This week I started working out with Iron Tribe Fitness. Two workouts in and I am HURTING.

This husky boy has 51 pounds to lose, and I think what I’m learning about that process applies to you and your music, too.

Plus, in this episode I answer questions about stuff like:

  • Switching DAWs
  • Dealing with annoying sibilance and breath sounds in spoken word applications
  • Acoustic treatment placement (for more on this, see Understanding Your Room)
  • What “mid-side” is and why I don’t use it.
  • More electric guitar tone questions
  • Running a signal through an outboard preamp
  • Re-amping: do I need a reamp box?

BONUS! This week I used the Roswell Mini K47 mic on my voice this week. Sounds GOOOOOD. Take a listen.

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  • DontWorryImAPilot

    I, on the other hand, LOVE recording with the mid/side technique.

    Super great times to use it: drum rooms, acoustic guitar, group vocals, misc percussion.

    The reason I like it so much: it sums to mono nicely and it gives me an option for a little bit of width when it’s appropriate but, most of all, it translates the room sound so well. I love to automate the side mics up and down to give me a few different shades/textures/colors of a source over the course of a mix.

    Drum rooms? Super appropriate! In fact, I like to really pull back on the mid mic to leave it extra wide…my kick and snare are in the middle and I want the room to fill up the space. If I had a good way to get an m/s pair up there (read: a tall, stable, easily-hangible mic stand), I’d use it for drum overheads any time I need anything other than spaced pair.

    Acoustic guitars? Hit and miss. If the part is for a “one guitar” section of a song – oftentimes a really stripped down bridge or a sparsely-arranged verse – it gives me a little room ambience and realness. Most of the time, though, acoustic guitars are mono and then panned.

    Misc percussion? Claps don’t sound like claps without some reverb. Tambourines don’t sound like tambourines without some roominess. I could grab a reverb plugin or I could use mid/side. I’m about 50% on it depending on what else is going on in the arrangement.

    Group vocals? Nothing sounds like a bunch of people in a room. There’s an energy and life that only happens in those environments. Mid/side gives mea phase-friendly option to adjust the amount of width after the fact that is a little more flexible and natural-sounding (to me, anyway) than an X/Y or ORTF setup.

    I think you’d dig mid/side if you used it in a mindful way. It’s absolute magic for capturing room sounds.

    • Really great points. You might be swaying me… 🙂

  • Chris

    Awesome podcast Joe. The fitness part is a whole other conversation, but…Accountability is probably the biggest reason why exercise goals are so hard to maintain. I’ve been doing different programs and “diets” and “lifestyle changes” for over 20 yrs. I did a year long program through Precision Nutrition (look them up) 2 yrs ago, probably the best company and research I’ve seen on exercise, nutrition, and SELF. Accountability was one of the biggest keys they stressed. I wont’ bore you with the details since you’re on your way now, but it hit home.

    The other key is small goals. I hesitated to hear how hardcore this new workout regime is because it can easily be discouraging and could be hard to maintain. All the power to you! Like you said, just show up. Do what you can. It’ll only help. And now you have a support staff (besides your wife) to help you along. You will definitely do this.

    One other thing-not sure how much this program focuses on nutrition, but you can easily demolish your hard earned gains in the gym if you’re not eating well. Most of losing weight is in the nutritional aspect. I bet if you didn’t go to the gym and ate really clean (try no sugar) for a month, you’d lose 10 pounds. Lifting is basically icing on the cake if your goal is specifically to lose weight.

    OK, sorry for the food rant. It might be my second favorite subject next to music, so I get carried away:)

    Kick butt!


  • Bryan Hoogenboom

    On reamping, if you’re a “one man show” like I am, playing and engineering your stuff, reamping can be a useful tool for optimizing mic placement. It can be a pretty good trick to play while, say, wearing headphones for monitoring and moving mics to hear the “truth” of your placement. Even the best cans in a fairly high volume environment will bleed bass. You can record the raw guitar direct to the interface, then shoot it back out to the amp with reamping. This will free you up to play around more with positioning. Once you think you’ve got it, cut a test track with the reamp setup. Then move it to your “B” position and cut another one. Go back and listen to those tracks on your monitors and choose the best. Now your ready to record “hot”.

    The reamping process will compress the raw guitar signal because it goes through a preamp. What comes out of your interface send is much less dynamic than what goes in from your instrument. So if you are trying to retain dynamics, this maybe not the best tool.

    I have reamped using a passive DI hooked up backwards. It works, but it’s surely not the quietest method. I have some samples of a tube test I did this way if anyone wants to hear them. I put the output from the DI (actually Input) back into an instrument input on my interface to measure and set the level to match the raw guitar input level, then pulled it out and went to the amp. Works fine for the mic placement trick.

    Sorry so long.

    • Yeah that makes sense. I would argue that you can get a great tone WITHOUT re-amping. Simply place the mic, record a segment. Stop and listen on your monitors. Adjust the mic and repeat until you’re happy.
      That’s what I do. Saves a lot of time and guarantees it sounds good the first time. I don’t like to leave options for later. I like to get it right the first time.

      • Bryan Hoogenboom

        That’s actually what I was intending to say, just use reamping and test tracks as a tool to find the sweet spot for the mic using A-B. These would be short bits on a playback loop. Then ditch it and track live with that location. I personally am not likely to find the best mic placement without a little testing, so I need all the help I can get. Reaping just makes it so I can do the testing and moving without a guitar in my hands. Sorry I didn’t communicate that very well.

        • OOOooooohh…Heck yeah dude, that makes a heck of a lot of sense. Nice! Thanks for sharing.


  • Scott Brown

    For the fitness side, check out Tim Ferriss’s “The Four Hour Body.” He’s great at shortcuts, but with discipline. 🙂

  • Mitchell Rodgers

    Heads-up, Joe, the Understanding Your Room link doesn’t work and great job with the Iron Tribe Fitness thing. I noticed you are making yourself accountable by telling us you signed-up.

  • John Curtright

    …Your voice sounds really good (or gooder) on this new mic. Great choice for voice work.