Episode 44, winner number one, and “selling air Quarts”.

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Congratulations to winner number one, Leon Wright.

 “Leo”, as he likes to call himself, entered with a great song, titled “Water over the bridge”. Great track, and there is a great vibe going on in the song.

For a complete breakdown of the amazing prizes that Leo has won, please follow this link.

There are still two winners to be chosen, so please enter today!

IK Multimedia CSR for the T-Racks collection

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IK Multimedia has a ton of amazing tools for the musician. I adore the T-Racks collection, and the plugins that all fit within T-Racks. CSR, or “Classik Studio Reverb” is a set of four reverbs that will amaze your ears and improve your tracks.  CSR, or “Classik Studio Reverb”, offers a suite of four high-quality reverb plug-ins, Plate, Hall, Room and Inverse, which are available as a single product, or separately in the T-RackS Custom Shop.

Each reverb module has two modes, “easy and advanced”, with up to 100 adjustable parameters per unit.

IK Multimedia goes on to explain “CSR operates within two modes: Easy and Advanced.

The Easy mode provides access to basic reverb controls like mix, decay time and level, diffusion, buildup, slope, etc., depending upon which of the four units is being used. Advanced Mode delves more deeply into the fine-tuning and response of the unit. Plus, there’s a handy Macro feature that allows you to deeply assign controls to one of four macro sliders for simultaneous adjustment of multiple parameters. What that really means is you have an unprecedented amount of control over how your reverb responds. And it’s all easy.”

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Here is a better explanation of the advanced mode: “If you need more control than is available in Easy Mode, CSR provides Advanced Mode. Here you will find an array of highly developed modeling and shaping controls that are hard to find in any reverb – over 100 parameters per unit to be precise. All parameters, the Modulation Matrix, and Macro Controls, can be adjusted and changed to create the reverb effect that you need, tailored to the very finest detail. The Modulation Matrix is an 8×8 structure; meaning that 8 modulation sources can manipulate 8 destinations. For example, to apply an envelope to your reverb time, you can fine-tune the tail for a specific reverb sound. Or, use an LFO to modulate the reverb image, creating movement in the acoustic space.”

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“Macro controls can be created allowing complex sweeping changes in Classik Studio Reverb’s effects, changing virtual environments at your command. You can associate up to 8 different CSR controls to a simple Macro slider, therefore making morphing between different reverb settings easier than ever. In both Easy and Advanced Modes, it is always simple to find that perfect sound. A convenient A/B comparison allows you to quickly apply modifications and compare between two reverb settings in a snap.”

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You can purchase CSR as a set of four, “Plate, Room, Hall, Inverse”, or one by one with the “Custom Shop” app. Please take note that you do not need an ILOK dongle to hold your license information, as these plugins will work once you have downloaded them from IK Multimedia.

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I love how easy the reverbs sound, right from the moment I open them up. They just make music sound way better, just by placing them on tracks. Plus, you can work them in “easy mode” or “advanced mode” for a world of possibilities.

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This is from the IK Multimedias’ website, “CSR’s four reverb modules are now part of the T-Racks Custom Shop, which means they can be used in the T-Racks CS processing chain like all the other modules. They can also be run as single plug-ins in VST, RTAS, AAX and Audio Units compatible hosts, that support 64 bit operation.”

If you already are a IK Multimedia T-Racks CS user, just log into the Custom Shop and click the TRY/BUY button on the CSR Classik Studio Reverbs modules, to try them out for free or purchase them.

If you aren’t a T-Racks Custom Shop user yet, access to your user area to get your FREE T-RackS Custom Shop serial number and download the product installer. Once you have installed T-RackS Custom Shop, log into the Custom Shop and click the TRY/BUY button on the CSR Classik Studio Reverbs modules to try them out for free, or purchase them.

 

 

 

 

Episode 43, Excuses we make

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Links to things mentioned in todays podcast episode:

The 2014 Home Recording Weekly Songwriting Contest info page

David Glenn, “Mixing Vocals

Shark Tank

Pensados Place with Teddy Riley

Thanks so much for listening!

“Mixing Vocals”, from David Glenn Recording, review

I am honored to be reviewing Mixing Vocals, the new video training series that deals with all things mixing vocals, from mixing engineer David Glenn.  David may be one of the new members over at The Pro Audio Files, but he is in no way new to mixing. As a matter of fact, David Glenn has been mixing for a long time, and he has earned his stripes, so to speak. His knowledge of all things mixing is apparent in the Mixing Vocals.

As a disclaimer, I opted to download and review Mixing Vocals and  The Mix Series as a bundle. I got what I feel is twice the content for a great savings by doing things in this way. However, I will only be reviewing Mixing Vocals today. Sorry about any confusion that might cause any of you.

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The Mixing Vocals has 10 videos (over five full mixing hours) in all, as well as the exact same session files that David mixes in the series. You also get the exact same song files that the tutorial uses, just so that you can mix along with David. How freaking awesome is that? The whole idea is to learn something new from Mixing Vocals, and from David Glenn, by watching him do it and then doing it yourself in your own DAW. This has proven to be the winning formula for learning success.

If you are wanting to learn more about mixing vocals using things like limiters, compressors, distortion, reverbs, parallel processing tracks, EQ’s, multi-band compressors, (and so much more) then Mixing Vocals is the series for you! David Glenn shows the viewer how he applies all of these commonly applied, cool sounding effects, and then he leaves it up to the viewer to decide what it is that they like. He shows us a few scenarios of each type of effect, and then moves on to the next. The viewer gets a great understanding of many effects that are almost always used in todays music.

Please follow the links provided, at any point in this review, to go over to the “purchase/download” web page for the Mixing Vocals.

Let me side track a little bit by saying that the song in this tutorial is amazing. That is not really important, but it sure makes the videos more enjoyable to watch. We end up hearing the lyrics over and over, in these training videos, and it is nice when the song is very good. This song is very good.

David is using Pro Tools in this training video series, but if you do not own Pro Tools then please do not worry about that. The D.A.W. that David is using is not all that important. What is important is the techniques that he is using/teaching. These techniques can be performed in any D.A.W. I use PreSonus Studio One as a D.A.W. and I can certainly do everything that David does in Mixing Vocals.

Mixing Vocals is available, by itself, for 37.00 U.S. Dollars.

Multi-track sessions is available for 37.00 U.S. Dollars. Included in Multi-track sessions are the ProTools templates and wav files that David Glenn uses in the series, and he details how he mixes the vocals through each song. You get to watch David work through the song, and then you can follow along with him. Surely this is a great way to learn how to mix vocals in todays music!

The Mix Series includes session files and ProTools templates for mixing in several genres, and several styles of popular music. David Glenn shows the viewer how he likes to set up a mix, save the sessions, and make the all important “mix templates”. He supplies all of the tracks and some templates too.

The Mix Series and Mixing Vocals Bundle is a steal, and cheaper, once bundled, at only 57.00 U.S. Dollars. This is the very option I opted for, and I am glad that I did. I saved 20 bucks!

 Let me break down the individual videos, found within Mixing Vocals, for you…..

Video one

Video one, of Mixing Vocals starts right in with teaching some very important content. This important content is the stuff that can make or break a session. David starts with what some might consider “basic stuff”. However, setting up levels correctly, right from the start, is not “basic” at all, but it is super important. You must set things up correctly, right from the start, so that we can work them well into the rest of the mixing session.  David explains, and demonstrates, things like trim, levels, head room, gain, clip gain, and why it is that we address these things.

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David explains what is on his mind, as a professional mixing engineer, the whole time. In fact, that is the very thing that makes these sorts of training videos so worth the time and money. You simply learn so much! It really is like you are sitting down with a professional mixing engineer the whole time, and he tells you everything!

One obvious thing jumps out at me right from word one. David Glenn is a great teacher. He is easy to listen to for great lengths of time. He explains things extremely well. I am following along with no problems at all, and I am enjoying the content as it flows, and it is flowing nicely.

David starts working on the lead vocal right away. He sets the gain levels for mixing, leaves headroom, and explains why we need to have headroom, when mixing, in the first place. Next, the all powerful high pass filter makes its debut. David details why he uses the tools he is using to accomplish the things that he is performing, with “before and after” listening’s. David teaches what he is doing and then he does it.

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David goes on to share (what will become just one of the many) a very cool technique with us. David starts teaching us how he likes to use clip gain to get a more natural sounding performance instead of using things like compression to smash peaks and raise the quiet parts. He gets a very dynamic vocal with tons and tons of emotion. This is a very clever technique to learn. This idea, all by itself, is worth the price of the whole video series. It really makes the vocals way more interesting and way more intimate. Great stuff indeed, and this is only the first video in the series!

Davis continues well into the vocal track demonstrating how he employs this technique. He explains how to use it, like a pro, and the vocal continues to sound better and better. I can’t wait to try this out on the included files. That is another cool thing about Mixing Vocals, the included song files. I can learn what David is doing, and then I can try my hand at it right on the exact same files.

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Next, David opens a limiter and begins limiting the loud parts of the vocals. This is known as peak limiting. Keep in mind that he explains everything he is doing, in great detail, as he does it. The viewer is right there with David, understanding each thing he is doing. He not only gives you the settings on the plugins he uses, but he explains the process that he is using the plugins to perform. The two (process and settings) come together nicely once he explains them.

Next, David pulls out his trusted LA-2A compressor. He brings in some compression to gently compress the vocals. He is careful not to do too much, but instead he likes to employ gentle touches. Slow and steady wins the race, and this is how David Glenn works. This is the good stuff guys! Keep in mind that David explains how to do much of this stuff with stock plugins too. You do not need to have lots of the fancy plugins that a lot of the pros have.

Next, in Mixing Vocals, David Glenn explains how he uses parallel compression with vocal tracks. He shows us how he routes the tracks in his D.A.W. and then he gets into the parallel compression track itself. David explains what it is that he listens for, what it is that he aims for, and how he gets there, using not only parallel compression, but also more than one compressor in the parallel compression track. He gives real numbers to aim for, and how he gets those real numbers. I am learning a lot here, and I can’t wait to use this multiple compressor approach in my parallel compression tracks.

Then David adds some “grit” on to the main vocal track. Sometimes he likes to add some saturation or distortion to “dirty up” a clean vocal take. He opens a few different plugins to try them out against each other. This is a cool way to learn about what others use, and how they use them. I like to learn about the many sorts of plugins, and how folks like to use them. He solos the vocal in yet another “before and after” example, and then explains why he uses it. It does make the vocal more intimate and more real feeling to me.

Next, in video two, David Glenn covers how he applies EQ to the vocal tracks that he mixes. If you are already convinced that you will learn more that you ever imagined about mixing vocals just by watching Mixing Vocals then I say you are right. Why keep reading my review? Stop reading and purchase your copy right now. Here is your link over to purchase Mixing Vocals.

Video two

David digs right back in and starts EQ’ing the vocals. His weapon of choice to begin is a De-esser. David shows us how he likes to operate on sibilance with his favorite De-essing plugin, but then he shows us how to apply De-essing with other, perhaps more accessible, types of De-essing plugins too. This is great because so many of us are not yet professional mixers and we can’t yet afford the top of the line tools and plugins.

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David Glenn is careful to explain exactly what it is that he is trying to accomplish, and then he takes the viewer with him as he does said task. I like how he also demonstrates different ways that we can do the same task. He actually details several ways to use uncommon techniques to tame harsh sibilance. This is how we cement the techniques that we are learning. Then, once we have a grasp of the concept, have learned how to get what we want, we can do it ourselves with the included song files. This is gold! Mixing Vocals is a steal for the content that is in here! I am learning a ton, and I am also gaining confidence in the techniques that I am learning.

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Video three

The topics for video three in Mixing Vocals are EQ and Multi-band Compression. That is awesome. I struggle with multi-band compression, especially when applied to a vocal track.

Davis gives us a great EQ technique right at the start of video three. He demonstrates this very cool subtractive EQ tip that had (until today) eluded me. Again, this tip, alone, is worth the price of the whole series. Mixing Vocals continues to pay me back, amazing idea after amazing idea. Thanks so much David! He really opens up the vocal, and gets it to punch through the mix with this one very easy to replicate idea. This will be something I do forever on.

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Look, if you are serious about taking your mixing skills to the next level, than Mixing Vocals is for you. If you struggle with getting tracks like vocals to sit on the rest of the song perfectly, then please let David Glen show you what you can try. Sometimes we need someone to explain a couple of techniques to us, here and there, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. You can become a much better mixing engineer, with some help from others, and David can help get you there faster. He has some amazing ideas to share. If you are like me you like to collect tools and keep them in your mixing tool box. David Glenn is offering you a whole set of vocal tools. Won’t you take his offer?

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Next, David shows us some multi-band magic using a free multi-band compressor plugin. We all have access to a free multi-band compressor plugin, so we can all try these things he is showing us. Next, David opens a multi-band compressor and gets to work. Explaining in depth as he goes, he brings the vocals right up to an amazing quality. David does “A/B comparisons” and teaches what to “listen for”. This is so very important. We must know what to aim for, and then how to get there. Amazing stuff here.

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David also supplies us with names of other professional mixers that we should check out. For example, when using a Pultec EQ he details a mixing engineer and particular video that we should go and watch. This is rare for a mixing engineer that makes training videos to do, but it is oh so helpful. This just goes to show how humble and how comfortable David Glenn is with his mixing skills.

 Video four

Things begin to get wet in video four of Mixing Vocals. I am talking about FX here. David continues to amaze and he explains things as he goes.

David begins with a slap delay. David first chooses a stock stereo delay, detailing how he sets them up the entire time. He sets it up as a slap delay, and then he adjusts it to the vocal. David will end up repeating the slap delays with a few plugins. Next, its’ saturation time. He employs an EQ, next, and does a cool trick that makes things sound more vintage, and less digital. This is a great idea, and it makes such a difference with one simple EQ change! Next David ads a gentle tape saturation. David uses many different plugins to accomplish basically the same effect. I love this about David. You get a great understanding of not only what we are after, but also how to get there using a few different plugins.

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David also shows us one of his “doubler” set ups using Izotope Nectar. He sure has a knack for making things sound great quickly. Then its on to yet another plugin for yet another way to get a great double sound. David loves to share content, and I have the feeling that he wants you to get your monies worth and so then much more.

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David opens up a plate reverb and gets it to sound great. Then he gives us a cool explanation of pre-delay times, and what they really are. With a fresh new understanding of what pre-delay is doing, he adjusts the pre-delay of the reverb to taste, and tempo. This is yet one more reason to tell you how much value is found in Mixing Vocals. This series is amazing. I am gaining a whole lot of new ideas, with a new confidence. David works in slap delays, mono and stereo reverbs like plate reverbs, room reverbs, and hall reverbs. Toss in some great explanations of pre-delay times, decay times, and how to use them to their best potential in your tracks, and you have yet another great video in Mixing Vocals.

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 David Glenn also talks a bunch about frequencies. He takes in the songs parts as a whole, and then he works in the vocals. The track has a piano, and he makes sure both fit and both work. This is a must, and the more effects that we use, the more artifacts we will hear. David brings in EQ’s and demonstrates how he would apply EQ to help things work together. He also brings in saturation plugins and even a bit crusher. He does these things all throughout Mixing Vocals, in hopes of helping the viewer learn what to listen for, and how to better mix with “space creating types” of effects.

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Video five

Genre specific music is the theme for the next five videos. If you purchase Mixing Vocals you will have a lot of content. Your download will include 10 videos, ProTools templates, and lots of session files and wav files.

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If you work in ProTools you can use the templates provided for you in the download, and simply drag and drop the files into your new session. If you do not work in ProTools, that is ok too, you can import the wav files provided in the download, into your new session. This is all in hopes that you follow along with David Glenn, as he works his magic. How cool.

Video five of Mixing Vocals is simply a tutorial within a tutorial series, to show you how to set up your templates, import your files, and then find the tempo for each session.

Video 6 to video 10

From here on out, David shows us how he mixes vocals in different genres of music. Each of the next four videos demonstrates how he uses (both) effects like EQ, compression, saturation, and techniques like de-essing, parallel compression, to get his vocal sound. His vocals sit well in a mix and sound awesome, by the way.

Video six

David Glenn opens up a slamming rap track, and gets to work. This is 46 minutes of hard core mixing! This is awesome, we are getting a ton of interesting content here, and we get to watch David mix another style of music vocal. First, he walks through the template, and how the session is laid out. One by one, David adds effects like saturation, EQ, and compression to the rap vocal track. David also demonstrates how he likes to employ mix techniques, too, like parallel compression, just to name one. David also shows us how he removes certain noise, like a ringing microphone stand. This is something that we can all learn from, and use in our home recording studios! Awesome.

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This is like getting another bunch of mixing videos in one package! David mixes the vocals, from start to finish. This is awesome for home recording nuts because he recorded these vocals in his home! His closet was turned into a vocal booth for this track. Can’t you relate to that?

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Video 7

This is simply part two of the rap vocal mixing series that David started in video 7. Davis continue mixing the vocal until it is absolutley perfect. That is a lot since it was recorded in a bedroom closet! Amazing indeed!

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Video 8

 Once more, David mixes a song, start to finish, and he brings us along for the whole ride. This track is a male singer songwriter sort of song, and it sounds like what is currently on the radio. Great song, and a great video. Again, David applies techniques and effects, one after another, talking the whole time, until the vocals are amazing! Mixing Vocals is a steal for the overwhelming amount of content you will receive. David details tips and tricks as he moves along, like why he likes to put things like de-essing before (or after) things like the compression. Awesome information from beginning to end.

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Video 9

This is part two of the singer songwriter track that we started in video 7. David Glenn moves along to adding effects like reverb and some final EQ to the vocals. You get another glorious 43 minutes of mixing. But, you actually get so much more. You get to know what David is thinking, as a professional mixer. That is the gold.

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Video 10

Video number 10 is another interesting session. This one is titled, “Mixing live vocals”, and this one is a gospel track. David explains how this track took multiple days to record, and he explains how it unfolded. This is important for us to know since we will want to learn what David has on his mind when mixing.

What else can I say about getting a ton for a little bit of money? David has made sure that we feel as if we got a great deal, and we do. Mixing Vocals is amazing, from start to finish, and there is over five hours of incredible instruction here. You get an inside look at the processes at work. You learn how to apply the very effects that the pros use to get great vocal mixes. You learn all of the techniques that professional mixing engineers use to get amazing sounding vocals. It is all in here.

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I can’t recommend this series enough. The content is all of the highest caliber. Plus, the sheer amount of content is almost overwhelming. If your vocals have been plagued by any of the common issues like not sitting in the mix right, not sounding like the pros vocals do, or nor having enough punch, then you will love Mixing Vocals. If that sounds like you, then Mixing Vocals is just perfect for you. Heck, even if you are a seasoned mixer, you will learn more than your monies worth, I just know it.

Once more, David has made his content available for download in a few different ways:

Mixing Vocals is available, by itself, for 37.00 U.S. Dollars.

Multi-track sessions is available for 37.00 U.S. Dollars. Included in Multi-track sessions are the ProTools templates and wav files that David Glenn uses in the series, and he details how he mixes the vocals through each song. You get to watch David work through the song, and then you can follow along with him. Surely this is a great way to learn how to mix vocals in todays music!

The Mix Series includes session files and ProTools templates for mixing in several genres, and several styles of popular music. David Glenn shows the viewer how he likes to set up a mix, save the sessions, and make the all important “mix templates”. He supplies all of the tracks and some templates too.

The Mix Series and Mixing Vocals Bundle is a steal, and cheaper, once bundled, at only 57.00 U.S. Dollars.

The mighty Cerwin Vega CVM 1022 Mixer

I actually gave one of these handy little professional audio mixers away in the 2013 Home Recording Weekly Songwriting contest. Ever since then, I have felt the need to to tell you why it is that I have these great mixers in my home studio. The best way for me to tell you the good stuff is to turn it into a review style post. So, here is the review style post that I have put together for the Cerwin Vega CVM 1022 Professional Audio Mixer.

Here is the important data that we all look for first, in a review…….

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The Cerwin Vega CVM 1022 Professional Audio Mixer can have 10 Channels of inputs…….

The input possibilities break down like this: 4 XLR inputs (which breaks down into two mono XLR and two stereo XLR), 2 stereo RCA inputs (one pair for turn tables and/or tape in and one pair as another input), and two 1/4 inch mono (line level) inputs, and four 1/4 inch stereo inputs. This makes for a very handy amount of inputs and allows for some creative signal routing. But we are just getting started here, there are so many great things going on here. The Cerwin Vega CVM 1022 Professional Audio Mixer is very flex-able indeed!

There are stereo “inserts” on channels one and two. These are “in line”, or “in series” with the inserts. This is perfect for adding stereo compression, effects like reverb and delay, or perhaps even a limiter for added clip protection. You can add as many effects as you like, since they are in series, and one plugs into the next. This sells the whole affair. This is amazing for such a tiny footprint, and small price tag of a mixer. Having the ability to add EQ and compression on two tracks is very handy!

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Check this out: How about not only a three band EQ and a switchable (on and off) 75hz high pass filters on the first four channels, like so many other small mixers in this category, but add to that a three band EQ on stereo channels 7/8 and 9/10 too. That is six channels of EQ here! That is impressive for such a small mixer.

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The Cerwin Vega CVM 1022 Professional Audio Mixer has “Main outputs” and “Control room outputs/headphones”, with separate volume controls.

If you are not impressed with the mighty little Cerwin Vega CVM 1022 Professional Audio Mixer just yet, then add to this nice list of features: a strong metal chassis, nice feeling knobs and buttons, 10 level (three color) L.E.D. level lighting, switchable (on/off) 48 volt phantom power, small foot print, and you have one handy, great sounding, professional grade audio mixer.

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The Cerwin Vega CVM 1022 Professional Audio Mixer is perfect for so many of the most popular applications that you all are into……..

I see the Cerwin Vega CVM 1022 Professional Audio Mixer right at home in your home studio, handling tasks like

* Managing the signal routing needed for the creation of loops and samples

* DJ’ing multiple audio sources (with FX)

* Allowing many microphones to be mixed down to a stereo pair for those that only have two inputs on their recording interfaces

*  Doing common tasks like summing multiple microphones down for the bigger, more complicated recording sessions

* Performing Skype interviews, and even real world, multi-microphone interviews

* Handling the needed signal routing for professional sounding YouTube videos

* Easily handling all of the audio routing needed for making professional sounding podcasts

* Running a “monitor-send” chain, or running personal “monitor-send” from a larger board or perhaps a “house board”.

* Recording several unique sources to one stereo recording

* Routing many microphones and music devices to a stereo pair for video/podcasts/interviews

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Before I detail exactly why I believe each “audio making” person on Earth should have a professional audio mixer in their home or professional studio, which is what I call my “home studio gear philosophy”, let me also tell you about one or two features that I can live without.

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I once had a small mixer that worked via USB. I should say that is was supposed to work via USB. The unit got very hot and then “crackled” loudly from the all of the heat it generated. The noise would enter into whatever was recorded. Then, the unit required its’ own software in order to operate, and the software was crap.

This is just a couple of reasons that I do not like USB or FireWire mixers. They are not as professional in nature, if you ask me. I want to route common audio plug ends and not worry about USB/FireWire inputs, or more software than I need. I love, love, love that the Cerwin Vega CVM 1022 Professional Audio Mixer has regular and professional plug inputs and outputs.

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OK, here is my home studio gear philosophy: When it comes to helping folks put together recording rigs, live music rigs, professional video rigs, or even podcast rigs, I often tell people to make sure that you not place all of your eggs into the same basket. What I mean is that I try to stay away from buying “all-in-one” units. I am talking about the mixers that have built in effects, built in recording systems, built in microphones, and the list of “built in features” often times goes on and on.

The reason I ask people to stay away from buying “all-in-one” units is just in case it breaks down. If it quits, you have nothing. You are stuck in place, unable to make anything at all.

What do you do then?

If you purchase separate units for your audio tasks (like a mixer, a audio recorder, microphones, CD/MP3 music player, effects units) and any one piece of the chain breaks down, you can still work. After doing some simple signal routing you can bypass the broken piece of the chain and continue working. That is what I recommend to folks, and it is how I put together home studios. I love having separate audio devices, each handling the one thing they do so well, rather than a “all-in-one” unit.

Here is where small, but well thought out mixers come in and become so darn handy. You can route almost anything into almost anything with the help of a little but powerful mixer like the Cerwin Vega CVM 1022 Professional Audio Mixer. You can EQ and compress your voice and run that into a video cameras. You can run multiple microphones (like from a drum set) into the Cerwin Vega CVM 1022 Professional Audio Mixer and then into a small recording interface for tracking real drums. You can perform massive, multi person interviews with ease. You can run music into it, along with a couple of microphones, and make a killer podcast that sounds just like the pros!

Let me tell you that having multiple outputs, for studio work, is uber cool. The Cerwin Vega CVM 1022 Professional Audio Mixer has headphone outputs, outputs for a control room or maybe studio monitors, and a main output pair. The main output can go to the audio recorder (in my case) or maybe a video camera, your computer, or whatever you can think of.

Having these separate outputs makes the important job of monitoring what you are recording very simple. There are also two knobs for the separate outputs, so you can tailor the levels to your taste. This helps prevent signal overloading of the audio recorders’ levels, just so that you can better hear what is being recorded. This is another example of a well thought out, well made, professional grade audio mixer. Well done Cerwin Vega!

Just to push you over the decision making edge, the Cerwin Vega CVM 1022 Professional Audio Mixer does not have a “wall wart” style plug. How cool is that? It has a normal plug with an “in line” transformer, running into the mixer with a screw in plug. These little touches just add to the over all professionalism of the Cerwin Vega CVM 1022 Professional Audio Mixer.

 The Cerwin Vega CVM 1022 Professional Audio Mixer is one handy, well made, small foot print-sized mixer. I love how handy it is and how well thought out it is. It handles any task I ask it to, and it simply sounds amazing the whole time. I have yet to hear a crackle, hiss, hum, or defect of any sort come from my Cerwin Vega CVM 1022 Professional Audio Mixer. That says a lot because I use it all the time, and in many unique ways. If you are still on the fence about purchasing one for your home studio, live rig, video rig, or any rig, than stop by your nearest Cerwin Vega dealer and try one out for yourself. You will agree with everything I have posted here.

To wrap this review up, I’d have to say this……

For about 100 bucks, U.S. dollars, you can have a well laid out, well thought out, professional grade mixer. The long list of cool features, like the multitude of inputs, “extra” two channels of EQ on stereo channels 7/8 and 9/10, the “in-line”, or “in-series” stereo sends on channels one and two, and separate out puts with separate volume knobs are very impressive, make this little but powerful mixer stand out. It is able to perform at a professional level and supply clean audio routing for many years and many projects to come.

Whatever it is that you are up to in this tech savvy world we live in, the Cerwin Vega CVM 1022 Professional Audio Mixer will help you sound your best. Whatever your dream might be, from making that world dominating viral YouTube video to podcasting your way to the top of ITunes, Cerwin Vega can help you! Go try the Cerwin Vega CVM 1022 Professional Audio Mixer out today!

Episode 42, The 2014 Home Recording Weekly Song writing contest.

The 2014 Home Recording Weekly Song writing contest. is the biggest year yet!

I am so proud of how the contest has grown, year after year. I am so happy to have such a cool collection of unique, home grown songs, from all of you that have entered. Let me say a great big (and heart felt) “Thank you all so much” to all of you that have entered. Here are the details for the 2014 contest.

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Here are the four (4) rules for entering…..

BTW…… The 2014 Home Recording Weekly Songwriting Contest is only open for U.S. residents. It kills me to deny access to the rest of the  world, but I am learning as I go. I simply can’t ship physical products around the world. So, in order to have physical products as prizes I had to keep the contest for U.S. residents only.

1) You must have “liked” Home Recording Weekly on our Facebook page.

2) You must subscribe to Home Recording Weekly by placing your email into the box on the right hand side of the Home Recording Weekly website. You will also receive the free EBook titled, “Acoustic treatment made easy”, as a cool bonus for entering.

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3) You must place your song into a “compressed zip folder” and email it to “Kern@homerecordingweekly.com” with “song contest entry” in the subject line of your email. Here is a video that will help you do this step, if you need a hand.

4) Sit back and listen to the Home Recording Weekly podcast.

That is it!

Just like all of the other years before this one, I have bent over backwards, making sure to ask every one that I know, and all of the companies that you have asked for, for prize donations. You will be wise to enter this contest since the list of prizes is quite amazing, even if I do say so myself.

Here is the list of prizes that I will be giving away to three lucky winners, via the 2014 Home Recording Weekly Song writing contest….

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From Rock Solid Guitar Stands, a “Classic 4“, four space instrument stand, in honey finish. Rock Solid Guitar Stands are furniture grade guitar/bass stands for your home studio, the stage, or where ever you need to have four instruments at hands reach. I always try to keep instruments, at an arms reach, just incase the bug strikes.

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I am honored to be reviewing Mixing Vocals, the new video training series that deals with all things mixing vocals, from mixing engineer David Glenn.  David may be one of the new members over at The Pro Audio Files, but he is in no way new to mixing. As a matter of fact, David Glenn has been mixing for a long time, and he has earned his stripes, so to speak. His knowledge of all things mixing is apparent in the Mixing Vocals.

David Glenn has graciously donated three copies of his brand new training video series, Mixing Vocals, and I am thankful for that. I am currently reviewing this awesome series, and you are going to love this series. I am learning a ton, and so will you. If you want amazing sounding vocal tracks that sit perfectly in a mix, this is your series.

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When inspiration hits, I don’t want to go upstairs, under the bed, and pull out my guitar case, open up the case, tune up the guitar, and then play it. That is way too many steps. Keep your instruments close, in tune, and ready to play. Rock Solid Guitar Stands do the job of keeping your inspiration well fed and well pleased.

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From PreSonus Audio, an AudioBox USB recording interface and a copy of Studio One pro software. PreSonus makes one of the easiest to use, yet most powerful DAWs I have ever come across. I use their DAW, “Studio one pro” every day. I love hoe it is laid out, and the powerful tools that it ships with. I also use a PreSonus interface, and love how it simply works with every other tool in my studio flawlessly.

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PreSonus wants me to award the winners with an AudioBox  USB recording interface and a copy of “Studio one pro“. How about that? This is amazing of them, and amazing for everyone that enters!

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From Kevin Ward, A.K.A. The Mix Coach, “Guide to Rock Mixing” training video. Kevin is a professional recording/mixing engineer in Nashville, and he knows how to mix rock music. I reviewed this very training video and I still use what I learned each and every time I mix. This is a great prize and an excellent training resource.

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From Groove3 Training, a 365 day “All Access Pass” to their training videos. If you wish to learn something in audio, Groove3 has a selection of training videos for you to choose from. Some of the industries most important folks are making those videos, too, so this is one solid prize. If you can come up with a technique, virtual instrument, plug in, or a procedure, Groove3 has a training video about it.

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From Chemistry Design Werks, a “Standard” HoleyBoard guitar/bass/keyboard effect pedal board, in natural coloring. I love the system that Chemistry Design Werks has come up with for keeping your pedals on the HoleyBoard. Zip ties are easy, fast, and so strong. Adding and/or removing pedals to your board is just so easy and so quick. Add to this the great idea of having two levels, a place for larger pedals like a volume or a wah pedal, and you have what I feel is the best pedalboard on the market. I love my HoleyBoard and I asked them for these, as prizes, so you too can learn how amazing they really are.

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Zip ties are easy, fast, and oh so strong. Adding and/or removing pedals to your board is just so easy and so quick. Add to this the great idea of having two levels, a place for larger pedals like a volume or a wah pedal, and you have what I feel is the best pedal board on the market. I love my HoleyBoard and I asked them for these, as prizes, so you too can learn how amazing they really are.

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Steven Slate Digital wants you to win a copy of their Steven Slate Drums Platinum Edition. I have used all of the popular virtual/midi drum packs, and Steven Slate Drums Platinum Edition is at the very top. It is not a drain on your machine, it is very intuitive, and super easy to use. Most importantly, it sounds very, very, very good. Plus, your copy ships with tons of drum loops and a complete mixer section built right in. For great sounding recordings, the pros turn to Steven Slate Drums Platinum Edition so why shouldn’t you? You will need to purchase an ILOK USB to store your license for this product.

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IK Multimedia is onboard, and they want me to award three lucky winners with their own copy of T-Racks Grande mixing and mastering software.

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This is massive guys. T-Racks Grande is perhaps the best of the best in sound, flexibility, and in realism. T-Racks Grande has the potential to take your mixes and your masters from good to AMAZING. You will get the best in vintage and modern models as plugins, including compressors, EQ’s, Limiters, Multi-Band Compressors, and so much more. T-Racks Grande units all handle L/R and M/S processing, and have the best metering suite that I have ever come across. Dynamic range, true loudness, RMS metering, true frequency readings, and stereo field/phase metering is all included.

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From Matt Weiss, and all of my friends over at The Pro Audio Files, how about a copy of “Mixing Hip Hop Vocals“, and a copy of “Mixing with Compression“. I learned a lot about todays mixing, and a lot about about Matt Weiss when I interviewed him on the Home Recording Weekly podcast. If you want to learn more about this cool cat, please use this link over to episode 34 of the podcast I made with Matt Weiss.

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From Audiofile Engineering, a copy of Quiztones. Quiztones is the fun way to get your ears into shape. As you play along with the Quiztones app, you are asked to “name that frequency range”.

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You can also use audio that you upload into Quiztones, and continue to play along. I can’t believe how quickly I got my ears into shape, all thanks to Quiztones. Plus, since it is an app I can always get a quick tune up before each mixing or mastering session. Please check out the other apps that Audiofile Engineering has for you to take advantage of, by following the link provided.

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From Nashville recording artist, mixer magician, and all around nice guy, Matt Butler, a copy of “The Art of Balancing a Mix“. This training video series was an eye opening shocker. Matt takes a mix from rough to ready for the radio with just a few choice stock plugins. He explains what is really critical and what is important when mixing a song. I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but it isn’t fancy plugins!

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From Pedal Labels, a complete package of their “oh so clever” Pedal Labels. These are so smart and so handy, I think every musician that owns their own gear (amps, rack mounted gear, pedals, etc.) should have multiple sets of Pedal Labels. As a stay at home Dad, I need a set for the clothes dryer, the oven, and the dishwasher too. These things opened up my eyes, and really stood out as a cool idea that really helps us out!

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You know that Joe Gilder is a friend of ours, and he wants to encourage us all to become better recording/mixing/mastering nuts.

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I know this because he wants to double the prizes that he gave away last year.  Yep, he wants you to have a copy of “Understanding EQ“, and a copy of “Understanding Compression“. What more can I tell you about Joe Gilder that I haven’t yet told you? He is crazy good at all things recording, mixing, and mastering. He is crazy generous. You can check out his interviews on the Home Recording Weekly podcast here and here.

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Graham Cochrane, of The Recording Revolution, wants to give you a copy of his mind blowing, game changing “Re-Think Mixing” training video series. Re-Think Mixing could very well be the “holy grail of training videos”, because it is “that good”. I have watched this gem over and over, many time over. You will learn a ton from watching Graham mix a song, from start to finish, in Re-Think Mixing.

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 From my new friends over at (the amazing) Softube, a copy of their TSAR-1 Reverb plugin. You will need to purchase an ILOK USB to store your license for this product. You owe it to yourself to check out the great assortment of plugins over at  Softube. They make some of the best emulations of some of the most used and most sought after tools in the industry. Plus they make some cool plugins that help folks reach “mixing Nirvana”, like the  “Amp Room” series.

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The Pick Punch

Few things come to Home Recording Weekly that make me feel as warm, as deep down inside, as the Pick Punch has done. I feel as if I am helping save the planet, one pic at a time. Plus, I might have found a way to save “tens of dollars” in the meantime.

The  Pick Punch is a very well made punch system that spits out guitar and bass picks. There are a few styles available, and each style makes a different type of pic. The  Pick Punch turns those old plastic cards that we all throw away into guitar/bass picks. It is that simple. Think about how many hotel key cards, expired credit cards, and even old licenses that you have cut up and tossed out. Then you go to the music store and spend your hard earned cash on guitar/bass picks. Stop the foolishness, put a  Pick Punch in your guitar case.

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It is my belief that every guitar/bass player should have one  Pick Punch in their instrument case, just for emergencies. How many times have you tried to play with a penny, a milk jug cap, or (insert small object)? Yes, me too. Those days are now over. I will be able to make a guitar pick right on the spot.

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There are a lot of “make your own pick supplies” over at their website too, and a lot of cool pick holding solutions. If you are spend thrifty, need your own custom guitar/bass picks, or if you need to display those picks that you fought a crowd for, head over to The  Pick Punch Website and check out what they can do for you!

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Episode 41 Skydiving is like mixing

Listen to Episode 41 to learn how Skydiving is very much like mixing.

I mention Dueling Mixes in todays post. Please use the link to visit my review and video for Dueling Mixes.

Thanks for checking out Home Recording Weekly, and make sure you get your free copy of “Acoustic room treatment made easy”, by entering your email in the form box. It comes as email to the address that you enter.

Happy mixing, and happy skydiving!