Category Archives: Techniques

Acoustic Treatment for the Small Studio

As high-quality audio gear becomes ever more affordable, software emulations nip at the heels of some of the most coveted audio hardware, and much of the basic knowledge of the audio field becomes widely disseminated through the web, professional studios still offer more than a few major benefits. The first among them is the skill […]

Also posted in All Stories, Back Issues, Beyond The Basics, February 2013, Studio Tour, Sub-Feature 1 | Comments closed

How to Fix Common Audio/Video Sync Problems

In the early days of motion picture, audio sync was easy: There wasn’t any. When you’re dealing with silent films, you have plenty of room to play fast and loose with frame rates. The first hand-cranked cameras used in the industry could shoot footage at rates anywhere from 16 to 18 frames per second; there […]

Also posted in All Stories, Beyond The Basics, January 2013, SonicScoop, Sub-Feature 2 | Comments closed

How To Recover Flood-Damaged Audio Gear


Joel Hamilton was in his old studio in the American Midwest when the great floods of 1993 hit: “I watched, personally, with a flashlight in my teeth, as the meter bridge of my console went under water.” “It was incredible – They were the kinds of floods that people read about in National Geographic. When […]

Also posted in Beyond The Basics, December 2012, Featured Stories, Most Popular, Technology | Comments closed

Beyond the Basics: Demystifying dB

At first glance, the decibel might seem like an oddly fundamental topic for a series called “Beyond The Basics.” But in practice, the average audio engineer’s understanding of decibels and how they work is often shaky at best. Granted, you don’t need to fully understand dB to make great-sounding records. But it can never hurt to […]

Also posted in Beyond The Basics, December 2012, SonicScoop, Sub-Feature 2 | Comments closed

Soundproofing the Small Studio


For one reason or another, whether it’s for culture, commerce or community, people all around the world have huddled closer to one another with every passing year. In 1900, fewer than 40% of Americans lived in and around urban areas. By the year 2000, that portion had nearly doubled, and today roughly 80% of Americans […]

Also posted in Beyond The Basics, December 2012, SonicScoop, Sub-Feature 1 | Comments closed

Studio Skillset: The Care, Feeding and Selection of a Studio Piano

Until the home piano was overtaken by the home stereo (and now the home studio), it stood as one of the most complex, engaging and rewarding musical devices ever made. Get to know more about their care and construction in this installment of Studio Skillset. A good recording engineer should know at least a bit […]

Also posted in November 2012, SonicScoop, Studio Skillset, Sub-Feature 2 | Comments closed

The Quirky Habits of Great Mixers

Anyone who has worked on enough records knows that it’s not the tools that make a great mix, but the way that they’re used. And in a day and age where great-sounding gear has become something of a commodity – an assumed baseline rather than a unique and unusual selling point – the benefits of […]

Also posted in Producers and Studios, Rants and Raves, September 2012, SonicScoop, Studio Skillset, Sub-Feature 2 | Comments closed

How To Win the Loudness War

Recorded music has been getting louder over for the past few decades. So much louder in fact, that everyday-listeners have begun to hear about it in general-interest papers like the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, the Huffington Post, and even the New York Times. As records have increased in average level, so has the chatter […]

Also posted in April 2012, Featured Stories, Industry Trends, Most Popular, Rants and Raves, Studio Skillset | Comments closed

Ace Engineers Share Tips on Mastering for iTunes

Mastered for iTunes

“Mastered for iTunes” is out. We explore the tools, the best practices, and the controversy. Last week, iTunes announced a new set of tools and best practices that would allow engineers to master albums specifically for release on the iTunes Music Store. Although the application is novel, the basic concept is nothing new. Mastering engineers […]

Also posted in All Stories, Featured Stories, March 2012, Most Popular, Technology | Comments closed

Can You Hear What I Hear? A Guide to Listening Blind

Magic Beans

Compared to the much of the animal kingdom, human beings have pretty terrible hearing. We have poor powers of echolocation, especially for sounds that come from behind us, we can only hear a relatively narrow bandwith of 20Hz-20kHz, and we’re easily fooled by illusions. Some illusions, like those discovered by Diana Deutsch throughout her career, […]

Also posted in All Stories, March 2012, Most Popular | Comments closed
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