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February 2014

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In our February issue, RECORDING focuses on that most intimate, finicky, and important of instruments in the studio: the human voice. It's Vocal Recording Month, and we're proud to offer stellar advice on everything from choosing the right mic for the job to treating your recorded vocals with respect.

Our issue centers on real-world tips and techniques from professionals who are out there recording great vocal tracks every day. Respected Bay Area engineer Bruce Kaphan walks us through vocal mic choices and placements for some of his successful sessions. Colorado's John McVey has a fantastic tutorial on getting the best background and harmony vocals for your song. Eric Ferguson returns to our pages with a hard look at intonation processing in the modern studio. And from LA, Eleanor Goldfield weighs in with field-tested advice for vocalists and vocal recordists from a vocalist, on choosing mics, working with processors, and being properly prepared for the session.

Are you jonesing for information on fantastic vocal mics and useful processing tools? In this issue, we bring you in-depth reviews of the Blue Bottle Rocket Stage One, a versatile mic with interchangeable capsules for a wide variety of great tones on vocals and instruments alike, and the Pearlman TM-250, a handmade tube mic that's nothing short of magical. Also in this issue: sweet software to jazz up your vocal tracks, from iZotope's vocal-centered Nectar 2 to U-He's powerful Satin tape saturator/delay and the latest emulation from Universal Audio, the venerable Fairchild tube limiters.

And that's not all! Outside the vocal booth, we bring you reviews of new monitors from PreSonus and Samson, cool controllers from Novation, high-end interface gear from Antelope Audio and Dangerous Music, and a collection of musician-friendly iOS gear and apps. We report on the latest PreSonuSphere user conference in Baton Rouge. And Joe Albano continues his examination of reverb with a focus on, you guessed it, vocals.

Whether you're singing your heart out, or looking for the right mics and gear to capture someone who does, you'll find inspiration and great advice in 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?


Blue Bottle Rocket Stage One   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

This versatile solid-state mic comes with one of up to nine different capsules with widely varied and beautiful sonic characters. Also: Hands-on comparisons with the tube-based Bottle Rocket Stage Two, previously reviewed in our pages.


PreSonus Sceptre S8 CoActual Active Studio Monitors   |   Reviewed by Lorenz Rychner

A coaxial driver design and powerful onboard DSP combine to create a speaker that's transparently smooth, balanced, and ultimately truthful.

Did you just do a double take on seeing the word CoActual(TM)? It's a word that the......Expand

Pearlman TM-250 Tube Microphone   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

This handmade mic brings the spirit of the famous Telefunken ELA M 250 to life in a manner that's magical to hear.

Dave Pearlman is a designer of high-quality boutique-level microphones that evoke famous models of the past. ......Expand

Dangerous Music Source   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

Your monitoring system is critical to the final quality of your tracks-this versatile controller fits under your laptop and provides classy and flexible audio routing to speakers and headphones alike.

Knowing what you're hea......Expand

Antelope Audio Orion32   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

Wait a minute... 32 channels of high-end 24-bit audio, all in one rackspace and communicating via USB? Believe it.

Antelope Audio is a boutique company well known in professional audio and audiophile circles for its Zodiac, ......Expand

Samson Resolv SE Active Studio Reference Monitors   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

Clean, clear monitoring for the desktop rig or the small control room at an unheard-of price.

Samson's new Resolv SE active speakers aren't the only affordable monitors we've reviewed recently or are about to review, but the......Expand

Novation Launch Family   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

These hardware controllers and iPad apps make music composition portable, easy, inspiring, fun... and in a couple of cases, free.

Novation has a proud history of exceptional tools for the electronic musician and composer, fr......Expand

Plug-In Outlet   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

Universal Audio Fairchild Tube Limiter Collection for UAD-2 and Apollo; iZotope Nectar 2 Standard Edition and Production Suite; U-He Satin Tape Machine.

In the history of compressors, the Big Three are arguably the Teletroni......Expand


Recording Vocals -- From An Insider's Viewpoint   |   Written by Eleanor Goldfield

A rock vocalist and studio tech guides us through the ins and outs of a successful vocal session, from singer preparation to final tracking.

When the engineer/producer placed the Shure 545 in front of me, we had already been......Expand

Recording Background Vocals   |   Written by John McVey

A lot goes into a great backing vocal arrangement, and some of the most important parts happen before you press the Red Button. Here's a survey of some of the things to keep in mind when capturing those backing tracks.

For t......Expand

Vocal Recording -- My Take   |   Written by Bruce Kaphan

A successful producer discusses some of his strategies for capturing great vocals.

Most of the vocal recording I produce or engineer is for pop/folk/rock, and as such this article is focused on techniques appropriate to thes......Expand

All About Reverb -- Part 2   |   Written by Joe Albano

In the second half of our 2-parter on adding ambience to your tracks, we cover vocal reverb tricks, explain how modeling and convolution reverbs work, and look at some successful software in use today.

Last month, Part 1 of ......Expand

2013 Annual Index   |   Written by

If you want to find a review, interview, or feature that ran in the past year, here's where to look. Check it out in the February 2014 issue of RECORDING!

Fade Out   |   Written by Eric Ferguson

Auto-Tune Ethics.

There are a lot of opinionated people out there, especially in this business. For every musician who swears by old-school, band-playing-live-in-a-room, no-editing-allowed production methods, another embrace......Expand

Kef America LS50 Wireless

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