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May 2011

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It's May, and time for a topic that has a long and beautiful history and yet is endlessly fascinating and fresh: the human voice. The voice touches us deeply and instantly; when it's right, it goes straight to the heart and lifts an ordinary song into the realm of magic... and when it's wrong, everyone knows it, and it doesn't matter how good the rest of the song is. In this issue of RECORDING, we take a look at vocal recording and how to get your voice tracks right every time.

Our issue centers on an in-depth article by recording engineer, performing artist, and educator Paul J. Stamler, who's been helping budding engineers at Webster University hone their craft for years. Paul teaches how to select a mic based on the performer's voice, how to hone and tune the performance itself, and take much of the guesswork out of capturing great vocal takes.

Also in this issue, Joe Albano goes in-depth on when and how to use Celemony's Melodyne intonation-correction software, Giles Reaves takes the newest version of Antares Auto-Tune out for a spin, and chart-topping producer Sebastian Arocha Morton returns to our pages with a look at how he uses both Melodyne and Auto-Tune in his production workflow.

Our vocal coverage continues with reviews of great microphones at all price points, including the TS-1 MKII from Chameleon Labs, the Clarion by Lauten Audio, the VR-1 ribbon from sE Electronics, and a first look at the brand-new Samson Meteor Mic. Also on review: the exciting new S16 digital console from Phonic, Roland's Octa-Capture audio interface, and a fascinating roundup of three different takes on the Empirical Labs Fatso saturation/compression rack: the original, the UBK version from Kush Audio, and the virtual version available for the Universal Audio UAD-2 DSP engine.

And that's not all! We return to our legal look at the business of producing, Brian Tarquin brings us mini-interviews with Billy Sheehan and Stanley Clarke on bass recording, and more. Get your best vocal tracks ever -- grab the May issue of 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?


Phonic S16 Digital Mixer   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

Moving-fader automation, DSP power to spare, and smooth computer integration in a very appealing package.

Readers of Recording know that I'm a big fan of the modern computer-savvy mixing console, both as a central ro......Expand

Chameleon Labs TS-1 MKII   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

This tube condenser mic shines on vocals and instruments alike, thanks to a flexible range of capsules.

We first met Chameleon Labs back in our October 2009 issue when we looked at the 7802 Opto Tube compressor. CL's goal as......Expand

Roland OCTA-CAPTURE   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

This USB audio interface has what it takes to record an entire band in style.

Roland is no stranger to the interface world, and indeed was responsible for the first commercially viable USB 2.0 multichannel audio interface so......Expand

Samson Meteor Mic   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

A USB microphone that combines great sound, practical features, and a uniquely arresting look.

"It's a Dalek cell phone!" That's what my 10-year-old said when she first saw the new Samson Meteor Mic. If you're a fan of Docto......Expand

The FATSO Family   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

We review and compare the Empirical Labs EL7 FATSO, the Kush Audio UBK Edition, and the Universal Audio FATSO Jr/Sr plug-in. How do they stack up?

It's not often that we review a piece of audio gear that is already an establ......Expand

Reviewed and Revisited: Antares Auto-Tune 7   |   Reviewed by Giles Reaves

Auto-Tune adds time manipulation to its bag of tricks, and makes it easy to work with timing and tuning at the same time.

When Antares first released Auto-Tune in 1997, I was working for Dann Huff on Faith Hill's album Faith......Expand

Lauten Audio FC-357 Clarion Mic   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

A large-diaphragm condenser mic with a distinctive and versatile tone.

In August of 2007 we introduced you to Lauten Audio's microphones with the launch of the Horizon large-diaphragm tube mic, then in October of 2009 it was......Expand

sE Electronics Voodoo VR1 Ribbon Mic   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

Call it voodoo, call it magic, but something out of the ordinary is going on inside this remarkable mic.

The Voodoo VR1 is the newest ribbon microphone from UK-based sE Electronics. ... The newest offering, the Voodoo VR1, c......Expand

Game Audio -- Your Next Career Move?   |   Reviewed by Ben Long

You have the gear and you have the talent -- but do you have what it takes to get into this potentially lucrative game?

Game audio is more challenging than any other form of music or sound creation. Why? Because you......Expand

RECORDING's Bass Column   |   Reviewed by Brian Tarquin

Three famous bassists -- Billy Sheehan, Stanley Clarke, and Randy Coven -- shed light on their recording techniques.

As a guitarist, I find it is sometimes easy to forget about our 4-string swaggering bass-playing fr......Expand


Lift Every Voice   |   Written by Paul J. Stamler

Vocals rule the recording world; here's a comprehensive look at preparation, setup tips, and choice microphones for capturing voices at their best.

It's the perennial question. Why is it so hard to record good vocals?

Melodyne In Action   |   Written by Joe Albano

Celemony's pitch-correction software sometimes seems to be able to work miracles. Get inside Melodyne and find out the truth about what you can and can't do.

It's hard to believe that it's been ten years since Celemony first......Expand

Comparing Auto-Tune and Melodyne editor: A Producer's Perspective   |   Written by Sebastian Arocha-Morton

A hitmaking producer explains when and how he uses both of these top-end pitch correction programs.

When I was asked to give my thoughts on these two leading pitch-correction plug-ins, I knew I'd have to take a somewhat subj......Expand

It's Your Music -- Know Your Rights. Chapter 14: The Role Of The Producer, Part 2   |   Written by Todd Gascon and Bruce Kaphan

Last month we talked about the legalities of working with an outside producer. But what if the producer in question is YOU?

In the last installment of It's Your Music -- Know Your Rights, we discussed the basic role ......Expand

Fade Out   |   Written by Mark Hornsby

Who On Earth Was Kevin Gilbert?

If you know who he was, chances are good you own everything he recorded. If his name doesn't ring a bell, it only takes a minute to recognize his work.

He performed, rec......Expand

Kef America

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