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Best Budget Audio Interfaces

How do you record audio into your computer? How do you listen back? If you're a musician looking to record guitar, vocals, or even start producing music in your computer, an audio interface needs to be one of your first purchases. Thankfully, a good audio interface doesn't need to break the bank!

The Audio Interface is a key feature in any professional or home recording studio. In fact, for many artists and sound engineers, the audio interface is singlehandedly the most important piece of hardware for recording because it provides the direct instrument inputs to a PC which will be used for editing and master recordings.

There are many factors that shape a great audio interface unit. And they come in all shapes and sizes. The purpose of this article is to untangle the complexities of this piece of equipment and give you a clearer picture of the best audio interfaces on the market right now so you can buy the perfect audio interface for you.

Note: This article may contain affiliate...

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Best DAW for Beginners Under $100

These days, everyone from novices to Billie Eilish writes and records music inside a Digital Audio Workstation, or DAW. There are a ton of DAW choices out there, but they aren't created equal. And most of them aren't very beginner-friendly!

In this article, I'll show you why Reason 11 Intro is the best DAW for beginners under $100. I'll then show you how to turbo charge your new DAW with a bunch of hand-selected free plugins and free loops. 

By the time you're done with this article, you'll be on the road to a pro-grade studio, on a budget. And one that's actually accessible to beginners!

Note: This article may contain affiliate links, meaning I would receive a commission - at no cost to you - for any products you purchase.

What Makes a DAW Good for Beginners?

A beginner DAW isn't necessarily the same as the best DAW for the pros. First, beginners and pros and have different needs. Second, they have different levels of experience.

You wouldn't want to let a...

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The Best Mastering Plugins the "Pros" Are Using For Incredible Sounding Songs

Do you feel like your songs are lacking that special something you hear in professional recordings? Are you struggling to make your songs loud and punchy? Or do you feel like they're just missing a little extra polish? Then you need to up your mastering game.

Mastering is a key element to any successful recording. Its purpose is to capture the essence of your music. You can create the best song in the world but if it isn’t mastered correctly, it will come out wimpy and underwhelming.

Mastering is the element that separates a track that sounds like it was recorded using an iPhone in a garage from a track that sounds like it was recorded in Abbey Road Studios. In this article, we will explore the best mastering plugins for your tracks so you can capture the full essence and energy of your music.

But before we do, if you want to learn more about mastering, check out this free mastering cheat sheet that will walk you through the most important steps in the mastering...

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Best Rhodes VST Plugins for All Budgets

A Rhodes Piano has one of the most distinctive sounds in music. From silky to sultry, soulful to psychedelic, Rhodes have been heard on countless hits. While there are many Rhodes VST plugins available, they aren’t created equal. The purpose of this article is to dive into the best Rhodes VST of all price points so you can decide for yourself which one is best for you!

A Brief History of Rhodes Pianos

The Rhodes piano invented by Harold Rhodes is an iconic electric piano used by many big name artists such as The Beatles, Steely Dan, Billy Joel, The Bee Gees and The Doors. The Fender Rhodes gained popularity in the 1970’s when it was mass produced after its sale to CBS Entertainment Group. Rhodes keyboards were extremely popular particularly in soul, pop and jazz music. However, the keyboard was utilized by artists across all genres.

With the advent of synthesizers, electric pianos became increasingly popular. And soon enough, people began emulating Rhodes pianos. As...

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Amazing New Free Valhalla Reverb Plugin - Supermassive! Quick Supermassive Tutorial and Demos

This amazing new plugin from Valhalla - Supermassive - creates incredible lush sounds somewhere between reverb and delay. It can also be used for chorusing, flanging and more.

This video provides a quick tutorial to create your own patches in Supernova and shows some demos of the Supernova presets. Now go download it for yourself!

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Best Distortion Plugins & Saturation VSTs of 2020

Let’s face it, every musician wants to turn heads and maximize their creative expression with their sound. How do you achieve this in a way that doesn’t break the bank? Simple.

Distortion and saturation plugins!

Long story short, these plugins add frequencies in a certain way to make a track sound like it was recorded in a multimillion-dollar recording studio. In this article, you will learn about the best distortion and saturation plugins plus a few alternatives so you can take your music to the next level.

Note: This article may contain affiliate links, meaning I would receive a commission - at no cost to you - for any products you purchase.

Best Distortion Plugin – FabFilter Saturn

From warm and clean saturation to chaotic and extreme distortion, FabFilter Saturn delivers on both ends of the spectrum and everything in-between to elevate your music. Saturn has a slew of modulation options. For example, you can choose from over 150 ready-to-go killer presets or...

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The Best Piano VST Plugins of 2020 for All Budgets

Are you frustrated with trying to get a realistic sounding piano on your computer? Or are you just looking for the best sounding pianos out there? In this article I've highlighted the best overall piano plugin package, the best grand piano VST, the best free piano VST, as well as some cool alternatives like felt pianos.

In my opinion, a great virtual piano can be nearly indistinguishable from the real thing. Especially with the help of a few studio tricks and a good reverb to make your piano really sparkle and shine. In my opinion, Native Instrument's Komplete represents the best combination of quality, variety, and value. But there are a lot of great choices available that have deep focus on a single piano, like the Garritan Abbey Road Studio CFX Concert Grand Piano. 

Note: some of the links below may be affiliate links, meaning that I receive a commission if you purchase through them.

Introduction to Piano VST’s

Piano Virtual Studio Technology (VST) is a...

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D16 Group Lush-101 Polyphonic Synthesizer Review

I haven’t had this much fun with a new synth in a long time. The D16 Group’s approach to the legendary Roland SH-101 has left me with a huge smile on my face and a desire to slap it on all my songs. The Lush-101 is more than just a retread of a classic synth, though. It adds a ton of cool features that make it usable in a huge variety of songs, from classic EDM sounds to ambient.

The Lush-101 sounds like an authentic analog synthesizer, and makes you want to keep playing. But that doesn’t limit it to any particular use. It makes great pads. Leads, keys, and basses. In fact, it sounds so good that the first song I finished using it was accepted by a music licensing library I had been trying to work with for several months!

In this review, you’ll find out how to get up and running with the Lush-101, uncover some of its killer features, and get to hear demos of the Lush-101 at work.

Note: this article is based on a review copy of Lush-101 provided by D16. This...

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Spitfire Studio Brass Review and Demo

Today we’ll review Spitfire Audio’s incredible new Studio Brass Pro package. This brass collection is one of the most lifelike, usable brass vsts I’ve used. You can clearly hear how all the articulations of a wide range of brass instruments, played through a range of microphones, can sound so present.

Spitfire Studio Brass Playability

But what I love about this VST is not just how good it sounds – it’s how playable it is. Once you start using it, you’ll see how the instruments are setup in a way to be played naturally. If you just use your ears, they’ll tell you which ranges to play them in, which articulation would sound best, and how to control their dynamics. It’s a very organic process, and helps you feel really connected to the process of writing brass.

What’s Included

Spitfire Studio Brass Pro is loaded full of instruments and articulations that can take you anywhere from mellow, moving slow lines to powerful...

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Fab Filter Pro-Q 3 Review & Tips

I’ve tried a lot of EQs in my life. Each one promising some incredible vintage model the promised to make my life better. To be honest, none of them really have done much for me – until the Fab Filter Pro-Q 3.

And that’s not hype (you can watch my Fab Filter Pro-Q 3 review and see I’m not lying – I’ve got a terrible poker face).

You see, the Pro-Q 3 doesn’t emulate any legendary device, it doesn’t do saturation, it doesn’t have any magic fairy dust. It just lets you make smart, well-informed mixing decisions.

Unlike other plugins, it presents you with tons of extra information that allows you to be a better mixer. And when you use EQ better, you don’t need any fairy dust.

It’s also loaded with amazing features like mid-side processing, dynamic EQ, and a spiffy visualizer. I did a whole post here on how powerful mixing with the Pro-Q 3 can be. Plus there’s a ton of curve shapes, from filters to shelves....

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How To Make Money as Musician by Pursuing Your Passion

This 5-day mini course will show you exactly how to launch a music licensing side hustle so that you can finally get paid for your music!