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.  Read more....

 

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.  Read more....

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

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12 why need audio mastering

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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!

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

 

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4 speaker placemnt daw home recording studio

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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.

 

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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.
 

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Which Is Better For Audio Mastering Analog Gear Or Digital Software Plugins?

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. 

 

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What Does Channel Mean In Music And Mixing?

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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.

 

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set mixing level meters

Correctly setting your mixing levels before mastering is essential for great mastering results.  Having the best DB levels for mixing is critical.  Here's how to properly do it! 

 

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My First Music Video!

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How To Prepare Your Songs For Mastering
preparing mixes for mastering

In this article, we'll show you how to prepare your mixes for mastering.

 

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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....

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John Rogers - Danceur Magazine Interview (July 2018)

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This article discusses what is the reverb effect in music and how to use it?  The reverb effect is used to simulate space. When reverb is applied to a dry vocal or instrument track, it will sound like it was recorded live in the space size that was selected on the processor. Common space size options include a small room, vocal plate, large hall, etc.

 

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Mastering Hardware Equipment You Need For Your DAW Home Recording Studio

7 mastering hardware equipment daw recording studio

Here's the basic hardware you need to master music:

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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