Articles

Mixing Article
Dan Lombardi

Low End of Your Mix Not Hitting? Here’s Why 😱

If all of that luscious, deep low-end that should be on your track is missing, or if it’s not as present as you’d like, there’s a good chance you’re experiencing something called phase cancellation in your mix. In this article, I’m going to show you how to diagnose this problem, and provide some solutions that will help you fix it so you can achieve the clear, present and impactful bass sound your mix desperately needs.

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Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

Forget Sidechain Compression, Do THIS Instead 🤯 (MORE Track Separation!)

Forget Sidechain Compression, Do THIS Instead 🤯 (MORE Track Separation!) Sidechain compression is a great method of creating separation between sounds, but there’s a better way….Multiband Sidechain Compression. In this video, Toronto music producer and mixer 5PiECE overviews how he uses multiband sidechain compression on competing sounds to achieve better separation between them.  This includes

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Mixing Article
Dan Lombardi

How To Fix Muddy Vocals

Fixing muddy vocals has to be one of the most common issues music creators and engineers face when it comes to mixing. In this article, we’re going to explore my favorite strategies for correcting this problem so you can sound better. You can also watch my YouTube video How To Fix Muddy Vocals here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gr5lvF2eYdY&feature=emb_imp_woyt Identifying The

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Interview
Dan Lombardi

5PiECE Talks Canadian Music Grants on Thoughts In Stereo

5PiECE was recently a guest on Thoughts in Stereo with multi-platinum award winning producers Bijan Amir (Metro Boomin, Offset, Lil Wayne) and Nick Henriques (Loud Luxury, DVBBS, Afrojack). While chatting on the podcast, he discussed Canadian music grants, how they work and how artists and labels can tap into this free funding for themselves. Click

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Personal Development Article
Dan Lombardi

How Often Should Artists Be Releasing New Music?

New music helps artists stay relevant and top of mind – but is there such as a thing as releasing music too frequently? What about the opposite – can you keep a fan-base engaged with only one big release every year? If you’re an artist, you may be asking yourself: when exactly should I be

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Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

How To Get Your Music On Streaming Services

Watch on YouTube – How To Get Your Music On Streaming Services Looking to get your music onto paid streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music? Find out how in this video. Sign up for DistroKid today using this link and get 7% off (BEST VALUE!) Song Used In This Video – 5PiECE Ft. EverythingOShauN

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Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

4 Vocal Editing Tips

Watch on YouTube – 4 Vocal Editing TIps Toronto producer and engineer 5PiECE overviews 4 key vocal editing tips to improve the sound of your vocal tracks. Songs Used In This Tutorial 5PiECE – The Morning (Unreleased, TBD) Staasia Daniels – Vulnerable LeftField Keele – Ridin Round 2 Caj Flow Ft. Keely Valentine & AD1B

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Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

How To Get Vocals To Cut

Watch on YouTube – How To Get Vocals To Cut Toronto music producer and audio engineer 5PiECE shows you how to get vocals to cut through the mix by using a simple tool on the master bus. Song Used In Tutorial – “No Games” by Caj Flow Feat. M3L You’d Also Probably Like… 3 Ways

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Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

How To Save And Send A Pro Tools Session

Watch on YouTube – How To Save And Send A Pro Tools Session Toronto music producer and audio engineer 5PiECE shows you how to save and send a Pro Tools session to another Pro Tools user. This method allows you to copy all of your files and important data so the person on the receiving

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Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

3 Ways To EQ Vocals

Watch on YouTube – 3 Ways To EQ Vocals Toronto music producer and audio engineer 5PiECE shows you 3 approaches to use when EQing your vocals. SONG USED IN TUTORIAL “Pudding” by Staasia Daniels You’d Also Probably Like… How To Fix Harsh Vocals How To Get Vocals To Cut

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Music Grants
Dan Lombardi

A Secret Way To Get Paid As A Music Creator

Toronto grant writer and music creator 5PiECE tells the story of how he discovered a new way to get paid within the Canadian music industry. Learn how to apply to a Canadian music grant by taking our premium training program “How To Apply To Canadian Music Grants“ You’d Also Probably Like… Grant Programs That Pay

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Music Grants
Dan Lombardi

Grant Programs That Pay You To Make Music

Toronto grant writer 5PiECE shows you the 3 grant programs he likes to explore in order to pay himself to make music. If you’re a Canadian music creator that wants to get paid for your music, these are the perfect programs to apply to in order to do just that. Learn how to apply to

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Music Grants
Dan Lombardi

The Best Grant For First-Time Applicants

Toronto grant writer 5PiECE talks about the best music grant to apply to as a first-time applicant. Eligibility may vary depending on a number of criteria. If you’re a music creator in Canada – don’t sleep on this opportunity. Learn how to apply to a Canadian music grant by taking our premium training program “How

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Music Grants
Dan Lombardi

5 Things To Do Before Applying To A Music Grant

Toronto grant writer 5PiECE overviews the 5 things every music creator should do before applying to a music grant. If you’re a music creator looking to secure music grant funding, you should check out our premium online course that teaches you how to apply step-by-step. You’d Also Probably Like… The Best Grant For First-Time Applicants

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Music Grants
Dan Lombardi

Debunking 5 Commons Myths About Music Grants

Toronto music grant writer 5PiECE discusses and debunks 5 common myths about Canadian music grants. This is applicable to most popular music funding organizations including FACTOR, Canada Council for the Arts and provincial and municipal organizations like Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council. Learn how to apply to a Canadian music grant by taking

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Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

How To Mix Fat Kick Drums

Toronto producer and engineer 5PiECE shows you how he created a fat kick drum sound with an existing sample and some additional processing. Where To Find Funding For Your Music (FREE EBOOK) SONGS USED IN TUTORIAL Waste My Time by Caj Flow & AD1B

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Personal Development Article
Dan Lombardi

Should I Quit My Job To Pursue Music Full-Time?

There come’s a time in every music creator’s life where they become frustrated at their day jobs and begin to ask themselves this question. I encounter it on a regular basis from my students and clients who all want to know the answer. You may even find yourself wondering it right now. I should know

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Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

How To Enhance 2-Track Beats

Toronto producer and engineer 5PiECE shows you how to spice up 2-track beats when working with track-outs is not an option. Where To Find Funding For Your Music (FREE EBOOK) SONGS USED IN TUTORIAL How I Feel by LeftField Keele Copyright 5PiECE Music 2020

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5PiECE Music Academy
Dan Lombardi

What’s In A DJ Service Pack

In this tutorial, producer and engineer 5PiECE breaks down what’s in a DJ service pack. He also shows you an example of a DJ pack he’s created for one of his own records. Where To Find Funding For Your Music (FREE EBOOK) HOW TO MAKE A RADIO EDIT (MENTIONED IN THIS TUTORIAL) SONG USED IN

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5PiECE Music Academy
Dan Lombardi

How To Make A Clean Version or Radio Edit of a Song

If you’re wondering how to make a clean version of a song, you found the right tutorial. Watch as producer and engineer 5PiECE shows you his various techniques for creating a clean radio edit of a song in Pro Tools. These techniques and approaches are not limited to the DAW, and can be executed in

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5PiECE Music Academy
Dan Lombardi

How To Make A Sound Warmer (Hip Hop Mixing Tutorial)

Toronto music producer and audio engineer 5PiECE shows you how to make a keyboard sound warmer using a key technique in this tutorial. This tutorial was shot at 5PiECE’s Producer Mixing Workshop that takes place in Toronto, Canada. SONG USED IN THIS TUTORIALSometimes by Jonah Cruzz (Prod. 5PiECE x SLWJMZ) Where To Find Funding For

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5PiECE Music Academy
Dan Lombardi

DJ Service Packs & Other Alternate Mixes You Need to Know About

When getting a song mixed, your engineer will likely ask you if you want other versions, such as a radio edit, DJ service pack and performance version. Artists are often confused by these different versions, struggling to differentiate them or even understand if they need them at all. After working with a (good) engineer, you

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Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

Mastering vs. Stem Mastering – What’s The Difference?

Toronto producer and engineer 5PiECE breaks down the difference between mastering a 2-track and stem mastering. While both rely on similar processes, they are executed differently. Find out in this week’s tutorial. Where To Find Funding For Your Music (FREE EBOOK) SONG USED IN TUTORIALMaking The Band (Diddy) by EverythingOShauN

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Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

Mastering Compression: How To Set A Compressor On The Master Bus

5PiECE goes back in time to his Producer Mixing Workshop and shows students how to set up a compressor on the Master channel. In this video, he dives into master compressor settings and the logic behind using Mastering compression. SONG USED IN THIS TUTORIAL Sometimes by Jonah Cruzz (Prod. 5PiECE x SLWJMZ) Where To Find

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5PiECE Music Academy
Dan Lombardi

How To Use Multiband Sidechain Compression

5PIECE walks a group of students through how to use a multiband compressor for sidechain compression duties at his Producer Mixing Workshop. This is a game-changing technique that will alter your mixes when used correctly because of how it focuses on specific, problematic frequencies. SONG USED IN THIS TUTORIAL Sometimes by Jonah Cruzz (Prod. 5PiECE

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Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

How To Make Vocals Sound Wider

Toronto music producer and audio engineer 5PiECE breaks down a technique he uses to make vocals wider using SoundToys MicroShift. SONG USED IN THIS TUTORIALCrew Watch by Staasia Daniels (Prod. 5PiECE x SLWJMZ) MENTIONED IN TUTORIALHOW TO CHECK SONGS FOR MONO COMPATIBILITY (TUTORIAL)

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Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

Mastering For Streaming Services

Toronto music producer and engineer 5PiECE walks you through how to check your mix to see how it will translate onto streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and more. SONG USED IN THIS TUTORIALLoad MGMT by EverythingOShauN PLUGIN USED IN THIS TUTORIALYouLean Loudness Meter 2 HELPFUL TOOL FOR CHECKING MIX TRANSLATIONLoudness Penalty For more

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Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

How To Add Delays To Vocals

Toronto music producer and engineer 5PiECE picks up where he left off on his VOCAL REVERB tutorial and covers how he added delays to an R&B song by Staasia Daniels. In this tutorial, 5PiECE uses Sound Toys Echo Boy to achieve the delay effects. SONG USED IN THIS TUTORIAL Laid Off by Staasia Daniels PREVIOUS

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Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

How To Check Mixes For Mono Compatibility

Toronto music producer and engineer 5PiECE walks you through how he checks his mixes for mono compatibility. This is important for understanding how some of your listeners may experience your music when listening in common yet less-than-ideal situations. PLUGIN USED IN THIS TUTORIALPanipulator by Boz Digital Labs SONG USED IN THIS TUTORIALSomethin’ Outta Nothin’ by

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Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

How To Make Vocals Cut Using Distortion

Toronto music producer and audio engineer 5PiECE shows you how he used distortion to add character to a sung rap vocal in this tutorial. SONG USED IN THIS TUTORIALS4S by EverythingOShauN “Where To Find Funding For Your Music” (Free eBook Download)

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Video
Dan Lombardi

In Your Biz Podcast Feat. 5PiECE

Also listen to the podcast here 5PiECE was recently a guest on the In Your Biz podcast with Jonathan Harvey. The bearded dynamic duo talked about a lot of things relating to music, business, reading, and life. Some conversational highlights include: the amount of money in the education industry the importance of creating systems for

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Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

Getting A Mix To Cut On Small Speakers: The Small Speaker Test

Toronto music producer and engineer 5PiECE walks you through his “small speaker test” and how to check if your mix will translate on smaller playback devices such as laptop speakers, cell phones and ear buds. “Where To Find Funding For Your Music” (Free eBook Download) SONG USED IN THIS TUTORIAL: “Mañana” by EverythingOShauN

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Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

3 Of My Favourite Free Mixing Plugins

Toronto music producer and engineer explores 3 of his favourite FREE mixing plugins and shows you how to incorporate them into your mixes. Plugins Mentioned In This Video Softube Saturation Knob YouLean Loudness Meter 2 TDR Nova Download The Free eBook “Where To Find Funding For Your Music”

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5PiECE Music Academy
Dan Lombardi

5 Myths Around Getting Music Grants

If you live in Canada, or another country that subsidizes the arts, you are in a good place. Despite having access to these resources, many people choose not to apply to grants and exploit them for their own benefit. Chalk it up to laziness, disorganization or perhaps lack of confidence in being able to secure

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5PiECE Music Academy
Dan Lombardi

Music Grants: Everything You Need To Know To Get Started

What is a music grant? Once a music grant is awarded, it is paid out to and controlled by the artist. Grants can be spent on a number of activities around a project, ranging from production and recording to video production, touring and marketing. The main goal of a music grant is to stimulate the

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Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

How To Compress Rap Vocals

Toronto music producer and engineer 5PiECE shows you how to use a compressor on rap vocals. In this tutorial, 5 walks you through what a compressor does, how each setting affects the sound, and how he approaches setting it up on a rap vocal. This is a continuation from a previous tutorial: How To EQ

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Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

How To EQ Rap Vocals

Toronto music producer and engineer 5PiECE shows you how to effectively EQ rap vocals. These ideas are relevant to EQing vocals in general, although the context here is a Toronto rap song. SONG USED IN THIS TUTORIAL 5PiECE Feat. Gudini, Rich Kidd & Romeyo Wilson – Don’t Feel The Same

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Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

How To Use Parallel Compression on Hip Hop Drums

Toronto music producer and audio engineer 5PiECE demonstrates an effective way to fatten up your drum sounds using parallel processing and compression. This is an effective way to make your drums sound fatter, fuller and more upfront in a mix. SONG USED IN THIS TUTORIAL TUNNEL VISION by LEFTFIELD KEELE (PROD. 5PiECE) Continue Learning in

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Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

How To Group Tracks in Pro Tools (& Other DAWs) When Mixing

Toronto music producer 5PiECE demonstrates how to group sounds together and make use of subgroups in order to better manage volume in a mix. SONG USED IN THIS TUTORIAL“W.C.W” by EverythingOShauN Follow 5PiECE on SpotifyFollow 5PiECE on InstagramFollow 5PiECE on TwitterLike 5PiECE’s Facebook Page Copyright 5PiECE Music 2019

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Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

How To Reduce Latency While Recording in Pro Tools & Other DAWs

Toronto music producer 5PiECE talks about reducing latency by adjusting the buffer size in your DAW’s preferences. Whether recording, or mixing, you will likely want to set your buffer size differently depending on the task at hand. Watch the tutorial below for more insight: Watch The Full Tutorial on YouTube: How To Reduce Latency While

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Creativity-Principles
5PiECE Music Academy
Dan Lombardi

How To Get Over Writer’s Block (As A Music Creator)

INTRODUCTION. Understanding creativity and what makes us creative is a tricky thing. It’s hard to quantify how to be creative, especially to those that aren’t. Often, unless we’re really in tune with ourselves, we have no real idea of how we make things happen. We just sort of…do it. Every creator is unique and different

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Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

How To Fix Phase Issues

Toronto music producer and engineer 5PiECE explains what may be holding back the low-end of your mix (phase cancellation) and how to correct it. Watch On YouTube: How To Fix Phase Issues SONG USED IN VIDEOSOMETHIN’ OUTTA NOTHIN’ 5PiECE Feat. EverythingOShauN & Gudini Follow 5PiECE on SpotifyFollow 5PiECE on InstagramFollow 5PiECE on TwitterLike 5PiECE’s Facebook

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sidechain-compression-thumbnail
Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

How To Use Sidechain Compression In A Mix

Toronto music producer and audio engineer 5PiECE demonstrates how to use sidechain compression in your mix. 5PiECE is using Pro Tools in this tutorial, however this trick is applicable in all DAWs such as Logic Pro X, Ableton, Cubase, Sonar and more. The song used in this video is FADED by LeftField Keele Feat. EverythingOShauNProduced,

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Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

How To Set Levels For Recording Vocals

Toronto music producer and audio engineer 5PiECE demonstrates how to properly gain stage your microphone when recording vocals. In this video, he covers how to set your microphone preamp level, talks about equipment he uses when recording, and provides insight on what to do if an vocalist is too loud or too quiet. Watch On

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Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

How To Create A Vocal Recording Template

Toronto producer and engineer 5PiECE creates a vocal recording template from scratch in Pro Tools. The ideas behind this template translate into other DAWs – you just need to find the best way to apply them within the DAW of your choosing.

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5PiECE Music Academy
Dan Lombardi

The Power of Asking Good Questions

“The quality of your life is a direct reflection of the quality of the questions you are asking yourself” -Tony Robbins, Awaken The Giant Within I’m amazed at how often having the right question in a situation can literally change an outcome. The right question can save you time, money, energy and stress, and can

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5PiECE Music Academy
Dan Lombardi

What Is Gain Staging and Why Is It important?

Introduction What is the key to a clean and loud mix? Is it EQ? Is it compression? Limiting maybe? To some extent – yes. But in my experience, the biggest game-changer that significantly improved my mixes was focusing on properly gain staging my tracks. What is gain staging? Gain staging is the process of managing

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Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

How To Get 808s To Cut Through A Mix

Toronto music producer and audio engineer 5PiECE shows you some strategies around mixing 808s to help them cut through the mix. Song Used In This Tutorial http://5piecemusic.com/leftfield-keele-dat-prod-5piece/ Also Helpful How To Mix 808s and Kick Drums

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5PiECE Music
Dan Lombardi

8 Common Mixing Mistakes

Mixing is complicated. If it were easy – everyone would do it well. It requires an investment of time and effort spent on understanding, and a lot of practice. When I’m teaching, I’m constantly trying to help my students become more efficient so they can make better music and spend less time mixing it. I

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Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

Mixing Snares – Snare Mixing Trick

Toronto audio engineer 5PiECE shows off a simple yet effective mixing trick to help snares cut through the mix. This trick is applicable to both claps and snares and works best when used subtly.

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5PiECE Music Academy
Dan Lombardi

What is Compression and How Do I Use It In a Mix?

Compression is a highly talked about topic in the world of mixing. Unfortunately, it is an often-misunderstood tool in the engineer’s toolbox. In this article, I aim to answer the question “what is a compressor?” and perhaps more importantly – how do I use compression in a mix? What is a compressor? A compressor is

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Tutorial
Dan Lombardi

How To Get A Clean Mix

Toronto Music Producer and Engineer 5PiECE demonstrates a simple and effective mixing trick that will make your mixes sound cleaner and create more space for the low-end elements in your song. The song used in this tutorial is “Like This” by Gudini. The song was produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by 5PiECE.

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5PiECE Music Academy
Dan Lombardi

Should I Go To Audio Engineering School or Learn On My Own?

Talk about a good question. I myself mulled over this one for awhile back in 2012 before I ultimately decided to pursue the college route. Years later – after graduating and navigating the music industry as an entrepreneur – I’ve formulated an opinion on this question which I will share with you in this article.

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5PiECE Music Academy
Dan Lombardi

6 Ways To Make Money As A Music Producer In The Digital Age

Every music producer loves making music. So much so that it is the easy part. The challenging part is taking that passion and turning it into money so you can pay your bills and continue making more music. The music industry offers some of the most diverse income streams imaginable for those who are savvy

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5PiECE Music Academy
Dan Lombardi

How To Prepare Audio Files For Mixing

Getting a song mixed can be an exciting and daunting experience at the same time. You’ve spent so much time making sure that you’ve created your best art – now its time to put it together and add the polish it needs to leave a mark on the world when its finally released. Making sure

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Professional Recording Studio
5PiECE Music Academy
Dan Lombardi

Should I Build A Home Studio Or Pay For Studio Time To Record?

At the beginning of everyone’s journey, most music creators ask themselves: should I build my own home-studio or should I pay to use a professional studio to record? Before we delve into how to answer this big question – we first need to evaluate your preferences, abilities, expectations and future ambitions. Look at the following

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5PiECE Music Academy
Dan Lombardi

How To Find Artists For Your Beats

As a mentor to many young and upcoming producers, I often get asked the same question: “I’ve made a lot beats, but how do I get someone to rap/sing on them?” It’s not such a simple answer. At least not as simple as opening up your favourite DAW and banging out a beat. Connecting with

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Mixing 808s and Kick Drums
5PiECE Music Academy
Dan Lombardi

How To Mix 808s and Kick Drums

Getting sounds to compliment each other in a mix can sometimes be a challenge- especially if you aren’t familiar with mixing audio yet. A common question most producers ask when it comes to mixing is how to get their 808s and kick drums to sit better together in a mix without clashing or drowning each

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5PiECE Music Academy
Dan Lombardi

How To Fix Harsh Vocals

Mixing vocals can be a piece of cake when the artist and recording engineer played their parts correctly. But sometimes it can be a head-scratching nightmare if you are dealing with tracks that pierce the ears. Harsh vocals are never good for the end-listener– they aren’t pleasant (borderline painful really) and usually appear worse on

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5PiECE Music Academy
Dan Lombardi

What Is a De-Esser?

What Is A De-Esser and How Does It Work? In this article, I aim to demystify the de-esser and help explain how to use one in your mixes. Example of a de-esser plugin. Waves Renaissance DeEsser displayed. What is de-essing? De-essing is a technique intended to reduce or eliminate excessive sibilance around consonants such as

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mixing vs mastering
Mixing Article
Dan Lombardi

What’s the difference between mixing and mastering?

As a professional mixing engineer, this question gets brought up time and time again by many of my clients. Recording artists and managers often confuse mixing and mastering, thinking that they are the same thing when they are actually two very different processes in an album’s creative cycle. Each of which also affect the sonic

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