Welcome to a new edition of Fresh Beats!
Every week, we gather the most interesting articles from music production blogs all around. We hunt down everything from the latest production techniques, new trends in the industry, informative interviews, to detailed gear reviews. So let’s jump right in and see what’s been going on this week.
The Scarlett 4th Gen story: Focusrite’s journey from George Martin’s AIR to bedroom studios everywhere
By: William Stokes, musictech.com
FFocusrite’s Scarlett audio interface, widely recognized as a cornerstone of the home recording movement, has reached a ubiquity wherein it has become synonymous with amateur and semi-professional recording setups. Debuting in 2011, it has experienced multiple iterations, with the latest, the 4th generation, promising major updates across its range, including intelligent gain and clip management, an extended dynamic range, and a recycled aluminium chassis. Despite its widespread use, the Scarlett is admired for its low failure rate. As Focusrite dominates over half of the desktop interface market share, they face the challenge of staying ahead in a market they have largely defined. The company’s history is rooted in high-end audio development, with ties to iconic figures like Rupert Neve. The 4th generation is touted to continue this legacy, balancing high functionality with aesthetic design. Read more
Ear Fatigue: How to Prevent It When Producing & Mixing Music 👂
By: Sam Matla, www.edmprod.com
Ear fatigue, although not clinically recognized, affects music producers after long sessions of listening to audio, especially at high volumes. This phenomenon results in symptoms such as tiredness, discomfort, pain, and decreased sensitivity, which can skew a producer’s judgment, stifle creativity, and potentially cause ear damage. To combat ear fatigue, Sam Matla recommends several practical tips: maintain a comfortable volume level; take regular breaks during mixing sessions; restrict the overall time spent on intensive listening tasks; intersperse periods of non-listening work like organizing samples or marketing; maintain a long-term perspective rather than rushing; use open-back headphones for better ventilation and reduced pressure; employ reference tracks to maintain a fresh perspective; and optimize the workflow for consistent music production without experiencing burnout or creative stagnation. Read more
How To Fix Channels Fighting For Space In A Mix
By: Tom Frampton, www.masteringthemix.com
The blog post highlights the challenges faced by audio producers when multiple channels in a mix clash, resulting in a muddled sound. This conflict often stems from a phenomenon known as phase cancellation, which occurs when sound waves of similar frequencies interfere with each other. Factors like overlapping frequencies, microphone placement, room acoustics, and stereo imaging can all contribute to this issue. The post introduces “FUSER,” a plugin designed to help address these problems. FUSER offers solutions like harmonious volume balancing, sidechain techniques to create space in a mix, and mid-side precision for addressing clashes within the stereo field. The plugin’s visual features, like the display of mid-side clashes with red and yellow glows, provide users with clarity on where conflicts arise. With the understanding and techniques presented in the article, audio producers can achieve clearer and more harmonious mixes. Read more
Code Your Own Plugins with Our New BSc (Hons) Music Systems Engineering Degree (MuSE)
By: Stanley Li, plus.pointblankmusicschool.com
Point Blank Music School has introduced its pioneering BSc (Hons) Music Systems Engineering course, also known as MuSE, bridging the realms of music production and technical software design. Crafted in collaboration with Dr. Chris Nash of Nash.audio, an innovator in music software, the course offers students a unique blend of STEM and music education. Students benefit from a nurturing ecosystem at Point Blank, where they can get feedback from a vast community, and partnerships with industry titans like Roland. The program not only serves the flourishing $2.5 billion music technology industry but also addresses the increasing demand for audio software engineers in broader sectors, such as Spotify’s expansion into audio engineering features. The course empowers students to innovate, develop new plugins, and explore the infinite possibilities within music production. Read more
7 Tips for Recording Drums
By: Katie Marie, blog.airgigs.com
In a blog post detailing 7 tips for recording drums, the author, drawing from two decades of experience, emphasizes the importance of several key factors. Firstly, ensuring a well-tuned drum kit is vital, and drummers should also consider the specific sound they want to achieve for a particular song, experimenting with various tunings and drumheads. Accessories like drum rings, moon gel, and Big Fat Snare Drums can further modify the sound. The texture, or the sound created by what hits the drums, whether sticks, brushes, or hands, can greatly influence the final output. The room’s acoustics play a pivotal role; its specific characteristics can alter how a drum kit sounds, prompting the suggestion to try different locations within a room or even different rooms entirely. The technique and style of the drummer are also crucial, with the intensity of their playing affecting the drum sound. It’s recommended to record and play back the sound, be open to adjustments, and always check for and eliminate any unwanted external noises or internal kit issues before recording. Read more
Why upgrade to Traktor Pro 3.10? Here’s what’s new
By: Native Instruments, blog.native-instruments.com
Discover the latest updates in Traktor Pro 3.10, including plug and play support for Traktor X1 MK3, a CDJ rumble filter setting, improved accuracy of the audible metronome, and overall stability and bug fixes. Unlock more features with Traktor Pro Plus. Read on for more details. Read more
UVI Updates Soul Bass to Version 1.5
UVI has released an update for its Soul Bass instrument, introducing new features such as a ‘Slap’ playing mode, auto selection modes for slap and pop hits, over 12,000 new samples, and 40 new factory presets. To celebrate the update, Soul Bass and Soul Drums are both 50% off for a limited time. Soul Bass is a powerful bass instrument that combines vintage and modern approaches, offering deep customization, performance controls, built-in effects, and a wide range of presets and MIDI patterns. The update is free for existing users, and the discounted prices are available until September 25th, 2023. Read more
Hope you’ve found these articles insightful and inspiring, sparking new ideas for your own music production journey. Be sure to tune in next week for another round of fascinating posts from the music production blogosphere!