Tour of Mutato Muzika with Mark Mothersbaugh

Featured, Music

Tour of Mutato Muzika with Mark Mothersbaugh

Posted on August 05, 2010

Mark Mothersbaugh provides a guided tour through Mutato Muzika studios. An interesting look at some of the vintage instruments Devo has used over the years.

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just-blaze

Music Production

Master session with Just Blaze

Posted on July 26, 2010


Hip-hop producer Just Blaze discusses some of his methods for sound creation, finding the right beats and the pros and cons of sampling.

Check out the video on ASCAP’s site.

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AudioFinder

Featured, Music Production

Tip of the week: Asset management using AudioFinder

Posted on July 09, 2010

Once you’ve amassed a large collection of samples properly cataloging all of these sounds is critical for optimum workflow during a studio session.  On Mac I’ve found a great program that handles this, AudioFinder.  AudioFinder lets you catalog all of your sounds by genre, type, or project.  You can then quickly search through for a particular sound, for example “hi-hats” and it will retrieve a listing of all the hi-hat sounds on your system.  You can then right within the app preview the sound at any pitch or BPM and if you like it just drag and drop it right into Logic, ProTools or Ableton.

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Alesis Andromeda

Gear

Alesis Andromeda and Ion officially discontinued

Posted on July 08, 2010


The Alesis Andromeda and Ion synths have officially been discontinued. Get them while you can. I’ve heard nothing but good about the Andromeda but I’ve heard they were pretty expensive to produce and sales have declined with the increasing popularity of software synths.

Alesis discontinued products page.

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Rick James

Featured, Music

Rick James

Posted on July 07, 2010


I’ve been listening to a lot of Rick James over the past few weeks and I’ve come to realize that’s he’s a genius.

If you listen to the musical structure of the songs there is a lot to appreciate. Good use of instrumental counter-point, and a serious understanding of what makes a good groove. In addition to his talent for creating visceral funk music the lyrics he wrote went perfectly with the songs. Most of his lyrics talked about either getting laid, smoking pot or life in the ghetto. I wonder how the sound of funk would have continued to evolve after the 1980’s if hip-hop hadn’t taken off and displaced funk as the voice of black music.

Unfortunately, his slew of personal problems began to overshadow his creativity has time went on. I also think he let his bitter feud with Prince get the best of him.

Rick James is more remembered now for his criminal and drug exploits during the height of his fame but if you look past his notoriety at the music he created it was remarkable.

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Tip of the week: Intro to mix buss compression

Featured, Music Production

Tip of the week: Intro to mix buss compression

Posted on June 27, 2010

Universal Audio 2-1176

Hardware compressors such as the Universal Audio 2-1176 are a favorite among studios.

Mix-buss compression can be a confusing for those who are unfamiliar with how it works. Some producers throw it on every track to make it punchy, others prefer to keep the buss pure.

If you are going to use mix-buss compression don’t just throw it on at the end, start from the beginning of your mix process with compression on the stereo buss. Each fader change will affect the overall sound, if you throw on compression at the end of mixing the overall balance of your track can be thrown off.

Hardware or Software?

If you prefer to go the hardware route there are some great compression units out there. Just like how different mic pre-amps lend their own sonic character during recording, compressors also impart their own signature on a track. I’m a fan of Universal Audio’s hardware and software compression plugins. These aren’t “transparent” in color but for the type of music I usually work on they add a pleasant sonic quality.

A good way to find your initial compression settings is to watch the meters on your compressor, they should bounce nearly in time with the tempo of the track. If they are going faster you release time may be too short, if they are staying pinned the release time is probably too long. Attack time is a little more straightforward, the faster the attack the sooner the compression will kick in during the attack portion of the sound. Having a slower attack time will let more transients slip through but it may not work for the material you are mixing. Conversely, too fast of an attack can often leave a track dull and flat sounding. Once you are used to listening to how compression works you can trust your ears to tell you if there is too much. You’ll hear an audible pumping, if you hear this you’ve often gone too far unless it’s for a special effect.

For overall stereo buss compression you can usually leave the ration pretty low, 2:1 or 1.5:1 are a good place to start. Then adjust the threshold so you get a minimal amount of gain reduction. Less is more when compressing the mix buss.

A common mistake most inexperienced mixers make is just throwing on stereo compression to the mix to make their mixes louder to match commercial recordings. If you are going to get your finished tracks mastered I highly recommend against this. Mastering engineers usually add additional compression during mastering and if your mix is already brickwalled it makes it much more difficult to get a decent mastered track. Instead of having one massive stage with lots of compression, split it up. Put some slight compression on the individual tracks. Then some mix buss compression. Finally in mastering put on another level of compression. Three smaller stages of compression will always sound better than one massive stage. I would also avoid throwing on multi-band compression on the mix buss. If you find your track needs it, you’re probably better off going back and fixing the EQ and compression settings per individual track first.

I hope this gives a little insight into how compression on the stereo buss should be used. Happy mixing.

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Get the most annoying sample pack of all time.

Featured, Music, The Tubes

Get the most annoying sample pack of all time.

Posted on June 27, 2010

Can’t get enough vuvuzela?

Now you can get a 375MB vuvuzela sample pack for Kontakt. Why anyone would actually buy this I don’t know.

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How to Destroy Angels

Music

How to Destroy Angels

Posted on May 04, 2010


The first track from Trent Reznor’s new collaboration with Mariqueen Maandig and Atticus Ross “How to Destroy Angels”.
Listen to a stream of “A Drowning”.
Also, if you haven’t seen these yet there are a bunch of studio videos up here: howtodestroyangels.com

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Multi-touch midi controller coming to the iPad

Featured, Gear, Music

Multi-touch midi controller coming to the iPad

Posted on March 22, 2010


If the midipad app pans out I’ll definitely get an iPad. It’s like having a Lemur for 1/4th the price.

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Warsaw Hoolz: Ghetto Bass EP

News

Warsaw Hoolz: Ghetto Bass EP

Posted on February 22, 2010

D’ justed mastered the Ghetto Bass EP for Warsaw Hoolz. The release is available as a digital download from Vocode Records.

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