Pro Audio Files

EQ Ear Training Premium Courses

The Most Frequent Criticism of My Tutorials

The most frequent criticism I get toward my tutorials is that I use Pro Tools and third-party plugins.

People ask me to do tutorials in Studio One or Ableton or FL Studio. People also suggest that I make tutorials using stock plugins like Ken Lewis or Graham Cochrane.

I think this criticism is absolutely valid. I imagine it’s frustrating watching a tutorial that’s being presented on a platform one doesn’t have … maybe using software one can’t afford.

On the subject of Pro Tools vs. other DAWs (Ableton, Logic, Studio One, FL, Nuendo, Cubase, Reaper etc.) … these are great programs. I wish I had them. But it’s just a DAW. It’s a platform and nothing more. There’s nothing that I do in Pro Tools that doesn’t translate just as easily to any other major DAW.

To the subject of using third-party plugins, many of which are relatively expensive. Most of what I teach is conceptual. It doesn’t really matter if you are using a stock EQ or FabFilter, the DigiDelay or EchoBoy. Because the idea of what I am doing will be the same.

However, there are differences between plugins, and I admit that can put a certain distance between what I do and the results I get, and what someone who doesn’t have the means to purchase these plugins will get. And this is where my take on things is a bit different than, say, Ken or Graham.


When I teach, I want to show people what I do. If I’m using a certain plugin, I want people to know why. FabFilter Pro-Q 2 has a linear-phase mode, and I want people to know that I might use the linear-phase mode on a parallel track for a specific reason — and I can’t demonstrate that using a stock plugin.

In other words, I am trading accessibility in terms of monetary resources for accessibility into what I actually do. I believe this provides the most comprehensive picture of the engineering process.

And that’s not to knock Graham or Ken. I love what they do. Both of them in their own ways are excellent teachers and leaders in the world of audio education.

The big benefit to teaching using stock plugins is that it distills the process and forces the teacher to focus on pure concept and technique. I’ve dabbled in it a few times myself and also discussed it in a video on getting a professional mix with stock plugins. I also did it in my Indie-Rock Mixthru tutorial. It’s a great way to teach, and those other guys do it so well that I don’t really think I have to.

Matthew Weiss

Matthew Weiss

Matthew Weiss is the recordist and mixer for multi-platinum artist Akon, and boasts a Grammy nomination for Jazz & Spellemann Award for Best Rock album. Matthew has mixed for a host of star musicians including Akon, SisQo, Ozuna, Sonny Digital, Uri Caine, Dizzee Rascal, Arrested Development and 9th Wonder. Get in touch:

Free Workshop Video: Low-End Mixing Secrets

Discover how to make your kick and bass hit hard by cutting (NOT boosting) the right frequencies! Plus, more counterintuitive ways to get fuller yet controlled low-end in your mix. Download this 40-minute workshop by Matthew Weiss, now for FREE!

Powered by ConvertKit
/> /> /> /> /> /> /> /> /> />