Essential Guides

Mastering at home with WaveLab

Despite the flexibility of modern DAWs, there are some tools out there that make home mastering a much more straightforward – and professional sounding – endeavour. Steinberg’s WaveLab is perhaps the king of these mastering-in-the-box solutions. Here’s why...

An introduction to stem mastering

As we near the end of the decade, the once ‘dark art’ of mastering has now become a widely understood and documented process. In this feature, we’ll explore some of the newer innovations in this most vital of processes, including a guide to getting hands-on with stem mastering.

10 tips on optimising computers for music-making

Having trouble getting your computer to run your DAW efficiently? Think you need a new one? Before you splash out, try our tips for optimising your setup and save money and time.

Getting to know virtual-analogue synthesis

Continuing our look at the concurrent development of the synth and the capabilities of instrument modelling, we focus now on recreations of the physical characteristics of analogue circuitry…

Understanding physical modelling synthesis

As we near the end of our synthesis masterclass, we turn our attention to how the evolution of the synthesizer has developed in tandem with computing technology, leading to the world of virtual synths that we all live in today…

6 ways to make a career in music technology

Want to turn that (possibly very) expensive hobby of yours into a career? Want to make money from the flashing hardware and great software that you use? There are some obvious and not so obvious paths – and we cover them all here…

Microphone Shootout: Small Diaphragm Condensers under $200

In the first of a new series, we compare several of the most widely used budget small-diaphragm condensers at Bristol’s Invada Studios to find out which stands tall as the best all-purpose microphone for guitar and vocal recording.

How to write better songs with pro advice from Jez Ashurst, Bernard Butler and more

Though we can discuss the musical technicalities of songwriting in great detail, we’d be hard pressed to deliver the same level of insight that the following collection of people can offer. From academics such as Linton Bennett and Emma Hooper to acclaimed artist Catherine Davies and pro songwriters like Bernard Butler and Jez Ashurst, we present fresh perspectives on the world of modern songwriting from a range of experienced professionals.

The core principles of songwriting

In the pages of MusicTech we tend to focus mainly on the technology, gear and the intricacies of music production. What we spend relatively less time talking about is the fundamental core of everything we do, regardless of genre; and that’s the compositional process itself. In a linked series of features, we explore approaches to making songs and tracks with practical guidance and experienced industry insight, as well as taking a look at the modern world of professional songwriting and the ever-growing interest in songwriting training.

The history of drum machines

Branching out of the world of synthesis, the incorporation of drum machines alongside sequencers and synths has served as a fundamental staple of many performers’ live setups, as well as a studio fixture even in the digital age. We look back at the history and evolution of the humble drum machine, and learn how it became such a fixture.
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