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…

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…

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…

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…
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…
Does tinnitus affect your mixes? | FAQ Friday
Today's featured question is: Does tinnitus affect your mixes? For those of you who don't know what tinnitus is, it is the sensation of hearing ringing, buzzing, hissing, chirping, whistling, or other sounds, caused by prolonged exposure to loud sounds.…
How Audio Test Kitchen Changed Comparing Mics Forever!
In today's video, we had the opportunity to sit down with Alex Oana, co-founder of Audio Test Kitchen again! The last time we sat down with Alex, he told us all about how Audio Test Kitchen works, and went through…
How can I achieve height in my mix? | FAQ Friday
The featured question for this week's FAQ Friday is: How can I achieve height in my mix? This is a great question! Mix height and depth are topics that come up very often as having parts of your mix that…
Waves MDMX Plugin Demo & FAQ Friday
This FAQ Friday we have another double-header in our video! I will be answering an FAQ Friday question, as well as doing a demo of yet another Waves saturation distortion plugin, the Waves MDMX. Before we get into all that…
8 Tips For Getting Better Low End
This is a bit of a contentious subject, and one that is talked about a lot, but it is an important one! Low end is a crucial part of every mix, and if it is not done properly, it can…
Mixing Basics: EQ Before or After Compression?
In today's video we are going to be talking about whether we should EQ before or after compression! There is not a lot of consensus on this topic, because the truth is, it may vary from case to case. The…
Synth Basics: The Top Virtual Instruments for Any Studio

We’ve taken a look at sound synth basics in the past, like how granular synthesis differs from wavetable, and how each factors into the creation of sounds we use everyday. But when we’re in the studio making music, we’re not…

How would you allocate the money to start a semi-professional project studio? | FAQ Friday
We're back with another FAQ Friday for you! The featured question from today's video is this: If you were starting a semi-professional project studio, how would you allocate the money you have to spend? In order to answer this question,…
The Best Microphone Preamps for Every Budget

Microphone preamps are the next devices in the signal path right after the mic. We need preamps to amplify mic signals to line level, which is the standard operating level of recording equipment. Even when going direct with higher output…

Recording Acoustic Guitar for Beginners

Recording acoustic guitar is all about the performance! The number one most important factor in recording acoustic guitar is the player him or herself. A solid performance executed with great left and right hand technique on a quality instrument is key!…

The Best Amp Simulator Hardware and Plugins

There are a lot of benefits to going the amp simulator route as a guitarist. Cost and versatility are both huge advantages over real amps, because modelers can give you access to hundreds of different heads, cabinet, and effects sims…

The Best Drum VSTs for Any Budget

The best drum VSTs we’ve gathered run the gamut between $89 all the way up to $700! Thankfully, this means there’s a variety of choices to suit any budget. Of course, there are free options as well so you can…

3 Guitar Amp Micing Techniques
This episode we’re going to go over recording guitar! I have a carl Martin BandMate 15 Roadie, which is a fairly clean amp but you can drive it with a gain pedal. In this instance, I’m going to keep it…
Guitar Recording for Beginners

There are a ton of variables at play when it comes to at-home guitar recording. The whole process is a combination of many elements before ever pressing record in your DAW. Fundamentally, a great guitar recording requires the right tone—and…

The Best Mastering Plugins

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 Best DAWs for Windows Operating Systems

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…

Song Mastering: Preparing Your Tracks to Master

Song mastering is the final step in getting your tracks ready to release. What a mastering engineer does differently than a mixer is make final, sometimes very subtle, tweaks to make something sound polished and “commercial.” You can learn how…

Some of the Best Drum VSTs for Programmed Drums

Drum VSTs are one of the quickest and easiest means to lock down your song’s backbone. As a matter of fact, the software has gotten so good that it isn’t uncommon for solo artists to release finished albums with entirely…

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…

How to Master a Song: Understanding the Goal of Mastering

Mastering is the final step in preparing a song or album for commercial release. This means that it takes place after mixing, so the overall sonic aesthetic should be well established by the time a song reaches mastering. What a mastering engineer…

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…

Mixing Vocals: The Produce Like A Pro Master List

Have you ever had trouble getting a vocal to sit right in the mix? Have you ever felt underwhelmed by the overall tonality of a vocal, whether it’s too thin or perhaps too muffled? Does the vocal feel too wet…

Home Recording Studio Setup Basics

Everyone’s home recording studio setup varies a little bit. Much of it is dependent on room size, budget, and what you plan to do with it. In a lot of cases, a laptop, audio interface, and a set of headphones…

The Best Tips for Producing and Mixing Guitars

A huge part of what we do as producers and engineers is not only make things sound great, but also make sure our musicians are inspired along the way. This is true for virtually all aspects of the music production…

The Best Cheap DIY Vocal Booth Options

The key to getting better sounding vocal takes at home is a DIY vocal booth. Believe it or not, it doesn’t have to be terribly fancy, and it especially doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. If your vocal…

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…

Making Microtonal Music is Easier Than You’d Think

  Welcome to this Tutorial Tuesdays article by Michael W. Dean, synth player in BipTunia. Author of $30 Music School. PRO TIP: I’d recommend that while you read this article, you listen to this Microtonal Playlist on Spotify. It has…

Top Microphone Preamps On (and Off!) a Budget

Microphone preamps are the secondary devices in the signal path after the mics themselves. Generally speaking, microphone signals are well below nominal operating level. Preamps amplify these quiet signals to line level, which is the “standard” operating level of recording…

Top 10 Home Studio Essentials for Beginners

An efficient home studio set-up is essential for producers, engineers, and musicians of any level. And luckily, the time has never been better to get into the game. Rapid advances in digital technology over the past decade have made home…

Breaking Down Acoustic Treatment for Home Studios

Chances are, unless your home studio was specifically designed for recording and mixing music, it’s a less than ideal listening environment. Professional studios are carefully planned out to eliminate naturally occurring acoustic issues in a way that residential rooms are…

The Best USB Audio Interfaces On A Budget [$100 or Less]

A short while back, we took a look at the best USB audio interfaces for home studios on a budget. The idea behind the list was to compile some of most tried-and-true interfaces for the home recorder likely needing no…

The 10 Essentials To Get Your Home Studio Started

Whether you’re looking to launch a career as an audio engineer, looking for a new hobby or an artist wanting to record their own music on the cheap, building a home studio has never been easier. The notion that high…

The Top 7 USB Audio Interfaces for Studios on a Budget

After the computer and DAW, arguably the most important component of any studio is the audio interface. It may seem like spending a fortune is the only way to get the best digital recording and playback quality. However, “you get what you…

Setting Up a Home Recording Studio for Beginners

An efficient home recording set-up is essential for producers, engineers, and musicians of any level. And luckily, the time has never been better to get into the game. Rapid advances in digital technology over the past decade have made home…