Zen of Recording
  • Big Sounds For Small Change

    Increasingly, the quest for finding suitable plug-ins that can help home (and pro) recordists solve problems, bolster a digital track’s positive attributes, and explore new sonic horizons becomes an even more complicated endeavor once budgetary concerns have joined in the pursuit. It’s not just knowing what to use or how to use it; it’s also […]

  • T-Racks 5: Mastering, Mixing, and More

    I have been a user of IK Multimedia’s T-RackS digital mastering software since it was first introduced in the early 2000s and I have always absolutely loved this program. From the start, the product’s mission was to impart the sweet, warm characteristics of analog audio components to the often bitter cold of digital recordings. Through […]

  • Mixed Up: Harrison Consoles’ Mixbus 32C

    I was confused. Not just by the unfamiliar environment of the interface, I mean that’s part and parcel to the job of reviewing the new and often as-yet-unexplored tools in our ever-evolving world of music recording, editing, mixing and mastering. No, this sensation was something entirely different: an uncomfortable sense of flabbergast analogous to a […]

  • What Looms on This Horizon?

    Laundry day. As I haul another heaping basket of laundry across the bedroom floor, I notice a pair of my favorite jeans crumpled in the corner. I pick them up and immediately notice an unusual wear pattern on the back left pocket. I run my finger along its white rectangular outline, studying the intricate interlacing […]

  • Plugging Into Better

    Plugging Into Better In what can only be described as some sort of grand irony, the very first musical recordings couldn’t even be played back and listened to. The Phonautograph, developed and patented in Paris, France by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville, circa 1857, was intended for “visual study.” The recordings, called phonautograms, were cut away […]

  • 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 […]