An Introduction to Compression: Basic Compression - A free download from Audio Masterclass

Equipping Your Home Recording Studio - A free download from Audio Masterclass

An Introduction to Equalization - A free download from Audio Masterclass

Free Tutorials from Audio Masterclass

Hints, tips and adventures in audio for the home recording studio owner who wants to go PRO

Come on the FREE COURSE TOUR

This voice over studio looks like something out of Monty Python

Things might look a little rough and ready in this studio, but what does that matter if the end-product is good? Learn more...

The new Apple HomePod smart speaker - what difference will it make to your mixing and mastering?

Not content with its mighty market share of the computer, phone, tablet and music industries, Apple Inc. tries to take over home hi-fi. But what implications will it have for music producers? Learn more...

Avid and Apple conspire to heist 9 decibels of level

You might think that unless you apply gain to a signal, positive or negative, that it will stay at the same level. Well that's not always true... Learn more...

The difference between minimum-phase and linear-phase EQ on transient signals such as snare drum

The debate between minimum phase EQ and linear phase EQ rages on the web. Some say that linear phase EQ cures the transient smearing of minimum phase. But might it have a more serious side effect? Learn more...

Why mono is better than stereo for recording vocals and dialogue

For most purposes, stereo is clearly better than mono, even to non-technical people. But for certain applications, mono is definitely the way to go. Learn more...

What exactly does the phrase 'leave headroom for mastering' mean?

It's a phrase you will hear often, normally without much or even any further explanation. But is there a real reason for doing this? Could there be a danger zone when you approach the maximum digital signal level? Learn more...

Setting a noise gate for a bass guitar with amplifier noise

Watch a short video showing how a noisy bass guitar can be significantly improved with simple gating techniques Learn more...

How to find the best tempo (BPM) for your recording

Not too fast, not too slow, but exactly the right tempo. That's a choice that you need to get right very early in the production process. Learn more...

Why choosing a key for your song is one of the most important aspects of preparation for production and recording

It is hugely important to get the musical and artistic aspects of your song right before even thinking about recording. Choosing the best key is a vitally important step. Learn more...

7 important microphone types that you should know and the benefits of each

Choice of microphones is a very personal thing and there are many factors to take into account. There is no one general 'one microphone to rule them all', but a range of microphone types that all have their own characteristic sound textures. Learn more...

Two microphone preamplifiers compared at Abbey Road Studio 2 - tube and transistor

Tested are the Universal Audio Solo/610 (tube) and the Focusrite ISA One. Learn more...

A simple 8-mic drum mix, with video

Joe Clancy plays drums in Abbey Road Studio 3. Audio Masterclass is there to make the multitrack recording. Learn more...

What is production? Part 3: Recording

Of the five stages of production - A&R, arrangement, recording, mixing and mastering, clearly recording is central. And there is a lot more to it than choosing and placing microphones. Learn more...

How to set a graphic equalizer

The graphic equalizer is a very popular tool for live sound. You can also use it in the studio. But why would you use a graphic, and how should you set it? Learn more...

What level of background noise is acceptable in a recording?

An Audio Masterclass student lives close to a busy road. Is it acceptable to have background noise in his recordings? Learn more...

The professional way to make sure your mics are connected correctly

Get your microphone connections wrong and you have a huge problem, possibly bigger than you think. So how can you be sure you have got them right? Learn more...

Make your recordings richer with double tracking

To achieve a richer sound from vocals, guitars, and even drums, the 'old school' technique of double tracking is extremely effective. And it costs nothing but a little extra dedication to your craft. Learn more...

Q: "Why is the signal from my microphone low in level and noisy?"

Sometimes a perfectly adequate microphone connected to a perfectly adequate audio interface will sound pretty bad. But there's an easy explanation... Learn more...

A brief introduction to acoustic treatment

When you have achieved good soundproofing in your room, you will need acoustic treatment to make it sound good both for recording and monitoring. Learn more...

A brief introduction to compression for the home recording studio

The original purpose of the compressor was to reduce the difference between low-level signals and high-level signals so that equipment from an earlier era of recording, broadcasting and public address could handle them more easily. Learn more...

What is the easiest way to convert watts to decibels?

An Audio Masterclass visitor wants to convert watts to dB. Is this even possible? Learn more...

Can guitarists be trusted with their own equipment?

What sounds good to the electric guitar player doesn't necessarily sound good to the audience. A live sound engineer explains... Learn more...

If AKG makes a USB microphone, does it mean that the time has come for USB mics?

AKG makes some of the best mics in the world. AKG also makes a USB mic. A great USB mic? Learn more...

Preparation for mastering: Don't do any mastering yourself

Are you planning on getting your tracks mastered? Then the first rule of preparation is not to master the tracks yourself. Learn more...

When is a click not a click? When should you fix a click, and when should you leave it alone?

Clicks occur for all kinds of reasons - imprecise editing, random noises, gremlin infestation. But when do you need to do something about them? Learn more...

The sE Electronics Reflexion Filter in a noisy environment

Is your computer noisy? Do you think the sE Electronics Reflexion Filter will help? Think again. (With audio) Learn more...

Does microphone preamplifier gain increase the proximity effect?

A interesting question asked by an Audio Masterclass student. Well does it?? Learn more...

Can you now use nearfields to completely replace your main monitors?

Any pro studio would have both main monitors and nearfields. But now you can have both in one package. Learn more...

How to pan an acoustic piano

Should the bass notes be on the left and the high notes on the right, or the other way round? Learn more...

Apogee Duet audio interface features soft limiting to prevent clipping

Should a pro engineer prevent clipping through correct gain setting? Or can soft limiting be relied on to save the day? Learn more...

Sound engineering

Audio Masterclass offers online courses in Music Production and Sound Engineering, from $277. Learn more...

Q: How can I insulate my room against heavy traffic noise?

It might be impossible to achieve perfect soundproofing against the sonic onslaught of heavy traffic, but small improvements can be gained quite easily. Learn more...

Does your studio need a ducker? A Neve ducker?

Everyone wants the famous Neve sound. But can you find it in a ducker? Learn more...

Why delay is good for you (and how to set delay times)

Delay is one of the simplest yet (currently) under-appreciated effects available. But how do you work out the correct settings? Learn more...

Extraordinary stereo from your effects pedal

Do you always connect your effects pedals between your guitar and amplifier. Wow, that's just so retro! Learn more...

Do digital signals degrade at higher levels?

Do your recordings brush up against the full scale mark? If they do, might they be distorted or degraded in some way compared to lower-level signals? Learn more...

Should vocals be recorded in mono or stereo?

When stereo sounds so much better and more lifelike than mono, why would you ever want to record a vocal with a single mic? Learn more...

Can you really *produce* using only virtual instruments?

So you record using virtual instruments. Can you really call yourself a producer? Learn more...

Retro recording: How to get more tracks through bouncing and track sharing

Many a great record has been made using only 24 tracks. But how can you expand a 24-track recorder to 25, 26 tracks or even more? Learn more...

Achieve multiband compression WITHOUT a multiband compressor

Multiband compression is one of the most powerful techniques used in mastering. But you don't need a multiband compressor plug-in to use it. Learn more...

How to connect an outboard equalizer to a mixing console

A Record-Producer.com reader has an analog mixing console and an outboard equalizer, but he doesn't know how to connect them... Learn more...

These 1957 loudspeakers get closer to the original sound than anything you've ever heard!

Still monitoring on modern moving coil loudspeakers? Perhaps you need some vintage electrostatics to really hear what's on your recording? Learn more...

Can your virtual orchestra imitate a real one exactly?

Virtual instruments are getting better all the time. But does a virtual orchestra always sound like a real one? Learn more...

Clip-based gain versus fader automation, which is best?

Pro Tools 10 adds clip-based gain to its feature set. But what does it offer that can't be done with fader automation? (This applies to all other DAWs too.) Learn more...

Avid's had it, or has it?

Apple's Final Cut Pro X, at $299, should pull the rug from under Avid's Media Composer's feet. But are they competing in the same pro market? And is FCPX any good anyway? Learn more...

Do microphones need rest?

A RecordProducer.com reader wonders whether his microphones need a rest from time to time. Or can you just keep on working them hard? Learn more...

Channel strips - powerful tool or utter folly?

Do you have a standalone channel strip module? Do you want one? Do you understand the utter folly you could be letting yourself in for? Learn more...

Is the age of the plug-in over?

As Waves continues to offer its plug-ins at bargain-basement prices, should we start to wonder whether plug-ins have had their day? Learn more...

Q: How can I edit a song so that it is shorter?

A RecordProducer.com reader has a song that is too long. How can he edit it so that it is shorter? Learn more...

When to use delay on vocals

Delay is a useful technique for enhancing all sorts of signals. But when should you use it on vocals, and when should you not? Learn more...

Q: How do I place my mic on the hi-hat?

A RecordProducer.com reader wants to know how to place his microphone for this peculiar item of brassware. Here's how... Learn more...

Loudspeakers: Know your continuous from your program from your peak

The power rating of a loudspeaker might be 500 watts; it might be 2000 watts. But how much power can it truly handle? Learn more...

Doppler phasing - extreme creativity in the studio

Doppler phasing is an effect that cannot be achieved by any effects unit, stomp box or plug-in. And all you need is the equipment you probably already have. Dare to sound different... Learn more...

How many sound waves can you fit into your studio?

Do you think your studio is big enough to fit all of your sound in? You might be surprised to learn just how BIG sound can be... Learn more...

Why do microphone preamplifiers come in sets of eight?

Microphone preamplifiers, if they are not single-channel, always seem to come in sets of eight channels. But if you had a ten-channel mic pre, how much more could you do with it? Learn more...

Why is there a silvery coating inside a vacuum tube?

Have you ever wondered why there is a silvery patch inside a vacuum tube? Is it there for a purpose? Does it affect the sound of the tube? Learn more...

The ultimate portable vocal booth?

In the quest for ever-drier vocals, how can you achieve the ultimate dead zone in your studio? Learn more...

Q: Compression, EQ or reverb - where should I start?

A RecordProducer.com reader is trying to decide the order of his plug-ins. Three plug-ins, six combinations. How to decide... Learn more...

A fascinating and inexpensive multiple loop recorder for your iDevice

If you have an iDevice and $4.99 to spare, you can take a weird trip with an extraordinary looping app, the TC-Helicon VoiceJam. Learn more...

Are your recordings too QUIET?

We receive a lot of recordings here at RecordProducer.com and Audio Masterclass. Some are strangely quiet. Why should this be? Can quiet ever be good? Learn more...

Why would you ever want to place a microphone behind the instrument?

Most instruments project their sound forwards, towards the audience. The French horn however is an exception. So how do you mike up an instrument that fires backwards? Learn more...

'Soundproofing' or 'sound isolation' - which is correct?

Some people talk about soundproofing, others about sound isolation. But which is correct? And what about sound insulation - is that correct too? Learn more...

Is there a special way to record the piano?

A question asked by a RecordProducer.com reader - "I wanted to know is there any special way to record a piano or do I just need a good mic and put it up to the piano?" Learn more...

New for 2011 - a remote controlled microphone stand

What product doesn't exist today that we could really make use of in the studio? A remote controlled microphone stand of course! Learn more...

Q: There is a delay in my drum overheads. How can I fix it?

My snare drum seems to have a delay in the overheads, which is audible and irritating. What can I do about this problem? Learn more...

Q: Will phase kill my recordings?

A reader asks - I have heard that phase is a big problem in recording. What should I look out for and how can I prevent any problems? Learn more...

Q: How can an Audio Masterclass course help me?

I'm thinking about enrolling on the Audio Masterclass Music Production and Sound Engineering online course. Could you tell me how the course will help me? Learn more...

Q: Do I lose quality in some way when I consolidate an audio track?

My tracks get pretty messy by the time I'm done editing, then if I want to do something like move the track in time, it's hard. But if I consolidate the track to make it easier to work with, will it still sound the same? Learn more...

What is an insert point?

My audio interface has what's called an 'insert point'. What is it? What can I do with it? Learn more...

Q: What is the difference between a balanced and an unbalanced signal?

Could you please tell me when I should use a balanced cable and when I should use an unbalanced cable? Does it really make all that much difference? Learn more...

Microphones don't matter

David Mellor argues that knowing how to position a microphone can make a far bigger difference to the quality of your work than which microphone you choose. Learn more...

Phantom power - a great breakthrough in microphone technology

Capacitor microphones used to come each with their own power supply. Then phantom power was invented so that any number of mics can be powered from the mixing console. So why are some manufacturers returning to the old ways? Learn more...

How to get into music with no musical ability

Probably anyone can make it in music, as long as they have sufficient determination. Plenty of people have achieved great things in music even though they had very little ability to start out with... Learn more...

So your bass rig on stage goes next to the drummer? Did you want to go deaf?

It's an old cliche of rock music that the bass guitarist should be close to the drummer. But with modern technology does this still matter? And will you indeed go deaf? Learn more...

The dynamic microphone - why isn't it dead yet?

When super-accurate capacitor microphones are available, why do we cling to the past and still often use dynamic mics? Shouldn't we be moving on? Learn more...

USB microphones - has their time come?

Why do we still plug our microphones into old-fashioned mic preamplifiers when we could be plugging them in directly via USB? Learn more...

Can you use office dividers as acoustic screens in the studio?

We're all for cutting costs where it doesn't compromise performance, but can office dividers do a good job in the recording studio? Learn more...

Should you pan low-frequency instruments?

A reader asks whether it is allowable to pan low frequency instruments. If not, what would the possible penalty be? Learn more...

How to prepare your recordings to be PROFESSIONALLY mixed

You've got your recordings in hand, you've done your networking and have finally made contact with that one industry professional that can help you launch your career... then here it comes, "I need you to send me your multitrack files so I can remix it." Now what do you do to make that happen? Learn more...

Output impedance - does it matter how much current an output can supply?

This is a tricky concept to explain and understand. But once you do understand it you'll feel an awful lot better. In fact, you'll probably feel so good you will consider yourself one of the 'elite' of sound engineering and look down upon lesser mortals who do not understand it... Learn more...

Could quiet be the new loud?

It is often thought that you should master a mix so that it sounds as loud as possible. But for some markets, this could ruin your chances of selling your music. Learn more...

Can you save money by buying B-stock equipment, or is it a false economy?

Can you save money by buying B-stock equipment, or is it a false economy? Learn more...

Can a plug-in improve your monitoring acoustics?

You can now buy a plug-in that claims to be able to fix any frequency response problems with your room acoustics. But surely to do this it would need to look into the future? Learn more...

Does your choice of microphone affect background noise?

It is a commonly held belief that a good mic is one that doesn't pick up background noise. Is this a fact, or just another audio myth? Learn more...

EQ - when to boost and when to cut

If you always find yourself using EQ to boost frequencies and never cut, then you are letting one of the most powerful facilities on your mixing console or DAW go to waste... Learn more...

Reader's Comment - Is it cheating to use Auto-Tune?

The Auto-Tune debate is unlikely to go away. Those who can, sing. Those who can't... Learn more...

Q: "How can I combine the special sound of analog with digital recording?

"What do I have to attend to when recording with an analog tape recorder (Revox B77)? I want this special sound but it seems that it gets lost when I go into the computer. How can I combine analog and digital recording?" Learn more...

Zero-latency monitoring. What is it? Why should you want it?

If your audio interface doesn't offer zero latency monitoring, you're living in the past. Literally. Read on to learn why... Learn more...

So you want to start recording, but you know absolutely nothing and have no equipment yet...

If you want to get started in recording, but you don't know anything about it and have no equipment, you are in a great place. Just take the right first steps... Learn more...

When can't you install an under-bridge piezo pickup on an acoustic guitar? What is the alternative?

Many acoustic guitars are fitted with piezo pickups under the bridge. But this isn't possible on all models. What is the alternative? What does it sound like? Learn more...

Noise - the curse of analog recording

Noise in analog tape recording, the cause of noise, and why it isn't as bad as it is made out to be. Learn more...

How to choose an audio interface - a beginner's guide

The range of audio interfaces for computer recording can be bewildering. But the choice can be easier than it seems... Learn more...

When you try to play your recording in two years' time, what will you hear? Nothing?

The life span of recordings is seriously in doubt. What you record today might be unplayable in a couple of years' time. In fact, it might be unplayable tomorrow. Learn more...

An RP visitor finds an inconsistency in David Mellor's advice. Or does he...?

You could buy an SE Electronics Z3300A for $500, or a Shure SM57 for $100. If they are both capable of pro results, why not save $400? Learn more...

"I'm having trouble with my computer and audio interface? Can you help?"

A Record-Producer.com visitor is having problems with his computer. In other news, the sun rose this morning... Learn more...

The Mackie Spike - a Digidesign Mbox killer?

If you want a low-cost, easy-to-use, professional recording system then you don't have to look any further than the Digidesign Mbox with Pro Tools software. But just because Mbox is good, it doesn't mean there might not be anything better coming along... Learn more...

Analog - not dead yet?

An introducton to analog recording for the recording studio. Why top professional studios still use analog machines. Learn more...