How to use EQ, explained, so that it is easy to understand!

Applying one of the two most basic tools, EQ , should not be so difficult and confusing as it first felt for me. EQ’s are everywhere, on every single mixing console that I have ever touched, so you know they are the most commonly used tools in music. If this is the case, we must use them on about everything we record, mix, master, or make louder, right?

Right.

I use EQ on every single track that I record, mix, master, or make louder in a live situation. I am not a crazy obsessed person, I just know how to make a signal sound better. Using EQ in the right way you can make a signal clearer, cut better, provide separation, sit better and feel re-enforced in a dense mix, and so much more.

When it comes to EQ I have a mantra. I say, “Fix a signal with subtractive EQ first, sweeten with additive EQ second”. Were talking about subtractive EQ practices here.

Lets see what this means and how to accomplish this task that I like to say…

 

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If you find yourself struggling with EQ I know of some helpful training videos. These videos have helped me to learn how to yield EQ like a ninja, and get those results clients are looking (and listening) for.

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EQ Made Simple” from Rob Williams, of Pro Sound Formula.

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 Understanding EQ” from Joe Gilder, of Home Studio Corner.

Guys, I hope this post really helped you. I wish I had these two videos to watch when I was coming up through the ranks.

Episode 75, Mastering with Rob Williams

blogheaderTodays show is very special indeed. I searched out the wisdom of Rob Williams and I feel very lucky to have come across such a talented mastering engineer. I recently reviewed “Ultimate Mastering Formula” from Rob Williams, and I highly suggest that you check it out by clicking right here.

Ultimate offer

 

This just in… If you agree with my praise for the “Ultimate Mastering Formula”  and you decide to purchase, you should do it before March 1st. If you do so, I will toss in two free training products, “Layering like the pros” and “Pro Mixers Playbook”.  Head over to my review (“Ultimate Mastering Formula“) to learn more about this amazing offer, and how you can obtain your free products. But to claim your two free products you must hurry, the offer ends soon.

Rob talks us through what led him to produce his training videos, and then he discusses common mistakes that we all make in our home studios. The interview is eye opening to say the least. Rob has a lot of insight to share, and we are so lucky to have him on the podcast. Rob is the reason why I have a brand new outlook when it comes to mastering, and a new confidence about my next mastering session.

UMF addAlso from Rob Williams…

Ultimate-MixingUltimate-Vocal

Home Studio Corner “VIP Membership”, reviewed

The truth about Joe Gilders Home Studio Corner “VIP Membership”.

We have all witnessed it. You know, when a real professional makes something they can do look easy. Joe Gilder is one of those guys. He makes song building look effortless, and his music always sounds professional.

I make a lot of music in my humble home recording studio. The honest truth is that when I got started, my music sounded terrible. These days I like to think it sounds a lot better, but then I listened to a song that Joe Gilder effortlessly tossed together in one of his “VIP Membership” sessions. Joes quick song absolutely killed it. Yep, it sounded much better than mine.

How does he do this voodoo?

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Well its no secret. Joe Gilder has been making great sounding music from his home recording studio for a long time. He has learned what works and what does not work. The best part about being a “VIP member” is that you get all that Joe has to offer in the form of tips, tricks, and ideas that pay off. You get his vocal layering ideas, you get his microphone techniques, you get his “how to make a small amp sound massive, you get songwriting tips, you get recording ideals that speed up your workflow, you get mixing videos, and the list goes on and on.

Once you join Joe Gilders Home Studio Corner “VIP Membership“, for a mere 19.97 USD each month, you will have instant access to videos as far back as 2013, right up to the present months videos. I have taken screen shots for just one months worth of video training content, to be used as an example. Those screen shots are in this post. Why? Because there was six videos in total guys! Joe tracks up a killer song with just one cheap mic and then he mixes it, all in one months worth!

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Each month brings more and more learning, in the form of new video after new video. Joe makes sure to give all he has for studio help in these content rich videos, and then he gives us even more quality. You see, being a “VIP member” means that you will have access to the VIP mix critiques. Yep, Joe actually records himself critiquing VIP members songs, and then he lets you have access to these videos. This is powerful and as a new VIP member I strongly suggest that you spend some time here to learn what works and what does not work in mixes.

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Plus, just for using any of the links provided for you in this post, when joining Home Studio Corner and activating your “VIP Membership“, I will let you have a free bonus product, titled “The Home Recording Weekly Home Studio eBundle“, which is actually 3 training video products in one! Follow the link provided to learn more about that bonus offer.

New Products

As a “VIP member” you will have access to huge (up to 30 percent) discounts on most of the Home Studio Trainer training videos. Tell me this is not a great reason for joining right now! You can have access to one of the best sounding home recording studios in the world, watch, listen to, and learn from arguably one of the best home studio recording/mixing engineers, and all for a great low fee. Each month brings new creative videos covering items such as mic’ing up drums, writing realistic MIDI, layering vocals, recording and mixing great sounding acoustic guitars, and this list just goes on and on.

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As a “VIP member” you will have instant access to the VIP Forum where you can interact with other VIP members about anything you want.

As a “VIP member” you can watch all of the old “live VIP sessions” from several years ago. This is how the older version of Home Studio Corner “VIP Membership” once worked. It has since evolved into weekly training videos, but it used to be a live video session.

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The bottom line…

Joe Gilder makes great sounding music with ease. As a “VIP member” you can learn how you can do it too. If you are ready for your next song to sound much better than your last song, becoming a Home Studio Corner “VIP member”  can only help you. You will pick up new and exciting ideas and tips that will all help to improve the sound of your works. You will learn how to run your sessions much more efficiently, and song production ideas that will help explain how the pros make it look easy. Become a “VIP member” right now and get started on your way to much better sounding music. I cant think of a better way to gain such a good look into the home recording studio processes that all come together to result in great sounding music. For only 19.97 a month I would consider it a total value.

Please feel free to use the links provided for you in the review. That way I can let you have access to “The Home Recording Weekly Home Studio eBundle“, hours and hours of video training for recording and mixing, as a free bonus gift.

“Ultimate Mastering Formula” reviewed

Before I dive in and tell you all what I found inside the videos that make up the amazing Ultimate Mastering Formula, from Rob Williams of Pro Sound Formula, let me tell you why it matters. Mastering (our own music, or music that others want mastered by us) seems to be the one step of the process that holds the most confusion. Mastering engineers seem to hold on to the information that we all need. It just seems as if there are a lot of secrets that no one will share with us. Well, those days are gone. Please meet Rob Williams…

Ultimate-Mastering

The Ultimate Mastering Formula is not some kind of “repackaged mastering tutorial” that you can find plastered everywhere on the web. Nope, not by a long shot.

What the Ultimate Mastering Formula is, however, is the best training, understanding, and professional advice that a professional mastering engineer has to give, only after spending years with a successful career in the field. This is the real deal, and the training that you are searching for.

Ultimate offer

 

Let me twist your arm a little bit. You are most likely reading this review to learn more about Rob Williams and the “Ultimate Mastering Series”. Not only did I find it an amazing enough product to review for you, but I was so inspired by it that I made two studio training products that go well with it. I made these as “special bonus training videos”, just for you, to try and sweeten up the pot.

This just in… If you agree with my praise for the Ultimate Mastering Formula  and you decide to purchase, you should do it before March 1st 2016. If you do so, I will toss in two free training products, “Layering like the pros” and “DIY Mastering”. You will not find these two titles anyplace else, here on Home Recording Weekly.

Here is all you need to do. First, use the links provided in this post to make your purchase. After you have made your purchase (congratulations by the way) send me an email with “Two free products” as the subject line. In the email let me know what you purchased, and I will send you your two free products. It is that simple. Only here on Home Recording Weekly can you get the training you want, but also get free bonus training video products too. My email is “Kern@homerecordingweekly.com”. Hurry, this offer ends on March 1, 2016.

Please, let me quickly detail these two products and then I will get back to the review at hand…

“Layering like a Pro” is four separate training videos that explain the extremely important technique that is layering. Producers and mixing engineers layer up samples and sounds all the time, and for many reasons. Some reasons for layering are for body, attack, cut, clarity, and listener engagement, just to name a few. I take a close look into these reasons and four instruments that are most commonly layered up in the music industry.

The “Pro Mixers Playbook” is hours of the best mixing techniques that I have learned only after years of mixing music. These are the “Pro Mixing Plays” that I use almost every time I mix a song. Just for one example, I explain how I use reference tracks to the best of my ability in or der to get my songs to sound as professional as I can. I also have videos on EQ, Compression, Parallel bus compression, and so much more, all packed inside The “Pro Mixers Playbook”. Video after video I share what I do to make a mix from blah to tadah.

Both titles will be yours just for using the links in this review to make your purchase.

OK, back to my “Ultimate Mastering Formula” review…

Rob starts off with explaining what really matters. You can learn a million “how to” tips, tricks, and techniques. They are all over the internet. With just one search you can find thousands of ways to apply EQ, compression, or whatever you want to any sort of instrument or song file. That’s all fine. But when it comes down to it what really matters are your skills and your understanding of mastering as an art. That is what is going to give you the results that you really want in the long term. You aren’t looking for some “quick fix it tip”. If you are like me, you have already learned a million of these tricks, tips, and techniques, and yet here we are, still trying to figure out how to master music that sounds as good as the pros.

We need an education. We need to learn the things that really matter. We want to understand. We want to learn, understand, comprehend, and then apply the things that will help take us through a lifetime of mastering. That is all inside Ultimate Mastering Formula, from Rob Williams and Pro Sound Formula. Rob explains everything that you must know. From monitor placement and treating your room, down to choosing plugins to master your music properly, it is here.

But the best training is not cheap. Nor should it be! Believe me, you don’t want the cheap stuff. As we all have learned, we get what we pay for. Nothing could be closer to the truth in the case of Ultimate Mastering Formula Rob supplies the viewer with an incredible amount of video training content, with long detailed explanations that only a professional mastering engineer with years and years of industry experience could give. Video after video Rob removes the mystery surrounding the art of mastering, as he simultaneously supplies the viewer with a sense of confidence. This is truly the only mastering training video that you need in order to begin your journey in mastering. Really, look down through this review post, the sheer amount of content is almost overwhelming.

Education is something that gives back, time and time again, mastering session after mastering session. With that in mind, spend your money wisely. I’d rather pay for the best possible training that I could get, and then experience less problems, less obstacles, and less issues in the long run. “Spend your money once”, and get the Ultimate Mastering Formula.

OK, enough about how amazingly important training is, and how the right training is paramount. On with the review of  the Ultimate Mastering Formula.

Ultimate-Mastering

You should know that each chapter may have many video titles underneath it. For just one an example, the chapter titled “The complete 7 step mastering formula” contains no less than 18 videos inside of it. After a super quick count I counted 31 videos in total. Be prepared for that.

That said, here are the chapters, with each chapter containing a lot more video content than listed here…

Welcome and Orientation“…

Getting set up“…

The five key objectives of mastering“…

 “The seven essential mastering mindsets“…

The complete 7 step mastering formula“…

 “Putting your album together“…

Live mastering sessions“…

Bonus sessions“…

Resources“…

As you can see, there is a lot of training content inside the Ultimate Mastering Formula. Rob recommends that you go through the entire program, once, first. Learn all seven of the “Seven steps to mastering” that he provides, and then get to mastering your own material. Rob then suggests that you come back from time to time as you feel you might need it, and watch the content again, as a refresher. That, I can do. Also, I should stop here and tell you that Rob has set up his programs in such a way that you can stream all of the content, or you may save the videos to your hard drive. The choice is yours. I like that, and I had not ever seen that before. This is just one of the many unique and amazing features of the Ultimate Mastering Formula.

Let me explain what can be found inside the Ultimate Mastering Formula, by Rob Williams.

Lets break things down, video module by video module.

Welcome and Orientation“…

Rob begins with a quick explanation of the actual Ultimate Mastering Formula, and then he breaks down the parts that will all come into play as to make up the whole. This is an explanation of what is to come, in an fun discussion. Rob has titles like “The purpose and the objectives of mastering”, “The mindset and practices of mastering”, just to name a couple, with each title having many video modules underneath. This has some great and helpful graphics, along with Robs re-assuring voice, to help lead the way. I am excited at the methods Rob is using to break down the Ultimate Mastering Formula program, and I am excited for what is to come.

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Let me quickly tell you that Rob is detailing his plan of attack, here, as a teacher. He is about to give us everything he has to share about mastering. Not only is he is going to give the viewer his explanation of what mastering is, and how to think of mastering, but he is going to actually master some music with us. I have found that this is the exact training formula that works. Teach the viewer about everything engineers do, and then drive the points home with a real session. I have learned home recording, mixing, and now mastering using this very sort of formula. It just works.

UMF1b “Getting set up“… Setting up your room and monitors

Rob details what the (perhaps) ideal mixing and mastering room might look like. He goes over the important things like setting up “the golden ratio”, or the ratio of space between you and your monitors, monitor height, room diffusion, reflections, standing waves, and all of the important things that should be adhered to when setting up your room.

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This is all very important information, and information that you must take seriously. For just one example, Rob talks at length about standing waves, what they are, how to find them, and how to get rid of them. I recently did the live sound mixing for a band where the standing waves of the venue were reeking total havoc. From where I was set up to perform the “live mixing”, t he bass was over powering everything and the highs were not even audible. It took me a minute or two to figure out what was going on. I had to re-locate, and fix the issue at hand.

This stuff that Rob is teaching is very important. FYI, I give away a couple of free “video eBundles”. One of them has the title “Acoustic room treatment made easy”. If you feel that you could use some more ideas on “DIY treatment”,  then perhaps I could suggest that you check it out. How? Simply join my email newsletter by entering your email, over to the upper right hand side of this web page.

Rob is right on the money, here. You must set up your room for success before you begin mastering on your own. You must first set your room up in order to produce a great master before you ever attempt to produce your first master. Weather you know it or not, your room is exciting, or exaggerating certain frequencies and it is removing or extracting certain frequencies due to reflections and standing waves.

The five key objectives of mastering” Summary and checklist …

If you want your masters to sound like world class masters, then you will need to understand the five key objectives of mastering. You just cant start mastering a song or album without learning where it is that you want to end up, right? Rob has a summary and a checklist for you, and he also takes the time that is required to explain it all in terms we can all understand.

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Each of these five objectives requires certain skills. These skills are required to totally “master” that area or objective. Please do not get confused because it is all laid out in a very easy to grasp manner. Rob explains what “mastering” is, in his own expertise. Mastering can be a lot of things. He details many of the things that can be done while mastering, and what those concepts are called. Rob supplies the listener with a brief history of mastering, and this really helped me to get my head around mastering as a process. I learned where mastering came from and  where mastering is today.

Next, Rob dives into the first of “Five objectives of mastering”.

Let me stop right here and detail one thing that is becoming obvious about Ultimate Mastering Formula. Rob knows what he is talking about. You can tell that Rob has not only gone to college for music and audio (which he has), but you can tell that he has spent time in the industry too. He is not just reading off of cue cards, but instead he is sharing real world information that only a true mastering engineer would know. Again and again Rob shares something about mastering and then he backs it up with something that happened to him. This really helps the viewer to not only digest the material and better understand it, but it also gives a sense of calm. I just know that Rob is going to help me learn about mastering because he understands where it is that I now stand. Rob is helping the viewer by (not only) explaining what is involved in the world of a mastering engineer, but also by sharing his experiences with the viewer.

Key objective after key objective, Rob details what the viewer will need in order to understand what we all aim for with the mastering process. These are what we all should keep in mind, and try to accomplish as we master a song or album. In essence, Rob answers the age old question that is “What is the mastering process?”. Rob, of course, uses terms that we can all understand to better describe the five objectives as best he can. After this video module you will understand why it is that we master, and what it is that we try to accomplish when mastering music.

  “The seven essential mastering mindsets” How to start thinking like a pro mastering engineer…

Before you tell yourself that you might not have ambitions of becoming a professional mastering engineer, let me stop you. Rob says this: “In order to start getting consistent results like the pro mastering engineers get, we must not only do what they do, but we must think like they think”. Doesn’t that make a ton of sense to you? It sure makes sense to me.

This is another example of important information being shared with the viewer inside Ultimate Mastering Formula. You must sit back and take in this stuff. We all want to just dive in and get to mastering, but you must force yourself to slow down. The information inside this module is the information that will help to transform you into a mastering ninja. Rob shares the things that will be like a road map to a perfect mastering job. Each mindset is just as important as the next. Rob supplies the viewer with a mindset and then he takes the viewer through a lengthy explanation with great examples.

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With the seven mindsets come tons of answers. Of course Rob breaks down each of the seven mindsets and puts them in easy to understand terms. He backs them up with real world examples that only come from being a mastering engineer. His mindsets answer all sorts of questions that we all have, like “how do we know what tool is right for the job”, “how do we know what sounds good”, and so many mastering type questions.

This is the stuff that you just cant find anywhere else other than a mastering engineer with experience. Remember, thinking like a pro mastering engineer will help us greatly. These are the things we should keep ever present as we master music. Rob details the many pitfalls that comes with not altering your mindset. There are some mindsets that were very new to me. I can see how these are going to help me, especially since Rob gives so many great examples. Really, there are some stellar ideals and ideas found inside Ultimate Mastering Formula.

The complete 7 step mastering formula“…

The quality becomes overwhelming here. Remember when I told you that you are getting what you pay for when you purchase Ultimate Mastering Formula? OK, each step here (in the 7 steps) has many videos inside of it. It is obvious to the viewer that Rob holds nothing back here. Rob wants you clearly to understand what it is that mastering demands, and what the tools are that we use when mastering. There is an incredible amount of content here, and that is AWESOME. Rob is serious about teaching you how to master.

There are no less than 22 separate training videos, here, in this chapter (“The complete 7 step mastering formula”), with headlines titled, “Prepare it”, “Fix it”, “Enhance it”, “Compress it”, “Clip it”, “Limit it”, and “Reference it”. Again, each headline has many video titles underneath, which adds up to an amazing amount of top quality insider mastering information.

Rob opens this series of video modules with a quick explanation of how this section works. Rob states that he will give the viewer a lot of tools here, tools that he will use later on in another section. Rob is basically going over some common scenarios that we will all come across as mastering engineers, before we use them together in a real mastering session. There are seven steps, or seven longer videos that follow this quick video introduction. Again, each step containing many videos to support the step. Rob holds nothing back here.

Rob shares what you can expect to learn in the next series of videos and then he supplies the viewer with a checklist of things to make sure to complete as you get a mix ready for mastering. He discuses all sorts of topics that are all important.

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At this point in the series Rob is concerned with finalizing a mix, and getting things ready for mastering. He is not mixing a song, but instead getting it ready for a bounce, or an export. Rob continues on, detailing the important things, those important things you need to make sure are right in a mix before you bounce it out. The terms mentioned here are the usual suspects, like headroom, levels, heads and tails of tracks, fades, and the like. Rob shows the settings you should consider using when exporting your tracks for mastering. Rob also goes on to fix dull and lifeless mixes, thin and brittle mixes, harsh cymbals, “boomy bass”, and so much more. Rob opens up EQ’s, multiband compressors, spectrum analyzers, and explains how to use these tools in order to help a mix to get ready for the mastering stage.

Please note that Rob is not mixing a multi-track session here, but instead, he is using these plugins on a stereo track. If you are interested in learning about the art of mixing, Rob also has a mixing training series titled, Ultimate Mastering Formula, and it is so worth checking that out now.

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Rob continues to work as we begin the Step 3, “Enhance it” section. We are now done with the mix, and we are learning the tools that we will use when we master a track or an album. Again, Rob has asked us to go through all of this information once, first, and then go through it again, once we have a grasp of the approach that Rob is using.

Rob begins to demonstrate mastering techniques that we will be using in our mastering work. Rob is explaining the steps that he uses, and the tools that he uses to make a stereo track “bigger, wider, brighter, cleaner, edgier, punchier, more energy, thicker and fuller”, making sure to leave nothing out. There are no less than five videos in this section, and the information here is what I would call “expensive”. This is the stuff that you just can’t find anywhere online, especially as detailed as Rob breaks it down for us. Each step or each process is explained very well, and it is giving me confidence. I really feel as if I am (not only) following along, but I am feeling as if I am learning how to prepare tracks for mastering. There are a lot of variables, and a lot of things to make sure are right, but Rob is giving the information at a good pace, and with lots of examples. This how I learn best.

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I have heard many mastering engineers talk about adding reverb to a mix in order to make it bigger, but I have not been able to find any video footage that explains it. Rob does this, and it is very impressive. Now I understand how this cool trick is done. Rob also uses many different plugins in these videos, so don’t feel he limits any trick to just one plugin. It is only after no less than two or three examples of ways to make things “bigger and wider” that he uses reverb. This is just an example of what you can expect to learn as you go through each of these video modules. I can’t state this enough, the quality of learning about the art of mastering, inside the Ultimate Mastering Formula is the best that I have found, bar none. Rob is a great mastering engineer and a great teacher. This becomes more than obvious as he continues on, detailing how he gets tracks clearer, punchier, edgier, and more harmonically rich, video after video.

Some other important discussions that take place in this section, are clipping, soft clipping, and limiting. Rob talks at length about how and when to apply theses techniques, and then he gives lots and lots of examples with each. Of course we cant discuss these tools without a long chat about loudness and the modern techniques of the loudness wars. Rob explains that these techniques are not for all of us, and they are not for every genre. His job is to explain everything to us, and then it is up to us to decide when and where we should apply these cool techniques.

Another things I wish to point out is that I have been mastering music for a while now. However, I am far from a good mastering engineer. But I am familiar with the steps and all of these terms that Rob is going over. That said, I am learning a ton about the things that I can now do while I master music. I am getting a lot out of  Ultimate Mastering Formula, and were not even getting into the part of the series where we master a song. Rob is only demonstrating some general mastering practices that he uses, and later on in the series were going to actually apply these things. Let this tell you have through Rob is. He is giving the viewer all that he can think of, just to better prepare you for the mastering section of the course.

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Yep, truth is I am learning a lot in Ultimate Mastering Formula. Rob is going in great detail about things like clipping types, hard knee and soft knee slopes, and how to apply them. Then he always uses audio examples that drive home what he is teaching. This is the formula that all professional teachers us in order to teach. Great example after great example, I am becoming a much better, and much more competent mastering engineer. I understand things better, and I grasp better why it is that we might wish to perform one task, say, versus another. I just can’t say enough about Ultimate Mastering Formula, and Rob has yet to actually begin the mastering part of the series.

Rob dedicates an entire video module to multiband limiting. I had not heard of multiband limiting, so you can imagine how much value I got out of this. Not only have I been introduced to a new and powerful tool, I have a good understanding of how I can use it. Again, Rob takes the viewer through what the tool is, and then how details how we can use them in the mastering world. He reinforces these teachings with real audio examples. This just drives home all of the training that the viewer just took in. The benefits continue to pile up here, and I am getting a ton of value out of the Ultimate Mastering Formula. Rob is a genius but he does not tout himself as one. Instead he is very humble, a great teacher, and a great mastering engineer.

People are always asking me about the “secret insider only” levels and settings that we should use when mastering. I guess were talking about things like out put levels, clipping, and limiting here. People feel that this sort of information will make or break a mastering session, or this is where the mastering process happens. But once you really grasp what the real mastering process can be, you realize the bigger picture here. Once you understand the whole goal of mastering, as Rob teaches it, you can compare the different tools that will help get you to the goal, decide the tools that you want to use, and even how to use these tools in order to get to the goal. This is the important information that will transform your mastering.

Lets compare mastering and painting a masterpiece. You don’t need to learn what brushes an artist used in order to paint a masterpiece in order to paint your own. You will, however, need to learn about how color works. You will need to learn how light works. You will need to learn how tools like knives and brushes work, and how to use them to create different effects. You wouldn’t ask a painter what brush they used in order to paint their masterpiece. Instead, you’d ask them to help you learn how to paint. Rob goes out of his way to teach the viewer “how to master”, in Ultimate Mastering Formula if that makes sense. O.K., enough praise, lets move on.

“The art of putting your album together”.

 Ever wonder how it is that you should turn a collection of songs into an album experience? Albums are like a living thing. A well put together album has highs and lows, moves us, and keeps up listening all the way through. Have you ever thought about how a collection of songs becomes an album? If you are serious about mastering then you must not only think about this skill, but you must learn and understand it.

 Rob explains, with amazing detail, how we go from our collection of songs to an experience, a performance from start to finish that we can enjoy. Rob spreads a lot of insider information in his reasoning. He speaks from a point of view that he has been mastering for labels for some time now. He details the things that all work in tandem to pull out a flow from a collection of songs. Rob takes us through the biggest things to think about, how he himself gets a group of songs to be an experience. His thoughts are quite interesting, and I learned a lot about how the music industry looks and thinks about when performing this task.

As someone thinking about releasing an EP soon, this has crossed my mind. “How on Earth am I going to lay out these songs so that the listener is engaged all the way through?” I, myself want to create something bigger than the songs themselves. Now that I have invested in the Ultimate Mastering Formula, I have a great mindset, a way to accomplish this. I was worried about performing this task, and now I am excited about getting to this point soon.

 Next, Rob explains the finer points behind the art of mastering, and album layout. He is covering insider stuff like the do’s and don’ts of placing gaps between songs. This does not seem too important at first, but as we move along I start to understand how big of a deal this can be. Rob really knows what is important. By this point the listener has learned that Rob has spent the “time in the trenches”, mixing and mastering music, and he knows what is important. At this point of the Ultimate Mastering Formula I am happy to listen to everything he has to share, and looking forward to going back and starting all over again. Rob suggests it at the beginning, and it is clear why. There is a lot of important mastering information in here.

Rob also talks at length about those things that we all ponder about at some point in our mastering careers. Rob explains bit rates used for CD, CD Text, ISRC’s, MP3 sizes and conversion information, ID3 tags, album cover art, and more.

“Laying out your album”

Next we learn all about actually laying out our masters into an album. This is where the talking prior comes into play. It all begins to make such perfect sense. This is where the mastering engineers in all of us get a close look at a real album being assembled, and learn more than we thought we would. Rob takes us through the software that he uses, step by step, as he creates fades, suggests how to bring in each track, and then export the album out. Rob is more than detailed, even including how to create “secret tracks” on albums. Its all here, in easy to understand terms.

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Again, going through this with a real world mastering engineer, you get a lot of cool insider information. You also gain a kind of confidence that comes with working with real professionals. You just know you are getting everything you will ever need as you begin your mastering sessions. This is the good stuff.

“Live Mastering Sessions”

This is the part that I have been anxiously awaiting. I want to watch Rob master a mix and I want to learn his mindset behind each and every move. This is where the learning all comes together for me. I have gone through and learned an amazing amount about mastering up to this point. Now it is time to drive it all home. Not only a real mastering session, but five real mastering sessions, with real world mixes, and a real world mastering engineer driving the console.

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Rob is a pro mastering engineer. He is doing all of the things that set professionals apart. For example, he is using reference tracks. Reference tracks can be used as road maps that can help us realize where it is that we are going both sonically and volume wise.

I am learning, step by step of the process, that mastering is about gentle moves that all add up. Each step is gentle, weather its compression, EQ, saturation, or whatever. Rob details each step and why he is performing it. Mastering is also a process of give and take. Rob sometimes performs a step just because the next step removes frequencies or dynamics. A better way in which to say that might be that each plugin you use will have positive and negative results. However you say it, Rob gets it and he explains it in Ultimate Mastering Formula. Mastering is about the end result, or what sort of system the listener is actually listening to the music on. I am learning a lot of cool ideas and tricks, and there is so much yet to come.

As Rob works along he is sure to work in some great techniques. He shares these techniques and he also explains them to the viewer. He shares things like how matching the volume levels of “before and after listens” of what each plugin is doing is so critical. Each step can increase the volume level, and not matching these volume level increases can alter our perception of what is really going on in a mastering session.

Look. The point that I hope I am able to get across is that we are mastering a song, plug in by plugin, with a professional mastering engineer. First, Rob explains what he hears, then he explains what he wants to hear. If they are not the same, Rob then explains what plugin he will use to make them the same. You learn why he is opening each and every plugin. Rob gently moves us, step by step, from the “un-mastered mix” to the “final master”. It is like you are sitting down with Rob, and getting inside his head. This is how I like to learn. The Ultimate Mastering Formula is an intimate mastering course.

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Rob takes us through the mastering session as he forces the mix to sound way more clear, solid, open, wide, saturated, punchier, louder and that is just some of the adjectives that come to mind. The song definitely sounds more “professional”. That means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. The take home points are that now (after watching and hearing Rob go through a mastering session) we know some of the terms to use in order to describe what we want to hear in a master. Also, we learned a lot of the tools to use in order to get us there. Rob has taught us how to use reference tracks, “before and after listens”, and volume matching to actually hear what is going on in our mastering process. This is the gold.

Before I watched Ultimate Mastering Formula, I felt sort of lost. I had no idea where to even start a mastering session, let alone where to finish a mastering job. I could hear the things that professional mastered music had, but I could not relate what they were. Now I can, and I have a good idea of how to apply tools of the trade, plugins, in an order that makes sonic sense. I am more confident, too. I really feel as if I better understand the job of a mastering engineer, and that I can master music. I will need a lot of practice, of course, but instead of being timid or scared to start, I am anxious to dig in and apply what I have learned.

That was the first of five songs that Rob masters. Each one is as interesting and as eye opening as the last. This is where I learned how to best apply all of the training that Rob has supplied up to this section. It really is amazing to learn how Rob masters. He supplies a sense of confidence, too. I believe that I can take my new understanding of mastering, what mastering is and how to master music, and do it for myself. That is the most impressive part.

Rob has not only inspired me with Ultimate Mastering Formula, and given me the tools that I will need to master music, but he has also given me the confidence that I so badly desired.

Ultimate offer

By simply clicking this link right here, Ultimate Mastering Formula, you will be taken over to a page where you can purchase Ultimate Mastering Formula now, and then I will toss in “The Ultimate Bonus Offer”, free, as my “thank you”, just for using the link I supplied. You must use the links supplied for you, in this very review though. Oh, and by the way, I will also let you have the “The Ultimate Bonus Offer” when you purchase Robs Ultimate Mixing Formula, and Ultimate Vocal Formula just to be clear.

Ultimate-Mastering

But wait, there is so much more…

That’s right, Rob could have stopped there and he would have delivered the best mastering training video series that I have ever come across, period. But he goes on to include three incredible mastering session training videos. He supplies videos that train the viewer exclusively for perhaps the three most common mastering software situations, with titles like, “Mastering with free plugins”, “Mastering with Izotope Ozone”, and “Mastering with T-Racks”, three very impressive titles for sure. I happen to use both Ozone and T-Racks, so you can imagine my excitement.

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Each of these three videos is a start to finish mastering session using only the tools in the title. Amazing! So many of us have to make the tough financial decision, “Which mastering system should we purchase”, if any at all. It is awesome for Rob to include training videos for the three most common choices. Any one of these three training videos is worth the price of the entire training collection that is Ultimate Mastering Formula. This is one under priced collection of mastering training videos. Hurry, purchase it today before Rob comes to his senses!

In conclusion, Ultimate Mastering Formula is a complete and total course that completely covers the art of mastering. Rob Williams leaves nothing out, making sure to answer every question the viewer might of had prior to watching. There is an incredible amount of video content, here, and that is so important. This is the single training series that has helped me to understand mastering, as a critical step of the whole process, and supplied me with the confidence and the understanding I was searching for.

Mastering is just as much about industry standards, as it is an art form. Mastering is about learning the rules before you can break them. Rob teaches the important big-ticket practices and the important techniques that we all must learn, but he also makes sure to include tip after extra bonus tip, in the crazy amount of content that makes up  Ultimate Mastering Formula. There is a lot of bang for the buck here. That much is true. The important part, the part that I wish to get across to you, is that there is a lot of understanding here. I feel confident in tackling my next mastering session. How much is that worth to you? Do yourself that favor of your lifetime and grab Ultimate Mastering Formula. Simply click the link provided and begin your journey now.

When you are ready to purchase Ultimate Mastering Formula or any Rob Williams training product, don’t forget to use the links here on Home Recording Weekly and get your two free bonus training videos “Layering like a Pro” and “DIY Mastering”. The price is the same but the training value is way more!

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Please take one moment and check out Robs other amazing courses, over at Pro Sound Formula….

Ultimate Mixing Formula

Ultimate-Mixing

Ultimate Vocal Formula

Ultimate-Vocal

Episode 74, “Past, present, and future”

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Hi guys, Kern here, kicking off the new year with another fun episode of the Home Recording Weekly Podcast.

Home Recording Weekly is forever evolving. As I took a short break to enjoy the holiday season, I was able to see where I had wandered in the past, where I was presently, and where I should be headed in the near future. With corrections in place, I am excited about the future!

In todays podcast episode, I mention a few products that a listener had asked about. I explained how they have made my life easier. These products are Gator Rolling Racks and cases, and The UPLIFT DESK and the Dual Monitor Arm, which are both from The Human Solution. These all have helped make the past year a lot less painful.

Here are some links to the videos I made for these products…

 Gator superior

dual monitor arms

Studio Tour

UPLIFT

Episode 73, “Lets talk about compression”

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In todays podcast I talk about some cool stuff.

First, here is a link to the Indiegogo campaign to fund my first EP. Anything that you can pledge will help me an enormous amount. Thank you so much for your help and support. Please click on the image below to take the jump and watch my videos that go into more detail. I am also giving away some cool gear guys!

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I learned so much about compression, and how to use compression from two training videos.

Joe Gilders “Understanding Compression” was one that helped me begin to unlock compression as a tool for helping my mixes.

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Matt Weiss and his amazing “Mixing with Compression” taught me how to yield compression like a ninja.

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I am comfortable with compression now, thanks to those two training video series.

Next, you just have to dive in and become closer to “Recording Studio Rockstars Podcast” from Lij Shaw. You can find my interview over on this cool podcast.

I use and love the “UPLIFT DESK” from the good people over at The Human Solution. My entire desktop and workstation rises to become a standing desk/workstation, and lowers back to a normal desk at the push of a button, and allows me to work longer and be more comfortable.

UPLIFT

Episode 72, “Too much too title”

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Welcome back to another episode of the Home Recording Weekly podcast. There is just too much in todays show to simply pick out one subject and then use that as the title. But that is a good thing, right?

In todays show I mention that I am coming at you from inside my temporary bedroom studio, right? Well, here is an image to prove it to you. Humble and quaint, I know.

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I mention an amazing resource in todays episode, “The six figure home studio” website. Brian Hood is the man behind the website and he runs 456 Recordings which is the company name, BTW. Brian shares all kinds of pertinent home studio information with the readers of his cool website, like where the money that he brings in actually goes, how he finds clients, how to behave as a home studio owner, how to retain a deposit, and how to make sure you get paid for your hard work. It is very insightful to learn how the income actually breaks down each month. It gives me a sense of what I can expect to do with my studio, and his “business thinking” is infectious. Make sure to check his website out!

I will share links to the campaign, the awesome rewards list, and anything else that pops up, as it goes live. I am actually about to go down into the basement to finish clearing the boxes out of the way, today, and then the video making process can begin. I beg all of you to simply follow along, and to please share my story as it unfolds. Oh, and you will want to check out my rewards, too! Just saying.

Thanks for listening to todays episode, and make sure to come back for the next episode very soon!

Kern Ramsdell

Strum, from Applied Acoustics Systems

Strum is very cool for and for a bunch of reasons. Strum is perfect for a bunch of musicians. First, lets say you are a producer. You are tracking up that brand new masterpiece, the one that came to you in your sleep. You need to lay down guitar parts before they are gone forever. But you don’t play the guitar. What will you do?

OK, now lets say you are the keyboard player in the band. The song that you really want to play has acoustic guitar parts in it, but the guitar player is busy playing other parts. What the heck will you do?

Lastly, you are a home recording nut that simply cant play the part at hand. You have a great idea for a part, but you know that you could never pull it off. What will you do?

The simple answer for all of these situations, and so many more, are to open up Strum and get to work. Strum is a realistic MIDI guitar simulator. Really, Applied Acoustics Systems took the (until not too long ago) troublesome, and too tough to replicate, guitar sound very realistic as a MIDI instrument. Strum is amazing for both recording and for live situations.

The problem with trying to pull off a “believable MIDI guitar” is that the guitar has so many unique and special types of sounds associated with it. As well as picked notes and finger style playing notes, there are strummed chords that can either be strummed up the strings or down the strings. There are palm mutes and slides that travel up and down the neck. There are vibratos and bends galore. Lets toss in bar chords and open chords too. The simple truth is that there are so many little nuances that they all come together to make the guitar one of the hardest instruments to replicate in the MIDI keyboard world.

Well, until Strum from Applied Acoustics Systems came along.

 Applied Acoustics Systems went all out with Strum and they supply the user with a lot of options to play with. To only scratch the surface here, the user can alter guitar body styles, string types, tones, and so forth. What I mean is that there is a whole section devoted to dialing in the minute ways in which you wish to pluck the strings with a pick or a finger, the tone, decay, and volume of the strings, altering the “hammer-ons”, mutes, and body size of the guitar. Then there is a whole section for adding Effects like compression, EQ, distortion, delay, and reverb.

Strum works via a three part setting option that they call “Play modes”. Play modes are easily selected from the main part of the GUI. You can play in three modes, which are Keyboard mode, Guitar mode, and Loop mode. The Keyboard mode is perfect for those wanting to write MIDI parts, as they track up a song. Think notes and chords here. Guitar mode is perfect for those of us playing MIDI keyboards in a live setting, allowing for up stroke and down stroke chords (in keys) and strumming options, arpeggios, and palm mutes too. Loop mode, as you might suspect, is perfect for creating realistic rhythm guitar lines. Or, in other words, you pick the chord with one key, and Strum helps out with patterns and strum types.

To get better feeling of the three “Play modes”, how they work, and what is possible, check out this informative video from Applied Acoustics Systems….

If you are trying to replicate an already recorded guitar sound, or if you are trying to replicate that guitar sound that you can hear in your head, you can do it with Strum. I have just begun to play with the amazing selection of tone altering features and effects. They all change the sound of the guitar in ways that you might expect, and the effects sound very good. I am very impressed with the thought and the attention to detail that went into making Strum so powerful, flexible, and so darn realistic sounding.

Applied Acoustics Systems aren’t new to the whole “amazing sounding and playing MIDI instrument world”. These are the good folks behind “Lounge Lizard EP-4” electric pianos, “Tassman 4” Sound synthesis studio, and “String Studio VS-2” String modeling synthesizer, just to name a few. These have been hailed as some of the best sounding MIDI instruments and some of the easiest to use MIDI instruments to ever come along. I have wanted “Lounge Lizard EP-4” ever since it was released.

 Let me get back to Strum. I would never call myself a keyboard player. I play on the keys, sure, but I am far from a keyboardist. That said, I had no trouble learning how to make Strum do the crazy things it can do. In no time at all I could make Strum palm mute power chords (eat your heart out Bryan Adams), pluck out open chords (like my favorite Guns and Roses ballads), and everything in between. I couldn’t help but to think about how realistic Strum can be with such little practice. Most MIDI guitar sims fall way short of this realistic sound for guitar, and most seem to sound more like electric pianos then guitars. Strum sounds like a guitar, and the editing features put Strum way over the top. I just cant find the words to tell you how much it sounds like a guitar, especially when compared to all of the other guitar-like simulation sounds that have polluted the audio world for so long.

It just does not matter weather you are writing music in your home studio, writing guitar parts for yourself or a client, or pulling off a believable guitar part for the band, Strum is a hit! Strum is easy to learn and Strum is as realistic sounding as “MIDI guitars” have ever come. If you are serious about getting a very powerful, very easy to learn MIDI guitar then you need to check out Strum from Applied Acoustics Systems. I love it!