How to Make Your Mix Better By Listening to Less of It

Remember, being a good designer isn’t about having the latest hardware or software: ideas and execution are far more important than shiny new equipment. But it’s worth investing in the best kit you can afford.

1. Crush It!

How to Make Your Mix Better By Listening to Less of It

Your mix is going to go through multiple steps of dynamic range processing while you are working on it—and likely more steps still, once it leaves your hands.

Mastering, radio, and even some streaming services can and will compress and/or limit your mix before passing it on to the end consumer. If you aren’t careful, the balance and tone of your mix can be heavily altered; A frustrating experience for any artist or mixer.

Some mixers I know preemptively process their mix to remove most of the dynamic range to effectively minimize the damage that can be done later. To me, this is tantamount to burning down your house so you no longer have to worry about whether you left the stove on.

While I do use stereo bus compression, I feel it’s important to keep a useful dynamic range for the song. (How much is enough will depend heavily on genre.)

That being said, there is logic in the “just crush it!” technique that we cause to our advantage—even if we want to keep some life-giving dynamics going in our final mix.

When you get your mix to a place that feels and sounds good, you can apply some TEMPORARY limiting to hear how your mix holds up.

What we are looking for here is how the mix will react to future processing. Throw a limiter on your mix post all other processing and really start to crank it down. Make sure to attenuate your output level so that the new, limited version is the same apparent volume as when the limiter is bypassed. It will become immediately obvious what is overpowering the mix, because sounds that are too loud will distort or make the limiter pump and react like crazy.

A side benefit of this technique is that the results are mostly independent from your room acoustics, as the limiter is reacting to an imbalance that occurs before the listening environment.

Just remember that this processing should only be applied to your monitor path! If your DAW doesn’t have a separate way to process that, be sure to disengage this ruthless mix-crusher before printing your mix. Continue reading “How to Make Your Mix Better By Listening to Less of It”

How to Build an Outstanding Landing Page that Sells

Face the facts: books are judged by their covers, and therefore, a business is judged by its landing page. One look at a messy or visually unappealing website will immediately turn a customer away. For this reason, a well-thought-out and attention-grabbing landing page is of vital importance if you want your business to thrive.

The Very Top

How to Build an Outstanding Landing Page that Sells

First and foremost, you need a headline. What about your business or product is interesting? Unique? Fun? But also useful? Your headline needs to excite your customers while also showing them that you will fulfill their needs.

Once you have snatched a customer’s attention with your headline, they should be able to find an introduction below it. Here you can use a video or image that briefly describes who you are and what you are offering. The introduction should finish what the headline started: drawing the customer in.

The other two items that should be at the top of the page are a method of contact and a call-to-action form/button. Even if a customer doesn’t need to call, email, or look for more information yet, it is essential for them to know that there is someone there to help them. Placing a call-to-action form can also entice a customer by providing a simple way to either learn more or sign up right away. A call-to-action, also known as an opt-in, can be anything from signing up for an email newsletter to downloading a PDF. Continue reading “How to Build an Outstanding Landing Page that Sells”

Why Most Logo Designs Fail and How to Avoid Mistakes

It would be wrong to say that most logo designs are a complete failure. It’s just that they rarely have the impact they should. At best, most are just ‘there’- they don’t evoke any emotion or result in any action from the viewer. Most aren’t very memorable, either. Think about it: you may recognize plenty of logos, but the truth is, you probably remember the logos simply because you know the brand. Most logos aren’t memorable, and that fact is a problem.

Assuming Your Logo Will Always be in Color

Why Most Logo Designs Fail and How to Avoid Mistakes

The fact that you need to test your logos rigorously is going to be a common theme. This common mistake is going to be the first proof of this. Remember that your logo isn’t always going to be reproduced in beautiful, high-quality, laser printed color.

It may be reproduced in black and white or printed using only a limited palette of colors. Take that into consideration. Your logo doesn’t need to be as pristine in black and white as it does in color, but it should be recognizable and of decent quality. Continue reading “Why Most Logo Designs Fail and How to Avoid Mistakes”

7 Awesome Video Game Character Designs

The world of games is full of weird and wonderful characters. Everyone has a favourite video game character, right? From Lara Croft to Master Chief, there’s arguably no better way to immerse yourself in a game than with the perfect protagonist (or a cracking baddie).

01. Trico – The Last Guardian

7 Awesome Video Game Character Designs

While your character in Fumito Ueda’s The Last Guardian is an unnamed boy, the star of the show is Trico, a giant baby half-bird half-mammal creature that you’re trying to guide to safety. Immensely powerful yet ungainly, vulnerable and easily spooked, Trico takes a lot of looking after and can veer wildly between completely adorable and utterly infuriating.

Trico can be encouraged to perform certain actions, but it’s like herding a ten-ton kitten; he has his own personality and it’s often at odds with the tasks you’re trying to accomplish, driving you to distraction but ultimately making success feel all the more rewarding. Continue reading “7 Awesome Video Game Character Designs”

How to Achieve the Perfect Business Plan

If you are looking to start a business, the logical first step is to make sure that your idea works on paper by creating a business plan. Thanks to the Internet, anyone can now quickly browse over a trove of free and premium sample business plan designs online. This way, you will not waste time, effort, and funds in starting up a venture that may turn out to be a dud.

Your executive summary is short yet compelling

How to Achieve the Perfect Business Plan

A business plan typically has an executive summary as a headliner. This portion of the business plan will include a brief summation of all the different points that you have written in the document. The perfect business plan, therefore, should feature short, readable paragraphs that are written in a very compelling way.

Your business plan will be perfect in the eyes of potential investors and funding managers if they can easily get all the information they need from the executive summary. To know if your business plan exhibits these characteristics, place yourself in the shoes of someone who will be receiving your business plan. Will they easily have an idea of what you are selling or proposing through the executive summary that they will want to know more about your proposal?

If your answer is yes, you are on your way to fully know whether your business plan is the perfect one. Continue reading “How to Achieve the Perfect Business Plan”