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18 analog digital equipment

I started my career using the old analog stuff, since that was the only option.  I incorporated digital software plugins as soon as they became available, but it took many years before computers were fast enough to run them in realtime.  And also before they started making very high quality plugins. 

 

Now, I use mostly digital software plugins, but I do have analog hardware if a client specifically requests all analog.

 

WHICH IS BETTER?
First off, technically EVERYTHING is digital!  An mp3 and a CD is digital information that's decoded when played by a player.  A rock album recorded in the 70s is all analog.  When this album is converted to a CD, you're hearing a digital copy of the analog sound.  I guess these days when someone says analog, they're referring to that warmer old school sound (not necessarily the gear), because you can achieve that same warmer sound using all digital software plugins that emulates quality analog gear.

I've read a lot of opinions on this.  Older sound engineers in their 60's plus have hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of analog equipment they bought in the 70's and 80's.  That being said, that's all they've ever worked with and they're not selling their gear for peanuts and switching over.  Many also refuse to learn the new digital software.  You can't teach an old dog new tricks, and their biased opinion is that analog is by far better than digital software plugins, though many have never really used them.  Read more....

 

SO, WHAT'S THE UNBIASED TRUTH?
Some of the expensive analog hardware from Manley, SSL, UA does have a unique sound you can't explain.  Also, analog gear can give vocals that lush soft sound that a cheap digital preamp can't.  But now they make software replicas of all the older and newer analog gear, and it sounds great!

 

IT ALL BOILS DOWN TO THE END RESULT!
The fact is, if you used only quality digital hardware and software plugins to mix and master an entire CD project, and knew how to use them very well, the average person would NEVER be able to tell that you didn't use $100,000 worth of analog gear.  Your masters would sound AMAZING and that's all that matters.

Now, maybe an 80's old school audio engineer would notice the difference, but he's not buying your mp3s, so who cares?  And the only thing he'll notice is the songs weren't mastered using all analog gear, but that doesn't mean they don't sound as good (or even better).  This is like saying you know the difference between Classic Coke and Pepsi.  That doesn't make one better than the other.  Also, so much of the music on the radio is digital software recorded with digital effects that consumers are used to it and prefer that sound.  Read more....

This all being said, save yourself $100,000 and go digital and software.  No one but the old-timers will know the difference and the new generation prefers it!

My Best Mixing & Mastering Articles

Which Is Better For Audio Mastering Analog Gear Or Digital Software Plugins?

18 analog digital equipment

I started my career using the old analog stuff, since that was the only option.  I incorporated digital software plugins as soon as they became available, but it took many years before computers were fast enough to run them in realtime.  And also before they started making very high quality plugins. 

 

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set mixing level meters

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In this video I show how you can turn a weak mix (definitely wouldn't call it bad) into a great sounding master, simply by pushing your levels a little more than you might be used to.

 

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To create a mix for mastering with proper headroom is pretty simple. 

 

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Millions of people suffer from tinnitus.  A new study shows around 10% of the U.S. population suffers from it in some form, but many have never even heard of it until they get it!  Unfortunately, I was one of those people.  It can happen quickly and it lasts a lifetime... 

 

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This article discusses what is the reverb effect in music and how to use it?  The reverb effect is used to simulate space. When reverb is applied to a dry vocal or instrument track, it will sound like it was recorded live in the space size that was selected on the processor. Common space size options include a small room, vocal plate, large hall, etc.

 

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Here's the first music video I directed, Mahalin Muli by JAI, released on July 10th, 2018.  I also wrote more than half of the script. 

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A/B Comparison In Mastering
In this video I do a quick A/B comparison of a few songs.  In my audio mastering secrets video series, I get a lot more in-depth into exactly what you are trying to achieve sonically for your genre/style of music.
 
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How To Prepare Your Songs For Mastering
preparing mixes for mastering

In this article, we'll show you how to prepare your mixes for mastering.

 

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Mastering A Song For Radio

14 song ready for radio

Here's another popular question I see online, always with the wrong answer! "There's no such thing as radio ready mastering!"  REALLY?

 

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Should Your Mix Sound Close To A Mastered Song?

13 mix sound like master

Note - This section is basically a tip for those of you working with clients or if you plan on submitting your mixes to a mastering engineer.

 

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Mid Side EQ In Mastering

This is a quick video on how a mid-side processor works, and how to check the stereo field of your mix using a mid-side processor equalizer.

 

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Top 20 Audio Mastering Tips, Techniques, And FAQ
 
 

 

 

 

 

Here are the top 20 audio mastering tips, questions, and answers that I've been asked over the years.

 

 

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Why Do Songs Need To Be Mastered?

12 why need audio mastering

Why do songs need to be mastered?  I've seen this question on the Internet many times.  The answer I always see is "Because all songs on the radio have been professionally mastered, yours should be too."  This is a true fact, but not an answer.

 

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Learning And Calibrating Your Speakers For Your DAW In Audio Mastering

3 calibrate speakers audio mastering daw

Learning and calibrating your speakers for your DAW in audio mastering is a very important step in the audio mastering process.  When I first start out with NEW speakers (though I never change them now), I listen to my favorite hit songs in every genre and style.  Songs that I know from my years of experience have X amount of bass, X amount of brightness, etc.  I know how these songs are "supposed" to sound.

 

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Mastering Compression Techniques

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Set Mixing Levels For Each Instrument

How to set mixing levels for each instrument is a question I see all over the Internet.  I'm going to explain exactly how to set mixing levels in this article.

 

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Top 17 Common Music Mixing Mistakes And How To Fix Them!
audio music mixing mistakes
 
These are the Top 17 most common music mixing mistakes I see daily.  Correcting them could will improve your audio mastering results and make your mixes sound more professional.
 
 
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Can You Master A Song That's Already Been Mastered?
Can I master a song that's already been mastered?  Yes!  Every month I master songs that have already been mastered.  Read more....
 
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Best Room Size For Audio Mastering DAW Home Recording Studio

6 best room size for audio mastering

So, what is the best room size for audio mastering in your DAW home recording studio?  Technically, you can properly mix or master in any room size.  But, I believe a smaller room is better than a very large one for someone who's just starting out. And when I say smaller I mean closer to 12'x15' than to 20'x30'.  I've mixed and mastered songs for a number of years in a 20'x30' room.  It took me a few days to get used to it, but after that I could do it.

 

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John Rogers - Danceur Magazine Interview (July 2018)

Since the begining of his solo career in 2008, I mastered over 80 songs with the top French recording artist NYLS.  Great pop dance music with a lot of remixes.  During his entire career (as of now), I mastered most of if not all the song he released.  It was a great pleasure working with NYLS and Nico at Icon Records!

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What Software Do You Need For Audio Mastering?

2 software for audio mastering

If you've mixed songs in the past, you more than likely can use that same software for audio mastering. As long as you can add effects to the stereo/main out bus, you're good to go.  Read more....

 

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