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🎛️ Are stock EQ plugins good enough??

Your weekend Mix Protégé recap • by Dana Nielsen
view of a sunset above the clouds as seen from the window of a jet
The view outside my window while I pontificate EQ plugins. 150-350hz always feel “cloudy” to me.

Greetings from 28,000 feet above the globe! ✈️ After a productive week of record-making at Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville, North Carolina, I’m chasing a magnificent 3-hour-long sunset, typing this from my window seat, as I hurtle westward toward my home timezone of The Pacific. Read on, Reader, for a video tour of my Echo Mountain setup, a discussion about parametric EQ plugins, and a sinister new streaming fraud scheme you’ll want to avoid! 

🎛️ Are stock EQ plug-ins good enough?

Ableton Live's "EQ Eight" parametric equalizer
Ableton Live’s versatile (stock!) parametric equalizer, “EQ Eight”

Do some parametric EQ plugins sound better than others? Jesse Lewis asked this excellent question in our Mixing forum and I was happy to share my insights. Click the link below to read my full responses, see my favorite features I look for in a parametric EQ plugin, and -best of all- weigh in with your own thoughts on the topic!

What’s your favorite “surgical-style” EQ? Do you prefer it because it sounds the best, or has the best features, or something else? We’d all love to know!

🚨 New Music Piracy Scam

New York Times article screenshot

I’m sharing this free NYT link (no paywall) as a “heads up!” to the artists in our community who release music independently. This is a fascinating and frustrating story about fraudsters who will distribute YOUR music before you do, using bogus artist names and song titles, meaning you’re no longer able to distribute it youself, due to content ID flags.

My takeaway is: it may be safest to distribute to all platforms simultaneously. Check out the full article to learn how the duo Bad Dog got exposed to this type of fraud and how you can avoid it.

⛰️ Echo Mountain Studio Tour

New York Times article screenshot

Check out where I’ve been for the past week in this short video on the Mix Protégé Facebook page! I am the luckies S.O.B. in the world to work with such talented, creative, caring people in one of my favorite studios. Huge shoutout to Echo Mountain house engineer and fellow Mix Protégé, Kenny Harrington, for his incredible support, setup, and friendship. He even recalled (and augmented!) our ongoing gag from past sessions where we spell juvenile words with the unused console buss buttons. 🏆

Faders forever,

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Dana Nielsen

Founder, Mix Protégé


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Responses

  1. New Music Piracy Scam. Though I always believed the chances of this happening to a smaller independent artist was low, I have always erred on the side of caution and usually don’t upload any tracks anywhere before I do a legit distribution through a distributor.

    I often wonder though, about the new “free stream of thought, in the moment, see what I’m working on preview” that is common in live streams and regular posts on TikTok IG & FB. It would be pretty easy, technically, for a bad actor to capture the audio, upload & digitally fingerprint it for themselves, for no other reason than malice, (even if it was only a snippet or preview of the original) that could conceivably prevent the original artist from distributing the completed track at a later date.

    Distrokid does have “distrolock” that I use anyway as a general precaution first before I upload to distribute. It seems you can upload any original audio and have it digitally fingerprinted and you can turn it on & off. I think you would have to turn it off once you are ready to distribute to DSP’s (so you don’t flag yourself), if previously uploaded to Distrolock. Then you turn it back on after it is accepted by the DSP’s.

    I don’t believe there are any limits to these uploads to Distrolock, so you could fingerprint any audio you decide to share before you share it. I don’t think there is an option to delete once you upload but it shouldn’t matter since you have the option to turn them on & off. Having multiple versions of one track etc. would get messy admin-wise but that is the only drawback that I can see. I haven’t used Distrolock in this fashion yet but it seems like it would definitely be something to give consideration too in this ambiguous new digital streaming environment.

    https://distrolock.com/

    1. Wow, @Dave, thanks so much for hipping us to this incredible tool! And for the thorough writeup. I just checked it out and will definitely be using it. I’m also with Distrokid so that makes things easy for me. That said, it seems to be a free service for anyone to use – wow! Thanks again – you rule.