Prior To Recording

By Cliff Goldmacher

As a result of recording and producing literally hundreds of demos, I’ve learned that it is always better to “Prepare and Prevent” than to “Repair and Repent.” Here are a few steps you can take to help make your demo recording experience more successful.

Song Preparation:

It may sound obvious but make sure your song is FINISHED. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had clients come into the studio only to start rewriting a part of the lyric or melody. It is significantly less stressful (and quite a bit less expensive) to write a song when you’re not paying the studio an hourly fee.

You can also benefit from trying a few rough recordings at home before you get to the studio. The simple act of listening back to a song instead of performing it will reveal any weaknesses or issues that need to be dealt with before the studio clock is running. The last of these rough home recordings will become the definitive work tape.

The Work Tape:

I use the term “work tape” but really it’s any simple, inexpensive recording that you do on a hand-held tape recorder, mini disc player, mp3 recorder, etc. Generally, a piano or guitar plus a scratch vocal will do the trick. The key here Continue reading

Analog or Digital Recording Equipment?

The debate over using analog tape, warm tube compressors and enhancers vs. precise, high-performance digital recording equipment will likely continue to be a hot topic. I submit that nothing can perfectly reproduce the exact character and noise generated by analog recording equipment. Though many would claim beforehand they can easily tell the difference between a digital recording and an analog recording, a double-blind side by side comparison of tracks mixed by professionals from each camp (digital – vs – analog) has yielded virtually indistinguishable results.

But the rest of the story is that modern digital recording has come so far that it is now possible to make warm, analog-sounding recordings using high-quality Digital Audio workstations and nothing but “inboard” gear.

Gone are the days of the “Sterile and cold” sounding digital recordings. We’ve learned to add in the tape-saturation and transformer thickening that was missing before. There is a growing list of top producers, engineers, and Continue reading

How Will I Know If A Computer/Laptop Is Good For Music Recording?

When someone asks advice about where to buy a good computer for music recording and mixing, many will simply suggest buying a Macbook Pro, and for those with the cash, and who are into the world of Apple, this is a good option. However, having a fruit emblem on your casing is not a guarantee of worry free audio. To get a high-quality Mac you’ll shell out well over $2K for the basic Mac Pro (With the needed upgrades, 7200rpm drive, and Warranty). Even the lower-end low-powered macs are expensive; and you will still find the experience of something like running ProTools, REAPER, or Logic a frustrating chore.

The standard Macbooks just don’t have the architecture to handle real-time audio processing. (Neither do most ‘standard’ PC’s). If you were to shell out the same amount of cash for a PC that you do to purchase a Macbook Pro, you could easily afford one of the high-end ‘Engineered-For-Audio’ PC computers, and you wouldn’t have to worry about it.

If you purchase a specialized Audio-Computer of the PC version, from Creation Station, PC Audio Labs,  ADK Pro Audio, or the like, you’ll pay Continue reading