MIDI FAQ for beginners

07 Hardware SynthesizerMIDI, or Musical Instrument Digital Interface, is a language by which computers, virtual instruments, and hardware samplers/synthesizers can communicate. There are a lot of unfamiliar terms and concepts in the MIDI world, so let’s take a look at a few questions that I typically hear from first time users. Read more.

MIDI controller

Using a MIDI Controller In Your Home Studio

As the home studio has evolved, so too has the MIDI controller to fit the needs of the musician and the software that has become a part of the studio arsenal. Controllers now have moved well beyond acting as a keyboard for module synths and enhance any musician’s DAW and SoftSynth, enabling one to retain a tactile experience in an environment that seems to require more and longer use of the computer keyboard and mouse. Read more.

virtual instruments

Using virtual instruments: Eight home recording tips to make your tracks sing

With multi-track recording programs like GarageBand, Pro Tools, and Logic becoming nearly ubiquitous amongst tech-savvy musicians, it’s easier than ever to take your own music all the way from first inspiration to finished audio file without leaving your room. But just because these high-powered tools are available, it doesn’t mean we all know how to use them well. Read more.

Home Recording: Choosing Your DAW

pro-tools 8Home recording has exploded over the past decade as digital technology has given musicians more and more powerful tools for capturing and mixing music on laptops and desktops. One of the key choices a musician or engineer must make is which DAW to invest time and money into.

What’s a DAW you say? Well, why don’t we see what wikipedia says: 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…

Putting Apple’s GarageBand to the Test

GarageBand is a music creation software application that is part of Apple’s iLife suite (GarageBand, iMovie and iPhoto) and ships on all new Macintosh computers. For this column, I jumped into learning how well GarageBand might work as a musical sketchpad to rough out a basic song demo. I enlisted the help of two friends, vocalist Josh Washington and songwriter/percussionist Dan Faughnder, for the home sessions. In the process, we recorded live vocals and electric guitar to go along with the software-based instruments and loops found in the program’s library. We wondered just how good a song demo could be created in a couple of hours by GarageBand rookies. 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…

Digital Branding With Music & Mobile Apps

Music-based mobile apps are one of the most powerful tools in a musician’s digital marketing arsenal. Apps are a hot commodity with customers, especially the gen-Y market. Beyond that, apps provide an avenue for deeper engagement with your audience.

In order to maximize your potential for connecting with audiences, your app must be user-friendly and addictive. You do that by providing value to users. Make it simple to use and allow opt-in subscriptions for your podcast(s). Read more…