The Number One No-No of Recording

When you run a blog about home recording for almost eight years, it’s easy to get away from the basics. But as any football coach or guitar teacher will tell you, fundamentals are crucial.

Whether you’re new to recording and haven’t recorded a single note or you’ve recorded a thousand songs, you need the fundamentals. Today I want to expand on one of the most basic principles for recording. It’s so stinkin’ easy to forget about this one, but it truly is the unforgivable sin of recording.

But first a story…


G.I.R.A.T.S. – Your Studio’s New Motto for 2013

GIRATS — what is that all about? What does it stand for?

It stands for something that you should print out and plaster all over your studio. It should be on your computer desktop and screensaver. It should be the motto behind EVERYTHING you do in your home studio.

What is it?


I’ve said it plenty of times before, but I can think of no better way to begin 2013 than this.

Get it right at the source. Don’t have a “fix it in the mix” mentality. If you don’t like the way the recording sounds, FIX IT NOW. Don’t assume you can do some clever editing and EQ-ing to make it sound great again.

Trust me, your recording life is infinitely better if you really focus your efforts on getting it right at the source.

4 Ways to G.I.R.A.T.S.

1. The Source – Make sure your source sounds good to begin with. Who cares if you’ve got a killer mic and preamp if the singer is absolutely horrible! If that acoustic guitar won’t stay in tune or if that guitar amp has horrible tone, do everything you can to fix the source BEFORE placing a mic in front of it. (Sometimes this means getting a different musician, instrument, or both.) (more…)

3 Reasons You NEED to Be Good at Audio

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you WANT to be good at audio.

You want to get better. You want your recordings to sound great.

But do you NEED to be good at audio?

My vote? Absolutely.

Here are 3 reasons why:

1. Extra Income Potential

Would you be happy with some extra income? Of course you would.

As the economy continues to do its crazy dance, lots of people (perhaps even you) are nervous about their financial futures. Jobs that once seemed “secure” don’t seem so secure anymore.

Or maybe that same old paycheck just doesn’t go as far as it used to. (more…)

A “Get It Right at the Source” Handbook

Yes, I’m still pondering a “Get it right at the source” tattoo. Not sure my wife would approve. Maybe she’s right…

Anyhoo, I realize that the majority of my tutorial videos help you deal with the sound AFTER it’s recorded.

I also know that there simply are no “rules” when it comes to getting a good sound in your studio.

It comes down to things like the room, the gear, the source material, mic technique. And it takes a LOT of work.

And as we talked about last week, you gotta just get in there and make a bunch of mistakes. (It’s actually kinda fun.)

But wouldn’t it be nice if somebody wrote an eBook that covered the basics for you, so maybe you could avoid some of those initial mistakes?

That’s what my buddy Björgvin over at Audio Issues did with his brand new “Recording Strategies” eBook:

What’s cool about this eBook is that it isn’t 400 pages of boring, technical explanations of things like sample rates and the Nyquist Theory.


Instead, Björgvin goes systematically through the basics of recording, from what gear you need to common microphone techniques.

What I liked about it is that it gives you the information you need to make good recording decisions in the studio. He’s not going to tell you exactly where to place that microphone (that wouldn’t be helpful anyway, since every situation is different), but he DOES give you some really helpful ideas for how to go about MAKING those key decisions in the studio.

Plus, it’s just a really cool-looking eBook. 🙂

Until Wednesday of this week, he’s selling it at a discount, then the price goes up.

If you want to check it out, you can do so here:

(That’s my affiliate link.)

Joe Gilder

P.S. If you buy it through that link, forward me your receipt, and I’ll give you a free copy of Home Recording Tactics ($17 value), which is over at

Grumpy Old Fart

We’ve all met at least one.

The “grumpy ol’ fart” in the neighborhood.

You know the one. He says things like:

“Back in my day, when we would walk 15 miles uphill in the snow…”


“That’s the way we’ve always done it.”

He hates change. He doesn’t see any reason to try new things. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” he grunts.

Well you might think that I (being the young whipper-snapper that I am) would be against this old dude’s way of thinking.

But alas…I’m a bit of an old fart myself.

(At least about some things.)

Take editing, for example. Simple functions such as cut, copy, paste, nudge, fade, etc. have existed since the dawn of digital audio.

Fast forward a few decades, and things have advanced quite a bit, with newer and newer technologies being developed every year. We can now do so much more than we could before. (Tuning, pitch-shifting, time-stretching, quantizing, etc.)

But you know what?

I still like the “old fart” way of editing. Give me a DAW with basic editing functionality, and I’ll be well on my way to a nice, polished-sounding recording in no time.

Why? Because I stick to the basics. I keep it simple. I don’t use fancy software.

And it works for me.

It’ll work for you, too. (If you know how to do it.)

To learn the good old-fashioned editing skills (that never go out of style, no matter how many new features the latest software upgrades promise), skee-daddle on over to:

Joe Gilder

Photoshop and Pro Tools

I just got back from a family vacation to the beach. As with any event involving babies, there were a LOT of pictures taken.

My wife and I have a decent little point-and-shoot camera. I think it’s called a DSLR. You can’t change out lenses or anything, but it’s got a lot of the features of the nicer, more expensive cameras.

My sister-in-law, however, has a nice SLR camera. On top of that, she recently bought a really nice $500 lens for it.

Our camera takes nice pictures.

Her camera takes GREAT pictures.

Okay, Joe, this is a recording blog…where are you going with this?


Day 20 – Don’t Forget to Edit! [31DBR]

Welcome to Day 20 of 31 Days to Better Recordings.

On Days 1-10 we talked about gear. On Days 11-19 we looked into recording techniques. For the remainder of 31 Days to Better Recordings, we’re going to look at what do to with those tracks once they’ve been recorded, things like editing, mixing, and mastering.

Today, let’s take a look at editing.

What is Editing?

That’s a fair question. You may be new to recording, or maybe you’ve just never bothered to think about editing. Either way, I think it’s worth your while to give it some thought. It might be a key factor in making better recordings.

So, what exactly IS editing? I’ve talked about it a lot here on Home Studio Corner (see Intro to Editing), but let’s review.


Q&A Session Replay and the Production Club

Keeping it short and sweet today. 🙂

Last night’s Q&A webinar went really well. They’re always a lot of fun, and you guys had some GREAT questions.

Being a recording engineer, I (of course) recorded the whole thing. The replay is about 75 minutes long, but there’s a lot of good information there. You can check it out over at the Production Club website.

As promised, the Production Club is open and accepting new members!! If you’ve been on the fence in the past or are even remotely interested, I’d highly recommend checking it out. I’m including a fun bonus, and this is the last time you can join this year.

In fact, I’m not sure when I’ll do another full-on “live” Production Club, so come join us!

If you decide it’s not for you, no worries. We can still be friends. 🙂 But I would recommend giving the replay a listen. We covered a lot of good material. I’m taking it down at the end of the week, so make some time to go listen. Here’s the site: