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Here's Everything You Need to Do to Prepare Your Tracks for Mixing

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With recording technology constantly becoming cheaper and more accessible, more and more artists are recording their albums on their own. While this can be great for driving down costs on the DIY budget and allows people to put together their music on their own schedules and in their own spaces, the "jack of all trades" DIY mentality can only go so far in some cases.

The recording industry in particular is seeing a greater and greater trend towards people recording their own material, and then hiring people to mix or master their records. While this model in itself does have some inherent flaws (perhaps to be addressed in another article), it's serving a number of artists in the independent community very well. So the first question we should perhaps answer is, "If I have Pro Tools/Logic/Reaper/Cubase/etc. on my laptop, why should I hire an outside mixer?”

Try This Fun and Cheap DIY Home Studio Upgrade: Absorber Panels

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If you've hung around any recording forum long enough, you can't help but notice the emphasis on room treatment – and with good reason. All the high-end gear in the world won't prevent it from being hard to mix and even potentially record in a room that's plagued with acoustic issues. Knocking this problem down can not only be a major game changer, but can also make for a solid dent in your pocket.

If you're looking to make a commercially viable space, consulting an acoustician should certainly be a consideration. For a home studio, however, the thousands to even tens of thousands of dollars that a consultation and treatment solution can cost is prohibitive. The good news is that with careful planning, some reading, and some handiness with power tools, your solution is only a weekend project away. I've seen and tried several different designs and materials, and this one definitely sees the best bang for your buck shy of spending upwards of $500 per panel.

Try This Fun and Cheap DIY Home Studio Upgrade: The Transformerless SM57 Mod

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While perhaps not the most rewarding or necessary of mods that can be made to your home recording setup, this is an interesting one to start with as it's fairly simple, the gear involved is relatively cheap, and the mod consists of simplifying the design on something, as opposed to exchanging parts or adding to an existing design. I'm of course talking about the transformerless SM57 mod, or the "TapeOp" mod, as some refer to it (as this is where the first explicit version of this mod can be credited back to).

Soldering 101 for Musicians

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In the coming weeks, we're going to be talking about some cool custom modifications and projects you can do for your studio or live rig. Some of these projects will include some basic soldering, so what better place to start than at the very beginning?

For many musicians, the idea of talking a soldering iron to your equipment seems daunting, but I assure you it's nowhere near as difficult as it sounds. If you have some patience, common sense, and a set of steady-ish hands, this can be a great way to save yourself a ton of money in the long run, and get exactly what you're looking for our of your gear.

Let's start with what you're going to need for a basic soldering setup.

Angry Sound Guy, health

Oct 21, 2015 06:00 AM

Aaron Staniulis

Drunk Biology: Does Drinking Alcohol Cause Hearing Loss?

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Inevitably, alcohol ends up becoming a part of many musicians' lives regardless of you, yourself, consuming it. Many gigs take place in clubs and bars, and in many circles, drinking is a firm part of the culture and the ritual of the arts. Whether you're a drinker or not, it's there all around us, from the image of the whiskey-swigging rock star to the artist-endorsed and -owned brands (looking at you, Diddy!). It's ingrained in the culture. And as we all know, either from personal experience and "research" or from the literature we get supplied with at a relatively young age, as one drinks, inhibitions go out the window, as do coordination and fine motor skills (and eventually, the not-so-fine motor skills) along with a plethora of other short-term side effects that tend to lead to a miserable morning after.

One effect that has recently gotten some attention and continues to be an issue of study is alcohol's effect on hearing itself.