Zen of Recording
  • Anatomy of a Vocal

    Recently, I happened upon this “sidebar” that was included within an article about recording vocals that I wrote for Recording magazine in the spring of 2013. It’s incredibly specific in its references to the tools and techniques used, which is most notable for the fact that I no longer use any of these products except […]

  • Call Me Driver

    Dusk. That mysterious interval where the sun dips below the horizon, just before the sky falls into the unyielding darkness that reigns until the breaking of tomorrow. Headlights are switched on, sunglasses are stowed, and colors seem to blanch into grayscale versions of what were vibrant hues only an hour ago. My eyes are tired. […]

  • Recording the Band, Part 4 (final chapter)

    I Hear Voices The concept of “scratch” vocals is almost certainly a direct result of how completely unusable they can be, considering all of the leakage from the drums, amps and guitars that usually finds its way into their tracks. Even if that bleed could be considered acceptable, missing a note or forgetting a line […]

  • Recording the Band, Part 3

    The Bottom Bass can be quite a bit easier to capture than other instruments, especially if you’re not having to use (and mic) an amp. Usually, a DI (direct injection) box is employed for this task. A DI box essentially converts your ¼” high impedance signal to low impedance, allowing your signal to travel via […]

  • Recording the Band, Part 2: The Beat Goes On

    Drums are always the primary challenge. Not only do they define the tempo, groove, and overall feel of each song, but they’re just so…loud. They will find their way into every mic, not just the ones you want them to, but vocals, guitars…really, any mic that is open in the same or even neighboring rooms. […]

  • Recording the Band, Part 1

    You and your bandmates have spent the last several months writing, arranging and rehearsing your music, and finding your own sound. You’re now feeling more than ready to take to the stage and share your collective musical vision with your friends and fans, but no self-respecting club owner will even book you without first hearing […]

  • 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 […]