Pensado’s Place – “Into the Lair” – Essential Lessons

I am a big fan of Dave Pensado and his Pensado’s Place show. I just love this guy. If you don’t know him already, he’s a Grammy Award winning mixing engineer who’s mixed Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Mariah Carey, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Pink, Mary J. Blige… Well, you get the picture.

I especially like the “Into the Lair” section of his shows where he explains various aspects of his work in detail. All of his videos are great so I really recommend you to watch all of it. But it’s a lot to go through, so I wanted to put together a collection of “Into the Lair” clips from Pensados Place that have been especially interesting and helpful to me. Below each video, I’ve also included some bonus notes from myself.Continue Reading

The 25 Best Free VST / AU Plugins for PC and Mac in 2013 – Part 1

There are a lot of great free plugins out there. However, I’ve always been put off by how difficult it is to spot the good ones from the masses of mediocrity.

So I decided to do something about it. For the past year I’ve been on a mission. I’ve been scouting the internet, lurking on forums, talking to people… And downloading tons of free plug-ins.

Most importantly I’ve been test driving everything on real projects to see how the plugins perform. It’s been a ton of work and I’m not easy to please… But starting today I’m happy to present you the results:

My view on the absolute best of the best of free VST/AU plugins out there at the moment.
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Using Saturation in a Mix

Guest post time! Continuing with our recent theme on saturation – we have Kim Lajoie speaking to us about his approach to saturation.

Saturation is a wonderful tool for mixing. This is especially true for computer-based DAWs, which allow us to go from transparent clean digital sound through to smeared murky smashed sound. And everywhere in between. The variety of available plugins and different approaches give producers and engineers a huge toolkit and capability to choose the right saturation for each track.

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FabFilter Saturn – The Saturation Workhorse

Continuing the series about my favorite plugins, it’s time for the FabFilter Saturn. Saturn does multiband distortion/saturation. It is the most versatile of the saturation plugins I use.  It goes really deep. I bought it about a year back and since then I’ve used it on most of the tunes I’ve made. I even use it for mastering sometimes.Continue Reading

My Master Plugins Revealed

I’m often asked what master plugins I use on my main output channel when working on music.

Let’s take a look at a typical setup and what I do with those bad boys…

Please note: These plugins can be used as mastering plugins. However this post is not about a mastering situation. These plugins are what I use on the master output channel during the production and mixing process.

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Berserk EQ

I always preach the “rather cut than boost” mentality with EQ…

And it works really well for precision tasks…

But there’s another, very different way to EQ as well.

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Mixing for Vinyl: Don’t Fall for These Traps

If your track comes in from the vinyl press sounding like shit, what would be your first reaction? Bad mastering, right? Wrong answer geeza.. Guess what – I’m blaming it on you. Mixing for vinyl ain’t your everyday walk in the park. Looks like I’ve got a bit of explaining to do while you glimpse at the mirror.

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