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Benedict Roff-Marsh

Benedict Roff-Marsh, contributor at Higher Hz

Benedict is a mix engineer, record producer, and composer with over 30 years of experience, 100+ albums, and awards for film (and game) scores.

Benedict grew up in a musical house. His father (Guildhall London, cathedral organist, choirmaster, harpsichord) was playing Bach, Scarlatti, Palestrina, Handel, and Mahler on his valve hi-fi, harpsichords, and clavichords he built for sale, while Benedict was trying to listen to Deep Purple and Duran Duran with those terrible orange foam headphones we all had in the 80s. All that music soaked in.

He left school wanting to be a record producer, like Alan Parsons. He trained for a while in a small commercial recording studio, making jingles for a regional AM radio station. Not as sexy as the people he knew in Indie band studios, but Benedict learned the value of working quickly, finishing, and publishing.

Benedict trained himself with synths, seeing others in the studio were afraid of them. It was only a matter of time before he started writing his own material to give purpose to his activity. A couple of years and cassette releases later, Benedict had calls from several Indie record labels (with distribution to Majors).

VST became the thing, and it wasn't long before Benedict started making his own VST synths and effects. For some years, he ran his line called SynthStudio Pack, which became reasonably well-known.

Mostly these days, he focuses on mixing and artist development. He has a very strong belief in getting the basics right, as no building stands well on poor foundations.

The difference between mixing vs. mastering and how to master properly

Mastering has become this strange sort of urban legend, like alligators talking with aliens in the subway, whilst Ozzy Osborne kisses Gene Simmons under the Ferris wheel in “The Lost Boys”. It just isn’t that way.

In the 90’s I saw the rise of the idea that mastering was some sort of black magic. Suddenly with YouTube everyone is showing how it is done and much of it is crazier than an Alice Cooper show.

Putting together a song – Beat to release

These days, it is surprisingly easy to make and post your own songs online.

Often in the rush to prove the ease, speed, or convenience of their product, marketers get a bit too enthusiastic. This leads people to results less than they could have been.

We will look here at a solid process for putting together a song – from beat to mix and master, and ready for release (which will be covered in another article).

What is reverb in music?

Reverb is an often largely misunderstood part of how recorded music works.

Rather than being an added extra, the space in which a piece of music takes place, is as much part of the music as the guitars or drums.

Changing the reverb space can alter the final piece as much as changing any of the other sounds in the mix.

Song structure: Verse, chorus, and other parts

For a song (or piece of music) to work it must have a structure. This is commonly built around verses and chorus.

That structure is called an arrangement. The arrangement helps deliver the story of the song in a form that is not only entertaining, but also one delivers the progression of the story being told.

What are chord progressions? Music theory simplified

Chords and chord progressions in music are far easier to understand than most people think.

We look at the basics of theory in the simplest way possible to help you to be more capable of doing cool things.

The definitive guide to levels in mixing and mastering

This article looks at all the main issues around understanding levels in mixing and mastering.

We look at what the numbers, like dB, RMS, VU, LUFS mean, how to use the numbers, and when not use the numbers as, after all, numbers are not art.