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Recording Dojo

A multiband EQ applied to reverb.

Learning the ins and outs of reverb can help you access a more creative approach to your mixes.

Hello, and welcome to another Dojo. This month I want to give you some creative ideas for using the oldest natural effect we have—reverb.

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With a team of experts on hand, we look at six workhorse vintage amps you can still find for around $1,000 or less.

If you survey the gear that shows up on stages and studios for long enough, you’ll spot some patterns in the kinds of guitar amplification players are using. There’s the rotating cast of backline badasses that do the bulk of the work cranking it out every day and night—we’re all looking at you, ’65 Deluxe Reverb reissue.

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LUFS offers three different readings, with LUFS long-term, or integrated, being the one digital streaming platforms are paying the most attention to.

Streaming platforms each have their own volume standards for uploaded audio, and if you don’t cater your mixes to each, you risk losing some dynamic range.

Here’s the scenario: You’ve finished your latest masterpiece, and now it’s time to start considering how your mixes and their loudness levels will be perceived across all digital platforms (Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, etc.). In addition, you might also make sure your music adheres to the strict audio broadcast standards used in film, TV, podcasts, video games, and immersive audio formats like Dolby Atmos.

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Our columnist breaks down the science behind the dB unit specific to digital systems, and divulges a perennial question about comparative amp loudness.

Hello, and welcome to another Dojo. Last month, I focused on the history and development of the VU meter, and then defined some of the more confusing terms regarding decibels (dB, dBu, dBA, and dBSPL), as well as various ways to measure loudness and amplitude. I also asked: “Is a 100-watt amp twice as loud as a 50-watt amp?”—the answer shall be revealed presently. But first, I’m going to focus on a relative newcomer to the scene: dBFS. Tighten up your belts, the Dojo is now open.

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In this edition of Recording Dojo, our columnist sheds light on the differences between decibel measurements, and offers a breakdown of real-life equivalents of basic sound level values.

Starting this month, I’d like to bring some clarity to some widely misused audio terms that engineers struggle with, especially when it comes to mixing and mastering. Do you know what a dB is and/or how it got its name, or understand the difference between dB, dBu, dBA, dBSPL, and dBFS and how they inherently apply to your recordings? Tighten up your belts, the Dojo is now open.

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