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Home Recording: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
How to Choose the Right Microphone for Your Band
If you're recording or mixing live sound, you'll need to select a microphone. Learn the differences between condenser and dynamic microphones.
A Beginner's Guide to Home Recording
Whether you're a musician looking to record yourself or an aspiring record producer, setting up your own home studio is easy -- and less expensive than you think. About.com's resident audio engineer Joe Shambro takes you through the steps to begin recording now!
Wanna Be a Rock Star? Here's How to Sell Your...
It's never been a better time to distribute your music digitally. Learn how to sell your album on iTunes, eMusic, Napster, and other digital distrbutors.
How to Replace Audio in iMovie
Replacing an audio track in iMovie is one of the simplest things you can do in this powerful video editing suite. In this article, you'll learn the basics of audio replacement that you can use with any movie and any audio file, quickly and easily, without any special software. Page 2.
How to Record Your Perfect Music Mix
If you're new to recording, getting the perfect mix can be a huge challenge. In this article, learn the basics of how to mix music.
The 5 Best Mics You Can Buy for Under \$200
Microphones are the most important part of your recording studio, but they can easily become the most expensive; the better the microphones, the better the sound you'll get! Check out our top five picks for value-priced microphones -- all under $200 -- that pack a high-priced punch.
What is Unity Gain?
The term. Home Recording.
The Top 5 Microphones for Those with Deep Pockets
For all sound engineers, finding the right microphone is a careful combination of budget and performance. But let's pretend you don't have a budget, and just want sonic perfection; which microphones would you choose? About.com's Joe Shambro walks you through five amazing microphones that push boundaries both sonically and financially.
4 Steps to Selecting an Audio Recording Interface
Building a home studio is really easy, and relatively inexpensive - and you'll be able to record better quality for a lower price than ever before.
How to Start a Home Recording Studio on a Budget
Starting a home recording studio has never been cheaper (and it's never been easier to achieve high quality on a modest budget, either). In this article, you'll learn the basics of how to start a studio on a tight budget, with help from About.com's Joe Shambro.
How to Record an Acoustic Guitar
One of the most common things people want to record is acoustic guitar. Learn how to record perfect acoustic guitar in any studio.
How to Spot a Fake Shure Microphone
In the market for a Shure SM57 or SM58? Beware of fakes! This guide will show you how to spot a fake Shure SM57 or SM58 microphone, two of the most common microphones ever sold.
An Introduction to Garageband
Apple's Garageband is one of the most powerful music making tools available for home studios. It's cheap, works on most modern Macs, and allows you to do everything you need to record and mix your own music. In this article, About.com's Joe Shambro walks you through the basics of using Garageband.
Top 5 iPhone Apps for Musicians and Audio...
Learn about the top five iPhone applications designed just for musicians, as well as recording and sound engineers.
How to Get Your Music on Spotify
[Updated September 1, 2011] Spotify is one of the most exciting new apps in the music streaming world, and a lot of bands now want to get their music on Spotify. How do independent artists get a piece of the action? In this article, we'll walk you through how to get your independent music on Spotify -- including a look at their compensation model.
How to Record a Live Concert
Recording a live concert can be the easiest way to get a high-quality demo or, if you're a fan, a great way to bring home a souvenir.
How to Mic a Guitar Amp
One of the most common things you'll record or mix in live sound is electric guitar - and getting it right is really easy with practice.
A Beginner's Guide to Mixing Live Sound
Mixing live sound for the first time? Looking for a way to make your band sound better live? Take a look inside the basics of mixing live sound, including setting levels, using outboard equipment like compressors and effects, and mixing monitors.
The Best Way to Record the Lows of a Bass Guitar
Getting the perfect low end on your song isn't so hard! In this article, you'll learn the ins and outs of recording bass; no matter what your style of music, it's a lot easier than you think to get perfect bottom tones!
How to Mix In-Ear Monitors
In-ear monitors aren't a novelty anymore; many artists are now transitioning to in-ear monitors, and that number keeps growing by the day. In this article, you'll learn the basics of mixing in-ear monitors -- and how to keep the musician you're mixing for happy from the first note.
Monitor Mixing 101
Mixing monitors is one of the most frustrating things for new live sound engineers to learn. In this article, you'll learn the basics of mixing monitors, from ringing out your EQ to making good in-ear monitor mixes.
3 Basic Steps to Starting Your Own Record Label
There's a reason indie music strikes fear in the hearts of corporate record labels everywhere: it's the undeniable wave of the future. In this article, you'll learn how you can easily become an independent record label, and enjoy many of the same resources of major-label bands on a shoestring budget. It's never been a better time to be indie!
What Is the Glyn Johns Method for Recording...
Recording drums can be a lot easier than it looks! Using only four microphones, the Glyn Johns method of recording drums can be a rewarding and great-sounding technique if used on a well-tuned kit with a dynamic drummer.
What is Phantom Power?
Phantom Power is used commonly with condenser microphones, but is sometimes used to power DI boxes and effects pedals, too.
How Do You Convert Milliseconds to Samples?
One of the most common formulas used in a recording studio is the calculation of samples to milliseconds (or, milliseconds into samples). In this article, About.com's Joe Shambro teaches you how to calculate the interaction of samples and milliseconds, and how to apply this formula to recording studio and live sound applications.
5 Must-Have Accessories for Home Recording
If you're starting your own recording studio, chances are you've already picked out your interface, microphones, and cables. But what are the accessories no studio can live without? About.com's Joe Shambro walks you through five gadgets that every recording studio needs.
Record Drums - A Beginner's Guide
Getting a perfect drum sound isn't easy! Learn how to record and mix drums with this simple, free tutorial! We cover the basics, including recording, gating, EQ, compression, and mixing.
Learn How Stevie Wonder's 'Superstition' Was...
Sometimes, less is more -- especially when recording a hit song. In this article, About.com's Joe Shambro takes you behind the scenes in the studio recording sessions of Stevie Wonder's hit song
What You Need to Know About Microphone Polar...
Every microphone is different; it takes understanding their function and how they function acoustically to use them properly.
How to Turn Your Dorm Room into a Recording...
Are you a college student looking to record your music? Setting up a bedroom or dorm room studio doesn't have to be expensive, and making music on a college budget isn't hard! Check out this detailed guide to setting up a dorm room studio, complete with computer, microphone, and recording interface recommendations.
Windscreens vs Pop Filters
Windscreens or pop screens are useful when using microphones. Read about their differences and purposes from About.com’s Joe Shambro.
5 RTAS Plug-Ins You Can Download for Free
If you're like most people recording on a budget, you find software to be one of the most expensive parts! But don't pirate -- check out our list of the best 100% FREE RTAS plug-ins for Mac and PC, fully Pro Tools compatible!
How To Eliminate Monitor Feedback
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >If you've ever
5 Audio Recording Tips to Live By
If you're new to the recording studio, chances are you're not prepared for the worst -- and being stuck during an important session is never good. In this article, About.com's Joe Shambro walks you through five recording studio rules to live by in order to keep your studio running smoothly.
Samson CO1U & CO3U USB Condenser Microphones
Think USB microphones sound too easy to be true? Plug these condenser microphones into a USB port, open your sound recording software, and you're all set to go. But how do they stack up to their more conventional counterparts? About.com's Joe Shambro takes the new Samson USB microphones for a test drive.
How to Set Up Your Home Studio's Recording Space
Learning how to use and fix the acoustic problems in any room is the first step to getting great recordings in any home studio. In this article, you'll learn the basics of acoustics and how to treat various acoustic problems that pop up in new home studio installations.
Before You Record: Set Up Your Computer
If you're setting up a home studio, the first thing you'll need to do is get your computer ready to record. There's a lot of things you can do to optimize your computer's performance, no matter if you're on a Mac or PC. Check out this list of things you'll need to remember to do before starting to record to make your computer run the best.
Should Musicians Wear Earplugs for Protection?
Of all the tools in your musician's arsenal, your ears are the most valuable (and irreplaceable). Keeping your ears in good shape is of utmost importance; in this article, you'll learn the basics of using earplugs to help conserve your hearing.
Recording Studio Power Management
Managing your studio's electricity usage is the best way to make sure you're making recordings free of buzz, hum, and static. In this article, you'll learn the basics to powering your studio and conditioning your power, giving you better quality recordings every time.
Before You Buy A Microphone
If you're new to recording or performing live, you'll probably be buying microphones for your studio or stage. Finding the right microphone is easy, as long as you keep in mind a few simple tips! About.com's Joe Shambro walks you through how to select the best microphone for your purpose and budget.
Mixing In Pro Tools - A Beginner's Guide
A beginner's guide to mixing in Pro Tools, complete with a free session file you can download to follow along! Topics include mixing with compression, EQ, and blending sources together to form a finished product in ProTools.
Getting that Vintage Vibe
The Telephone Effect gets it's name from how a noise -- typically a voice -- sounds over a lo-fi telephone connection.
What's the best way to record a piano at home?
Looking to record piano? Check out this free, quick tutorial to getting the best sounding piano recording, even in a small home studio.
5 Things You Need in Your Recording Studio
If you're starting a home recording studio, you'll need to make sure you have all the right gear. In this article, veteran audio engineer Joe Shambro walks you through five essential items every studio needs. You'll be surprised at what you might not have thought you needed!
How To Record (or mix) the Perfect Kick Drum
The kick drum -- or bass drum -- is the heartbeat of the rhythm section. It's not easy to record properly, but when you get it right, it's magic. About.com's Joe Shambro guides you through achieving the perfect kick drum sound in the studio.
Building a Budget-Priced Pro Tools Studio
With Pro Tools 9 and the new line of MBox systems, building a budget-priced Pro Tools studio on a budget has never been easier. About.com's Joe Shambro walks you through building a complete Pro Tools 9-based studio that's fully-featured, but won't break the bank.
All About Stage Monitoring
If you're a performing musician, you'll be all too familiar with stage monitoring. In this guide, you'll learn the difference between
Review: Waves Eddie Kramer Tape, Tubes &...
In today's digital mixing world, it's often hard to replace that old analog characteristic that many classic recordings made famous. Now, thanks to Waves, it's possible: with the Eddie Kramer Tape, Tubes, and Transistors plug-in bundle. Read a detailed review of the Waves Eddie Kramer Tape, Tubes & Transistors Plug-In Bundle, available in both TDM and Native formats.
Ear Training Downloads to Help You Hear Better
Looking for free ear training, to help you recognize frequency tones when needed? Looking for test tones to help calibrate your live sound or recording equipment? Free downloads of test tones from 20 Hz to 20 Khz!
Home Recording As A Business
In today's world of quick-changing technology, it's never been a better time to start a home-based recording studio. Many people are starting home recording studios as businesses, too. In this article, About.com's Joe Shambro walks home studio recording engineers through the process of opening their own home studio business.
How To Wire an XLR Cable
XLR cables are an absolutely necessary piece to any recording studio or live sound system. They're also expensive -- and making your own can be way cheaper. In this article, you'll be guided through the steps of building your own XLR microphone cables for a fraction of the cost of buying one new.
What is Auto-Tune?
Auto-tune is a very popular plug-in for both live performance and pitch correction, but it's also gotten notoriety as an effect used by most pop vocalists today. But how does Auto-tune work? About.com's Joe Shambro takes you through this fascinating software.
Mixing Drums in Pro Tools
Mixing drums is complicated, especially in a home studio! With this tutorial, you'll learn the basics of mixing drums in Pro Tools, complete with a free, downloadable session file, and audio files to practice on!
What are VCAs, and how do I use them while...
If you're a live sound engineer or mixing on analog in your studio, you've probably come across boards with VCAs -- Voltage Controlled Amplifiers. Mixing with VCAs is one of the easiest ways to manage multiple inputs. This free tutorial explains what VCAs are and how easy they are to use!
How is sound mixed at the GRAMMY Awards?
The GRAMMY Awards Telecast is one of the most technically impressive achievements in the music industry today. Audio engineer Joe Shambro takes you behind the scenes of what it takes to achieve such sonic perfection while still balancing the individual needs of the multi-platinum artists performing the event.
Does Cable Quality Matter?
Audio cables are a hotly-debated topic -- and one that draws an immediate argument from all sides. Expensive cables are, well... expensive. How do they stack up to their generic competition? About.com's Joe Shambro explains why expensive cables might be a poor investment for your studio or a/v setup.
Here's How You Mix Vocals in Pro-Tools
Looking for advice on recording and mixing vocals? Check out our tutorial on mixing vocals, complete with a downloadable session file for Pro Tools. You'll learn how to compress, EQ, and mix vocals to perfection!
How To Start a Pro Tools Session
Getting started in Pro Tools is very easy! In this tutorial, we learn how to set up a Pro Tools session, including a downloadable session file to get you started!
Shure Beta 98 D/S Microphone Review
Recording drums -- and mixing live drums -- is always a challenge, but with great tools, it becomes a lot easier! The Shure Beta 98 D/S is a fantastic microphone for toms, snare, and ust about anything else you can clamp it to. In this article, About.com's Joe Shambro takes the Shure Beta 98 D/S for a test drive.
How Do You Double Guitar Tracks?
Doubling guitar is one of the most common tricks used by recording engineers worldwide. It's something that gives any recording a professional touch -- and it's easy to achieve in your home studio. About.com's Joe Shambro walks you through this very easy technique -- equally easy in Pro Tools, Garageband, or Logic.
Looking for information on VCAs? Mixing with VCAs is an easy way to manage a large-channel mixing session. Check out this definition of VCA from the About.com Home Recording Glossary!
Top 5 Recording Studio Tips
Are you getting ready to enter the studio for the first time to record an album? Here's some tips to keep you on the right track, and make the most of your time in the studio!
A/B Listening
A definition of A/B listening in the About.com Home Recording Glossary.
What Are White & Pink Noise?
Have you ever heard of the terms
All About DAT
DAT - Digital Audio Tape - was once considered the ideal standard for digital recording in both pro and consumer domains. It's outdated, even dead, by today's standards, but it's still a popular choice for tapers and mixing studios. In this guide, you'll learn everything you needed to know about DAT.
Before You Set Up Your Studio...
Setting up your home studio space can be a hard task! In this article, we take a look at the basics of setting up a space in your home for use as a recording studio!
Korg K25 USB MIDI Keyboard
The Korg K25 is a cool little keyboard; offering 25 keys with a simple USB MIDI interface, the K25 allows small studios a value-priced way to get cool sounds while recording. How does it stack up to the competition? About.com's Joe Shambro takes the K25 for a test drive.
Westone ES49 Custom Musician's Earplugs
The Westone ES49 are custom-fit hearing protection designed with musicians and sound engineers in mind. They're more expensive than most earplugs, but how do they work and what benefit do they offer? About.com's Joe Shambro takes them for a test drive.
Duplicating & Distributing
Now that you've finished your musical masterpiece, how will you package and sell it? As a working musician, your goal is always to support yourself with your music. In this guide, you'll learn how to make your CD ready to buy!
What are in-ear monitors?
What are in-ear monitors? In-ear monitors are one of the most well-known topics in audio engineering today. In this article, About.com's Joe Shambro explains what in-ears are, how they're used, and who uses them.
Just how fast is sound, anyway?
It's one of the most common questions in the sound world: how fast does sound travel? Finding out what the speed of sound is -- and why it can be faster or slower -- is the first step to learning about acoustics and audio! Check out this article for the full answer to the question
Review: KAM Instruments C3 Microphone
The KAM C3 is a large-diaphragm condenser microphone that packs a powerful punch in a small package. Offering a crisp, airy sound without being harsh or brittle, the C3 works best as an instrument microphone, with studio vocals being a close second. Read more at About.com.
Top 5 Top 5 Plug-Ins for Pro Tools
Looking for the best plug-ins for Pro Tools 7? In this article, we'll take a look at our top five Pro Tools 7 plug-ins, offering the best bang for the buck.
Before You Pirate Recording Studio Software,...
I remember my first real computer-based recording studio. Several years ago, before Pro Tools LE and
Recording the Hammond B3
Recording and mixing the Hammond B3 organ is an easy skill to learn for new audio engineers, but there's a few tricks to getting it right. In this article, you'll learn the basics to micing a Leslie cabinet and how to mix the B3 to perfection.
What are VST plug-ins?
VST plug-ins are one of the most frequently used pieces of software in both professional and home studios. What are VST plug-ins, and how can you use them? About.com's Joe Shambro explains VST plug-ins.
Five Recording Studio Tips To Live By
If you're a musician starting to record yourself at home, there's a few rules you'll need to learn before you can make the most out of your home studio. Take it from a pro: live by these rules, and you'll be making great recordings!
Stereo Microphone Techniques
Using the XY stereo microphone technique for taping and studio recording.
Stereo Image
A definition and explanation of Stereo Image, from the About.com Home Recording Glossary!
Preview: Pro Tools LE Version 8
A full preview of the new features of Pro Tools LE 8, the newest and most advanced multitrack software available. Offering 48 tracks of audio along with full-strength processing, virtual instruments, ProTools 8 LE is the most powerful version yet!
How To Ruin A Mix
It may look easy, but keeping yourself from screwing up a good recording can be hard. In this article, About.com's Joe Shambro takes a look at some tips & tricks to prevent you from making some common mixing mistakes, and in the process, take the quality of your recordings to the next level.
Five High-Priced Audio Gadgets
Looking for the ultimate gift for the working musician or audio engineer in your life, regardless of the price? In this freshly-updated list, you'll find five of the highest-priced items on any recording engineer's wish list.
Zoom H4 Portable Recorder
With impressive sound quality and ultra-portable design, the Zoom H4 -- big brother to the H4N and H2 -- is a remarkable portable recorder. In this review, we take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of this affordable entry into the portable recording world.
Before You Buy Studio Monitors
Studio speakers, or monitors as they're commonly called, are one of the most common purchases that you as an aspiring home recording engineer can make. Monitors are necessary for every studio, regardless of your budget. In this article, you'll learn the basics of buying monitors, and how to make the best purchase for your budget.
Taping With The iPod?
The iPod has amazing potential as a recording device! In this article, we take a look at using the Belkin TuneTalk Pro and the Apple iPod to build a great, inexpensive taping rig!
Shure Beta 181 Microphone Review
The Shure Beta 181 is Shure's latest entry into the utility microphone game, and with it's sleek design and low-profile functionality, it's quickly becoming a favorite of engineers everywhere. How does the 181 stack up to the competition? About.com's Joe Shambro takes the 181 for a test run.
Audio-Technica AT4022 Review
Audio-Technica has long been considered a top choice for working musicians and audio engineers, with high-quality products offered at reasonable prices. The brand new AT4022 continues this trend -- offering precise performance at an affordable price.
Marshall MXL V67G Large Diaphragm Condenser...
A full review of the Marshall MXL V67G Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone, a $99, value-priced microphone that packs a high-dollar punch -- perfect for vocals, drum overheads, and acoustic guitar. While it's low-priced, it certainly packs a punch equal to much more expensive mics. About.com's Joe Shambro takes the MXL V67G on a test drive.
Antares Technologies Harmony Engine
Antares Harmony Engine is an awesome plug-in from the makers of Auto-Tune, the world standard pitch correction software in professional studios everywhere. Harmony Engine promises easy replication of harmony vocals and chords, and it doesn't disappoint. About.com's Joe Shambro takes Harmony Engine for a test drive in this review.
Heil PR-20 UT Microphone
The Heil PR-20 UT is a fantastic microphone; it sounds great on most everything, and it offers exceptional value for the money. But how does it stack up to the competition? Check out this full review of the Heil PR-20UT.
Review: Avid Mbox Mini
Looking for an inexpensive, full-featured recording interface, compatible with Pro Tools? The Avid Mbox Mini is an excellent choice, featuring a world-class microphone preamp, great-sounding converters, and a portable, USB-powered design. Check out the full review at About.com
Was Susan Boyle Auto-Tuned?
It's been reported that Susan Boyle's knock-your-socks-off performance on Britain's Got Talent was digitally enhanced by Auto-Tune pitch correction. What does this mean, and how does it reflect on SuBo's true talent? About.com's resident audio engineer Joe Shambro explains the ins and outs of Auto-Tune of live performances -- and how to spot an Auto-Tuned vocal.
Heil Sound PR-30 Dynamic Microphone
The Heil PR30 is a very unique microphone; it represents a new way of thinking about dynamic microphone technology, backed by the experience of one of live sound's greatest innovators, Bob Heil. The PR-30 is an ideal microphone for guitars and vocals -- and, surprisingly, one of the finest drum overhead mics I've ever used. Check out this full review on About.com!
What is Replication?
If you're releasing a CD, chances are you're trying to find the difference between replication and duplication. In this article, you'll learn quickly and easily the differences between replication and duplication.
Sennheiser E904 Drum Microphone
The Sennheiser E904 is a superior-quality drum microphone, best suited for toms and snare. While it's not the cheapest, it offers performance reminiscent of Sennheiser's famous MD441 at a fraction of the cost.
A definition of attenuation from the About.com Home Recording Glossary!
Neumann SKM184 Stereo Microphone Kit
A review of the Neumann SKM184 Microphone Kit, a matched stereo pair of the Neumann KM184 condenser microphone, a perfect choice for the recording studio and the concert taper alike.
Samson Q1U Dynamic USB Microphone
The Samson Q1U is the first professional-quality dynamic USB microphone, a fantastic value without sacrificing performance. Check out our review of this hand-held USB microphone, perfect for use with Garageband!
Building a Taping Rig
Looking for advice on getting started in the world of concert taping? Look no further! This is the ultimate guide to getting started, from the ground up. Info on picking microphones, a preamp, and a recording interface are all included.
Review: Ultimate Ears UE-4 Pro
Or, should we say, in-ear review. About.com's Joe Shambro takes the Ultimate Ears UE-4 Pro custom monitors for a spin, and compares them to the company's other, higher-end offerings. How do the UE-4 Pro compare to the UE-18? Find out at About.com.
Shure Beta 91A Review
The Shure Beta 91A is the latest incarnation of one of the world's favorite kick drum microphones. Descended from the Shure SM91, the Beta 91A offers even wider frequency response and a very convenient XLR connection. How does it sound, and how does it stack up to it's predecessors? About.com's Joe Shambro takes the Beta 91A for a test drive.
Review: M-Audio Microtrack II Portable Recorder
The M-Audio Microtrack II portable recorder is one of a new generation of recorders. High resolution (up to 24-bit, 96kHz), small and portable (including a built-in battery), and high capacity for high quality recording. But how does it measure up to the competition, and how does it perform in typical recording situations? Check out this full review at About.com!
Re-Amping Guitar Tracks
Recording electric guitar is one of the most frequent parts of any production session, and re-amping has become a very popular way to achieve the perfect sound. What's re-amping, and how's it done? About.com's Joe Shambro walks you through this process and shows you how easy it is to re-amp guitar tracks in your home studio.
Review: Superlux R102 Ribbon Microphone
A full hands-on review of the Superlux R102 phantom powered ribbon microphone, a fantastic value at $225, with rich, robust sound quality and excellent construction.
A Guide to Pro Tools 10
Pro Tools 10. Home Recording.
Review: Ultimate Ears In-Ear Reference Monitors
In collaboration with Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, Ultimate Ears has released the Ultimate Ears Custom In-Ear Reference Monitors, designed to carry on the legacy of the UE-10 reference monitor with a nod to the monitoring quality required to work in the world's best studios. About.com's resident audio engineer Joe Shambro takes the UE In-Ear Reference Monitors for a test drive and writes this review.
Review: QSC HPR122i 12" Two-Way Powered Speaker
Powered speakers are the ultimate in convenience for smaller installed systems and bands on the go, but until recently, many brands haven't delivered on quality. QSC's HPR series changes that, offering phenomenal quality in a reasonably priced package.
Review: Propellerhead Balance & Reason...
Looking for a small, compact recording interface with full-featured sound quality? The Propellerhead Balance -- packaged with Reason Essentials -- is an excellent choice for any project studio looking to record live tracks in a small space. About.com's Joe Shambro takes Balance for a test drive.
Review: Sennheiser E901 Kick Drum Microphone
The Sennheiser E901 kick drum microphone is a fantastic product -- and it makes getting the perfect kick drum tone extremely easy. How does it stack up against the competition? About.com's resident audio engineer Joe Shambro puts this mic to the test.
Audix UEM-81S Microphone with Shotgun &...
A review of the Audix UEM-81S microphone set, complete with sound clips, a great value for a shotgun microphone alongside an interchangeable cardioid capsule, but does the performance exceed the price?
Review: Blue enCORE 100i Instrument Microphone
The Blue enCORE 100i is the latest offering from Blue Microphones, designed as a low-cost, multi-purpose instrument microphone. Built to the highest standards, the Blue 100i is a bargain at around $85. But how does it stack up to the competition? About.com's Joe Shambro takes this microphone for a test drive.
Behringer ADA8000 Ultragain Pro-8
A review (with audio clips) of the Behringer ADA8000, a value-priced, 8-channel microphone preamp with ADAT digital output. While it's feature-packed, does the low price (and Behringer's reputation) mean low sound quality? About.com's Joe Shambro reviews the ADA8000.
Balanced Armature
What is a balanced armature driver? If you're shopping for earphones, chances are you'll have a choice between a balanced armature driver and a dynamic driver. In this article, you'll learn what a balanced armature is, and how they make your earphones sound great.
The Basics of Hearing Health & Protection
Sound is everywhere -- and unfortunately, lots of that sound can be damaging to our hearing health. In this article -- geared towards musicians, music lovers, and sound engineers, but with advice relevant to anyone -- About.com's Joe Shambro walks you through the basics of hearing protection and hearing conservation, and why it's important to protect this very valuable asset.
Review: Telefunken M80 Dynamic Microphone
The Telefunken M80 has received a lot of attention for both its flashy looks and stellar sound quality. It's a dynamic microphone with stage vocals in mind, but how does it stack up as a multi-purpose utility mic? Audio engineer Joe Shambro takes the M80 for a test drive in this review.
All About Subharmonic Synthesis
For live sound engineers and studio engineers, subharmonic synthesis is one of the secrets of the audio engineering trade; chances are if you've listened to any pop music in the last few years, you've heard it used. In this article, you'll learn the basics of subharmonic synthesis, what it is, and how it's achieved.
The Digidesign 003 Series
Check out an exclusive first-look at the brand new Digi 003 series for Pro Tools LE and 9, including the 003 Control Surface, and the 003-R Rackmount Interface, bringing Pro Tools 9 quality to project studios of every budget.
Tascam DR-680 Portable Recorder Review
The Tascam DR-680 is an absolutely awesome machine -- four microphone inputs, two analog inputs, and two digital inputs in a small, battery-powered portable box. How does it stack up to the competition and, most importantly, how does it sound? About.com's Joe Shambro takes it for a test drive.
Spin It Again - Vinyl Restoration Software
Transferring vinyl to CD has never been easy, especially cleaning up of the audio after the fact. But along comes Acoustica, a small software company, with Spin It Again - the easiest to use vinyl transfer and audio restoration software I've ever seen, with an equally incredible price - only $34.95!
Recording Tricks of the Pros
The SSL Listen Mic Compressor is a FREE plug-in that's a true favorite of mix engineers everywhere. The LMC-1 is based on a limiter built into vintage SSL equipment; it's perfect for getting an overdriven drum tone! In this article, you'll learn how to use -- and where to find -- this valuable plug-in.
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is one of the most common noise-induced hearing losses in the world. It's especially a subject of interest of musicians and sound engineers, because a lot of people who work in high volume environments report experiencing tinnitus. About.com's resident audio engineer Joe Shambro explains what tinnitus is, it's symptoms, and how you can avoid it.
Ultimate Ears UE-11 Pro Custom Monitor Earphone
The UE-11 Pro is one of Ultimate Ears' flagship monitors. Four drivers and a passive crossover network custom-molded to your ears, the UE-11 is a perfect product for home recording studios, professional musicians, and live sound engineers. About.com's Joe Shambro takes the UE-11 for a test drive and reports the results.
What is an in-ear monitor?
Are you looking at in-ear monitoring as an option for your band or in the studio? In this article, you'll learn what in-ear monitors are, what they're used for, and how to get started using them yourself.
Modify Your Nady RSM-4 Ribbon Microphone
The Nady RSM-4 ribbon microphone is a fantastic value; it's cheap, it sounds great, and it's extremely useful. But believe it or not, it can be even better for not much money! Check out these very simple mods that anyone with a soldering iron and a steady hand can perform -- the difference is worth it.
What is MADI?
In the world of audio, MADI is one of the most exciting protocols that's quickly becoming a standard in studios and live stages everywhere. What is MADI, and how can you use it to improve your audio workflow? About.com's Joe Shambro explains MADI interfaces.
Ultimate Sound, Ultimate Ears
In 1995, Ultimate Ears revolutionized custom monitor technology. And with popular products such as the super.fi 5 Pro and UE-10 Pro, they continue to reach deep into both the professional and consumer markets. A four-part article.
A definition and explanation of gain, from the About.com Home Recording Glossary!
Jerry Harvey JH16 Pro In-Ear Monitors
The Jerry Harvey Audio JH16 Pro represent the absolute latest in monitoring technology, offering portable, high-quality monitoring in a compact, relatively affordable package. How does it stack up against the competition? About.com's Joe Shambro takes the JH16 for a test drive in both the stage and studio.
The MBox 2 Mini
The Avid MBox 2 Mini is the cheapest, smallest, and most portable offering in the Avid line, but how does it stack up to the big boys? About.com's Joe Shambro reviews the MBox 2 Mini.
What is Binaural Recording?
Binaural audio recording is one of the most unique things ever done in audio recording, especially as high-resolution audio becomes commonplace. In this article, About.com's resident audio engineer Joe Shambro explains what goes in to making a binaural recording.
Review: Superlux S241/U3 Condenser Microphone
A hands-on review of the brand new Superlux S241/U3, a fantastic small-diaphragm condenser microphone with an even more stellar price tag -- only $125.
Recording the Space Shuttle
A space shuttle launch is one of the most dynamic events in the world of acoustics -- and capturing the audio has been one of the greatest challenges of recording. Join About.com's Joe Shambro as we record and archive the sounds of the launch of STS-123 -- and explain how we do it.
WaveMachine Labs Drumagog
A review of WaveMachine Labs Drumagog, a stellar drum replacement and triggering software compatible with most major recording software suites. Also capable of latency-free live sampling, Drumagog is perfect for live performances demanding accurate drum samples.
Review: Waves OneKnob Series Plug-Ins
A review of the full Waves OneKnob plug-in series, compatible with Logic and Pro Tools, offering superior-quality processing without the hassle of multiple parameters -- perfect for audio engineers needing a quick, simple, and full-featured arsenal of processors with a limited budget.
Review: Microphome Microphone Sanitizing Cleaner
Microphome is an answer to a lot of musicians' prayers -- a portable, affordable, and high-quality product designed for one very (unpleasant) job: cleaning up the built-up gunk and germs from your vocal microphones. About.com's Joe Shambro reviews this exceptional product.
Direct Box (DI Box)
Definition of direct box (or DI, or direct injection) box, from the About.com Home Recording Glossary.
What Are Balanced Cables?
: When you're buying audio cables, chances are you'll see the word "balanced" mentioned often. Balanced
Ground Loop
A definition and explanation of Ground Loop, from the About.com Home Recording Glossary!
Abbey Road Keyboards Reason ReFill Collection
A full review of the Propellerhead Abbey Road Keyboards refill collection for Reason, a collection of unbelievably good keyboard samples from legendary Abbey Road Studios.
First Look - Digidesign MBox 2 Mini
A first-look review of the Digidesign MBox 2 Mini, a great piece of equipment for home recording engineers, live sound engineers, and concert tapers!
Microphones: The 3 to 1 Rule
If you're recording or mixing live sound with microphones, you'll encounter phase problems when using multiple microphones. In this article, you'll learn the 3 to 1 rule, a special rule to remember to help keep phase problems under control.
Maxtor OneTouch III Turbo Edition Backup Drive
Review of the Maxtor OneTouch III Turbo Edition external backup hard drive, which connects to your Windows or Mac OS machine through USB 2.0, FireWire 400 or FireWire 800.
Nady RSM-4 Ribbon Microphone
A full review of the inexpensive yet astoundingly useful Nady RSM-4 Ribbon Microphone, a fantastic addition to any microphone collection at a price that can't be beat.
Karma K-Micro Miniature Condenser Microphone
A review of the Karma K-Micro, a value-priced. It may be cheap, but it certainly doesn't sound like it! Check out this full review of this amazing little mic.
Sensaphonics Custom Musician's Earplugs
The Sensaphonics Musician's Earplugs are a fantastic concept: soft silicone, custom fit to your ear canal, with Etymotic filters built in for filtered, full-range listening. How do they stack up against the competition? Check out this full review of these great ear plugs.
KAM ST2 Drum Microphone
The KAM ST2 is a sleeper of a microphone -- it's a fantastic drum microphone with superior sound quality, making toms and snare sound accurate and punchy. It's also fairly priced -- especially compared to the competition. But how does it stack up to the rest? About.com's Joe Shambro takes the ST2 for a test drive.
Experimenting With Sound
Founded in 1997, Sound Tribe Sector 9's unique blend of electronica and funk has gained fans around the globe with their jaw-dropping live shows and cultivation of community spirit. About.com Home Recording guide Joe Shambro looks into the technology - and spirit - that brings the Sound Tribe to life. Page 2.
A definition of envelope, used in audio recording, from the About.com Home Recording Glossary.
Future Sonics' XtremeMac FS1 In-Ear Earphones
The XTremeMac FS1 is a fantastic in-ear monitor earphone with an outstanding pedigree from Future Sonics, maker of acclaimed customized monitors for top musicians. About.com's Joe Shambro takes the FS1 for a test drive.
All About Pro Tools MP 9
Avid has introduced Pro Tools MP 9, the latest installment in the Pro Tools family. Offering M-Audio users unprecedented recording and mixing power, Pro Tools MP 9 is perfect for studios operating on a budget. About.com's Joe Shambro explains the features in the new Avid Pro Tools MP 9 bundles.

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