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…)

My Favorite EQ

I get asked a lot, “Hey man, what’s your favorite plugin for ________?”

Today I want to share with you my favorite EQ.

There are lots to choose from: free plugins, paid plugins, rack-mounted EQ’s, channel strips with EQ, mixers with EQ on each channel.

Then within each of those categories you have approximately a bajillion different options.

Here’s my favorite EQ.


It is… (more…)

My Big Stupid Recording Failure

Once upon a time, Joe made a stupid mistake.

I was recording a bunch of acoustic guitar tracks for an album project.

I was super-excited. I had set aside an entire afternoon to knock out all the songs.

Also, I had just gotten a brand new microphone, and was going to use it along with another mic to record the guitar in stereo.

All was right with the world. I set levels, listened through my headphones, and the sound was HUGE.

Jackpot. Let’s start recording. (more…)

Great Acoustic Guitar Tone – Mic Placement: Stereo (Part 5 of 7)

If using one microphone is great, two must be twice as good, right? Sometimes. 🙂

Some of the best acoustic guitar tones I’ve ever gotten have been with two microphones, this is sometimes referred to as stereo mic placement (although two microphones doesn’t always mean it’s technically “stereo,” but that’s for another day).

As with most things, if there stands to be a bigger benefit (better guitar tone), there are also greater risks (phase issues). (more…)

An Unlikely Kick Drum

I was at a party a few nights ago at the home of a drummer friend of mine. He’s a killer drummer. He’s played with Keith Urban, Gary Allen, and others.

He was showing me his basement studio, where he does some drum tracking. He had some great Heil mics, Daking and API preamps, and a few other goodies.

I’m not a drummer, so I can’t tell you what kind of kit he had, but it sounded nice.

But there was one thing that caught my attention…and was really fascinating. I think there’s a lesson for us home studio folk here.

FREE EQ That Works Better than Anything I’ve Tried

Do you use a LOT of EQ when you mix? Do your EQ curves look something like the picture to the right?

If they do, it’s okay. But what if there was a free EQ that worked much better than any plug-in ever could? Would you use it? Of course you would.

What is this free EQ? I’ll tell you.