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Musician's Tech Central

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


Computer Music - Keyboards - Drums - Guitar - Bass
Recording - Live Sound - DJ - Accessories


How-To Resources



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For Beginners

Beginner's Recording Handbook

CD/DVD Production FAQs From Mediatechnics Duplication Systems, info about CD/DVD production and duplication.

Desktop Music Handbook From Cakewalk Software, a thorough primer on MIDI and digital audio production, including a glossary of terms.

Frequently Asked Questions: Getting Started - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 From Sound On Sound magazine, these articles cover some fundamental questions that are hard to answer, but come up often: What do I need to start a basic home studio?; Should I use my computer for music or choose dedicated hardware instead?; How can I tell when my recordings are of release quality?; Which computer platform and operating system should I use?; etc.

How to Build a Studio Rack A step-by-step tutorial for building a custom studio keyboard stand and equipment rack on a tight budget with seventh-grade-shop-class skills, and without having to handle any dangerous saw blades. See, also, All About Racks And Rack Rails, which focuses on aspects of EIA 310-D, the standard 19-inch rack specification that is applicable to home studios and professional recording studios. It can be used as a guide for planning your own studio, or for building your own studio furniture. Also, plans can be purchased at Recording Studio Workstation & Rack Plans.

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.

Some thoughts on used guitars, beginners, and so on Useful article from McCabe's Guitar Shop, the well-known musical instrument store in Santa Monica, California.

Songwriting TAXI: Source for songwriting tips, songwriter resources, songwriting articles, and songwriting techniques.

Taking the Mystery Out of MIDI Published by NAMM, this comprehensive 26 page article in PDF format covers just about anything you want to know about MIDI. Useful to beginners and advanced.

10 Popular Guitar Effects Briefly Described by James A. Putnam.

ThinkQuest Internet Challenge Library Music education sites.

Transferring LPs and Tape Cassettes to Disk How to copy vinyl records and tape cassettes to your hard drive, including info about editing and cleaning the tracks.

The WWW Guitar Advisor Advice for novices about buying and caring for guitars.


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Do-It-Yourself Projects

Acoustical Solutions How-To Video Spots From Acoustical Solutions, videos showing do-it-yourself sound proofing and noise reduction techniques.

Build A Better Bass Trap Plans and instructions for building bass traps and acoustic treatment for recording studio control rooms.

Connecting your Devices to a Shure Mixer From Shure, the diagrams in this PDF booklet provide wiring recommendations for most common cables.

How to Build a Studio Rack A step-by-step tutorial for building a custom studio keyboard stand and equipment rack on a tight budget with seventh-grade-shop-class skills, and without having to handle any dangerous saw blades. See, also, All About Racks And Rack Rails, which focuses on aspects of EIA 310-D, the standard 19-inch rack specification that is applicable to home studios and professional recording studios. It can be used as a guide for planning your own studio, or for building your own studio furniture. Also, plans can be purchased at Recording Studio Workstation & Rack Plans.

How Does The MIDI System Work? From Indiana University, MIDI specifications explained.

How to Solder a Bad Connection From Electronic Musician, a thorough explanation of the fundamentals.

John Loadsman's DIY Port-Powered Midi Interfaces for Macintosh and PC Schematics, parts list, etc.

Making a MIDI interface For PC, Mac, and other - articles from Harmony Central.

Midi Hardware Projects Do-it-yourself projects from Hardware Web.

Midi Manufacturers Association (MMA) This is the group which maintains the MIDI specification as an open standard. Loads of authoritative MIDI general and technical info, including the three components of MIDI: the communications Protocol (language), the Connector (hardware interface) and the distribution format called Standard MIDI Files.

MIDI Wind Controllers FAQ Wide variety of info about wind controllers.

The 10 Step Guide To Chip Replacement By Craig Anderton, an easy way to upgrade some of your studio equipment.

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.


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Effects

Advanced Compression: Part 1 and Part 2 From Sound on Sound, advanced techniques for using compression.

Advanced Gating: Part 1 and Part 2 From Sound on Sound, there's much more to gating than you might think.

Advanced Reverb: Part 1 and Part 2 From Sound on Sound, advanced techniques for using reverb.

All About Equalisation From Sound on Sound, types of EQ and tips.

Compression - A Simple Explanation From Music-and-Technology.com, a detailed explanation of the fundamentals.

Compression Explained From Humbucker Music, some useful compression techniques.

A Concise Guide to Compression and Limiting From Sound on Sound, compression parameters and usage explained.

Delay Fun 101 From the endlessly resourceful AnalogX guy, how to create different effects by using the digital delay - and, yes, there's even a free program to download.

Digital Signal Processing FAQ Variety of technical info about digital signal processing, including programming info - sponsored by Berkeley Design Technology, Inc.

EQ Explained From Sound on Sound, how and when to use EQ.

Equalization by the Octave From Recording Engineer's Quarterly, one key to understanding equalization is to understand the effect of different frequency ranges on music and instrument sounds.

Expanding Your Effects Horizons: Part 1 and Part 2 From Sound on Sound, some less common effects types and some ways to use them.

Guitar Effects FAQ

Guitar Player Online

How and When to Use Mix Compression From Sound on Sound, some of the techniques and traps involved in mix compression.

Integrating Mixing and Signal Processing From Sound on Sound, Craig Anderton's tips for using your mixer's capabilities in relation to effects and signal processors.

Multi-Effects Explained, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 From Sound on Sound, getting the most out of multi-effects programming.

Practical Multi-band Compression From Sound on Sound, why multi-band compressors provide far greater flexibility for mastering and other critical applications.

Recommended Equalization Frequencies From Recording Engineer's Quarterly, a chart showing frequencies to increase or decrease for various instruments.

Sampling Tutorials From Samplecraze, tutorials about sampling, sound synthesis, etc.

10 Popular Guitar Effects Briefly Described by James A. Putnam.

20 Tips on Using Effects and Processors in the Mix From Sound on Sound, how to control your effects units rather than vice versa.

Understanding and Emulating Vintage Effects From Sound on Sound, how vintage analog effects worked and how digital emulations of them could be made more accurate.

Where to Use Processors and Why: Reverb From Sound on Sound, a series of articles offering tips for using common effects and avoiding problems. See also:


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Guitar Information And Tips

From Gibson, a series of articles offering tips for a better guitar sound:

Mad Guitar Licks Dozens of guitar licks and lessons by video with tablature, guitar lesson reviews, and "Rock God" biographies detailing how some of the greatest guitarists of all time learned to play.


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How-To On Video

Acoustical Solutions How-To Video Spots From Acoustical Solutions, videos showing do-it-yourself sound proofing and noise reduction techniques.

ActoGuitar: Free Guitar Lessons Professional interactive instruction with audio and video for both beginners and advanced.

Cakewalk's YouTube Video Channel provides musicians with information on using Cakewalk software products for music production and creation.

Cyberfret.com Free online guitar lessons with audio, video, and tablature.

EQTV From EQ Magazine, video lessons, artist interviews, and more.

Easy Chords These free online guitar or piano tutorials for the beginner include video. They offer easy to follow diagrams and how-to's for playing chords.

Freeguitarvideos.com Over 90 free guitar lessons on video, plus text-only lessons.

Guitar Lesson Online Online guitar lessons, using audio and video. A set of beginner lessons available for free.

Guitar Player TV Lessons, interviews, performances, and much more - all on video.

GuitarSchool.net 150 free video guitar lessons by pro instructors - acoustic, Rock and Blues. Registration required.

KeyboardBlues.com Some free keyboard blues lessons on video.

LearnLicks.com Watch videos of fellow musicians as they share their favorite licks, techniques and tips - guitar, drums, synths, etc.

MadGuitarLicks.com Sign up for free membership and get more than 30 free guitar licks on video with tablature.

PlayPianoToday.com Some free piano lessons on video.

PreSonus: Recording Drums From Presonus, brief tips on recording drums.

PreSonus: Recording Guitars From Presonus, brief tips on recording guitar.

PreSonus: Recording Vocals From Presonus, brief tips on recording vocals.

TrueFire Interactive guitar lessons and video courses available as downloads, streaming video and CD-ROM. Browse site for selected free guitar lessons on streaming video, or sign up for free membership.

Victor Wooten - Lessona on Bass Technique, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7 From the famous bass guitarist.


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Indie How-To

ASCAP From the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, a wide variety of info about the music business. Also, see ASCAP'S Guide to Resources in the Music Business, an extensive list of recommended resources for the business side of music.

BMI Broadcast Music Incorporated. Variety of music business info.

The Dance Music Business Resource Extensive guide about the basics of the music business, particularly dance, for independent labels and artists.

Getsigned.com Lots of how-to articles and tips for promoting your music and your career.

Getting Permission for Sampling Others' Work "Failure to get permission when you sample an outside source could lead to serious consequences."

A Glossary of Live Performance and Booking Terms Learn the definitions and master the industry's insider terms.

Jeff Mallett's Songwriter Site Loads of info, tips and links about songwriting, including the business and legal sides.

Music Law Offices Variety of legal advice about the music business.

Scott's PA System Tutorial Guide to making the most of your band's PA system.

Shavano Music Magazine dedicated to helping musicians solve business and promotional problems, etc.

Songwriting TAXI: Source for songwriting tips, songwriter resources, songwriting articles, and songwriting techniques.

Television Music The fastest, cheapest, and easiest way to make money with your music. Production music libraries buy much of their music from people who work out of home studios.

Ten Tips for Songwriters: Credits, Copyrights, and Coauthors You may have a great song, but you need these ten legal and business tips.

TicketPrinting.com has provided the following marketing articles written with unsigned bands in mind. The articles cover topics such as social networking, email marketing, press releases, forum creation, blogging, and other step-by-step guides.

Touring - Get out of town! Multi-part series about booking, budgeting, sound and lighting, transportation, promotion, etc.

Understanding and Writing Lyrics, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 From Sound On Sound, this 5-part article presents ways to find your own voice for writing pop lyrics.


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Live Sound

TCSound's Pro Audio Tip of the Week A plain-English series of informative tips for the live sound technician.

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, performing outdoors, etc.


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MIDI And Digital Audio

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

Digital Signal Processing FAQ Variety of technical info about digital signal processing, including programming info - sponsored by Berkeley Design Technology, Inc.

MIDI Wind Controllers FAQ Wide variety of info about wind controllers.

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.

Open Audio Hardware Guide From Cakewalk, a guide which allows you to quickly compare the features of a number of different audio cards. Includes a glossary of terms used in the guide.

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).

Software Synthesizer Glossary from the Virtual Synth Page.

Taking the Mystery Out of MIDI Published by NAMM, this comprehensive 26 page article in PDF format covers just about anything you want to know about MIDI. Useful to beginners and advanced.


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MP3 How-To

How MP3 Works If you're not very familiar with MP3 technology and some of the issues surrounding it, this CNN article provides a good intro.

MP3: Getting Your Music from the Garage to the Web From Shure, a comprehensive how-to for getting your music into your computer, into the MP3 format, and onto the Internet.

From CNET, short articles on the basics:


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Synthesizers

The History of Onboard Synth Effects: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 From Sound On Sound, the history and development of built-in effects on synths; plus, using them and getting the best from the keyboards and modules which contain them.

MIDI Wind Controllers FAQ Wide variety of info about wind controllers.

Software Synthesizer Glossary from the Virtual Synth Page.

Synth Zone Synth and MIDI resources on the Net. See, in particular, MIDI and Synth Tech Resources.


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Tech Terms Defined

All About Racks And Rack Rails focuses on aspects of EIA 310-D, the standard 19-inch rack specification that is applicable to home studios and professional recording studios. It can be used as a guide for planning your own studio, or for building your own studio furniture.

Audio Glossary from AudioEd.

Audio Recording Terms Glossary from The Recording Institute of Detroit and The Recording Website.

Glossary of Recording Terms by Bruce Bartlett at Cassette House.

Rane Professional Audio Reference from Rane Corporation.

Software Synthesizer Glossary from the Virtual Synth Page.

Sound on Sound Technical Glossary Common technical terms associated with recording, MIDI, audio and music technology.


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James A. Putnam
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