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“All my vocals on this album were done in the dining room of my new house... everybody’s going, ‘This is the most incredible-sounding room in Nashville!’ You get all these people spending thousands of dollars, and I’ve got a dining room!”- Michael W. Smith

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February 2009

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When miking instruments, it's easy to get into a rut, or to feel that the gear you have isn't adequate to the job at hand. Either way, your music just doesn't end up sounding as cool as you know it could be. Fortunately, RECORDING is here to help you out, with a whole issue full of cool and inventive miking tips and techniques to get your miking mojo risin'.

In this issue, you'll learn how to turn an old upright piano, even one that's beat-up and out of tune, into a valuable adjunct to your computer recording rig. You'll get tips on capturing the vibe of a live concert in the studio... and on getting studio-quality recordings from a live band at a show. You'll even learn the ups and downs of working with a USB microphone. We have articles on maximizing your vocal sessions, working with multiband dynamics on guitars, and more... even a fascinating glimpse into the world of East Indian Kirtan folk music, and how a famous Kirtan player is capturing world-class tracks in her home studio with affordable gear.

All this plus over a dozen great reviews, our monthly columns, Readers' Tapes with Marty Peters (now online), and much more. Turn your mics into magic with the help of the February RECORDING! Pick it up now on the newsstand... and so you get your next issue early (and save on cost), why not hit the big red Subscribe Now button on this page and have RECORDING delivered to your door each month?

Interviews

Kirtan with Ragani   |   Interviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

Ragani proves that it’s not what you use but how you use it. She produces stellar tracks of East Indian folk music with a pop flavor in her tiny home studio and shares her techniques with our readers.

Kirtan is a participatory call ......Expand

Features

The Mixing Workshop: Part 2—Rock Guitars Rule   |   Written by Sean Shannon

Last time we set out the basics for building reliable mixes. Now we go deep with an example everyone can relate to—the electric guitar.

The electric guitar must have a million ‘good’ sounds. Different songs, different guitar sounds.......Expand

Recording's Vocal Column   |   Written by Eric Ferguson

Big things, little things—they all add up when trying to capture a stellar vocal.


Early in my tenure as an assistant in a major studio, I learned that vocal sessions were often high-intensity and stressful. Why? One, because......Expand

Recording's Bass Column   |   Written by Dave Martin

Into the Wayback Machine once more, for another look at a famous bass track: this time it’s the classic country tune “Crazy”.


There aren’t a lot of bass players whose credits include as many classic recordings as Bob Moore. ......Expand

Getting Live Sound in your Studio (and vice versa)   |   Written by Jon Bare

The stage and the studio are very different places, but here are some cool tricks that let you swap live energy and studio clarity with good success.


Let’s pretend we’re children and play make-believe. Last time we were doct......Expand

Re-Amplifying the Piano   |   Written by D. Bruce Moore

Place a speaker and a mic inside a piano to enhance your piano samples? Sure! Here’s why, and how.


You just can’t beat a well-tuned, well-recorded piano! Now don’t get me wrong—there are some pretty good piano samples out th......Expand

The Kontakt 2 Player: Origins and Advantages   |   Written by Kevin Fletcher Tweedy

Lots of sample libraries use Kontakt 2 Player for playback. Learn how one engine can create an entire universe of seemingly different virtual instruments.


The Kontakt 2 Player is everywhere—a very large proportion of the vir......Expand

Keeping Your Hand In: Part 2—Out In The World   |   Written by Paul J. Stamler

Okay, so you’ve done all you can to set up your studio to prevent crippling hand injuries. What about the world outside...?


Last month I talked about the perils of how computer use could permanently mess up your body. What y......Expand

DAW Details   |   Written by Mike Metlay

USB microphones are a mystery to some folks, and taken for granted by others. Here’s a look under the hood at what makes these marvelous devices work.


People who’ve been recording for a while often regard USB microphones as ......Expand

Do It Yourself: Build Your Own Miniature Omni Mic   |   Written by Scott Dorsey

A tiny and useful mic that you can build for fifteen dollars... we’ll show you how.


A simple omni mic design by Joel Cameron, based on the inexpensive Panasonic electret capsule, has existed for some time, but it requires an......Expand

Fade Out   |   Written by Scott Dorsey

Why Is Phantom Power Called That?


When the telegraph was the dominant form of communication, it was operated over a single wire, with ground return. That is, one station had a battery and a key in series, with one end tied t......Expand

Reviews

Recording's Guitar Column   |   Reviewed by Frank Gryner

With this Part 1 we start a new look at multiband dynamics in guitar recordings—it’s a powerful tool, dangerous in inexperienced hands but capable of amazing tricks.


Up until the last decade, spectral dynamic processing or m......Expand

Euphonix MC Mix   |   Reviewed by Justin Peacock

This intelligent control surface has come of age. Check out the results of our extended tests.


I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of this mouse.

No, I’m not talking about the rodent variety, but the “compute......Expand

AKG C 214 Condenser Microphone   |   Reviewed by Darwin Grosse

A new, affordable sibling to the venerable and well-liked condenser C 414.


There once was a time when having a condenser microphone in a project studio was a rare occasion. Most condensers rivalled a decent used car in cost,......Expand

IK Multimedia ARC   |   Reviewed by Nick Casares

This room measurement/corrective processing system improves your mixes, and makes an excellent adjunct to acoustic treatment. But is it a cure-all?


How many times have you mixed a project only to play it back on another syst......Expand

Once Over—Reviews in Brief   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr. and Jim Combs

MXL V88 condenser mic and USB .006 and .007 mics; MacAudioLab video tutorial for MOTU Digital Performer 6.


The V88 is the newest addition to MXL’s line of budget-priced studio and broadcast microphones. It’s a solid-state, s......Expand

Recording's Showcase of Sounds   |   Reviewed by Gary Eskow, Devon Brent, Darwin Grosse, and Michael Nickolas

Synthogy Ivory Upright Pianos; U-He Zebra 2; SONiVOX Loopline MPC sample collections; Big Fish Audio Off The Hook Volume 3.


So let’s say your name is Paul, and you’re excited to play a new song for the rest of the band. They......Expand




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