Get A Good Music Recorder

Olympus LS-10 Linear PCM Recorder

   There are a lot of incredibly good audio recorders on the market right now. They are compact and handheld with built-in stereo microphones. Having one in your gear arsenal is very important for a number of reasons.

   I’ve written before about how important it is to record your live performances. You can learn so much from hearing your gigs back on a recording. Having a recorder like the
Olympus LS-10 Linear PCM Recorder
 can make recording your live shows as easy as setting the recorder up in the back of the room and letting it record. Since it’s all digital you can edit out dead spaces later. Making a back of the room recording is a good idea because it really lets you hear what the audience is hearing. You can also capture the audience reaction to your performance. If you get good at placing the recorder where it picks up well, you could end up with an excellent live recording that you could use as a demo in your bands marketing kit.      Continue reading “Get A Good Music Recorder”

Putting Together Your Band Demo CD

Make A Live Recording

One of the most important parts of your bands marketing strategy is your Demo CD. The Demo CD is going to be one of your biggest selling points in getting new gigs for your band. I’m going to give you a few tips for putting together a Demo CD that will help sell your band to club owners.

   I was listening to Demo CD’s one night with a club owner who was trying to sift through prospective band for his club. I remember he kept saying things like “Studio recording”, “Studio Effects”, and “Too Produced”. And he would toss those Demo CD’s in the trash. What the guy was looking for was a live representation of how the band would sound when they played in his club.

   So the most important aspect of putting together a successful Demo CD is to make a good live recording of your band. Preferably with a lot of crowd cheering mixed in. Club owners want an accurate snapshot of how you’ll sound playing in their club. They want to hear how you talk to the crowd and how the crowd is reacting to you. So a live CD is the must for getting into clubs.

   If you do want to mix a few studio tracks on your Demo CD that’s okay, but put them at the end. Club owners really don’t care what you sound like in the studio. The best thing to do is have the live demo for the club owners and a studio demo to give to fans at your shows. The studio demos should also have some live tracks at the end because you never know when one of your fans is going to put a Demo CD in the hands of someone who can line gigs up for you.

   There are a couple ways to capture a good live CD. One is to record your show at a club that you regularly play at and hopefully you’ll catch a good night. Another way is to control things a bit more and invite a rowdy crowd of friends to a more controlled environment for recording. I’ve done both and the demo’s we’ve recorded with a crowd of friends has usually turned out better just because the band was more relaxed and interacting easier with the crowd. Remember, the club owners want to hear some stage banter.

   Finally, put your best songs on the Demo CD. Make sure they’re the songs that everybody will know and recognize. If you want to really show off your skills with a highly technical song, only put one on. Also, unless you want to play weddings, only put one slow song on the Disc.

   It’s really excellent practice to record all your live shows because you never know when you’re going to have that perfect gig. You just may get the live recording of a lifetime. So be prepared by having a recorder at the gig recording your show.

Recording and Live Sound Gear at Music123

Portable 8-track, Tascam DP-02CF Portastud (Mislabeled) Portastudio 1139

Tascam DP-02CF Portastud

   In an earlier article I mentioned how important it was to record your band live. Having live recordings of your band will help you learn where you need improvement. Club owners also prefer having a live demo of the band instead of a studio recording. While looking for collectible equipment I stumbled across and incredible deal at Musician’s Friend. Today I’m going to tell you about the
TASCAM DP-02CF Portastud (Mislabeled) Portastudio 1139.

Continue reading “Portable 8-track, Tascam DP-02CF Portastud (Mislabeled) Portastudio 1139”

Preparing For A Studio Recording Session

Abby Road Recording Studio

   So you’ve finally got enough songs, enough time and enough cash to get yourself some studio time and record that album you’ve always dreamed about. So what else do you need to do to get ready to make every minute count?

   The number one most important thing is to have the songs fully written and learned before going into the studio. You don’t want to waste valuable studio time making changes to the songwriting in the studio. You should have all your instrument parts learned including solos. Your singer should have all the lyrics memorized and everyone should have their backup vocal parts learned and memorized. Continue reading “Preparing For A Studio Recording Session”

Line 6 TonePort KB37 Audio Interface and MIDI Controller Review

The Line 6 Toneport KB37 is a total solution for your audio interface and MIDI controller needs.

Line 6 TonePort KB37

   One of the finest pieces of equipment I have ever owned is the Line 6 TonePort KB37 Audio Interface and MIDI Controller.This little device has the power to be your sole interface into your digital audio software workstation. I use this controller with my laptop and Sony Acid Pro 6. Sony Acid works perfectly with the KB37. The KB37  provides MIDI keyboard control as well as 2 mic inputs with built in 48v phantom power, a guitar/bass input and stereo line inputs. It also has an S/PDIF out, TRS line outputs, TRS monitor input and an independent headphone jack. With that many inputs and outputs it’s your total audio interface solution when multi-tracking your projects on your computer.

Continue reading “Line 6 TonePort KB37 Audio Interface and MIDI Controller Review”

The Best Instrument Microphone – The Shure SM57

Review and recommendation of the Shure SM57 Dynamic Microphone. It’s the best in the world at instrument micing.

Shure SM57 Microphone

   If you’ve been in any recording studio or seen any band live with microphones on the guitar amps, you’ll have seen the Shure SM57 Instrument Microphone. This mic is a dandy! (and I don’t say “dandy” very often). My experience with the Shure SM57 has been nothing but positive. The microphone is tougher than nails and my guitar amp sounds fantastic with my pair of SM57’s on it.

Continue reading “The Best Instrument Microphone – The Shure SM57”

Behringer ADA8000 Ultragain Pro-8 A/D/A Converter

Review and recommendation of the Behringer ADA8000 Ultragain Pro-8 A/D D/A converter. For adding 8 channels with Mic preamps to Digi-002.

Behringer Ultragain Pro-8 Digital ADA8000
Behringer ADA8000

When I upgraded my studio from my old Fostex 24-track system to my Digidesign Pro Tools setup I lost some critical functionality. My Digidesign Digi-002 Rack system only had 8 total inputs which was a major downgrade from my 24-track. To be able to do live studio recordings with the whole band I needed a minimum of 12 channels for our 4-piece band.
Luckily my Digidesign Digi-002 Rack has a built-in ADAT interface. So my search began for an A/D Converter with Mic preamps built in.            Continue reading “Behringer ADA8000 Ultragain Pro-8 A/D/A Converter”

Mixer For Live And Studio Use, the Phonic Helix Board 18 MK1 FireWire

Phonic Helix Board 18
Phonic Helix Board 18 MK1 FireWire

   I’m always on the lookout for good deals on products that you can use for multiple purposes. Today I’m going to tell you about the Phonic Helix Board MkI FireWire. It has been replaced by the MkII but is virtually the same board with a few cosmetic changes. I’m talking about the MkI because you can get a great deal on it right now on eBay.   Continue reading “Mixer For Live And Studio Use, the Phonic Helix Board 18 MK1 FireWire”

Sony Acid Pro 6 Professional Music Workstation

   I have a fully equipped studio in my house and at the heart of the studio is my Digidesign Digi 002 Rack Music Production System. This Digidesign interface will work with several different software music workstations. The Digidesign Digi 002 Rack Music Production System runs with an included copy of Pro-Tools LE. The really great thing is that there are several other software suites that run seamlessly with the Digidesign Digi 002 Rack interface using the Digidesign drivers. So if you can find a Digi 002 Rack on eBay you can use it with software suites other than Pro-Tools.
   Today I’m going to review and discuss a sotware that I’m very fond of, Sony Acid Pro 6. Continue reading “Sony Acid Pro 6 Professional Music Workstation”

Shure SE530 Sound Isolating Earphones Review

The Shure SE530 sound isolating earphones are excellent sounding due to their triple driver design.

Shure se530pth
Shure se530pth

   I’ve been playing live for 27 years now and the high volumes of rock music has taken a definite toll on my hearing. I’ve gotten very careful about protecting my hearing. I switched to a wireless ear monitoring system about a year ago and it has really helped me keep the volume that reaches my ears under control. I’m very critical about sound quality so I wanted to get the best possible in-ear headphones to use with my monitor system. I didn’t mind paying a lot but I didn’t want to break the bank either. After trying out a few brands I finally decided on the Shure SE530PTH Sound Isolating Earphones.

Continue reading “Shure SE530 Sound Isolating Earphones Review”