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“Those of you who have home recording studios and must put at least some money away for food should tear your eyes away from the latest ads for new gear and stop drooling all over your new catalogs for a minute and think about this: just because a piece of gear is out of fashion doesn’t mean it’s lost its raison d’être.”- Jeff Baxter

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June 2010

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In our June issue, we dive into the guts and the glory of a topic that’s a favorite with almost every recording musician: microphones! The “guts” comes from Paul J. Stamler, who provides us with a fascinating look at the workings of mics—why they sound the way they do, how they work with our other equipment, and what “common knowledge” about them is useful... and what is nothing more than myths and hearsay. The “glory” comes from Joe Albano, who gives us a useful primer on mic placement and applications for a variety of musical sources.

Our Guitar Column takes a look at cool guitar miking techniques, and our Keyboard Column looks at miking electronic keyboards. (And if you’re scratching your head and wondering why anyone would mike a synthesizer, you don’t want to miss this article!)

Our reviews cover some very cool microphones from makers you might not have heard of, but should. The new 4099 instrument mic from DPA Microphones is reviewed, Scott Dorsey takes apart the "new vintage" Cloud JRS-34 ribbon mic, and we take a look at two marvelous designs from British maker Sontronics—the Sigma and the Orpheus.

If mics aren’t your thing this month, don’t worry, there’s much more: we return to our series on the legalities of protecting your music with the third instalment of our series “It’s Your Music—Know Your Rights”, and we review headphones from Shure, new software from Ableton and Superscope, a handy video/audio recorder from Zoom, and more—over a dozen reviews in all!

Whether you’re a beginner looking suspiciously at his brand-new mic purchase and wondering how to actually use it, or an expert looking for new and unusual ideas on how to make mics and music come together, there’s something for you in the June RECORDING!

Reviews

Cloud Microphones JRS-34-P, JRS-34, and Cloudlifter   |   Reviewed by Scott Dorsey

A new maker draws on classic ribbon mic construction techniques.


The ribbon microphone is a natural figure-8 microphone; it’s a thin ribbon of metal foil suspended between some magnets. Air moves the ribbon back and forth an......Expand

DPA Microphones 4099 Series   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

An instrument mic system that goes everywhere and really delivers the goods.


DPA Microphones is a Denmark-based company that designs and manufactures microphones with a reputation for sonic realism and accuracy. DPA is court......Expand

Chandler Limited Little Devils   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

That Chandler eq and compression magic, now in handy 500-Series format.


Chandler Limited’s Wade Goeke is just never satisfied with the mic preamps, eqs, and compressors he already has. First there was his LTD series of Neve ......Expand

Sontronics Orpheus and Sigma   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

Two very cool mic designs from the UK—now available in the US.


We at Recording have been curious about Sontronics microphones for a few years now, but their distribution in the US was somewhat limited; luckily that all chang......Expand

Zoom Q3 Video Recorder   |   Reviewed by Lorenz Rychner

A musician’s video recorder should deliver awesome audio quality, right? Check it out!


Why does Recording write up a video recorder, you wonder? Because the Zoom Q3 is touted as doing a better job at audio recording than you......Expand

Superscope Elevation—A Walking Tour   |   Reviewed by Lorenz Rychner

A quick spin around the workflow of this handy education/recording software tool.


The names Superscope and Marantz have been linked off and on over the decades, and if your music making goes back far enough you may remember ......Expand

Reviewed and Revisited: Ableton Live Intro   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

The compositional fun and power of Live in a form anyone can afford.


When I was chatting with the folks at Ableton about their newest products, I mentioned that I wanted to get a review of Live Intro into the magazine as soo......Expand

Avid M-Audio Fast Track and Pro Tools M-Powered Essential   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay with Fernando Curiel

A simple entry-level audio interface pairs up with an introductory version of Pro Tools.


M-Audio’s new Fast Track provides a straightforward set of features and comes with Pro Tools M-Powered Essential, a simplified version ......Expand

ART M-Three and M-Five Microphones   |   Reviewed by Nick Casares

A new microphone lineup includes affordable multipattern condenser and ribbon designs.


ART Pro Audio has been on the audio scene for years as a manufacturer of sound processing tools. Recently, ART has introduced a series of......Expand

Shure SRH440 and SRH840 Headphones   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

Comfortable, rugged, great-sounding phones in your choice of listening tonalities.


Shure has gotten into the professional headphone business in a big way. The company is legendary for its mics and has a longstanding and well......Expand

Features

Mics, Mechanisms, and Myths—A Meditation   |   Written by Paul J. Stamler

Class is in session, and you’re about to learn the inner workings of microphones—capsule types, sizes, electronics—and how they affect your music. Make an informed decision the next time you reach for a mic!


So many micropho......Expand

A Studio Miking Primer   |   Written by Joe Albano

The basics of recording seven studio-staple musical instruments—acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, acoustic bass, piano, brasses, and woodwinds—and vocals, too. If you’ve wondered how to get started miking up your band... here’s a grea......Expand

RECORDING's Guitar Column   |   Written by Brian Tarquin

Effective strategies for miking up amplifier cabinets, with mic and placement suggestions.


Finding the right mic placement when recording guitar through an amp or acoustically can be tricky. Many elements come into play, suc......Expand

RECORDING's Keyboard Column   |   Written by Devon Brent

Miking an electric keyboard? Yes! Secrets for getting great tones from your electric keys.


Keeping everything ITB (In The Box) when it comes to DAW recording is certainly very convenient compared to recording OTB (Out of The......Expand

It's Your Music—Know Your Rights. Chapter 3: Recording Issues   |   Written by Todd Gascon and Bruce Kaphan

If you’re recording music as a sideman, using sidemen on your project, sampling others’ work, or otherwise sharing talent in your compositions, there’s a lot to do in order to make sure you get fair credit for your work, and your collaborators get......Expand

Fade Out   |   Written by Paul J. Stamler

The $5.00 Preamp Urban Legend.


Every couple of years, an urban legend goes around the Internet audio world about a fabulous five-dollar home-built preamp that outclasses much pricier units in listening tests, with the implie......Expand




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