There are so many items deemed a necessity in setting up and operating a studio. From high-quality audio interfaces to dynamic and time-based signal processing, your studio is an ever-evolving eco-system. The patchbay is a ubiquitous piece of hardware that many project studio owners don’t think they need, but then discover how incredibly helpful it can be. The carefully designed implementation of a patchbay can save you time and frustration when adding gear or changing the signal flow of your equipment. If you’ve ever had to crawl around the
982 Views· Posted 10/17/2017
In Part 1 of this three-part series, Justin Colletti, of Sonic Scoop, and Bob Mallory (producer and engineer for Avatar Studios and Paste magazine), introduce you to the materials and construction methods needed to make your own acoustic panels for a home studio. From framing to covering, they discuss the ins and outs of assembling the panels, and the common problems that can be addressed by using them.
Listen to A/B comparisons of acoustic guitar and voice-over in the original untreated room, versus the room with the home-built acoustic
71 Views· Posted 10/11/2017
In Part 2 of this three-part series, Justin Colletti, of Sonic Scoop, and Bob Mallory (producer and engineer at Avatar Studios and Paste magazine), discuss home-studio monitoring with multiple sets of speakers, headphones, and interface setups. Learn about recommended monitoring gear that can be acquired on a modest budget, as well as the pros and cons of different types of headphones for tracking and mixing. They also dig into monitor controllers, and how to determine the right gear for your needs. Check out Part 3 for tips on microphone
In Part 1 of the Upgrade Now or Later series, we looked at some potential problems and rewards when upgrading software. In Part 2, the focus will be on changing and upgrading hardware, which could be analog, digital, or both. There is something uniquely satisfying about getting new hardware. The excitement tied to unboxing a glorious new THING seems to be encoded in our DNA. It doesn’t matter if that thing is a gift or a
Here’s what you need to know right off the bat: Mixing vocals for podcasts is quite different from mixing vocals for music, where the trend is to impart sheen, sparkle, luster, and other trebly adjectives. A simple A/B test between any Gimlet podcast against any Justin Bieber song will prove the difference: What constitutes a solid, pro sound in the podcast world is a meatier affair, and an altogether different target.
Yes, your podcast vocals do need to be present. But, quite often, vocals are not the main attraction in a podcast—they’re the
New hardware and software products are developed and introduced at a dizzying rate. From plug-ins to pop-filters, it never stops. It’s a full-time job just trying to stay informed of the latest release. Like the sea bringing endless swells to the shore, the industry brings innumerable waves of new marvels to our doors. When we see something new, we are instinctually intrigued. Frequently, the intrigue multiplies, expands, and turns into GAS (gear acquisition syndrome). It’s normal to have GAS, but you don’t want GAS to embarrass you, send your
There’s a saying in audio that goes something like, “You should never mix in cans.” There is some truth to this adage but, with the right gear and realistic expectations, you’ll find that there is quite a bit that can be done in headphones, allowing you to be productive even when you don’t have the luxury of working on loudspeakers.
In my experience mixing in headphones, I've found that my results improved dramatically once I grew to understand the limitations of the practice, and then learned to compensate for them. First and foremost, you’re
It’s a cliché to even say it, but everybody has a podcast. I myself have, like, I don’t know—six? I kid. It’s more like two. With a glut of podcasts hitting the media landscape, how do you make sure yours stands out? Marketing, of course—one hopes for the viral kind. But still, it helps immeasurably if your podcast is a pleasing listen, transporting audiences from their dull lives commuting to and from work, a fate from which there is no escape.
This calls for sound design: the creation of a sonic landscape, combined with good old-fashioned
Let’s begin with what you won’t see in this article: You won’t find the customary list of mics, their governing attributes, or a list of instruments they flatter; mics age differently, making that kind of list largely moot. Also, it wouldn’t necessarily help if you didn’t have those microphones, many of which are quite expensive.
Likewise, you won’t see a right-brained crystallization of concepts you’d come across in a book such as, “Mixing with Your Mind.” Michael Stavrou does that better than I could ever hope to.
Instead, we’re going to
by Philip Nichols · Posted 07/20/2017
For well over twenty years, people working with audio have seen dither on hardware, digital audio workstations, and plug-ins, yet many fear to tread near it. Some have filed it away as unexplainable and irrelevant. Others proclaim startling “truths” about its miraculous powers. The good news, or perhaps bad, is that dither will not transform your musical mud into gold, nor will it topple your towering wall of sound into rubble and debris. So, relax a little, but not too much.
Let’s start with some facts that your parents probably never told
Hi, my name is Nick, and I have a problem. To fix the problem, I need to take certain steps, the first of which is to admit that I am powerless—specifically, I am powerless over my sensitivity to sibilance.
I’m an avid listener to radio, records, singles, and podcasts, so it can be a burden: If those esses haven’t been tamed, I wince with every offending syllable. And when I listen to an old project of mine and notice an unruly ess, I hang my head in shame, since the difference between balanced, silky vocals and insufferable sibilance is a
When I first started mixing, I had an interface and a pair of monitors, but something didn’t sound right. The audio wasn’t as loud, full, and rounded as I knew it could be. I did some research, and it seemed my connections were mismatched: My interface sported unbalanced outputs, while the monitors boasted balanced inputs. Herein lay the problem, right?
Right—but also wrong. As it was explained to me by the pro-audio dealer, the primary problem turned out to be a matter of signal level (-10 dBV versus +4 dBu). Balanced versus Unbalanced
There are many adages that pertain to the life of a sound engineer. Murphy’s law states, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong;” “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst;” “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” These sayings are sage advice for the sound engineer, as all things will eventually break. Plan for when they do, and try to mitigate the severity of circumstances before they become dire.
If you oversee the maintenance and operation of a sound system, you should make it a point to listen
605 Views· Posted 06/05/2017
In this video, Justin Colletti continues the discussion on recording guitar without the amplifier, this time eschewing software and focusing on the actual recording methods themselves. The process of “reamping”—as well as obtaining the classic, DI’ed tones used by the Beatles and Led Zeppelin to great effect—are a both covered. The Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 is a product you’ll see shown off here.
1,269 Views· Posted 05/30/2017
Watch as Sonic Scoop’s Justin Colletti sits down with Born Cage’s Vlad Holiday to talk DI guitar recording. In this video, Colletti and Holiday sit down and dive into three different pieces of amplifier-simulation software: Guitar Rig 5 (offered in Komplete 11), AmpliTube 4, and