Tips & Solutions / Audio
While sometimes it may seem as though all of recorded music is available by a quick search on services such as Spotify, Google Play, or iTunes (to name just three), the truth is that a significant amount of recorded music is only available in analog formats, such as cassette tapes. So, whether your interest is in digitizing cassettes from childhood or a mix tape from an old high-school flame, B... READ MORE
As a longtime vinyl DJ, I strongly prefer the hands-on approach of mixing music with two turntables and a mixer. For all the convenience offered by fully digital setups on laptops and tablets, there is no denying the tactile benefits of a traditional vinyl-only rig. From the pleasing heft of a rotating turntable platter to the gentle cradling of the stylus locked into a groove, the physical... READ MORE
You don't need to have a deep understanding of computing in order to record, edit, mix, and master music on your computer. However, knowing some basics is definitely necessary. Often overlooked, but of high importance, is the role hard drives play in the process. Knowing what to choose for your specific applications, and the importance of backing up your work (which can never be over-stressed)... READ MORE
With the ever-increasing mobility of music production equipment, the subject of mixing and mastering on headphones becomes increasingly relevant. While there is no real substitute for mixing and mastering on tuned near- or mid-field monitors in an acoustically treated room, headphones certainly have a role to play in production. Whether for convenience, portability, noise considerations, or... READ MORE
When Logic Pro X was released in 2013, many users breathed a sigh of relief: the DAW was long overdue for a refresh, and some were beginning to worry Apple was going to abandon its flagship music-creation software. Logic X proved that worry wrong, and was released with a slew of new features, not least of which is its entirely 64-bit architecture. Even though the previous version of Logic could... READ MORE
Modern-day musical synthesizers offer a staggering array of options for control of parameters, note sequencing, and interfacing with hardware sound modules and software DAWs and plug-ins. Among these, the now-ubiquitous MIDI (Musical Instrument Device Interface) protocol has been around since 1983, while the network-optimized, less widely adopted, OSC (Open Sound Control) has been in use since... READ MORE
When you look back at the last fifty years of sound recording, a timeline of trends, techniques, and equipment materializes. Tastes change over time, and while I’m not likely to ever use a gated reverb on snare drum today, you’d be hard pressed to find a rock album recorded in the 1980s without it. One technique that was virtually unheard of in the ’60s and ’70s that’s now considered by many as... READ MORE
The Beatles will forever will be regarded as the band that changed the course of pop music. Volumes have been written about the talents and creative dynamics of the “Fab Four,” and the genius of George Martin as a producer. However, the contributions of their recording engineer, Geoff Emerick, are also an important element of the iconic sound of The Beatles.
Starting as an assistant engineer,... READ MORE
“Modding” is the act of altering equipment in order to improve its performance, and it’s anything but new in the audio world. However, recently it’s blossomed into a full-blown sub-industry. Be it mics, preamps, consoles, or processors, people are now accustomed to buying an inexpensive product, only to send it to a third-party company to perform some sort of top-drawer upgrade.
There are entire... READ MORE
Noise is a given part of our daily lives, and if you live in a bustling area like B&H’s home in New York City, the clamor of buses, trains, construction, and people can be downright overwhelming. New Yorkers love to get away on weekend trips to quieter, rural locales. But is there such a thing as too quiet?
Even if you love the serenity of silence, most people would draw the line at the... READ MORE
When an acoustic guitarist plays a note, there are variations in the way the note can be played that affect the sound; the manner and intensity with which the string is picked or plucked, the pressure on the fret, the cleanliness of the string, the angle of the sound hole to the mic, and other factors play a part. The human voice is an even more complicated instrument.
1) Take time to listen to... READ MORE
Nirvana’s Nevermind remains one of the most influential albums of all time, introducing MTV (and the world) to grunge and alternative and changing the landscape of popular music, essentially ending the popularity of “hair” metal. Aside from the vast influence of its songs, Nevermind remains a benchmark for sound quality, from a recording and engineering standpoint.
The drum sound on classic... READ MORE
In a perfect world, budgets would be unlimited and you could hire a top-notch sound person for every production. But for students, amateurs, or professionals on a shoe-string budget, you probably don’t have the funds available to do that. This doesn’t preclude you from stepping up the quality of your audio. Here are five steps you can take that can help your sound.
1. Pay more attention to sound... READ MORE
The first time you hear a recording of your speaking voice is usually a strange experience. The most common reaction is one of shock and dismay. “Do I sound like that? Since when has my voice been so high pitched?” You’ve heard your own voice for your entire life, and its sound is a given. So, why doesn’t a recording of your voice sound like what you hear in your head?
The answer corresponds... READ MORE
There’s no way around it: the music industry has changed drastically over the last 10 to 15 years. Save a few exceptions, gone are the multi-million-dollar recording budgets and the in-depth development deals for new artists while major studios are being shuttered around the world. Albums are now being completed in home studios, and smaller professional studios are cropping up that might have... READ MORE