Recording and production reference materials

Here’s a collection of the most useful audio production resources from around the web. See also the PWYM video collection.

Vocabulary and reference

Rane pro audio reference

iZotope’s mixing guide is super useful for anyone who mixes, not just iZotope users.

The ins and outs of speaker frequency response and a test video.

Soundation tutorials

The basics:

Soundation doesn’t have that Wub Machine for nothing. Here are their tutorials for making dubstep:

Pre-production

A Quora thread discusses the best ways to prepare your band to go into a professional studio.

In defense of pre-production.

Recording and mixing

This is full of great beginner-level audio production advice, despite the mildly offensive title.

Pensado’s Place hosts a ton of interesting videos on mixing, effects and all other aspects of production.

Our own Bradford Swanson maintains a wonderfully thorough microphone comparison site.

Alex Case explains how to set up for a mix.

If you mix on headphones, here are some considerations. 

MediaCollege.com has resources and tutorials on a wide range of audio effects.

 Electronic music production

Two useful Quora threads:

Wayne Marshall has created a great set of digital music production tutorials, oriented toward dance and hip-hop. He shows his examples in an ancient version of Fruity Loops, but the content applies to any software environment:

Production tips in Ableton Live from Quadrophone:

Remixing

Jamcast on how to how to remix music.

Wikipedia has a list of tracks that are legally available in stem format.

Take the skills you’ve developed here in PWYM and participate in other online remixing contests over at Indaba Music.

Chris Lund’s Art of the Remix video series is a scholarly take on both the creative process and its deeper aesthetic meaning.

Ethan Hein talks through the process of remixing the Beatles’ “Here Comes The Sun” in 5.1 surround sound.

WhoSampled.com is the internet’s leading resource for samples, remixes, quotes and covers. It’s like reading the phylogenetic family tree of popular music. They have a great iOS app too. Of particular interest on their blog: the ten most sampled breakbeats of all time.

Sampling and remixing history, appreciation, creative and legal issues:

MIDI

An introduction to MIDI written by the people who invented it.

The internet is full of public-domain MIDI files that you can download and experiment with to your heart’s content. For example, here are the complete works of Bach in MIDI format. And here are the complete works of Mozart.

Food for thought

The first chapter of Alex Case’s book Sound FX asks the question: What is sound?

Home recording vs the big studios.

Ear training

Spectral ear training resources:

Practitioners at work

The Sound On Sound “Classic Tracks” series talks about the production of famous songs in great depth, including insights into the songwriting, arranging and mixing.

How a mix engineer enhances a track.

These ARP Journal interviews with producers include a lot of tips on mixing, both technical and philosophical.

Joe Shambro talks you through mixing “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder.

Diving deeper into effects

Filters and EQ:

Delay, chorus, echo and flanger:

Reverb:

Compression:

Mix automation

The Studio Files gives a brief introduction to mix automation.

Sound on Sound has a tutorial for creative mix automation in the DAW.

You can use automation for more than just volume and balance.

Phase

The DAW studio explains phase and panning.

Dale Price on phase in audio.

Lynda.com explains phase cancellation.

Audio formats

The DAW studio on music quality and mp3 artifacts.

Carl Beatty discusses MP3s and sound quality.

Mastering

Mastering is the final sonic polish you give to a finished mix. The classic book on the subject is Mastering Audio by Bob Katz. Here’s a video teaser. And here’s a Bob Katz mastering session in action.

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