Audio & music gear feature articles

  • Mixing Guitar and Vocals
    learning

    Mixing Guitar and Vocals - EQ and Compression Techniques for Vocals and Acoustic Guitar

    06/12/09

    As an engineer/producer, one of my biggest early challenges was getting my mixes to sound as polished and balanced as the mixes of songs on my favorite albums. Living in Nashville, I knew the problem wasn’t the players (some of whom had even played on those same favorite albums). I also knew that I was happy enough with the sounds I was recording …

  • Acoustics
    learning

    Acoustics - Making a Studio Pt.3

    05/19/09

    Sound is a wave, much like the ripples on a still body of water when a rock is dropped into it. The larger the wave, the lower the tone. Lower tones, known as bass frequencies, travel in wide long waves while higher tones known as treble frequencies travel in a tighter, shorter wave. Frequencies heard by the human ear range from 20Hz to 20K. Ju…

  • Electricity
    learning

    Electricity - Making a Studio Pt.2

    05/06/09

    Nothing will work without electricity unless you're jamming at the local drum circles down on the beach. Electrical installation studio power is often overlooked. Studios will setup a “clean feed” that is a separate breaker from the rest of the general power that is being used for air conditioning, lighting and the basic necessities of the re…

  • Studio Considerations
    learning

    Studio Considerations - Making a Studio Pt.1

    04/23/09

    The magic of the recording studio has often mystified even the most seasoned professionals. With all the knobs, switches and buttons on various gear and large format consoles, no wonder confusion sets in to most non-techies. Many people, especially artists, composers, producers, and engineers, will end up putting together their own studio for writ…

  • Introduction
    learning

    Introduction - Using a Mixer: Rehearsals

    02/07/09

    Before you’re ready for arenas and stadiums, where you’d no doubt call on the services of an experienced sound technician, you need to rehearse. And as long as you’re rehearsing you might as well do it in the right conditions: where everybody can hear themselves and in turn be heard. This means adequately controlling sound levels and using your so…

  • Software Comparison
    learning

    Software Comparison - Time Stretching & Pitch Shifting: Comparison Part I

    11/15/08

    OK, here we go! This is the first of our comparative software tests on time-stretching and pitch-shifting. The competitors: 26 Mac and PC programs, from big sequencers to small applications, plug-ins to audio editors

  • Microphone Types
    learning

    Microphone Types - Microphones: How to choose

    06/27/08

    Long the role of the professional sound engineer, choosing the appropriate microphone has now become, with the proliferation of the home studio, the task of the amateur and even the beginner. This choice should depend upon what you’re going to be using the mic for, but also on personal preferences. In this article we’ll be dealing with the two ma…

  • GM, GS & XG: A Little History
    learning

    GM, GS & XG: A Little History - MIDI: The GM Standard and its Extensions

    06/16/08

    Many sound cards and synthesizers, as well as most audio software, are compatible with one of the three midi norms (GM, GS, XG). Though MIDI has long since proven its utility, the existence of different standards can be confusing, so this article has been put together in order to clarify a few points.

  • Christmas Shopping
    learning

    Christmas Shopping - Gifts for Music Lovers

    12/20/07

    Are you tired of receiving boxes of chocolate every Christmas? You can’t take another hand-knitted sweater from your aunt and you’d like the bottom of the tree to look a little more…musical? Here’s a selection of gift ideas for your loved ones who may lack inspiration ...

  • Choosing an electric guitar
    learning

    Choosing an electric guitar - Choosing an electric guitar

    12/18/07

    Even though the look of a guitar is a big factor in one’s desire to play this instrument, there are other things to consider when choosing a guitar. Here are some things to keep in mind when looking for the right guitar.