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The Musician's Cheat Sheet for Stereo Mic'ing Patterns

Picture by Joel Grace (via flickr.com); used under Creative Commons

Understanding the various types of stereo mic'ing techniques out there is often something that gets overlooked, especially by those who are new to the recording world. Mic placement can be one of the most critical steps in the recording process. When trying to capture a sound in stereo, the resulting "image" can be greatly influenced by the setup that is used. Here are some of the most popular methods out there and the concepts behind them.

Studio Hacks: Why Custom Cabling Is So Worth It

Photo by Gael Mace via Wikimedia Commons

This hack may seem like an obvious one, but I find it's one so few people consider when looking to enhance their setups. Many musicians can often be hungry to customize every last piece of kit and component in their rig, or to modify and hack their home studio gear, that they neglect to consider the very lifeblood that sends their precious sound from component to component. This isn't an argument that you need $60-per-foot silver cabling, or whether or not you're even able to perceive the difference. This is the argument that even with quality of components aside, and based purely on cost and convenience alone, custom cabling is worthy of at least a consideration if you're looking to hack your setup.

3 of the Best Keyboard Controllers for Home Studios

Many people struggle with where to start when looking at the wide world of keyboard MIDI controllers to use with their DAW. Below are three of my top choices for anyone looking for a starting place. Obviously, no one choice fits all, and there are a number of factors to consider, like:

  • Do you see yourself using this controller alongside other controllers?
  • Is bundled software of interest to you?
  • What type of keybed feels best to you?

To try and compare apples to apples, we’re going to look only at 61-key models, as I feel this is a "sweet spot" among controllers for playability, while keeping things within a footprint that will work even in a bedroom studio.

DIY Recording Hacks: What You Need to Know About Mic Mods

Image via groupdiy.com

Many who are new to the recording world or who operate in a DIY home studio environment may not have the budget for an extensive and expensive microphone collection. While the constraints may seem daunting, necessity is the mother of invention, and I assure you that whatever you think your situation is, more has been done with less.

If you're dying to make an investment in your mic collection but only have a little bit of money to play with, instead of getting another $200 big-box-music-store "deal of the month" microphone for your studio, save the money burning a hole in your pocket for a future investment, or perhaps reinvest in your existing gear.

The DAW Dilemma: Are 'Free' DAWs Like Reaper Worth It?

Image via synchroarts.com

There are a myriad of digital audio workstations (DAWs) out there, all with their specific target markets, and always the battle rages on about which DAW is best. This discussion may have been slightly different 10 years ago, but as we enter 2016, the capabilities of all of the DAWs on the market, within debatable reason, are able to achieve the exact same sonic results and possess more or less the same feature sets at a broad level. The major differences that remain tend to be workflow related, mainly in their user interfaces, or perhaps the specific mechanism by which users achieve certain results.

The fact remains that most of this software is more than capable of achieving identical results, so why is there an argument in the first place, and why isn't everyone simply running for the cheapest alternative out there?