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February 2012

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February's issue of RECORDING delves into a topic that is of the upmost importance to recording musicians -- capturing the perfect vocal. Even a relatively weak instrumental arrangement can soar with the right vocal, but a poorly performed or recorded vocal can sink the tastiest track. So get your vocals right with the help of this month's RECORDING!

We bring you four stellar articles on getting the best possible vocals. Grammy-winning songwriter/producer Sebastian Arocha Morton gives us a revealing interview in which he walks readers through the process of matching a song to a singer and assuring that his work is given the best possible presentation. Sean Shannon's Mixing Workshop returns with a segment on mixing your vocals for maximum impact. Bob Emmet explains how to work within a small home studio to get a big-studio vocal sound. And Frank Gryner finds inspiration and impeccable advice to would-be vocal recordists in the unlikeliest of places...

And that's not all! In a very special dual interview, we look at the past and the future of New York's famed Electric Lady Studios, through the eyes of legendary engineer Eddie Kramer and Grammy-winning mixmeister Michael Brauer, who's garnered fame and won awards for his work with Coldplay, John Mayer, Colbie Caillat, My Morning Jacket, Birds of Tokyo, Tony Bennett, and many others.

If you're looking for great vocal-recording gear, the reviews in this issue will put a big smile on your face -- and an even bigger smile on your vocalist's! Check out amazing mics from Earthworks, KEL Audio, Lewitt Audio, and RODE, as well as the amazing Lineage preamp from Harrison and new mic-friendly audio interfaces from M-Audio and Apogee.

Software, soundware, plug-in, and app reviews from Cakewalk, Steinberg, McDSP, and many others round out this phenomenal issue, along with Readers' Tapes with Marty Peters, our monthly columns, a look at the TAXI Road Rally, and more. If you've got world-beating vocals on your mind, or you're just curious about the best and the brightest in recording's glorious history and bright future, you can't miss 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?


Lewitt Audio LCT 640 Condenser Microphone   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

A new name in mics brings out a remarkable, flexible performer.

Lewitt Audio is brand new microphone company that seamed to spring up out of nowhere at last year's NAMM show and hit the ground running with a complete product......Expand

Kel Audio Song Sparrow Condenser Microphone   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

This mic's unique tonality helps a variety of vocals to truly sing.

Based in Canada, Kel Audio is a back-to-basics company with a current lineup of five models, and, for the most part, each one is designed to do its own thin......Expand

KRK Systems RP10-3 Powered MidField Studio Monitors   |   Reviewed by Lorenz Rychner

Larger rooms will benefit from the power and precision of these 3-way speakers.

By now there are four Rokit models, and the 10-3 under review is the latest and largest. All are powered, with similar features and looks, with ......Expand

Harrison Lineage 8-Channel Microphone Preamp   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

A famous console maker's preamp history, all in one box.

Harrison Consoles belongs to an exclusive pantheon of recording deities along with the likes of SSL, API and Neve. Their sound has fueled classic recordings as diverse......Expand

M-Audio Fast Track C600 Audio Interface   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

Cool extras abound in this desktop audio production solution.

M-Audio's interfaces have always shown an understanding of what the computer-based recording musician really needs to have at hand while working, and have evolved......Expand

Earthworks SR40V Condenser Microphone   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

A handheld vocal mic with unheard-of clarity and range.

According to New Hampshire-based Earthworks Microphones, its new SR40V is the first and only High Definition Vocal Microphone in the world.

What's high d......Expand

RODE Limited Edition Black Classic II Tube Condenser Microphone   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

It's the end of the Classic II era, and this famous mic is going out with a bang.

RODE marks the end of production of its Classic and Classic II microphone with a limited edition, releasing just 500 units dressed in a classy......Expand

RECORDING's Showcase Of Sounds   |   Reviewed by Devon Brent

Cakewalk Z3TA+ 2.

Z3TA+ is an old soul in the VST world. It was originally released in late 2002 by a small company called rgc:audio. Shortly thereafter, in 2005, Cakewalk came along and bought the company. While the origina......Expand

Plug-In Outlet   |   Reviewed by Darwin Grosse

McDSP 6030 Ultimate Compressor Suite.

McDSP is well known for its robust lineup of pro-level plug-ins; after many years of being a go-to house for TDM and RTAS offerings, the company recently released Audio Units versions of......Expand

Reviewed and Revisited: Apogee Duet 2   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

The world-class portable interface gets a new look, new features, and new sound.

We first reviewed the Apogee Duet in our August 2008 issue. In that review, Nick Casares was very favorably impressed by the Duet, which at the......Expand

iOS Music Tools: DAWs From Laptop To Pocket   |   Reviewed by Devon Brent and Mike Metlay

Image-Line FL Studio and XT Software energyXT are well-known computer music applications; we check out how they've migrated to the iOS platform.

It's a tough question. What does it mean to have a "mobile" version of a well-k......Expand


Electric Lady Connections   |   Interviewed by Fernando Curiel with Lorenz Rychner

The iconic New York studio has hosted a multitude of success stories, old and new. We interview designer John Storyk, Hendrix/Zep engineer Eddie Kramer, and modern mixmeister Michael H. Brauer about old memories and modern mix techniques to be fou......Expand

Sebastian Arocha Morton: The Singer and The Song -- Going For The Perfect Match   |   Interviewed by Lorenz Rychner

The award-winning producer/songwriter gets down to the nitty-gritty of lining up the right voice, the right song, the right gear, and the right technique to create magic.

RECORDING: It's your project, your song, and now you ......Expand


The Mixing Workshop: Tips For Mixing Vocals   |   Written by Sean Shannon

A great mix of a great vocal can help a track shine the way it should. Here's a step-by-step look at the tricks you'll need to know.

The vocal is arguably the most important element of a mix. The ear focuses on the vocals, a......Expand

Sing, Sing a Song: Recording Inexperienced Singers   |   Written by Frank Gryner

Can Sesame Street really teach you all you need to know about getting a great vocal from a nervous singer? Read on.

Some of the best advice can come from the most unlikely places. The direction we need may have been under ou......Expand

Stellar Singing From Small Studios   |   Written by Bob Emmet

It's not easy to get a winning vocal recording in a small room, but it's not impossible either. Improve your odds with these easy and useful strategies.

So you've built up a nice little project studio somewhere in your home,......Expand

Recording Fundamentals. Chapter 2: Introduction To Audio -- Part One (What is Sound?)   |   Written by Eric Ferguson

Making better recordings starts with an understanding of what sound is and how it works. It's time to take the mystery out of acoustics and make these concepts work for us!

Are you an audio newbie? Do you stare at a shiny ne......Expand

Fade Out   |   Written by Brent Heintz

Take A TAXI To The Top.

Last November, hundreds of aspiring songwriters and musicians descended upon the Westin Hotel in Los Angeles to attend the TAXI 2011 Road Rally. For 15 years now, Michael Laskow and his crew h......Expand

Kef America LS50 Wireless

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