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brubart

Bruce Bartlett is a recording engineer, live sound engineer, microphone manufacturer and audio journalist. His latest books are "Practical Recording Techniques 6th edition" and "Recording Music On Location 2nd edition", both published by Focal Press.

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10 Questions to Ask Yourself While Mixing

By brubart

When you mix a song, you might find it helpful to ask some questions about what you’re hearing. The questions can keep you focused, and they make sure that you’re not overlooking anything. Here are a few things to ask yourself as you’re mixing. Can I hear everything? This is the most important question. Seems […]

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GAIN STAGING FOR RECORDING AND LIVE

By brubart

 Clean sound. That’s one of the marks of a professional recording, or professional sound reinforcement. “Clean” means free of noise and distortion. Getting that sound is a result of correct gain staging. Gain staging (or gain structure) is the process of setting the gain optimally in each stage of a recording system or reinforcement system. […]

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Bad Mix? Or Is It Your Monitors?

By brubart

Have you ever sent your mixes to a good mastering engineer, but were disappointed in the sound of those mixes after mastering? For example, the mastered mixes might sound too thin (weak in the bass or midbass) compared to your mixes. That mastering engineer might be incompetent. But maybe your monitor speakers are the problem. […]

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Record Your Rehearsals

By brubart

Most bands I record are surprised that recording can be so educational. By listening to their recording, the band members can hear their performance very clearly. That helps them play better.   As one musician told me, “We’re playing a lot tighter since we recorded our CD.”   A recording holds up a mirror to […]

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Acoustic Fixes For Your Studio

By brubart

Do your recordings sound mushy or distant, even without any effects added? Do your monitor speakers sound boomy?   The cause might be bad room acoustics and the first step to a good studio is optimizing the physical space so let’s look at some low-cost ways to control acoustic problems.   How do you know […]

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Why Does It Sound So Bad?

By brubart

Why do many modern recordings sound so bad? They sound gritty and harsh, with very little dynamics. I’ll try to explain. First consider that music recording and playback is like a chain with several links. Here are the basic parts of the chain from start to finish: Analog or digital recording > limiting and compression […]

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Recording Your Band Gigs Live, Part 2

By brubart

And now for the professional techniques. What do you need to know? How do you take a live gig and… turn it into a recording that will actually professionally represent your band’s sound? Here are three techniques you can use: Record to multitrack off the board’s insert jacks This method can sound really good, and […]

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Recording Your Band Gigs Live, Part 1

By brubart

Ever thought about recording your band at a gig, and producing a live CD? It’s not too difficult, and can cost as little as a few hundred dollars. Doing it yourself may not provide the sonic polish of a professional recording. But if your CD conveys how you sound live, that’s often good enough. In […]

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How to Master Your Album or Demo

By brubart

Mastering is the last creative step in your album project before you burn the final CD used for duplication. After recording mixes of your songs on your computer’s hard drive, you’ll put together a CD album or demo of those mixes. Here are some ways to do that.   What’s involved in mastering? You edit […]

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Recording a Great Vocal Track

By brubart

Although a vocal is a challenge to record well, you have lots of control over the sound of it. Some tools that affect the tone of the vocal are mic choice, mic placement, and EQ. A compressor can keep the dynamic range under control. Here we’ll offer some tips on using those tools so your […]

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