Archive for Music Studio

New Song

Posted in MP3's, Music with tags , , , , on December 18, 2015 by The Buddha Rats

Happy Holidays!


Recording At Home: A Little R&R.

Posted in Commentary, How To's, Making Music with tags , , , on December 7, 2014 by The Buddha Rats

Writing and recording at home is challenging. Resources are scarce.  My room is all but untreated (unless you count the odd painting on the wall, a kingsize bed in the room, no echo chamber, no mixing board, no vocal or drum room and no access to real tape other than Scotchtape). I just read an article in which someone thought that his Mom’s cooking rivaled or surpassed anything he’s had in a “proper” restaurant. Oh yea, peasant cooking… rustic cooking at it’s best is a real pleasure. Same thing with Rustic Recording.

Here are tips for getting the most out of your recordings. You won’t win a Grammy, but isn’t Coldplay nominated this year?… You see my point?

1) Use mic distance to your advantage.

Recordings aren’t just stereo or mono.  Create depth using multiple mics as well as by using reverb and EQ to great effect. The brighter the sound, the more up front it appears. Using lo-pass and hi-pass filters as your “go-to” tool will keep things sounding natural and make sounds that compete for space easier to manage and fix.

2) Go DI for bass.

Bass signals plugged in direct to your daw will end up lifeless, but you can “fix it in the mix”. I always go DI and end up duping the original track 2x. Now that I’ve got 3 bass tracks:

  • Leave the DI track as is.
  • Route track 2 through an ampsim.
  • Route track 3 through a fuzz or distortion box.

Blend these tracks to create a tasty bass track.

3) Perfect your performance before you hit record.

If you can’t play it all the way through without that red light on, you’re not ready to have a go at it. Seriously- learn your material. Make sure you can sing it and play it.

4) Buy the best instruments you can afford and use them.

And this doesn’t mean that you have to subscribe to the myth that your guitar needs to be a 1959 Les Paul in order to be considered “best”. I like Elliott Smith and was pleased to learn that the entire Roman Candle album was recorded using a cheap Domino parlor guitar.  Best= what works best for the material. New instruments might not work as well as something old or beat up even (have you seen the hole in Willie Nelson’s Martin?).

5) Drum machines suck.

They’re repetitive and lack soul. Pepper any drum machine track with real tambourines, claps, woodblocks, etc. anything that sounds real- even shaking a key ring full of keys will go a long way to impart that touch that only a real human can. Or better yet, just find a real drummer.

6) Don’t marathon mix.

Take breaks every hour. Let your ears rest for 15-20 minutes. It will make a big difference. Ear fatigue, especially when listening to high volume rock tracks, is a death sentence for quality.

7) Audition your mixes before and after.

There are people who can actually mix well using headphones. Just be sure to A/B them on car stereo, home stereo, etc.

8) Elevate you demos with proper mastering.

Home recordings can sound cheap because they often aren’t mastered properly. Even Ozone (when used sparingly) can yield great results.

9) Mistakes= Happy Accidents. Keep Them.

You are making music for real live flesh and blood people to hear. Your music should sound like it was made by one. Mistakes happen. Nothing is perfect. Remember that.

10) Always, always experiment.

Do something you haven’t tried. It might make your song better.

I’m Listening To You, Are You Listening To Me?

Posted in Music with tags , , , on November 17, 2012 by The Buddha Rats

It’s great to be back working on new stuff with my old friend and musical partner. My move to a new studio, with plenty of space to leave everything up and running is already working out well.

I’ve got lots of new tunes written, some of them demo’d and I’m happy to share the IP stuff on my Love Shout blog. Here’s one that I’ve been working on. It’s a little nonsense rocker. Something quick, with a good groove and some hazy guitars.

Some things don’t change: I played the basic tracks- drums, bass, guitar, vox and Big Daddy, thank God, is on lead git. We hope you like it.

I’m Listening To You, Are You Listening To Me?

Written, and recorded by The Buddha Rats. Copyright 2012 Drew Gold. World Rights Reserved. Use without permission is theft and leads to physical & financial pain, so make sure you ask first.

The Buddha Rats ® is the property of Andrew Gold. Reg. USPTO.

Downsize your DAW

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , on September 25, 2010 by The Buddha Rats

Is there such a thing as having too many VST/VSTi’s in your plugins folder?

This topic never gets old for me, especially since I’m guilty of buying, installing and actually using way too many plug ins. It’s hard to know when too much is enough, and (once again) I’m at that point where I need to downsize. Not because of hard drive space (and keeping the dll’s on your hd won’t hurt performance if they aren’t all being used in a project), but strictly from a workflow/decision making standpoint.

It’s important to start by removing your least favorite plugs. How many eq’s do you really need? Same thing with compressors, drums vsts, pianos, etc.. Take the time to take stock of the things you use the most and remove the rest. Once you’ve narrowed it down, and have removed the plugs, be sure to run a registry cleaner to delete the unused strings. Follow it up with a defrag program (I use defraggler) and you’re good to go.

The most important thing to remember is this:

Having too many choices can be distracting, and by working with less, and having a more economical approach, your music will sound more cohesive because you’re using the same plugins. Additionally, your song creation will be quicker and in the end you will gain a deeper understanding of how each plugin affects the music.



A Quick Thought On Mastering.

Posted in Music Mastering with tags , , on April 25, 2010 by The Buddha Rats

Not everything you do needs to be sent to a Mastering Engineer for a final polishing. There are those  times when you’ve done it properly from the get go.

But for those of you who need some clarification as to how to best prep your tracks for the final mastering job, here is an extremely rough guide.

  1. Record the tracks as usual, adding EQ and compression as you normally would. Pay careful attention not to push your track volumes too high or overly EQ or compress your tracks unless you are looking for something extreme (like a really squashed drum track).
  2. I like to add EQ and compression on my mastering chain, as well some spatial and sonic sweeteners. I find that this is really all I need to get a good overall level and sound for my songs. Yes, each tune has different dynamics and will sound a little different from tune to tune, but I don’t see that as a negative. Like I’ve said in other posts: IF EVERYTHING IS ONE LEVEL IT’S A BIT LIKE TYPING IN ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME. You get the picture?
  3. Should you require a final polishing, then you need to take your  tracks & export them as individual waves. These should then be  sent to a Mastering Engineer so that they  fit together sound-wise as an album, etc..

REMEMBER: There’s no need to master them twice. If you are happy with the overall level, EQ & compression you got from the plugs on your master chain, then leave the song alone.

Mitch Is A Badass Guitar Player Part Deux

Posted in Music with tags , , on February 14, 2010 by The Buddha Rats

I love this tune. It’s an homage to Revolver era Lennon (or just shamelessly derivative), but either way you look at it, the solo by Mitch kicks ass!

We added his solo to my basic tracks back in late 2007 after a few rounds at the local bar. Mitch was playing his Custom Shop Les Paul with the Joe Walsh/Jimmy Page circuitry.

Turn It On

Written, and recorded by The Buddha Rats. Copyright 2008 Drew Gold. World Rights Reserved. Use without permission is theft and leads to physical & financial pain, so make sure you ask first.


Abbey Road

Posted in VST Instruments and EQ's with tags , , , , on February 1, 2010 by The Buddha Rats

Abbey Road plug-ins emulate the hardware used to EQ and enhance just about every Beatles album, and countless other recordings done at EMI in the 1960’s and 1970’s. If you are a fan of music, then you know the sound, and I can’t say enough great things about these vst plug-ins.


This bundle contains all three of our plug-in products: the Brilliance Pack, TG Mastering Pack and TG12413 Limiter – in native or TDM formats for $699 and $999 respectively. The native bundle provides them in RTAS, AU and VST formats. The TDM Bundle provides them in TDM/RTAS formats.

The Brilliance Pack provides authentic emulations of the EMI RS127 and RS135 EQ units, which were built in the early 1960s to supplement the EQ on the legendary REDD mixing consoles. These ‘presence boxes’ were used on countless seminal recordings at Abbey Road during the ’60s, including almost every album by The Beatles.

The TG Mastering Pack provides authentic emulations of EQ and filter modules from the original EMI TG12410 transfer console. These consoles were custom-built for EMI’s studios and have been the centrepiece of Abbey Road’s mastering rooms for more than 30 years.
The TG12413 plug-in is an authentic emulation of the compressor / limiter from the legendary EMI TG12345 mixing console, which was used on many classic recordings such as The Beatles’ Abbey Road and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. The TG12345 consoles were custom-built for EMI’s studios and were never sold commercially.

For more information on the individual plug-ins included in the bundles, please visit their product pages.

Terms of plug-in bundle:

– The bundle license is delivered automatically to the ilok account specified when an order is placed.
– The TDM Bundle is priced at $999 and the Native Bundle is priced at $699.

– The individual licenses supplied in the bundle are bound together. They cannot be separated from the bundle by the user.
– All bundle sales are final. No refunds can be given after delivery of the full product licenses, so please test compatibility with your system first using our free 10-day trials.
– The TDM bundle provides TG12413 Limiter, TG Mastering Pack and Brilliance Pack plug-ins in TDM/RTAS formats only.
– The Native bundle provides TG12413 Limiter, TG Mastering Pack and Brilliance Pack plug-ins in native formats only (RTAS, Audio Unit and VST).
– Native and TDM bundles also provide the TG12413 Limiter and TG Mastering Pack in AudioSuite format for offline processing in Pro Tools.

System Requirements

Pro Tools HD/LE/M-Powered or any AU/VST host

Mac OS X or Windows XP/Vista

iLok Smart Key and account