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Posts Tagged ‘mixing and mastering’

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Featured Artist: Silver Saddih

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Making Music Across Continents With Studio Pros.

Collaborating with Studio Pros mixing and mastering engineer all the way from Nigeria, Silver Saddih proves you don’t have to be in the same country, even continent to make music together.  I was blown away the  first time I heard Silver’s vocals when listening to the mix preview of “I Be Boss”.   I shared it immediately with my Studio Pros co-producer Keeley Bumford.  We both were dancing in our seats listening to this track.

Silver hails from Kaduna state, Nigeria (West Africa) and currently lives in Lagos and Abuja.  His crystal clear R&B vocal tone has undertones of his native African roots which really makes his sound unique.  You can hear his world influences coming through in his vocal performances, combined with contemporary pop and R&B/hip hop influences.  It amazes me how we can collaborate with talent like this instantly between Los Angeles and Nigeria – thanks to the internet. (more…)

Featured Artist: Isham

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Isham knew his songs couldn’t reach their full potential in the confines of his project studio.  So he used Studio Pros’ musicians and engineers to bring them to levels he couldn’t reach on his own.

Five years ago, Studio Pros artist Isham first started getting serious about music and began exploring the many facets of being a musician. “I was torn between the artistic and technical aspect,” he says. “I love electronic instruments and old vintage stuff.” Not classically trained on any instruments, he initially relied on sequencers and software–plus a little vocal training–to take the music that was bouncing around his head and make it a reality. Isham used his home project studio to create music inspired by old R&B and soul artists such as Stevie Wonder, Prince and James Brown and electronic artists like Kraftwerk, The Crystal Method, Prodigy and Daft Punk. “I spend a lot of time in my project studio,” he says. “I use it to draft some instrumental tracks that I can share with my lyricist partners.”

Currently living near Bern, Switzerland, Isham realized he needed to take his music out of his project studio into a more viable option to create broadcast-quality recordings. So he turned to the Internet, where he found Studio Pros while searching for guitarists and vocalists to record custom tracks for his songs.

“I was already quite used to using the Internet to share my work with studios and session musicians,” Isham says. “But I was not always happy with needing to go to several places to get a final product.” He appreciated that Studio Pros was something of a “one stop shop” for all of his recording needs, from instrumental tracks to mixing and mastering. “Most of the instruments we need to do a pop/rock/electronic/R&B song are available in one place,” he notes.

Isham was also impressed by the quality of Studio Pros’ session musicians and how quickly they could crank out quality tracks. “I’m amazed how in two or three days they can bring your instrumental tracks to another level,” he says. “And I really liked the very friendly and helpful staff. Kati is so nice and she always has good advice.”

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Professional CD Mastering

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Mixing and mastering usually go hand-in-hand. But while most people refer to them both together, they are two distinctly different stages in the recording process. So why exactly do you need to master your album? Couldn’t you just get your songs mixed by a great engineer (maybe a Studio Pros engineer), skip the mastering step and save a few bucks on your record?

It may seem like an effective cost-cutting solution, but if you don’t get your album mastered, you’re only going to hold yourself back–way back, in fact. What many musicians don’t realize is that mastering is as important as every other aspect of recording, including recording great sounding instrumental tracks and professional mixing. Not mastering your album (or trying to master it yourself) will yield the same unprofessional results as if you recorded low-quality drum tracks or mixed it poorly.

Mastering is essential for making your songs broadcast-quality.

What exactly is mastering anyway?

Mastering might sound like a bit of a vague concept to many musicians, as though it’s just one magical step added to the end of the recording process. But while learning how to master a song very well is an extremely difficult task, learning what mastering actually is is quite simple. In our interview with Studio Pros’ mastering engineer, he explained that mastering is basically EQing, compressing, limiting and gain staging the final mix.

What that means is that the engineer tweaks your mix to sound just like the songs you hear on the radio every day–the same volume, the same balanced sound. Without this step, your song just won’t cut it for broadcast quality.

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Featured Artist: Chord Slinger N Lola

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Chord Slinger N Lola used Studio Pros as the glue that held together their long-distance musical collaboration.

When Chord Slinger N Lola instrumentalist Don Wallingford first heard Lola sing, he immediately imagined how her voice would sound over his music. “I said, ‘My God, that would be so good for my music,’” he remembers. The only problem was that they were living in two different parts of the country: Lola sang in a metal band in New York City, while Wallingford was based in Cincinnati. “I sent her an email and asked if she’d be interested in a collaboration,” he says. “My music was very different, it was more ambient stuff. But her voice just sounded like a perfect match.”

Lola is originally from Greece, but came to America to pursue a master’s degree in psychology. Some of her influences include the Cranberries, Fiona Apple, and The Gathering; Wallingford’s inspirations skew a little more toward classic rock artists such as Simon & Garfunkel and The Who, but he also loves some modern bands such as Green Day. The two of them started putting music on websites such as Thesixtyone.com where they enjoyed some success on the charts. As they moved on to bigger sites, the duo realized they might need to start getting a little more serious about their recordings.

“We were on Reverbnation about six weeks and we were number one in the region and doing pretty well globally,” Wallingford says. “We thought, you know what, we probably need to take this to a higher level.” Inspired by all the positive feedback they were getting, they decided it was time to record in an actual studio–but there was still the problem of being in remote locations. “We had another problem because I play all these different instruments on the synthesizer, but when I use drum loops it doesn’t sound the same as a real set of drums,” says Wallingford. “I’m also not the best bass player in the world. I can’t get that professional sound because bass isn’t really my thing. When one person’s doing all of the instruments, it’s impossible to get really good quality.”

As he was looking for options, Wallingford saw that Studio Pros had been selected by Sound on Sound magazine as the best online recording studio–which he realized was the exact type of service he needed. He soon became impressed with Studio Pros’ personnel. “I got to reading about how [Studio Pros] has all these Grammy award-winning people that really have their act together to play with you and make suggestions,” he says. “I talked to Lola and she said we should do it because we needed something studio-grade.”

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Featured Artist: Jeff Heiniger

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Jeff Heiniger knew the importance of a professional production–so he turned to Studio Pros when he didn’t want to settle for anything less.

Jeff Heiniger has known what goes into a professional production for a long time. In 1987, he won a national songwriting competition in the UK that was put together by Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman. The prize: a chance to record in the Stones’ state-of-the-art mobile recording studio with top producers Mick McKenna and Terry Taylor. “It was brilliant to work with actual professionals,” Heiniger remembers. “They turned our demo into something that was fantastic.”

Heiniger first started taking music lessons after getting a piano when he was 13.  He also started listening to all sorts of pop music, from Electric Light Orchestra to Depeche Mode, ABBA to The Beatles. Since winning the competition he has put together a Pro Tools-equipped home studio, but soon realized that without a professional producer behind the board he wasn’t going to achieve the same sort of radio-ready product he got with is winning song. “The problem is that I’m not an engineer, so I didn’t have anybody to record my stuff,” he explains. “What I found was really good about Studio Pros was that the production was sort of taken out of my hands in a way.”

When he found the Studio Pros website, Heiniger was actually looking for session vocalists on the web. “I couldn’t find anyone locally who was any good,” he says. “It’s quite laborious, taking your music to a recording studio and finding an engineer who will record a session singer who you may not like. It seemed quite a lengthy process, and one that may not yield results at the end of the day.” He found himself intrigued by the Studio Pros website. “The site itself looked very professional. Professionalism and price were important.”

With Studio Pros, Heiniger was able to focus on writing a song on piano, then letting our team of world-class studio musicians build the rest from the ground up. Along the way, he would provide input and feedback to make sure everything came together how he wanted it. In order to make it easier, Heiniger would provide reference tracks with other music that matched the vibe he was going for with each song.

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