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Category Archives for "Gear"

The Story Behind Bruce Springsteen’s Iconic Hybrid Telecaster

Bruce Springsteen Telecaster

There are some guitars that are forever linked to certain musicians. Eric Clapton’s “Blackie” and “Brownie” Strats, Brian May’s home-built one-off, Neil Young’s “Old Black” Les Paul, and B.B. King’s “Lucille” ES355 are just a few that come to mind. But there is another that fits nicely into this category and deserves equal attention because of […]

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Using LUFS For Mixing

Using LUFS for mixing

You might have noticed that in the last few years, the differences in level between television shows, commercials, and channels are pretty even, with no big jumps in volume. That’s because viewers were complaining for years about the fact that there was a dramatic increase in level whenever a commercial aired because it was so compressed […]

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Direct Box Basics

Radial JDI direct box

Direct boxes are something that we use every day in recording, yet take for granted because of their simplicity. Here’s an excerpt from my Recording Engineer’s Handbook that looks at the ins and outs of this useful recording tool. “Direct Injection (DI or “going direct”) of a signal means that a microphone is bypassed, and […]

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New Music Gear Monday: A-Designs Mix Factory Summing Amp

A-Designs Mix Factory

Mixers either swear by outboard analog summing amps or don’t see the need for them at all, but the ones that do are very passionate about them. We’re now into the second generation of summing amps, and the latest ones are incorporating a lot of features that the the first gen didn’t have. That’s one […]

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The Long Lost Secret To The AC/DC Guitar Sound

shaffer-vega wireless system

When we listen back to those great early AC/DC albums like Back In Black and Highway To Hell we think of what may be the epitome of hard rock guitar sounds. While on the surface you’d look at Angus Young’s fingers on a Gibson SG into a JMP 100 Marshall amp and think that was the sound (and […]

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Choosing the Right Microphone For The Job

Choosing the right microphone

While it’s safe to say that most engineers rely on experience when choosing which microphone to use in a given situation, these are some things to consciously consider when selecting a microphone. Here’s a list of items to think about from the latest edition of my Recording Engineer’s Handbook. There’s no one mic that works well on everything. […]

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New Music Gear Monday: Drawmer MC3.1 Monitor Controller

Drawmer MC3.1

One almost essential accessory for any computer-based DAW is the monitor controller, and there are a lot of them to choose from these days in just about all price ranges. Most of them in the sub-$1,000 range, while quite capable, are usually without some feature or features that you wish it would have. That’s what […]

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New Music Gear Monday: Audio-Technica ATM350a Instrument Microphone

audio-technica atm350a

We all have our favorite mics for recording specific instruments in the studio, but when it comes to miking them live, everything is out the window. Mostly that’s because mounting many mics can be a pain. While you can afford to spend time getting the placement just right in the studio, when it’s live everything is […]

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Tips For Choosing A Set Of Monitors

choosing monitors

It’s surprising that so many monitors (speakers that is) are purchased just from a review or word of mouth, since they’re such a personal item. Here’s an excerpt from my Studio Builder’s Handbook (written with Dennis Moody) that covers some things to think about before you purchase your next set of speakers. “1) Don’t choose a monitor because […]

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Outstanding Audio Software From AES 2016

Audio Software AES 2016

As I said in my post yesterday, there were fewer audio software companies at AES than one might have expected. The reason is that many software companies are boutique operations with only a few employees, so taking time away from development and spending a lot of money on a show is a critical decision. When […]

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New Gear Overview From AES 2016

aes

The AES Conference was in Los Angeles at the end of last week, and there was new gear everywhere. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much that you’d call “revolutionary” (which is the norm at gear shows these days), but there were a few things that caught my eyes and ears that I thought I’d share. The Show This […]

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September 29, 2016

Some Boutique Amp Secrets Everyone Should Know

11-boutique-amp-secrets

There are so many guitar amps on the market these days that the choices are probably greater than any time in music history. In fact, just about every make and model from the past has been reproduced, and some of these designs have even been made better than before (if that’s possible). Since companies like Fender and […]

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New Music Gear Monday: Empirical Labs Arousor Plugin

empirical-labs-arousor

It’s rare when a modern compressor becomes a standard, but after 20 years, the Empirical Labs Distressor can be found in every major studio, as well as many smaller and home studios, and is as widely used as any of the “classics.” The Distressor has a sound that’s different from everything else, and is one of the few […]

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