Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Audio Recording Techniques Video Course

I'm excited to announce that my latest video course for lynda.com called Audio Recoding Techniques has just been released. It's a crash course on recording covering the fundamentals starting from initial mic selection all the way through tracking a band, recording overdubs, and doing a rough mix. You'll not only see how you'll do it, you'll learn why as well.

The series is beautifully shot, edited and and animated by a crack team of pros at lynda.com, which is noted for their high-production value courses. Since this course grew out of the Recording Engineer's Handbook, it's gone way beyond what I ever envisioned. The animations and illustrations are fantastic, and they really help convey the concepts in an easy to understand way.

My many thanks to David Franz, the audio content manager at lynda.com, for seeing the possibilites before I ever did. Thanks to Todd Howard for being a great producer and for keeping so many things organized, and to director Ben Nilsson for capturing the essence of the sessions. The team of Bryce Poole doing the video editing, Will Frazier for the great animation, and Steven Spencer for his audio skills get my everlasting thanks. There are a lot more people at lynda that were involved and please forgive me for not mentioning you, buy you all have my sincere appreciation.

Many thanks to the musicians used throughout the course; drummer Mark Ohrenberger, bassist Paul ILL, guitar/dobro player Randy Mitchell, keyboard player extraordinaire Jeff Young, string players Robbie Anderson and Jacob Szekely, Elizabeth Franscia, Glen Berger, and Jamie Havorka  on the horns, and singers Holly O'Hair and Keith England. And of course, the wonderful artist Iyeoka, who has such a great vibe that it's hard not to make great music when she's involved.

You can get a sense of what the course is all about from the following video. About 30 movies from the first four chapters will also be available for free. You can go here for a free 7 day trial to lynda.com where you can watch my Audio Mixing Bootcamp course as well.



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You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating social media and the new music business.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Making Of Michael Jackson's "Thriller"

Here's a great video about the making of Thriller, Michael Jackson's seminal album that's claimed to have sold 100 million units. There's some great behind the scenes stuff here, like Eddie Van Halen's solo on "Beat It" catching the monitors on fire, and how depressed everyone was after how how bad the first test pressing was. Great interviews with Bruce Swedien, Quincy Jones, Steve Lukather and lots more!



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You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating social media and the new music business.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Equalizing The Bass

Bass Guitar image from Bobby Owsinski's Big Picture production blog
There's been such a great response to my new book The Audio Mixing Bootcamp that I thought I'd share another excerpt. This one is about EQing the bass, a process that many beginning mixers get wrong, then have their mix turn out too boomy as a result.

Once again, The Audio Mixing Bootcamp was specifically designed for beginning mixers, or musicians with home studios who just can't make their mixes sound right. It's filled with exercises that guide you throughout the process to help you develop both your ear and your mixes. If you're more advanced, the Mixing Engineer's Handbook is the one for you.

Here's the exercise for EQing the bass.
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"The bass provides the power to the mix, but it’s the relationship between it and drums that really makes a mix sound big and fat. That’s why some mixers will spend hours just trying to fine tune this balance, because if the relationship isn’t correct, then the song will just never sound big and punchy. 

At its simplest, EQing the bass at a higher frequency (like 100Hz) and the kick at a lower one (like 60 or 80Hz) or vice-verse can work, however it’s usually a matter of using the frequency juggling method of EQing to find the frequencies that work the best.

The most common frequencies for bass guitar are anywhere from 50 to 100Hz for bottom, attack at 700Hz, and finger snap at 2.5kHz.

Exercise Pod - EQing The Bass
E7.8: A) Solo the bass and drums and raise the monitor level so it’s a little louder than what you’d usually listen at. Can you hear the bass well? Does it mask the kick? Can you hear each note distinctly? 

B) Solo the kick and the bass. Can you hear the bass well? Does it mask the kick? Can you hear each note distinctly? Does the bass mask the kick?

C) Wherever you cut a frequency on the kick, boost that frequency on the bass. In other words, if you cut at 400Hz, boost the bass by 2 dB increments in this spot. Can you hear the bass and kick distinctly? Do they reinforce one another?

D) If the kick is boosted at 80Hz, boost the bass at 100 or 120Hz. Can you hear the bass and kick distinctly? Do they reinforce one another?

E) What happens if you switch these frequencies? In other words, if you boost the kick at 100 and the bass at 80Hz. Can you hear the bass and kick distinctly? Do they reinforce one another?

F) Does it sound fuller if you add 2 dB at 60Hz? Does it sound muddy? Does it mask the kick?

G) Insert the high pass filter and set it to 60Hz. Is the bass more distinct? What happens if you move the frequency to 80Hz?

H) Does the bass fit better with the kick if you boost it around 700Hz? Does it fit better if you add 2 dB at around 2.5kHz? Is it more distinct sounding?

I) Add the rest of the drum kit. Can you hear the bass distinctly? Does it mask any other drum? Does it reinforce the kick drum? If so, check where the offending drum is EQed. Cut the frequency on the bass wherever it’s boosted on the clashing drum and boost wherever it’s cut.

J) If the bass still isn’t heard distinctly, make sure that it’s not boosted at the same frequency as any of the drums."

To read additional excerpts from The Audio Mixing Bootcamp and my other books, go to bobbyowsinski.com. You can also find a complete video tutorial based on the book at Lynda.com. Here's a link to a free 7 day trial.

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You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating social media and the new music business.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

New Music Gear Monday: The Arduinome

Ever since the first sequencer first came on the scene back in the modular synthesizer days, players have been fascinated by the hypnotic melodies that can be built with one. Most software synths have at least a rudimentary sequencer built into them these days, but sometimes you just want something with a lot more control and flexibility. That's where the Arduinome comes in. And believe it or not, it's a DIY project.



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You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating social media and the new music business.

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