Monday, March 29, 2021

The NUGEN MasterCheck - Plugin Review

The NUGEN MasterCheck plugin is a must have for the serious mixing/mastering engineer, or even the producer as well. How do people listen to your output? You work hard to deliver masters that sound great at home, in the car or on earbuds, but that’s only half the story. 

How does your music sound on Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, SoundCloud or YouTube? All major online services encode your music, using different specs and formats depending on the playback device, the connection speed, or even whether the user is a “basic” or “premium” customer. 

Hot mixes can introduce True Peak overs that will clip on playback. MasterCheck detects these errors, and you’ll be able to hear obvious frequency masking and other artefacts. 

You can monitor the following codecs, with presets for specific streaming services: (Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, Opus, AAC-LC, HE-AACv1 (AAC+), HE-AACv2 (DAB+), MP3) 

It doesn't stop there! 

The NUGEN MasterCheck has an entire list of other practical applications as well! Here's just a few: 
✔ Measuring integrated loudness 
✔ Monitoring PLR and PSR 
✔ Identifying codec distortion 
✔ A/B referencing at matched loudness 
✔ Preparing mix dynamics for mastering 
✔ Mastering for digital music services 
✔ Measuring dynamic content 
✔ Avoiding downstream clipping 
✔ Auditioning loudness matched FX chains 
✔ Mastering for podcasts and digital radio 

Download your FREE 15 day trial here:

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Live Mix Session


If you haven't checked out the newest live mix vid, it was a blast! In case you missed it, you can check it out here...

A couple of things I'd like to point out about the video that I believe are some great key takeaway moments!

☑ The material was recorded well - One of the points that I tried to drive home is that if you spend just a few more moments on the front end, getting things right at the source, you're going to save a lot of time down the road and have more fun mixing a project when you get to that stage! 

☑ The arrangement was spot on - Not every mix calls for 52 double tracked guitar parts, in fact the old adage "less is better" is sometimes the route to take. This song demonstrates a great arrangement that has just the right amount of instrumentation sprinkled in at just the right times and show signs of purposeful addition. (i.e. the extras add to the theme and feel, they're not just there because)

☑ Committing to sounds is a sign of engineering maturity - One of the things that stood out to me as I went through the course is that Reid Shippen was very intentional about his sounds and he committed to them! This is the earmark of a mature engineer/producer. As tempting as it is to just record things dry and leave yourself to the sounds you'd like later, it can also cripple your creativity and lead to information overload when it's time to pick out those sounds later. This in turn leads to frustration and ultimately make things less creative.

If you'd like to see more of these, I go live on the channel every week to showcase tips, tricks, tutorials, and even host the monthly HSS Song Contest!

Now in completely unrelated news... our family is getting a puppy! As many of you know we lost our loving studio cat "Girlie" about 6 months ago. After some time of healing we have decided that it is time to introduce another fur baby. This little guy is going to be named "Bosco"! 



Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Screensets and Mix Recall-Cakewalk by Bandlab

Using screensets and the mix recall feature of Cakewalk by BaldLab can be a huge timesaver as well as a productivity hack within this FREE DAW!

Monday, February 22, 2021

Why I Love Cakewalk by BandLab

5. Mix Recall The mix recall feature is a huge game changer. With Cakewalk’s ability to create scenes as well as alt mixes within any given project, you can literally have instant recall to different versions of the same mix, or even save a remix within the same project. This is also great for mix revisions. Say you send out a mix and the artist wants the vocals, the drums, and the bass to be up by just a few dBs, then they call back a few days later and want to go back to the original. Now, there is no need to adjust everything back to the settings you had written down on a piece of paper, or bring up a separate session, simply go back in and select your previous version and recall everything instantly. 4. Infinite Routing Possibilities Whether it’s patch points or aux tracks, you have infinite routing possibilities that you have within the DAW. Let’s say that you want to route your audio, or your midi dry and wet to two separate tracks, or maybe you want your bass guitar split into a high and a low band, so that you can treat them differently, or maybe you want to take two mono sources and blend them together as one stereo track. All of this and more is possible through the use of aux tracks that can actually be displayed right underneath the tracks that you currently have in your project. 3. Completely Customizable In Cakewalk, everything from the way that it looks, to the way that it loads a project and even down to making custom plugin chains and templates that can then be recalled at any time, is completely customizable! 2. No Limitations There are no limitations to this free DAW! With most affordable or free DAWS, you are given a set amount of tracks, or minimal options to start with, but not with Cakewalk. Whether you are tracking, mixing, or mastering, you will have all of the tools you need right at your fingertips, from essential to unique, right out of the gate. The layout is designed to emulate the layout of an analog console. You can even build and upload your channel strip with an expandable library of pro channel modules, ranging from everything from convolution reverb, resonant filtering dynamic compression, powerful EQ, tape and console emulation, peak limiting, tube saturation. You will also get great stock plugins and a virtual instrument suite of the main essentials for making great music, all for free! 1. It’s FREE! This is absolutely the top reason to love Cakewalk. There are no strings attached, no hidden gimmicks, no buy-up plans, it is 100% free. Cakewalk is an excellent and affordable solution to getting started and allows you to focus on buying other essential elements to making music first.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Step Recording in Cakewalk by Bandlab



Step recording is a method of recording MIDI notes one note or chord at a time. It’s a very easy and precise way to record, but can sound mechanical if used in the wrong situation. You use step recording in its typical form by choosing a step size, such as a quarter note, and then playing a note on your MIDI keyboard.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Cakewalk by BandLab Tutorials


How much does Cakewalk cost? Is Cakewalk really free? 

Yes.Cakewalk by BandLab, once Sonar, is now FREE. Usually a FREE digital audio workstation (DAW) would be limited. Not this one! Whether it's beatmaking, recording, mixing, mastering, or anything in between, this is the most powerful full featured DAW on the market. 

 Is Cakewalk good for beginners?

In short, yes. Although my thought process is that the DAW is only a tool. If you're starting out it would be beneficial to start out with a DAW that can grow with you as you get better. Cakewalk is easy enough to learn quickly with a little help (see playlist provided) and yet robust enough to perform on par with any other DAW on the market.

Is Cakewalk different from BandLab?

 Yes. Essentially there is an online version and a desktop version. Each has there own strengths and weaknesses apart from each other, but also work well together. While the online version is more loop based and shareable right after conception. The desktop version is more robust and has more to offer the singer/songwriter or recording engineer.

Honestly, you have nothing to lose by trying Cakewalk as it is completely free and safe. If you're interested in trying it out this playlist will get you up and running quickly and feeling comfortable with the program. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 24, 2020

iSet Guitar Pedal Review - Part 2


0:40 - Overdrive: 

5:07 - Distortion: 

9:58 - Heavy Metal: 

15:01 - Multi-Echo: 

25:06 - Reverb: 

31:39 - Cube Baby: