October 23, 2017

Poolside Chats Podcast (Episode 18)

Poolside Chats Podcast: Episode 18 “We’ve Got Questions!” Welcome friends, we have another exhilarating episode of The Poolside Chats Podcast in store for you today! In Episode 18 of the Podcast, we address a host of questions for our dedicate Facebook Group (The Beginner to Advanced Music Production Group). If you are not currently a member of this group, you are most certainly going to want to sign up! Our group is slowly becoming one of the best little communities online for music producers and audio engineers from home studios to professional outfits.   Episode 18 is packed with questions on some of the more “comprehensive” topics in the realm of mixing. Some of the topics we cover in this episode are: Creating contrast in the mix Automation for depth and width Using time-based effects to create groove and space How to add dimension to a mix while retaining mono compatibility The facts about analog summing ITB vs. OTB hardware and plugins […]
October 23, 2017

Poolside Chats Podcast (Episode 19)

Poolside Chats Podcast: Episode 19 “We Speak Words Well” Welcome friends, we have another exhilarating episode of The Poolside Chats Podcast in store for you today! In Episode 19 we talk about the Age of Information or in some cases the Age of Misinformation. Many channels and sites online are often filled with subjective and biased information rather than objective sources of truth. We aspire to be students for life, and we highly support you in your quest to also be humans who are hungry to learn and grow. It was Jamie Jasta who said, “Satisfaction is the death of desire.” Endeavour to learn and grow friends, if you do you will live your human experience to the highest level while manifesting supreme levels of creativity along the way! For more info on The Poolside Chats Podcast, or to check our episodes where Kriss/Dom have been guests check out the official page for the Podcast right here at The Continuum Music […]
October 23, 2017
Continuum Music Studio Poolside Chats

Poolside Chats Podcast (Episode 20)

Poolside Chats Podcast: Episode 20 “An Interview with Maag Audio” Episode 20 is a very special, we could even go as far as to say monumental, episode of the podcast! Dom and I are proud to announce that our first guest on the show is none other than the Maag Audio family! This episode is packed with a ton of laughs, quality information, ideas for tracking, mixing, and mastering and a bunch of excellent stories from Cliff Maag Sr. about his journey in the audio engineer world. Hold onto your hats everyone; you are in for a real treat! As many of you know (from following the show, reading the blog, and staying connected with us via social media), we are HUGE fans of Maag Audio in both the digital and analog domain. The Continuum Music Studio has with every Maag Audio product (minus the preamps) on tap! To learn more about Maag Audio check out the extensive blog article […]
July 16, 2017

EDM Mixing and Mastering EQ Tips With Maag Audio

Mixing and mastering would be a challenging task without EQ. EQ allows for the alteration of phase to create unique and exciting contours of sound. Whether mixing ITB (in the box) or hybrid (mixing plugins plus analog hardware), the choice of EQ always matters. No two mixing or mastering EQs are equal in function. The wise approach is best to understand the tools of the trade, before randomly grabbing whatever plugin EQ which was used yesterday during the mixing process. Education is the initial key to evolution. Now, let’s talk EDM mixing and mastering EQ tips (with Mäag Audio). Rather than diving into all the different kinds of EQs and what the various curves can do, it would be best to start with the most used EQ curves which are wide bell curves and shelves. There is no shortage of wideband and shelve EQs on the market. What there is a shortage of are mixing and mastering EQs which are […]
December 30, 2016
retain dynamics in home mastering engineering projects

Retain Dynamics In Home Mastering Engineering (Part 1 – An Introduction)

Mixing and mastering are all about emotion. The goal is to capture the essence of a song with digital and analog tools which resonate with the message behind the music. The million dollar questions is… “How would a mastering engineering professional retain dynamics in home mastering engineering project?” In this multiple part blog and video blog series, we are going to study what veteran mastering engineering professionals are doing now, and have done in the past across all genres of music. In 2017 the lines from the past have blurred. There no longer exists separation in the multiple realms of the music production, creation, and finalization processes known as mastering. Once upon a time, just a decades ago, recording artists would have to save up a pretty penny just to get time in a studio. The recording studio process started with pre-production which eventually manifested into a tangible product know as a master. Fast forward the clock just about ten […]
December 22, 2016

Kick Drum Mixing

Kick drum mixing is one of the most complicated aspects of the mixing process. To be frank, mixing the low end in itself is the greatest challenge all engineers face because low frequencies move slower than mid range and top end frequencies. This problem expands when most engineers and producers are mixing in “less than ideal” rooms. Believe it or not, most home and project studios owners are hearing more of the room than the actual representation of the mix from the monitors. While room acoustics and design is an important topic, this is not the discussion for today. Mixing kick drums is all about the low end, or is it? Most music producers think that because the fundamental of most kick drums is between 88 and 100 Hz low-end adjustments, compression, and EQ is essential. While low-end focus and attention are imperative, it is also equally vital to focus mixing attention on the low mid range and mid range. […]
December 19, 2016

Plugin Review: SSL Duende Bus Compressor

The SSL Duende Bus Compressor is the most analog emulation for an SSL mix bus compressor plugin on the market. Though this Mix Bus Compressor has fierce competition in the mixing and mastering plugin market, it stands out for tone and the ability the represent analog character in the box. With companies like Cytomic, Slate Digital, Waves, IK Multimedia, Native Instruments, Universal Audio, and more there is a myriad of options available for all genres and at all price points. While all of these companies make excellent mixing and mastering plugins, we feel that the SSL Duende Bus Compressor plugin is the closest emulation to the analog hardware bus compressor. At The Continuum Music Studio, we have the X-Logic Bus Compressor by SSL which is the SSL recreation of the classic gray face Bus Compressor unit that is in just about every famous studio in the world. While it would be wonderful to have the vintage SSL at Continuum, we […]
December 2, 2016

Guitar Production: Detailed Tutorial

Guitar production and mixing are two essential phases of all rock, pop, and now EDM music. Understanding which EQ or compressor to grab will make a world of difference. Let’s dive into the wonderful world of API, Neve, Pultec and more! Guitar production and mixing are arts. Guitars, of all shapes and sizes, occupy a frequency range which is most sensitive to the human ear. For decades Rock n’ Roll music dominated the airwaves, and people loved the way guitars sounded, especially in the mix. In fact, those of us, like myself, who grew up on classic rock music learned to play the guitar at a young age. Now that I am in my 30’s and am a full-time professional mixing engineer, I often ask myself, “Was I drawn to play guitar in bands because the music I listened to put added emphasis on the guitar layers in the mix subconsciously?” Guitars, in rock music, are often as important as […]
October 29, 2016
5 common eq mistakes continuum music studio

Common EQ Mistakes (Part 2 – When In Doubt Leave It Out)

To avoid common EQ mistakes, do your best to educate yourself on the “rules” of EQ so that you can break these rules in creative ways! The best advice we can give you (in our eyes this is the golden rule), from personal experience, is simple: When in doubt, leave the EQ out! How do I leave the EQ out? There are a plethora of ways to mix layers without using EQ. Here is a short list of perspectives you can apply and adapt to your workflow to expand your palette of processing techniques: 1. Use a DeEsser the reduce high-end resonance 2. Use a compressor to smooth out tracks that feel like certain frequencies are poking out in unpleasant ways 3. Use expanders to tighten tracks and remove resonances 4. Use multiband saturation to change the contour and tone of bands 5. Use multiband transient designers or compressors to remove unpleasant regions 6. Use delay to mask frequencies 7. […]
September 24, 2016

Common EQ Mistakes (Part 1 – EQ in Context)

When it comes to EQ, there are two rules of thumb all music producers and audio engineers should welcome into the mixing workflow. 1. Carve in Context 2. When in doubt, leave the EQ out! The ways to apply EQ (equalization) to individual tracks, subgroups, and full mixes is a highly subjective concept. The use of EQ has hundreds of variables and should always be done “in context” or while listening to the entire mix as a whole. What Does Using EQ “In Context” Mean? The option to solo tracks while in the mix is both a blessing and a curse. When new to mixing it is common to click the solo bottom ad nauseam. While it can be “helpful” to isolate an element of the mix to hear it more clearly, so clearly that nothing else is playing (Laughter)! This is not the best approach for making “big picture” EQ decisions. Mixing in context is all about mixing individual […]
September 9, 2016
home studio monitor

Home Studio Monitor Placement Tips (Manual Calibration – Part 2)

Proper home studio monitor placement is vital to ensure a high standard of translation in music productions, mixes, and masters. Monitor placement is all dependant on the size of the room. It is vital to use monitors which are not too big or too small for the room dimensions. Knowing if your current monitors are best for you room can be tested with intensive critical listening. Learning how to calibrate the monitors (if that is an option), the room (with acoustic treatment), and your ears will be the focus of this article. We will also share an action plan for you to follow to get the most out of your home studio monitor position. Where should I have the monitors placed in the room? Home studio monitor placement should be in the form of an equilateral triangle. The aim is to have your head and the speakers at the same distance from one another. The equilateral triangle shape ensures the […]
September 3, 2016
Home Studio Monitor

Home Studio Monitor Placement Tips (Room Awareness – Part 1)

Proper home studio monitor placement is vital to ensure a high standard of translation in music productions, mixes, and masters. There are several factors, which come into play when selecting, setting up, and calibrating studio monitors to best suit the mixing environment. Ideally, it is highly recommended to invest a legitimate acoustic treatment (purchased or meticulously built DIY) for all home studios of all sizes. Does room treatment make that much of a difference? So much so that a lack of adequate treatment and proper placement of said treatment can make even the most expensive monitors not translate well. Before jumping into speaking about monitors, placement, and calibration lets’s briefly cover the basics of acoustic treatment. We need first to address a few truths that most people want badly to ignore. We hope that you take this information to heart as the content is meant to share truth, and help recording artists, music producers, and audio engineers with their craft. The […]
August 22, 2016

The 5 Best Reverb Techniques (Plugins and Hardware Explained Part – 4)

Reverb mixing plugins and analog hardware units are a staple in all serious home studios up to commercial studios. Having a few tonal options is a wise choice when it comes to reverb. In this final part of the five best reverb techniques series, we are going to cover some amazing plugins and hardware that should make your wish list! If you have been tuning in since article 1 of this series, you will know that we aren’t aiming to be a “traditional” source for music production and audio engineering perspectives. The Continuum brand is striving to be something “different” perhaps even something a bit more “abstract” while simultaneously covering foundational themes for audio engineering. We believe that music production comes down to two vital concepts: 1. Understanding the foundation of audio engineering tools. 2. Understanding the emotional and more abstract side of these devices so the application of the tools can render sonic and emotional experience for the listener. […]
August 16, 2016

The 5 Best Reverb Techniques (Emotional And Abstract Perspectives – Part 3)

Room, plate, hall, spring and convolution verbs should occupy 1-3 sends in the DAW. The selection and use of these reverbs should vary from project to project based on the needs of the song. Many audio engineers and music producers use template-based workflows while others prefer a more “free form” and creative approach to routing with sends for time-based effects such as reverb. No workflow is better than another, and all workflows with sends and time-based effect use should be tailored to render the desired results needed to bring a song to its full sonic potential. Articles 1 and 2 cover the foundation for reverb types, the benefits, and the drawbacks when overused. It is encouraged you take a moment to read these articles even if you are a seasoned music producer. It never hurts to refresh your creative palette of ideas with some reading and knowledge gathering. Part 1: Room and Plate Reverbs https://www.continuummusicstudio.com/5-best-reverb-techniques-part-1/ Part 2: Hall, Spring, and […]
August 13, 2016
reverb techniques

The 5 Best Reverb Techniques (A Foundational Guide To Halls Springs and Convolution – Part 2)

The five best reverb techniques require an understanding of the types of reverb as well as the function of each reverb within the mix. Article 1 in this series covered room and plate reverb. These are the two most common reverbs used in music productions. This article will cover hall, spring, and convolution reverbs. Many audio engineers prefer the sound of a hall reverb compared to a plate reverb, but this is all based on personal taste. Convolution reverbs, on the other hand, are gaining popularity with modern music producers because these tools offer powerful impulse responses which contribute to sonic benefits in the mix while deepening the emotional landscape. Though reverb adoption is always subjective and based on genre, workflow, and personal preference, it never hurts to have a few quality plugins which can dabble in all reverb types. We are going to cover hardware and software reverb in article four. Room and plate reverb is fantastic for adding […]
August 8, 2016

The 5 Best Reverb Techniques (A Foundational Guide To Rooms and Plates – Part 1)

Reverb is all about deepening the emotion of a song. The rule of thumb is either: Use no reverb, or use just enough to feel. The best use of reverb is to be delicate with it and keep it hidden. A bulletproof test to see if the reverb is being used proportionally in the mix is to: 1. Mute the reverb returns. 2. Let your ears gauge if you “miss the reverb” when the returns are in mute. 3. Unmute the reverb sends. 4. Turn down the reverb level, so it is barely audible in the mix. 5. Set the fader to a level that is: Felt, not heard, and missed when muted. Reverb can either make a mix sound “deep and wide” or “cluttered and washy” to the point where the mix feels like it is drowning. Before throwing reverb on a source, stem, bus, or mix, it is imperative to know what type and how to use. The […]
July 31, 2016

The Best Way To Tune Kick Drums (Part 3)

The best way to tune a kick drum is to use native flex pitch-editing algorithms or high-quality third party flex pitch-editing suites. Recording artists, music producers, and audio engineers should all have tools within any DAW of choice to handle pitch correction in a time efficient and high-resolution way. In 2016 the software market for pitch correction and editing has expanded significantly, and tools are available to all music producers, in all genres, at all different price points. A free approach to pitch correction and kick drum tuning would be the native “flex pitch” editor within Logic X. As seen in the photo, the pitch editor allows the movement of audio files and regions to desired notes/keys. To reference article one of this series, it is imperative before doing any manipulation to the pitch of the kick drum that there is a firm understanding of the project key, so the kick drum tuning is accurate. The best way to tune […]
July 30, 2016

Using MIDI Drums vs. Using Audio Drum Samples (Part 2)

MIDI drums offer detailed control over tuning, pitch accuracy, and editability. Audio drums are often as easy as “drag and drop” but might need pitch correction plugins to tune the pre-processed samples to the key of the project. Many music producers buy and use sample packs. Sample packs have a high value in today’s music production market because these packages offer high-quality kick drum audio samples at affordable costs. When using audio samples, it is a wise idea to audition/use various pitch correction mixing plugins to understand some of the best ways for tuning kick drums (for the specific files at hand). One plugin might work perfectly for an organic kick drum whereas another plugin might work better for an 808. The key is to understand where the strengths are in each of the tuning based mixing plugins offered in the DAW or purchased for the DAW. If audio is not the direction of choice and mixing plugins are a […]
July 27, 2016

Best Ways to Tune Kick Drums (Part 1)

The best way to tune kick drum is to use mixing plugins to save time while rendering the best quality kick drum sound for your mix. Modern pop, dubstep, chillstep, house, trance, and just about every genre that comes to mind all uses accurately tuned kick drums. Some music goes much deeper into tuning than others, but all genres share a basic level of tuning and tonal accuracy. No matter what music you are producing it is imperative that your kick drum is tuned to the key of the project. If you are not tuning your kick drums, your music productions are suffering! Before diving into the mixing plugins that can and should be used to tune kick drums, and other drum layers as well, we have to cover the basics of how to efficiently produce drums for all styles of music. Let us be clear when we say that: Tuning your kick drum is not a mixing related task! […]
July 20, 2016

The Wonderful World of Dynamics Processing

Music production and audio engineering are all about emotion, depth, and dynamics. Understanding compression and other dynamics processing is one thing, but knowing “what dynamics are” regarding music production, is not the same as knowing the “why” the “how” behind the “what.” Compression and other forms are dynamics processing are the aspects we are going to cover in this article. The more you know about EQ, compression, noise gates, expanders, and other mixing plugins the more professional your music will sound. The WHY: Dynamics are a must in music productions because they create excitement, movement, and help the listener stay engaged in the song as it is progressing. To use dynamics advantageously, one must understand the “whys” before applying something like a compressor in an ITB mixing session. Remember that compression and all other mixing plugins are always used subjectively based on each track (channel strip with fader). The good news is all DAWs like Logic X, Pro Tools 12, […]
March 2, 2016

Getting Your Mixes LOUDER!

February 22, 2016

Turd Polishing The Greatest Challenge of An Audio Engineer

February 12, 2016

Glossary of Music Production Terms

February 3, 2016

Home Mastering Insider Tips

January 26, 2016

Compression: Things You NEED To Know

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