Category Archives for "Posts"

What’s the Difference Between Stock Plugins and Premium Plugins?

This article is part of our FAQ series, published on our blog. Click here to view the blog archives.

Question: What’s the difference between stock and premium plugins?

Just like there are those who think gear is the only thing that matters, there are those who say you can’t get a good mix using stock plugins.

I simply disagree with that line of thinking!

Now of course there are some differences between stock plugins and premium plugins, which I discuss below… Continue reading

How to Sample Music the Right Way

This article is part of our FAQ series, published on our blog. Click here to view the blog archives.

Question: How do you sample music?

Sampling music is a time honored tradition that goes back decades.

In music production it can be a great source of inspiration, and when done with permission, can even lead to the creation of huge hits.

Today AudioSkills Instructor Ben Runyan shows you step by step how to sample the right way.

Key Takeaways

  • Always be aware of and honor copyright laws, you can get in big trouble releasing music with unauthorized samples.
  • Be sure to match your tempos when sampling.
  • Samples can be used to foster creativity and later replace them in your mix.
  • Make sure you use tools like EQ to help your samples fit into your mix better.

Learn More

How to Make Money in Music

This article is part of our FAQ series, published on our blog. Click here to view the blog archives.

Question: How do I make money in music?

So many musicians, producers, and engineers want to make music their full time career.

Or, if they can’t quite do that, they at least want to get some extra spending money from their work.

This is an important question to answer!

In the interest of time, here’s a broad overview of potential ways to make money in music. Continue reading

  • Scott H
  • September 29, 2017

How to Fix a Mix That Sucks

This article is part of our FAQ series, published on our blog. Click here to view the blog archives.

Question: How do I fix a mix that sucks?

When it comes to art, sometimes you create something you’re unhappy with.

We’ve all been there.

So let’s say you finish your mix and it, for lack of a better term, “sucks”…

It’s natural to wonder if it can be fixed.

The good news is, YES, it can be… here’s how I suggest you go about it. Continue reading

How to Know If You’re Over-compressing (and How to Avoid It)

This article is part of our FAQ series, published on our blog. Click here to view the blog archives.

Question: How do I know if I’m over-compressing?

I spend a lot of time warning producers and mixers to avoid using too much compression.

Unintentional (not done deliberately for the genre or song) over-compression is an audio sin committed frequently…

Especially those who might be newer to mixing and music production.

That’s why I LOVE this question.

Now of course so much in audio comes down to personal opinion.

One engineer might find something over-compressed while another thinks it sounds great.

It’s important to have the knowledge to at least make those opinion calls.

So, here’s how to know if you’re over-compressing, plus a few tips on how to avoid doing it! Continue reading

How to Compress Vocals Like a Pro

This article is part of our FAQ series, published on our blog. Click here to view the blog archives.

Question: How do I compress vocals without ruining them?

Most people know that unintentionally over-compressing vocals ruins them.

Vocals are meant to be dynamic. They’re meant to sit on top of the mix but not be squished.

So it’s natural to wonder, given the significant risks, how you should go about compressing vocals.

Fortunately, it’s easier to compress vocals the right way than you might think.

Here’s how! Continue reading

How to Use an EQ in 4 Easy Steps

This article is part of our FAQ series, published on our blog. Click here to view the blog archives.

Question: How do I use an EQ the right way?

Equalizers or EQs are one of the most important tools in mixing.

To put it in simple terms, EQs allow mixers to emphasize certain frequencies (boosts) and deemphasize others (cuts).

Equalizers offer you control of the entire frequency spectrum.

Unfortunately using EQ while mixing isn’t always so cut and dry… which is why this is a great question!

Before I proceed, here are a few disclaimers:

  • Understand the settings on your EQ and how they work. If you’re unfamiliar, click here to get an EQ cheat sheet from AudioSkills to get you started.
  • Treat every mix and every track differently… an EQ technique that works on one track, may not work for another.
  • Your ears are key in using any mixing tool, so LISTEN and develop them.

So with all that said…

Here are 4 simple steps to follow to use an EQ the right way. Continue reading

How to Master a Song in the Box in 7 Easy Steps

This article is part of our FAQ series, published on our blog. Click here to view the blog archives.

Question: How do I master a song on my computer?

Many budding producers and engineers know that a song should be mastered before release.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a commercial release, or just something getting uploaded to social media…

Every song deserves to be mastered.

  • Unfortunately, mastering can be very intimidating, and seemingly impossible in a home studio.
  • Fortunately, it doesn’t HAVE to be intimidating and is actually VERY doable on a computer (“in the box”)

Now if you just want some quick mastering tips and techniques, you can grab a copy of the mastering cheat sheet here.

But if you’re interested in a more thorough step-by-step walk-through

Here’s how you can master a song in the box (digitally, with no analog equipment) in 7 easy steps! Continue reading

Should You Use a Free Mastering Service or Do it Yourself?

This article is part of our FAQ series, published on our blog. Click here to view the blog archives.

Question: Should I use a free instant online mastering service or master my music on my own?

When it comes to mastering your music, there are three options at your disposal.

  • Option #1: Hire a professional mastering engineer.
  • Option #2: Use a (free) instant online mastering service.
  • Option #3: Master it yourself.

Continue reading

What’s the Difference Between Mixing and Mastering?

This article is part of our FAQ series, published on our blog. Click here to view the blog archives.

Question: What is the difference between mixing and mastering?

This is a question I’ve seen asked A LOT… especially by those newer to this whole recording and mixing thing.

It’s a question I remember having myself.

The music industry is not the same as it once was, with more people than ever self producing…

As a result, the different stages of the process (recording, mixing, mastering) have become a bit blurred.

Still, here’s how to easily understand the difference between the two big ones… mixing and mastering. Continue reading