Last Day in Gear Heaven – NAMM Blog, Day 3
“When Worlds Collide”

More than ever, the NAMM show is becoming a mash up of the analog world – with its historic musical precedents made up of strings, reeds, mallets, speakers, mics and the best traditional music making elements – with the increasingly digital music world, where speed, portability, and innovation rule. When it comes to acoustic instruments and music making, there really are no new products, simply refinements and leaps ahead that improve existing tools and techniques. Read more…

Another Day in Gear Heaven – NAMM Blog, Day 2
“Show Me How It Works”

Yesterday, I ran into a friend who suggested I check out a soft synth program from Spectrasonics called Omnisphere 1.5, and I caught the tail end of a demo by keyboardist Jordan Rudess that day, but just what the Omnisphere program could do was still a bit murky to me. So today, I trekked back to the Spectrasonics’ booth and got a full 20-minute demo from the company’s founder, Eric Persing. Rarely have I seen a company’s found having as much fun with his creation as Eric did. Read more…

One Day in Gear Heaven – NAMM Blog, Day 1

Today was my first day at the 2011 Winter NAMM Convention, a gathering of more than 80,000 people involved in the music products industry. Everything from harmonicas to the latest recording hardware and software is on display from more than 1,300 companies, often demoed by the engineers and techs that invented them. This will be the first of three postings about what I discovered at this year’s show. Read more…

A Guide to Combo Amps

BUGERA V22 ComboThis time around we’re going to highlight several very cool, best-in-class combo amps — so before we get down to brass tacks, let’s get some quick background:

The term ‘combo’ in amp-speak simply means the speakers and electronics are ‘combined’ in the same cabinet. This is opposed to a head and separate speaker cabinet ‘stack’. Both have inherent pros and cons: the combo is simple, straightforward and compact. Read more…

Home Recording Shopping Guide

Many people have a limited budget this year to upgrade their home recording systems. Because of that, it’s helpful to prioritize what is the most important element you need or would benefit from upgrading. If you consider your entire home recording system as 100% of your sound, assuming that you already have a digital audio recording system, then as much as 50% of your sound comes from the quality of the microphone you use. When you purchase your first really nice microphone, you’ll be surprised at what a difference in the overall recording quality it makes. Read more…

10 Practical Tips For Recording Amazing Guitars

GuitarsAmazing guitar tones start with the player. Recording a great song with a good player is always key. Beyond the player, the instrument must be in top shape as well. Sending your guitar to be professionally set up is a great way to ensure your guitar tracks are properly in tune and there are no buzzes, squeaks, or hums coming from the instrument. A professional set up will also allow the guitar to play easier and feel better, which will help to create a better performance. Read more…

Drum Sampler Picks

The new breed of drum samplers are affordable, flexible, and really easy to use. PSE takes a close look at four top programs.

For many home and project studios, the dream of setting up a full-size drum kit and inviting a drummer to “let ‘er rip” is just that. For those who don’t have the luxury of a fully isolated recording space, drums pose one of the most difficult challenges to creating realistic recordings. Read more…

The Desktop Studio: The Internet as a Resource

The Internet offers a direct link between your desktop studio and the software and hardware vendors who power it.

Manufacturers’ websites offer a wealth of information about upcoming releases, bug fixes, tips, and more. I make it a habit to log on to key sites about once a week. On more than one occasion, I’ve found an update online that hadn’t yet been announced in the press. Read more…