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Music Equipment, Recording, MIDI, Digital Audio, Indie How-To


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How-To Resources



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Home And Professional Recording

General Information
Equipping A Studio
Problem Solving
Recording Techniques
Mixing And Mastering


General Information

Acoustic Treatment for Home Studios UCSC tutorial - a studio's sound is its number one asset.

Audio Cables and Wiring FAQ From Sound On Sound magazine, answers to many fundamental questions. (Since the publication is British, some of the electronics terminology is also British.)

Audio Recording Terms Glossary From the Recording Institute of Detroit and the Recording Website.

Audio Systems Guide For Music Educators From Shure, a guide in PDF format covering topics from recording to live sound reinforcement and choosing equipment.

Automatically Empty the Cakewalk Picture Cache How to set up Windows to empty the Cakewalk Picture Cache automatically.

Avoiding Clicks with Crossfading How to splice two pieces of audio together without getting clicks.

Cutting A Range Of MIDI Notes With Cakewalk How to cut a range of MIDI notes from one track and move them to another track.

Easier Cakewalk Editing with the Scroll Lock Key How to edit more easily in Cakewalk while listening to the music.

Ethan Winer Site includes dozens of articles written by the author for major publications in the fields of audio recording, electronics, music, and computer programming.

Electronic Musician Online Interactive version of the magazine, including article archives.

Finding Glitches With Sound Forge Fixing audio problems in live recordings after the fact.

Impedance Matching for Microphones: Is It Necessary? From Shure, this answers questions such as, "What happens when a high impedance microphone is connected to a low impedance input?"

Making Connections A UCSC tutorial about fundamentals for connecting studio devices correctly.

Microphone Sensitivity Ratings: What Does it all mean? From Shure, answers to common questions about microphone sensitivity ratings and dB SPL input levels.

Mix Magazine Online Commercial and project studio recording info.

Phantom Power and Bias Voltage: Is There A Difference? From Shure, an explanation of the differences.

ProRec Staffed by more than a dozen top audio engineers and producers, this constantly updated site provides cutting edge information for pro, semi-pro, and amateur recordists who rely on PC-based digital audio workstations. Lots of excellent articles about recording and all of the technology associated with it.

Pro Sound News covers recording and post-production, mastering and media, audio for broadcast, sound reinforcement, plus product news. This is the U.S. version of the magazine. See below for other distributions.

Quick Audio Preview in Windows XP How to get Windows XP to load audio files more quickly for previewing.

Recording Website Articles Many useful articles about home and studio recording - PC recording, 4-track, effects, beginner's buying guide, drums, EQ, FAQ, glossary, studio guidelines, mixing, and much more.

Signal2Noise Articles archive of the on-line journal of research and opinion for the professional audio community.

Sound On Sound Music recording technology magazine, based in England.

Tips, Information and Do It Yourself Construction Articles From Shavano Music Online, assorted how-to articles about making cables, equipment covers and bags, crossover networks, lighting systems, speaker cabinets, etc., as well as tips about performing outdoors.

Tubes vs Transistors: Is There An Audible Difference? Reprint of Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, May 1973.

The Vista From Here From Keyboard, discussion about what benefits the new operating system offers to musicians.

Vista For Musicians: Is It Time To Upgrade To The New Windows OS? From Sound On Sound, the pros and cons of Vista for musicians.

Why Vacuum Tubes? Reprint of Pro Audio Review, Jan/Feb 1996 issue.


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Equipping A Studio

Buying The Equipment You Really Need: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 From Sound On Sound, general advice for deciding what studio equipment you need vs. what you want, including the computer.

Choosing A Recording Setup From Sound On Sound, this five-part article examines the confusing choices musicians face and sorts them out.

How to Build A Personal Studio on Any Budget, Part I and Part II From Electronic Musician (July 2002), outlines for eight studios, half with computers and half without, complete with price lists and manufacturer contact information. A bit outdated now, but still useful.

Setting Up The Ultimate Digital Home Studio 7-part article covers all the basics and more.


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Problem Solving

Avoiding Latency Problems When Recording in A Computer Studio How to hook up a simple computer-based studio with a mixer to provide zero-latency monitoring during recording.

Better Latent Than Never What is latency? Four instances in digital audio devices and hard disk recording.

Connecting Professional Microphones to Computer Sound Cards From Shure, help for using professional microphones with a computer.

Dealing with Computer Audio Latency Find out about latency before you buy the wrong soundcard.

Do You Hear Something? - Eliminating Hums and Buzzes Tips on getting rid of electronic noise in your home studio system.

Identifying and Solving Instability Problems Using utilities and diagnostic tests to help resolve PC instability problems.

Identifying and Solving PC MIDI and Audio Timing Problems Some of the most common causes and symptoms of timing problems and how to eliminate them.

Low Latency Background: Buffer and Latency Jitter How latency happens, in theory and in practice.

Low Latency Background: Monitoring, ZLM and ASIO Monitoring problems caused by latency.

Patchbays FAQ From Sound On Sound, answers to frequently asked patchbay questions.

Signal Problems and How to Avoid Them From Sound On Sound, how to identify and get rid of the more common signal problems.

Tuning Tips for Low Latency Operation (Win9x) How to tune Windows 98 to get the lowest latency.

Tuning Windows XP for Audio/Music Applications Configuring and streamlining selected XP features to improve performance with most professional audio and music software.

Using DI Boxes From Sound On Sound, choosing the right direct-injection (DI) box for problem solving in studio and live recording.


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Recording Techniques

Analogue Tape Compression For Digital Recording How to get true analog tape sound out of your modular digital multitrack or hard disk recording system.

A Basic Guide for EQing by Devin Devore of Trinity Sound Company. Covers vocals and music.

The Big Bang From Mix magazine, interviews with three engineers who combine adventurous miking and signal-processing techniques with the tried-and-true.

A Bright Vocal Sound, How To Achieve It? From Sound On Sound, tips for making vocals sound brighter.

DAT Do's and Don't's Top 20 do's and don't's for Digital Audio Tape from a TASCAM users guide.

DAT-heads FAQ Digital Audio Tape info, emphasizing recording and distribution of live music. Dated, but still useful.

DAT-heads Microphone FAQ All about mics, with an emphasis on live recording.

Digital Recorders Tutorial from UCSC about recording techniques using digital tape recorders.

Digital Synthesis Tutorial from UCSC about digital synthesizers.

Do the Doppler with Sound Forge How to create a Doppler effect by using Sound Forge.

Doing It Yourself - A Guide to Making Music. Recording, marketing, promotion advice.

Dolby Laboratories Inc. Check the "Professional Services: Search our Technical Library" section to find many documents about noise reduction, Dolby Digital, and Surround Sound.

Effective Drum Programming: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 From Sound On Sound, a how-to explanation of the basic principles of drum programming.

Encode Your Sonar MP3s For Free Ways to encode your Sonar 2 MP3s for free.

FAQ About Surround Sound Mostly about the production of surround sound - from Surround Associates.

Film and Television Music Knowledgebase From Film Music Magazine, answers to a wide variety of questions about the film music business.

Increasing Loudness in Dance-music Production From Sound On Sound, how to get that massive dance sound.

Level-headed Behaviour Obtaining maximum level on your digital recordings.

Matching the Phase of Mic & DI Signals From Sound On Sound, Craig Anderton tells how to solve the problems of combining miked and direct input feeds from a bass guitar.

Maximum Quality, Minimum Cost: Affordable Ways To Improve The Quality Of Your Recordings Instead of buying new equipment, take a close look at the way you're using what you already have.

Microphone Techniques for Music -- Studio Recording This PDF file from Shure describes microphone techniques and placement to pick up a natural tonal balance, to help reject unwanted sounds, and to create special effects.

Microphone Types And Pick-up Patterns by James A. Putnam.

Microphones Basic info from UCSC about microphones and placement techniques.

Microphones And Multitracks This PDF file from Shure describes essential steps for recording using a microphone and multitrack recorder.

The Moog Synthesizer Tutorial from UCSC about using the Moog synthesizer.

Multi-client Capability: Understanding and Using Multi-client Soundcard Drivers The procedure and uses for attaching several different applications to a single MIDI or audio device.

Practical Drum Kit Miking and Practical Drum Kit Recording From Sound On Sound, how to achieve a good live drum sound even in a small untreated room, and how to commit kit sounds to multitrack.

Professional MIDI Guide From Hinton Instruments, the professional application of MIDI. Also, see MIDI Protocol Guide for MIDI messages, MIDI controller numbers, system exclusive structure, and MIDI manufacturers' ID numbers (USA, Europe, Japan).

Recording Acoustic Guitars From Sound On Sound, how to get the best recorded acoustic guitar sound.

Recording Bass Instruments From Sound On Sound, some practical tips for achieving better recorded bass guitar and bass synth sounds.

Recording Engineer's Quarterly Formerly called Engineer's Quarterly - a variety of articles about audio recording techniques.

Recording Lead Vocals FAQ From Sound On Sound, some answers to help you get clear, upfront-sounding vocals.

Recording Real Pianos From Sound On Sound, some practical hints and tips for getting the right sound out of what many engineers regard as the hardest instrument to record.

Recording Strings From Sound On Sound, techniques and tips for recording live string soloists and string sections.

Recording Vocals From Mix magazine, interviews with four engineers about gear and methods they use to capture vocals.

Recording Vocals On A Computer From Sound On Sound, recording to a computer can make it easier than ever to produce a great vocal sound, but there are also pitfalls.

Scott Holderman's Studio Maintenance Page Studio gear maintenance FAQs and articles.

Signal Processors Basic info from UCSC about signal processors.

SMPTE and Video Tutorial from UCSC about linking sound and images.

Sonar Notes: Sonar As A Waveform Editor Can Sonar also serve as a waveform editor?

Sonar Notes: Thickening vocal, harmony generation Tips on vocal thickening, harmony generation and working with different track heights.

Sonic Considerations for Future Architects of Sound From Audiohead.net, renowned sound designer Richard Devine offers a mixture of tips for designing sound.

Sound Forge Scripting - Applying Multiple Effects An excerpt from the book: Sound Forge 8 Power!

10 Brief Recording Tips For Initial Tracking by James A. Putnam.

Tool Time: Home Studio Tips and Tricks

20 Tips On Creating Realistic Sequenced Drum Parts If you have never played drums, these tips can help you to sequence a more convincing drum pattern.

Using Short Delays To Create Up-front Ambience How to use your multi-effects unit to create short delay treatments.


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Mixing And Mastering

CD-Recordable FAQ Andy McFadden's FAQ on CD-Rs is so comprehensive, it even tells you what happens when they're microwaved and, sensibly, tells you not to do it. (Why would anyone want to?)

Don't Touch That Fader! Tips to help you balance your mix without relying solely on changes to relative volume levels.

DVD FAQ Comprehensive and continuously updated.

Getting More Bass in Your Mix From Sound On Sound, how to get your bass end to sound bigger, fatter, louder and meaner.

Giving Your Recordings A "Produced" Sound From Sound On Sound, why do some songs sound like demos, while others sound like top commercial tracks?

Guide to Master Tape Preparation From Disc Makers, a downloadable PDF guide for getting the most out of the recording and mixing process, avoiding costly mistakes, and preparing your master tape for error-free audio manufacturing.

How Do I Maximise Loudness On Tracks? From Sound On Sound, several options for increasing loudness on mixes.

Improving Your Stereo Mixing From Sound On Sound, how to give your mixes more stereo depth and width.

Introduction To Mixer Automation: Part 1 and Part 2 From Sound On Sound, an explanation of voltage controlled amplifiers (VCAs) and moving-fader mixer automation, and a step-by-step guide to setting up and running an automated mix.

The Mixer, Parts I & II If you've never used a mixer and find the complicated looking features a little intimidating, get the introductory ins and outs here.

Mixers Tutorial from UCSC about mixers.

Mixing Multitracked Drums From Sound On Sound, some secrets on how to get the best drum sound.

Practical Mixing From Sound On Sound, how to improve the fundamentals of your mixing technique.

The Pros & Cons of Software & Hardware Mixers From Sound On Sound, can you completely replace a hardware mixer with a software mixer?

Surround Sound Explained - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9 From Sound On Sound, this 9-part article offers a thorough examination of surround sound and its importance to musicians.

Sympathetic Mixing: How to Set Up A Good Mix From Sound On Sound, how do you get the perfect mix?

10 Brief Tips For Mixing by James A. Putnam.

What Should I Mix Down To? From Sound On Sound, the pros and cons of each mixdown format for recording your stereo master.


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James A. Putnam
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