Rock Studio Recording Sessions | Hoobastank

Like any of us who grew up in the early 2000’s, genres such as post-grunge, alternative rock, alternative metal, hard rock, nu metal, and previously funk metal and ska punk were all the craze. These were transitional years for the music business as recordings were becoming increasingly digital and DAW-based. Arguments over analog and digital aside, one things thats for sure is this gave engineers insane degrees of control over some aspects of the recording. Audio was becoming much more compressed and the overall signal was much louder.

There is a distinct change between the albums of say Pearl Jam and the one of discussion today Hoobastank that had a clear move toward digital in not just compression and dynamic range but editing and overall “tightness”

In this “in the studio” exclusive with Hoobastank, you’ll hear them discuss the difference between life as a musician in during these years, and life of an audio engineer.

From a quick search, it turns out these guys are still at it, pumping out music of the same kin as back in the early to mid 2000s. What do you think about the formative digital years? Were they good or bad for audio? And why?

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Stripped Music’s Top Picks | Thundercat

One of our favourite artists of our time, Thundercats. He’s a multi-genre bass guitarist, producer, and singer from LA with an impressive resume, having worked with some of the worlds top artists. At the age of 32, Thundercat, or as he’s originally named, Stephen Bruner, has appeared on a diverse list of albums from artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Taylor McFerrin, Erykah Badu, Suicidal Tendencies, Ty Dolla Sign, and plenty more. 

Thundercats started playing bass at an early age. At the age of 15 he joined his brother as a member of LA punk band Suicidal Tendencies. Thundercat’s music is well composed performed entirely with live instruments though appealing to a generally hip hop audience. It’s a great mix of soul, funk, with contemporary urban flair. 

Thundercats most resent album is titled “Drunk” and features 23 tracks that are humorous, sometimes dark and cathartic, and features a wide range of featured guests like Kendrick Lamar, Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, Flying Lotus and more..

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Interview | Run The Jewels

In this interview with Power 106 Los Angeles, The Hip Hop Duo Run The Jewels answer personal questions about their long road to success and the music business at large.

a) Their favourite artists not getting enough attention
b) Whether or not higher education is necessary for being in music
c) Their biggest struggles on their musical journeys
d) Whether or not terrestrial radio is important
e) Their “Must Haves” in the studio
f) Past experience who shaped who they are today

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Mixing On Headphones | Things To Consider

We get a kick out of much of the arguments flying around the net that are either for or against mixing on headphones. More often than not, you’ll discover that many of the heated positions on this topic come from amateurs. If you listen to many of the pros, the truth is that they are mixing on multiple playback sources. This goes from pristine quality studio monitors, a mono kitchen radio, professional studio headphones, Apple earbuds, and then the car stereo.

Engineers will often gravitate to mixing in the same format in which they most regularly listen to music. With many of us growing up in the age of the iPod and personal music player, there are sure to be many who prefer to work in this way.

Dre-headphones

Key consequences of mixing with studio headphones or studio monitors are the spatial anomalies. This is why it is necessary to listen back to a mix not only on a variety of stereo playback devices but also in mono. Techniques such as panning require much more multi playback listening as the stereo image can take on a new shape depending on how you’re listening.

Open-back headphones are far more optimal for mixing as there is more room within the ear cup and plenty of holes allowing a release of pressure, and overall offering more space. Closed-back headphone essentially just crank sound within your head and a very closed environment. What you need to consider is that your audience will be listening on a multitude of devices. It is you’re job to ensure that your mix translates well across all of them.

For a comprehensive overview on selecting a pair of studio headphones, we’d encourage you to read studio headphones buyers guide over at Hollagully in it’s entirety. 

While many of the arguments for mixing solely on studio monitors sure sound reassuring, the fact is I have heard countless mixes from producers and engineers who get through about 75% of the mix exclusively on headphones. How can you argue with them that what they are doing is wrong when the result of their work is so flawless?

Tip: Don’t be tempted to keep turning up headphone levels, or you’ll sooner end up with a listening fatigue, a headache, and eventually hearing damage. Take regular short breaks, which should keep your decision-making processes fresh and help you tap into those “first listen” sensibilities. quincy-headphones

One of the benefits of mixing on studio headphones is that they will often offer a wider frequency range than most pairs of studio monitors. Especially if your home studio is not equipped with a subwoofer. Even if it is, the layout of your room may be too small as to not allow the sub frequencies to travel as needed. Headphones will let you fine tune your low end with much more precision. Be sure to invest in a pair of headphones with a flat frequency response and an extended low end, without too much of a roll off in the bass. These will often allow you do work down into the low end where some studio monitors typically don’t extend into.

Resources: http://www.hollagully.com/best-studio-headphones-music-production-ultimate-guide/

Sneakpeek | Vocal Sampling in Logic Pro X

Wildy popular these days in many genres of music is a style of vocal sampling that takes snippets or segments of a piece of a vocals and plays on its pitch and timing, making it rhythmically exciting and introduces a whole new way to think about a vocal in a piece of music.

It’s literally everywhere and you can’t hide from it. Especially in genres of trap and EDM it is utterly rampant. Oftentimes it can be done in good taste. Others it can sounds ultimately annoying. But your use of it is for you to decide. Below is a prime example of a stuttered vocal sample effect in a collaboration project between artist Spank Rock and producers Kid Kamillion and Boys Noize.

Notice at around 1:58 all the variations of vocal stuttering effects taking place. I would argue that this is done rather well and though repetitive, offers a good degree of musicality, and personality to the production. This turns the vocal into an instrument like never before, introducing ways of thinking about the vocal as a rhythmic instrument, though it is outside of what the human voice can produce.

Now it is easy to go overboard with this effect and put it in places it doesn’t belong. But that’s for you to decide. Here we’d just like to show you how you can do it. Below is a reproduced example on how to recreate the lead vocal sampling effect of “Lean On” by Major Lazor and DJ Snake.

“Lean On” was a massive success for Major Lazer and DJ Snake, getting them worldwide recognition. The song was a huge perpetrator for the new wave of sampled vocal effects heard commonly in pop music today. Don’t be surprised to head much more of this effect, and effects like it in the coming years. And who knows, refine your skills well enough and mix them with a good douse of creativity and maybe it will be you’re track making global influence.

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Free Creative Sample Packs | Wavy by Landr

If you’re looking to keep your sample collection up-to-date with some highly creative and innovative sounds, automated mastering service Landr has launched a new platform called Wavy that sends royalty free sample packs every month to your inbox. All sounds are completely free with no rules on their use.

The platform also allows creators to upload packs of their own samples to be used as a form of promotion. So if you’ve got some unique sounds you’ve been working on, simply make a submission and their team will assess your work. They accept:

  • 5MB max per file
  • 25MB max per pack
  • Up to 7 sounds per pack
  • Uncompressed .WAVs

Accepted submission will get a link back to their work, so the potential for fans and collaborations are high.

Taking a stroll through their catalogue you will quickly discover that the sounds are definitely fresh; sure to get the creative juices flowing. These aren’t your standard sample packs of 808s, and 909s. The internet is already bloated with those. Samples that appear on Wavy have much more character to keep you creative.

Each sample pack is 100% royalty free so you can go from download to DAW instantly with no hassles. Wavy sounds are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can use them for literally whatever you want.

Every sample is in high quality WAV format and mastered with LANDR for A+ sound quality.

Check out wavy.audio

The Best Free Reverb Plugin | Togu Audio Line TAL-Reverb-II

tal-togu-reverb-ii

TAL’s first version of this popular free reverb plugin was a hit. Now, their second iteration of the TAL-Reverb-II adds a 3-band EQ to a classic plate reverb that allows you to fully sculpt the frequencies, tone, and colour of the reverb.

This upgrade is wildly attractive with plenty of options for quick adjustments on the fly. If you’re a novice looking to get a grips on reverb, or are simply just looking for some new arsenal for your plugin collection then this is an absolute steal.

While on their site, be sure to also check out the TAL-Reverb-III and the TAL-Reverb-4 as they are also free. They vary in features and one comes in a standalone version of the reverb section from the TAL-Sampler plugin. We just so happen to really enjoy the II as there is a fantastic balance of high quality sound and control. To download, click here.