Pro Tool Plug-in Tricks

Today I’ve got a quick video for you where I share four or five little plug-in tricks. These are all things I use all the time, and I thought it would be a shame for you not to know about them. Enjoy!


If you’re looking for more in-depth Pro Tools training, check out Understanding Pro Tools.

Got any plugin tips for us? Leave a comment!!

How to Survive a Computer Crash

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted quite as much this week. The reason? I had a perfect storm of my iMac crashing and having to be in 3 different states over the course of a week. Yikes!

The new iMac is hear and running wonderfully, and before I hit the road for the third time this week, I thought I’d share some things I learned from this experience.

The Story

In case you missed it, I got a new 21.5″ iMac about a month ago. I had been running everything (my studio, HSC, etc.) off of a 3-year-old white Macbook. It still runs great, but it was starting to fade, so I jumped on a demo iMac from Sweetwater.

The first issue I ran into was a bad logic board (the firewire port was unresponsive). I took it to a local Apple repair place, and they fixed it in a couple days. No big deal. (And it was all covered under warranty.)

Well, a few weeks later the iMac decided to shut itself off…never to power on again. So weird. We think it’s a bad power supply.


4 Ways to Deal with Noise in a Mix

It’s inevitable.

If you’re recording music at home, you’re going to have noise in your recordings. You obviously want to do everything you can to reduce the amount of noise in your recordings.

A few suggestions for cutting down on noise:

  • Use thick packing blankets. (I feel like that sentence is direct copyright infringement on the Home Recording Show…they love blankets over there.) These can be a cheap way to block out some noise.
  • Record in a separate room. This is ideal but not always possible.
  • Use a dynamic mic. They’re less sensitive and may not pick up as much room noise…but they usually require more gain, so you may have more pre-amp noise. Doh!
  • Record in outer space. Again, this isn’t always possible.

There are all sorts of tricks for cutting down noise, but that’s not the point of this article. Let’s just assume that you’ll deal with noise at some point in your home recording career…and by “some point” I mean “every day.” 🙂

On to the main attraction…4 Ways to Deal with Noise in a Mix.

Side-Chaining [Video]


In this video we take a look at Side-Chaining, particularly with kick and bass.

Thoughts? Please leave a comment!

Apple Problems? Try Resetting your Mac’s PRAM and NVRAM

My buddy Scott sent me this on Facebook the other day. If you’re a Mac user, bookmark this post and refer back to it next time your Mac starts acting funny. This could save you a trip to the service department at the Apple Store, and it might even prevent unnecessary service costs. Enjoy!

I had something interesting happen to me right before a show the other night and thought it might be something you could pass on to your loyal readers.

Something confused the FW bus on the 24″ iMac I use to run backing tracks for theatrical productions (a long Logic session running solely audio, no VI’s or plugs). Basically the iMac couldn’t ‘see’ the audio interface or external HD, but was still providing power to the devices. We noticed the problem at the 2-minute call (!) and I did a quick diagnosis and narrowed it down to the FW bus.


How to Remove Vocals from a Song [Video]

A few months ago, I was running a recording session for a corporate party for a bunch of folks from Boston. They wanted to record some country music (livin’ the Nashville dream).

So, I had to come up with a selection of country songs for them to sing to. This required me to figure out how to remove the lead vocals from these songs. Here’s how.


Headphones: A Great Learning Tool

The other day I was doing the dishes (shout out to my wife). Normally I listen to music or a podcast when I’m cleaning or working out.

This time I popped in those amazing Apple earbuds and tuned my iPhone into Josh Rouse’s album 1972.

I’d listened to this album plenty of times before, but always in the car or in my studio through my studio monitors. I’d never listened to it on headphones.

I was honestly shocked at all the things I heard for the first time…even over the sound of dishes clanking and water running. 🙂


OS Updates…Beware!

I sent this out to my mailing list yesterday, and I got a lot of good feedback, so I thought I’d post it here on the blog as well.

If you make this mistake once, you’ll never make it again. Even so, that one time will be a serious pain, and I’d rather you avoid it altogether.

I’m calling this the 8th home studio obstacle. It didn’t make the cut for tonight’s 7 Home Studio Obstacles webinar, but it sure came close.

If it ain’t broke, don’t update it.