I love technology. It is a beautiful thing. However, while there’s nothing wrong technology itself, we need to consider the role that technology should play in our lives.

I’m mainly referring to technology as it pertains to making music, particularly in the recording world. These days everybody and their dog can have a home recording studio. Don’t get me wrong, that can be an awesome thing. Thirty years ago it simply wasn’t possible to spend a couple hundred dollars and be able to make high-quality recordings at home. The technology wasn’t there.

Technological advancements of the last few decades have brought a new, massive percentage of the population into the world of studio recording. My life would certainly be dramatically different if I couldn’t record my music (and the music of others). Without the onset of new technology, the entire recording industry would consist of the select few who could drop $400,000 on a huge recording studio, fully equipped with analog tape machines and massive recording consoles.

Today an average Joe can pick up an interface and a microphone and do a lot of things the big analog studios of the past could do, and a lot of things they couldn’t!

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Mopad from BottomWhen I first heard about the Auralex MoPADs, I was skeptical. Once I got them in my studio, however, I changed my tune.

The MoPADs are monitor isolation pads. They’re designed to live between your studio monitors and the surface on which they are resting. Why is this important?

Good Vibrations

We all know that sound, by definition, is vibration. When a speaker vibrates, it not only vibrates the air around it, but it also vibrates whatever surfaces it comes in contact with.

You’ve probably seen pictures of a speaker suspended in an anechoic chamber by a couple wires. This is how they test the frequency response of speakers, they hang them in a super-quiet room. They are able to hear the speaker by itself, as it was intended to be heard. Read more »

I had a lot of visitors to the site last week, and several folks submitted a question using the “Ask Joe” form. Thanks! I decided to answer these questions via video.

The questions deal with the following: [UPDATE: I realized after the fact that a 10-minute video might be a bit long, especially if you’re searching for the answer to your question. By all means listen to the whole thing, but if you want to know where to find specific topics, see below.]

  • Vocalign – 0:37
  • Good recorder for young band – 1:40
  • EMU 1616M PCI – 2:40
  • Getting good natural reverb out of drum room – 3:30
  • M-Audio Fast Track Ultra 8R, USB vs Firewire – 4:52
  • Good audio interface/microphone for video work – 6:20
  • Low latency monitoring in Pro Tools – 7:22
  • External hard drive for sample libraries – 8:31

If you have questions you’d like for me to address in a future video, head over to the Ask Joe page and fill out the form!

There are hundreds of ways to configure a home recording studio. If you’ve had a home studio for a while, then you know what I’m talking about. Over time my studio has evolved and grown in all sorts of directions.  If you’re new to home recording, however, this can be almost paralyzing! You’ve got a million different products, all of which claim to be the savior of the modern world.

Where do you even start? My goal here isn’t to provide an exhaustive list of everything anyone would ever think of wanting and then give you a comparison chart that covers every minute detail of every recording product ever invented. Rather, I’ll speak from my own experience. I’ve been recording music for years, and while I’m no multi-platinum award-winning audio engineer, I do have a lot of good experience setting up home studios.

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