MUSI 355

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links to get better Great for Ear Training Also offers some Ear Training Videos to learn to hear the characteristic sounds of various pieces of gear. The most interesting are videos of the best engineers in the business mixing entire songs from scratch in various styles. Each of these also give you access to the stems for the sessions so you can practice! Many mixing templates are also available for most popular DAWs.

Pensado’s Place This is a youtube channel initiated by legendary mixing engineer Dave Pensado. The most interesting technical videos are in a sub section series called Into The Lair (ITL). However the channel offers many interviews and discussion featuring star producers and engineers. These touch more on the philosophy of mixing and the various approaches people follow.

Can You Tell a WAV from an MP3? This is a cool blind test hosted by NPR. How good are your ears? Find out.

Best Studios In the DMV (in order of proximity to GMU)

Sweet Spot Studio

This is a commercial project studio. That means it’s a smaller facility designed to offer a wide range of resources in a relaxed homey environment. It’s a good place to develop an idea from start to finish. Hence project studio. This is not the place to find huge live rooms and an exhaustive amount of vintage analog gear. It is, if I do say so myself, the wave of the future. You most likely will never build a million dollar facility for yourself. You could definitely build yourself a Sweet Spot. Keeping overhead low. Working from home. Achieving professional recording and mixing capabilities leveraging modern technology. That is the Sweet Spot.


While on the ‘smaller’ side this is definitely a more classic facility. Which is not to say they are all analog. I mean that the building was designed in the 80s specifically for recording ensembles. The reason? Before you could do great music on a laptop the only way was to use human beings playing instruments. The Music Department has some kind of contract with BIAS to be their partner ‘real world’ facility. I am not sure what that means exactly but it definitely means they expect to get interns from GMU. Ask folks at the music office.


Another old-school facility with amazing super duper mixing consoles. They have an impressive amount of major recordings under their belt but mostly from their heydays in the 80s and 90s. I’ve heard some really crappy mixes from CUE. I think they give too many session to engineers who aren’t ready from prime time (or who don’t really care) in a facility this well-equipped. I may be wrong. It’s just my impression and what I’ve heard from clients who came to me after working with them first.

Blue Room

A commercial facility founded by a colleague of mine. You’ll see a good amount of analog gear, including an analog mixer, and a larger live room. Definitely designed to appeal to a typical rock band. Conrad is an entrepreneur like myself. He his probably better at marketing than I am. A good brain to pick to figure out how to survive in this business.


The largest studio in the area. (in terms of size). Their largest live room is big enough for a small symphony orchestra. The only such facility in the area. I also know their lead engineer. Very good guy. A very large portion of their business these days comes from their education programs but they definitely do great work.


Last but not least! These guys are awesome. After 20+ years in the area they have just completely gutted and rebuild their facility. When I grow up I want to be like them. (Except still in my house.) Their entire staff (4 guys) is great.

Career Building

The Recording Academy. The Recording Academy is a U.S. organization of musicians, producers, recording engineers, and other recording professionals.

Grammy U. This is how you join the Academy while in college. Contact

COST: $50 covers 4 years undergrad + 2 graduate.

The main attractions:

  1. local and national events to network and learn about careers in the business

  2. internship opportunities!

Nico’s Music

In case you’re interested: