10 Common Uses for Audio Restoration in Mastering

10 Common Uses for Audio Restoration in Mastering

Many people think of iZotope RX as the software most suitable for post-production or forensic applications. But this kind of audio restoration software also has its uses in mastering contexts. Sometimes you get a mix that requires a little restoration. With RX 7 out, we thought we’d cover the most common uses for this type of software in mastering.

6 Top Songwriting and Music Production Trends of 2018

6 Top Songwriting and Music Production Trends of 2018

In this article, we’re going to dive into some of the more noticeable songwriting and music production trends, and explore what it means for your productions further down the line.


Top 5 Pop Mixing Trends of 2018

We here in the blogging section of iZotope are in the business of giving you tips and tricks for your mixes. These, right here, are tips and tricks for a specific end: pop mixing trends from 2018. We’re going to list what they are, and give you some idea of how to get there with iZotope plug-ins.

Source: Top 5 Pop Mixing Trends of 2018

Light Saturday reading that I would like to remember something about.

Tools For Learning

I have to remember to post when I put a video or article into one of my binders.

My currently overloaded tool for study is Scrivener.

I started wit a single project. Now have multiple projects for DAW specifics, as well as one for iZotope tools. Need to add one for T-Racks.

Sonarworks Love

I need to add some love to the Sonarworks world.

I have lived in the world of IK/Multimedia ARC 2 (Automatic Room Correction) for about 3 years. Changed my world. A lot. No complaints. Separate profiles for my JBL LSR305, M-Audio AV-40, Casio PX-330 piano (has line in so I can work with the piano but have all the sounds).

Decided to try Sonarworks for headphones on the laptop…was impressed with the demo. Impressed enough to purchase the headphone license. Then we get the PLAPA discount, so I decided to go for the full Reference 4 upgrade. It’s November – studio upgrade season. Tried really hard to build room profiles using my reference mic from ARC2. That was an abject failure. OK…I’ll get the Sonarworks microphone and do the whole thing.


I “shot the room” this afternoon. Took a bit of fooling around to get a proper level so I could calibrate. When the software told me how far apart my speakers were to the half-inch I was excited to proceed. Many measurements. I got good by the end and could put the mic almost exactly where the software wanted it.

Now I get to listen to music for a couple of weeks to re-train my ears 😉 Definitely a different adjustment than ARC2. Bass is way more in control. My “Mix Test” doesn’t get the whole house vibrating anymore on the dub music. The boomy jazz bass is still very bass present, but the fretboard sound is quite “visible” and no longer lost.

I’m really buzzed about the loss of the buzzy-room bass…really.

Happily I can flip between ARC2 and Reference 4 without much difficulty – mad skillz ya know…

So far I have gone more than an hour at full reference volume on the mix test without running out of the room 😉 SPL meter is reading the same as always – 74 dB for most things, 85 dB for the ZZ Top and Conspirator.

Time to let the ears rest…little bit of Robert Jon & The Wreck 😉 I turned it down…

Lifetime Member – Produce Like a Pro Academy

Simple. No-brainer. They offered a lifetime for the price of 2 years. Who am I to turn this down? I was ready to sign up for year 2 after about a month of wandering the forums, classrooms, and workbooks.

Establishing Project Studio Reference Monitoring Levels |

Establishing Project Studio Reference Monitoring Levels | Sound on Sound

In essence, what I’m talking about is establishing a reference listening level in the control room, to use as a reliable base from which to make aural decisions. The good news is that this is very simple to achieve, and doesn’t require any major investment in new equipment, although it’s certainly easier and more intuitive if you have a well‑designed monitor controller and a simple SPL meter.

Today was a good day to re-calibrate the studio monitors.

The mains are JBL LSR305, waveguide at ear level. On top of those are the M-Audio AV40 pair (serve well for typical people listening, no bottom to speak of).

The room is 3.2m wide, 4.4m long, 2.4m tall – I calculate a tad more than 34 cubic meters. The suggested reference level is 74 dB.

Fired up Logic with pink noise at -20 db, pushed the outputs to 0, measured on my trusty iPhone SPL meter (been using it for 4 years, I trust it).

I put a Behringer Monitor2USB monitor controller into the audio path about a year or so ago. Volume knob is top-dead-center – marked 50.

73.9 dB on the LSR 305, 71 dB on the AV40. The JBL volume is excellent. Nudged the AV40 volume knob a bit past TDC and got to 74 dB. OK.

All of this is run through IK Multimedia ARC 2 room correction software. I AudioHijack the system output and send it through the plugin. Separate settings for the AV40, JBL Main, and JBL Center. Center is a tighter pattern right in front of the monitor, with Main being measured 4 feet from the monitors in a pattern for 2-3 people listening.

Master audio output from the Mac is set to -13.5 dB which gets me music playing at about 74-76 dB all the time.

Right now I’m running the Apple Music playlist “Classic Acoustic” for some change of pace. Normally I will play my “Mix Test” playlist to test the world.

The Blues Walk Lyle Lovett and His Large Band Lyle Lovett Rock 2:25
Cryin' Shame Lyle Lovett and His Large Band Lyle Lovett Rock 2:30
PowWow Unleashed Conspirator Electronic 5:46
Accent Unleashed Conspirator Electronic 6:44
Hidden In Snow TGWTDT - 6 Track Sampler Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Soundtrack 5:20
The Great Gig In the Sky Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd Rock 4:47
Poulenc: 4 Short Prayers Of St. Francis Of Assisi, FP 142 - 1. Salut, Dame Sainte Poulenc: Mass In G, Motets Robert Shaw: Robert Shaw Festival Singers Classical 2:26
Quatre Petite Prieres De St. Francois D'Assise The Anniversary Album 1978-1988 Chanticleer Classical 7:31
Tunes For Archbishop Parker's Psalter Thomas Tallis: The Complete English Anthems The Tallis Scholars Classical 7:53
Bernstein: West Side Story - Something's Coming Empire Brass Plays Music Of Bernstein, Gershwin & Tilson Thomas Empire Brass Classical 2:40
Bernstein: Mass - Simple Song Empire Brass Plays Music Of Bernstein, Gershwin & Tilson Thomas Empire Brass Classical 4:24
Hovhaness: Symphony No. 4 - 3. Andante espressivo West Point Symphony Eastman Wind Ensemble Band 7:47
Come Together JAZZIZ - 2004-11 - The Key Players 4 Lynne Arriale Trio Jazz 6:12
A Night In Tunisia JAZZIZ - 1998-03 Lynn Arriale Trio Jazz 4:36
My Favorite Things JAZZIZ - 2004-11 - The Key Players 4 Jean-Michel Pilc Jazz 4:32
Concrete And Steel Recycler ZZ Top Rock 3:49
Parce Mihi Domine Officium Jan Garbarek - Hilliard Ensemble Jazz 6:43
"Two for the Road" - Country Album Now Hear This! - The Winners of the 12th Independent Music Awards [Explicit] JP Harris and the Tough Choices Alternative 2:54
It's Only A Paper Moon Kisses On The Bottom Paul McCartney Pop 2:35Whiskey Lullaby A Hundred Miles Or More: A Collection Alison Krauss Feat. Brad Paisley Country & Folk 4:21

Trust me – the Trent Reznor track clearly “breaks” the room. The correction just can’t handle all the bass 😉 I follow that up with Pink Floyd which happily produces “master hiss” as remembered from the album and the CD.

It all just sounds GOOD.

Gain Staging In Your DAW Software

Gain Staging In Your DAW Software | Sound on Sound

On the face of it, gain staging couldn’t be simpler: you ensure that you feed an appropriate level from the first stage of your signal path to the next, and repeat this from the second stage to the third… and so on, all the way from your instruments, mics and preamps to the final stereo mix bus. By ‘appropriate’, I mean an ample level, which ensures a healthy signal-to-noise ratio (the difference between the wanted signal and the noise floor), while leaving enough headroom that you needn’t worry about whether the signal might be clipping.

Today is a good day to re-calibrate the studio monitors. I found the suggestion of setting DAW faders to about -6 dB to start in this article a long while back.

I set my Logic Pro X templates to have channels start there.

Dates and Times – been a struggle since before time began

Scripting News: Saturday, June 9, 2018

One of the things I’m learning is that there is are problems with date-time values. The question is whether or not the date part of the date-time should have hyphens. The Frontier implementation does not. The XML-RPC spec says not. But ISO 8601 seems to say they must be present. The built-in JavaScript function includes the hyphens. I don’t have any other implementations that I can easily check against, so I don’t know what offers the most interop with other XML-RPCs. For now I’m documenting the issue, and leaving the JavaScript implementation as it is, for now. This means in this area it does not interop with Frontier, in that Frontier will not understand the JavaScript date-time values. Going in the other direction there is no problem, because I’ve included a workaround.


Unreal. Fourteen years ago a standard was published (ISO 8601:2004) which clearly defined how things should be. Problem is that software developers do not spend their lives re-implementing “standard” software for the rest of their lives.

ISO gave us (back in 2004) this format 20180609T221145Z

What the world wants now is this format 2018-06-09T22:11:45+00:00 (we avoid timezone abbreviations and geo-political nonsense)

I retired from the big data world in 2004, so I never would have had cause to change my preferred world – 20180609T221145Z. To tell the truth, since just before 2000-01-01 I actually preferred the “Astronomical (Julian) day number (at noon UTC): 2458279.5” which for my machines this morning worked out to 2458279.03405093.

From the wikipedia we see

November 17, 1858, 00:00:00 UT is the zero of the Modified Julian Day (MJD) equivalent to Julian day 2400000.5[23] 

and we all basically know that the VMS clock started there 😉 In earlier times (snicker) I discovered the “bad things” that would happen if one entered a proper geocentric clock offset in a TOPS-10 system – I mean, c’mon, I had it right within 200 yards. All hell broke loose in all time-based things. Wonder why it required an OS rebuild to set/change that value.

As a reminder to anyone who uses a database that I have built – 20180609 – is not a date, nor is 2018060915270001 – but it is a very fast integer index 😉 I can’t insert things in my databases faster than 10,000 per second. I learned the hard way that telescope telemetry databases surely can 😉

Ahhh, dates. I would rather slip the bass DI track by 87 samples so it lines up with the bass amp track these days.

Clearing Undo Data in Logic Pro X

Today I learned about the joys of “Undo Data.nosync” folders and “lost” WAV files hiding on my system.

I was investigating a problem someone brought up over on GearSlutz, offered a way to find the culprit. Got a response. Culprit was as expected.

I was doing some “Normalize” testing on newly acquired tracks and saw the very WAV files that can get lost show up in my project. I didn’t expect it, but hey, why not.

The key is that “Undo” settings are different for the “Audio File Editor” as opposed to the regular “Undo”. it is probably prudent to “Clear Undo History” in most cases.

Clear Undo History  Audio File Editor

Why Do Concerts Sound So Bad? – ProSoundWeb

Why Do Concerts Sound So Bad? – ProSoundWeb

Concert sound reinforcement equipment is better than ever, yet we’re frequently burdened with a mess of auditory goo that just sucks the enjoyment from a live event.

I know a place here in Tucson that should really pay attention to Bobby O.’s words of wisdom. I’ve walked out of high-priced shows because the sound wasn’t just awful, it was painful.

The Complete Guide to Mixing Bass Guitar — Pro Audio Files

The Complete Guide to Mixing Bass Guitar — Pro Audio Files

So how do we as recordists and mixers possibly do justice to the greatest instrument of all time throughout the universe? How do we capture its pure glorious majesty? And why is the bass player still out of time?

This week I will go through this guide before I tackle my mixing projects for “Dueling Mixes” and “Produce Like a Pro”.

Discovered on my own the joys of running guitar DI through amp simulators last week. Thought the track was doomed – my bad – the track was OK (not great, just OK). Now I know.

Production Expert | Has The Home Studio Dream Become A Nightmare?

Production Expert | Has The Home Studio Dream Become A Nightmare?

This article is not an advert for easy-to-use plug-ins or indeed a polemic against complex software. Neither am I arguing that a professional studio is better than a home studio, both have their merits.

A thoughtful look at DIY vs. bespoke. I know where the “real” studios are. I plan to use them. But I do love working at my desk at home.

Production Expert | Tutorial – Understanding The Advanced Metering In Pro Tools

Production Expert | Tutorial – Understanding The Advanced Metering In Pro Tools

But before we dig into the 17 different metering options available in Pro Tools, we need to take a brief look at the history of audio metering so help understand how we have got to this point, and a glossary to help understand the different terms used in audio metering. Then we can better understand the 17 options and how to customise them to suit our workflows.

This is a nice and concise set of definitions surrounding metering. Understanding the terminology really helps.

How to move Logic’s additional content to a secondary drive – Logic Pro Music

How to move Logic’s additional content to a secondary drive – Logic Pro Music

One of the strengths of the symlink is that the system treats it as a path to a location. This is why it stays intact even when updating your libraries.

The joys of different file systems.

For the most part the “right” way to deal with the Mac file system(s) is to use aliases. They work like a charm. Except when they don’t.

Symlinks to external drives is a great way to help with massive library locations.

Now if there were enough ports on the laptops. 1TB SSD prices are down low. Mostly depends on the device speeds – USB3 enclosures should allow 100+Mbyte/sec transfers, but it sure is nice to have 300+ MB/sec on an internal SSD. Those orchestral libraries take an eon to load.

I guess for my ideal music machine I want 4TB of superfast SSD, 64GB+ of RAM, 8 cores or more. iMac Pro gets close – could I get rid of the screen and add more storage please?