Episode 91, “Vintage versus brand new gear”

Vintage gear? Yep, I have some of that…

“PapaTom” over at “The Strat Connection” took my bridge and repaired it correctly and quickly. This guy knows “E series” MIJ Stratocasters like no one else on Earth. He did an amazing job! Please check out all of his informative videos and content if you haven’t done so already.

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Next up, as I talk about in Episode 91, Bill Dewees, the voice over expert, has a lot to teach in the amazing “Voiceover Playbook“. Bill goes beyond the expected and explains how to stand out in a dense market, and how to find the work you are looking for. I actually found a paying audio job with ease, following only advice from Bill Dewees. The  “Voiceover Playbook” has paid for itself many times over.

Here is that link over to “The single best thing you must do in order to become great at mixing” post that I mention in Episode 91 of the podcast…

Mixing and mastering courses and training that I will always stand behind 100 percent…

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Ultimate Mastering Formula” from Rob Williams was ground breaking for me and it really put the whole job of putting professional sounding music into an easy to understand, easy to achieve process.

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Dueling Mixes” from both Graham Cochrane and Joe Gilder was the first time I was introduced to so many great mixing mindsets.

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Mix Coach Pro Membership” from Kevin Wards, the Mix Coach himself, is powerful if you wish to be more than genre specific.

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The Mix Academy” from pro mix engineer David Glenn is packed full of monthly tutorials and great songs to mix.

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 “Mixing with Compression” from Matt Weiss, has absolutely paid for itself 100 times over!

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Joe Gilder “Home Studio Corner VIP Membership” will give you a lifetimes worth of insight on creating great music from a home studio.

IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced full review and demo

It just does not matter if you are recording, mixing, mastering, or performing live sound for bands and or DJ’s with a digital system, IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced is incredible. I want to share how I use this amazing powerful platform of tools, and offer you a fun challenge…

Please know there are two versions of IZotope Ozone 7 available.  IZotope has found a way that allows folks to experience the “Ozone platform” for much less money, by offering an “Essentials” version of Ozone 7. If you are new to mixing and mastering this seems like a great idea to me, with the option to upgrade as you grow. This demo/review post is for the new IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced. Please use the link provided to learn more about the two versions.

When it comes to mixing and mastering plugins, there is one name that continues with creative innovation as well as continuing a top quality. I was turned onto Ozone from other pro mix and mastering engineers, and for many reasons. The included value of a “all in one” style plugin is a serious value for any engineer. The creative uses that come with such a powerful tool remain countless. The quality of the included components, like EQ’s and compressors, inside of IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced, are top notch, and they are so easy to work with and configure. Getting great sounding music has never been so easy or simple thanks to IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced.

IZotope Ozone has gone through some cosmetic changes with the passing time, and it becomes better and easier to use with each new design. One thing that has remained constant is Ozone 7’s amazing usefulness and incredible sound quality. There are countless good reasons as to why IZotope Ozone has been one of the most raved about plugins for mix and mastering engineers the world over. It is amazing, and IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced is the new standard!

IZotope has found a way that allows folks to experience the Ozone platform for much less, by offering an “Essentials” version of Ozone. If you are new to mixing and mastering this seems like a great idea to me, with the option to upgrade as you grow. Please use the link provided to learn more about the two versions.

In a nutshell, IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced is a series of mixing and mastering tools all bundled in a cleverly designed platform. You can open up any of the modules (EQ, Vintage Compressor, Vintage Tape,  Multi band Compression, Vintage Limiter , Maximizer) within the platform, move them around in order, bypass/solo anything, use Mid/Side processing, and even ad in Dithering, all of course with many versions of each process, and of course to professional standards.

The “GUI”, or graphic user interface, of  IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced is laid out in such a way that it is so easy to use, and let me tell you why. The metering! Not only do you have displays for everything that is changing with elaborate metering but you have actual digits displayed too. This combines to remove all doubt about what it is you are doing. There is a spectrum readout with the EQs, stereo field scopes, multi band frequency reads for all of the tools that alter frequency, dynamic range information for compressors and limiters, and this list just goes on and on. This is amazing stuff people!

 IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced is powerful and incredible, and I have been a fan and a user for years and years. I was filled with joy on the first day I opened up Ozone. I was amazed by the features at first, and overwhelmed by the endless choices at first, but that soon gave way to better and better mixes and masters.Years and countless mixes and masters later I continue to rave about the raw potential and the overwhelming power that was Ozone 5. You can only imagine the joy I felt when I downloaded and first opened up IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced. This tool is a home run!

Let me just say, right here and now, that I feel mixing and mastering is an art form. Like any art form, the artist must devote massive amounts of time to practice, learning, and of course making mistakes.  As we learn our craft, we collect techniques, we learn to better use the tools available, and we find ways to improve the tracks that we create or that we are given. It is all about spending the required time to fully learn what the tools are capable of, how to harness that power, and learn the necessary techniques that we employ using these tools in order to accomplish our goals. Like any art form or trade, the better in quality and the more precise the tools are, the better the artists or tradesman results will be.  IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced is a whole set of professional, powerful, and precise tools, all in one easy to use platform.

First, the “main section” of IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced has many useful features that all mix and master engineers use all the time. You can “apply” IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced in series (100 percent wet) or in parallel (any amount of not wet), or in any place in between. In a world that has a spoken rule of “less is more” this feature helps take your mixes over the top. Add to the list of features “Mid/Side capabilities” and now your head explodes. But before you start cleaning brain matter off of your monitor, lets toss in the ability to place your whole mix into “mono” at the click of a button. This stuff is standard for IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced but rare in other plugin brands.

The list of powerful and incredible features just goes on and on. For example, when it comes to “soloing” frequency bands so that you can better hear, that is only a click away. You can bypass IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced as a whole, or you can bypass each module you open up (EQ, multi band compressor, tape saturation, etc.), which allows you to get extremely precise with your mixing.

Let me tell you that one trick that has taken my mixing and mastering to new heights is learning how to dissect and examine reference tracks.  IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced is the simply the best tool I have found for taking apart and looking closely at reference tracks. With  IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced I can actually hear and see (with the selection of included scopes) what is in mono and what is in stereo, I can solo any region of the frequency spectrum for a better and up close dissection, I can “solo EQ” anything I choose, and let me stop rambling by telling you I can even EQ match any reference I choose.

EQ Matching is a feature that even many of todays top mixing and mastering engineers take full advantage of. You can take an EQ curve from any source music and then apply that curve to your music, just to judge how far or how close you are to the reference source. This is powerful.

I of course use IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced when mixing and/or mastering, and let me tell you that I use it all over the place, on all sorts of tracks. As I typed this part of the review out a question popped into my head. The question is “Could I totally mix and then master out a complete albums worth of multi track sessions using only  IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced“? Let me give you some honesty here, and tell you seriously that I wholeheartedly believe that I could totally mix and then master an entire album using only  IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced. I do however have certain plugins that I love to use for certain tasks, as we all do, but I know I could do without them if forced to. The album might sound different, but it would sound great.

Let me go on here and give you some examples of the issues I can quickly and easily solve just by opening up  IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced when mixing and mastering multi track sessions of original music…

Compressor…

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What else can I say about compression that has not already been said? I compress just about everything. I find new and exciting ways to accomplish tasks, to employ compression, with each new piece of music I work on. I have learned how to increase attack, increases sustain, add beef to a track with parallel compression, compress a whole mix with bus compression, and the list just goes on and on. The point here is that I can quickly and easily accomplish all of these chores with the compressor found inside IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced . Boom, done!

But that is not the end of it. I also love being able to “see” with my eyes, what is actually happening inside the compressor. IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced  “GUI” or graphic user interface is laid out in such a way that it is easy to use, and it displays everything that is changing. You get elaborate metering and actual digits too. This combines to remove all doubt about what it is you are doing. Powerful indeed!

Stereo Imager…

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I can quickly and easily put any frequency range in mono or in “exaggerated stereo field”, with  IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced, which is priceless to me. Just to give you some examples of why we might want to do this sort of thing… Bass frequencies need to be in mono in most situations.

When mixing, I put my bass guitar in mono with the stereo image section of  IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced. Often times I use “L.C.R.” panning which means the stereo image of the drum overheads need to be widened or narrowed down to match. I can place a frequency range in solo and choose only exactly the cymbals and then get to work making my alterations.

Continuing on with the stereo image… When mastering a song or album, I place all of the low end, up to around 100 to 200 hertz in mono, and in about one second worth of precious time. I use reference tracks to “gage” where to stop the mono/stereo divide”, and  IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced is the boss for examining reference tracks. There is not another plugin I even think about for performing these sorts of duties, as IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced is effortless and easy on the processing power.

Multi band Compressor..

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Here is a tool that has taken my mixes and masters over the top. It has taken me a lot of trial and error to figure out how to best use Multi band compression, but it has paid off in a big way. I use “MBC” when mastering mostly, or on a mix bus, but I have used it on certain tracks too. Like I mentioned in the video above, if you are reaching for an EQ to place across the entire mix bus, try \multi band compression instead. It is simply incredible at “evening out” unruly frequency ranges. Loud cymbal? Try MBC. Powerful bass? Try MBC. You get it, right?

First I like a powerful low end. So, I will place the MBC from  IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced across a bass bus and remove some of the dynamics, which adds sustain. . This allows the bass to be present yet not disappear after the transient. I also replace the gain (make up gain) that I compressed away. This one trick is fast, simple, and effortless to perform with  IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced and it really helps the whole mix to “better gel together”.

I use MBC found in  IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced to tame out of control cymbals too. I have actually used the “solo frequency function” in the IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced  MBC to first locate and then tame an out of control snare hit! How is that for precise? Look, once you wrap your mind around multi band compression and the endless things you can do with it, you might find yourself not needing less and less EQ’s on the master bus. The possibilities are endless here, and I suggest that if you are not using MBC, then you get into using MBC sooner than later.

EQ…

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The EQ section is worth the asking price all by itself. Fully parametric is only the beginning. The features are almost endless, here, in the EQ department, but let me discuss some of my favorites. The user can select analogue or digital EQ types, with mid/side capabilities, which is incredible all by itself. Of course all of the usual filter types are represented (notch, high pass, low pass) and everything is easy to adjust and extremely well laid out. I love how you can dive in as deep as you want to go, or you can choose to keep it fairly simple, too, if you decide.

Limiter…

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I limit a lot of things. I like all of my tracks to be heard. I very much dislike a track that “pokes through a mix” and then disappears, unless it is supposed to of course. Limiters are handy for this task, and so many more. Limiters are like insurance, too, as you can make sure a track will never ruin a mix just by setting a ceiling with a limiter.

I of course use limiting when mastering. We all do. It is how we set up and employ the limiting that gets all of the attention, right? I try to keep my mixes and masters within a certain dynamic range, depending on the style of music. For most mastering sessions and limiting with a limiter, “less is more”.

Trying to retaining some of a songs dynamics while taming down the dynamic range is the job of the day. Sometimes you don’t really limit all that much. Other times I lean into a limiter so much that I feel like I am breaking a law. The limiters found inside IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced will help you make great sounding music that fits inside your dynamic expectations. I actually just came up with that last “dynamic expectations” bit, but it’s not bad, eh? Whatever you think of my sayings, please know that IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced is a serious tool that has become my “go to plugin” for many tasks.

Vintage Tape…

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I use tape saturation all over the place. It is like a secret weapon for me. How? Whatever I place it across, kick drum, snare, vocals, guitars, etc., just sounds better. Having such a killer sounding tape machine emulation that does not hog my resources like so many of the others out there, is amazing and a deal maker in my book!

Exciter…

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Let me remind you that the platform is incredible all by itself. I rave about the metering which is out of this world. We sometimes need to see with our eyes what is happening, and IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced gives you the truth in amazing detail. You can “see” the levels, dynamic range, frequency spectrum analyzer, stereo image, inputs/outputs, mid/side information, and on and on. Like I say to friends in the mixing and mastering community, “We mix with our ears, for sure, but we double check our work with our eyes”. Having access to some of todays best tools (EQ’s, Limiters, Multi band Compressors, Tape machine emulations, saturation, compressors, and so much more) inside this platform is powerful stuff.

If you make music, mix music, master music, or mix live music using a digital system or a DAW, then IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced should be in your tool box. Why? The list of solid and rational reasons is lengthy, but here are a few for you.

First, the raw power. The power and the potential of IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced speaks volumes. These are some of todays most powerful tools all in one easy to use platform. 

Second, the end result. You can begin learning your craft by entering into the Ozone platform with the Essentials” version. As you grow and become more confident you can always upgrade to IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced when the time is right. Your mixes and masters will grow with you.

Third, the value! I am going to wrap up this post by offering you a challenge. Please go online and make a list of all of the best EQ’s, compressors, limiters, saturation emulators, stereo imagers, frequency analyzers, stereo imagers, dithers, and all of the other tools and features found inside IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced. Next, add the prices of all of these items. When that is done, compare your total to the price of IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced. You can now see the value here. It is a “no brainer”, especially when you realize how well everything works together inside the Ozone platform.

IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced is powerful and precise. Professionals world wide rely on IZotope Ozone 7 Advanced and so should you. I can’t imagine a world without it.

 

Episode 90, “Lies that cost you money”

In todays episode we talk about your electric instruments, expensive microphones, tube gear, power amps, speakers, and more. The more you understand about the world of clever marketing the more you can save.

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Breaking into live sound production“, a live sound product that explains everything you will need to know in order to begin your live sound career, including how I use what I call “the 4 M’s” to help destroy feedback before it starts.

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The “UPLIFT DESK” from The Human Solution. This is the standing workstation I rave about so much.

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Rock Solid Guitar Stands” are furniture grade multi-guitar stands that help me be more productive.

Trigger Platinum 2.0 (review/demo) from Steven Slate Drums

I got out of my home recording studio and got into live sound about three or four years ago. I have worked steady and gotten to a point that one of the services I now offer is “live multi track recording”. I also do the mixing and mastering, which leads me to todays’ post review/demo. If you record, mix, or master music, you should read this short post and watch this short video.

I do more and more live recordings. What I mean by this is that I record bands as they play out live. In a perfect world we would spend time tuning the drums, set up our best recording microphones around the kit, and spend hours making sure the parts of the drum kit were mic’d up to perfection.

That just does not happen. Usually there isn’t enough time for all of that. Most often the drums come out of a case from deep within someone’s van, not touched since the last gig. Were lucky if we finish setting everything up before we launch into a sound check. Recording considerations, like mic placement, come last in these situations. After all, we have a gig to play. Lets instead make sure everything is working and it all sounds acceptable. Everything else comes after, if there is enough time.

This means instead of nice recording microphones, we set up the cheap dynamic mics that are used in live sound. We set the mic stands where we can, and that becomes the spot. If they are not perfect for recordings sake, too bad. Instead of moving the microphones around until they are best placed, we move on to bigger issues.

This makes giving the band a great sounding “live recording” difficult. The drums always sound as if they were recorded by an amateur. Are you finding this same exact issue? I have a solution, and it is called Trigger 2.0 Platinum, and it is from (genius) Steven Slate, of Steven Slate Drums.

The blazing speed and ease at which you can easily perfect any multi track recorded drum tracks is astounding. You can blend in up to eight samples per track, which is mind blowing. You can pan, gate, tune, and blend each sample to taste. If you are responsible for recording live drums, recording drums, mixing todays’ music, or in the live sound field at all, you must at some point get Trigger 2.0 Platinum, its just that obvious. I am as speechless about the end result as my clients are, and they think it took me hours and hours to get the drums to sound so amazing.

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Episode 89, Increasing home studio output in quantity and quality

Yep, its so true. We can put out more music, way better sounding music, and in less time. Check out how in today’s episode.

Also, in Episode 89, I mention the following…

Breaking into live sound production” This is the career starting kick in the pants that you have been looking for! You want in on the lucrative world of live sound, right? Here is the product you are searching for.

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My own resource page with reviews posted.

 “UPLIFT DESK” from The Human Solution. Work longer and feel better with a standing desk!

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PreSonus Faderport makes writing automation, mixing levels, and recording away from your desk a breeze.

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