Today I talk about one of the most important topics you can ever think about when it comes to making music in your studio. And in the Q&A section, I answer your questions about:

  • dealing with phase issues with doubled guitars
  • types of headphones (and which one you should definitely have)
  • the key to using EQ without aimlessly “boosting and sweeping”
  • audio examples of the difference acoustic treatment can make
  • tips for recording 7 people at the same time, in the same roomWanna submit a question for the podcast? Go here:

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  • Kjell

    I recorded my PVC shakuhachi:
    with a dynamic microphone.
    I did add reverb etc. afterwards because shakuhachi sounds literally 3 times as good with good acoustics.
    Shakuhachi is the best known Japanese wind instrument, it plays in a lot of films.

    Keep in mind that it is one of probably five hardest wind instruments to learn on the planet and there are almost no western teachers. + everything I know about the instrument I have learned free through the internet. + I only started playing since October this year and didn’t have any formal training in wind instruments except for a little bit recorder/diatonic harmonica/panflute before that.

    It takes a couple of weeks/more than a month to produce your first good tone/note.

    The software I used to record/add reverb/etc. is free and open-source.

    The instrument is probably about the cheapest shakuhachi (it’s plastic!) you can find on the internet.

    Also I record in a ‘dry’ room, my studio – which is in the garden – is separated by the paravent/folding screen you can see in the shot so it is probably better than if you record in say a bedroom.

    There is just cheap acoustic 1 inch foam all around to suck out the life (you may think also the high end but to be honest, my high end sounds better this way when it is recorded then when I record in a ‘live’ room)

    I have a ‘mixing space’ and a ‘recording’ space that way.

    When I recorded in my hallway upstairs before I made this studio my recordings sounded really awfull tone-wise, lots of comb filtering I guess and ugly reflections even with a cardioïd.

    It sounded like the builtin microphone in laptops with bad acoustics.

    Just saying the same like Joe has said in a gazillion posts, practice takes you further then most other things.

    I would say:

    skills > acoustics > instruments > recording > mix > master

    A shakuhachi master (and builder, so he sells them!) once said that about 80% of your tone/sound comes through the player himself, and it is actually really true!
    Only the rest is the instrument build, material (usually madake bamboo), person who build it, lacquer, utaguchi inlay, and further…

    Some days I really love the sound I get, it sounds just like in the movies, like the voice of mother earth blowing through a bamboo forest and other days it just sounds like I’m trying to blow in a plastic bottle.

    Through practice my embouchure (mouth positioning, probably the most important) gets better every time, even without a real teacher.

    In my first month or month and a half I always played ‘meri’ which means I could never get the note I wanted, I played flat the WHOLE time, when I wanted to get my root note called ‘ro’ ロ which is a D in western notation it was more like a ‘ro meri’: C# and my ‘chi’ チ = A gave me a G# on my little tuner.

    Even now after weeks of practice I am still not in tune all the time.

    I started making ‘music’ in general when I was around 10,5 years old (I am now about 16,5.) but I still don’t have a really decent ear for pitch and such.

    I had almost no rythm until I started playing bass around 1,5 year ago!

    When I played with a click track/metronome I was like: oh no, I suck just to much.

    But because I love music for years now and it is like my only real hobby I never gave up, I kinda did for more than half a year when I was 12-13 years but even then I played now and then, even performed once at my school, so I kind of still was doing what I actually still loved, I just didn’t realize that yet at that time.

    Wow, what a text. 😉 Having an ASD gives me a little to much obsessed passion for music I guess.

    Greetings from Belgium and a good New Year.

  • Alek

    Thanks for your answer! Your intuition was excellent, I was using DADGAD tuning for the thing. I noticed the thin sound first when I switched to mono, and as you say, in stereo are just those moments when it sounds weird upon transition from in-phase to out-of-phase; only then I opened the phase meter and confirmed the issue visually.

    Waiting for the podcast I ended up recording a third guitar part with different melody (kind of low-harmony thing, or a bass part substitute for this simple singer-songwriter arrangement) and putting it in the middle of the stereo field. Now the three guitars all together sound fine in both mono and stereo.
    By the way, have you ever considered making a video on this phase meter plug-in, how to read it, when and how to use it? I think it could fit nicely in your Studio One series.
    Best Xmas Wishes for you and all the Gilders 🙂