joel-sacs-pedals

This guest post is brought to you by my brother-in-law Joel. Joel’s a great bass player/producer, and he’s been building up his home studio over the last year. His Crummy Church Signs blog, while unrelated to the topic of home studios, is hilarious. You can also follow him on Twitter here.

I’ve always been nervous about having my own home studio. You see, I wasn’t reared on the low-key singer/songwriter scene that seems to be the forte of many home studio owners. Nor was I content to totally lean on MIDI for all of my sounds. I wanted to make loud music, and I wanted it to sound authentic. I always just assumed that there was no way to do that on a low budget (or with neighbors on every side of me who would strongly disapprove if I miked an 8×10 Ampeg bass cabinet at full volume).

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Limitless audio. That’s the beauty of digital recording. I can record a lead vocal as many times as I want. I can have a guitarist come in and play a hundred different versions of a guitar solo. Then I can stay up until the wee hours of the morning, sifting through all the different takes to find the perfect one.

That’s a good thing, right?

Well, it can be. However, having all this hard drive space at our disposal can simply lead to more time-wasting than music-making.
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Here are several links I came across this week. I shared them on my Twitter account, but I thought it would be nice to post them all here as well. Enjoy!

If you like what you find, be sure to leave a comment on their site!

In my last two videos, I showed you how to create a click track in Pro Tools and how to customize your click track using Xpand

Before we leave the land of click tracks, there are a few more little tips I wanted to share. Enjoy!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KeFyqIAYm4

Do you use a click track?

I came across a really interesting article today at MusicMachinery.com called “In search of a click track.” In the article Paul Lamere analyzes various recordings — from the Beatles to Britney Spears — to discover which ones were recorded to a click track. It’s a good read, I’d highly recommend checking it out.

In all this click track talk, it’s important to remember that the music should come first. We should use a click track to enhance the song, not sterilize it. Sometimes it’s just appropriate to NOT use a click track. 

So, do you use one? Leave a comment!

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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