Gigging and Touring as an Indie

Playing live gigs is one of the most traditional ways for musical artists to spread the word about themselves, entertaining fans and attracting new ones. And nothing beats gigging as a way to build a band’s musical chops.

Playing gigs also gives you a recurring reason to contact your fan base and promote your act, it’s a great vehicle to collect names for your email list, and it’s the best forum to sell products like CDs and t-shirts. Read more…

Home Project Studio: Parts 3 & 4

Half-round Geometrix sound absorbersPart 3: The truth about isolation booths
We find ourselves immersed in the building of the isolation booth, after a slight delay caused by unforeseen delays.

The room is coming along well. Two dedicated 20-amp circuits have been installed for audio power. Lines have been run for lighting. The ceiling has been insulated and the outer walls are ready to be prepped for paint and wall treatments. Now that the main part of the room is taking shape, it is time to look at the ISO booth design and construction.

I had just ordered industrial felt to “float” the inner framing of the booth when I spoke to Nick Collerian at Acoustics First. Read more…

Drum Mic Showdown

p810-fig1-3We took three drum mic packages into the studio for a live showdown.
Although most engineers will tell you they select microphones based on the type of instrument or the tonal quality of a particular instrument, we all have a trusted set of “go to” mics when it comes to recording drums. In the last few years, many microphone manufacturers have grouped sets of drum mics into affordable, easy-to-use packages for both the studio and live performances. This month we put three sets of drum mic packages through their paces to test what kind of performance you can expect. Read more…

Pro Studio: Vocal Mics in the Studio

Fast Forward’s Pro Studio guru puts four mics through their paces

One of the key elements in any popular song is the vocal performance, and an essential part of capturing a vocal performance accurately is the microphone used in the recording. Top recording engineers know how important it is to match each singer’s particular vocal qualities and timbre to the microphone that will best capture the power and subtleties of that voice. This month, Fast Forward brought four high-quality vocal microphones (i.e. list price of $1,000 or more) into the studio and ran each through its paces, recording male and female vocal tracks and some narration. By the end of the session, you’ll have a good idea of which of these mics may be worth the investment for your home recording studio and what you might want to look for in studios near you. The four contenders include: the Kiwi, from BLUE Microphones; the TLM 103 from Neumann; the Black Hole BH-2 from JZ Mics; and the KSM 44 from Shure. I invited my colleague Jeff Crawford, a local producer and engineer over to provide a second set of ears for the evaluation. Two singers were asked to help with the testing, each one bringing a backing track of a song that they were familiar with to use for the test session. Read more…