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Now, that's a mic!!! Chris Issak recording recently at the original Sun Studios...
Read all about it here:
OK, checking my own list (I made a composite of short clips of many, so I can compare sort of average EQ curves), I see
Good Dog - Stephen Bennett
Ruby's Eyes - Tommy Emanuel
Eureka Hotel - Al Petteway
McGuire's Landing - Pete Huttlinger
Angelina - Tommy Emanuel
Le Chien Qui Toure - Pierre Bensusan
Bakerloo - Brooks Williams
Annan Waters - Tony McManus
Feiilles-O - Andy Sheppard
Aint Life Grand - Masa Sumide
Moon River - Ed Gerhard
That's a big list, but there's some variety there, so I can refer to them as appropriate for the tune. I was going for a range from slow and dramatic, big reverb, like Gerhard's Moon River to punchy driving stuff like Masa Sumide,
A while back it occurred to me that the person to ask about reference tracks was a mastering engineer. So I asked Cass Anawaty, a mastering engineer who is also a guitarist and has studied with Alex de Grassi. He's got a great ear, and heard stuff on the recording I did of Anton Emery that I still can't hear. His list of reference tracks was:
Billy McLaughlin - Dream Sketcher
Michael Hedges - Bensusan
Michael Hedges - The Unexpected Vistor
Steve Tibbets - The Big WInd
Will Ackerman - Unconditional
He clearly leans in the Windham Hill direction :-)
I have my own list, which I'll try to post later
I love Lonely Runs Both Ways
Alison Krauss and Union Station
As a great acoustic reference
When you are mixing and mastering a track, what is your favorite recording to use as a "Reference Recording"? This is usually a commercially produced recording that is well-engineered, sounds great, and probably is not too different in genre from what you are recording.
Example: in the olden days (late '60s, early '70s) I had a Blood Sweat and Tears tape that I made that sounded really good on all of my equipment. If someone brought in a system for evaluation, I would use that tape to get a feel for how well their system was performing.
Recently I am recording solo fingerstyle acoustic guitar, occasionally with vocals. I haven't found a good reference recording yet. Please share what works for you.
Encyclopedia of Home Recording: Signal Flow
Understanding signal flow can help you troubleshoot problems and get the best sound out of your gear. This post is a clear explanation and helpful overview of the topic from Mark Garrison’s book Encyclopedia of Home Recording.
“The Encyclopedia of Home Recording puts those answers at your fingertips quickly and easily by explaining the tools, techniques, and terminology of the home studio in an easy-to-understand manner.” This post is an extract from that book.
Signal flow is the path taken by an audio signal. Like water, audio signal flows in one direction. An example of a common signal flow would be from the output of a microphone, through the mic cable, to an input on a mixer’s channel strip, then from the output of the mixer to the input of an amplifier, and from the output of an amplifier to a speaker (see Fig. 87).
Troubleshooting becomes much easier with a solid grasp on how the signal is getting from its origin to its destination. In the example above, if no sound was coming out of the speaker, finding the problem would be a matter of following the signal path back to find where the signal stops. So, if the amplifier was not receiving any signal, but the mixer is definitely sending signal out, the problem is probably the cable that connects them. If the input of the mixer is receiving signal and there is no signal coming out of the mixer, the problem must be somewhere in the mixer (perhaps the channel is muted, or the volume turned down).
With a firm grasp of signal flow also comes the ability to use more complex routing. A more complex example of signal flow would be using one mixer to record and play back four tracks on a four-track recorder (see Fig. 88). In this situation the signal would start with four microphones, through the mic cables to four channels on the mixing board, those four channels are then routed to four separate outputs, which are connected to the four inputs of the recorder. To listen back, the four outputs from the recorder are run into four more channels on the mixer, which are assigned to a separate stereo buss. This buss combines the four channels into a stereo pair and sends them to the main outputs of the mixer, which are connected to an amplifier, which in turn is plugged into a pair of speakers.
In the above example, the manner in which the four input channels are run directly to the recording unit will vary depending on the mixing board. Some mixers have direct outputs on each channel for this specific purpose. When direct outputs are not available, unbalanced audio can be output through the insert or, as shown in Fig. 88, the channels can be run in pairs (panned hard left and right) to stereo busses. Either way, it is important to ensure that these channels are not assigned to the master buss.
I'm putting this in the Portable Recorders group too, but since it's recording ... I just got my Zoom H2n and did a comparo between that and the previous Zoom H2, and threw in a reference recording using a Rode NT4 through an Echo Audiofire Pre8:
Whether in a makeshift bedroom or a world-class studio, we've all seen it: a performer brought to their knees by the pressures of recording. Trying to remain calm, cool and collected isn't easy with perfect execution in mind, the glaring eyes on the other side of the glass, and that ever-ticking clock that keeps time in dollars. With that in mind, I present to you the coolest cucumber I've ever worked with.
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