plugged-in

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Studio Secrets: Unmasking The Mystery Of Mastering

What really happens inside mastering rooms is a murky mystery to most. Ask around, and responses will vary from blank guitarist-lost-in-sheet-music stares to vague open-ended definitions. More imaginative types may fathom darkened dungeons with cloaked engineers chanting in coded tongues and conjuring the spirit of Apollo to impregnate albums with inaudible mystic spells of listener enchantment. The disenchanted opposition, however, simply believes it to be an outright sham.

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Talkin’ ’Bout Mud Flaps: Low End Mixing Tips

Spinal Tap said it best with “big bottom drive me out of my mind,” and their wisdom resonates to this day as a common result of mismanaged mixing of the low end. Temperamental bass frequencies, whether in abundance or lack thereof, can drive listeners batty, as opinions of bass boosting and cutting drastically vary. As good as it can sound, it is indeed possible to go too far with the “umph,” and adding unchecked sub-low frequencies will muddy up the mid range and lower overall intelligibility. Therefore, the decision here, dear Lady Justices of the console, is to balance clarity and strength. The following suggestions will aid in molding suitable mud flaps to any tune.

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Create A Humongous Bass Drum Sound

Big lows, punchy attack: the essence of a fat bass drum sound. In pursuit of capturing this rich dynamic, many acts of studio wizardry have been conjured up. If you feel a little scientific and have a couple of free tracks on your recording medium, here’s a simple two-mike trick to find the beef.

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Create Your Own Electronic Percussion Duo

For more than 12 years, CrossTalk, the Electronic Percussion Group at the University Of Arizona, has been creating music that is performed entirely on electronic percussion controllers. The group doesn’t try to emulate traditional percussion ensemble music. Nor does it play “world music” styles using electronic instruments. Instead, it performs new music in new ways that expand the experiences of the students and the audiences that hear them. Perhaps it’s now time for the general drumming community — outside the hallowed walls of educational institutions — to take the plunge and create their own groups for fun, profit, and creative expression.