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Western Students at Starstruck Studios February 7, 2015

Posted by Damon Sink in : degrees in music, General Announcements, Mixing, Projects , add a comment

Last summer several of our Commercial and Electronic Music students interned at Starstruck in Nashville (Reba McEintire’s studio). They eventually gained the confidence of engineer Chris Ashburn and were allowed to record a few tracks with songwriter Colin Iwanski. Hunter Black on drums, Charlie Diez on guitar, Bud Davis on acoustic, Jacob Crabtree on the organ, and Chris Burke co-engineer. Heres a track from Hunter’s soundcloud:

Mixing in Pro Tools 9 (HD Native) – Part 1 February 23, 2011

Posted by ConnorSmith in : Avid, Mixing, Pro Tools , 3comments

I’ve been up and running with Pro Tools 9 HD Native for about 3 weeks, and I’m loving it.  I’m currently working through a massive mix (actually a remix of BJSR’s Follow the Leader – original by our very own Ben Rivet, remix by ‘Be Nice’).  I’ve gotten a few emails from people wanting to walk through the mixing process, so here we go – I’ll document the whole process – from getting the files (in a different DAW format), through organization, mixing, and final bouncing. (more…)

Review: Vintech 473 February 14, 2011

Posted by ConnorSmith in : Digital home recording studios, Mixing, Reviews , 3comments

Note:  I wrote this article over a year ago, but never posted it at the time.  I’ve left the original review as is, but added a new section at the bottom, now that I’ve used the unit for a year filled with tracking and mixing.

The Vintech 473 offers 4 channels of Neve 1073-like preamp with shelving EQ in a 2 space rackmount unit.  It uses an external power supply (sold seperately) which can power up to 6 channels of Vintech preamps.

In Use: (more…)

for Windows VST: Antress Modern Plugins January 4, 2010

Posted by Damon Sink in : Digital home recording studios, Mixing, plugins (plug-ins) , add a comment

Antress Modern Plugins

…Sometimes it’s just better for the PC users. If anyone wants to try some of these (Antress Modern Plugins) out and give us some feedback, I’ve heard really great things.

Oh, and did I mention that they are FREE!?!

I am in the process of re-deploying my dual core PC to run some sample libraries and Vienna Ensemble Pro, so I could install them with that outboard rig. Check it out and let’s see.

Happy New Year everybody. We’ve got some cool stuff in store for the new decade, so stay tuned!

The Studio Files

Warm the Cockles of Your Mix (or tracks) December 23, 2009

Posted by Damon Sink in : Mixing, plugins (plug-ins), Project Studio , add a comment

OK. No idea what “cockles” are, but I just wanted to pass along a bit of Christmas cheer. One of the plug-in companies that I really love is PSP, and they have a stellar deal on their classic EQ bundle going on right now. If you have been thinking about treating yourself to some new eq toys this holiday, I can’t think of a better way to do it at this price.

Check it out here:


And have a great holiday.


Mixing 101: The Mute Button November 5, 2009

Posted by ConnorSmith in : Digital Audio Workstations, Mixing, Project Studio , 2comments

To make great mixes, you need great ears and knowledge of your processing gear/plug-ins – but one of the most simple and most important mixing processes comes in the form of the mute button.  In my opinion, the mute button is often more important than any plug-in, whether its the Compressimaxer 40000 that cost $5,000 or a simple DigiRack plug-in. (more…)

Jeffrey Crace: Hotel Lagonda August 27, 2009

Posted by Damon Sink in : collaboration, Mixing, Music distribution , add a comment

Mornin’ everybody. (Damon here)

One of the projects that I’ve been working on this summer is a first release from a singer-songwriter, Jeffrey Crace. Jeff found us through The Studio Files a few months ago and asked about some help mixing some songs that he had recorded on a Korg 16-track MDR. He sent me the individual tracks for one song and I shot him back a quick mix. Well, he liked it, and decided to have me mix and master the whole project. He has decided to go with digital distribution first, plus an inexpensive short run of slimline CDs to sell at gigs and for promotional packets.

We went with TuneCore and the album is now live on Amazon and lala.com.
Check out Here We Go Again:

Here We Go Again – Jeffrey Cra…

I’m going to go through several of the mixes in the next couple of weeks and talk about what plugins I used, and other techniques. If you listen to a track on Hotel Lagonda and want to know something specific, just ask!

More soon,

The Studio Files

Getting Your Mixes to Translate February 9, 2009

Posted by ConnorSmith in : Mixing, Project Studio, Troubleshooting , 2comments

We’ve all been here –

It’s the end of a long mixing day, and the mix is sounding awesome in the control room.  We burn off a quick mix and take in the car on a CD for the drive home…

YUCK! It sounds terrible!  Why does it sound bad in the car (or in headphones/boombox/etc) but awesome in the control room??

Here are some tips and techniques to help improve your mix translation. (more…)

On a Budget: Working a Project from Beginning to End November 20, 2008

Posted by ConnorSmith in : Mixing, Project Studio, Projects , add a comment

Every project has a budget, whether its a 0$ home studio EP up to a $500,000 major label release.  Especially for us towards the lower end of that example, we need to make the most of the budget at every turn.  Figuring out where to allocate funds is a tricky task.  Is it better to spend money on tracking, mixing, mastering, a producer??? (more…)

Music Reviews: Wild Sweet Orange September 26, 2008

Posted by Ben Rivet in : Chit Chat, Digital home recording studios, Mixing, Music Reviews, Reviews , 2comments

Your man about town here with a look at some music that has caught my fancy.

The Band: Wild Sweet Orange

The Album: We Have Cause to Be Uneasy

wild sweet orange


Radiohead REMIX: Get the tracks and DIY September 25, 2008

Posted by Damon Sink in : Apple, Mixing, remix , add a comment

Just got a very cool link. I guess I’m ‘on the list’ because I paid (an undisclosed amount) for Radiohead’s In Rainbows a few months ago. They will let you buy the stems (that is the basic tracks: drums bass, synths, etc.) from their single “Reckoner” as discrete tracks so that you can remix the song yourself. Only $.99 and a pretty cool idea. Check it out if you are into it:

Click here.

Happy remixing. The link will have to be opened with iTunes, so when your browser says so, don’t fight it! You could even dump the tracks into a free application like Audacity, slice and dice and… voila!! Be sure to let us know if you post your own version at Radiohead’s website. It would be great to hear what all of you come up with.

The StudioFiles

Battling a Large Body of Water: Part 3 August 19, 2008

Posted by ConnorSmith in : Mixing, Project Studio, Projects , 2comments

These are apparently not going in any particular order… sorry.

I would like to explore the idea of controlling your bass and low mid frequencies in the mix. (more…)

Battling a Large Body of Water: Part 1 August 11, 2008

Posted by ConnorSmith in : Mixing, Project Studio, Projects , add a comment

::Presenting the first of many articles discussing the adventures of recording a full length CD with a band called Versus the Ocean out of Michigan::

This recording project was full of a lot of “firsts” for me (first time converting a house into a recording studio, first time working with a screamer, first time having a band live with me for the recording process… etc). The short version of the story is that the band lived in my converted-recording-basement for a week because of some last minute logistical issues in going to another (real) studio. So with my trusty Digi 003 Rack (and a HEAP of borrowed gear, thanks Damon, Ben), we got to work for the long week.  Also props to Ronnie Pinnell for driving up to assist.

Given the circumstances, I thought it would be a great opportunity to share both the “do’s” and “do not’s” I learned along the way. I’ll try to cover everything from mic techniques to mixing and there and back again.


Before and After: A Guerilla Recording/Mixing Session Walkthrough May 28, 2008

Posted by ConnorSmith in : Mixing, Pro Tools, Project Studio , 2comments

Ever had one of those projects where you have to record, edit, mix, and master a 3-4 song demo EP in a day? It’s definitely a lot of work, but it’s usually fun and exciting. The goal is to get the absolute best quality and quantity of recording that you can in the absolute shortest amount of time. Fun huh? (more…)

Preparing your music for YouTube… plus some examples May 17, 2008

Posted by ConnorSmith in : Mixing, Troubleshooting, Videos , 2comments

A mix that sounds awesome in your DAW can sound terrible after facing the wrath of YouTube streaming conversion.

How can you make your sounds shine on YouTube? Here are some things to check in your mixes to guarantee better youtube results. (And there are videos at the end …) (more…)

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