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How ABBA Found Pop Perfection with “Dancing Queen”

Written by Caitlin Vaughn Carlos  At the start of the seventies, the idea of a musical group from a non-English speaking country having significant and consistent chart success in the English speaking market, seemed unimaginable. But in the mid-seventies, one…

eMastered Review: How Good Is Their AI Mastering?

Online mastering services are becoming key components in the evolution and further democratization of music production. The premise is that you upload a mix, the robot works its magic, and boom—industry-standard quality. If you’re wondering how artificial intelligence could replace…

Bias FX 2 Review by Positive Grid: The Best Virtual Guitar Rig?

Bias FX 2 by Positive Grid transforms your computer into a virtual rig. Premium amp models, effects, and even guitar emulations make it one of the most comprehensive amp sims out there. We’ll have a closer look at all Positive…

Gullfoss EQ Plugin Review | Smart Software at Its Best

The Gullfoss EQ plugin by Soundtheory promises to be a better-maker. The adaptive EQ, which does not rely on AI but rather a new form of technology altogether, serves to balance your mixes in the most pleasing way possible. If…

KEF LS50 Review: 60 Years of Legendary Sound

KEF has been an innovative force in speaker development for six decades. The company’s renowned hi-fi creations continually ‘wow’ audiophiles with their meticulous design and superb sound quality. In this KEF LS50 review, we’ll be looking at the 2012 50th…

Oeksound Soothe 2 Plugin Review

Oeksound Soothe is touted by the Finnish plugin developer as a ‘dynamic resonance suppressor.’ It’s designed to tame the harshness we sometimes associate with digital recordings, or even just poorly recorded material. Though it wasn’t the first plugin to try…

Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Review

Beyerdynamic’s classic DT lineup, featuring the 770, 880, and 990s, is a trusted range of studio reference headphones. Each pair offers a unique monitoring experience for music production or hi-fi listening. The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro headphones are an open-back…

Positive Grid Spark Amp Review | Is It Worth It?

Feature-packed practice amps are all the rage. Though not a new concept, these portable desktop devices—or, ‘coffee table-top,’ ‘sofa-top,’ you name it—started to incorporate tech beyond what we’ve seen in standard practice amps of yesteryear (like in the long-running Line…

5 Quick Automation Mixing Tricks
Automation is the secret to a truly great mix! Simple volume automation of instruments can save the heartache of trying to replicate dynamics with complex compression techniques. Automating plug ins can give them multiple purposes adding both subtle ear candy…
How to Write a Catchy Chorus | Essential Ingredients

There’s a lot of pressure on songwriters when it comes to creating the grand hook. Understanding how to write a chorus that listeners can sing along and identify with is a huge undertaking. The chorus is the most important part…

Output Exhale Review | Vocal VST

Output Exhale has been out for some time now, but it’s no less relevant than it was at release. Catering to today’s modern producers who want heavily stylized vocals in their productions, Exhale is a virtual instrument full of rich…

Squarp Pyramid Review: 64-Track Sequencer

The Squarp Pyramid Mk3 sequencer is considered ‘the perfect brain for your musical setup, from studio to stage.’ It combines a powerful 64-track sequencer, a looper, a rhythm generator, a real-time effects processor, a MIDI controller, and an I/O interface.…

Types of Music Royalties: How to Make Money as an Artist

Music royalties are a complicated legal game. What happens behind the scenes for artists, songwriters, publishers, or other copyright holders to get paid is best left to lawyers who know what they’re doing. But’s important for artists to at least…

These are the 5 most sampled drum beats in hip hop
By Dave S We hate to break it to you, but there’s no secret recipe when it comes to crafting the ultimate hit. There’s no secret chord, syncopation or melody that is certain to make people get up and dance…
JamKazam Review: Collaborate Remotely

We’ve come to understand the importance of remote video conferencing more than ever before over the past year. For musicians, though, software like Zoom doesn’t quite cut it. In order to jam or rehearse remotely, you need low latency, high-quality…

Arturia KeyStep Review | MIDI Controller

The Arturia KeyStep is a riff on the portable MIDI controller, combining classic keyboard functionality with polyphonic step sequencing. It can control both digital and analogue gear thanks to a variety of I/O, and the 32-key layout offers a bit…

Kilohearts Phase Plant VST Review

Phase Plant is an award-winning, semi-modular software synthesizer. Its unique workflow and functionality make it a go-to virtual instrument for many music producers and sound designers. With virtually limitless combinations of generators, modulators, and effects, you can spend hours creating…

AKG C214 Review | Condensers Under $500

The C214 is a fixed-cardioid large-diaphragm condenser microphone. It shares many of the same qualities that have made the C414 a studio staple for decades. In this AKG C214 review, we’ll highlight its specs, compare it to popular competition, and…

Neural DSP Archetype Plini Review

The Neural DSP Archetype Plini is a state-of-the-art amp sim and effects plugin. Built to Plini‘s exacting specs, the plugin covers the wide range of tones the modern prog guitarist is known for. Following the breakthrough of Neural’s Fortin Nameless…

Akai Professional MPC One Review

Akai Professional’s long-running MPC series is one of the most recognized sampling workstations ever made. Originally named MIDI Production Center (now Music Production Center), Akai introduced the first model, the MPC60, in 1988. Roger Linn, who developed the popular LM-1…

Aphex Aural Exciter | Breathing Life into Recordings

The Aphex Aural Exciter is one of the most recognized exciter effects. Its main job is to add a bit of top-end sheen to a signal while imparting some subtle harmonic distortion as well. Lots of engineers like it on…

Arturia MicroFreak Review | Hybrid Synthesizer

The Arturia MicroFreak Hybrid Synthesizer is an exceptional piece of gear, whether you’re looking for your first affordable hardware synth, or you just want to add some unique sounds to your collection. It blends wavetable and digital oscillators with analogue…

Ableton vs FL Studio: Which DAW Is Best?

For years running, Ableton and FL Studio have been ‘specialized’ DAWs. They cater mostly to the electronic music production crowd, with workflow, virtual instruments, and effects streamlined for that purpose. Arguing Ableton vs FL Studio is tough, because each has…

Arturia MiniLab Mk2 Review

The Arturia MiniLab MK2 is a portable USB MIDI controller for end-to-end music creation. While its predecessor emphasized a huge bundle of included software, Mk2 pares that down and instead focuses on the quality of the hardware. Arturia MiniLab Mk2…

MXL 990 Review | Best Budget Condenser?

MXL produces a range of cost-effective microphones. The MXL 990 is one of their most innovative creations, pairing high-quality sound with an unbeatable price. About MXL MXL Microphones is the pro audio sector of Marshall Electronics (not to be confused…

Small Room Acoustic Treatment

Small Room Acoustics and appropriate treatment: It has been said that ‘You’ll never get a home studio room to the point where you can do professional mixes like they do in the big studios’. This is false. Today a great…

Slate Trigger: Industry Standard Drum Replacement

Drums are difficult to mix. Just the sheer number of mics creates unique challenges we don’t encounter with other instruments. This is probably why there are so many plugins dedicated to drum mixing; and Slate Trigger tops the list as…

Tyrell N6 Review: The Best Free Synth?

The Tyrell N6 is a free software synthesizer designed by u-he founder Urs Heckmann. A “compact, sporty synth,” Nexus 6 boasts a huge array of classic analogue sounds in a streamlined, intuitive interface. How the Tyrell N6 Was Born Tyrell…

Spectrasonics Keyscape Review

Spectrasonics Keyscape is a virtual instrument featuring an extensive set of ‘collector keyboards.’ Everything from iconic pianos to more obscure instruments were sampled to create this expansive collection. Spectrasonics Keyscape: A Studio Must-Have? Keyscape was ten years in the making.…

Mono vs Stereo: Which Is Best for Mixing?

The difference between mono vs stereo sound is simply the number of channels used for recording and playback. If you’re new to mixing, you may or may not be familiar with the concept of checking your mix in mono. It…

8 Tips for Amazing Low End!
Mixing low end can be tricky, and it is something we get a lot of questions about! Today I will be sharing some tips and tricks that you can use to get great low end in your mixes! We also…
Top 5 Mixing Mistakes No One Talks About
Today we are going to be going over some mixing mistakes that are not talked about very often! These are things that don't get talked about a lot when it come to mixing, but I feel are very important! There…
Black Box HG-2 Review | High-End Tube Saturation

The Black Box HG-2 is a hardware unit designed to add saturation, harmonics, natural compression, and increased RMS for mixing and mastering. In one tool, it accomplishes what would normally require multiple stages of processing. HG-2 exists as a highly detailed plugin…

SSL Fusion: The Vintage Drive You Need?

Founded in 1969, Solid State Logic is renowned as one of the finest manufacturers of high-end consoles and recording equipment in the world. In the ’80s, their famed 4000 E series console set the benchmark for recorded music, becoming a…

Arturia Pigments 3 Review: Is It Worth It?

For over two decades, Arturia has been at the forefront of virtual instruments. Best known for their software recreations of classic hardware synthesizers, Pigments is Arturia’s first original soft synth. It debuted as recently as 2018, and has seen two…

Rode NT1 Review

Rode NT1 vs. NT1-A Although similar in name and physical appearance, the NT1 and equally popular NT1-A have subtle individual characteristics. The original NT1 first came out in 1997. Following the NT1-A’s success, Rode redesigned it from the ground up,…

JBL 305P MkII Review | Entry-Level Monitors

Entry-level monitors like the JBL 305P MkII combine affordability and sound quality. 5″ speakers like these are the most popular size for home studios—they have more than enough volume and plenty of low-end extension. We’ll run down the specs in…

15 Mixing Tips I Wish I Would’ve Learned Sooner

It’s perfectly normal to feel like you’ve hit a wall when it comes to progressing as a mixer. A lot of the time we rely on our tried and true methods which get the job done, but ultimately leave something…

Zoom H6 Review: 6-Channel Handy Recorder

When the Zoom H6 handy recorder debuted in 2013, it immediately became one of the most versatile portable recorders available. Everyone from location recorders to podcasters found the H6 to be a highly capable unit with features beyond its price…

Tommy Lee’s Studio ‘The Atrium’ and interview with Engineer Smiley Sean
Tommy Lee’s Studio The Atrium and interview with Engineer Smiley Sean Earlier this week I went to Tommy Lee’s Studio, The Atrium to record bonus material for the Matt Starr course we've just released. We wanted to show people how…
Shure SM7B Review | Makers of Legendary Mics

Shure microphones are ubiquitous. Think of any of the most dependable, affordable, and awesome sounding mics, and Shure is definitely on that list. Consider the SM57, for example, which continues to be one of the most widely used microphones of…

The Greatest Production Duo: Jack Douglas & Jay Messina
Arguably known as one of the best production teams of all time, Jack and Jay have worked with some of the most influential artists of our generation, including John Lennon, Cheap Trick, Patti Smith, and more! They have worked on…
Blur’s “Modern Life is Rubbish”: Album Breakdown with Graham Coxon
Modern Life is Rubbish, released in May 1993, is the second studio album by English alternative rock band Blur. The album was a moderate chart success in the UK, peaking at number 15, while the singles from the album charted…
Rupert Neve Passes at 94

Rupert Neve — the legendary innovator whose equipment and designs are ubiquitous in studios the world over — has died at 94. Neve’s impact on the recording industry is indelible. It’s not hyperbolic to say anyone who has enjoyed recorded…

Synchro Arts VocAlign Ultra Review

Synchro Arts are the makers of the Emmy-winning VocAlign software for post-production and music. They’re proud to announce the newest addition to their audio alignment lineup: VocAlign Ultra. VocAlign Ultra: Industry Leading Audio Alignment VocAlign has been the go-to tool…

McDSP Royal Mu & Q Plugins Review

McDSP announces two brand new APB plugins today, designed for use with their Analog Processing Box hardware — the Royal Mu and the Royal Q! Many of us are already familiar with McDSP, as they’ve been an award-winning audio tech…

Neural DSP Archetype: Gojira Review

Over the past few years, Neural DSP have established themselves as a premiere amp sim developer. Their popular Archetype series features signature plugins by renowned modern guitarists, including Plini, Tosin Abasi, Adam ‘Nolly’ Getgood, and Cory Wong. Today, the series…

IK Multimedia UNO Synth Review

UNO Synth Pro and UNO Synth Pro Desktop are two brand new offerings from IK Multimedia. Developed in conjunction with Italian boutique synth-maker Soundmachines, both of these new analog synthesizers take the UNO monophonic synth and expand it in practically…

Audio-Technica AT2035 Review

The Audio-Technica AT2035 is a large-diaphragm condenser microphone. This budget-friendly offering displays all of the hallmarks of a great multi-purpose condenser, including detailed frequency response and low self-noise. Its competitive pricing makes it one of the top choices for home…

Blue Cat Audio Freeware Plugin Pack II Review

Blue Cat Audio is a privately held company based in Paris. It was founded by Guillaume Jeulin: musician, software engineer, and audio fanatic. Blue Cat focuses on providing flexible and powerful audio tools for musicians and audio professionals. They believe…