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

Fundamental Stereo Miking Techniques

Stereo miking techniques use two microphones at the same time to record one sound source. Each microphone is then panned to the left and to the right to mimic the way our ears perceive sound in the “real world.” This…

Top Audio Technology Trends of the Past Year

Audio technology trends are slowly but surely changing the way we produce and consume music, film, and other media. From the studio and beyond, these are some of the top trends we’ve observed in the last year. Monitor Calibration Computer-aided…

Matt Weiss: GRAMMY-Nominated Pop, Hip-Hop, & EDM Engineer
Matt Weiss is a GRAMMY-nominated, platinum recording and mixing engineer who's worked with artists like Akon, Swae Lee, Jeremih, Chris Brown, Sonny Digital, Nicky Minaj, Becky G, Anitta, Rick Ross, Farruko, and Ozuna. Matt grew up in Philadelphia with creative parents:…
Simple Tips for Mixing Hip-Hop

If you’re an engineer in 2020, chances are you’re mixing hip-hop. It’s the most popular genre in the world, and there are countless up-and-coming artists getting in the studio and creating. Recording and mixing hip-hop seems pretty straight forward, especially…

Creative Reverb and Delay Tricks for Vocals

Vocals are the centerpiece to any song and generally require a bit more attention than basic rhythm tracks. Since the human voice is the most expressive instrument, you can have a lot of fun mixing them. There’s lots of pretty…

The Complete Starter Guide to FL Studio 20

FL Studio is a standout software choice for electronic and hip hop producers. Its workflow is one of the most unique out there, really lending itself to making beats quickly with its excellent step sequencer, piano roll, and sample manipulating…

The Best Audio Sample Subscription Services

Audio sample subscription services are now more popular than ever. Gone are the days of sorting through samples on expensive disks you had to purchase, only to come up short. The demand for royalty-free libraries grew sharply after the advent…

Jason LaRocca: Punk Frontman Turned Film Score Producer
Jason LaRocca has enjoyed success on both sides of the glass. He formerly contributed vocals and guitar to acclaimed LA punk band, The Briggs, and by the age of eighteen, Jason had also become a producer and recording engineer! Jason…
Digital Audio Basics: Aliasing Explained

If you record audio using too low a sample rate, a kind of sampling error called aliasing can occur. With regards to audio, aliasing is defined as the misidentification of a signal frequency, which can introduce distortion or other artifacts…

Free Drum Samples for Your Collection

Drum samples are incredibly useful in a number of ways. Firstly, they can be one of the quickest and easiest means to lock down your song’s backbone by programming grooves using a drum VST or your DAW’s built-in sampler. Even…

A Short History of the Vocoder

The vocoder has been around for a very long time… In 1938, Homer Dudley at Bell Labs invented it to reduce the bandwidth of speech transmission for telecommunications. In other words, it was originally intended as a voice codec for audio…

Leland Sklar: Legendary Bassist w/ 2000+ Credits to His Name

Interview transcription:  Warren Huart: (music). You do have your own thing now, don’t you? Your own Clubhouse. Leland Sklar: Yeah, I have a Clubhouse. But I’m not doing any of that there. I mean, the YouTube channel is for the songs,…

How to Use Audio Pass Filters in Your Mixes

The most frequently used audio pass filters you’ll come across are high- and low-pass filters. High-pass filters (also called “low-cut”) attenuate low-end below the chosen frequency. Literally at the other end of the spectrum are low-pass filters (also called “high-cut”),…

Hanging Out with Guitarists Pete Thorn & Quist!
Pete Thorn and Quist join us for an incredible Skype conversation this week! Both are very talented guitarists and educators who've been in the studio and on the road with an impressive list of artists — they each have their…
How to Make Money in Music as an Artist

Whether you’re a band/artist or working behind the scenes as a producer, engineer, mixer or songwriter, the music industry has changed dramatically over the last 15-20 years. And perhaps the most important thing you’re wondering about is how to make…

Matt Lange: Multi-Platinum Electronic Music Producer and Composer
Matt Lange is a Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum selling electronic music producer, DJ, composer, and musician. His music challenges categorization, and a hallmark of Matt's work is his devotion to pushing musical boundaries. He's perhaps best known for co-producing These Hopeful Machines with…
Mixing with Headphones: What You Need to Know

There tend to be varying degrees of thought on mixing with headphones. Some of us are in bedrooms, our parent’s house, married with kids (not wanting to wake them up at 3am!), etc. It’s understandable that in certain cases mixing…

MIDI Basics and What You Should Know About 2.0

Short for Musical Instrument Digital Interface, MIDI is a standard which includes a communications protocol, digital interface, and physical connectors for different electronic instruments, computers, and other audio devices. Perhaps most importantly to musicians, it allows us to play, record, and edit virtual/electronic instruments…

The Incredible History of Hollywood’s EastWest Studios

EastWest Studios is one of the world’s premier recording complexes with an amazing history. The facility is located right in the heart of Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard and has been home to some of the most celebrated artists of the…

Understanding the Difference Between Gain and Volume

Many of us have wondered if there’s a technical difference between gain and volume. The answer is “yes,” even though the terms sometimes seem to be used interchangeably. The most important distinction between gain and volume is how, or more…

Louise Goffin: Grammy-Nominated Songwriter Releases New Album
Louise Goffin is a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer. She's put out ten albums as a solo artist over the course of her career, starting with Kid Blue when she was 19 years old. The latest — Two Different Movies — came out just this…
Engineer/Mixer Chris Fogel: Alanis Morissette’s Groundbreaking ‘Jagged Little Pill’ Turns 25
Chris Fogel is a GRAMMY-winning recording engineer and mixer based in Los Angeles, California. He has had the pleasure of recording and mixing scores and soundtracks for over 170 major motion pictures and television shows, including the Oscar-winning score to Black Panther,…
The Best Vocal Plugins to Add to Your Collection

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 some staples—dynamics processing and EQ—that really shine on vocal tracks. Of course,…

Tim Palmer: Prolific Rock/Alternative Producer and Mixer (Pearl Jam, Robert Plant)

Interview transcription:  Warren Huart: Hi, everybody. Hope you’re doing marvelously well. I’m sitting here with my good friend, Mr. Tim Palmer. How are you? Tim Palmer: I’m very good, mate. I hope that you are doing inordinately well. Warren Huart:…

Jay Messina: World-Class Engineer/Producer (Aerosmith, KISS, John Lennon)

Here’s a full transcription of our conversation! Warren Huart: Hi, everybody. Hope you’re doing marvelously well. I’m sitting here with the rather wonderful, Mr. Jay Messina. Jay, how are you? Jay Messina: I’m doing great, Warren. Good to see you. Warren…

A Starter’s Guide to Recording Voice-Overs

There are tons of different reasons why you might want to get into recording voice-overs. We sometimes associate VO recording with film or TV post-production, in a process called “automated dialogue replacement” (ADR)—but in the grand scheme of things, that’s…

What is an EPK and How Do You Make One?

An EPK, which stands for “electronic press kit,” is essentially a résumé or CV for musicians. It provides labels, agents, music supervisors, venue managers, journalists, and promoters information to understand who you are as an artist. This is important, because…

Jack Douglas: One of the World’s Greatest Producers (Aerosmith, John Lennon)
We’ve spent a lot of time with the amazing Jack Douglas over the past year! He told us how he got Cheap Trick signed to their first record deal, what it was like working with Aerosmith throughout the ’70s, how he…
The Best Earplugs for Musicians: Protecting Your Greatest Asset

It should go without saying that a musician, engineer, or producer’s greatest asset is his or her hearing. We rely on it for quite literally everything we do related to music, from gathering inspiration to writing, recording, and mixing. The…

Apple Introduces Biggest Update to Logic Since “Logic Pro X”

Last week, Apple released a massive update to their Logic Pro X software with version 10.5. The DAW already excels at music production and songwriting, with useful features like Drummer, a huge built-in loop library, intuitive MIDI capabilities, and more.…

Step Sequencing: What It Is and How to Use It

Step sequencing is a MIDI-based tool that divides a measure of music into a pre-determined number of note values called “steps.” Each step laid out in the software can then trigger notes and other MIDI information you supply it. Like most…

Simple Ways to Increase Loudness in Your Mix

By definition, loudness is a subjective perception of volume. It varies from person to person based on a variety of physiology and psychological factors. It’s also frequently confused with physical measures of volume, such as sound pressure level represented by…

Paul “Willie Green” Womack: Dedicated to the Art of Making Records

Paul “Willie Green” Womack is one of the top record makers in independent urban music, with credits including Wiz Khalifa, Donnie McClurkin, The Roots, Open Mike Eagle, Billy Woods, Milo, and many more. He is a graduate of Berklee College’s…

Marc Daniel Nelson: GRAMMY-Nominated Producer/Mixer for Music and Film
Marc Daniel Nelson is a GRAMMY-nominated producer and mixer for music and film. He has been producing, mixing, as well as managing artists for nearly 20 years. Coming up under legendary producers/engineers Bill Schnee (Steely Dan, Chicago) and Ken Caillat (Fleetwood Mac,…
Using Silence to Improve Your Productions

We don’t often consider the importance of silence when it comes to our musical productions. It’s easy to get caught up in the sounds we want to add, because that’s what music is all about! But if you use silence itself…

The Top 5 Most Common Drum Programming Mistakes

Drum samples and plugins have gotten so good that it’s never been a better time for realistic drum programming. As a matter of fact, it’s totally viable for solo artists to release projects with convincing programmed drums. But even with…

The Lickerish Quartet is a Pop Rock Supergroup with Serious Pedigree

See below for a complete transcription of our conversation! Warren Huart: Ladies and gentlemen, we’re sitting here with the Lickerish Quartet. How the devil are you? Roger Manning: Best as can be expected. Thank you. Tim Smith: Yeah. Doing well. Roger Manning:…

Hard Rock/Metal Producer and Musician Matt Good
Matt Good is a guitarist, vocalist, and producer, perhaps best known for playing guitar and singing in post-hardcore band From First to Last. As a producer, he's worked with tons of contemporary rock/metal bands like Asking Alexandria, Sleeping with Sirens, Memphis May…
How to EQ Acoustic Guitar in a Mix

The most important factor when it’s time to EQ acoustic guitar is context. You’ll have to determine its prominence against other instruments and make EQ moves based on that. Acoustic guitar can be the most important rhythm instrument, or it…

Recording Vocals [Tips from the Pros]

If you struggle recording vocals from time to time, it’s nothing to worry about! Every time a new vocalist steps up to the mic, there are a bunch of variables at play which can skew our results from session to…

6 Compression Tips That Will Change the Way You Mix

Sometimes the most useful compression tips aren’t super secret recipes. It’s more about being familiar with the barebones basics, knowing what other techniques are available, and having an end goal in mind. The following compression tips are widely applicable to…

Using MIDI Controllers to Play Virtual Instruments

MIDI controllers are keyboards that let you play virtual instruments and transmit MIDI information to your DAW for recording. Most of the time they connect to your computer via USB for easy integration and very little set-up. They’re about as…

How ONE Recording Mistake Created a Musical Phenomenon in the ’80s

Gated reverb is a technique responsible for the punchy, whip-like drum sounds which dominated popular music throughout the ’80s. Listen to a track like “Kiss” by Prince (1986) and you’ll immediately recognize the sound. It’s bold and quintessentially ‘80s. But…

Mike Plotnikoff Has Worked with Rock/Metal’s Leading Talent

A complete transcript of our conversation can be found below! Warren Huart: Hi everybody. I hope you’re doing marvelously well. I’m here with the rather wonderful Mike Plotnikoff. How are you? Mike Plotnikoff: Hello, Warren. Nice to have you hear in…

Delay Plugins: The Absolute Best You Can Get

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…

Hit-Making Rock Producer Keith Olsen Passes Away at 74

Keith Olsen, legendary rock producer of the ’70s and ’80s, passed away Monday at age 74. Olsen started his career playing in bands in the ’60s before pivoting to record production. He was mentored by Curt Boettcher and Brian Wilson,…

His Rock/Metal Productions Have Earned Over 20 Billion Streams | Interview w/ Howard Benson

A complete transcription of our conversation can be found below: Warren Huart: Howard, how are you? Howard Benson: Good, good. Warren Huart: Thank you so much for having us over. Howard Benson: Doing a lot of work right now. So,…

6 Ways to Make Your Production Sound Unique

Unique production is one of the best ways to have your music stand out from the pack. Whether you’re a songwriter, mixing engineer, or both, you can employ these techniques to make captivating productions! 1. First things first…make the song…

Everything You Should Know About Booking Studio Time

Booking studio time isn’t the most complicated thing in the world, but there are lots of details that both clients and sometimes studios miss the mark on all the time. As an artist, you’ll need to answer several questions for…

Peter Doell Is One of the Most Talented Mastering Engineers Ever!

A complete transcription of the interview can be found below: Warren Huart: Hello everybody, I hope you’re doing marvelous today. Sitting here with my good friend Mr. Pete Doell. How are you? Peter Doell: I are good, thank you so…