The U73b “Mastering” compressor/limiter from Audified, demo

Here we are with another great tool from the good folks over at Audified, the U73b compressor and limiter.

The U73b compressor and limiter is a great tool to work with on account of a few reasons. First, I love the whole “less knobs is more” approach. There is less to get confused about, with the U73b, and more to love. The U73b is quick and easy to set up. This means you can quickly and easily get better mixes using the U73b compressor and limiter.

I absolutely love the U73b compressor and limiter on a master, of course, and on such tracks as vocals and stringed instruments. I love what it does in the high end of the frequency spectrum. This emulation of an all analogue mastering compressor/limiter sounds warm to me, and just adds “that something” that we all look for when reaching for a “warm sounding” compressor/limiter.

The U73b compressor and limiter of course shines when used as a mastering compressor, mastering limiter, but do not call this unit a “one trick pony”. Put the U73b compressor and limiter on strings, acoustic guitars, dirty electric guitars, vocals, bass, anything, and get ready for a smile to take over your face. That is what seems to happen to me. Plus, my ears become happy.

Episode 66, Welcome “TroubleShot”

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Winner number one, of the 2015 Home Recording Weekly Songwriting Contest, Mike S. of the band “TroubleShot” are on todays show. Mike has put in some hard work here, and we are very lucky to have this clip. Listen in and learn what it took to make the winning song, “Some days”, as they go through each instrument, EQ, and compressor. Great stuff guys!

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Episode 65, “The First Gig” is also mentioned in todays show. Thank you for all of the fun comments and the sharing of such cool links. I listened to them all BTW.

Grab your free copy of “Acoustic room treatment made easy” eBundle today. Follow the link provided and drop the email that you wish it delivered to into the box in the upper right hand side.

Episode 65, “The first gig”

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Inside of todays show I mention a few things that you need images for, ands a few products. Here are the things that I mention in Episode 65…

The brand new Home Studio eBundle

New Products
Here are some images of “The first gig” with the new band that I “work the sound” for. The ship is named “Casablanca” and it was a booze cruise that we supplied entertainment for.

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Please check out the UPLIFT DESK from The Human Solution, as it has made all the difference in my working life.

UPLIFT

Please send in, and enter your songs, into the Home Recording Weekly Song Writing Contest. Please, send in your questions, comments, and or concerns along with images of your home studio!

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Sigmund delay demo/review

The name of the plugin is Sigmund High Quality Flexible Delay Unit and it is from the D16 Group. That is a long name, but this delay has a long list of features. Lets see, the Sigmund has cool and useful features like overdrive style saturation, LFO’s, peak followers, high pass, low pass and band pass filters, limiters, customizable (serial/parallel) delay operations for four stereo/mono delay units, envelope filter/transient designer, left/right or mid/side delays with added stereo/mono knob (see video), and so much more. Yes, this is one bad ass delay unit.

It is funny how I was looking for a new delay unit as I was asked to do this demo video. I thought “Now is the time” to choose a delay unit, and I chose well. But the Sigmund has a lot going on under the hood and it needs some time to get to know what is happening. Here is a video that explains what I have been able to learn about the Sigmund delay unit in the short time that I have owned it.

Let me close with saying that the Sigmund has a long list of features that will prove to be very handy, once I let them sink in. The Sigmund delay unit demands some play time, just to wrap your mind around it. The more you learn about it, and its incredible list of features, the more I can see myself doing with it. The Sigmund delay can perform in all genres of music, but I suppose it excel at getting glitch like delay effects found in EDM and techno style music applications. I hate to “dumb down” the Sigmund delay unit and use it on vocals for rock and roll, but I will be doing that often. The truth is the Sigmund delay unit can handle easy to insane delay duties, and so much more too!

 Sigmund delay

How do I get the music I make in my home recording studio to sound better?

The question goes something like this: “I want the music that I make in my home recording studio to sound more like the music I hear on the radio. I know there will be a learning curve, and there will be training videos to purchase, but where do I even begin?

This is a great question, and a question that I get all the time. Let me be so bold as to suggest to you that you might wish to “bookmark this post to your favorites”, and come back to see what is available for you, time and time again.

Let me tell you, that I understand why it is that I get this question over and over. There are so many great tutorial-style training videos and awesome membership-style websites out there, it can be “nerve racking” trying to figure out where to best spend your money. With the amount of money to spend being in short supply, it is a tough proposition.

Keep in mind, there are some folks that want to become professional audio folks. You want to trade your lousy day jobs for a fun career in audio, what ever that might look like. However, not all of us are trying to make that shift, where we replace our main income source with an audio related income source. I mean to say that some of us are trying to do that, while most of us are trying to just get better recordings, mixes, and masters, with the recordings we make on the weekends, in our home studios. These are two very different outcomes.

With that said, let me approach the way that I answer this question with the best advice that I can give, believing that you are relatively new to this whole world of recording, mixing, and mastering in a home studio. I assume you have been playing an instrument (or two or three) for some time now, and you are most likely in a band of some sort. You probably have this intense burning to record your own songs, or the band that you are in has determined that you are the best at recording, mixing, and mastering, and therefore, has placed you in charge of these duties. However, what ever way you found your way to this place, here you are.

You need to learn some good microphone techniques and practices. You need to learn about the importance of; and the role that acoustic room treatment has in recording, mixing, and mastering. You will need to learn the order in which songs are tracked, or “laid down” in todays DAW’s. You are in charge of learning about working with MIDI and how to use “Virtual Instruments”. You will want to learn more about mixing, like how to approach mixing in your head, and the mixing techniques that make the biggest differences. Lastly, you will have to get familiar with the task of Mastering, and learn more about what mastering really is.

This is a massive undertaking. The learning curve that lay ahead of you is steep, but not impossible to climb. Just know that there are folks that devote their whole “professional life” to just one of these fields, or just one of these areas of expertise that are “recording engineering, mixing engineering, and mastering engineering”. These folks have spent the time in the classroom and the time in the trenches, and they know what it takes to churn out a radio ready song. They have spent thousands of hours learning their craft, made thousands of mistakes, and have more knowledge about these things than all of us put together have.

We are not going down the path that these folks have traveled. Nope. We simply want better sounding music. We want to learn what the pro’s do, and then take that information and incorporate our situation to it. For example, we want to learn how the big guys record drums so that we can get real drums, played by a real drummer, in our original songs. We want to see how mixing engineers mix a rock song so we can “better polish” our mixes. We want to see how mastering engineers get songs to sound loud and wide, bigger than life, so we can make our songs sound similar.

We don’t want to go through college, but some training is inevitable. Lets face the truth. We need to learn about the processes, and learn from the pros themselves, in easy to understand terms. We need to learn more about the right training videos to purchase, and the right training membership websites that are the best value for the best content. Does that sound right to you?

If so, I am confident that I can help you. I have watched (and reviewed) most of the biggest and most popular training videos, spoken with most of the largest and most popular engineers that are making these training videos, and I have been an active member of the most popular recording and mixing training “membership websites” for a long, long time now. I have seen it all, and learned (first hand) a ton from them, and I have separated them, good from awesome in order of your placement in the world of audio. Weather you are just starting your learning journey, or if you are a seasoned home studio owner that only needs a tune up here and there, I can help direct you to the right training. If you don’t find what you are looking for in this post, please feel free to drop me an email with your questions, comments, or concerns. Send that email to kern@homerecordingweekly.com and I will send you what I feel is the truth.

Here we go……

First, spend your money on training and not new plugins and/or gear. That new microphone, plugin, stereo compressor, etc., will do you no good until you understand how they are all used. You money will serve you best spent on training first, toys later. You did not learn to drive using a Ferrari, right? “Getting things right at the source” is something you are going to hear a lot. Get used to hearing that, and learn what it means. If you follow my humble suggestions you will learn all about this concept, as the instructors all practice it.

Next, if you decide to purchase any of the training that I provide a link for, then you will get a free offer from me. I will provide you with a download for the “Home Studio eBundle” training video series.

New Products

To learn more about the “Home Studio eBundle” training video series just click on the image above or use this link right here.

 If you are absolutely new to the world of audio recording, mixing, and mastering, then start reading right here. If you have been in audio, in one form or another, for some time and you only need to brush up your skills here and there, than start reading below, where it reads “Not so new to audio” in bold.

As a new comer to the world of recording, mixing, and mastering, I would recommend a few good practices. I recommend that you invest in a couple of membership websites. These offer training, with feedback, and a community of like minded folks to back you up. All of your questions will get addressed and the audio learning starts immediately.

Home Studio Corner V.I.P. Membership“. This resource is so amazing in value. Joe Gilder runs this membership website, and Joe knows home studios. Each month you are invited to watch the video training that he feels like putting up. It really depends on what is popular in Joes’ “Home Studio Corner forums” or maybe what he is currently finding himself doing in his very own home studio. Each month he demonstrates his methods for recording amazing tracks, working with MIDI instruments, singing and recording vocals, mixing tracks down, mastering, and so much more. Joe makes things look easy, and he has a easy to follow flow about his websites content. Getting your own “Home Studio Corner V.I.P. Membership” costs only 10 bucks a month, and pays back ten times that in the learning.

Then, I suggest you roll up your sleeves and you start mixing whole songs as soon as possible. Mixing other peoples “multi-track sessions” into a single, cohesive finished mix is rewarding, and such a great learning experience.  The learning never stops as you improve with each song that you mix. Plus, with a mixing membership website, you don’t have to worry about making mistakes. Heck, making mistakes is the name of the game since that is how we all learn the most! Just join and start mixing!

Each mixing membership listed below has its own set of materials included, but they are very close in practice. They all consist of a monthly multi-track session to mix, one or more videos that demonstrate how the professional mixed the same exact multi-track session that you have to mix. They each go their own way from there, some offering mix feedback or some other helpful program. They all cost about the same, and these are extremely popular and extremely powerful. My mixing skills grew like a wild fire, fueled by simply joining these memberships and doing the work.

Dueling Mixes” from mixing engineers Joe Gilder and Graham Cochrane.

Mix Coach Pro” from mixing engineer Kevin Ward, “The Mix Coach”.

The Mix Academy” from mixing engineer David Glenn.

 Another thing that I did was to take in the occasional training video series. The following videos helped me immensely, more than I could ever explain, and I highly recommend that you follow suit and watch them. These are not “dumbed down” beginner videos, but instead, they are amazingly helpful places to start, and great places to get all of the right techniques, all of your questions answered, and right at the start of your journey. I am proud of these recommendations, and the training found in these videos speaks for itself.

The Complete Jumpstart Series” from Graham Cochrane is a multi training video series aimed at all aspects of production. Included are videos with titles like “Jumpstart to editing”, “Jumpstart to mixing”, “Jumpstart to mastering”, and so on. I found this series to be right what I needed to put things into perspective. I learned quickly what it takes to put a song together using todays DAW’s, and how to go through the steps required, from start to finish, to get a great sounding song.

Here is a great way to introduce yourself to some of the most important tools of the trade, EQ and Compression…

Understanding Compression“, and “Understanding EQ” from Joe Gilder. These two videos (“Understanding Compression” and “Understanding EQ“) should be handed out with each DAW that is sold. Really, they are that good! Joe Gilder tackles two of the toughest things that you must master, EQ and Compression, in two amazing video series. Joe explains these topics like the viewer is new to audio. That is the bonus here. Joe explains what these tools are, how we use them in audio, and then gives a lot of great examples of Compression and EQ in action. I learned a ton from these two videos, and so will you. Your audio/mixing/mastering learning curve will be shortened for sure, and you will be on your way to getting way better mixes, after watching these two gems.

 Then, at your own pace, start to explore more specific titles, like:

Re-Think Mixing” from Graham Cochrane picks up where the “The Complete Jumpstart Series” left off. Graham not only mixes a song from start to finish, but he explains each step of the process in very easy to understand terms. Graham supplies the viewer with tons of “micro lessons” as he mixes, and he explains things so well that you gain insight as to what it takes to get great sounding mixes. After watching “Re-Think Mixing” my mixes really took off and they got noticeably better and better. In fact, after watching I actually understood what it took to get a good sounding mix, and how to use the tools required to get that killer mix.

Pop Production“, from producer Kris Crunk, is an up close and personal look into the world of production. Kris is a Nashville producer making some of todays greatest productions. You will learn the art of writing with MIDI, layering samples, how to choose samples for your productions, using EQ and Compression, and so much more. This is one killer resource and I highly recommend it to ant one looking to write their own music with todays DAW’s and Virtual Instruments. Kris Crunk is the man, and he packs a lot of great stuff into “Pop Production“! This is one great training video!

The Art of Balancing a mix” from mixing engineer Matt Butler is on this list because it deals with what is “uber” important to know about mixing. It is not about how to apply fancy plugins that are way too expensive in the first place. “The Art of Balancing a mix” covers the important things that most other training videos forget to detail. Things like bus compression, bus tracks, panning, levels, limiting, and so much more stuff that you must learn. This video series blew my mind because I learned so much “foundational mixing information” that I have not found in any other place, period. “The Art of Balancing a mix” was refreshing in content and chock full of learning!

Guide to Rock Mixing” from mixing engineer Kevin Ward, “The Mix Coach” is what you might think it is. Kevin Ward mixes a great rock song, from absolute begging to amazing sounding end in a series of training videos. This series teaches a lot of the most important techniques that you must learn to master if you want to mix like the pros do. I took home a lot about mixing individual tracks into a whole mix, but without loosing any tracks in a busy, dense mix. “Guide to Rock Mixing” is a great series that keeps on giving long after you watch it, and it a “must watch” in my humble opinion.

Mixing EDM” from Matt Weiss is the bomb if you like making your mixes move, have depth, and jump out of the monitors. Matt demonstrates how to get a mix to sound fantastic and then he goes into the world of EDM and shows how folks make the music pump and come alive!

Mixing Acoustic Pop” is a little bit advanced in nature, but I am compelled to share it here on the list because it is one of those video series that will make an incredible difference in the way you approach a mix. David Glenn has a template that he uses to mix that is very helpful once you wrap your mind around it. Watch along as he transforms a mix, and as he explains each step of the process. He uses a host of great tools, too, that you will find extremely helpful.

Please, watch all the recording, mixing, and mastering training that you can afford, but also keep practicing! That is what I did, and thank heavens for that. Practice on the mixes you get from these membership websites. Try new things. Ask yourself, “What if”….. Try new plugins when you feel comfortable. Play with effects like delay and reverb. Never stop turning knobs to fins out what might happen. Always think outside the box too. Come up with other ways to achieve the same results and then compare them with one another. Remember, these things will help you more than purchasing more gear or plugins. Spending cash on more stuff will not help you get better. It will only make you feel “buyers remorse”, and that feeling sucks. eBay is littered with folks that have “Buyers remorse” and you do not need to join those ranks.

 “Not so new to audio“. Start reading here if you have been in home recording, mixing, and/or mastering for some time now, and you only need to brush up your skills a little bit.

Mixing with Compression“, from mixing engineer Matt Weiss, is a great way to hone in on compression from a professional sort of way. This series has totally changed the way in which I think of and apply compression, and it has given me complete confidence when using compression in a mix or a master. This series is a way more intense look into what compression is and how it can transform your tracks, mixes, and masters. Knowing when, where, and how to use compression was my weakness before watching “Mixing with Compression“, but now that is a thing of the past. If you only watch one training video about compression, after you get past the introductory videos above, let this be the one. It is just “that freaking good”.

Mixing with EQ” from mixing engineer Matt Weiss is another one of those video series for the advanced mixer. Matt dives into the different EQ filters and how to use them to their fullest. Matt explains how he has taken the parts that make up EQ’s and has learned to use them in creative ways. There is a lot of advanced techniques in here, so be warned. If you are new to EQ this may not be the video for you. But, if you are ready for the next level, take advantage of this title!

Mixing Drums” from David Glenn is on this list for a few good reasons. When it comes to mixing, drums are foundational. Without drums what do we really have to build upon? David Glenn takes the viewer through a lot of mixing and even more technical ideas that will all combine to help push your drums over the top. This is like using fine polishing compound for your percussion and drum tracks. Inside of “Mixing Drums” David Glenn delivers great and practical advice that you can use well into your audio career.

Mixing Vocals” from David Glenn is the video that helped me get the best vocals that I have ever obtained, period. David details how he uses multiple instances of the usual suspects like compression, EQ, saturation, delay, reverb, etc., to get great sounding vocals. But then he blows minds when he reaches for the multiband compressor and he makes vocals come to life. I used these practices on a guitar/singer song and the results were stellar! I am so glad that I watched the whole series because my vocals now sit perfectly (thanks to Davids automation level tips and tricks) and they sound killer thanks to his FX advice. “Mixing Vocals” is so worth the price, and you will thank me for referring it to you. I am thankful that I have watched it, to say the very least, and so are all of my vocal tracks!

Well, that is enough training guidance for one post. I have taken this path myself, more or less, and I am thankful. I am not going to tell you that IO am amazing at any step of the process, but I am able to pull a paycheck out of the world of audio, month after month. Back when I got started learning about how to record properly, how to mix better, how to use the necessary tools like EQ, Compression, Limiting, Multi-Band Compression, to their fullest potential, how to edit, how to put a mix template together, how to master, how to…… well make better music, I was not aware of a lot of these folks or their helpful training videos. It has been some time now, and I am much better at this. I can record a band or myself, one track at a time. I can mix for myself, or for a paying client. I don’t do mastering as a service, but I master out a lot of music these days, for local bands mixes and my own projects too. I can also keep a live band sounding good, and keep them in a good mix with FX, monitors, and/or everything they might want or need. All of this is due to the learning that I took, and still take part in, and the countless hours of practice that must be done.

I hope this list helps you on your own audio journey, and please feel free to email me with any questions that you might have. Please know that you must learn more about one or more of the steps in the chain, or recording, mixing, and mastering. Training videos and membership sites helped me more than I could ever say in words. But you also must do the required work and practice often. Make those mistakes, get egg on your face, and let that stuff you learned sink in. Before you know it, people will come to you looking for the answers to the same exact questions you had. Try not to get discouraged. Point is if I can do this, anyone can.

Home Studio eBundle

 

Hello all of you home recording, mixing and mastering nuts. Let me introduce you to my newest creation, aimed at those of you that simply want to get more realistic MIDI instruments in their productions, better sounding bass and guitars via V.I.’s (Virtual Instruments like IK Multimedias Amplitube Ampeg), and better mixes as a whole! It consists of three training video products and I named it the “Home Studio eBundle”!

New Products

Lets check out what is inside:

Midi Trans

MIDI Transformation” is my version of how to get the most realistic sounding, human-like MIDI in your productions. MIDI can be one of the most confusing things to learn when it comes to making music in your home studio. But, it does not have to be! Let me explain to you some of the best ideas for dealing with MIDI, and some of the best tips that helped me obtain believable MIDI parts for recordings that I have helped to produce. Plus, I toss in a whole section dealing with how to write, work, and then export your MIDI drums into common, studio like “Drum Stems”. Since were all used to working with drum stems (stereo over heads, snare top, snare bottom, kick, tom mics, room mics, hi hat, and rides) why shouldn’t we export our MIDI into real world drum stems? This is how we then mix our MIDI drums into believable, human sounding drums for our mixes. There is years of hard work and years of tough learning boiled down and crammed inside this awesome training video series.

“MIDI Transformation” is broken up into three easy to digest videos that run from 15 to 30 minutes each.

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Perfect V.I. Bass and Guitars” is your ticket to realistic sounding bass and guitars, via your favorite “Virtual Instrument” plugins/guitar and bass simulation software. These “V.I.’s have often times gotten a bad rap, but that is simply because folks are not using the features to the best of their ability. But not using the VI feature sets to their fullest isn’t the only reason they are getting “less than” sounding bass and guitars. There is also a whole host of things that we can all do in order to make our “V.I. bass and guitars” fit better in our music, and put them over the top when it comes to “listener believability”. These techniques and workflows have taken me years to develop, but you can have then today!

Watch along as I track a session, from start to finish, detailing each import step as I go. I start with the bass and work it to perfection using a host of tools like Amplitube Ampeg, Audio bending/time shifting, Melodyne, EQ, compression, and so much more. Each video continues the journey from “DI” bass, to an amazing, “in the pocket”, believable bass. The information found inside “Perfect V.I. Bass and Guitars” has taken me an incredibly long time to discover, via an endless amount of “trial and error”, which you will not find anywhere else, period. If you like using todays best “amp sim/V.I.’s” to enhance your bass and/or guitars, or if you want to learn way more than you currently know about the whole process, then “Perfect V.I. Bass and Guitars” is for you.

Perfect V.I. Bass and Guitars” is broken up into five easy to digest videos that run from 15 to 30 minutes each.

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The Pro Mixers Playbook

Learning how to mix like the pros can be the most rewarding thing we ever do. It can also be the most frustrating thing we ever do. Why does learning how to mix have to be so difficult?

The truth is there is a lot of information out there, broken up into quick little video chunks, some over here, and some over there, and, well, in a lot of different places. Learning just one brand new mixing technique can take you to many different places that all seem to have somewhat competing information.

For this very reason, I have been hard at work, putting something rather special together that I call “The Pro Mixers Playbook”. I have made over 4.5 hours of training videos together, in one easy to download PDF file. I have listed, and then made corresponding videos for the most powerful, the most “mix-shaping” 15 Pro mixing plays that have had the most impact (hands down) with my own mixes. This is a mixing foundation just waiting to happen. There is something new and rewarding, for new mixers and pros alike, inside in “The Pro Mixers Playbook”.

“The Pro Mixers Playbook” is broken up into sixteen easy to digest videos that run from 15 to 30 minutes each.

 

Episode 64, Winner number 1

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Hello all,

Congratulations to Mike and the band “Troubleshot” for taking the first batch of prizes from the 2015 Home Recording Weekly Song Writing Contest. They killed it with their song titled, “Some Days”, a song that I can totally relate too. What a great song and a job well done!

For a complete list of prizes and entry rules, please follow this link or click on the image logo below.

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Here is todays reader question,

Hello Kern, 

I have a question for your podcast

In my tiny little 8X9 room, i have bare walls except for on the wall behind where i mix. It has a very thick duvet hung up. 

I have about $300 to invest in sound treatment and I’m wondering…am I best served by buying some Auralex foam for my walls? Or getting a SE Reflection Filter?  I would sing with my back to the duvet and sing towards the reflection filter.  There is no other treatment in my room whatsoever.

Most of my mixing is done in headphones.  I don’t know if I am better served by the Auralex foam or the SE reflection filter. 

Thoughts?”

To get your free copy of “Acoustic Room Treatment Made easy“, your own DIY treatment handbook, follow the link and enter your email address.

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subscribe

While you are treating your space, check out the videos found in the “Pro Mixers Playbook“.

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Are you looking for a workstation that permits you to record while standing up? Check out the UPLIFT DESK from The Human Solution, as it has made my life both easier, and way more productive.

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“Mixing with EQ”, by Matt Weiss and The Pro Audio Files, reviewed

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EQ is super important. The concept of applying EQ to a track is easy enough for even a beginner to grasp, but that never seems to be the case when I try to apply EQ. I struggled with EQ because how could something so easy be so difficult to work with? Besides, how are we supposed to know what our tracks are supposed to sound like after they are EQ’d? You can see how some well placed training can help all of us. Especially if the training is from “Mixing Ninja”, Matt Weiss.

I have been tweaking EQ’s since high school. I found it very pleasing to slide the faders up and down on my 16 band graphic equalizer, that rested just below my cassette player, in my Chevy Chevette. I would constantly dial the 16 bands of that old EQ up and down as each song began to play. It was probably comparable to the of problem of texting while driving, but for back in my day.

But that EQ wisdom didn’t seem to translate at all into the world of recording and mixing. The more I learned about applying EQ, while mixing, the more I felt confused. The confusion lies with everything that comes with EQ concepts the different types of EQ designs, the different ways in which EQ’s seem to work, High and Low Pass filters, Notch filters, comb filtering, Additive and Subtractive EQ, “Q”, and then there is just so much more.

Let me add that I have not ever hit my goal of yielding an EQ like a pro. I closely listened to and then fell in a deep love with a certain drum tone, a particular drum sound, and have not been able to ever even come close to replicating it. The drums I am trying for are on the Beastie Boys “Grand Royal” CD. Those drums are some of the best sounding drums that I have ever heard. They just sound fat yet punchy to me. That is my personal goal and benchmark. I have hopes of using what Matt has to share about EQ and then applying that to my goal of one day being able to replicate these amazing drum sounds.

This is where it is wise to let Matt Weiss take the wheel. Matt Weiss is not only one of the hottest professional mixing engineers of our time, he also understands EQ’s to an extreme level, and he knows how to teach. Combine these assets and you have one heck of a powerful training series, “Mixing with EQ“.

I have interviewed Matt Weiss on The Home Recording Weekly Podcast, Episode ??, and I have reviewed other titles from Matt, including the mind blowing “Mixing with Compression“, the mix changing “Mixing EDM“, the surgical-like vocal helping “Mixing Rap Vocals“, “Mixing Hip Hop“, and the awesome “Maio Collection” Drum Samples, recorded by Matt Weiss himself.

OK, hold on. Since you are reading through this review that tells me that you are looking to improve your mixing skills, so let me “sweeten the pot” a tad. Let me toss in some special gifts, just for you.

If you use any of the links supplied in this review I will receive a small piece of the sale. I want to give you something for using these links to make your purchases. As my way of saying thank you, if you use any of these links to purchase I will give you some very special, very detailed gifts, aimed right at you, the person that is willing to learn more about recording, mixing, and mastering.

Let me tell you about the new Home Recording Weekly “Home Studio eBundle that is ready and waiting for you. Inside the Home Recording Weekly “Home Studio eBundle” you will find not one, not two, but three amazingly helpful video training products that will transform how you approach recording, mixing, and mastering in your home studio. They are titled, “Midi Transformation”, “Perfect V.I. Bass and Guitars”, and “The Pro Mixers Playbook“.

New Products

Each individual training product, found inside the Home Recording Weekly “Home Studio eBundle“, contains multiple “How to” style videos that are made up of both “screen capture” style videos and some videos that were shot right inside my very own home studio. Each training product packed inside the Home Recording Weekly “Home Studio eBundle” has been recorded, edited, and mixed down with a few main things in mind.

First, I know that “Content is king”. Each video contains quality, unique content that I, personally, just could not find anywhere else. Next, the quality of the audio and of the picture is the best I have ever produced. The lighting and the audio has to be right in order for you to see and hear what I am explaining in the videos, in order for you to get the most out of the videos. I worked very hard to create video training that is helpful in nature, unique in content, and killer in features like audio and lighting. These are the best production tips and techniques that I have learned that have taken my mixing over the top, and rocketed my skills to the best they have ever been.

Let me break down, quickly, what is covered in each training series:

Midi Trans

MIDI Transformation” is my version of how to get the most realistic sounding, human-like MIDI in your productions. MIDI can be one of the most confusing things to learn when it comes to making music in your home studio. But, it does not have to be! Let me explain to you some of the best ideas for dealing with MIDI, and some of the best tips that helped me obtain believable MIDI parts for recordings that I have helped to produce. Plus, I toss in a whole section dealing with how to write, work, and then export your MIDI drums into common, studio like “Drum Stems”. Since were all used to working with drum stems (stereo over heads, snare top, snare bottom, kick, tom mics, room mics, hi hat, and rides) why shouldn’t we export our MIDI into real world drum stems? This is how we then mix our MIDI drums into believable, human sounding drums for our mixes. There is years of hard work and years of tough learning boiled down and crammed inside this awesome training video series.

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Perfect V.I. Bass and Guitars” is your ticket to realistic sounding bass and guitars, via your favorite “Virtual Instrument” plugins/guitar and bass simulation software. These “V.I.’s have often times gotten a bad rap, but that is simply because folks are not using the features to the best of their ability. But not using the VI feature sets to their fullest isn’t the only reason they are getting “less than” sounding bass and guitars. There is also a whole host of things that we can all do in order to make our “V.I. bass and guitars” fit better in our music, and put them over the top when it comes to “listener believability”. These techniques and workflows have taken me years to develop, but you can have then today!

Watch along as I track a session, from start to finish, detailing each import step as I go. I start with the bass and work it to perfection using a host of tools like Amplitube Ampeg, Audio bending/time shifting, Melodyne, EQ, compression, and so much more. Each video continues the journey from “DI” bass, to an amazing, “in the pocket”, believable bass. The information found inside “Perfect V.I. Bass and Guitars” has taken me an incredibly long time to discover, via an endless amount of “trial and error”, which you will not find anywhere else, period. If you like using todays best “amp sim/V.I.’s” to enhance your bass and/or guitars, or if you want to learn way more than you currently know about the whole process, then “Perfect V.I. Bass and Guitars” is for you.

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The Pro Mixers Playbook

Learning how to mix like the pros can be the most rewarding thing we ever do. It can also be the most frustrating thing we ever do. Why does learning how to mix have to be so difficult?

The truth is there is a lot of information out there, broken up into quick little video chunks, some over here, and some over there, and, well, in a lot of different places. Learning just one brand new mixing technique can take you to many different places that all seem to have somewhat competing information.

For this very reason, I have been hard at work, putting something rather special together that I call “The Pro Mixers Playbook”. I have made over 4.5 hours of training videos together, in one easy to download PDF file. I have listed, and then made corresponding videos for the most powerful, the most “mix-shaping” 15 Pro mixing plays that have had the most impact (hands down) with my own mixes. This is a mixing foundation just waiting to happen. There is something new and rewarding, for new mixers and pros alike, inside in “The Pro Mixers Playbook”.

The entire Home Recording Weekly “Home Studio eBundle” is just my way of saying “THANK YOU!!!” for using any one of my links to purchase any one of the training videos that I have reviewed for you, right here, on Home Recording Weekly.

If you are interested in learning the best of the best techniques for creating and then exporting realistic sounding MIDI parts, learning more about using software like Amplitube in order to get believable bass and guitars in your productions, or learn the most impactful mixing techniques, that will totally transform your mixes, all in video form, then get your own copy of Home Recording Weekly “Home Studio eBundle” today.

Here is how:

When you use any of the links that I have provided for you to purchase any training video series  or any membership sites (Dueling Mixes, Mix Coach Pro, The Mix Academy), I will allow you a download code for the Home Recording Weekly “Home Studio eBundle“. Before you purchase any training, come to Home Recording Weekly and use any of the links that I have provided in any of my reviews. That way I can view the sale and send you your free “Home Studio eBundle“.

All you need to do is send me an email (kern@homerecordingweekly.com) with the words “HRW “Home Studio eBundle” in the subject line. Tell me the product that you have purchased, using my link, and I will send you your free copy.

If you are thinking about purchasing any of the training video products that I have reviewed, than now is the time to make that purchase! Get you own Home Recording Weekly “Home Studio eBundle” today!

OK, back to the review at hand……

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Mixing with EQ” downloaded onto my hard drive with three easy downloads. I love this style of purchase because I will forever own a copy, in my external hard drive, for future reference sake. The videos in the series are broken up into the three downloads.

Download 1:

“Introduction video”

Matt welcomes the viewer and quickly details what you can expect in the video series that is “Mixing with EQ“.

Video 1, “EQ and how it works

After a brief history of Equalization, Matt Weiss gets into quickly showing the viewer some of his favorite, and most commonly used, EQ’s and their parts. Matt opens up the Fabfilter ProQ first and details the curves and filters. Were talking about bell curves, notch filters, high and low pass filters, tilt shift curves, band pass filters, and “pass and stop bands” here. The learning is already beginning for me. I had not heard about a few of these filters, but I can already see the uses that I could come up with. It is obvious that Matt knows more about EQ’s and their designs than anyone that I have ever come across in my life. He quickly goes over my head, explaining filter designs, but then he comes back with loads of practical information. Matt is concerned with giving the viewer all that he has, and he wants the viewer to know EQ on his level. I am going to buckle up my seatbelt, now, as it is going to be a bumpy ride. I am about to “get my learn on”. We are only about one third of the way through the first video.

The next part of the first video is about capacitors and inductors. Matt wants us to understand how these things work so that we can better understand how an EQ does what it does. I trust Matt 100 percent, so here we go.

Matt actually explains how circuits are used to make up the filters found in EQ’s. I am following this information, as Matt talks about it, partly because I have a background in electricity. At best it is basic, but I do have a sweet spot for electronic circuits. I have been known to solder a pedal up here and there, but nothing of my own design. Most people (with no electronic training) watching this might be sinking into their chairs at this point, but please know it will not inhibit you ability to apply EQ in recording, mixing, and mastering. Matt is simply “Geeking out to fellow geeks”. I am learning a lot here, but this is not mandatory, “must know and understand” information. We are now half way through the first video.

Matt next breaks into a discussion on phase distortion, and “The Three R’s”. “The Three R’s” are ring, ripple, and resonance, and this is really interesting information. Look, weather you follow this stuff in video one or you don’t, Matt gives it to the viewer. I have a couple of thoughts about this.

First, the viewer paid for all of the stuff that Matt knows about EQ,s. Matt is simply doing what he is supposed to do. He wants us all to get what we paid for. Matt does just that.

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Next, it demonstrates that Matt really is one smart cat that really knows what he is talking about. Listening to Matt speak at length about the components that are placed into electrical circuits, and how they alter frequencies reinforces the fact that we can lay back and trust Matt. He has our back here. We are going to learn more about EQ’s than we ever bargained for. Matt is going to clear up all of the confusion that can be associated with EQ, and he is going to instill that confidence that we all starve for. I am talking about a confidence in our ability to apply EQ, with purpose and precision. This is what most of us are really looking for.

Matt goes into linear phase versus minimal phase versus FFT phase. I barley understood most of this stuff, but I have heard of these types of EQ, and I have seen these types listed in an EQ that Matt uses, as a drop down list. Next, Matt demonstrates these types of EQ in a complete mix setting, just so we have an idea about what he is explaining to us. Next, Matt plays a mix with two types of EQ already applied. Wow the point has been made. Matt continues to explain the science behind these types of EQ, just to seal the deal, but the audio spoke for itself. Well done Matt.

I learned more about EQ, as a process, already, with just one video, than I ever thought I would. “Mixing with EQ” is not what I assumed it might be, at least not at this point. This is great news though, as I want to learn. Matt is one of the best mixing engineers that I know of. If he knows all of this detailed stuff about EQ’s then I need to learn it too. It must be a part of the puzzle.

Although I have a long way to go before any of that information settles in and becomes helpful, it has been delivered to me. I am sure that in time this will become helpful information, but time will have to pass for that to happen. It was great stuff for sure, but just not what I expected. I guess I didn’t know how much I didn’t know. Now I know. That’s all.

Video 2, “Contouring and balancing

The rubber starts to get traction on the road to understanding EQ in video 2. Matt opens up a simple “piano and singer” type of gospel track. He explains what he sees the piano covering, in the frequency spectrum, in easy to understand language. Next, Matt explains where he would like the piano to be in the spectrum, or what he would alter for certain genres of music. Then, Matt opens up an EQ and demonstrates what he was talking about. The EQ settings are broad and simple, with lots of “before and after listens” to drive home the points he makes.

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Matt also teaches us why he is doing the things he is doing. He points out why it is that he dips here and boosts there, with the EQ’s that he is using. He points out that things need space, and then he carves out the space using EQ’s. This is helpful, and more what I was expecting to learn in “Mixing with EQ“, right from the start. Matt has a way of tearing down what you thought you knew about the tools that we use and then building us back up with the all the right knowledge. Matt Weiss’s “Mixing with compression” was much like this series, and I absolutely rave about what I learned from that amazing video series. It also gave me “the confidence to apply compression” that I mentioned before.

The idea, here, that Matt is driving home, in a word, is “Contouring”. The idea here, in a metaphor, is that Matt describes the image and then shows us how he paints it. Matt explains what he is trying to achieve, here, with the music, weather it be a sound, a actual space, or a time in recording history, and then Matt applies EQ to get us there. Matt takes us through the process as he explains what he wants, and then how he gets it using EQ.

Matt explains the pianos’ EQ settings and then he goes for the vocals. He explains the way he envisions them sounding, and then he solos them so we can hear what we actually have to work with. Next, Matt applies the EQ to reach his goals. Brilliant! EQ is an art form, and Matt is an artist. “Mixing with EQ goes way beyond the usual stuff you hear, like “less is more” or “subtractive vs. additive EQ”, and the like. That stuff is already out there, and in spades. This is the real deal, and it is understand-able. Using EQ to create mood, create an effect, or to “paint a picture” is what Matt is teaching, and it is awesome.

But, here again, we are only half way through this video in the series.

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“Balancing” is more about getting something to sound like you think it should sound like. Matt explains what “Balancing” is to him, and then he demonstrates it in action. Matt explains that things can sound unbalanced once they are recorded. Some common ways to explain unbalanced sounds are “bright, dark, harsh, or maybe hollow”. Matt explains how to get a source to sound balanced using EQ.

 Be warned, Matt opens up a multiband compressor at this point in the video. I find this a fantastic idea as I need all of the help that I can get with both EQ and multiband compressors. After all, a multiband compressor is a cross between an EQ and a compressor. I have been using multiband compressors more and more with each new mix that I tackle. Matt makes things look easy, of course, but with practice will come confidence.

Matt explains each move that he makes, with “before and after listens” so that I digest everything that is happening. His explanations are some of the best, and I am answering his questions, finishing his sentences as he goes through the processes. I am learning a lot, and Matt is giving me way more than I bargained for.

“Texture” is the next ideal that Matt alters with EQ. Texture can come from many tools. Matt takes us through examples of texture coming from EQ and also tape saturation. Great discussion backed with audio examples. Boom!

Video 3, “Masking“.

After a quick explanation, Matt supplies some audio to drive the concept that is “Masking” home. Matt discusses the masking that is going on with a mix, and a track. After the viewer understands that idea, Matt opens up an EQ and fixes the problem at hand. Matt follows with more and more examples of masking, and more and more creative EQ solutions. Matt teaches as he works through each example. The audio examples that he supplies, and his understandable language, makes things easy to digest.

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Matt makes sure to give a lot of interesting mixing advice as he works too. He explains why he does what he does, and then he paints in other ideas too. For one example, Matt automates an EQ to notch out some mid frequencies, out of a synth track, for just a moment. This makes the synth sound a little thin. He explains the reasons for this move (a masking fix) and how it achieved the goal at hand. But he goes further and explains that later on in the mix he will have vocals over the top of the track, so the “thin-ness” is ok. The vocals will cover up any thin-ness of the synth. I would not have known that important bit, and I for one am happy that Matt is so generous with the insight.

Download 2:

Video 4, “Philosophy

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This short video is a discussion on the theory behind amplitube, frequencies, how to think about sound, and how things may or may not change when we apply EQ.

Video 5, “Tonality in compression and saturation

To better explain the ideas that we just learned in video 4, Matt opens up a vocal track and shows us a few things. First, Matt shows us what is in the track for frequency information. Then, he shows us what happens, as a total, as he starts to change things with an EQ. Matt has a way of driving home the ideas that he lives and mixes by. “For every action that we make, there is an equal and inverse reaction”. Matt teaches us to think in terms of the whole mix, here, and not just in tracks. This is what I believe is the take home idea buried within “Mixing with EQ“. It is in here, but it is revealed lesson by lesson.

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Matt employs two EQ’s, a compressor, tape saturation, yet another EQ, and a de-esser, all to alter a vocal to where he wants it to be. He makes sure to play before and after listens, repeatedly, just so that we can follow along. Plus, he explains what each plugin is doing, in his own words, in his own ears. This is all about driving home the ideas that I mentioned before. Each move, each change that we make to a signal will alter it in other ways. We need to be aware of these things, and react to them as we mix. This is what makes Matt Weiss a total professional mixing engineer, and it is the stuff that I need to learn.

 Video 6, “Vocals and doing what’s necessary

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Matt continues on with the vocal and reverse engineers the whole vocal, showing the viewer the EQ moves and EQ settings as he works along. He runs into a cool masking issue, and explains why it is a good thing, and not a bad thing. This proves to be pretty darn cool.

Then he EQ’s some electric guitar tracks in the same song. One guitar has 4 EQ’s on, the other has 3 EQ’s. My thoughts were, “This should be interesting”. Let me just tell you, “it is very interesting”. I will not say anymore about this part of the series as you need to watch it with an open mind.

Video 7, “Drum workshop

Matt begins this video with a quick breakdown of what acoustic drums consist of, and what makes them unique when applying EQ. He explains why he begins EQ’ing the entire drum bus, so that the phase keeps true. Matt explains that EQ can alter a drums perceived placement in three dimensional space. I had not ever thought about these concepts before, but that is par for this course. After watching “Mixing with Compression“, and having my mind blown, and from what I have watched thus far in “Mixing with EQ“, I am starting to believe Matt could tell me something new and interesting about my shoe laces. Matt just sees things like no other mixing engineer does, and he has the smarts to back it all up.

You see, Matt begins by adding some gentle EQ to the drum bus. Once Matt EQ’s the drum bus (or the drums as a whole), he moves on to alter the tracks that make up the kit. He can now turn up or down the overheads, kick, snare, cymbals, or whatever he wants. He can compress or EQ any track he likes. This is a cool way to work, and one that had escaped me.

Matt adds a high pass filter to the overhead tracks and then launches into a conversation about using this practice. I usually do this, but now I will think twice about it. I just had not had the information that Matt shares with the viewer before, and it makes so much sense to me. Who knew that I would learn so much about both EQ and EQ’ing the drums? Not me. I am now blown away!

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Matt next gives two examples of what is possible with EQ’ing room mics. He explains two different ways to go with room mics, and then he shows what the EQ settings might look like, and sound like. Again, it is more about listening to the tracks first and then asking where you want the drums to go, in space. This is simply a new way of thinking for me, even though I had done this stuff for years. Matt looks at the world with a fresh eye, and uses the EQ so creatively that it makes me feel as if I, too, can do these things. To put it in easy to understand terms, Matt gives me confidence.

Mat does something with the kick drum that really makes me double think everything that I thought I knew about EQ’ing drums. He plays with some low frequency boosts, with an EQ. He points out that it sounds weird, and he is right. I don’t want to give everything away, here, but what he does next is something that I would have never thought about in a million years. I would have been stuck trying to do things in other ways. Matt knows the rules, but he knows when to break them. It is all about understanding the filters, phase, EQ as a whole on a higher level, knowing how EQ and phase work, and knowing what he can get away with. This whole series is eye opening and ear opening, and of so refreshing!

Half way through this video, Matt finishes up with acoustic drums, and gets to EQ’ing the ever hard to work with Sampled drums. Oh here we go…

If you are like me you work with and use sampled drums almost exclusively. As well as the usual drums as samples, Matt is talking about claps, 808’s, crazy hip hop snares, and crazy hats and cymbals too. Think hip hop here.

What instantly becomes mind blowing is not what I thought. I was amazed by what did not get EQ more than I was what got EQ’d. I always open up an EQ. This must stop. If Matt knows anything, he knows what needs EQ and what does not. Very refreshing!

Next, Matt discusses and then tackles the ever hard to fix, “Kick and bass fight”. This is money! Matt actually worked on it from the start, which only Matt would think about. But, he works along to get it dialed in so that harmony exists between the kick and bass tracks. It can be done! Masking is the answer, and Matt shows the viewer exactly how he uses masking to get the two to better live together in the track.

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Matt continue with some more lessons with masking between 808’s and kicks. The learning here is driven home with each new example. It is awesome listening to Matt “think out loud” here. I love how creative Matt can be, when solving problems. He has changed my mind set, and will come in very handy.

Video 8, “EQ effects

Multiband compression anyone?

Matt changes gears and begins talking about frequency consistency, and why he reaches for multiband compression when trying to bring dynamics to frequencies. Want to learn more about this stuff? Click the link right now, “Mixing with EQ“, and watch it. Matt completely explains how to use multiband compression to help frequencies lie better. He gives some great examples with “before and after” listens. He then gives one of the best examples of what a multiband compressor actually does with a filter and a compressor. I have not ever seen that done, so it was cool as heck to hear it in action. It will drive the point home for you, I promise.

Matt continues detailing EQ based effects, what they really are, and how they are commonly used in todays music. This part is a “must see” for new mixing engineers as it gives an idea as to how plugins are designed and how effects are made. Matt “makes his own” effects with EQ’s and then he plays examples of audio with effect plugins doing the same things. This is very eye opening to me, and the ideas are popping out of my head.

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Download 3 is a series of two mixes and a complete mix walkthrough video.

Having confidence when applying EQ comes with two things that you must have. First, you must learn from a pro. Next, you must apply what you learn with the passing of time. Matt supplies the viewer with more than everything they will need to EQ their next hit. I will need to think like Matt Weiss does, and work at applying what he has shown me. I feel very good about grasping everything he has to teach. Where I am worried is being able to remember all of the amazing concepts he gave. I will need to watch this again from time to time in order to cement the ideals. I will continue to reach for “Beastie Boys Drum Tones”, but for now I will work at allowing time to pass. I have a lot of brand new ways to think about EQ, applying EQ, and where to apply EQ in a mix. I have “Mixing with EQ” to thank for that.

So, if you are ready to leave all of the confusion (the confusion surrounding EQ) behind, starting right now, and pick up your free copy of “The Pro Mixers Playbook” at the same time, as my way of saying “Thank you”, click on any the “Mixing with EQ” links in this post. You will then be on your way to using EQ with confidence. No more confusion dealing with filters and such. Start learning about multiband compression. Begin to understand EQ bases effects and how they work. “Forever gone” will be the never ending wondering about what tracks are supposed to sound like once you have EQ’d them. Stop the madness, get better at mixing, and pick up “Mixing with EQ” right now!

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