Zen of Recording
  • NAMM That Tune!

    The morning sun glances off the white-capped canvas of the Pacific Ocean in a refracted bouquet of peaches, pinks, jades, and cerulean blues. Glimpses of herons and houses hurtle past the window from right to left, a kaleidoscope of imagery over a clickity-clacking soundtrack of sand and steel. I can see why they call this […]

  • It’s No Myth: There Is A One-Mic-Does-It-All Solution

    A year ago this month, I covered a pair of condenser microphones that I was quite obviously impressed with. Regular readers of this column may have noted by now that after reviewing literally hundreds of products, value runs a close second to performance when it comes to astounding me. This makes it worth mentioning that […]

  • The Secret of “The Frame”—An Unorthodox Technique for Recording a Vocalist and Their Acoustic Guitar Simultaneously

    Over the years, I have experimented with an endless variety of mic setups with regard to all instruments, but particularly the acoustic guitar. That tinkering evolved into discovering a mic setup that is not only beautifully unique, but wonderfully wrong as well. When I think of all of the songwriters who have played a song […]

  • Icebergs and Voodoo

    When writing a review column of roughly 800 to 1000 words on a regular basis, one is destined to come across a tool so complex and feature-laden that it defies succinct summation. This is not always the case, of course, as there have been plenty of instances where the pursuit of reader amusement has found […]

  • Brushing Off the Dirt

    Whoom!! The entire house shuddered to its 75-year-old foundations and my smartly framed black-and-white Henry Diltz photograph of (the now similarly aged) Paul McCartney hung upon its wall was shaking right along with it. Whoom!! Boom, BAP!! Hunnie, our year-old Havanese puppy/dog/sometimes—I’m-not-sure-what ran into the room with eyes like English tea saucers, bringing her normally […]

  • Letting Go

    As I lie here floating on my back in the Pacific Ocean and staring up at the endless azure of the late summer sky, I notice it looks farther away than usual. The thin, wispy cirrus clouds out over the distant horizon seem blurred and diffuse, as if they’ve somehow fallen out of focus. Turning […]

  • Lurssen’s Audio Lemonade

    Of all the assorted stages and processes traversed in the recording and delivery of music, mastering is easily the phase that holds the most intrigue and mystery. In discussing its role within the scope of a project, engineers and producers are frequently showered with a deluge of inquiry: How does it work? What makes it […]

  • Avid Commits More Deeply With ProTools 12.7

    For nearly as long as there has been digital audio technology, Avid’s ProTools has been as inexorable a brand as Xerox is to photocopiers or Coke is to cola, with good reason: It has simply remained consistent. Not that it hasn’t changed, improved, or innovated multiple times over past decades. Quite to the contrary, it […]

  • Tim

    It’s late April, several years ago, and I can remember it seeming a little like Christmas. It’s a no moon night and, at times, my breath is all I see. I stalk purposefully through San Diego’s frosty, darkened streets that wind down from my super-secret parking spot toward that ubër oasis of all things musical […]