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

What is a Compressor Ratio?

Compression isn’t the easiest thing to understand at first. Wrapping your head around the controls and how they impact the sound is confusing—but you definitely aren’t alone. If you’re struggling to figure out just how to set your compressor ratio,…

Beginner’s Guide to Wider Stereo Image

If your mixes feel flat and narrow, like everything is stuck between the speakers, then you should put some work into the stereo image! But don’t reach for a widening plugin just yet—there are simple ways to achieve better stereo…

Interview with Matt Brownlie: GRAMMY-Winning Recording and Mixing Engineer
Matt Brownlie’s career is an illustrious one that speaks for itself through both the range of genres and also the sheer talent he has worked with. His accolades include working with Bette Midler, LL Cool J, Destiny’s Child, Frank Ocean,…
Choosing Software Synthesizers for Your Home Studio

If you’re a music producer or songwriter, software synthesizers are your best friend. Not only are they super inexpensive compared to hardware, they sound just as good! Plus, a lot of them come with gigabytes and gigabytes worth of sounds…

How to Use Side Chain Compression

Side chain compression is a technique that lets you to set a different input signal source from the track on which the compressor is inserted. For example, if you place a compressor on the bass guitar and “side chain” or…

Interview with Stevie Blacke: The “One Man Orchestra”
Stevie Blacke has had a phenomenal career as a musician, string arranger, and multi-instrumentalist dubbed the "one man orchestra." Over the years he's had the pleasure of working with some of music's biggest stars and finest talents. Stevie has played…
Drum Compression: Top Tips from the Pros

Massive. Punchy. Hard-hitting and larger-than-life. These are all words we use to describe the sounds we want out of our drums! But how do we go about getting that modern mix sound…? Drum compression is one of the key ways to…

Noise Gate Tips for Cleaner Mixes

A noise gate is a great tool for cleaning up tracks with extraneous noise in between the performances. Also known as a downward expander, noise gates keep a signal turned off or at a lower level until it reaches the…

Understanding Additive and Subtractive Synthesis

Additive and subtractive synthesis are two of the 4 fundamental ways synthesizers create sounds, next to wavetable and FM. If you plan to get into synths at all, or even just use them occasionally in your work, it’s a good…

Modular Synthesis: The Most Powerful Synthesizers Ever

Modular synthesis is one of the most powerful sound design and music production tools you can use. From the outside, though, it looks pretty confusing…Even understanding the basics can take a while if you don’t know where to start. Luckily,…