or the raw power of live instruments, Apogee interfaces ensure that every…

9 Best Desktop Computers for Music Production in 2024

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…

The 10 Best Telecaster Pickups [2024 Guide]

The iconic sound of a Telecaster is known for its distinctive and timeless character. Developed by Leo Fender and introduced in the ’50s, the Tele is one of the most influential electric guitars in history, shaping the sound of numerous…

7 Best Laptops for Music Production in 2024

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…

The Best Condenser Mics for Your Studio in 2024 [Any Budget]

The best condenser mic will see constant use in your studio. There’s so much variety out there that it can be a bit overwhelming trying to sort the good from the bad, so we’ve put together a shortlist of some…

Lauten Audio LA-120 Review: The Ultimate Small-Diaphragm Condenser Mic Pair?

Lauten Audio is a family-owned and operated company introducing innovative designs into the world of traditional microphones. Their inspiring lineup of mics marries classic sonics with modern utility, resulting in versatile, multi-purpose tools for any project. Today, we’re breaking down…

How To Remix a Song (8 Essential Tips in 2024)

Remixing is hugely popular in the electronic music world. And yet, like most artistic aspects of making music, there isn’t a clear-cut path to pulling it off well. If you’re wondering how to remix a song, here are eight of…

Lauten Audio Eden LT-386 Review: The Ultimate Vacuum Tube Mic?

The Lauten Audio Eden LT-386 represents the apex of the brand’s design prowess, and in this review we’ll break down why this high-end tube condenser deserves the title. Lauten Brings Professional Quality Sound to Your Studio From the premium Signature…

The 15 Best Compressor Plugin VSTs in 2024 [Free & Paid]

A compressor is one of the most fundamental processors an engineer has at their disposal. We know them to be great at tightening up the dynamic range of a signal—in other words, making a signal more even and consistent in…

Best Computer for Music Production in 2024 [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…

The 7 Best Chorus Pedals for Your Pedalboard [2024 Guide]

Our top selections of the best chorus pedals will help you narrow down just the right effect for your pedalboard. What Is a Chorus Pedal & What Do They Sound Like? Chorus is a type of effect that falls into…

The 12 Best UAD Plugins in 2024

Universal Audio has a decades-long reputation as one of the premier manufacturers of pro audio equipment. Bill Putnam started the company in 1958 and was a pioneer his entire life. Putnam designed many products under different companies throughout the course…

The 8 Best Synthesizer Apps For iOS Mobile 2024 [FREE & PAID]

Making music on the go has never been easier! We’ve already covered some of the best DAWs for iOS and Android, and now it’s time to take a look at best synthesizer apps to go along with them. Mobile synthesis…

11 Best Saturation VST Plugins Available 2024

Saturation is the secret weapon for adding some grit back to pristine digital recordings. Whether you just want to add a bit of body and richness to an instrument, or make it unrecognizable with blazing distortion, saturation is one of…

The 15 Best Small Tube Amp Options for Home Use in 2024

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…

6 Best Studio Monitor Stands for Your Studio [2024 Guide]

Studio monitor stands can substantially improve your working environment. They’re not the most glamorous of upgrades in the grand scheme of things—considering all of the “fun” studio stuff we could buy—but speaker stands are an easy, effective way to make…

10 Best Limiter Plugins in 2024 [FREE & PAID]

Limiters are awesome plugins for catching a signal’s highest peaks in a way that doesn’t ruin the overall tonality and balance of an instrument, group, or mix. Here is a modest sample of 10 of the best limiter plugins out…