Wednesday, February 20, 2008

5 ways to Warm up Your Mix

1. Add More Sub Bass

Specifically sub-bass below 100hz. This can be done with a bass instrument, like a synth, or a guitar. Its extremely effective, and sometimes you can get away with adding more than you think you should. Small speakers can't replicate these frequencies, but it will still sound "Warm."

2. Double the Tracks and performances

Just doubling, tripling, or quadding the number of voices of a pre-recorded performance (or synth track), can widen out your sound. Panning to the left and right, and lowering the volumes of each can give you a fullness that one lead can't. A great way to do it is track each performance separately and save them. The differences between each (un-quantinized) performance can be combined uniquely. mainstream music does this all the time by doubling the voice track. You can do it with a synth or anything else!

3. Mic the audio coming from a speaker, and record it back in.

This is a good trick if you have a decent mic. This will add reverb and odd harmonics to your mix that can make it sound more real. Its also a good way to get wicked drum n bass sounds.

4. Stereo Reverb

Using Plenty of Stereo reverb can make your mix sound warmer, and create subtle dynamics that weren't there in the first place. Adding compression on top of this will bring out these dynamics. Don't be afraid of reverb!! Used properly and tastefully it won't ruin anything.

5. Chorus

The chorus filter is a popular way to widen, and warm your signal. It works great on cold synths and samples.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Mixing Tip of the Day: Fat Snares

 May Ae

What makes a snare sound fat?

Compression? Sometimes. Thats good for an overall level boost, if you don't have gain, but keep Reading...

The main frequencies it resonates at.

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If you run your snare sample or live drum through a frequency analyser you may see more than one spike. One may be significantly taller than the other.

Tips: Try boosting the snare with a wide parametric EQ on smaller spikes that aren't quite loud, but still show up. For example, you have a loud snare hit at 200hz, and you also see that it resonates at 350khz. Boost everything between 200 and 400khz (or so) with EQ as much as 18db+ decibels depending on your situation. Tune it using your ear. Your snare will sound alot fatter! It might sound crazy to boost ABOVE the snare's main range, or use that much gain, but now it will get more attention and emphasis from the listener. Using this technique you can fill gaps in your music with the snare drum hit. Its especially good when your your main instrument (a guitar, or synth), doesn't have alot of mid-range bass.

This is great for rock music, and you will instantly have a fatter mix.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Compressors - The Theory

Check out EarPick's article on Compressors. Found in the feed :)

Yea its the audio kind, not air compressors!

I saw this new piece of gear, the Biofeld, by waldorf, and did some more investigating:

 Assets Images Products Blofeld Blofeld Teaser 600Px

My very german Waldorf syntesizing scientists heff now developed a new sintesizing maschine viz ze power of many, many maschines inside!
Uhh Yea!

Waldorf is back in the game. With the Blofeld. This synthesizer offers all the unique qualities that made Waldorf a truly legendary brand.

Website & Demos: Hear the Biofeld!

Sounds pretty damn freakin rad!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Tone Collection Guitar Reason Refill ($20)


The Tone Collection Reason Refill Pack ($20) has been added to the store.

The Tone Collection is a Guitar Based Refill for producers and enthusiasts who need that special guitar punch in their music. From Death Metal, Marshall Amp, and back to clean Stratocaster, you will find what your looking for. This Reason Refill attempts to do what Amplitube does, by providing preset tones that help you shape and mould the provided guitar sounds. Various presets range from aproximations of Gerry Garcia, to Jimi Hendrix. 80s style phasers and dark atmospheric tones are also there to keep you creative. Reason 3.0 & 4.0 Compatible. Standard patches will work with version 2.0. Its only 20 bucks, with download and paypal.

Listen to demos and check out the Refill in the Chip Collection store.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Behringer Guitar Review: Metalien Pack

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Final Rating: 8/10

The Behringer Metalien is an awesome guitar for the price. It looks very good at first impression and sounds great when you plug it into your mixer/amp. It is the best looking guitar in the behringer lineup. The black on black color scheme and sharks teeth inlay emulate expensive Ibanez guitars. The price for this setup is amazing and I would recommend this package for anyone starting guitar, curious about guitars, or anyone who needs a guitar sound in their music thats not fake & sampled. This is a REAL guitar.


It sounds nice, and pretty clean. The two single coil pickups sound the humbucker sound even better when raised / adjusted with a screwdriver, an easy task. In the right hands, and with the supplied overdrive on the Behringer amp, you can get it to "scream." I am sure there are better pickups out there, but I would say this guitar sounds fine. The strings are okay and seem like they need to be played a bit to break them in. I was happy to find that this guitar did not need any adjustments as to string height etc, and that the playing action was good (no buzzing). The whammy bar is a basic design, but works. I play most of the time with it taken off, but its fun to mess with. Again, some ibanez guitars don't even come with a whammy... The tone, volume, and pickup switches are very solid feeling. Its nice to have ALL the features of the expensive guitars, and a nice clean sound for $150

Looks / Feel:

The Metalien looks great on first impression. Its all black and has a great shape and the finish is a cut above many other expensive guitars. On closer inspection, however there are some things that I would mention. The finish on the pick guard panel has a kind of plastic over it that can bubbles near screws. Thats a minor complaint. You can kind of fix it by pressing down near the screws. I didn't investigate to see if you can remover the plastic or not, but this is a minor issue. Also, the frets on the bottom edge seem a little rough but you won't ever touch this part of the guitar due to the angle. The shark tooth inlay is amazing!! This guitar basically looks like a copy of the Ibanez, even down to the hardware, and it really is a quality guitar for the price. Go ahead and compare for yourself. Overall I'd say the design, and finish are an "A-" Very good! Looks expensive.

Side by Side Comparison: Metalien ($150) Vs. Ibanez ($240, No Amp, Tuner etc.)
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The supplied Behringer guitar amp is fun to mess with. Its not good quality at all, but the overdrive button is really fun. Again, an overdrive button is something you won't get on the more expensive ibanez metal pak. If you don't have distortion pedals and just want to rock, the overdrive is a nice touch. The gain on it is super hot, so be very careful to your ears. Its just a practice amp so I can't say much bad about it. I would not use it as a preamp to a mixer, but I would mic this amp because it sounds dirty and cheap in a good way.

The practice DVD will get you up to speed if you've never played guitar before. You'll be playing chords hopefullly on your first or second session.

Note * I would replace the guitar strap if your near 6 feet tall or so, it seems a little small.

The tuner is very very good. I found the cable it came with to be very decent, and thats got to be better than the Ibanez Metal Pak's cables I've heard about busting after little use. The picks are nice. The carrying case is also very basic, but will keep it protected from scratches.

For $150 you can't go wrong. Its the most fun you can get for this little amount of money. If you need a starter guitar, or a guitar sound in your music, this is a must have. It looks more expensive than it is, and sounds good. Once you pick it up you will be very excited and will enjoy how much fun it is to play guitar.


The one reviewed does not have the USB module installed. I felt that the USB is kind of pointless, and that the phono jack was more versatile. I can plug it into a real amp, or a mixer, or an audio interface, or even an array of pedals. With usb, its computer only. Since the guitar is analog anyways, I thought the USB option to be limiting. I would also recommend trying out Amplitube with this guitar even though it doesnt come with it in this package. The sounds you can get are even more fun. I would say its a personal choice to go USB or Metal Pack, because they both cost the same ($150), but you can't go wrong with a practice amp thats always waiting for you to pick up and play.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Great EQ Tutorial: Cut Narrow, Boost Wide

Hometracked :: Home recording blog
From Home Tracked:

In practice, wide EQ cuts remove more signal, and therefore more of a sound's defining characteristics. Remove too much signal, and the audio you're treating no longer sounds like itself. This can certainly produce interesting effects, but it won't yield accurate mixes.

This basically explains what I had in mind on the previous EQ/Mastering article I had wrote. Sometimes I think its best to stay out of the EQ all together, but sometimes you just need the final touch!