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Grammy Award Winning Dynamics

Feb 19, 2017

With the 2016 Grammy Awards recently being announced, I took a look at the dynamics of the “Song of the Year”: Adele’s “Hello.” The song was mixed by Tom Elmhirst, who also mixed the title track of David Bowie’s Blackstar, which won “Best Engineered Album,” among other awards.

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Ideal Studio Listening Levels

Feb 10, 2017

Having a consistent, calibrated listening environment can help you make consistent mixing and mastering decisions from project to project. But is there an ideal listening level for sound studios? And how do you go about calibrating your monitors?

Let’s see what the EBU recommends for broadcast and then follow that up with some advice from Bob Katz…

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Does 64-Bit Summing Sound Better?

Feb 3, 2017

Logic X recently introduced a new feature: 64-bit summing. It’s not the first DAW to support 64-bit summing - Pro Tools HDX had it back in 2013. But how does it work and does it make a difference in practice?

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Does Gain Staging Matter?

Jan 29, 2017

Have you ever recorded a track at a low level and captured a lot of background noise, or fed outboard gear with a signal that was too “hot” and had it distort? In both cases, the problem boils down to sub-optimal signal levels: levels that are too high or too low. Gain staging is the process of managing signal levels throughout the signal chain, to strike a balance between noise levels and distortion. But how far do you need to go down this rabbit hole? When does gain staging matter and when doesn’t it?

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How Loud Should My Mix Be?

Jan 20, 2017

Do you need to care about loudness while mixing, or is best to let the mastering engineer find the right levels? Can a mix be too loud, or not loud enough? What are some good starting points? Let’s look at a couple approaches - what I like to call “old school” and “new school.”

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