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Discussion Forum

Logic Pro X 2 Replies

Started by Marty. Last reply by Marty Jul 27.

Recordings going south... 5 Replies

Started by Al Spohn. Last reply by Phil Manuel May 25.

Recording vs. Playing live. 7 Replies

Started by Dave Sterenchock. Last reply by George Quinn Feb 11.

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Comment by Edward Sparks on November 16, 2011 at 7:12am

Now, that's a mic!!! Chris Issak recording recently at the original Sun Studios...

Read all about it here:

Comment by Doug Young on November 5, 2011 at 3:30pm

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,







Comment by Doug Young on November 5, 2011 at 2:59pm

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



Comment by Tom H on November 5, 2011 at 12:51pm

I love Lonely Runs Both Ways

Alison Krauss and Union Station

As a great acoustic reference

Comment by Ken Gaugler on November 5, 2011 at 12:39pm

Reference Recording? 

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.

Thanks! -Ken

Comment by Edward Sparks on September 4, 2011 at 9:38am

Interesting article:


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.



Comment by Edward Sparks on September 2, 2011 at 8:12am
Yep, that has happened to me too Darren!  Sometimes it takes me longer
to record a part I have played a million times than it does to record a
new part I just came up with for the same song!  I see you live in day I hope to visit just to see the old Gibson Factory!  Edward
Comment by Darren Fay on September 1, 2011 at 10:41am
I can definiely relate to the 1st part of Ed Sparks " Studio Cool " entry.  I spent 2 hours and 5 takes to record a guitar part in a song I have played hundreds of times live.  Downright frustrating. The upside is that I learned a few more things about the software I use.  "Silver Lining" I guess.  Ha Ha !! 
Comment by Fran Guidry on September 1, 2011 at 10:16am

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:



Comment by Edward Sparks on September 1, 2011 at 7:02am
The Definition of "Studio Cool"
By Rob Tavaglione   08.29.2011      

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. 

The bandleader showed up on time, explaining that “Tom” would be late due to a very long previous night -- one filled with the booze, girls and bacchanalia involved in being a young rock guitarist. The news was hardly unusual, but still disappointing: stellar tracks are seldom the result of such revelry. The bandleader and I got down to laying the bed tracks -- a combination of electronic drums, bass, synths and crunchy electric guitars that made up this unique blend of house music and hard rock. 
The basics were done when Tom appeared, seemingly out of nowhere.  Without a knock on the studio door, Tom had snuck up on us through the house's main entrance, which is never used. Dude looked a little disheveled and was definitely in need of a strong cup of java, which he explained he had spilled up in the house. 
Undaunted, he sat down, tuned up and immediately began laying down his rhythm tracks. He was spot on and said he had some serious lead overdubs up next. He was doing well, but I had already decided that difficult leads would be likely to slow down our hungover playboy. 
But no. Tom took us to rock school, laying down a hot series of licks, arpeggios, pinch harmonics and taps that were exciting, difficult, energizing to the song and downright killer ... and all on first take! Taken aback, we listened through, looking for mistakes or punches, but all we could request was one fix and even that was optional (and more likely on principle).
It was only then that Tom plaintively tells us he had shown up at the front door of my house, entering without even thinking with his Venti Starbucks in hand. Once in the living room Tom was met by my 65 pound dog, who immediately jumped onto him, placing his paws on his chest, growling in his face, challenging him to “present his papers,” holding him motionless. My mortified wife entered the room, quickly restrained the dog and found Tom's belongings and latte spilled all over the place. She later told me that Tom only seemed concerned with apologizing for the mess and finding more coffee. 
Hung over, sleepless, caffeine-less and having just been held at bay by a big scary dog, Tom casually came downstairs, laid down a virtuoso guitar solo and shrugged it all off, like nothing. He didn't even chat, talk junk, or carry on -- he napped on the couch. I'm telling you, this guy was cool.

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