47 votes

What are the advantages of WAV vs. MP3?

Wave is an uncompressed or lossless format, whereas MP3 is compressed or lossy. Technically .wav is just a container format and can hold various types of compressed or uncompressed audio, but ...
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  • 2,437
30 votes
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What is the difference between increasing volume and increasing gain?

'Gain' just means 'amount of amplification'. It can be applied at various stages in the signal chain between musical source and final playback. The topic we're talking about is called 'Gain staging'....
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29 votes
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How do professional electronic musicians/sound engineers combat listening fatigue?

One of the most common pieces of advice I hear about this is to take breaks. You're right that in some situations (extremely tight deadlines, for example) this may not be practical, but in reality, it'...
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  • 957
26 votes
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Can I turn any synthesized instrument into a bass by lowering the frequency?

when I'm picking a "bass" can I choose any instrument..? Yes, you can. However, you might find that not all instruments work well to your ears as 'bass' instruments. When you see 'bass' in a synth ...
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18 votes
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Is the number of keys on a controller keyboard important in music production?

An instrument is a set of easy-to-do vs. hard-to-do factors. The instruments and tools you use for composing and arranging - just like your personal skills as well - are bound to affect the actual ...
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16 votes
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Tips for increasing loudness while mastering in Ableton Live

What you are trying to achieve is not a trivial task. If you want a good master it'll take more than some tips. I'll try to do some quick observations on some possibilities. There's nothing specific ...
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  • 15.9k
16 votes

Where does the great audio quality of tracks released on YouTube come from?

Quick answer - try running your output through a compressor. Long answer - work on your composing, arranging and recording skills. Get years of experience. Then try running your output through a ...
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16 votes

How do professional electronic musicians/sound engineers combat listening fatigue?

Taking breaks has been mentioned, and is obviously a good idea! Other ideas: A change is as good as a rest: work an a different project for a while, and come back to the first one listen to other ...
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16 votes

What is the difference between increasing volume and increasing gain?

In amplification jargon, all volume changes are described by the term "gain", where gain is the ratio of the input and output signals. In a lot of modern amplifier design, there are effectively 2 ...
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16 votes
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Can you bass boost a song repeatedly?

Yes, you can feed back processed audio into the same system that processed it originally, again and again. However, whenever you feed back audio into a non-idempotent system, the audio will always ...
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14 votes
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How can I get the vocals to stand out better in the mix when recording?

Well this is a big question, so let me start with a big answer: http://www.amazon.com/Mixing-Secrets-Small-Studio-Senior/dp/0240815807/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1426508544&sr=1-1&...
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  • 51.5k
14 votes
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Making all elements clearly audible in the mix

Making everything audible in the mix is not always possible. Elements that share frequencies will mask each other. The most crucial part of the mix is not actually in the mixing phase itself, but in ...
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  • 15.9k
14 votes
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How to make a sound appear to be more distant?

It depends on what kind of environment you want to reproduce, but there are two main factors that lead the brain to think a sound is coming from farther away: As sound travels through the air, it ...
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  • 51.5k
14 votes
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How to check the quality of an audio sample?

The only thing that matters is if the sample sounds good. You have to listen to it and decide whether you want to use it. No numbers or waveforms or analysis programs are going to tell you whether ...
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  • 15.4k
13 votes
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What are the advantages of WAV vs. MP3?

The executive summary of Charles' very detailed answer is: Use WAV for recording and editing. Use your audio editor's native file format with references to the WAV files to keep disk space under ...
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  • 542
12 votes
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Mac vs PC for music production

This has been a raging debate for the past 30 years or so. There has been a healthy competition between the two platforms in an effort to corner a large segment of the market share. In the ...
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11 votes
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Where does the great audio quality of tracks released on YouTube come from?

MilkyTracker is just a tool, and like any tool, the quality of the tool is less important than the skill and knowledge of the person using it. You could give a carpenter terrible, rusty old tools and ...
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  • 234
11 votes
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Recording with midi/synth vs actual instrument?

[are there] any guidelines as far as recording a mechanical instrument versus using a midi controller or synth? No, only pros and cons. It all depends on what you want the finished product to sound ...
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  • 2,215
11 votes

Are studio monitors necessary for producing tracks?

You could produce tracks with some ordinary earbuds. It's just harder to know what exactly is going on in your mixes and whether it will translate well to other listening environments. It's general ...
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  • 834
10 votes
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Why does the recording of distortion guitar sound different than what I hear through the amp?

Always remember one thing: the sound that you hear depends on the device you are getting the output through. As you say, you like the sound through your amp but not from the software, this is because ...
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10 votes

Can I turn any synthesized instrument into a bass by lowering the frequency?

Simple as that. Bass refers to the range of the instrument, so electronically, turn a piccolo into a bass if you want. It's much harder with fish, though. Turning a salmon into a bass doesn't seem to ...
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  • 174k
10 votes

What is the difference between increasing volume and increasing gain?

Electrical engineer here. Gain is the ratio of the output signal magnitude to the input signal magnitude of an amplifier. In idealized circuits, as you turn the gain up, you increase this ratio and ...
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  • 291
10 votes
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Is the audio in mp3 and video files the same?

Two things. (1) You don't necessarily get the same bits back that were uploaded to a streaming service. Audio or video. Streaming media services can and often do encode the audio and video with ...
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10 votes

Can you bass boost a song repeatedly?

Applying an equalizer twice gives (to a good approximation, at least in case of digital EQs) the same result as applying it only once with the controls cranked twice as far from neutral. I.e. there's ...
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9 votes

Recording with midi/synth vs actual instrument?

The real instrument will sound more real, but as you note, there are many challenges to recording acoustic instruments or anything with a microphone that are completely bypassed when using a virtual ...
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  • 51.5k
9 votes

Is it normal to use a clipper instead of a limiter?

Assuming your question is dealing with pre-recorded tracks that aren't already into your clipping range and you are having problems with the main output being too loud when you mix: No, when dealing ...
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9 votes

Is it normal to use a clipper instead of a limiter?

You like your mix because your DAW and soundcard have headroom. You can go past the nominal 0dBFS and still have it work, because of headroom in the software and electronics. A CD or MP3 has no ...
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  • 4,374
9 votes

Does including a sport commentator voice in a music track make me owe him mechanical royalties?

If caught without asking permission up front, it gets you a law suit, or at minimum, a takedown. Commentary is not covered under music publication laws, but under far more stringent broadcast laws. ...
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  • 22.9k
8 votes

Is it legitimate to use music technology to make me sound more proficient than I am?

Other than plagiarism, if you're creating your own music, "cheating" really doesn't matter. Sure.. I think effects, like pitch & rhythm correction, are all bad substitutes for being a great ...
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  • 483

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