Sound Advice: A blog advising producers on how to make their music sound as good as possible.
There’s a lot of information out there on the internet about how to make your music sound good, but it can be hard to know who to trust and where to start. This blog aims to give you the information you need to start making pro-level music today.
It’s a blog about “sound.” We write about how to make your music sound as good as possible.
We write for producers, composers and performers of electronic music, from bedroom producers to film composers.
“Sound” is a deep topic. Everyone has some knowledge of it already—we can all tell the difference between good and bad sound. And we’re all willing to spend money on it. Most of us will happily spend $1000 to double our computer memory; few of us would hesitate to spend $2000 on a new monitor; many of us would drop $10,000 on a new car stereo system; and some of us will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on the ultimate hi-fi set up.
But aside from the very basics, most people have no idea how sound works. They don’t know what all those knobs on their EQ do; they don’t understand why they need more than one microphone; they don’t know what all those cables in the back of their mixer are for; they don’t know how their speakers work or why they have different sized drivers; and they don’t know what a limiter does, or how an amplifier works or why you’d want one…
Sound Advice is a blog written by Rob Bridgett, a seasoned professional with over 20 years of experience in the field of sound design and audio post-production. His blog covers all aspects of sound production, from record engineering to sound design and music composition.
Rob’s advice is practical, easy to understand, and backed up with his own experiences as a composer and sound designer. He also includes tips on how to get the most out of your budget and gear, which is always helpful for producers looking to get better results without spending crazy amounts of money. If you’re just starting out learning about music production and sound design, Sound Advice is a great resource to bookmark, read through, and refer back to when you need some advice or inspiration.
This is a series of blog posts about how to make your music sound as good as possible, and is aimed at producers with some experience. We’ll be covering the following:
Mono is better than stereo for most sources
Why distortion sounds good
How to avoid clipping and other forms of distortion
How to make things loud
Why you shouldn’t use a maximizer on your master buss, and what you can do instead
What’s so bad about pre-ringing, anyway?
EQ is not volume control
How to make binaural beats in your DAW
How to make convincing vinyl crackle in your DAW
The truth about ‘warmth’
In my previous post, I discussed why we should always be wary of the advice that is often given to producers by people who claim to be experts but are in fact just doing what has been done previously. I also promised to show you how this advice leads us astray and how the same advice can actually lead us to create better sounding music if we take it in a slightly different way.
In this post, I will be talking about some of the most common mistakes that people make when trying to make their music sound as good as possible. It is important to note that these are not necessarily bad mistakes but rather things that can be improved upon.
Maximizing Loudness to Achieve RMS and Peak Targets
The most common method for achieving loudness targets is to maximize the loudness of a mix with some sort of limiter or maximizer. The idea is that if you can push the entire mix to maximum loudness, you won’t have to worry about individual elements being too soft or clipping the final product.
However, this approach has several problems, which I’ll discuss below. First, however, I want to make it clear that there are many situations where maximizing loudness is not only useful but necessary. Sometimes you need a section of your song to be significantly louder than another section. You might also need a song in your set to stand out because it’s much louder than all the other tracks. If these are the goals you’re trying to achieve, then maximizing loudness may be the best way to do so.”
When a composer turns his attention to producing electronic music, he must become aware of the different tools at his disposal, and how these tools can be manipulated to create sounds that are pleasing to the ear. A musical sound that is pleasing will make the listener want to listen again; a sound that is unpleasing will turn the listener away.
Electronic music is fundamentally different from traditional music in several ways. Traditional music uses instruments such as pianos and violins to create sound using mechanical action. Electronic sounds are created through electrical means, using electronic devices such as oscillators and amplifiers. The composer has more control over the sound when creating electronic music than when playing traditional instruments, since he can control every aspect of the sound by adjusting parameters for each device in use.