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November 2012

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November is Mastering Month at RECORDING. Our usual great selection of gear reviews and practical articles is supplemented by unique insights into that still-mysterious and vital element of music production.

Howie Weinberg is famous for thousands of amazing records, from U2 and the Beastie Boys to Muse and the Killers, but our interview covers territory that's unique -- just a little while before our interview with him, he mastered an album by a band whose tracks had been tracked and mixed by our own Paul Vnuk Jr., and as a result we are able to offer you premastered and mastered versions of several tracks online, plus a discussion of what went into the mastering process.

In addition to our interview with Howie, we talk with Grammy-winning mastering engineers David Glasser and Brad Blackwood, there's an enlightening interview with "blue-collar mastering" engineer Chris Sonia, and Darwin Grosse discusses the benefits and dangers of DIY mastering.

And there's lots more to be had in this issue! We review hot new gear and soundware from ADK, API, Audjoo, Earthworks, Ohm Force, PSP Audioware, Samson, and more; continue our look at signal flow in Recording Fundamentals; revisit the power and flexibility of Sibelius when working with sample libraries; and much more.

Whether you're curious about the magic of mastering or just want to hear about the latest and greatest tools and techniques in capturing your music, you won't want to miss the November RECORDING!


API A2D   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

A company famed for its analogue hardware takes a bold step into the digital world.

API is an American manufacturer of microphone preamps, equalizers and compressors as well as full-scale professional analog recording consol......Expand

Earthworks DP30/C Drum Periscope Microphone   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

Ruler-flat response plus effortless positioning equals utterly honest drum recording.

Over the past year I have had the opportunity to get very familiar with the Earthworks line, from the PM40 & PM40T piano mic system (in ou......Expand

Samson Graphite 49 USB MIDI Controller Keyboard   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

Samson's debut in the world of USB controllers is a real attention-getter.

Samson has entered the USB keyboard controller market with a pair of new keyboards, the Carbon 49 and the Graphite 49. We'll be taking a quick look a......Expand

Plug-In Outlet   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr. and Mike Metlay

PSP Echo; Ohm Force Ohmicide:Melohman.

PSP Audioware products tend to be sonically amazing and amazingly affordable. Many have appeard in these pages before: The oldTimer compressor (August 2010), NobleQ passive eq (......Expand

ADK Thor Condenser Microphone   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

Three patterns, three voicings, endless possibilities.

The Thor is the newest member in the ADK pantheon of microphones. By way of introduction, ADK is the brainchild of Larry Villella. Over the past fifteen years his compan......Expand

RECORDING's Showcase Of Sounds   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

New sounds for Ableton Live: Soniccouture Electric Pianos, SonArte Crystal Sounds and Sound Objects, and Puremagnetik Retro Synths; Audjoo Helix virtual synth.

Don't be surprised if you've never heard of Audjoo. This little ......Expand


Q&A With A Master: Howie Weinberg   |   Interviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

The veteran mastering engineer discusses the past, present, and future of mastering and shares his experiences mastering a new project by an up-and-coming band... one that was tracked and mixed by the interviewer!

Howie Wein......Expand

Q&A With A Master: David Glasser   |   Interviewed by Bruce Kaphan

Known for his Grammy(R)-winning work in the acoustic and Americana realm, this seasoned pro talks about approaching the mastering session and working with newcomers to the field.

I asked one of my favorite mastering engineer......Expand

Q&A With A Master: Brad Blackwood   |   Interviewed by Lorenz Rychner

The nuts and bolts of getting set up for mastering and what to expect, from a Grammy(R)-winning professional with a long list of stellar credits.

Grammy Award winner Brad Blackwood works at Euphonic Masters in Memphis, TN an......Expand

Blue-Collar Mastering: Chris Sonia   |   Interviewed by Lorenz Rychner

In a recent contest sponsored by this magazine, a lucky winner got his album mastered by this strongly independent engineer whose setup defies tradition and whose results speak for themselves. Read his views on mastering "for the blue-collar music......Expand


DIY Mastering   |   Written by Darwin Grosse

We've all heard the arguments in favor of having a pro master your work... but if you do want to try it yourself, what are your strategies and tools?

In this issue of RECORDING, you are reading about different aspects of the......Expand

Recording Fundamentals. Chapter 11: Signal Flow Part 3   |   Written by Eric Ferguson

We focus on monitor mixes and aux buses to make sure the artists we're recording can hear what they need to perform at their very best.

In last month's issue, special attention was paid to the two audio paths that exist when......Expand

Sibelius 7 As A Tool For Sample Playback. Part 2: Adding Third-Party Virtual Instruments   |   Written by Jerome Gilmer

Our look at this powerful notation/orchestration program contines as we supplement the built-in sounds with our favorite third-party libraries.

When we left off last time (August 2012) I posed the question of whether we coul......Expand

Fade Out   |   Written by Scott Dorsey

Taking A Historical VU.

The VU meter is the most maligned, misunderstood, and misused measuring device in all of audio. It wasn't designed to do most of what people use it for, and it actually doesn't do many of the things p......Expand

Kef America

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