Playing & Recording

[captionpix imgsrc=”http://www.middleagerocker.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/firebird-being-played-moonlight-credit-notify.jpg” align=left width=240 captiontext=”(c) Theta via Stock Xchange”]When an audience is going to hear you, something changes. We’re not talking about practice any more. And ironically, playing live and recording (though both introducing the audience component) seemed to have changed the least and the most from my early 1980s hey day. Let’s face it, a live performance for most of us consists of our practice set up with PA speakers and monitors arranged so that the audience and the band can hear the vocals and keys. If you’re micing up your drums and guitar amps for live performances you are a step ahead of me. And even then, microphone techniques and live mixing boards do pretty much the same thing that they’ve always done.bigstock-guitarist-45760438 Recording, however, is a horse of a different color. You reel-to-reel guys, and cassette guys like me, will find it hard to comprehend what is now possible. Of course, we know that you can record with a computer. But there is a lot more to it than simply plugging a microphone into a USB port. Powerful, but relatively inexpensive, software programs called DAWs perform the sort of sound manipulation that would have taken hours and thousands of dollars in hardware in literally a matter of seconds. Compression, EQ, reverb, delay, and very exotic effect imaginable are at your finger tips right in the basic software. And plugins ranging from free to hundreds of dollars a pop can be downloaded in seconds to supplement your processing abilities. Of course, hardware devices can still be integrated for those who want to process outside the box. All this power enables virtually anyone to make a professional sounding recording. But it isn’t easy, and the vast array of choices can be paralyzing. We’ll work our way through the basics and hope that those who’ve developed more expertise will join in the fun. For those who want lots more information right now, check out our friends at RecordingReview.com.

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Our Favorite Recording Site

RecordingReview is a great forum with tons of information about home recording and a great section called "Bash this Recording" where you can post your songs for comment by forum members.  Don't worry. DSCF5338This forum has a culture of supportive constructive comments. You will need to critique a few other members songs, however, before you can post your own.  The "Killer Home Recording" series, available for sale, is a multi-chapter "how to" guide useful to beginners and intermediate home recorders alike.