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Presonus Eris 5 Review

The last twenty years of music production technology trickling down to the masses has shown that incredible creativity is possible with modest means. A corresponding movement on the part of manufacturers has put increasingly more powerful tools in the hands of the home producer. Studio monitors from Presonus are an astounding affirmation of affordable, professional technology that can transform your studio. Before we look closely, here are a few specs: the E5 looks like many other monitors, … [Read more...]


Are You In Position? A Guide to Setting Up Studio Monitors

You probably know that monitors can help your productions, but do you know what you’re doing with them? Do you know how to get the best performance out of your shiny new investment? If you can’t answer with a resounding yes, then this guide is for you. It might be hard to believe, but the way your monitors behave in your room is going to have a big impact on how your productions sound to you, and the rest of the world. The consequences of poor setup are pretty disastrous, matched only by the … [Read more...]


Avantone Mix Cube Review

Mixing engineers care more about fidelity and sound than almost any other people on earth, so why would anybody use a sub-par monitor? It sounds counter-intuitive but that's what we're about to do. We're not striking out against the conventional wisdom of the day. The benefits of using a "sub-par monitor" are now widely appreciated in the engineering community. The term "sub-par" is a bit of a red herring. Maybe "sub-optimal" is more accurate. Take the Avantone Mix Cube, a cube shaped … [Read more...]


Gear Guide: Five Inexpensive Home Studio Monitors

Can you hear your music? That sounds like a simple question. You can play your projects on any speaker you have available, even cheap ear buds. But how much are you hearing? In music production, accurately hearing sounds is incredibly important and inadequate monitoring is a definite handicap(although it’s not catastrophic). Would you expect a graphic artist to do their work with a pair of foggy goggles on? They can still see colors and shapes, but not with definition and clarity. The … [Read more...]

Buy this microphone now!

MXL 990 Review

One of the dark secrets of microphone reviews and the world of microphones in general, is that the mic doesn’t matter nearly as much as the person using it. Except for the worst microphones on the planet, you can get a good sound with just about any of them, as long as you know how to use it. While experience can really help you position a mic quickly, anybody can do this. As long as they can hear and they have patience. It could take all day to get the mic position right. But it’s worth … [Read more...]

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Audio Technica 2020 Review

Looking for a cheaper microphone can really test your instincts. Take this mic for example: it bears the name of Audio Technica, one of the most trusted names in microphones, but it goes for a price that is exceedingly affordable for the project studio. How can this be? Take a look at the construction and the mystery deepens. No cheap plastic parts….solid metal grill….feels solid, far too heavy for a cheap microphone. What gives? Nothing, really. You find the same quality construction … [Read more...]

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AKG Perception 120 Review

For a long time, users were wise to steer away from a condenser microphone under $100. But those days are gone. You can now safely consider adding such a microphone to your studio. And if you can only spend less than $100, take a look at what AKG is offering in this category. AKG is a world leader in microphones and have effortlessly transitioned into offering budget mics for the home studio. That alone should put you at ease. Get used to that feeling, because once you plug it in, you’re … [Read more...]

Rode NT1a Amazon listing

Rode NT1a Review

If you’re in the market for a single microphone for your fledgling studio, the Rode NT1 is a strong contender for your money. The NT1 is a large diaphragm condenser, something that audio experts the Internet over, recommend for a home or project studio. Condenser mics use a small electrical signal to electrify their diaphragm and put out a very powerful signal. By contrast, dynamic mics are made to hander much higher signal levels, but they have a weak signal. What this means for you is … [Read more...]


Added Value Music Production?

One of my side hobbies is reviewing music submissions for a college radio station. I get to pick through a pile of music, some well-known, some quite obscure and listen to it all. The majority of it is terrible. Yep. Most of it suffers from some lack of professionalism, vision, or just energy. And it’s not just my taste. I find “good” submissions by artists that I don’t like at all. You can see quality, even if you don’t like the music. And it got me to thinking about the vast sea of … [Read more...]

Shure SM58 and Shure SM57

SM57 Microphone Review

Experienced home producers will certainly look sidelong at a review of an SM57 because it is an absolute winner. Why are we reviewing it? Calling the SM57 “industry standard” has now become industry standard language. Nobody looks or thinks twice about these microphones. You don’t have to. They’re rock solid and continue to perform, despite user abuse. Before we get into the details, let’s look at a little history. A Little Mic Records Some Big Noises The humble 57 first hit the … [Read more...]


What are the Best Cheap Microphones for a Project Studio?

Do you think you need to spend hundreds, maybe thousands, of dollars just on microphones to create great recordings? You aren’t alone! There are many people that labor under this illusion, and it might be the only barrier stopping them from creating the recordings they dream of. Make no mistake: expensive microphones can create great tracks, but they’re just as useful as their cheaper brethren if you’re lacking: A Good Space for Recording! One of the reasons professional recordings with … [Read more...]


You Might Already Be An Entrepreneur!

Whether you’re a musician that happens to record music or you are actively recording music for other people, you might be an entrepreneur. In fact, if you’re attempting to make money with music, you are almost certainly an entrepreneur. This is an uncomfortable realization for many artists. We like to think that all we have to do is exercise creativity and come up with beautiful work. The rest will work itself it out. Some musicians are privileged enough to just focus on playing and some … [Read more...]