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Rock music has stuck with the formula its fans know and love: big, bombastic drums, walls of distorted electric guitars & at the front of it all a singer belting out powerful, brazen vocals. A distinctive tonality comes with nearly every voice in rock that exudes confidence and authority in a way that no other genre consistently does. As the mix engineer on those sessions, how can you be sure that you’re enhancing your singer’s performance to showcase those features?

 

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Truth be told – turning up the gain on the amp and the effects of gain reduction aren’t very dissimilar at all. They both add harmonic distortion and saturation to a signal. They both work to effectively even out the peaks of a signal, resulting in a smoother, more even sound. So if they’re virtually doing a lot of things the same, how does gain reduction stand out from other processes in the recording studio?
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