Back in the days, when Analog gears was the only option, linear phase wasn't possible, but today with modern technology we can use if needed a Linear Phase EQ, but what is it?
For an easier understanding let's imagine to EQ a sine wave
As you can see it start from zero then continue the full cicle.
If you use an eq in linear phase mode, the shape will change accordingly with the curve you are using, but the cycle will be the same. Will still start from zero and end to zero.
If you do the exact same eq but with a normal eq, you will have the same shape you had before, but with a different phase.
To have an idea on what a different phase is, just thake a look at the following picture
You can see here, the same sine we had before, and another one that seems to "start earlier". This is what a normal eq does, they just do not change the frequency response but also shift the phase.
So you may think linear phase eq are a better choice. But this is not true... it depends.
Linear Phase EQ are able to mantain the same phase, but with side effect, called "pre-ringing".
On certain sounds, it's not a problem while in others it's a big issue.
But what is pre-ringing?
It's a kind of echo that occour before the audio.
In the following image you can see on the right the original waveform, while on the left the waveform after a linear phase processing.
We don't have just a different waveform because of the EQ, but we also introduce this echo right before the sound.
Generally speaking my suggestion is to use normal eq and reach for linear phase processing only when you do some parallel processing that may introduce audible phase cancellation.
When the mix is done, you want your song to be mastered. But how should you export your mix for the best result?
(tl;dr at the end)
Speaking about peak levels, theoretically your max peak could be -0.1 because what matter is to have a clean signal with no clipping, anyway it's suggested to go lower, and since there are no drawbacks to lower the volume have the max peak at -6db it's a good choice.
Of course peak level is not the only setting you must care, but sound quality matters too.
When you export your mix, it's suggested to use 32bit floating point if possible, otherwise 24bit is good enough, no worries. Anyway i really suggest you to avoid 16bit, cause there are too much informations that will be lost.
What about Sample Rate? You may find suggestions, articles that say the higher the better, while that's technically correct, i made lots of tests in the past, and in the real world this doesn't really matter 44,1khz it's enough.
While mixing, it's importhant thought, to use oversampling on every process that introduce harmonic distortion, so plugins such compressors, saturators and clippers need to work on higher internal sample rate (oversampling) to remove aliasing and getting back with a clean signal.
Oversampling make obsolete the need to run the whole project at higher sample rate, last but not least your music at the end of the process will be converted at 44.1khz, because even on the streming services era it's a standard, and by the way 44.1khz means to have 22khz as higher frequency. Kids can ear up to 20khz, while adults around 15khz (it's a bit more complicated, but let's keep it simple) so 44.1khz sample rate already allow us to have available all the music content human can hear.
I know nerds out there would say that it's still better to go higher sample rate because of Nyquist frequency.
If you filter at higher frequency the response on the 20khz may be flatter (it depend on the Nyquist filter and how the transition band is designed). And while this is technically true, very likely you will still need to downsample to 44.1k later, to distribute your music to streaming services (most of them don't accept anything different from 44.1k) and even if we can go higher, and we render with a very bad program that have a poor Nyquist filter, we would likely lose 2db at 21khz to 0,5 at 19khz. Can you really hear these differences?
I made my accurate tests in the past, the only difference in the analyzer were around -110db at the worst case, not really something we can feel.
Just a couple of suggestions:
I strongly suggest you to avoid any limiter on the mix bus, this may harm the mastering process.
Other kind of mixbus processing depends on your knowledge, if your song is mixed by a professional mixing engineer he know how and what to do, but if you are the one who mix your song, it's better ask to your mastering engineer what to keep and what to remove.
And here we come to my last suggestion:
When you hire an engineer, don't be afraid to make your questions, the more we talk, the better, don't worry, we don't eat artists and producers.... usually :)
Sample Rate: 44,1khz
Bit Rate: 32bit Floating Point
Max Peak: -6db
For any doubts talk to your mastering engineer
If you want your song to be mastered (or mixed) feel free to send me a mail at effettimusic[at]gmail.com
Compression is an essential tool in music production, and it plays a significant role in shaping the sound of a mix. This article aims to explain what compression is, how it works, and how it can be used effectively in music production.
What is Compression?
Compression is a process in which the dynamic range of an audio signal is reduced. The dynamic range of a sound refers to the difference between its loudest and quietest parts. In music production, this can be important to control the balance of different elements in a mix, and to make sure that everything can be heard clearly.
Compression works by reducing the gain of an audio signal when it exceeds a certain threshold. This threshold is set by the producer, and it determines the level at which the compression takes effect. When the signal exceeds this level, the gain is reduced, which results in a more consistent sound.
How Compression Works
Compression works by using a combination of a gain control and a detector. The gain control reduces the level of the audio signal, while the detector monitors the level of the audio signal and triggers the gain control when it exceeds the threshold.
There are two main parameters that can be adjusted when using compression: the threshold and the ratio. The threshold determines the level at which the compression takes effect, and the ratio determines how much the gain is reduced when the signal exceeds the threshold. For example, a ratio of 2:1 means that for every 2dB that the signal exceeds the threshold, the gain is reduced by 1dB.
Different Types of Compression
There are several different types of compression that can be used in music production, including:
Compression can be a powerful tool in music production, but it must be used carefully to achieve the desired result. Here are some tips for using compression effectively:
Compression is a powerful tool in music production, and it plays a critical role in shaping the sound of a mix. By understanding the different types of compression, how they work, and how they can be used effectively, producers can create a sound that is well-balanced and full of impact.
EQ is one of the most essential tools in the music production process. It plays a crucial role in shaping the sound of a mix and can be used to adjust the balance of frequencies in a recording to achieve a desired sound. In this article, we will explore the different types of EQ, how to use them effectively, and the importance of frequency balancing in music production.
Types of EQ:
The key to using EQ effectively is to understand the role that each frequency plays in shaping the sound of a mix. Before applying any EQ, it is important to listen carefully to the mix and identify any problem areas. Once you have identified these areas, you can use EQ to adjust the balance of frequencies and achieve the desired sound.
When using EQ, it is important to use subtle adjustments rather than drastic cuts or boosts. A common mistake is to over-EQ a mix, resulting in a thin or unnatural sound. To avoid this, start with small adjustments and listen carefully to the result.
It is also important to consider the relationship between different frequencies in a mix. For example, boosting the low frequencies may require a corresponding cut in the mid or high frequencies to maintain a balanced mix.
Finally, frequency balancing is essential for achieving a polished and professional-sounding mix. This involves adjusting the balance of frequencies across the entire mix to achieve a cohesive and balanced sound.
Music production is a multi-step process that requires a combination of technical and creative skills. While it's possible for a music producer to handle all aspects of the process, including writing, recording, mixing, and mastering, it's often better to specialize in one area and hire professionals for the rest. In this article, we'll explore the benefits of working with a professional mixing and mastering engineer.
Improved Sound Quality
One of the key advantages of hiring an engineer is the improvement in sound quality. A professional has the skills, experience, and equipment necessary to enhance the sound quality of a recording, making it polished and professional-sounding. They can identify and fix technical issues that may not be apparent to the producer, and they have the ability to make the final mix sound its best.
Another benefit of hiring an engineer is the importance of fresh ears. When you've been working on a project for a long time, it can be easy to get lost in the details and miss some of the bigger picture. A mixing and mastering engineer brings a fresh perspective to the project, helping to identify areas for improvement and making suggestions for enhancing the sound.
The music industry can be demanding and stressful, and it's important to maintain a healthy work-life balance. By focusing on producing and allowing a professional mixing and mastering engineer to handle the technical aspects, you can reduce your stress levels and enjoy the creative process more.
In conclusion, hiring a professional mixing and mastering engineer has many benefits, including improved sound quality, the addition of fresh ears to the production process, and reduced stress. By working with a professional, producers can concentrate on what they do best, while ensuring that the final product is of the highest quality.
So, if you're looking to take your music production to the next level, feel free to get in touch with me at effettimusic(at)gmail.com