Pro Recording on a Not-So-Pro Budget

Gear Reviews

Using the ART Pro MPA II to Warm Up DI Guitars

My go-to preamp for DI guitar. Plenty of people love guitar amp sims, and plenty hate them.  This video doesn't get into that; it is simply a demonstration of how you can use the ART Pro MPA II to introduce real tube saturation into your signal before processing it...

Apollo Twin Solo Review | The Little Red Light

Maybe more of an overview than a review... I love this piece.  The Apollo series offers professional quality, it's built like a brick, it is very portable (allowing me to use it on a few different computers), and it is STABLE.  I've never had anything resembling an...

How to use 1176 Compressor Plugins – Compression for Beginners

Waves' CLA-76 and UAD's 1176ln In a previous piece, I talked about how Cubase's Vintage Compressor worked (an 1176 emulation).  In this video, I walk you through the various controls of Waves' CLA-76 and Universal Audio's 1176ln plugins....

1969 Bandmaster Reverb Combo Conversion and “Blackfacing”

Blackfacing a Silverface Amp What does it mean, and why do we "blackface" our amps? When CBS bought out Fender in 1965, it was originally hailed as a good thing.  Everyone thought that CBS would bring capital into Fender, increasing production and maybe even lower...

OktavaMod Tube Mic Modification Review

When I decided to mod my MXL 990, this video was a factor in deciding to try it out. Michael Joly OktavaMods Michael has been modding mics for about a decade now.  The stuff that he puts out rivals mics 10x more expensive, as our friends at the Deli Magazine show us...

Are Amp Simulators Any Good?

You can get usable tones from an amp simulator like Amplitube. I know that this is a sacrilege, but it is possible to get a nice guitar sound from an amp sim.  While my first inclination is always to mic up my amp, and I'd rather just do that if I am working on a very...

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How Does My Modded MXL 990 Sound?

Can a Modded MXL 990 Compare to a More Expensive Mic? My MXL 990 Mod vs. a Blue Baby Bottle. After I completed my mod, I ran both the MXL 990 and my Blue Baby Bottle through my Apollo Twin to compare.  While the Baby Bottle is by no means an expensive mic, it is a...

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A Novice Mods an MXL 990

I've never modded a piece of gear before.  I have soldered guitar and XLR cables, and I'm somewhat technically inclined, but I have no training whatsoever. The MXL 990 Mod There are a load of mods that one can do to this mic, but I've read that 90% of the sound is...

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Mixing Tutorials

How To Get The Springsteen Slapback Vocal on Glory Days

A vintage sound that has been popping up again... You can get a similar sound using stock plugins in your DAW.  Here we discuss how. Phosphorescent, Arcade Fire, and loads of modern acts have been using this effect that has been around for decades.  Slapback delays...

Chris Carter’s Tips for Setting Volume While Mixing

What are those pieces of tape on my monitor controller you ask?!??!??? Well, let me explain. I spend almost all of my mix time monitoring at one volume. It’s roughly 83-84ish dB. I don’t use the “dot” on the knob of the controller. Instead I use the right dot that is...

Chris Carter’s settings for “The Voice” finalists Bec & Sebastian’s lead vocal

Chris Carter's settings for The Voice finalists Bec & Sebastian’s lead vocal (sung by Bec) for their new single “Tables Turning” which has been added to rotation on Joy 94.9 radio. You can hear it here on soundcloud:...

Save Every Version of Your Track, You’ll Thank Yourself Later

Mistakes happen, and they can be hard to find afterwards... I learned this lesson from my mentor, Roberto Percuoco.  We had a session that we were working on for a client, and he wanted us to add in another track that he had recorded.  At some point, one of us...

How I Use $10 Speakers to Get My Bass Right

These things can't handle anything, and that's why I love them I can hear any problems with my mix immediately when I listen to it on these puppies.  They can handle only the bare minimum of bass, they accentuate any honk or boxiness that any instrument may have, and...

How to EQ Snare and Hi Hat | Mixing for Beginners

Less is always more. What I mean by this is that you should start by cutting frequencies instead of adding them.  For whatever reason, the general consensus (and my personal experience) is that plugin equalizers do a good job of cutting frequencies, but not so much of...

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Beef Up Your Kick Drum with Kramer Tape

Tape to the Rescue. I accidentally discovered the use for Kramer Tape on bass drums a few years back during a session.  I've never found anything that had such an impact on kick drums like this plugin. Give it a listen yourself. https://youtu.be/s2wH7FqOQiY  ...

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How to Compress Vocals – Compression for Beginners

There are no steadfast rules. You can get some great sounds by breaking the rules, but the fact that you're reading this in the first place tells me that you want some guidelines to start you off. What is a good starting point for compressing vocals? I would say that...

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