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October 2010

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We all know we could make our studios work better for us, but how precisely do we go about doing it? In the October issue of RECORDING, we take a look at optimizing your studio with reviews of handy tools and interviews with artists and engineers who are making the most of the studio experience.

From Chicago comes a fascinating story of two musicians who converted a walk-in basement into a music-lesson/rehearsal studio, and the engineer who took the space the extra mile and made it into a recording space suitable for the duo’s latest CD. Bob Emmet begins a two-part series on exchanging files between studios, a common practice in the modern studio era that doesn’t have to end in tears. We review a variety of affordable and amazingly handy studio problem solvers from the Australian geniuses at SM Pro Audio, not to mention an all-in-one desktop recording solution from Cakewalk and a powerful monitor-optimization tool from JBL (not to mention the monitors that go with it!). And studio acoustics expert Brian Gadson fills us in on the wonders of the mysterious substance known as Green Glue....

Also in this issue, we take you to a studio that doesn’t really need much more optimizing, at least if you ask the Beatles: Mark Hornsby tells us about a recent project he did at a little facility known as Abbey Road. And we review a new tube mic from AKG, a field recorder from Alesis, plug-ins from Sonnox and Lexicon, Waldorf’s powerful Largo software synthesizer, and more.

There’s an easy DIY project, a look at the less-famous but amazingly feature-laden DAW software Reaper from Cockos, the latest instalment in our music-business series “It’s Your Music—Know The Law”, and much more. Maximize your studio’s potential with the tips, tools, and tricks in the October RECORDING!


Cakewalk V-Studio 20   |   Reviewed by Allen Goodman

A beginner-friendly audio interface and control surface, complete with software and powerful effects processing.

Have you ever been hit by inspiration in a place far away from your giant desktop DAW and monitors? Next time t......Expand

AKG Perception 820 Tube Microphone   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

AKG’s few tube mics are classics... how does this affordable new entry hold up?

Throughout the company’s long history as a major player in microphone design, with classics such as the C 414, C 451, and the Holy Grail C 1......Expand

SM Pro Audio P-Control, DiDock, and CT-3   |   Reviewed by Nick Casares

Three affordable tools that will be heroes in your optimized studio.

SM Pro Audio isn’t a household name in the United States yet, but it should be. This Australian firm makes a wide variety of worthwhile pro audio tools t......Expand

Alesis PalmTrack   |   Reviewed by Lorenz Rychner

A host of under-the-hood extras enhance this portable digital recorder.

The Alesis PalmTrack joins a number of pocket-sized handheld recorders, the kind that comes with built-in mics and a surprising number of features in a ......Expand

Reviewed and Revisited: Acoustica Mixcraft 5   |   Reviewed by John Rossi III

Acoustica Mixcraft 5 adds a wealth of power to the previous version, without sacrificing its efficiency and easy learning curve.

We took a Walking Tour of Acoustica’s Mixcraft 4 in our September 2009 issue, and I was blown......Expand

Plug-In Outlet   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr. and Gary Eskow

Lexicon PCM Native Reverb Plug-In Bundle; Sonnox Oxford Transient Modulator and Inflator.

Inevitably when we encounter reviews and discussions of reverb plug-ins, one comparison always rears its head: “Does it sound like a......Expand

Cockos REAPER—A Walking Tour   |   Reviewed by Darrell Burgan

Get to know this powerful and affordable DAW as we create a song from start to finish.

Now is a great time to be making music using a computer, with so many great software choices in a wide range of prices to suit all budget......Expand

Recording's Showcase of Sounds   |   Reviewed by David Herpich

Waldorf Largo software wavetable synthesizer.

In the James Bond universe, Ernst Stavro Blofeld is a flamboyant mastermind of international terror, while Emilio Largo is his second-in-command—best known for starting the sto......Expand

It's Your Music—Know Your Rights. Chapter 7: Income Earned By Music—Part 2   |   Reviewed by Todd Gascon and Bruce Kaphan

Last month we opened the discussion of the ways individual songs can earn you money by a look at Mechanical Royalties. This month it’s time for us to consider Performance Royalties, Synchronization Fees and income from Print Fees...


Fade Out   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

Thoughts From the sE Clean Room.

Earlier this summer, I had an opportunity to go to Shanghai and check out the sE Electronics factory in a guided tour. It was an enlightening visit and gave me a lot to think about in today......Expand


A Basement Conversion—The Borla/Mouse Basement Studio   |   Interviewed by Angela Bender

Janice Borla and Jack Mouse are successful recording musicians in the Chicago area. Here’s how they turned an unfinished basement into a recording studio fit for an album session.

Janice Borla and Jack Mouse have a variety......Expand


Abbey Road Sessions—Good Reasons To Be Prepared   |   Written by Mark Hornsby

A recording session in the legendary tracking room requires considerable preparation—there are lessons here that even beginners can take to their first recording gigs.

With recording technology the way it is today, it seem......Expand

DAW Details   |   Written by Bob Emmet

In the first of two parts, we discuss how easy it is to share music files between studios nowadays... and warn of places where you can still get tripped up.

Exchanging project files between studios no longer needs to be a pr......Expand

Green Glue   |   Written by Brian Gadson

A funny name for a funny-looking product that is quietly revolutionizing the process of studio sound control. You can’t afford to not know about it!

When Recording’s editor asked me about the new substance called Green G......Expand

Do It Yourself: Rack Panels For Under Four Dollars   |   Written by Michael Nickolas

A piece of masonite, a saw, and a drill, and you’re in business prettying up your racks.

I’m not one for making changes for changes’ sake, but recently the time came to finally bite the bullet and make some hardware up......Expand

Kef America

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