Thanks to everyone for participating in the reader poll I posted last week! You can see the poll results here.

I’ve got a good idea about the direction I want to go with this site, and your feedback helps tremendously. If at any point you have further suggestions or comments, please head over to the About page and shoot me an email!

A few of the poll results are what I expected. There were a few surprises, however. I was surprised by how many of you want to see more product reviews. I’ve got a few in the works that I’ll be posting soon (think: guitar pedals). Perhaps I can dedicate one day per week (or every other week) to product reviews.

As far as posting frequency goes, after seeing the poll results, I think I will commit to six posts per week. You can expect something from me every day but Sunday. If you haven’t already, subscribe to my RSS feed. It’s the easiest way to keep up with new posts, or to catch up on posts you may have missed. (If you’re still unsure as to what exactly RSS is, check out What is RSS? by Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.net.)

I have a lot of great ideas for videos and articles. I’ll try to keep an even balance of beginner-focused material and stuff for the more intermediate/advanced users. 

Ask Joe #3

To change gears a bit, it’s time for another episode of  “Ask Joe.” I did episodes 1 and 2 as videos. You can see them here and here

I got a sneaky suspicion that the videos are a bit long, and that perhaps no one is watching them all the way through. So, in an effort to develop a better community here at Home Studio Corner, I opted to do an article version of Ask Joe. Enjoy!

Question #1 

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Martin DC-1EA few days ago I wrote 3 Reasons to Stereo-Mic Acoustic Guitar. While stereo-miked acoustic guitar can sound amazing, sometimes it makes more sense to use a single microphone. With that in mind, I’ve come up with the following list. (Be sure to share your opinions in the comments section.)

3 Reasons NOT to Stereo-Mic Acoustic Guitar

1. The guitar is cheap (or just doesn’t sound all that great.)

For several years I owned a fairly cheap Ibanez acoustic guitar. It didn’t sound awful, but it didn’t sound great. It was made out of a wood laminate and was lacking in the low end.

I tried recording that guitar with two mics, but it never gave me a much better sound.

If you think about it, it makes sense. One of the main reasons I proposed for stereo-miking acoustic guitar was the fact that it allows you to capture the entire instrument. However, if the entire instrument doesn’t sound all that great, capturing more of the instrument won’t help.

In case you’re wondering, I was still able to get a decent recording out of that Ibanez. I used the proximity effect to my advantage. I would place a large-diaphragm condenser a couple inches from the 12th fret. The recording ended up having much more low end than the guitar itself normally had. (You can read more about the proximity effect here.)

If you’re attempting to record a cheaper acoustic guitar, spend some time with a single microphone, find a “sweet spot,” and go from there.

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Every person involved with music, with very few exceptions, is in search of community.

If you’re a recording engineer, you’re trying to network with local bands and venues to find new clients to record. If you’re a songwriter, you’re trying to find fellow songwriters to write and perform with. Bands network with other bands and promoters to get better shows and hopefully a record deal.

Without community, your music will go un-heard. Without community, no one will know that you’re an amazing recording engineer or a songwriter.

When my wife and I moved to Indiana from the Nashville area, my music suffered. I was no longer around those musicians and engineers who pushed me to write more songs and record better music.

It took months for me to even write a single song, and I did hardly any recording in my studio. 

What happened? I didn’t have a music community. I had no places to play, no projects to work on. I had no motivation to write a new song, because I knew no one would ever hear it. 
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As of this past weekend, HomeStudioCorner.com is one month old. I’m starting to get a feel for what readers are wanting, but I want to hear it straight from you. 

Please take a second to answer the following questions. It will help me keep this site on task with articles, videos, etc. that are relevant and helpful to your situation.

 

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If you’re a home studio owner, then you will inevitably be recording a lot of acoustic guitar. Whether you play yourself, or you’re working with a local singer-songwriter, it pays off to spend some time learning how to mic an acoustic guitar.

There are as many ways to mic an acoustic guitar as there are engineers in the world. For the purposes of this article, I want to show you why you should consider stereo-miking acoustic guitars (that is, using two microphones on the guitar instead of just one.)

Most home studio owners will throw a single mic on an acoustic guitar, point it at the 12th fret, and hit record. While there’s nothing wrong with this, I think a lot of people are missing out on some very cool guitar tones.

With that in mind, I’ve come up with 3 Reasons to Stereo-Mic Acoustic Guitar.

1. It adds width to your guitar-vocal demos (or solo acoustic guitar).
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Today I’ve got more basic video on how to create a click track in Pro Tools. As I mentioned in The Importance of Pre-Production, recording your music to a set tempo is a good habit to develop. It may be helpful to read that article first, then watch this video.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting a video about how to get more sounds out of your click track. (Let’s face it, not everyone wants to have a wood block blasting through the headphones.) 

Do you use a click track? What advice or tips do you have? Leave a comment. 

 

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Let’s say you just got your first USB audio interface. You’ve set up your home studio, installed everything, and you’re ready to hit that big red Record button and go to town.

What happens next can be both surprising and frustrating – latency. USB 1.1 isn’t the fastest protocol on the planet, and what can happen is that it takes the computer a little time to process the audio. Translation: you play or sing a note, then you hear it in your headphones several milliseconds later. This is latency.

The cure? Most manufacturers include a mix knob on their USB interfaces. This mix knob allows you to blend the direct signal (of the microphone plugged into the interface) with the playback signal (the tracks you’re playing back in Pro Tools). 

In this video I’ll explain it a bit further and show you how to get around this latency issue.

* There’s a slight hum in the audio during the screencast portion. My apologies. I had to rewire things a little differently to demonstrate what the latency sounds like.

 

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