If you’re a producer or recording artist, there’s often no better way to improve at what you you do than to learn about how other successful artists have produced their albums.
While there is no “correct” way to record music and get a great mix and master, there are popular albums that seem to have been recorded just perfectly.
These two documentaries offer a great view into how some of this past century’s most memorable recordings were made.
Muscle Shoals chronicles how a small blue-collar Alabama town became a recording hub for some of the most iconic artists in music history.
Following mostly the story of Rick Hall’s FAME studio, it shows how a handful of local studio musicians calling themselves “the swampers” were able to capture a magic sound that brought everyone from Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett to Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones to Florence, Alabama (of all places!) to make their records.
When Dave Grohl found out that the legendary LA studio Sound City was in bankruptcy, he decided to buy its one-of-a-kind analog board and tell the story of it going from being the most sought after recording studios for rock albums to bankruptcy in the face of digital recording.
When Sound City Studios was established in 1969, they inadvertently had created a fantastic space for recording drums. Against all convention, the large box-shaped room combined with the custom Neve 8028 board had a unique way of mixing drums and other instruments. That sound brought some of the biggest rock acts around, including Neil Young, Tom Petty, Nirvana and Red Hot Chili Peppers to name a few.
Sound City explores how those albums were created as well as what might have been lost in the revolutionary transition from analog to digital recording.
What’s great about both Muscle Shoals and Sound City is that they offer an inside glimpse into how some really great records were produced, removing some of the mystique that can surround getting a chart-topping mix and master. They’re a reminder that getting that magic sounding mix takes the right combination of musicianship, space, gear and a little luck. And, when that mix is just right, it can make for an unforgettable record.
Make Pro Songs
Welcome to Sage Audio — where we’ve been providing top-tier studio mastering services and audio education for over two decades now. We understand the challenges of achieving that elusive "professional" sound and are committed to helping you attain it in your own mixes and masters.
That’s why we created the Sage Audio Membership™.
Just for signing up, you receive 10 free mastered songs per month with your own dedicated mastering engineer, unlimited mixing feedback, and access to Sage Audio University™ mixing and mastering courses - which include start-to-finish walkthrough sessions for various genres and 35 multitrack sessions for hands-on practice.
This platform is supported by our thriving community and tight-knit network of audio engineers. Every day, we see and hear great wins in the membership from both new and seasoned engineers, noticing a huge improvement in their mixes and masters after joining.
There are 6 unique value-points inside the Sage Audio membership, so let’s go over each one so you can decide if it’s the right fit for you.
1. 10 Free Mastered Songs Per Month
- Get 10 free mastered songs per month with your own dedicated professional mastering engineer so you can get all your mixes sounding like professional songs.
- All 10 free mastered songs per month will accumulate in your account and will not expire as for as long as you remain a member.
- You’ll get your own dedicated Sage Audio mastering engineer to discuss all your project needs 1:1 so they can create custom masters that are specific to you and sound exactly how you want.
- Unlimited revisions with your dedicated Sage Audio mastering engineer. As a standard of our service, we are not happy until you are happy with the sound of your masters.
- All masters are delivered as commercial, industry-standard high-resolution 24-bit HD WAV masters so they will sound clean and clear on every platform.
2. Unlimited Mixing Feedback
- Get unlimited mixing feedback from Sage Audio engineers and community members so you can quickly improve your mixes.
- This is highly valuable - giving you access to a thriving community of mixing engineers who can provide you with feedback about what you can improve first before sending your mix to be professionally mastered.
3. Sage Audio University™ (SAU) — (Mixing and Mastering Education Platform)
- SAU is a modern audio engineering education platform that includes in-depth mixing and mastering course curriculums that match the new music industry.
- SAU is designed for every experience level, ranging from first-time mixing engineers to advanced engineers. The techniques and concepts taught can be applied to any DAW to create industry-leading mixes without expensive software or plugins - and free plugin alternatives are suggested throughout every course curriculum.
- SAU course curriculums include Start-to-Finish session walkthrough lessons for multiple genres so you can follow along with your preferred genre.
- SAU Membership Degree Certification, which can be downloaded and showcased on your website, social channels, and portfolio for as long as you remain a member.
- Get first access to all future SAU course curriculums to continually build and refine your mixing and mastering skills as the industry evolves.
4. Sage Audio Community
- The Sage Audio community is a tight-knit community of passionate audio engineers that can provide you with real-world mixing feedback, discussions, mix competitions, networking, collaborations, and more.
5. 700+ In-depth Sage Audio Mixing and Mastering Videos
- Access 700+ in-depth Sage Audio mixing and mastering videos - curated and organized into playlists so you can take a deep-dive into all aspects of audio engineering with thousands of hours of concise, expertly crafted Sage Audio videos to continually improve your mixing and mastering skills at your own pace.
6. 70+ GB of Curated Sage Audio Downloadable Content, Including:
- 36 multitrack sessions spanning multiple genres for mixing practice.
- 57 un-mastered mixes spanning multiple genres for mastering practice.
- 62 Recommended Free Plugins List (vetted, tested, and approved, so you don’t have to).
- 39 Recommended Paid Plugins List (vetted, tested, and approved, so you don’t have to).
- 58 Sage Audio custom plugin presets to improve your mixes and masters.
- Sage Audio Membership Badge to showcase on your website, social channels, and portfolio.