Can an $89 pair of monitors really be an effective tool in the recording studio? Or are they only good for 'media creation?
Anyone with a home recording studio now has the means to create a hit. So why haven't you yet?
Amazingly, the answer to this question is - almost - yes!
Any theatre would have tielines from the stage to the sound control booth. But from one side of the booth's window to the other?
Two singers, one microphone. Could it cause an Internet sensation?
You can get a plug-in to emulate virtually any analog audio process these days. But what about hum? Where's the plug-in for that?
Clicks occur for all kinds of reasons - imprecise editing, random noises, gremlin infestation. But when do you need to do something about them?
Content can be art. Art can be content. But when content is just a commodity, there is surely something going wrong.
Do you like your microphone to produce a clean, accurate sound? Or do you like your vocals rich and fruity?
It isn't often that a Neumann U47 or U48 comes up for sale. But you can grab one now if you're quick...
If you're in the mood to add some vinyl scratches to your track, what could be better than having a turntable right there in your console?
Is your computer noisy? Do you think the sE Electronics Reflexion Filter will help? Think again. (With audio)
Avid's recent webinar about Abbey Road's upgrade to Pro Tools HDX featured the worst audio I have heard for a long time. Who is to blame?
Microphone pops are an unpleasant side effect of recording. It's best to avoid them in the first place, but what if someone sends you a poppy vocal recording to fix?
One of the fundamental principles of Audio Masterclass is that if you want to get work in the audio industry, you have to be able to impress potential clients. If your audio or music is not impressive, then the work will go to someone else whose audio or music is impressive.
Everyone would like an 1176 or LA-2A compressor in their studio. But the originals cost so much that plug-in emulations are usually the only viable alternative. But do they sound the same?
Should the bass notes be on the left and the high notes on the right, or the other way round?
Rihanna performs live in a rainstorm. She gets wet. And so does her microphone...
Look at any decent mixing console and you will see high-pass filters in each and every mic preamp section. Why is this, and what are they used for?
Ask a number of preamp users what each of the controls on the Golden Age Pre-73 does, and the 'Low-Z' control will probably cause the most scratching of heads. So what is it for?
If as a producer you decide not to use Auto-Tune, then it's a judgment call whether your singer is in-tune, or in-tune enough. Like James Bond himself, Adele's producer lives life on the edge.
It is an accepted fact of audio life that a decent quality loudspeaker must have at least two drive units. But this only has one. Is it because it's old?
One of the potential problems of compression is pumping. And in this example it's about as bad as it gets.
Apple's new OS Mountain Lion apparently has more than 200 new features and you need 20 pages of tutorial to understand them. In what way is this a good thing?
Conventional wisdom says that soundproofing materials need to be heavy and thick. So how can curtains be expected to provide any degree of soundproofing at all?
You don't often see keyboards like this one. A delight to the eye as well as the ear...
A good musical arrangement can make all the difference to the presentation of a song. Of course, it helps if it's a good song in the first place...
Will Loomis thinks that Jessie J's song 'Domino' is a ripoff of his song 'Bright Red Chords', allegedly. But how many notes does it take to be scoundrel in the music business?
Do you always connect your effects pedals between your guitar and amplifier. Wow, that's just so retro!
Real acoustic reverb has texture and character, and it's much more fun than using a plug-in. But how?
If your living room is dominated by a gigantic pair of speakers, then why not dominate it some more?
If you look at the photo carefully, you will see that this Studer A80 analog tape recorder has several more tape guides than the norm. It's used for mastering. But why?
I never thought I'd see synchronized singing and hula hooping, but I have now. And it demonstrates an interesting scientific principle that relates closely to audio.
An RP reader finds that a certain combination of microphone and preamp works much better than he expected...
So you're setting yourself up in the voice over business. What should you think about before anything else?
An RP reader fears losing cabinet resonances if the backline of his band is miked up through the PA. But perhaps it is innovation in live sound that has been lost over the years.
AKG makes some of the best mics in the world. AKG also makes a USB mic. A great USB mic?
Are you planning on getting your tracks mastered? Then the first rule of preparation is not to master the tracks yourself.
Sometimes unusual microphone placements can capture an interesting sound. In this instance, the sound is completely wrong.
Audio production - it's all about the DAW isn't it? Well that's what marketers would have you believe.
Manchester United's fans are not normally known for being a timid lot. So why can't they be heard at the other end of the stadium?
If you have a classic vintage vacuum tube, chances are you don't want to sell it. But someone does (for a price)...
If you record an entire drum kit with SM57 mics, the total cost of the mics is around $300. That's pretty cheap, but is the sound cheap too?
An RP reader has a turntable and a mixing console. But they are not sounding good together...
We know very well the most-covered song of all time, with its lush string quartet backing. But it was nearly given the electronic treatment.
For many engineers, the Neumann U47 is the undisputed champion of microphones. Here you can judge it against the $1599 Lauten Audio Atlantis. You might be in for a surprise.
A interesting question asked by an Audio Masterclass student. Well does it??
Any pro studio would have both main monitors and nearfields. But now you can have both in one package.
How do you keep your studio door closed? If it uses a latch then you may be slowing down your sessions.
Should a pro engineer prevent clipping through correct gain setting? Or can soft limiting be relied on to save the day?
A blog post from a senior representative of Pandora claimed that 2000 acts will earn more than $10,000 each next year. He actually meant $4500.
Kid Koala's new CD, 12 bit Blues, comes with a cardboard turntable that you can build yourself, plus a flexidisc to play on it. Want one? You really should!
Every home needs a listening room or home cinema with a pair of really big loudspeakers. And this pair certainly is big. And unusual too.
Ask any two engineers which mics they prefer for any instrument and you will soon be witness to a heated argument. But sometimes there might be a very good reason why a mic doesn't work.
It might be impossible to achieve perfect soundproofing against the sonic onslaught of heavy traffic, but small improvements can be gained quite easily.
Some singers have deeply resonant vocals. Some don't. But how can you add deep resonance when it isn't there in the first place?
The Shure SM58 is normally regarded as an unburstable microphone. But these husband-calling wives have other ideas...
Gain... Level... Are you confused? And does it make any difference if you are?
There is a big difference between a school or college, and the real-world working environment. One is helpful and supportive, the other is harsh and takes no prisoners. Guess which is which?
Is your music earning you money? Here's how it could earn you money while you sleep.
Take off the grille cloth of your loudspeakers and you will see that they have holes, with tubes extending inside the cabinet. Why? What would happen if you blocked them up?
Why have loudspeakers that fire sound at you when you can have loudspeakers that spray sound all around the room. Those crazy Swedes... :-)
Are you concerned about the professionalism of your work? Some photographers are, and some are not so much. The comparisons are interesting...
We think we know everything these days. But are we getting a little too clever? Perhaps people in an earlier age of recording knew something that we don't.
There are so many notes in a sonata or a concerto. Should we expect them all to be played correctly? Or is the occasional wrong note acceptable in the context of a performance of wonderful musicality?
Classical music just needs to be recorded, doesn't it? Well in some cases it really can be produced.
A wrong note that has resonated for more than half a century is fixed - without the aid of a time machine.
What sounds good to the electric guitar player doesn't necessarily sound good to the audience. A live sound engineer explains...
If you're miking one of the finest violinists in the world, should you point the mic at the double bass instead?
A major producer has 'stolen' a song from a pair of unknowns. A crime, or normal everyday life in the music business?
If a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound (if no-one is around to hear it?) If you can't hear hum, then is there no hum?
Take a 300-year old bass line, a cello player with just seven days' experience, and some highly uncool-looking musicians... and make a recording that is really top of the pops for weird!
There are so many decisions to be made during the process of recording. Should you make them one at a time as you go along, or let them pile up so that you have a mass of decisions to make in the mix?
We think of image-obsession as being a feature of the the current media age. But Sir Edward Elgar was at it 80 years ago...
If you're a Sparks fan, you'll want to own this live album. If you're a live album fan, you'll want to show your support for the format. Are live albums about to make a comeback?
We live in a precisely-ordered digital world these days. But what did music sound like when it used to be played by musicians? Perhaps something like this...
What kind of keyboard instrument can you buy for £20? You would be amazed...
Take a trio of rhythm guitar, bass and drums. Add a vocal, add some overdubs. Oh, and someone find a lead guitarist for the solo...
Many aspiring producers admire Will.i.am for his musical success. He admires Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.
Using microphones in a stereo pair always raises a good question - are you SURE they sound right?
Is this dual tube/transistor preamp the ultimate in preamp flexibility? Or does it completely miss what could have been its finest trick?
It's a rare bass guitar recording that doesn't vary in level to some extent. In most cases, this adds nothing to the musicality of the recording and just makes the track harder to mix.
Q: When is a ribbon tweeter not a ribbon tweeter? A: When it's an eXtended Accelerating Ribbon Technology tweeter in an ADAM Audio loudspeaker.
The tape that got The Beatles rejected by Decca Records in 1962 has unexpectedly been rediscovered. But is it just a (money-making) fake?
As the new James Bond movie Skyfall opens, it seems an appropriate time to revisit the question of whether the 'James Bond Theme' was actually written by Monty Norman or John Barry.
The money in music is divided like this - the top 1% get nearly all of it! But soon it might be possible for the 'middle-class' musician to make a decent living.
Voice over recording can be very lucrative. But only if your voice talent AND your recording techniques are of the highest standard. So what are the potential problems?
The Neve Melbourn 12-2 mixing console is a classic in miniature, but now quite expensive to buy on the used market. But might this be an alternative?
One wouldn't expect a 50-year old potentiometer to be without a few crackles. But does a guitar used only for recording actually need a volume control?
Having great equipment doesn't always lead to great recordings. And how much will you regret wasting your money?
If you write your own songs, you might be able to get royalties for your live performances. Why settle for just one income stream?
Lower latency, better CPU load balancing, reduced memory usage, better disk performance... Something to look forward to?
Everyone wants the famous Neve sound. But can you find it in a ducker?
Delay is one of the simplest yet (currently) under-appreciated effects available. But how do you work out the correct settings?
The average YouTube music video gets a few tens of views. Isabel Fay's gets 683,649. How come?
You can make each individual track of your recording sound as great as you like. But will they all mix together successfully?
An 8-channel preamp of apparently SSL/Neve quality is up for sale on Ebay. But can you really trust the seller's description?
Do your recordings brush up against the full scale mark? If they do, might they be distorted or degraded in some way compared to lower-level signals?
In the studio, you can work at whatever pace you like. But in live sound, or live broadcast, sometimes you have to think very fast indeed.