Photo by fdecomite

Photo by fdecomite

Okay, this is the part of the concert where I ask for some audience participation.

I can go on for months talking about Pro Tools, recording techniques, and how to get good recordings, but I think it’s good to stop from time to time and ask the question why do we make music?

I invite you to be a guest author today on Home Studio Corner. Leave a comment with your reasons for making music. Whether you’re a musician or strictly an audio engineer, why do you do it?

Ready? Go!

One Hour - iPhone TimerIf you follow me on Twitter, then you may have noticed the other night that I gave myself a challenge. I had a song I hadn’t recorded yet, so I thought it would be fun to see how much I could get done in one hour.

Whenever I think about recording in my home studio, I tend to tell myself that I need to set aside at least two hours if I really want to accomplish anything of worth. As you can imagine, this is stupid.

I had a suspicion that this was stupid, hence the challenge. If I only have one hour to record, can I get anything done? Or would it be better that I just watch TV or surf the internet? After all, an hour isn’t very long.

So, in an attempt to prove myself wrong, I set the timer on my iPhone for one hour, hit start, and opened up Pro Tools.

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Happy Friday! It’s been a busy week here at Home Studio Corner. It appears that the 12 Home Studio Necessities eBook has been pretty well-accepted. Thanks! If you haven’t gotten your copy, you can snag one up by signing up for my newsletter.

On to the questions! I’ve got three questions this week. In case you’re new, every week I try to answer reader questions. (It usually falls on a Friday.) If you ever have questions you want me to address, I can give it a shot, just fill out the Ask Joe form

Marcus Williamson wrote:
Hi Joe, Thanks for all you help so far with setting up my studio. My question is the high pitched noise I get though my monitors [using an Mbox 2 Mini], any time I turn the monitors on I get this noise. It’s not in the head phones so I’m not sure if it’s from the m-box mini or my monitor set up. I mostly use my head phones (when you have a 15 month old the only time things are quiet enough to record is when he is sleeping) but still like to use the monitors. I have see others have this problem and I’m not sure it can be solved. Thanks again for you help.

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Do you use playlists in Pro Tools? Do you know what they are?

Playlists are very cool and can be quite useful. Basically, each track in Pro Tools can have as many playlists as you want. These playlists are basically different “versions” of that track.

1. Recording Takes

The most common use of playlists is keeping track of takes. Let’s say you’re recording a vocal and you want to record several different takes. You have two options, you can create a new audio track for each take, or you can use playlists.

The way it works is by clicking the drop-down menu on the left-hand side of the track in edit window and selecting “New…”

Playlist Menu

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jamie-randolphIn case you missed it, I posted a video last weekend about how musicians can give away their music and still be successful.

After watching that video, I immediately thought of a band down in Memphis, Tennessee, Jamie Randolph & the Darkhorse. I went to school with the drummer, and I’ve met the band a few times, but I’ve never had the chance to see them live.

Then a few weeks ago they released a live album, and they’re giving it away for free! The unique thing here is that it’s not your typical live album recorded in some noisy bar. They actually recorded it live at Ardent Studios in Memphis. They invited a handful of friends and family to come be the “audience,” and they set up a recording session with a small PA in the tracking room and played a show.

These guys are great players, great songs, and the recording sounds fantastic. If you’re looking for a comparison, think The Wallflowers’ Bringing Down the Horse. 

Jamie Randolph & the Darkhorse. Great guys. Great music. Please do me and yourself a favor and follow this link to download the live album.

A few other ways to find out more about the band:

Photo by zteamie

Photo by zteamie

Recently I had a chance to sit in on a seminar given by Kent Morris. Kent’s a brilliant guy. He works with Peavey and focuses on training churches on sound systems and how to use them. The topic of the seminar was how to use multiple microphones in a live situation.

Since this blog is about home studios, I won’t be getting into all the different topics he covered. Suffice it to say, Kent’s a brilliant presenter. If you ever get a chance to hear him speak, please do so.

What really captured my attention was something Kent said about EQ. He was talking about how to EQ a vocal to bring out clarity and definition when he made the following statement:

“Every instrument you deal with has a fundamental frequency in the 250-500 Hz range.”

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If you’ve followed Home Studio Corner for very long, then chances are you’ve read an article or two from the very first article series I wrote entitled 12 Home Studio Necessities. Over the course of 13 articles I covered the basics for setting up a home studio, from computer to cables.

Besides being the oldest articles on the blog, these posts have been the most popular as well. With that in mind, I decided to compile all of the information from those articles into one eBook and give it away for free! That way you can have one source to refer back to, rather than 13 different articles on my blog.

Simply sign up for my email newsletter, and you’ll receive a link to download your copy. While the eBook (which is 34 pages) is geared a bit towards beginners, it still contains a lot of information that applies to all home studio owners. Enjoy!

Click here to get your copy.

And while you’re at it, be sure to sign up for my RSS feed, that way you’ll get updates (either in a feed reader or via email) every time I post something new to the blog.

I came across this video earlier this week. Big thanks to Home Studio Guru for posting it! I linked to the video on my Twitter account, but it’s so good, I wanted to post it here on the blog as well.

If you’re a home studio owner, a musician, or both, chances are you would like to (at some point) make some money with your music. This video challenges the whole business model of musicians trying to make money from basic album sales.

With digital piracy going on everywhere, what is the musician to do? Give up and give away music for free? While a lot of people are lamenting the downward spiral of album sales, there are others who are taking advantage of digital technology and coming up with creative new ways to make money with their music.

Even if you are strictly a recording engineer, you should watch this. After all, if your clients aren’t able to make money off of the albums you record for them, you’ll run out of clients. Your clients need to be successful for you to be successful.

It’s a longer video (around 30 minutes), and it’s all powerpoint (gag), but the information is really good and quite inspiring. 

Have a wonderful holiday weekend, and enjoy!

NARM 2009 State Of The Industry: Michael Masnick from NARM on Vimeo.