Many of you know that for the last three years I have been a Sales Engineer at Sweetwater Sound. However, last Thursday was my final day at Sweetwater. (My wife and I have moved back down to Tennessee. I left the company on great terms. I’m actually pursuing a cool new opportunity…more on that to come in future posts.)

It has been a great three years. Sweetwater is a stellar company, and I feel that it is only appropriate that I post my thoughts on Sweetwater right here on Home Studio Corner.

My opinion of Sweetwater is obviously a biased one. However, being on the inside for three years has given me a very good look at the makeup of this company. If I didn’t like the company, I certainly wouldn’t post a review of it.

What makes Sweetwater different?

Anybody can sell music equipment, right? What makes Sweetwater any different from Musicians’ Friend or Zzounds? Aren’t they all just big box stores?

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We’ve all been there. You’re working on a song, and you wanna send it to a buddy to critique. What do you do? You email it, of course!

Ugh…Thirty emails later, and you’ve successfully taken up 150 MB of space on your email server. Not to mention the fact that if you ever want to send that song to another friend (I’m assuming you all have more than one friend :-)), you have to either re-upload the mp3 and email it, or you have to hunt it down in your Sent Mail folder and forward it.

There’s nothing wrong with using email for this, but it sure isn’t ideal. I always hate being on the receiving end of an email with one (or heaven forbid multiple) mp3’s attached to it. It bogs down my poor little DSL modem, and I cry a little bit each time.

Enter Dropbox

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I’ve recently received a few questions regarding MIDI, and I realized that I haven’t discussed MIDI all that much here on Home Studio Corner. While the majority of articles and videos deal with recording, mixing, productivity, etc., I would imagine most of us will utilize MIDI to some degree in our home studio setups.

Rather than do an exhaustive series of posts on MIDI, I thought it would be helpful to do address some of the most frequently asked questions. After all, if you’ve never used MIDI before, it’s a pretty mysterious new territory.

What does MIDI stand for?

MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface.

What is MIDI?

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If you follow me on Twitter, you may have known that I spent the weekend in the Chicago area installing an Apogee Symphony System for a client and doing some training. The install went surprisingly well, with no major issues, aside from a missing BNC cable.

If you’re not familiar with the Symphony system, you should check it out. It’s a phenomenal PCI-based system that connects any Apogee converter directly into your DAW (in this case, Logic) with insane audio quality along with virtually no latency.

The system is a dream home studio setup, and it’s all centered around the Symphony system and a Toft ATB24 24-channel recording console. (Pictured above.)

I have to admit, while I don’t use a recording console in my home studio, I grew very attached to the Toft board. It’s a great-sounding console with a ton of routing options. There’s something about running an analog signal through an analog mixer that makes you feel like a real recording engineer.

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Photo by constantly_Jair

Photo by constantly_Jair

We spend a lot of time on Home Studio Corner talking about recording and how to get good recordings. However, it’s a good idea to be on the other end of the spectrum, to be constantly listening to new music. One could argue that listening to recordings done by other people is just as important as practicing your own recording skills.

There will always be someone out there who’s better than you. Make sure you’re listening to their work. Enjoy their work, learn from them, apply their techniques to your own work. It’ll make you better.

So, what are you listening to?

I’ll start. Over the weekend I bought Erin McCarley’s latest album, “Love, Save the Empty.” It’s great. She has a nice, jazzy voice to go along with some catchy tunes. And the production on this album is amazing. Even if you’re not into big, extravagant, polished production, this is still worth a listen.

Okay, your turn. Leave a comment.

 Have you ever had issues getting your Digidesign audio interface to play back your computer’s audio (like iTunes or internet audio)? It can be a bit of a challenge. Check out this week’s Ask Joe question. 

Photo by charles_chan

Photo by charles_chan

Hey Joe!

I have been trying to figure a way to run my computer’s audio through my speakers that are connected to my 003. I don’t want to have to open Pro Tools to play a CD or MP3 that someone has given me as a reference. I just want to open iTunes or Windows Media Player and play the track. Is there a way to do this?

Thanks a lot!

– Josh

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