Understanding the Difference Between Gain and Volume – Produce Like A Pro

Understanding the Difference Between Gain and Volume – Produce Like A Pro

Many of us have wondered if there’s a technical difference between gain and volume. The answer is “yes,” even though the terms sometimes seem to be used interchangeably. The most important distinction between gain and volume is how, or more precisely “where,” they factor into the signal path.

Gain and volume. Keys to good recordings and mixing. It’s hard to mix tracks that aren’t “printed”. If I’m trying to level/balance one track and I can’t pull down a fader on a different track (and have it stay there) then I can’t easily adjust the levels of tracks.

The 10 Most Used Chord Progressions in Pop and Rock and Roll | Thinking in Music

The 10 Most Used Chord Progressions in Pop and Rock and Roll | Thinking in Music

This text is entirely a “quote” from the above website.

Number one is the Don’t Stop Believing Progression, I – V – vi – IV (G – D – Em – C). The Axis of Awesome did a great bit about this one in which they play 40 songs in a row that all have the same progression including, No Woman No Cry, Let It Be, I’m Yours, etc… and over the past few years, that list has become a lot longer!

The second is the 50’s Progression, I – vi – IV – V (G – Em – C – D). I call it this because it was hugely popular in the 50’s and 60’s and is still used today. Notably used recently by Justin Bieber for “Baby” (Justin was like baby baby baby oh… what a pity) and Sean Kingston for “Beautiful Girls,” though Kingston really just ripped Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” off.

The third is the Canon, I – V – vi – iii – IV – I – IV – V (G – D – Em – Bm – C – G – C – D). It was the chord progression used by Pachelbel for his Canon in D (not G as above). The piece, forgotten soon after it was written (around 1694), was rediscovered in the early 20th century and has influenced a number of songwriters. It is, however, simply an extension of the basic I – IV – V – I progression that was used by nearly every composer for hundreds of years up to about 100 years ago.

The fourth is the Blues Progression, I – I – I – I – IV – IV – I – I – V – V – I – I (G – G – G – G – C – C – G – G – D – D – G – G). This is the way Chuck Berry played it in Johnny B Goode though the last 4 chords are often V – VI – I – V (D – C – G – D). There are 12 chords because it follows the standard 12-bar blues progression. In this progression it’s common to switch freely between major and minor. This progression has been used in thousands of songs outside of the blues from Cream’s Sunshine Of Your Love to Tracy Chapman’s Give Me One Reason and beyond.

The fifth is the Smoke on the Water Progression, ii – IV – V (am – C – D). It’s usually used as part of a larger progression and was used in Purple Haze, Iron Man, House of the Rising Sun, Stepping Stone, etc…

The sixth is the Good Love Progression, I – IV – V – IV (G – C – D – C). This was used in Wild Thing, La Bamba, and Good Love, etc.

The Seventh is the Sweet Home Progression… (god, how I hate Sweet Home Alabama!) V – IV – I (D – C – G). Can’t Explain, Sweet Child of Mine.

The Eighth is a rearrangement of the Don’t Stop Believing progression vi – IV – I – V (em – C – G – D). I’m not sure what to call this one. The song that always gets stuck in my head with this one is The Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Snow, though I know Taylor Swift uses it in at least three songs (as well as most of the other progressions above…), Green Day used it in Holiday, and The Cranberries used it in Zombie, just to name a few.

The ninth is the stereotypical Descending Flamenco Progression  vi – V – IV – III (em – D – C – B (not Bm!)). This one has been used in songs from California Dreamin to Stray Cat Strut… I’m sure you can think of a few more! A variation on this is vi – V – VI – V (em – D – C – D) which arguably may be more popular today…

And the tenth that I see is the As My Guitar Gently Weeps Progression. This one straddles two keys and it’s basic representation is ii – I – V6 – bVII (- VI) (am – G – D/f# – F (- E)). It looks like a variation on the Descending Flamenco Progression and is presented with slight variations by everyone that uses it. The Beatles actually substituted an am7/G  for the G chord and left out the E. Chicago, in 25 or 6 to 4 focused on the root notes in the bass -> A – G – F# – F – E. Led Zepplin, Green Day, and Neil Young all offered their variations as well.

3 Tips for Mastering Indie Rock

‘[3 Tips for Mastering Indie Rock](https://www.izotope.com/en/learn/3-tips-for-mastering-indie-rock.html)’

3 Tips for Mastering Indie Rock

by Jett Galindo, iZotope Contributor May 28, 2020

Rock music has stood the test of time, making it one of the most enduring genres of the modern era. With today’s production tools becoming more and more advanced—and more accessible to a wider audience—one particular rock subgenre is thriving more than ever. In this article, we’ll take a look at some tips and tools for mastering indie rock and nailing the indie rock aesthetic.

The Not-So-Subtle Differences Between White, Pink, Brown And Blue Noise – Bobby Owsinski’s Music Production Blog

The Not-So-Subtle Differences Between White, Pink, Brown And Blue Noise – Bobby Owsinski’s Music Production Blog

I know you just read the title and thought, “I knew about white and pink noise, but what the heck is brown and blue noise?” Well, they’re a real thing and used more often than you think. But the differences between white, pink, blue and brown? It all comes down to frequency and amplitude.

Never had it explained so well. Don’t have a generator for Brown and Blue yet.

Mixing In Stereo – Everything You Need To Know To Make Your Music Mono Compatible | Production Expert

Mixing In Stereo – Everything You Need To Know To Make Your Music Mono Compatible | Production Expert

Think you know everything there is about mixing in stereo? Think again. FabFilter has published an excellent three part video series produced by Dan Worrall titled How To Mix In Stereo Without Sucking In Mono. This series is extremely well presented explaining stereo mixing fundamentals, panning, stereo microphone placement, phase, the effects of comb filtering, width, mono compatibility and more.

I just watched the first part – “Toeing the Blumlein” and stayed fascinated throughout.

I do a lot of mono monitoring to make sure things don’t get lost, but I rarely make changes that will make the mono mix down work really well. These videos are an excellent pointer.

Using Logic built-in plug-ins I think it will require several steps (made easy by the FabFilter tools)

Bus effects – independent panning required?

Logic EQ would need to have two instances, one for Mid and one for Side. Probably 2 aux channels…no, simply use the EQ in “Dual Mono” mode and work with Mid and Side channels as desired. Unfortunately there are no documentation resources for the “Dual Mono” mode of the EQs in Logic. The documentation says use two plug-ins. I will try to compare other EQs and see how easily things can be adapted.

Ozone 9 EQ essentially has both available “easily” along with pan and width. 

Mid, Side, and Everything In Between (A Mid/Side Deep Dive)

Mid/side processing is an undeniably powerful technique, and one which gives the mastering engineer a wide range of sonic sculpting tools not available with traditional stereo processing. However, as we all learned from Spiderman’s Uncle Ben, “with great power comes great responsibility.”

 IK Multimedia has a nifty new EQ – T-Racks EQual…

IK Multimedia – EQual

The new EQual digital equalizer is a 10-band, ultra-clear, high-end parametric equalizer with an extremely transparent sound, ultra-precise editing and a vast array of filter shapes that are based on the typical curves of classic British and American analog EQ’s. This incredibly flexible “hybrid monster” gives you the best of both worlds – digital precision with transparent clarity and on-demand analog character that works perfectly for high end mastering as well as individual track work.

 

 Also need to look at the Imagers….

Four VCA Channel Applications – PreSonus Blog

A VCA is a useful tool. In Logic Pro X you can create a VCA with a “Folder Stack”.

Four VCA Channel Applications – PreSonus Blog

A VCA Channel has a fader, but it doesn’t pass audio. Instead, the fader acts like a gain control for other channels, or groups of channels. In some ways, you can think of a VCA Channel as “remote control” for other channels. If you assign a VCA to control a channel, you can adjust the channel gain, without having to move the associated channel’s fader. The VCA Channel fader does it for you.

How An Analogue Workflow Might Benefit You In A Digital Environment | Production Expert

How An Analogue Workflow Might Benefit You In A Digital Environment | Production Expert

In this article, William is going to explore three techniques you can use to help you create an analogue workflow in a digital production environment.

Up Your Expressiveness with Upward Expansion – PreSonus Blog

Up Your Expressiveness with Upward Expansion – PreSonus Blog

Many people don’t realize there are two types of expansion. Downward expansion is a popular choice for minimizing low-level noise like hiss and hum. It’s the opposite of a compressor: compression progressively reduces the output level above a certain threshold, while a downward expander progressively reduces the output level below a certain threshold. For example, with 2:1 compression, a 2 dB input level increase above the threshold yields a 1 dB increase at the output. With 1:2 expansion, a 1 dB input level decrease below the threshold yields 2 dB of attenuation at the output.

3 Overused Vocal Production Techniques (That Aren’t as Cool as You Think) — Pro Audio Files

3 Overused Vocal Production Techniques (That Aren’t as Cool as You Think) — Pro Audio Files

Forget about that though. Today, I’m here to burst some bubbles, to rain on some parades, and to let you know that that production trick you think is so cool is actually kind of whack. Well, maybe anyway.

4 Overused Instrumental Production Techniques (That Aren’t as Cool as You Think) — Pro Audio Files

4 Overused Instrumental Production Techniques (That Aren’t as Cool as You Think) — Pro Audio Files

Some of the instrumental techniques in this article suffer from the same problem: being obvious attempts at breathing life into a song that just doesn’t feel exciting. Others are cool tricks that can sometimes create problems in a mix, and more novice producers might find themselves doing more harm than good when they employ them. If your favorite production move turns up on this list, don’t take it personally! All of these techniques can be and have been done well — that just means the bar has been raised for anybody who still wants to use them

The Subtle Art of Pitch Correction | Universal Audio

The Subtle Art of Pitch Correction | Universal Audio

Mix engineers today are asked to do far more than simply mix the song. In fact, it’s now expected that they clean the tracks, eliminate pops and clicks, adjust the track timing, and replace or augment some of the sounds as well. Another job that falls to many mix engineers today is correcting the pitch of any track that needs it. This process is faster and easier than ever, but like anything else, you still need good fundamental technique to seamlessly pull it off.

Some advice on pitch correction from Bobby Owsinski.

Audio Compression Basics | Universal Audio

Audio Compression Basics | Universal Audio

Compressors and limiters are used to reduce dynamic range — the span between the softest and loudest sounds. Using compression can make your tracks sound more polished by controlling maximum levels and maintaining higher average loudness. Here are some compression basics, different compression types, and some tips to try on your tracks.

Mason Hicks does an excellent job of describing compression, compressors, and why do it at all.

Note that the stock compressor in Logic Pro X can be used for each of the compressor types – tube, optical, FET, and VCA. The “Platinum” compressor in Logic is really none of the types listed, maybe more like a Distressor?

Mixing in Stereo: Adding Width and Depth to Your Recordings | Universal Audio

Mixing in Stereo: Adding Width and Depth to Your Recordings | Universal Audio

When it comes to discussing the fine art of mixing music, I tend to approach the subject with some trepidation. After all, compared to many of the topics I’ve written about, this one is rife with subjectivity — one person’s idea of a great sounding mix may be another’s sonic nightmare. And what works for one genre of music will be decidedly wrong for another.But all those variables aside, there are at least a few general theories, tips, and tricks that apply to most mix projects. So while the idea here is not to give a step-by-step tutorial on two-track mixing, hopefully we can cover at least a few concepts that are useful for everyone.

Daniel Keller’s mixing techniques. The images showing mic placement have decent starting points. The loudness contour frequency chart is especially useful. 

Consider this panning of instruments as a preset…

Blog studio basics mixing stereo feat 1 2x

Ready, Set, Mix! Tips for Prepping Your Mixing Session | Universal Audio

Ready, Set, Mix! Tips for Prepping Your Mixing Session | Universal Audio

It’s time to mix, so let’s start to move some faders! Well, maybe not right away. If we really want a mix to go quickly and smoothly, there’s some preparation that needs to be done beforehand. Although many great mixers aren’t conscious about exactly how they’re going about prepping for a mix, they all cover basically the same areas: technical prep, session prep, and personal prep. Let’s take a look at each.

Excellent advice from Bobby Owsinksi.

A Guide to Bussing in a Mix (+ Processing Tips) — Pro Audio Files

A Guide to Bussing in a Mix (+ Processing Tips) — Pro Audio Files

Separating instruments into mix groups is an essential part of audio production. Processing audio at the buss level, rather than with inserts on individual tracks, can not only lead to a more efficient workflow but also help productions shine in a natural and very musical way.