Mono or Stereo – Why are there both kinds of tracks if stereo is BETTER?

April 25th, 2012 by admin

Many beginning home recordists get confused between recording to a mono or stereo audio track. Isn’t stereo better and wider? So why record to a mono track? What usually happens is they try to record to a stereo track, but find that their vocal is only playing through one speaker. If the DAW lets them, they fix this by setting both left and right inputs to the same source. Now they are recording the exact same information to left and right of a stereo audio track. Better? Thicker? Fuller? Not at all.

Read the full article here and/or see it in action in the video below.


Mandelbrot Drummer VST Rhythm Maker

March 5th, 2012 by admin

Here’s a great new tool for those of you who have great drum samples but aren’t necessarily the greatest drummers. Instead of scrolling through thousands of MIDI grooves or trying to build a pattern yourself, you can use this tool to dynamically create a pattern similar to what a real drummer would do.

Mandelbot Drummer VST Screenshot

Here is the manufacturer’s description:
Mandelbrot Drummer is based around a simple idea. Groups of drum hits are placed across an image of a Mandelbrot fractal. The MIDI velocity of each hit is related to the color intensity of the underlying fractal. The variation in color intensity (i.e. velocity) across the fractal imparts subtle and unexpected rhythms which can mimic a human drummer.

When working on a music project it can be frustrating and unproductive to trawl through hundreds of drum clips looking for something with the right feel. Many musicians find that constructing patterns from scratch in a piano roll editor is a difficult task. Based around a simple concept, Mandelbrot Drummer is an alternative way to make rhythm patterns and is designed to be a practical tool for computer musicians.

Mandelbrot Drummer costs $19.00 and is available for Windows as a VST instrument plug-in.

Check it out for yourself at


Starting a Studio? – “If you build it, they will come” or really “If they come, you can build it!”

February 15th, 2012 by admin

Not in this Business
The movie ‘Field of Dreams’ has etched this quote in all of our hearts forever, “If you build it, they will come” but does it work for the recording studio business. Not usually. The recording studio business is very unique. Usual marketing and business practices don’t really work the same. You can’t simply build a studio, register in the yellow pages or on the Internet, post some ads and start getting business. They simply won’t come.

Studio In Construction

The recording studio business is a referral-based industry. If you do a project with someone and they like your work, they will refer their friends and colleagues to you. It is very rare that someone will hire or book a studio without hearing examples or being referred by someone they trust. This is why traditional marketing doesn’t work.

The Goal
Your goal should be building your business through your clientele and equipment as you go. The mantra “if you build it, they will come” just doesn’t work for studios and I can give you tons of examples. If you start small, you can continue to grow as your business grows. So “if they come” and use your studio and pay you money, then “you can build it” by adding equipment and rooms to your setup.

Click here to read SIX guidelines of what to do and what not to do when planning to build a studio.


Phone Effect – How do you make someone sound like they are talking on a phone?

February 1st, 2012 by admin

Have you ever heard a song where somebody sounds like they are talking on the phone? How do they do that? Do they put a mic on the phone and have somebody call and record what comes out of the phone? I guess they could do it that way, but it’s actually a really simple effect done with EQ.

The telephone effect (or phone effect) is heard in recordings all the time. It is basically a simple EQ effect that simulates the filters used in telephone systems. There is a high pass filter at around 400 Hz and a low pass filter at around 4,000 Hz (4 kHz). This can obviously be adjusted to taste, but the resulting sound is very midrange heavy and small sounding.

It is often used for a vocal at the beginning of a song later to be removed and reveal the full sounding vocal. It also is commonly heard with additional vocal parts (or adlibs) panned to the sides or sitting in the background. The telephone effect can be very effective at giving a different character to additional vocals. It can be used on drum loops or just about anything to make it sound like it is being heard through a telephone.

Read more about the telephone effect here.

Or read more about mixing techniques here.


Where Can I Download Pro Tools?

January 18th, 2012 by admin

People are always looking for a way to download Pro Tools and they are often fooled by free downloads. The thing to realize is that downloading Pro Tools is one issue, but the authorization is an even bigger one. Pro Tools 8 and earlier were all authorized by having a Digidesign hardware audio interface (Mbox, 002, etc,) connected.

The tricky thing is that when you first load Pro Tools (even with the hardware connected) you have to enter an authorization code for your version of Pro Tools (this basically authorized each new version with a new code). Pro Tools M-Powered required authorization from an iLok and required that an approved M-Audio hardware interface be connected. Pro Tools 9 and 10 require iLok authorization and can work with any audio interface.

Read more here.


Pro Tools Free – Myth, Reality or Legend!

January 16th, 2012 by admin

Pro Tools Free was a trimmed down version of Pro Tools LE 5 that let you record up to 8 tracks of audio with any interface you wanted (It came out in 2000). There wasn’t a Pro Tools demo of the full version, because you could easily download Pro Tools Free and install it on your Mac OS 9 or Windows 98 computer.

There is a few close equivalents to Pro Tools Free today. Check them out here.


Internet DAWs – Use Your DAW Online!

December 28th, 2011 by admin

An Internet DAW can be used to create music without installing any hardware on your computer. Web based DAWs allow you to access your project wherever you go. Many are free, but all are simple and easy to use.

Here are some that you might want to check out to see which is best for you:

Sonic Producer
Mega Music Beat Maker
Cyber Sequence
Audio Tool

If Web Based DAWs aren’t your thing than check out this great list of regular software DAWs here.


Creating a Loop-Based Project in Pro Tools

December 27th, 2011 by admin

Some people think that it is difficult to work with loops in Pro Tools. It’s really quite simple if you know what you are doing and make sure to have the right buttons clicked. Check out the videos below to see how easy it really is.


DAW Comparison Chart

December 22nd, 2011 by admin

Checkout this list of nearly 20 different professional DAWs with links to individual reviews and discussions of the good, bad and history of each.

DAW Chart Preview


Which DAW is the Best…for you?

December 20th, 2011 by admin

Deciding which DAW is the best really depends on who is making the decision. Which is best for you really depends on what you are planning to work on, how you like to work, where you will work and who you are going to work with. The debate of which DAW is best is usually narrowed down to the top five and more specifically Pro Tools verses the other four (Cubase, Sonar, Logic and Digital Performer). In all the discussion that I have heard, the best way it has been described is that Pro Tools is a machine and the others act like an instrument. So basically Pro Tools is set up like a functional tape machine, mixing console, and keyboard that is logically designed so that if you understand the controls you can make it do whatever you want. The others function like an instrument that can become so familiar that it will practically play the next note for you by anticipating what you are trying to create and placing features in your path that will assist you in the creative process.

Click below to read the rest of the article including scenarios of the who, what and where of your setup and answers of which DAW works the best in each.

Which DAW is the best…for you?