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

Foo Fighters – The Colour and the Shape: Inside The Mix with Chris Sheldon

Chris Sheldon is a producer and mixing engineer who’s done amazing work with a number of artists including Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro, Feeder, Twin Atlantic, Therapy?, Bloc Party, and Skunk Anansie to name a few. He started in the music…

Recovering the Satellites – Counting Crows: Inside the Album

I recently sat down with my good friend Bradley Cook and had a rather wonderful chat! A couple weeks ago, we talked about his time engineering Foo Fighters’ “Everlong.” This time around we got to talk about his work on…

The World Famous Hansa Studios in Berlin (Studio Tour)
Hansa Studios started in the early '60s as a small recording space in the headquarters of Hansa Music Production. The Hansa Records label was founded in 1962, a year after construction of the Berlin Wall, by brothers Peter and Thomas Meisel. From…
Rediscovering the 1970’s Resynator Synthesizer
The Resynator is a monophonic pitch-tracking synthesizer with a pretty remarkable story. The instrument-controlled unit was invented by Don Tavel in the '70s to track the pitch of any instrument plugged into it and produce synthesized sounds. As the world's…
Jane’s Addiction – “Been Caught Stealing” Inside the Song w/ Dave Jerden
Dave Jerden is an incredible producer/engineer who’s done legendary work in the alternative rock, punk, and metal scenes over the years. He got his start as an engineer in the late ’70s at Eldorado Recording Studios in Hollywood. There, Dave engineered and…
Brian May’s Legendary Red Special – Then and Now
Brian May isn't just the guitarist in one of the most iconic rock bands of all time. Beyond the inimitable music he's created with Queen, May has lived a rich life as an astrophysicist, activist, author, and Victorian stereophotography enthusiast---as…
Danny ‘Kootch’ Kortchmar: Legendary Guitarist & Producer
Danny 'Kootch' Kortchmar’s résumé is outstanding! As a renowned guitarist, producer, songwriter, and session musician, Kootch has played, produced, and written for artists like James Taylor, Don Henley, Carole King, Linda Ronstadt, and Jackson Browne. As a songwriter, Danny has…
Foo Fighters’ “My Hero”: Inside the Song with Bradley Cook
I've had a handful of rather wonderful chats with my good friend Bradley Cook recently! Over the past few weeks, we've talked about his time engineering Foo Fighters' "Everlong" and Counting Crows' Recovering the Satellites. This time, we dove into another single from…
Marilyn Manson’s “The Dope Show”: Inside the Song with Michael Beinhorn
The last time I sat down with Michael Beinhorn we looked at Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" which he engineered and produced! Now we're breaking down "The Dope Show," which was the lead single from Marilyn Manson's third album, Mechanical Animals. Throughout…
From Lyrics to Mixdown: How to Record a Song

As producers, engineers, and songwriters, we sometimes struggle to transpose the sounds and ideas in our heads to “tape.” We may have all the tools at our disposal to make great music—quality instruments, microphones, all the fixings of a home…

Inside the Song: “Never Say Never” – The Fray with Warren Huart
Following up last week's Inside the Song where Warren broke down the recording of  The Fray’s hit single “You Found Me,” we're looking at another song he recorded called "Never Say Never"! Warren has worked closely with the band over…
Recording Drums at Sunset Sound Studio 1
The legendary Sunset Sound is a world famous studio where some of the most iconic albums of all time have been recorded. These include Prince’s Purple Rain, the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main St., the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, Linda…
Tom Petty’s “Don’t Do Me Like That”: Inside the Song w/ Shelly Yakus

I recently sat down with my dear friend and mentor Shelly Yakus to talk about his experience recording some of the most iconic songs of all time. A couple weeks back we visited the multitrack from Blue Oyster Cult’s “(Don’t…

Do You Need an Audio Engineering Degree?

Let’s dive straight in. Do you need an audio engineering degree to become an engineer? No. Traditionally, great engineers have learned by doing—starting as an intern in a studio and being mentored by peers to develop their skills. The professional…

How to Start a Band in a Few Simple Steps

Being in a band is one of the most rewarding experiences we can have as musicians. Collaboration opens your songwriting up to new possibilities from other people’s input. You get to step outside of your own head and create a…

The Fray’s “You Found Me”: Inside the Song with Warren Huart
On this week's Inside the Song, our very own Warren Huart breaks down The Fray's "You Found Me," which he recorded! Warren has worked closely with the band over the years on three of four studio albums, including the 2005 debut How…
Andrew Scheps: GRAMMY-Winning, Multi-Platinum Engineer/Producer
Andrew Scheps has been blessed to engineer and mix some of the biggest rock bands in the world: Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Weezer, Audioslave, Black Sabbath, Metallica, Linkin Park, Hozier, Kaleo, and U2 are but a few his…
Alice In Chains’ “Man in the Box”: Inside the Song with Dave Jerden
Dave Jerden is an incredible producer/engineer who's done legendary work in the alternative rock, punk, and metal scenes over the years. He got his start as an engineer in the late '70s at Eldorado Recording Studios in Hollywood. There, Dave engineered and…
Ariel Chobaz: Multi-Platinum Hip Hop/Pop Engineer

Ariel Chobaz is a GRAMMY-nominated, multi-platinum engineer and mixer with handfuls of Billboard #1s under his belt. He mixed a record-breaking number of singles charted by a female rap album with Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday. He and Minaj also set the record for…

Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun”: Inside the Song with Michael Beinhorn
I sat down with the wonderful Michael Beinhorn to talk about his involvement with perhaps thee most iconic rock song of the '90s. Everything from the drum sounds, guitar sounds, vocals, and songwriting is unbelievable! The track, of course, is "Black Hole…
Michael Beinhorn: Multi-Platinum Producer, from Herbie Hancock to Soundgarden

Like so many of the fantastic producers, engineers, and musicians we have the opportunity to talk to, Michael Beinhorn‘s career has been absolutely incredible. A lifelong artist, Michael started first as an illustrator, then a musician, before finally becoming an…

Blue Oyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”: Inside the Song with Shelly Yakus

I recently sat down with my dear friend Shelly Yakus to talk about his experience recording one of the most iconic guitar riffs of all time! Shelly has had a phenomenal career. Not only is he a renowned producer and…

Ed Cherney: GRAMMY & TEC Award-Winning Producer/Engineer
Ed Cherney is an incredibly talented producer/engineer---and also one of the funniest and most down-to-earth. 3 GRAMMYs, 5 TEC Awards, and an Emmy aside, Ed takes nothing for granted, knowing his job is a "killer" one. If you hadn't heard…
Audio Gain, Volume, & Gain Staging

Many of us have wondered if there’s a technical difference between audio 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…

Shelly Yakus: One of the Greatest Engineers of All Time

Shelly Yakus has had a phenomenal career. Not only is he a renowned producer and recording/mixing engineer, but he’s also heavily involved with modern recording tech as co-founder/chief engineer of AfterMaster Audio Labs. Shelly is considered by his peers to…

Mixing Vocals: Techniques for a More Exciting Performance

Since vocals are the first thing listeners tend to hone in on, they need to sound their absolute best. The overall sound you’re going for will vary from genre to genre, but the importance of a great sounding vocal is…

Home Studio Ideas: Essential Equipment & Considerations

For aspiring musicians, engineers, and producers, the home studio space is a prerequisite. It’s where you’ll spend countless hours writing songs, recording, mixing, and tinkering! Today, the home recording set-up doesn’t have to cost a fortune—there are many affordable ways…

A Great Vocal Compressor Can Change How You Mix

Vocals are the “face” of a song. They’re right out in front and the first thing listeners gravitate toward and identify with. Whether you’re mixing a massive pop vocal or a straight-forward rock singer, you’ll want to spend a solid…

Carl Tatz: Award-Winning Studio Designer and Producer
Carl Tatz is an award-winning studio designer and founder of his own Nashville-based company, Carl Tatz Design. His expertise as a studio designer and acoustician is built on thirty years' experience as a GRAMMY-nominated engineer/producer, award-winning studio owner (Recording Arts),…
David Gnozzi of MixbusTV: Platinum Engineer & Audio Educator
David Gnozzi is a platinum mixing/mastering engineer and producer, as well as the creator and host of the popular YouTube channel MixbusTV. MixbusTV is a highly regarded source for music production techniques and pro audio info. David's past as a professional…
Tom Holkenborg, aka Junkie XL: Multi-Platinum Producer & Film Composer
Tom Holkenborg, aka Junkie XL, is a GRAMMY-nominated and multi-platinum producer, film scorer, and multi-instrumentalist. His musical style sets him right at the cutting edge of contemporary music, and his approach to film composition is a refreshing spin on the…
The Best Tips for Using Reference Tracks

Trying to match the intensity and sonic quality of a commercial release is no easy task. It’s incredibly challenging, whether you’re an experienced professional or trying to mix for the first time. Using reference tracks is an essential technique when…

Adam Ayan: Mastering Paul McCartney, Katy Perry…

Adam Ayan is a GRAMMY-, 5x Latin GRAMMY-, and TEC Award-winning mastering engineer who works out of Bob Ludwig’s Gateway Mastering in Portland, Maine. Adam graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell’s Sound Recording Technology program in 1997 before starting…

Bob Ludwig: The Mastering Engineer’s Mastering Engineer
Bob Ludwig is an 11-time GRAMMY-winning mastering engineer, as well as the recipient of an incredible 18 TEC Awards for his achievements as an individual and as a business owner. Bob grew up in a small town in New York…
Eric Boulanger: World Class Mastering Engineer
Eric Boulanger is a GRAMMY-winning mastering engineer, founder of The Bakery studio, and an accomplished studio violinist. His unique talent has afforded him the opportunity to spend time in both the studio as well as on stage. Eric began studying…
Joe Napolitano: Songwriter, Producer, & Engineer
Joe Napolitano is a multi-instrumental songwriter, engineer, and producer, who has played in several prominent LA-based indie rock bands over the years (Le Switch, Faraway Places, Tandemoro, Parson Redheads). In the producer/engineer role, he values a collaborative and sympathetic approach…
Bradley Cook: Recording Engineer (Foo Fighters, QOTSA)
Bradley Cook is an engineer who's worked with countless amazing artists, including Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Counting Crows, Isaac Hayes, Ben Harper, Fishbone, and Everclear. He calls Barefoot Recording a home away from home, having worked there…
Sidechain Compression Techniques for Better Mixes

Sidechain compression is a very common, but often considered “advanced,” mixing technique. If you’ve made it this far to be curious about it, you’re probably pretty familiar with how compressors generally work. If not, there’s always time for a quick…

How to Tune Vocals

Vocal tuning can really be as simple or as complex as you’d like it to be. Real-time pitch correction with plugins like Auto-Tune or Waves Real-Time is very effective, especially when working with a solid vocalist. In these instances, you…

What is Vocal Tuning?

It’s no secret that vocalists sometimes need a little assistance to hit the perfect pitch. Even the most talented singers can sometimes hover, sharp or flat, around the note they’re trying to sing. An engineer might also have an otherwise…

Michael Romanowski: Grammy-Nominated Mastering Engineer
Michael Romanowski is a Grammy-nominated mastering engineer from the San Francisco Bay Area, currently based in Berkeley. He is the owner and chief mastering engineer of Coast Mastering, as well as the co-founder and co-owner of an exclusive reel-to-reel tape record…
Al Schmitt: The Most Successful Engineer of All Time

Al Schmitt is a recording engineer and and producer. At 88 years old, with a career spanning 7 decades, Schmitt has won 23 Grammy Awards and recorded/produced over 150 gold and platinum albums. Needless to say, he is the most…

Tricks and Tips to Compress Vocals

Learning to mix an up-front, exciting vocal doesn’t happen overnight. Arguably the most important aspect of a song, a great sounding, competitive vocal has the power to stand out from the pack. But how do we even get there? Knowing…

Creative Techniques for Mixing Vocals

Vocals are one of the most important elements in a song, regardless of genre. It’s safe to say that how you approach mixing vocals can make or break your track. Have you ever heard a hit record, or even just…

Mixing Music: Understanding the Basics

Mixing music requires both technical ability and the creativity to try things that would make a song compelling and interesting to listeners. Mix engineers firstly possess the technical knowledge of audio signal flow, DAW and/or console operation, and how to…

Recording Vocals in Your Home Studio

From a logistics standpoint, recording vocals in your home studio seems like one of the easiest things to do. It’s a single microphone, and an artist and engineer can simply track with headphones, together in the same room, with no…

Music Marketing Tips: How to Have Your Music Heard

The music business in the 21st century is a double-edged sword. On one hand, the web and digital recording have allowed anyone to record and post their music online for immediate consumption. This is an amazing leap from the days when music had…

Chatting with Peter Freestone: Freddie Mercury’s Friend & Assistant

I’m very excited about today’s interview. I feel very blessed to be talking with Mr. Peter Freestone, who was Freddie Mercury‘s personal assistant for about 12 years! As you know I’m a HUGE Queen fan- they’re one of the reasons why…

The Biggest Advantages to Mixing with Headphones

In general, mixing with headphones exclusively isn’t advised. You’ll want to have a good pair handy to reference your mix on something other than your main monitors, but spending all of your mix time in cans can yield some wonky…

Music Publishing Essentials: Everything You Need to Know

If you aspire to earn income on your compositions, music publishing is one of the most important–and least understood–aspects of the music business. It’s how songwriters make the majority of their money, and how they’re able to earn royalties when…