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Recording Advice

The Jangly Guitar Sound of the ‘80s

The ‘80s weren’t just about electronic music, ya know? That decade also produced some of the most influential indie pop bands of all times – for example: The Smiths. At the time, the band’s guitarist Johnny Marr was...

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Production Corner: Fun with Arpeggiators

Arpeggiators are one of the most fun and "ancient" electronic music tools, and consist in editable algorithms that play the notes of a chord following a regular sequenced pattern. Like anything trendy in the 80s, arpeggiators are coming back in the early aughts with a...

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Famous Guitar Tones: the Twang

2925311759_50618f3a4c[1] In the mid-50s, great guitar innovators like Duane Eddy (pictured) started playing lead riffs drenched in tremolo and echo in the lower registers of the guitar, creating the bass-y sound that since then has become synonymous...

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Production Corner: Pop Structure and Bridges

Pop music is a little bit like classic art: it’s all about balance. If Pop had existed at the time of the ancient Greeks, it would have been Apollo’s music — he was the god of the Sun, harmony, order and reason.

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Recording Group Vocals & Hand Claps

Since the turn of the millennium the indie scene has rediscovered the sonic and percussive possibilities of the human voice and body — choral and a Capella parts are back in fashion, together with hand claps, finger snaps, foot stomping etc etc.

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Production Corner – the “Old Telephone” Effect

The “vintage telephone effect” on vocals has been in vogue, in particular in lo-fi and electronic music, since Beck’s debut album came out in 1994. Although the market is saturated with “lo-fi” plug ins, all you need to recreate this trick is some EQ, compression and distortion. Compress the vocal...

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Production Corner: Lo-Fi Plug Ins & Pedals

As we all know, rockers enjoy going against trends, and lo-fi is a perfect “genre answer” to these high definition days. As a matter of fact, in most cases the poor quality of the recordings – rather than the result of disgraceful engineering – is created intentionally as a way to add character to the...

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Production Corner: Randomness & Happy Accidents

From the 20th century on, experimental artists of all kinds have been fascinated by the concept of randomness applied to art — it all started with Dadaism. In music, the element of chance was already present in Jazz before it officially appeared in the mid century “Aleatory Music” movement. The Beatles managed to recycle it...

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Recording Guitar Secret: the importance of phase

Most engineers and producers, to allow themselves more options at the mixing stage, record guitars (electric ones in particular) with two or more microphones placed at a different distance from the sound source. Shoegazer bands are particularly famous for using this technique, which indeed can help give the guitar a more roomy and open sound...

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Secrets of Mixing: Reverb on slower songs

The sparse arrangements that fit slower songs provide mixing engineers the opportunity to create a perception of space through the use of reverb effects. Reverb, in a mix, allows “placement” of each instrument in a sonic space. But a “realistic” use of reverb is quite tricky to get right.  Realistic reverb – counter-intuitively – is...

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The Secrets of a perfect Surf Guitar Tone

Surf Rock experienced a Renaissance in the last few years, influencing a wave of new indie artists. The ultimate surf guitar tone has several elements: a guitar, the amplifier, reverb, tremolo, and vibrato, but the sound starts with the guitar itself. A Fender Stratocaster, Jaguar (pictured) or Jazzmaster would be my personal choice. One of...

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The Secrets of Recording Great Vocals

Recording vocals might not seem like the most challenging of tasks when producing a CD, but this delicate and crucial process often ends up being quite draining and taking longer than expected. Producer Larry Hammel, who has just finished...

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Choosing the right Recording Studio

What do you need to look for in a recording studio? In this article you'll find all the advice you need about equipment, engineers, rooms, rates, and ways of approaching the recording experience. - read

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