How To

  • Engineers And Producers Talk Recording A Country-Pop Crossover Hit

    Over the last few years, country music’s popularity has skyrocketed. According to the Country Music Association, 42 percent of the US population is country music fans as of 2017. Artists like Kenny Chesney, Cassadee Pope and the incomparable Taylor Swift are dominating the charts with their perfect combination of country and pop.

    So what’s the secret to recording a crossover hit that takes the country by storm? We did some research on what the top engineers in country music are using to get achieve success. Here’s how some of the best in the business are getting their signature sound. Continue reading

  • The Importance Of Acoustic Treatment In A Studio

    Look, I don’t want to be the one to break it to you, but your studio could be lying to you.

    Picture this: You’re up late one night working on a new track. It sounds great, like really, really great. You’re super excited and you can’t wait to share it with others. But as soon as you play it in your car, at a friends house or anywhere other than your studio, it sounds like complete trash.

    Sound familiar? It’s a cold hard fact for everyone who hasn't worked on their studio's acoustic treatment. The good news is there’s a solution to your problem and we can help! Continue reading

  • The Basics Of Mixing Vocal Tracks

    Some people think the keys to a killer vocal sound are kept in high-end studios, surrounded by vintage gear. While many great records got cut that way, that’s not exactly how it works anymore.

    You can achieve a great vocal sound on a laptop, as long as you understand how all the moving parts work together. There’s no big secret. It’s just EQ, dynamics, and effects. Oh, and a killer performance of course. Continue reading

  • Vintage King's Introduction To Mastering In The Box


    Mastering is a dark and mysterious art. It’s performed by sage-like engineers with super-human ears and years of experience. They take great mixes and somehow make them even better. They’re able to make the lows deeper, the midrange more punchy, and the highs more brilliant.

    How? What are their secrets? Patience, Padawan. All will be revealed in time. But first, we must answer an age-old question... Continue reading

  • How To Get The Raw Country Sounds Of Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson

    Country music has seen a lot of changes over the years. From the ethereal sounds of Hank to the soft countrypolitan style of Patsy and the raucous rhythms of Merle and Buck to the dulcet sounds of Dolly. Heck, country musicians even became pop superstars, thanks to Shania, Garth and Taylor.

    But in the midst of these hyper-produced sugar-coated country-pop mega-hits, some modern country artists are revitalizing the roots of the genre. Artists like Sturgill Simpson and Chris Stapleton have become known for their honest, authentic recordings that find more in common with John Prine and less with Florida Georgia Line. Continue reading

  • A Glossary And Guide To Sound Check

    A lot of work goes into putting on a great concert. It can take days, weeks or even months of preparation to make sure that everything goes smoothly. When it's time to sound check a band through a venue's live sound rig, it's important that you have a solid grasp of what's going on and the day's schedule. 

    While every show is different and some have more moving parts than others, there are some basic terms that apply to all levels of gigs. Check out our Live Sound Glossary below and learn more about a few of the key elements of sound check that will help you get each act sounding just right. Continue reading

  • How To Get Gritty Rock Vocals Like Metallica And Foo Fighters

    When you think of hard rock music, you probably think of roaring guitars and thunderous drums, but one of the most important parts of any song is the vocal. Think of what Metallica would sound like without James Hetfield's signature, growling "YEAH!" beckoning you to bang your head. It just wouldn't be the same.  

    The key to getting a gritty, in-your-face vocal tones like Metallica, Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers all starts with finding the right mic. Read on to learn about some of the gear used by these rock heroes and work on bringing powerful vocals to your next session.  Continue reading

  • The Do's and Don'ts of Being an Assistant Engineer

    Before bedroom producers and YouTube videos took over the music business, there was a clear path to success for aspiring audio engineers. When you think about it, it's kind of ironic, because there was no formal training like there is today.

    Instead, those interested in the craft of audio engineering would go into apprenticeship mode. They would start as interns or runners and learn on the job, eventually working their way up to an assistant engineer position. Continue reading

  • Getting The Washed Out Vocal Sounds Of Kurt Vile And The War On Drugs

    A while back on the blog, we covered how to get huge, breathy, colorful, rich vocal sounds like Damien Rice, Ray Lamontagne and Beck. It inspired more than a few people to send in questions to Vintage King and we're super excited to start doing more blogs where we break down how to get the sounds of your favorite artists.

    For the next blog in this how-to series, we're taking a look at the sound of the current class of indie rockers who are riding high on the charts. A question submitted by Carlos R. asks, “How do you get that warm, spacey, washed-out vocal tone you hear from artists like Kurt Vile, Courtney Barnett, The War on Drugs and Bon Iver?" Continue reading

  • The Best Books On Recording And Mixing

    "Books are for nerds. I haven't read a book since high school. Why would I read a book when I could just watch tutorials on YouTube?”

    — An unsuccessful audio engineer

    Successful engineers in the music industry are lifelong learners. It doesn't matter if you have a degree in the recording arts and sciences, or even if you've cut 100 records — there's always room to learn something new. Continue reading

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