jrmasteringsmall

18 analog digital equipment

I started my career using the old analog stuff, since that was the only option.  I incorporated digital software plugins as soon as they became available, but it took many years before computers were fast enough to run them in realtime.  And also before they started making very high quality plugins. 

 

Now, I use mostly digital software plugins, but I do have analog hardware if a client specifically requests all analog.

 

WHICH IS BETTER?
First off, technically EVERYTHING is digital!  An mp3 and a CD is digital information that's decoded when played by a player.  A rock album recorded in the 70s is all analog.  When this album is converted to a CD, you're hearing a digital copy of the analog sound.  I guess these days when someone says analog, they're referring to that warmer old school sound (not necessarily the gear), because you can achieve that same warmer sound using all digital software plugins that emulates quality analog gear.

I've read a lot of opinions on this.  Older sound engineers in their 60's plus have hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of analog equipment they bought in the 70's and 80's.  That being said, that's all they've ever worked with and they're not selling their gear for peanuts and switching over.  Many also refuse to learn the new digital software.  You can't teach an old dog new tricks, and their biased opinion is that analog is by far better than digital software plugins, though many have never really used them.

 

SO, WHAT'S THE UNBIASED TRUTH?
Some of the expensive analog hardware from Manley, SSL, UA does have a unique sound you can't explain.  Also, analog gear can give vocals that lush soft sound that a cheap digital preamp can't.  But now they make software replicas of all the older and newer analog gear, and it sounds great!

 

IT ALL BOILS DOWN TO THE END RESULT!
The fact is, if you used only quality digital hardware and software plugins to mix and master an entire CD project, and knew how to use them very well, the average person would NEVER be able to tell that you didn't use $100,000 worth of analog gear.  Your masters would sound AMAZING and that's all that matters.

Now, maybe an 80's old school audio engineer would notice the difference, but he's not buying your mp3s, so who cares?  And the only thing he'll notice is the songs weren't mastered using all analog gear, but that doesn't mean they don't sound as good (or even better).  This is like saying you know the difference between Classic Coke and Pepsi.  That doesn't make one better than the other.  Also, so much of the music on the radio is digital software recorded with digital effects that consumers are used to it and prefer that sound.

This all being said, save yourself $100,000 and go digital and software.  No one but the old-timers will know the difference and the new generation prefers it!


The Music Production Secrets Series
by John Rogers

  

My Best Mixing & Mastering Articles

Cheaply Soundproofing Your Room For Audio Mastering

1 cheaply soundproofing room studio

I had to write a quick note on this, as I was reminded about it while thumbing through a popular mixing book that had a 15 page section on speaker resonance and room sound proofing.  I must say, a very exciting 15 pages!  Ha!

 

Read more ...
What Is Headroom In Mastering?

15 what is headroom in mastering

In order to produce a good master, a mix needs proper headroom and dynamic range.

Read more ...
Can You Master A Song That's Already Been Mastered?
Can I master a song that's already been mastered?  Yes!  Every month I master songs that have already been mastered.
 
Read more ...
Should Your Mix Sound Close To A Mastered Song?

13 mix sound like master

Note - This section is basically a tip for those of you working with clients or if you plan on submitting your mixes to a mastering engineer.

 

Read more ...
Why Do Songs Need To Be Mastered?

12 why need audio mastering

Why do songs need to be mastered?  I've seen this question on the Internet many times.  The answer I always see is "Because all songs on the radio have been professionally mastered, yours should be too."  This is a true fact, but not an answer.

 

Read more ...
Fixing A Bad Mix With Mastering

A lot of mastering engineers are afraid to make drastic changes to a mix they are working on.  That, or they're stuck in the familiarity of always making only small changes. 

In this video I show how you can turn a weak mix (definitely wouldn't call it bad) into a great sounding master, simply by pushing your levels a little more than you might be used to.

 

Read more ...
What Is Chorus Effect In Music | How To Use Chorus

This article discusses what is the chorus effect in music and how to use it?  The chorus effect makes a single audio track sound like a group. It achieves this by taking a single instrument or vocal track, multiplying it, and then slightly detunes each newly created track. The result is a fuller lush sounding audio track.

 

Read more ...
What Is Audio Mastering?

9 what is audio mastering

What is audio mastering?  I've seen a lot of different answers on the Internet to this simple question.  Some were pretty technical and confusing.

 

Read more ...
What Does Mastering Do To A Song?

10 what is audio mastering

What does mastering do to a song?  Your main goal in audio mastering is to replicate the sonic qualities of a well professionally mastered commercial song, in the same genre and style as the song mix you are working on.

 

Read more ...
How Long Does It Take To Master A Song?

How long does is take to master a song?  There are several extra song mastering procedures I offer that other mastering engineers will not do.

 

Read more ...
What Software Do You Need For Audio Mastering?

2 software for audio mastering

If you've mixed songs in the past, you more than likely can use that same software for audio mastering. As long as you can add effects to the stereo/main out bus, you're good to go.

 

Read more ...
Audio Engineer Hearing Loss And Tinnitus

5 sound engineer prevent tinnitus

Millions of people suffer from tinnitus.  A new study shows around 10% of the U.S. population suffers from it in some form, but many have never even heard of it until they get it!  Unfortunately, I was one of those people.  It can happen quickly and it lasts a lifetime... 

 

Read more ...
How To Prepare Your Songs For Mixing
prepare songs for mixing

In this article, I'll show you how to prepare your songs for mixing.

 

Read more ...
Mastering A Song For Radio

14 song ready for radio

Here's another popular question I see online, always with the wrong answer! "There's no such thing as radio ready mastering!"  REALLY?

 

Read more ...
The Sound Engineer SCAM! Does More Expensive Mean Better?


The sound engineer scam, the online recording studio ripoff, whatever you want to call it.  I hear about it 3-4 times a month from my clients, since 1999.  It never changes!

 

Read more ...
Learning And Calibrating Your Speakers For Your DAW In Audio Mastering

3 calibrate speakers audio mastering daw

Learning and calibrating your speakers for your DAW in audio mastering is a very important step in the audio mastering process.  When I first start out with NEW speakers (though I never change them now), I listen to my favorite hit songs in every genre and style.  Songs that I know from my years of experience have X amount of bass, X amount of brightness, etc.  I know how these songs are "supposed" to sound.

 

Read more ...
How To Mix And Master Songs

If you're into "do it yourself projects" my mastering book will show you EXACTLY how I mastered every style of music on this website.  Get it here Audio Mastering Secrets!

John Rogers - Danceur Magazine Interview (July 2018)

Since the begining of his solo career in 2008, I mastered over 80 songs with the top French recording artist NYLS.  Great pop dance music with a lot of remixes.  During his entire career (as of now), I mastered most of if not all the song he released.  It was a great pleasure working with NYLS and Nico at Icon Records!

Read more ...
Mid Side EQ In Mastering

This is a quick video on how a mid-side processor works, and how to check the stereo field of your mix using a mid-side processor equalizer.

 

Read more ...
Why Does A Mix Need Headroom And Dynamic Range?

16 why do songs need mastering

Why does a mix need headroom and dynamic range?  In one sentence, it gives the mastering engineer more room to work with.
 

Read more ...
How Much Should I Charge For Mastering?

I've mastered over 40,000 songs since 1999.  I've charged $10 a song, $20, $30, $50 even $100!  Some prices worked better than others.  Here are a few facts to consider when deciding on what prices to charge.

Read more ...
Mastering Compression Techniques

This video shows one of the more imptotant compression techniques I use in audio mastering.  In my audio Mastering Secrets Video Series, I explain everything you need to know about audio mastering.

 

Read more ...
What Does Channel Mean In Music And Mixing?

It's the most basic of all questions, but someone asks it at least once a week.  In this article, I will explain what channel means in music and mixing

 

Read more ...
Top 20 Audio Mastering Tips, Techniques, And FAQ
 
 

 

 

 

 

Here are the top 20 audio mastering tips, questions, and answers that I've been asked over the years.

 

 

Read more ...
Can Anyone Become A Great Sound Engineer?

11 become great sound engineer

I would say YES, most people can become a great mastering engineer. I say this because most of the mixes I receive from clients are pretty good and I know the audio engineer (the band member with a computer) has only minimal training.  He could easily be great if he put a little more study and practice time into it.  And if he had this book to teach him what took me over 17 years to learn!  Ha!

 

Read more ...
Go to top