Thursday, September 30, 2010

Free iZotope Vinyl Plug in

A very cool, and free, plug in from iZotope.

Izotope makes some very good plug ins. From their Alloy mixing plug in to their Vinyl plug in, they are all top notch products.

Izotope has a plug in for some of your virtual instrument demands, right down to a plug in for whatever it is that you need to fix too! A quick visit to their site will fill you all in on just what they have to offer! I wish to discuss one of their free offerings, Vinyl.

Izotope Vinyl is available for free, from their site.

What is Vinyl? Glad that you asked. Vinyl is simply a re-creation of vinyl defects and noises of “yesteryear”. This plug in is a complete blast to play with, and it sounds very authentic. There are eight sliders, four knobs, and two switches on the interface of Vinyl. The first group of sliders raise or lower the levels of “mechanical noise, wear, electrical noise, dust, scratch, and warp depth”. Adding these vinyl throwback sounds to your “clean” digital recordings is now a snap.

The next two sliders all by themselves are the input gain and the output gain. There are two knobs labeled “amount” which work as independent levels, or gains. One of the two switches selects either mono or stereo, and the second selects weather it is bypassed or not. Lastly are two more knobs. One of these two knobs selects the RPM speed of the record that you are selecting noise from (i.e. 33, 45, 78), and the last knob selects the “year” of the sample. This last “year” knob acts as a pre set EQ of sorts, along with other effects, it makes the noise more date specific in sound.

So, if you want a new sound source to play with, and one that is of great sound and quality, head over to Izotope and download Vinyl, for free, today!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

IK Multimedia iRig give away!

IK Multimedia and the Home Recording Weekly blog join forces to give away an iRig!

Rules for entering.....

First, simply subscribe to the Home Recording Weekly blog, and then send in your name, in an email to me, at That is it! I simply need your name and email to contact the winner! Sorry, contest entries only from the U.S. and Canada accepted.

On November 1st I will draw one lucky name “out of a hat”, and then announce this as the winner, all live in a video on the Home Recording Weekly blog.

Here are the links, (Here and Here), to download the free Amplitube apps for the Iphone/Ipad.

AmpliTube iRig is a combination of an easy-to-use instrument interface adapter and guitar and bass tone mobile software.

With AmpliTube iRig, you can plug your guitar into your iPhone/iPod touch/iPad and jam anywhere with world class guitar and bass tone right in the palm of your hand - from the leader in studio-class guitar and bass software.

Simply plug the iRig interface into your mobile device, plug your instrument into the appropriate input jack, plug in your headphones, amp or powered speakers, download 'AmpliTube FREE' version for iPhone or for iPad, and start rocking!

You’ll have at your fingertips the sound and control up to 4 recombinable simultaneous stompbox effects + amplifier + cabinet + microphone just like a traditional guitar or bass stage rig!”

To learn more about the IK Multimedia iRig, please visit the IK Multimedia link provided.

Thanks for entering, and good luck to all of you!

Friday, September 17, 2010

EQ for mixing purposes.

Bass and Kick drum.

I started this very blog for two overall reasons. The first reason was to gain as much knowledge as I possibly could about home recording and mixing. I have learned a lot along the way about mic technique, and I have learned a ton about all sorts of “plug in” tools that are out there. This blog has been both a blast and a God send.

The second reason that I started Home Recording Weekly was to simply pass on what I have learned, in order to help others obtain the best possible recordings that they can get. I wish I had a blog just like this one as I started to learn how to record music at home.

Perhaps one of the most important things that I have learned about mixing is that each instrument or sound has its own “frequency space” that it lives in or occupies. You may have seen the charts that detail the frequency ranges on a line and then list the instruments underneath the frequencies that the instruments most often “live in”. Any two sounds, or instruments, that “over lap”, or live in the same frequency, can quickly “add up”. This may cause your speakers to “fart out” each time that these frequencies sound. Perhaps, once again, the most common example is the bass and the kick drum. The bass might sound great by itself, and the kick sounds great all by itself too, but together there is just way too much common frequency level going out to your monitors. A lot of my old recordings suffer from this “farting out” syndrome. But I am learning as I go.

Here is a copy of just one of these charts. Downloading this image will allow you to increase its' size. Look at the over lapping of frequencies, and make a mental note.

A great way to think of an EQ is as simply an amp or an attenuator for frequencies, and not an amp or attenuator for signal levels.

Adding some EQ might seem like an easy way to boost a signals' overall level within a mix, but be warned, it can ruin a good mix too. Adding too much EQ to any one particular Frequency area of an instrument and you might overpower another instrument within the mix. And EQ'ing out too much detail can cause a thin or a weak signal level.

Look out, and listen for any over lapped frequencies in your mix. You can actually hear this happening as one instrument will tend to get lost in the mix, or it will “fall back in the mix”. Plus, things may get muddy sounding in your mix as one instrument enters the song. These over lapping zones require some special attention to detail.

There are two ways to use some EQ while mixing. These two ways are “additive EQ” and “subtractive EQ”. Before I go any further, a spectrum annalizer will show you visually just what is happening within a mix or a soloed signal. Using a spectrum annalizer will help you to see what frequencies are “captured” within a signal, and just how much of a level to that particular frequency area is being heard.

Additive and subtractive EQ......

Additive EQ'ing adds a boost to certain frequency levels within a signal. This type of EQ'ing can bring an instrument more “forward” in a mix. But be careful, too much additive EQ and things can get muddy, or other instruments will “fall back” into the overall mix. A level of discipline is needed in order to not over do it with additive EQ.

Subtractive EQ can help to accomplish two things. First, it can help to remove any unwanted frequencies from within a signal. Secondly, it can lower certain areas of frequency level from within a signal in order to bring another instrument “forward” in the mix. Some most popular “EQ'ing tools” for subtractive EQ'ing are notch filters and hi and low pass filters.

Here is a look at a typical session, as being EQ'd at mixing.

As taken from the Sweetwater “Tech Tips” page

A common trick to getting a full sound between kick and bass while retaining clarity is to boost the lows on the kick (60-80Hz) cut the low mids anywhere from 150Hz to 400Hz (sometimes called the mudrange) and boost the highs at around 3000Hz. This will provide a solid low end, remove some of the mud in the midrange and accentuate the attack of the kick pedal on the drum.

For the bass, we do pretty much the opposite; cut the lows where you boosted them on the kick (60-80Hz) boost the bass at around 120 - 150Hz which will provide a full bass sound (while occupying the frequency space we made by cutting the kick drum in this range), and boost the highs at around 900Hz since bass also provides information in that range as well. In short, we are emphasizing the frequencies that are important to the sound of each, while cutting the frequencies where they can conflict. Try this technique. You'll get a full bottom with a clear thump with a defined attack in the kick and a clear, full bass.

Another important thing to keep in mind is what we said earlier about the most power in the mix coming from the low end; EQ is frequency dependent amplification, which means that we are boosting the power of a particular frequency. Too much boost can result in either distortion or less headroom in the mix for other instruments, so use it sparingly. If you're boosting a frequency in one instrument, you should cut that frequency in another instrument, as our kick and bass technique describes. Overall, EQ is most effective as a subtractive device, not additive.”

Just to shed some light on the importance of the high, mid, and low frequencies within the kick drum, check out this great video......

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Winner of the fourth songwriting contest

And the fourth winner is.......

The fourth and final (until next time) Home Recording Weekly songwriting contest has come to a close. A great big “Congratulations” is going out, from me, to Brandon Kinross, for taking the months' prize with his great song titled “Imagination”.

Brandon writes.......

'Imagination' was recorded in my bedroom like all the others on my reverbpage (link below). I have a very basic recording setup at the moment. Which includes a Cort acoustic, a Vantage electric and Orange crush amp. Its nothing fancy but it allows me to capture my ideas before they float on by. As a result many of my demos are raw and in their purest form. Sometimes it makes it a little tougher to give the rock songs the *umph* they need, but with enough post production you can still produce a demo you can listen to and share. Three cheers for drum loops and keyboard bass!

This song started out with just a basic unplugged live track. The main vocals and acoustic are performed by me, and the organ and harmony are by Mr. Bob Pompei. I think our voices work really well together and I thank him for adding an element to the song that I wouldn't be able to achieve alone. It really made the song shine. Every now and then you write a song that doesn't need any fancy sound effects or drums added. 'Imagination' stands out as one I would like to keep simple when the time comes to record it professionally. It was inspired by someone special but I apply it to many of the people I miss.

Songwriting is an addiction I love feeding. I'm the type of person that would leave a crowded room and sneak off into the bathroom, so I could call my answering machine and hum myself a song idea to save for later. I wouldn't be able to enjoy the rest of the night if I let it get away! In that spirit I try to record as much as possible. I hope to experience some real studio time one day and give many of these songs the justice they deserve.

To learn more about me and what I do, I welcome you to come find me on, or any of the links below. I have a huge variety of bedroom demos posted from Rock, to Pop to acoustics, ballads and even electronic instrumentals. Download them, share them, and sing them in the shower! I write almost everyday and new songs are posted weekly. If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact or Facebook me.

Thanks for listening!

Brandon Kinross”

Reverb -
Facebook -
Youtube -
Myspace -

A very good job indeed! This is yet another awesome quality “bedroom recording”, which I just love to get in the mail. The harmonies in “Imagination” are sounding like those of the band Extreme, as in “More than words”, and this song just flows real nice. Well done!

But wait......., what's this? Two contest winners?

Well, sort of.. How about another great big “Congratulations” for Fragile Transit, for their song titled “Blew me away”, which is a winner too!

Fragile Transit writes......

Thank you for your interest in Fragile Transit. The Songs submitted to you were recorded in my home studio using 2 Presonus firepods and Cubase 5. The mics are Apex 435(vocals), Shure sm58's(Vocals), A Samson 5 kit plus 2 audio technica condensors for overheads. Guitar Tokia SG, amp is a Peavey Delta Blues 15" combo. Drums are Sonor 3005 maple. Ibanez bass DI in.

Guitar/Lead Vocals - Josh rude

Recording/Mixing/mastering/bass/BG Vocals- Steve Seltenrich

Drums - Gary Stalwick

These "demos" have created quite a buzz and have landed us a full length album session at PM Recording in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.


Fragile Transit is a hard hitting trio from Outlook, Saskatchewan that have been compared to greats such as ZZtop, Judas Priest, GreenDay and Van Halen. Their mix of Rock, Blues, Swamp, and just a splash of Metal is what gives them the edge and manages to bring every crowd to its feet.

Fragile Transit are currently in studio with producer Josh Palmer and are working on their second recorded release in 3 years. They plan to follow up the debut of their new album “The Ride” with a rigorous tour schedule through Canada and the United States.

Fragile Transit was formed in 2007 by guitarist/vocalist Josh Rude and bassist/vocalist Steve Seltenrich. They were able to recruit long time friend Gary Stalwick to fill the position as drummer. With the trio complete they immediately got down to work writing original songs and showcasing their talent to the local scene in Saskatoon, opening for recording artist Mobile and working with other great talents such as Inward Eye, Whole Lotta Angus, Wide Glide, New Rock Underground, Tim Vaughn, Josh Palmer and Mr. Brownstone. It was not long before they were headlining all over Saskatchewan.

To feed their Rock ‘n’ Roll addiction, Fragile Transit has recorded a 5 song Ep, toured Saskatchewan and headlined venues like The Roxy and Buds On Broadway. They also appeared on the Shaw Cable television show “Stripped Down”, placed 3rd in Saskatchewan Band Warz and support the Relay For Life cancer fundraisers. Currently they are in pre-production of their new album “The Ride”.”

Steve and Stacy have entered this Fragile Transit rocker more times than anyone else has entered, and have been in second place each time that they tried. Well, darn it, they need to be recognized! What a great rock and roll tune indeed. This will stick in your head, so be warned! Good job!

Thanks for a great time, and a successful first run of the Home Recording Weekly songwriting contest! I will be holding off for a short while before starting the contest up again. Thanks for all of the great entries, and for all of the fun emails. You all rock! Please remember, just because you did not win does not mean that your material isn't good, it all was very good!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Blog notes...

First, Faze Action and “The nu sound of disco”.

My good friends at Loopmasters are very “hip” to have enrolled the brothers Lee to complete a funky and eclectic royalty free sample collection, Faze Action. These are killer loops, with all sorts of sampled sounds. Make sure that you check out the link, and listen to a demo or two.

The Home Recording Weekly song writers contest is quickly coming to a close. If you have been waiting to enter, then please, wait no more. I dont want you to miss your chance of winning. There will be more contests in the future, with some awesome prizes for the winners, but for now it will be closing. Thanks to everyone of you that entered, and a big thanks to IK Multimedia and Toontrack for supplying you with some great prizes.

Keep a look out for perhaps a new “how to video” all about mixing and EQ, in the very near future. Also some demos showing Toontrack Superior Drummer 2.0 , and how I like to work with it are in the works, and also some new demos dealing with Propellerhead Reason 5 and Record 1.5 are in the works too. I look forward to posting, and I hope that you will join me as they get posted!

Friday, September 3, 2010

10,000 Views strong!

Some few short months ago I decided that this blog needed to be heard! Reading “text” reviews about musical devices and plug-ins just wasn't cutting it. But just exactly how I could get audio to come into your homes wasn't very clear. Then, in a split second, it came to me..... YouTube video!

Well, I started to post some very simple videos about everything that I felt needed to be heard by the good people that follow the Home Recording Weekly blog. Armed with a simple video camera, and some basic editing software, I dug in. I certainly do not think that an Emmy or an Oscar award is coming, nor am I comfortable as I shoot video, but they can be quite fun to shoot.

At first, I could not believe that folks were actually watching the videos that I post! Next came some comments, and then subscribers too! You can imagine the shock that I felt!

So, without boring you all to tears, I just need to say a very loud “THANK YOU” to all of you for my first 10,000 views! You all rock!