I love a good challenge.

I decided to take the last two weeks of the year off, and it’s been great. Lots of family time. And I’ve played a lot of Minecraft. (I know, I know…make fun of me if you like.) If you’re not familiar with the game, Minecraft is a simple world where you collect resources and build things. It’s one of those games where there’s no real “point” to playing, other than being creative.

(Sometimes your home studio can feel the same way, a place where you can be creative, but you never actually DO anything.)

I wanted to create a new world in Minecraft, but I quickly realized that without some sort of challenge, I would get bored. I would build a little house, start up a little wheat/cow farm, mine for a few diamonds, and Zzzzzzzzz… Read more »

screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-10.49.03-amI’m re-watching the TV series/rockumentary Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways on Amazon. If you haven’t checked it out, you should. Each song on the album is based on a different city in the US, and they recorded each song in each of those cities. Each episode of the show is about that particular town, and the history of music there. Super inspiring stuff.

On Episode 5 (the Los Angeles episode), the band heads out to a studio located outside of LA in the desert. It’s called Rancho de la Luna studio. It’s basically just a small house with a bunch of studio equipment in it, but the vibe is incredible.

Because of the lack of space (much like a typical home studio), musicians are forced to play in close quarters, and something magical happens. Read more »

So much goes into making great mixes. Of course, you need good songs and good recordings, but once you start mixing a song, it’s easy to lose perspective. A second set of ears comes in handy. Big time.

I’ve been running my VIP membership for years. One of the foundational components of it was mix critiques. At this point I’ve critiqued hundreds of mixes for my members. Once a month we have a little live-streaming mix critique party, where I’ll critique as many mixes as I can in an hour.

The way I approach critiques is to listen like it’s one of my projects. When something stands out to me, I hit pause and make suggestions. By the end of the critique, I’ve handed out a virtual to-do list for the person, things that need to change to make the mix better. Read more »

Last week I shared with you the first five reasons you’re not happy with your mixes. Today, let’s finish out the countdown.

5. You don’t have a good understanding of EQ and Compression.

Early on in the history of Home Studio Corner, I decided to create two in-depth courses about EQ and compression. They seemed like obvious topics to me, but I didn’t expect them to be as popular as they were. To this day, Understanding EQ and Understanding Compression have been the most popular courses I offer over in the HSC Store.

Why is that? Because people quickly realize that while EQ and compression are fairly simple concepts, it is crucial to really understand what they do and how to use them if you want to create good mixes.

EQ is all about frequencies. You can never use EQ properly without first becoming intimately familiar with what different frequencies sound like. For example, you may think you know what 500 Hz sounds like, but you could be way off. I used to think 500 Hz was a “muddy” frequency. If something sounded muddy, I would cut 500 Hz. It never really helped, because muddy sounds happen more in the 150-250 Hz range.

It doesn’t sound like a big difference, but developing a deep understanding of what different frequencies sound like made a massive impact on my ability to get great mixes in my studio. Read more »