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Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians
4 Times You Shouldn't Take the Gig
The Number One Mistake Bands Make Right After Booking a Gig
The Ultimate EQ Cheat Sheet for Every Common Instrument
15 Reality Checks Young Artists Need to Hear

The Critical Difference Between Gain and Volume

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Let's say you're at a show or rehearsal and you turn to your amp, or perhaps your mixer, and you need to make something louder. You'll more than likely be confronted by a set of knobs or maybe even a fader that might have any of the following labels: gain, trim, level, volume, master, or a similar moniker. So which one are you supposed to reach for and when?

The difference between gain and volume, in particular, confuses many people. As is my usual goal, I'll hopefully help to clear things up a little for those of you who may not fully understand what each knob accomplishes.

Audio 101: The Secrets of How to Effectively Use EQ in the Studio

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As a follow-up to my previous article about using EQ in a live setting, today we're going to focus on how we can use EQ in the studio. While our EQ principles remain the same in both settings, there are a number of idiosyncrasies that lead us to take certain approaches in one situation over the other. Right off the bat, we usually tend to focus more on using EQ for artistic and coloration purposes in the studio, whereas in the live world, we often use EQ as a problem-solving tool before we begin to consider implementing the artistic side of it. Then, with feedback issues no longer playing a role in the sonic landscape of the studio, we can really reach into a sound and begin to craft it.

Sound Treatment Basics: How to Get a Professional Sound in Your Home Studio

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Now that we've covered the basics of soundproofing, this time were going to talk about what sound treatment is and why you need it if you want recordings in your home studio to sound professional. Sound treatment differs from soundproofing because its goal is to tailor the acoustics of the space, not stop sound transmission from outside or within. The two reasons this is important are particularly critical and apparent in recording and mixing. The first reason is that while mixing, if you can't differentiate what's coming from your monitors and what's an anomaly within the room, it's next to impossible to achieve an accurate mix that will translate to other systems, which is pretty much the entire goal of the mixing process. The other reason is to help eliminate sound characteristics and coloration captured on a recording.

Audio 101: How to Use EQ in a Live Setting

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EQ. It's a noun, a verb, and a label often seen on knobs on music gear. These two letters get thrown out all the time in the audio and music world, and often many people don't even know what they actually mean or how it all works. Equalization, as with many other topics I cover, can very quickly become a convoluted and confusing technical topic.

How to Soundproof Your Home Studio or Rehearsal Space Like a Pro

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While this is a topic that's often covered by many online music resources aimed at the DIY crowd, there's a great deal of misinformation and misunderstanding floating around on this topic. And like most of my articles, I'll try to minimize the amount of eye-glazing physics involved, but the reason that there's so much confusion regarding this topic is that it's actually quite a complex concept to tackle.

First, let's get one thing out of the way: abandon all hope here of building a truly 100 percent soundproof room. Unless you're working for an Ivy League physics department, you lack the budget and resources to even attempt to tackle this task. You also probably wouldn't be reading my article on soundproofing principles. Don't despair, though – we can do a really great job at keeping sound in (or out) despite being not absolutely soundproof.