A $300 home studio? REALLY ?

I didn’t expect my last post to get me in trouble.

But it did.

It seemed simple enough – I was just letting you know that Graham from the Recording Revolution website had been interviewed on Pensado’s Place.

I included a brief intro to Graham, for people who didn’t already know him, and I mentioned that he recently set himself a challenge – to record a song using a home studio setup costing only $300. And that’s where the trouble started.

Because it turns out, some people don’t like that idea !

They don’t believe that you can get great results using affordable gear, and they think Graham is deliberately misleading people by saying so. Telling them what they want to hear, rather than being realistic and honest.

So, what’s my opinion?

It’s a nice idea, sure, and Graham’s mix sounded pretty good – but can you really get good sound in a home studio costing only 300 dollars, especially when you put it under the microscope for mastering ? REALLY ?

I decided to find out. Watch the video above to hear the results for yourself, and let me know what you think in the comments…

Apple Music – will indie artists get their fair share ?

Everybody is talking about Apple Music today.

There are people who are excited, people who are unimpressed and people who are actively critical of yet more “corporate” activity in music.

People who think Apple can save the music business, people who think streaming is already killing what’s left of the music business, and people who think music isn’t (or shouldn’t be) about business at all.

I have sympathies with all these viewpoints, in varying amounts.

Then there are the questions:

  • Will the social features be any good ?
  • Will the “curated” content be worth listening to ?
  • Will people stay subscribed, after the free introductory period ?
  • What will the price be outside the US ?
  • How much of that money will get to the artists ?

…and many more.

I have no idea about the answers to any of these, but that last question is the really important one, from where I sit.

[Read more…]

Why Spotify’s ‘set the same volume level for all tracks’ option is back, and why it matters

Since I originally wrote this post, Spotify have listened to their users, and restored their ‘set the same volume level for all tracks’ option to the Advanced Preferences of their desktop app.

And that’s good news, because:

  1. It means that Spotify users care about loudness
  2. They said so, and
  3. Spotify have listened to them.

All you need to do to take advantage of this improvement is update to the latest version and restart Spotify.


We’re not out of the woods yet.

Because Spotify’s implementation of normalisation still sucks, big-time – that’s why getting why this preference option back was so important.

[Read more…]

FACEPALM: “It sounds great! Now can you make it louder ?” – My simple four-step solution

louder facepalm


It’s the question we all dread.

You finished the master, everyone is really happy, and then they hit you with it:

Can you just make it a bit louder ?

Because even though we know that loudness is pointless, even though we know that if you want to sound louder on YouTube, or Apple Music or Spotify or anywhere, the answer is to master with balanced dynamics – no-one else believes it yet.

The artists don’t believe it

The labels don’t believe it

The producers don’t believe it

The A&R people don’t believe it

And plenty of mastering engineers still don’t believe it, either !

Even though we know that:

No-one believes us.

They’ve bought into the myth, they’re feeling the FUD.

Don’t Panic

Luckily, they don’t have to believe us, because now we can show them. Quickly, and easily.

This strategy is free, non-techy and simple to implement.

Here it is: [Read more…]