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“With any acoustic instrument that you record, you have some kind of ambience happening. Any electric instrument, when it’s direct, doesn’t have any ambience at all. So for me the challenge is not to try to simulate the acoustic sound, but to simulate some of the aspects of an acoustic sound.”- bassist Michael Manring

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May 2013

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Spring is here and the birds are singing... and the May 2013 issue of RECORDING will have you singing as well, and tracking the best vocals you've ever captured! In this issue we bring you great reviews and fantastic features on the ever-popular topic of recording vocals.

Jim Anderson is a multiple Grammy(R)-winning engineer whose magic touch has graced records throughout the jazz world, from Branford Marsalis to John Zorn. In this issue, we interview Jim about his recording techniques for vocalist/pianist Patricia Barber's new album Smash.

We welcome a new author to our ranks, California-based songwriter/engineer Sven-Erik Seaholm, who takes us through the home recording process with an emphasis on great vocal tracks, from mic choice to final mix and with lots of great hands-on examples.

Vocal recording gear is in the spotlight as well, with reviews of the amazing new AT5040 vocal mic from Audio-Technica, the tube/solid-state LCT 940 from Lewitt, the Spark Digital USB mic from Blue, and the d:fine headset mic from DPA Microphones. New maker Moon Professional has its first preamp, the 3500MP, on test in the studio, and we look at vocal-friendly hardware and software from Toontrack, Noveltech, and CAD.

And that's not all! PreSonus has exploded into the speaker business with two new series of powered studio monitors, and we have the affordable Eris speakers up for listening tests; Eric Ferguson continues his look at the Sweet Spot in Recording Fundamentals; and we have a whole raft of other music product reviews for your pleasure.

So whether you're hunting for the best vocals or looking for other ways to improve your studio's sound, you can't afford to miss out on the May 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?

Reviews

Lewitt Authentica LCT 940   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

This flagship mic combines solid-state and tube electronics in a user-controlled blend.


In our February 2012 issue, we took our first look at a mic from Austrian maker Lewitt. The mic under review was Lewitt's feature-packed......Expand

PreSonus Eris Series High-Definition Studio Monitors   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

PreSonus's first speakers deliver significant sound within reach of any studio.


PreSonus has gotten into the speaker game, and its first models to market are the Eris Series. Why "Eris"? No clue. Eris was the Greek goddess o......Expand

Audio-Technica AT5040 Studio Vocal Microphone   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

An array of multiple diaphragms within one mic yields stunning results on vocals.


The AT5040 is a brand new microphone in the Audio-Technica universe, one that is specifically tailored for top-flight vocal recording. Positio......Expand

Moon Professional 3500MP 2-Channel Microphone Preamp   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

Audiophile specs and impeccable performance at the high end.


If you are not of the audiophile persuasion in terms of home-audio, high-end stereo systems and such, then you have most likely never heard of Moon Professional. T......Expand

DPA Microphones d:fine Series Headset Microphones   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

Headset mics in a magazine about recording? Yes! Read on and learn not only about these fantastic mics but also how to get fantastic stage recordings using headsets.


For this issue on recording vocals I thought it would be w......Expand

Plug-in Outlet: Toontrack EZmix Pack: Vocal Toolbox   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

The extraordinarily simple mix-fix plug-in turns its attention to tracking and mixing the perfect voice.


In this Vocal issue, we're presenting a variety of newly released and worthwhile vocal tools for the home studio. Some ......Expand

Plug-in Outlet: iZotope Nectar Elements   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

This introductory version of Nectar brings powerful vocal processing tools to the beginner in a genre-savvy and easy-to-learn format.


Back in our March 2011 issue, Paul Vnuk Jr. reviewed iZotope's Nectar, a vocal-centric plu......Expand

Blue Spark Digital USB Microphone   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

This USB mic adds zero-latency monitoring and iOS compatibility to the well-liked Spark design.


Blue's line of USB mics, from the tiny Tiki to the multipattern, high-def Yeti Pro (reviewed December 2011), hits a variety of s......Expand

Plug-in Outlet: Noveltech Vocal Enhancer (and Character)   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

A more refined and user-controllable version of a "one-knob wonder" tone tweaking plug-in sets its sights on better vocals.


Finnish developer Noveltech originally developed plug-ins for the now-defunct PowerCore DSP engines ......Expand

CAD Audio Acousti-shield 32   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

A handy mic isolation barrier has multiple applications in the studio.


The CAD Audio Acousti-shield 32 is the newest entry into the world of portable vocal booths. While similar to much of the competition in what it sets out......Expand

Interviews

Jim Anderson Records Patricia Barber   |   Interviewed by Lorenz Rychner

This award-winning engineer discusses his approach to recording the famed Jazz vocalist/pianist, both on her newest album SMASH and on the Grammy(R)-winning surround release of MODERN COOL.


As a long-time fan of Patricia Bar......Expand

Features

How To Record Great Vocals At Home   |   Written by Sven-Erik Seaholm

From start to finish, here's everything you'll need to create a professional vocal track.


The human voice is easily the most recognizable of sounds, at least to other humans. Even before we are born, we listen for, recognize......Expand

Plug-ins To The Rescue -- Real-Life Remedies For Vocal Tracks   |   Written by Jason LaRocca

One of LA's most successful scoring mixers shares his hints for rescuing problem vocals.


Plug-ins are your "effects rack on a hard drive" -- no wiring required. Some uses are obvious, some go beyond the obvious, and new resu......Expand

Recording Fundamentals. Chapter 17: Sweet Spot Conundrums -- Part 4   |   Written by Eric Ferguson

Sometimes, despite everything we've discussed in the last few months, you're stuck making the best of the room you have. But all is not lost if you follow these nine handy guidelines!


An unbiased listening environment is a c......Expand

Fade Out   |   Written by Mike Metlay

Marrying For Love.


I'd like to take the last page of this issue on vocal recording to talk about a subject that is near and dear to my heart: the perfect match that leads to a long and happy marriage. I'm not talking about t......Expand




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