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Free info on how to Record a Song, Mixing a Song and Mastering a Song




List of recording articles on this page


 2)  Recording your songs

 3) Music Production and Mixing Tips & Tricks

 4) Recording Drums - Miking Techniques Part 1

 5) Home Recording Studio Basics - Here's What You Need to Record

 6) Studio Singing & Vocal Technique

 7) Sing Powerfully Without Strain or Vocal Blowout

  8)  Preparing For Your Recording Session

  9)  Tips for a Great Recording Session               

 10) The 5 Most Common Questions About Music Mastering

 11) The Two Conflicting Paths of the Mastering House

 12) The Role of CD Mastering Engineers   

  13    Audio CD Copiers

  14) Copy CD's Like A Professional

  15   Can't I just do my CD and DVD duplication at home?

  16)  Is Your Band Ready For CD Duplication Or CD Replication? 

  17) Recording Guitar - How to Mic a Guitar Amp






   by Art Rock

Is a hard disk recorder easier to use than music recording software on a computer you ask. Yes it is, for the most part. Mixing a song on a hard disk recorder is simpler and less confusing then it is to mix a song on computer music recording software. On hard disk recorders you normally have a mixing console built in, usually right on the exterior top of the recorder. They usually have an individual volume level fader and panning knob on each channel, right out in the open, easy to grab and tweak. Some units even have EQ setting adjustment knobs right on the recording console as well. Level, panning and EQ are some of the most important steps in recording your song, mixing down your song and mastering your song. They really are mandatory steps you have to perform. Having these most used controls on the exterior recording console of the hard disk recorder, makes it easier to use, than dialling in and cursoring left right and up and down, on each individual track. Tweaking EQ can easily occupy the majority of your time in mixing a song.

   Most hard disk recorders also have a very large selection of built in effects. With most units you can add different effects individually on each track while recording your parts. You can then add different effects again on each track on mix down. Most hard disk recorders have built in effect send buses, where you can add reverb and delay to all your tracks when you master the mix. Normally you can adjust from zero to 100 percent wet effect applied on each track independently. Most hard disk recorders also have built in mic preamps on each input channel. Most have guitar amp simulators so you can plug your guitar directly into the recorder without an amp. The other people in your household and your neighbours may appreciate that feature more than you. Having the ability to record, mix and master the song entirely in the digital domain has the huge advantage of keeping background noise and ground effect noise to a minimum. Any time you use external effects and gear you always increase the chance of adding noise to your mix, although quite often, the trade off is worth it.

All of the features mentioned here are also available on computer software recording and more. You can get a much larger library of effects, while remaining in the digital domain, on recording software by adding plug-ins. There is no limit to how much you can add except for how much you are willing to spend. Either way, hard disk recording, or computer based recording, you can add
on external hardware, such as direct boxes, input strips, mic preamps, effect units etc.

by Art Rock /  copyright Absolute Music 2021        TOP of Page


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2) Recording your songs

                                 by Art Rock   

You have a choice of going to a recording studio and paying  to have your songs recorded or you can record them yourself at home, in your own home studio. With the price of recording gear coming down, the price to record in a studio has come down from about $40. to $250. an hour 10 years ago to about $15. to $75 an hour today. The low end of the price range being a small studio, usually in some-ones home. The higher price, a large studio operation or one known for recording famous artists.


   The most popular and affordable device for home recordings through the 1960's and 70's was the two track reel to reel recorder with a sound on sound function. Through the 80's and 90's it was the four track cassette recorder. The cassette deck design made it extremely easy to use and to figure out how to record your own songs.  It used a standard blank cassette tape and had a record head capable of recording four separate tracks, one at a time. For instance you could record a drum machine or drummer on track one. Rewind the tape and listen to the drums being played back while you record a bass guitar part or whatever on track two. Play back the drums and bass while you record a guitar part on track three and then the vocalist, would lay down the vocal track on track four. This process is called multi-tracking. Then you plug a RCA cable into the master/line out of the four track and plug the other end of the cable into the line in of a regular two track home stereo cassette deck, VCR, mini disk recorder, CD burner, computer, DVD recorder or whatever you have to mixdown  the four tracks  to two tracks (stereo). The finished cassette, CD or whatever you mixed down  to, could then be played on a regular cassette deck. Voila, there was your finished demo tape, hopefully a hit song, ready to send out to a record label, in pursuit of the infamous Record Deal. 

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 Later on came the eight track cassette recorder with a $2000. plus price tag on it, which quickly became discontinued for poor sales.   Other short lived versions were the six track and twelve track cassette recorders. The four track cassette was finally discontinued around 2009. Some music stores still had stock until 2011.

It was a long slow death for the 4 track, probably due to its low cost, around $150. to $200. at the end, the cheap cost of blank cassettes and how simple it was to use. Just push a button to play, record, fast forward or rewind.

    In the late 90's the hard disk recorder which had been around for several years started to come down in price and led the way as the popular method for home recording. The hard disk recorder works the same as the 4 track cassette except it records on a computer type hard disk drive mounted inside the case of the unit instead of on a cassette tape. You still needed  another unit to mix down to. Later on you could buy them with a built in CD burner. They have the advantage of no tape stretching or deterioration. The built in mixing console allowed you to adjust EQ, panning, add reverb or delay and other effects. They also had a built in mixing buss for effect sends. You could edit your songs, meaning you could cut and paste parts of a song just like typing on a computer. You could play the verse and chorus of the song one time and repeat it by cutting and pasting. Editing was a tremendous advantage, a task which reel to reel recorders and cassette recorders could not perform. Later on the price dropped with the introduction of the cheaper flash card to replace the more expensive  hard drive.

  For the last few years  computer recording has been the rave with the advent of lower cost high power computers, cheap computer peripheral upgrades (such as hard-drives, RAM memory, etc) and software plugins. First recordings on the computer were done through the mic input on the rear of the terminal. This created a lot of tape hiss style noise and weak signal input. Then through the USB port bypassing the soundcard and those problems and then through firewire which allowed more data down the pipe greatly reducing latency (delay) on recordings. There is a large selection of pro recording software and plug-in modules software for effects, instruments, even bass and drum grooves played by studio musicians, which you can use in your songs.

   At this point you might be asking yourself if you are still considered to be a musician when using these pre-programmed bass and drum patterns, with the cutting and pasting and other  computer tricks,  or are you more of a computer programmer. A lot of musicians have been asking that question lately.

Recently the price of hard disk recorders has crashed, probably due to the onslaught of cheap computer recording software and plug ins. The hard disc recorder manufacturers have cut their lines to only a couple units. It looks as though they will soon be discontinued like their cassette predecessor.

    If you are starting a studio from scratch and don't have a powerful computer or a computer you can use for long periods of time , the hard disk recorder will  be your least expensive option. A new four track digital recorder starts at  about $150., an eight track starts at about $200. Used, if you can find them, usually go for half. Usually you can find a used 16 track for a few hundred dollars, 24 track around $400. and up, 32 track around $600. and up.

  If you have a suitable computer and can tie it up for long periods of time, you can get in for under a $100.

  Either way you will still need additional gear such as mics, instruments, cabling, effects etc.

     by Art Rock /  copyright Absolute Music 2020        TOP of Page

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3) Music Production and Mixing Tips & Tricks

What makes a pro recording pro? What is the "sound" that the pros get and how can you make your recordings sound more professional?

The simple answer is - there's no simple answer. But with careful listening and a little experience you can create excellent results with modest equipment.

Good mixing starts ear

The first and most important item of equipment is - who knows? Anyone? It's your ears! Sorry to tell you this, but listening to ten hours of Rave at 110dB will do nothing for them and you might as well give your mix to a turtle as try to mix with misused ears.

Listen to commercial recordings of mixes you like, analyse them, listen for the effects and get to know what constitutes the sort of sound you're after.

Mixing secrets

There's no hidden secret to getting a good sound, but if we had to sum up the secret of mixing in two words it would be this - EQ and compression. Okay thats three words.

These are probably the two most important tools used by professional producers. However, like any tools, if you don't know how to use them you'll be carving Habitat tables instead of Chippendale chairs.

That's where your ears and experience come in. Here we have assembled some production ideas, suggestions, tips and tricks but they can only be guidelines and need to be adapted to suit your material. There are no presets you can switch in to make a bad recording sound good. And if your original material has been poorly recorded not even Abbey Road could salvage your mix. But follow these suggestions and see how much your mixes improve.

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Get the level right

You can't push the levels when recording digitally as you can when recording to tape but you still want to get as much signal into the system as possible. This means watching the levels very carefully for clipping, and recording at an even and constant level.

Some recording software lets you monitor and set the input level from within. Some expect you to use the soundcards mixer while others have no facility for internally adjusting the input level and expect you to set this at source.


Your ears are only as good as the monitors they listen to. DO NOT expect to produce a good, pro mix on tiny computer speakers. It may sound fine on a computer system, but try it on a hi fi, in a disco and through a car stereo.

Oddly enough, you don't necessarily need the most expensive Mic. Many top artists use what some might call "average" Mics because they work well and get the job done. You can spend a wad on a large diaphragm capacitor Mic (yes, they're good for vocals) if you have the lolly but check out dynamic Mics which are much more affordable and can be turned to several tasks.

Mixing MIDI and audio

One of the great things about computer-based recording is that the parts can so easily be changed, edited and processed. It's also so easy to combine MIDI and audio tracks and many musicians use a combination of sample loops, MIDI parts and audio recording.

Audio recordings are generally guitar and acoustic instruments such as the sax and vocals. Incidentally, the best way to record guitars is by sticking a Mic in front of its speakers. You can DI them and process them later and this may be cleaner but for a natural guitar sound a Miced amp is hard to beat.

It's not necessary to record drums live and, in fact, it's difficult to do and retain a modern sound. You can buy off-the-shelf MIDI drum riffs and audio drum loops, or program your own. The quality of the gear which makes drum noises these days is such that anyone with a good riff can sound like a pro.





Mixing MIDI

As MIDI and audio parts appear on the same screen in modern sequencers, it's very easy to arrange them into a song. However, when you come to mix everything down there's another consideration. If you are recording to DAT you can simply route the audio and MIDI outputs through a mixer and into the DAT machine.

However, if you want to create a CD you must first convert the MIDI parts to audio data. The entire song can then be mixed to hard disk and burned to CD. Converting MIDI to audio can have another benefit and that's the ability to process the MIDI tracks using digital effects.


There are three positions for effects known as Master, Send and Insert. Use the Master for effects you want to apply to the entire mix. These will often be EQ, compression and reverb.

Although giving each channel its own Insert effects is kinda neat, each one uses a corresponding amount of CPU power. So if your computer is struggling and if you're using the same effect on more than one channel, make the effect a Send effect and route those channels to it.

Many pieces of software let you apply an effect Pre or Post fader. With Post fader, the amount of sound sent to the effect is controlled by the fader. With Pre fader, the total volume level of the signal is sent. Post fader is the usual default and the one you'll use the most.


E.Q. is the most popular and the most over used effect. Yes, it can be used to try to "fix a mix" but you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear as me Grandma used to say and what she didn't know about mixing could be written in the margin of the book of honest politicians.

But before you start messing with E.Q.  or any other effect for that matter, make sure you have a decent set of speakers. Have we said that already? Oh, must be important, then.

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There are plug-in effects such as MaxxBass which can psycho acoustically enhance the bass frequencies to make it sound better on smaller speakers. However, this is by no means the same as getting a good bass sound in the first place by observing good recording principles.

EQ can enhance a mix to add gloss, fairy dust, shimmer, sheen, a sweetener

or whatever you want to call it to the final production. It can be done with enhancers and spectralisers, too, although these tend to mess with the harmonics which some producers don't like. However, don't dismiss them out of hand.

General EQ lore says that you should cut rather than boost. If a sound is top-heavy, the temptation is to boost the mid and bass ranges. But then what usually happens is you start boosting the upper range to compensate and you simply end up boosting everything and you're back where you started - only louder!

The reason why cutting is preferred is that boosting also boosts the noise in the signal which is not what you want. Try it. Boost every frequency and listen to the result. If you think it sounds okay, fine. What do we know?

But when you're fiddling, do keep an eye on the output meter. Boosting EQ inevitably means increasing the gain and it's so-o-o-o easy to clip the output causing distortion which does not sound good.

Finally, check EQ changes to single tracks while playing back the entire piece. In other words, listen to the tracks in context with all the other tracks. It may sound fine in isolation but some frequencies may overlap onto other tracks making the piece frequency rich in some places and frequency poor in others.


Reverb creates space. It gives the impression that a sound was recorded in a hall or canyon instead of the broom cupboard. Recording lore suggests that you record everything dry, with no reverb, so you can experiment with a choice later on. You can't un-reverb a track once it's been recorded.


The more reverb you apply, the further away sound will seem. To make a vocal up-front, use only enough reverb to take away the dryness. Vocals don't want to be mushy (lyrics can be mushy) so use a bright reverb.

A common novice error is to swamp everything with different types of reverb. Don't - it sounds horrible!

Mixing down

You've done all the recordings, done the edits, applied the effects and now it's time to mix everything into a Big Number One Hit! Before you do, go home and have a good night's sleep. Have two. In fact, sleep for a week.

Yes, we know you're hot and raring to go but your ears are tired. They're falling asleep. Listen carefully and you might hear then snore!

There is a phenomenon known as ear fatigue and consistent exposure to sound, especially the same frequencies, makes our ears less responsive to them. Goes back to the bit about spending your life in a Rave club - you'll never be a master producer. If you try to mix after spending a day arranging, your ears will not be as responsive, so do them and your mix a favour by waiting at least a day.

Now, go forth and mix! And dont forget - you get better with practice. For more information about mixing, pick up a FREE copy of Creating The Perfect Mix at  making-music .com     TOP of Page


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4) Recording Drums - Miking Techniques Part 1

Recording drums can be one of the hardest things when recording a band. Many people are unsure what to do and how to go about it. Although when recording drums mic placement and choice is a big issue, the biggest issue of all is how good the drummer places. ie a solid drummer is going to be a lot easier to record than someone who plays loose and out of time.


Kick Drum

Lets talk about how to mic a kick drum. The kick drum is a solid focal point behind the drums with a low end frequency that in some context establishes the beat of the song. for this reason kick drum mics are large with a low end frequency range. In terms of mic placement the mic needs to be placed inside the kick drum. This means that unless the front skin has a hole in it, it should be removed! Once you have removed the front skin place the mic about 12'' away from the beater, slightly off-center and pointing directly at it (Placing it directly in-front of the beater means that it is the path of the sound and puts the mic under a lot of pressure). Use this mic placement if you want a nice precise and punchy sound. If you want a more open sound bring the mic further away from the beater - just on the outside of the drum. A good choice of mic generally is the AKG D112 and Sennheiser 421, I also find that the shure kick drum mics work great. In terms of miking a kick drum these are general guidelines and you should experiment with you mic placement since the sound depends a lot on the person playing the drums.

Snare Drum

With The snare drum the hardest thing is placing the mic in the right spot since there is little room. When you position it try and place it 1'' in from the rim, 2-3'' above it, facing to the center of the drum at 45 degrees and facing directly away from the hi-hat. Facing the mic away from the hi-hat means that you minimise the amount of hi-hat coming through that mic (if you still get alot of hi-hat coming through the snare mic try and put a round peace of foam around the mic). If you find the snare sound is not cutting through than consider miking the bottom of the snare drum as well, if you do decide to do this remember to reverse the phase on the bottom mic. In terms of mic choice the shure sm57 is a great it has been used by many great engineers in the past and still is. It is a relitivly cheap mic but still function as good or better than other mics more expensive. There are many other good snare mics out there and you should try them out to find what best works for you.

Jakob Culver is a professional working musician & founder of the website  musiciansequipment .com     TOP of Page

5) Home Recording Studio Basics

- Here's What You Need to Record
by Seth Lutnick

After I had blown quite a few thousand dollars in a recording studio, a sound engineer friend made a cool suggestion. "Why don't you buy an ADAT, and do some tracking at home?" So I purchased that venerable 8 track digital tape recorder and saved oodles of time and money putting all my synth tracks on tape. That was my start in home recording, and oh, the fun I've had since!

What are the basic pieces of equipment and software one needs to record at home?

There are so many ways to do this! Well, since you're reading this, you probably have a computer, so let's base our home studio on the computer. We'll start by understanding the different functions we will need filled in home recording. Then we'll understand what the best hardware and software products to do it are. In general, the principle I recommend is to use fewer pieces of equipment with more functions. That approach saves time and, usually, money. As you advance in your recording skills, you can go for more specialized equipment.

There are two distinct phases in recording a song. One is the "in" phase, referring to everything needed to get your music performance into a basic recorded form, with however many tracks you need. The second phase is the "out" phase, where you will take that raw music, process it and create the final stereo version.

The "in" phase -- sending the music to your computer

Music can be put into your computer either as audio or as MIDI. Audio is actual sound recordings. MIDI records no sounds, but only the digital instructions for an instrument to play. It is much like a combination of a pianist and sheet music. Without an instrument, he can make no music. With MIDI, you are saving the note and volume instructions to be played on the instruments of your choice later on.

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Although some programs let you put MIDI notes into your computer through your computer keyboard, and other programs have music generation features that allow you to create an entire backing band without playing a note, the best solution is a velocity sensitive MIDI keyboard. It gives a much more realistic performance. For example, playing a key softer will record a softer note. Other features, such as aftertouch, allow you to add vibrato and other realistic effects.

Audio simply means actual sounds. Audio tracks will include vocals, acoustic instruments, and electronic instruments whose sounds you wish to use. You will do well to get at least two microphones. Some microphones are better constructed to record vocals, while others are optimized for instruments. In addition, having two mics allows you to record in stereo, or two soloists performing at the same time.

Receiving the music into your computer

All of this will get your music up to your computer's door. How do you get it inside? With an audio interface that has: a microphone jack that fits your microphone cable and preamp function (so that the signal is strong enough to be properly recorded), phantom power (if you use a condenser mic that needs it), a line input for synths and sound modules, and a MIDI interface. Remember the principle - less products that do more. Some find it simpler to run every audio sound, mics and all, through a hardware mixer (with phantom power and effects) and sending that pre-processed signal to the audio interface's line input. You'll still need the MIDI interface function for your MIDI recording, though.
Once your audio and MIDI are inside your computer, software takes over. For our recording we will use what's called an integrated audio/MIDI sequencer. Famous names include Cubase, Cakewalk and so forth. These programs record multiple tracks of audio and MIDI in perfect synchronization.


Now you have all the equipment you need for the "in" phase. What will you need to take the many tracks of audio and MIDI you have recorded and make a song out of them?

The "out" phase -- making MIDI into music

We mentioned that MIDI is simply digital instructions, it is not actual sounds. Now we will need to create actual sounds from those instructions. There are two options for this: external and internal.

External sounds come in little boxes called sound modules (or keyboards with their own great sounds). Sound modules have hundreds of high-quality patches that re-create every instrument in the orchestra, classic electronic sounds, spacey new synthesizer creations and sound effects. To use them, you send the MIDI back out from the sequencer program through the audio interface's MIDI output and into the sound module. You then take the audio output from the sound module back into your computer via the line input on your audio interface and record it on a new audio track in the sequencer. It is now a real sound and is perfectly lined up with the other tracks.

Internal sounds come in lots of different types. Instruments that you use from within your audio/MIDI sequencer include VST instruments and software synths. The latter may automatically come with your audio interface, or require installation like any other program. Option two is a full-blown sampler/synthesizer program, such as "Reason", that you connect your sequencer to through a software function called "Rewire." And there are also sound modules that come in the form of PCI cards that you physically install on your computer.

Fine tuning and effects

Most every song will use spatial effects such as reverb and echo. You may find that some tracks are slightly out of tune. On others, there may be a consistent buzz that needs to be removed. For all of these, you will want to have an audio editing program or plug-in. A plug-in is simply a function you can add to your basic sequencer program. Plug-ins exists for all kinds of functions, including reverb, compression, equalization, noise reduction, pitch correction and so forth.

An audio editing program is a standalone program that does all of these things. With most audio/MIDI sequencers, you can configure your software to call up the audio editing program and fix the track without leaving the sequencer.

Mixing down

Once you have all of your tracks and sounds recorded, you will need to mix them down to stereo. Again, this can be done in an external or internal fashion. To do it externally, you would need a hardware mixer. This method limits you to the number of tracks you can send independently through your audio interface and the number of tracks your mixer can handle. Nonetheless, mixers give you a real surface to work on, and often include quality studio effects, reverbs and such.

Internal mixing means using your audio/MIDI sequencer to mix down the entire song to two tracks. The advantage of doing it internally is the expanded number of tracks you can use. The disadvantage is the difficulty of mixing with a mouse on a computer screen. There are, however, hardware mixing surfaces which simply control your software program.

Mastering and burning

Once you have your stereo mix, you want to put the finishing touches on it. These touches include overall compression, equalization, noise reduction, fading in and out and bringing the recording up to a normalized level of volume. Your audio editing program should be able to handle these adequately, although there are specialized mastering programs which offer higher quality and many more enhancement features.

Then you're ready to burn your song to CD. Odds are that your CD writing drive came with a program that does just that and you won't need anything more. I did mention that you'll need a CD writing drive, didn't I? Well, now I did! And if it's MP3 you're after, most audio programs encode MP3s as well.

And that's it! Now you have everything you need to make your musical magic at home. Have fun, but I don't need to tell you that, because it just is.

About the Author

Seth Lutnick is a singer and songwriter who has been bitten by the bug of home music recording. His web site music.

offers detailed step-by-step plans for creating a home recording studio        TOP of Page


6) Studio Singing & Vocal Technique

 By Tom Gauger

As a singer, one of the biggest allies in your singing career will be your ability to perform well and do it with consistency in the studio. As a professional singer myself singing on FOX TV, UPN Station ID's, O'Charley's and many others, as well as a former talent booking agent with the William Morris Agency, I can tell you that one of the biggest downfalls to most singers is their inability to be consistent with a broad range of singing styles while singing in the studio. It's one thing to sit behind the piano with friends, and an entirely different thing to sing behind the mic in the studio where every nuance and tonal inflection is heard.

So how do studio singers who've been doing this professionally for years, get to that point of consistency, and how do they get the paying gigs and get called on in the first place? Those are great questions, and I will take the remaining time in this article to capitalize on concepts that most singers would likely embrace as the truth and realistic in answering them.

To begin with, singing in the studio and singing live in front of a crowd are two totally separate singing techniques and usually unequaled levels of singing expertise. It's one thing to sing in front of a crowd where audibility of your vocals is not the main concern, but the overall groove and image is. Understanding the words on stage may or may not be a concern, but to the studio and session singer, it's everything. You see there are marked differences in the ways that each of these singers takes their singing ability to the stage. You will find that many if not most singers don't do both well. The singer who is great on stage in front of a large audience is usually not that convincing or lyrics that easily understood in the studio. That's why jingle singers are paid such good money. It's not easy to sing a commercial full throttle and not sound "ricky ticky" doing it with words that are easily understood. And as a side note, if you are interested in singing commercials, you might consider visiting for more information and download a free e-book on jingle singing.

So how do session singers get that consistency in the studio? Well, years of experience are one answer, but the other part of the answer is in how they practice. How serious are you in your dream of becoming a studio singer? In your desires to becoming a studio singer, you must commit to consistency, be easy to work with, and available. You might already have availability and easy to work with in the bag, but you're still having problems with the consistency part. Let's look at a few ideas that might help.

Finding a good vocal coach, that truly understands studio and jingle singing, is hard to find. Most, have preconceived notions and teaching ideas and attribute everything to a breathing technique of some kind. I'll tell you the truth. I've met fantastic singers who breathe in a number of different styles, yet they are consistent as the day is long. Now I'm not suggesting that there aren't better or proper breathing techniques out there, I am suggesting that many if not most vocal teachers, teach from a textbook style and not from a "I'm going to figure out your strengths and abilities and zero in on a workable and credible game plan that outlines a singing technique career pathway for longevity," style. There's a big difference. The teacher who teaches out of a textbook and the teacher who is already been out there with success under their belt, no matter what business or job, has my attention and certainly should have yours. Find a credible and reputable singing coach.

You will want to practice your singing in the shower, the car and even in a closet or close up to a wall where you can hear what you're singing. Ultimately, being able to record your voice, even onto a cheap cassette or into the computer to hear your progress or areas that you immediately recognize needing improvement, is the best way to go. This alone, if you take time out on a regular basis, will improve your singing far beyond what most vocal coaches can or claim they can do. Because of your vested interest and now your ability to hear and figure out what needs to be changed and corrected, will be the igniting factor in your singing career and goals of consistency. Certainly don't ignore or reject the notion of finding a qualified vocal coach, but understand that America was founded on entreprenualism and not the textbook way of doing things and this includes your singing career as well. A good vocal coach will recognize and ultimately push you in the right direction as well by hearing and giving you exercises to correct singing deficiencies.

Get connected with session singers, and perhaps even try to take vocal coaching lessons from one of them. You will have to flexible as their session work will not always be easy to predict, but well worth any inconvenience. This will increase your odds of obtaining session work, and now you will be working with an individual, like we just mentioned, who is actively in the business and so pure textbook teaching will most likely not be in their philosophy and thinking.

Lastly, and I apologize and wish we had more time in this article, maintain a good attitude and an easy to deal with personality. Singers and producers like individuals who are not only fun, but they're easy to deal with and who always come to the session with an uplifting spirit. You may visit ReelMusician .com for more articles and advice on this and other topics.

About the Author

Mr Gauger is a former talent booking agent with the William Morris Agency and jingle singer singing on FOX TV, UPN Station ID's, O'Charley's and many others. In addition, Mr Gauger is a TV and radio writer and can be contacted at or tgauger@ or 615-300-5030.    TOP of Page


7) Sing Powerfully Without Strain or Vocal Blowout

  by Jennifer Truesdale


Have you ever had a voice teacher tell you if you sing _______ insert your favourite genre of popular music here. . . Rock, Blues, R&B, Gospel, Musical Theatre you’ll ruin your voice? I’ve spoken to more singers than I can count who’ve had this experience and it’s distressing! It can also cause singers to shy away from vocal training.

Well, I’m happy to tell you that this does NOT have to be the case.

Certain styles of music use a vocal styling that some call singing “hard” while others call it “belting”. Whatever you call it, the bottom line is that these styles of music call for vocals that are full, rich, and yet natural sounding. While this style of singing may be more vigorous it CAN be done without hurting your voice. It’s not the sounds you make it’s the WAY you make them. Let’s look at this in more detail.

1) Singing “hard” works your vocal muscles more vigorously. However, it’s not this vigorous workout that creates vocal fatigue and blowout, muscle tension and manipulation are the offenders.

This muscle tension can occur in various parts of your body including your lips and face, tongue, jaw and abdomen, which then creates tension in your throat. After singing with this extra effort for a period of time, the tiny muscles that create your sound become exhausted and voila! vocal fatigue or vocal blow-out. If you knew how to let your voice work free of muscle tension and manipulation, you could sing the way you want (sound and style) without hurting your voice. Eliminating these types of muscle tension will help your voice work freely and will help you to sing for long periods without fatigue or hoarseness.

2) In addition to muscle tension and manipulation there is another major cause of vocal blowout - pushing out TOO MUCH air when singing.

Making vocal sound requires breath. Some sounds require more or less breath than others, but whatever sounds you’re making, your vocal instrument requires a proper balance of air to work effectively and easily. This balance is dependent upon a well-regulated (controlled and varied) air stream. If a singer forces out too much air, his vocal instrument will be thrown out of balance and consequently, the muscles react by tensing. From there, manipulation tends to be used to create the sounds that would have been so much easier if the correct balance of air had been used.


Achieving a well-regulated air stream isn’t difficult but it does require proper exercises all of which are taught as part of the Deva Method®. This method has found the key to achieving a natural and automatic regulation of air so that you don’t have to think about breathing at all. It allows you to better trust your voice and to know that you can put your all into your performance with self-confidence that your voice will do what you want it to do.

3) Most singers I talk to know the importance of warming up their voices before singing. However, what a lot of singers don’t know is the importance of cooling down their voices AFTER singing. It seems logical enough, but is often missed.

If you think of yourself as an athlete, it makes a lot of sense. After all, would a runner, immediately after running the marathon plop himself down on the couch? He may WANT to, but the runner knows that if he doesn’t cool down his body, by stretching, walking, etc, the muscles of his body will stiffen. The same holds true for the muscles that create your sound. A good vocal cool down gets the muscles that are used to create sound back to their normal resting state.

4) Lastly, some vocal styles simply require more vocal development than others. Strong, hard hitting sounds can be created easily when the muscles are well developed through proper vocal exercise. Would that same athlete attempt to run a marathon without training for it first? A good athlete knows that he needs to exercise his body first and develop the muscles necessary. So in addition to all that I’ve mentioned above, know that correct vocal exercise is another very important step that you can take to enable yourself to sing the way you want without vocal fatigue and blowout.

While private vocal lessons are the best approach to developing your voice, we do offer some very effective home study materials and vocal technique seminars. I highly recommend the Deva Method Vocal Warm-ups and Cool Downs CD which is available on our website (see below) or by calling Jeannie Deva Voice Studios at 617-536-4553. You can also receive, FREE of charge, a booklet of our most recommended vocal warm-ups and cools downs. Simply go to our website DevaStudiosBoston .com for more information.

I wish you much success!! Please feel free to contact me at the above number or at Jennifer@ DevaStudiosBoston .com if you have any questions. I’m here to help!

Copyright 2006 Jennifer Truesdale. All Rights Reserved.      TOP of Page


 eharmony UK


8) Preparing For Your Recording Session

by John McKay

Recording is a time-intensive experience, and problems that arise often seem magnified. No one wants to wait for an hour while the guitar player runs to Guitar Center for new strings. So, to keep things going smoothly and efficiently, here are some things to do in preparation:

1. Practice! You'd be surprised how many bands come into the studio obviously unprepared. If you can't play through the song without making mistakes, then you're not ready to record yet. Take the time to practice the songs you want to track thoroughly. This isn't to say that you can't be creative in the studio, but it's a lot cheaper to be creative on your own time.

2. Make sure your songs are finished. Going into the studio hoping to finish lyrics or parts on the spot is a recipe for dissatisfaction. You may be inspired by the pressure, but you'll inevitably listen back to it later on and think that you could have sang it better, or that you don't especially like this line or that phrase.

3. Record yourselves. It's very useful to record your practice using a simple tape recorder. The finished product won't sound very good, but you'll be able to hear if you're off time, or off key. It may also make you aware that some parts of your song are dragging, or that other parts could be extended or more developed.

4. Get your gear in shape. Don't show up for a session that you're paying for with gear that doesn't work, cables that cut out, batteries that are going dead, or blown speakers. If you're afraid that your gear is less than perfect, make some calls. You engineer can point you to some people in town that rent gear on a day-by-day basis, or to other musicians who might be willing to loan an amp or cabinet for a day or two. It makes a difference!

5. Tune your instrument. Drummers should put on new heads about 1 week before the session. The snare head should be replaced immediately before the session, and if you're doing more than one or two songs, consider bringing extra snare heads. Nothing sounds as good on tape as a fresh snare head. Guitarists should put a new set of strings on a few days before the session. Bring extra strings, as you probably will break one or two. Bass players can replace their strings, although new bass strings can be a bit overly metallic. I recommend changing bass strings a week or two before the session.

6. Let people know you're busy! You don't want to be called in to work half-way through your session. Everyone involved needs to clear their schedules. Nothing creates more tension in a session than someone wanting to blow out early so they can hit some party. Also, if you're recording at your home, make sure your family knows about it. Take phones off the hook, recording will require some degree of quiet. If you're working at your practice space, make sure the neighbors know that you'll need some quiet, if there are other bands at your facility, ask them for their schedules, and work out a time when they won't be playing in the next room.

7. Have a plan. It's always better to have fewer songs to finish, and to know precisely which songs you're trying to get done. Often, once a session gets rolling, it's easy to just go ahead and track some of the other songs you have. While this isn't terrible, in my experience these tracks are usually discarded, as they haven't been thoroughly practiced, and may not even be complete.

9. Develop a vision. I like to come see a band before I record them, just to get a feel for their sound, and develop my vision for the session. If you envision your record sounding like the latest MTV hit, you may be frustrated and disappointed. Your band is unique, and my goal as an engineer is to find what's best about your band and accent that. Your record may not sound like anything that's come before, and trying to cram it into a pre-existing notion of a "good recording" doesn't do it justice. The Pixies didn't sound like anything that came before them, nor does Modest Mouse, or the Beatles, for that matter.

8. Relax! Recording is fun, and there's really no pressure. Just be prepared, and you'll have a smooth, enjoyable session with a great product at the end!

About the Author

John McKay is the owner of Suitcase Recording, in Phoenix, AZ. He has over 15 years of experience recording bands, from punk to surf to indie to hardcore. He does the majority of his work on location, at the artist's home or rehearsal space. He has also performed in several bands, and has toured the US extensively.   TOP of Page

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9) Tips for a Great Recording Session

You know your songs are great and so does your girl/boyfriend, family, pets etc, and you finally decided to record an album in a real studio. That's great! But what actually happens when you get there?

When you finally do pick the perfect studio, one that you feel comfortable at, there is a certain routine that must be followed in order to get the best performance and the best recording for your budget.

1. Tune Your Instruments. This also includes your drums and any tuneable percussion instruments you may have. There is absolutely nothing worse in the world than to have a perfectly written song with a perfect performance be ruined because someone didn't take an extra 2 minutes to check their tuning. Tuning takes a few minutes; a recording lasts forever.

2. Be Well Rehearsed. You'll be surprised how many bands suffer shock when they get the final recording bill. The main reason for this is because they confuse rehearsal time with recording time. Rehearse at home, in the garage, at your uncle's house; anywhere but at the recording session. When you arrive at the studio, you should know your songs inside-out and be ready for the red light.

3. Practice with a Click Track. A lot of drummers aren't able to play with a click track. Make sure yours can. A click track is essential in getting a good basic rhythm track that the rest of the band can lock in to, and to sync-up loops and delay times.

4. Be Early. Many studios start charging their clients from the exact time agreed to in the contract. Just because you decide to show up late, doesn't mean that the studio should give up that time for free. Be early and be ready to go.

5. Get the Sound Right. Never, ever try to "fix it in the mix". It doesn't work like that. Take an extra few minutes to tweak the sound before recording it. Turn that knob, tighten that string, have another sip of water. Remember again, tweaking may take an extra minute, but the recording will last forever.

6. Know When To Quit. Recording often leads to diminishing returns. Spending 20 hours in a row at the recording session isn't going to make your song twice as good as spending 10 hours. This rule also applies to mixing. If you're tired, call the session and come back the next day fresh and ready.

7. Record Alone. Don't bring your friends, family, parents or anyone else into your sessions. As fun as it may be, you are there to do a job and record the best music possible. If you are a millionaire, then by all means, have a party at the studio, but don't count on getting anything done.

8. Mix and Match. After letting the engineer do the first rough mix alone (which he should) do an A/B comparison of your mix to some of your favourite CDs. Remember that the production CDs you are listening to have already been mastered. But it's a good way to compare levels and panning.

9. Bring Spares. Always bring spare strings, drum heads, bass strings, water bottles, throat lozenges, etc to a session. You'll always need the one thing you forgot to bring, so bring it all and leave them at the studio until your recordings are finished.

10. Have Fun! This is THE most important point of all. Creating and recording music isn't rocket science. Although there is a science involved, you should let the engineer worry about that. If you're not having fun, then you're in the wrong business!

2004 Richard Dolmat (Digital Sound Magic)
About The Author   
Richard Dolmat is owner, engineer and producer for the Vancouver based recording studio Digital Sound Magic. Visit his site a digitalsoundmagic .com
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10) The 5 Most Common Questions About Music Mastering

Music mastering is an essential part of every hit record. Yet, few new (and even some established) musicians have a good understanding of what mastering is and why they need it.

This often leads to many selecting the wrong mastering studio and making many unnecessary mistakes in the recording and music mixing phases (which affects the mastering later on).

This is why below are the 5 most frequently asked questions about music mastering:

1. What exactly is music mastering?

Mastering is the final phase before your CDs, Vinyls, DVDs or MP3 files are produced. Its the last chance to get the sound right and for errors to be fixed.

Mastering transforms your music from a raw sound into a professional, radio-ready sound. It gives your tracks punch, loudness, clarity, and completes your final vision.

2. Why is it so important and do I really need it?

All major labels have their artists records mastered before theyre released. But, often many independent artists/labels wonder if they should go-ahead and get it done.

The answer is a big YES! If you want to make the right impression, then at a minimum you need to get your demo professionally mastered.

Because just think about when your demo hits the A & R managers desk, whats going to stand-out the professionally mastered demos (yours) or the poor quality ones?


By having your music mastered, then youre going to increase your chances of getting signed and creating loyal fans.

Moreover, the single biggest advantage professional mastering offers are the fresh skilled and independent ears put to your music.

Because after working on your music for long hours in the studio, you often become too close to your work. And, as a result, your ears cant help but get used to mistakes.

Your ears begin to hear mistakes as normal. Its the same effect as when you are living near a heavy-traffic street - after living their for a few weeks, you will not wake-up anymore at night because your ears get used to those sounds and blends them out.

With the mastering engineers help, you make sure you don't have any major errors in your music and gain advice from an experienced professional in what needs to be done to help get the perfect sound!

3. How much should I pay?

Mastering studios charge a wide range of fees. You can pay anywhere from $5 a track or up to hundreds of dollars per hour for the most well-known engineers.

The reason there's such a large amount of fees is that there are many budget studios that have arisen online. These studios are often a single person who does all his or her work on the home computer.


Since these people usually do not have much experience, they often miss important problems and do not know what to look for (every track has its own unique problems). Additionally, they do not have tools a professional mastering studio offers to do it right.

This is compared to the more expensive engineers who have years of experience and know-how in creating a hit sound.

4. How important is the mastering equipment?

Professional mastering studios spend thousands of dollars on their equipment. The equipment gives them full flexibility in making a wide-range of adjustments.

However, when looking at the equipment a studio has, you should not focus too much on it. Instead, and more important, you want to look for an engineer who also has experience with it.


It takes years for an engineer to feel fully comfortable with all of the equipment and the adjustment it allows. This is especially true when learning how to adjust for different genres of music.

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For example, the equipment is often used differently for Rock music than Classical.

5. Should I use an online or offline mastering studio?

Online mastering is a recent phenomenon. It has only been in the last few years that it has really begun to take off.

There are now hundreds of different people offering mastering services via the internet. Many of these people are amateurs (and can actually make you music sound worse). While, at the same time, some of the most famous and well-known engineers have now moved online.

Online mastering offers many advantages over offline studios. These include the speed at which you can transfer your music and communicate with the engineer. You are not stuck with the time-limitations a booked session in a offline mastering studio has.

Additionally, you also do not have to deal with weeks of waiting to go back and forth with the engineer using snail mail or booking several times in the studio for revisions. You can also get access to the engineer anytime using email.

In an offline studio when working via snail mail, it may often be hard to get a hold of the engineer to share your ideas.

Moreover, an online mastering engineer has experience with more international music. In offline studios, the engineer often only works with a certain type of music that is popular in the area.

Musicians! Get the edge by giving your tracks the "Big label" sound with professional mastering! Get the full scoop on what mastering is, why you need it, and where to get it without getting ripped off by visiting masteringcentral .com right now!     TOP of Page


 11) The Two Conflicting Paths of the Mastering House

There are two directions you can take when producing your music. Although both begin with weeks, months or years (and lots of money) spent getting quality work inside the recording and mixing studios, they diverge upon arriving at the mastering house.

The first path looks tempting at first glance. It’s where you decide to get your mastering done fast and cheap. And mastering is only seen as something you do as a last minute step to catch errors and make small adjustments that aren’t extremely necessary.

However, the lure of this path eventually wears off. You soon discover this road isn’t as smooth as it once looked, as the reality of having to compete among thousands of other artists hits you.

Of course, few artists choose this path because they want to. But, they just don’t know what can be achieved during the mastering process with a skilled mastering engineer. And so the cheap guy seems like a pretty good deal.

As a result, their albums lack that certain "Edge" to stand-out over others in the marketplace. And they are less likely to catch on.

Not only in the short term because their music fails to capture as much attention as it could… but, also in the long-term as fans soon forget about your album if it isn't "up to par".

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This is compared to the second, less traveled path… where the "Golden sound" lies (and more record sales as a result).

Instead, of being a last-minute effort, mastering is given more respect and attention. It’s where the artists are actively involved in discovering what can be achieved. They work one-on-one with a skilled mastering engineer and describe exactly what they want their final vision to sound like.

 The engineer then offers feedback (based on years of experience) and adds the "Polish" that brings out the greatness in your music so it remains in fans’ CD or record players for years to come.

Simply put, this path is the way to go! In the end, it’s actually a lot more expensive to go with the "cheaper" mastering house. And, if you want your music to be remembered as one the greats by your fans long into the future, then don’t hold-back on mastering."


Keywords: mastering, music production, mixing, recording, producing, artists, bands, mastering house, mastering studio, mastering engineer

About the Author
Hans Klein, Greensboro, NC
More Details about masteringcentral .com here. Musicians! Get the edge by giving your tracks the "Big label" sound with professional mastering! Get the full scoop on what mastering is, why you need it, and where to get it without getting ripped off by visiting:  MasteringCentral .com right now!
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12) The Role of CD Mastering  Engineers by Thomas Morva

If a recording artist has any hopes of their songs being played on the radio, it is vital that their rough mix is mastered well. Often the best way to do this is to hire a CD mastering engineer. Professional CD mastering engineers can make a decent mix sound good and a good mix sound amazing. There are several things that CD mastering engineers do. Engineers work with the artist to decide what order the songs will appear on the CD, and they equalize the volume of the different instruments in each song and across the whole CD. CD mastering engineers can also add more definition and clarity to the instruments on a song. They then adjust the intros and ends of songs, choosing length of time between songs and adding cross-fades or other effects if need be.

The order in which songs appear on a CD can greatly affect the way the CD progresses when played. If similar sounding songs are placed consecutively on a CD it can suggest shortcomings in the songwriting or make listeners believe the artist has a limited range. Also, some CDs can tell a narrative if sequenced correctly. Ultimately, it is up to the CD mastering engineers to work with the recording artists and choose the song order on the CD.

It is important that the instruments within a song and the songs on the CD are at an appropriate volume level. Within a particular song, the different elements must be mixed appropriately in order for the song to sound good. The mastering engineer can give clarity and definition to the different instruments in a song. The engineer also has the task of assuring that volume levels across all of the songs are similar, to help the CD sound more cohesive while still leaving room for dynamics.

CD mastering engineers also determine how much time there should be between songs on the CD. They fade and cross-fade the intros and endings of songs to make them flow better.

CD mastering engineers have the task of making a rough mix of a CD ready for public consumption by adjusting audio levels and pacing the tracks in a way that brings out the best in the material.

About the Author

cdmastering .com provides detailed information on CD mastering engineers, facilities, and software, as well as online and free CD mastering.        TOP of Page


13) Audio CD Copiers by Kent Pinkerton

Special copiers are available for duplicating audio CD and can copy multiple CDs from a single original or master CD. The master CD is copied onto several unwritten blank CDs. Audio CD copiers need software to copy or burn the CD, and depending on the program, a number of CDs can be burned at the same time.

Software programs also enable file conversions. Audio files have extensions such as Mp3, wav, ogg and audio CD. There are software programs, which can perform required file conversions. Audio files can be encoded into Mp3, which occupy less space and can be copied faster. Later these can be decoded into audio formats to be played on players such as Windows Media Player, WinAmp, Real Player, etc.

Audio CD copiers use burning technology. CDs are coated with a dye. A laser head in the copier selectively burns this dye. This copies the audio file on the CD.

Earlier CD copiers were manually operated. They required the user to open the shutter when one CD was copied and to load the other CD. Naturally, they were very slow, with speeds rarely going above 8x. Modern audio copiers are standalone or PC attached. Standalone audio CD copiers do not need a PC connection, and they have a hard disc of their own. They are actually a combination of several CD copiers, which can simultaneously copy CDs. They also have a robotic arm, which can load CDs as they are being copied. Hence, standalone CD copiers are also called as hands-free copiers. They can copy as many as 150 CDs in an hour.

Audio CD copiers are very useful for people who wish to distribute audio material through CDs. Music companies use such copiers to duplicate CDs. Depending on the quality of the CD copier, the duplicated CD may be almost as good as the original. Copying CDs is an economical method for producing bulk number of audio CDs.

About the Author

e-cdcopiers .com provides detailed information on CD copiers, CD DVD copiers, CD copier software, CD copier downloads and more.           TOP of Page

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14) Copy CD's Like A Professional by Colin Klinkert

Anyone who has burned CDs in the past has had to have encountered this problem - your CD doesn't want to play in certain CD players. You've probably tried switching to a different brand of disks, switching the writing speed of your CD burning software, and yet nothing seems to work.

Most professional CDs that are purchased from a retail outlet such as Circuit City or Best Buy works in any type of CD player, which probably makes you wonder what they are doing that your not. All of us wonder this, especially when out duplicated CDs don't want to play back like they should.

Much to the contrary, it's because the music industry burns their CDs differently. Instead of simply duplicating CDs, the music industry chooses to replicate CDs. Even though the terminology may seem synonymous, the process is actually totally different.

CD replication is used for the mass production of CDs, which is normally more than 500. Instead of writing the data to a CD using a laser as with duplication, CD replication uses a glass master to stamp (or press) the data onto the disc. This helps to eliminate almost all of the issues associated with play ability that are encountered when burning CDs at home. CD replication is a far superior process of burning CDs.

Important to note, is the superior quality of CDs that are pressed using replication doesn't come cheap. Even when using independent CD duplication companies such as Absolute Disc or Oasis, there is still going to be a very high cost associated with the replication of disks.

For your next project, try having your CDs replicated rather than duplicated. This will ensure your project is very high quality, even though you'll need to order more than 500 CDs to receive this process.

About the Author

You can find other sites containing valuable information by visiting the sitemap of these informational sites  everythingclub .com    TOP of Page

Hal Leonard Sheet Music

15) Can't I just do my CD and DVD duplication at home?by Jason Cole

You've just created an mp3 audio album that you want to make CD copies of, or maybe you have a collection of home video clips you'd like to burn to DVD and pass out to your friends. As far as you know home CD album duplication and DVD duplication require just a couple of things; a computer with a burner, CD-Rs and/or DVD-Rs, and the proper software. I have all that, so why can't I just go ahead with my home CD/DVD duplication project? Here are a couple factors to take into consideration before you jump into your disc duplication project.

1. Speed/Volume
With your home set-up, you can burn CDs and DVDs one at a time, and you have to reload the burner manually. This is fine if your disc duplication project only consists of 1-10 pieces. (CDs or DVDs) Considering that burning one disc at 24x speed takes between 3-5 minutes, to burn a large amount of discs, you're going to have to have a lot of time set-aside. Professional disc duplication facilities use multi-drive, auto-loading machines that can burn up to 8 discs simultaneously. This cuts down on the total cost of your CD or DVD replication package, and saves you the headache.

2. Quality
In addition to a certified maximum burn speed, CD-Rs and DVD-Rs all have physical parameters and properties that must be taken into account. To get the absolute best quality out of your CD album duplication or DVD disc replication project, you must follow certain guidelines. The guidelines are explained in the "Red Book" of audio, one of a set of color-bound books that contain the technical specifications for all CD and CD-ROM formats. Most professional CD / DVD duplication / replication houses follow these guidelines, and will produce better quality discs more often than not.

By all means, this article should not stop you from duplicating your CDs and DVDs at home. This is just here to educate you a little bit more about what the big guys are doing, and why it costs a tad bit more to get your discs duplicated by them.

About the Author

Jason Cole and diskfaktory .com offer great tips and information regarding CD DVD Duplication, in addition to providing excellent CD and DVD duplication services. Get the information you are seeking   TOP of Page


16) Is Your Band Ready For CD Duplication Or CD Replication?   by Blake Stoffregen

It's a typical situation. You've been putting a lot of energy in your craft and people are starting to talk about your band. You've played a few shows and everyone is asking for a CD. I used to think that in order to release your own CD you would go out and play a bunch of shows and then someone would come out and sign you. They'd take care of everything. They'd set up the recording studio, organize the artwork, and pay for it to get manufactured. That's not the case these days.

At present, technology is readily available for any budding musician to record, create, and duplicate CDs. CD duplication involves CD-R media. CD-R prices have dropped dramatically since the first CD Recorders were available on the consumer market. This makes it an affordable option for anyone who wants to copy their own CDs and pass them on to friends, family, or fans. This is a great option for the young band that is still getting their feet wet in the music industry. Duplicating a limited amount of CDs can keep a limited budget in place.

If your band is at the point were your ready to start selling your CD your best option is to make a retail-ready CD and having it replicated. What is a retail ready CD? These are the same CDs you find in the music stores by the major label artists. They have great artwork printed on CD inserts, a nice tray card insert, silk screened art on the CD, and they are shrink-wrapped.


The retail-ready CDs are not duplicated, but Replicated. This means that an exact replica of your CD master has been stamped out on all of the CDs. CD Replication is the way to go if you are serious about selling your music for profit. In fact most music stores will not sell duplicated CDs. Think about it this way. It is illegal to sell or profit from duplicating copy written material. If you tried to sell CDs that have been duplicated to a retail store you'll more than likely get turned down. How are they to know that it is really your band? One of the best anti-piracy practices that CD manufacturing plants have instituted is the verification of copyright and ownership through a International Property Rights Form. Filling out an I.P.R. form ensures the CD Replication plant that they are not infringing on anyone's copyright.


CD Replication not only shows that you value your art enough to have it made retail-ready, but also cost effective. I'll break it down in general.

DIY CD Duplication

· 1 Computer with CD Recorder · 100 Memorex CD-R · CD Jewel Cases · Printer Ink · Man Hours

Total $1495.00

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Typical CD Replication Package

· CD Replication for 1000 CDs · 1-3 color on-disc silk-screen imprint · CD Jewel box, assembly, professional quality film-wrap · 2 Panel Insert and Tray card · Bar Code

Total $1000.00




These prices are very approximate and are only used for the purpose of estimating the difference between CD Duplication and CD Replication. Lets dig in a little bit. I've already illustrated some of the benefits of CD Duplication and the benefits of CD Replication. You can see above that you are spending approximately $500 more taking on the CD duplication responsibilities yourself and only getting 100 CDs!! Having your CDs Replicated costs less and someone else is doing the work. You can spend the time you'd spend on CD duplication and practice your chops or promote your upcoming CD release party, saving yourself $500 that you can use for items like merchandising, t-shirts, stickers, and posters.

Whether you choose CD Replication or CD Duplication, you'll need to do some research. There are plenty of resources available for CD Duplication and you probably own everything you need. It is up to you and your band to decide which option is better depending on what level you see your band on. Are you a band that plays parties or small clubs, or is your band seasoned and touring? There are benefits to both. Find a local CD manufacturer in your area and ask for their recommendation. Most CD manufacturers also offer quick turn high quality CD Duplication with printing on the CDs. Keep rockin'!

About the Author

Blake Stoffregen writes for various websites including Crystal Clear Sound offers cd duplication and replication services from one off cds to retail ready cd replication.   TOP of Page

17) Recording Guitar - How to Mic a Guitar

by Tony McManus

In the last decade, there have been great advances in guitar related technology, particularly in the areas of amp, cabinet and stomp-box simulation. In the past, a great guitar sound was reliant on having a solid amp, a quality microphone and a decent studio or room. These days, with a simulation unit such as a Line6 pod, and a PC, you can digitally record a convincing guitar sound in your own bedroom. This has been a God-send to musicians who don't have the money to acquire an expensive amp, or don't have a studio to be able to crank that amp to the kinds of volume needed to capture a classic guitar tone. Although this approach produces a very realistic replication of a guitar amp, the purists will always insist on the superior warmth and presence of sound physically blasted out of a speaker.

When it comes to miking a guitar amp, there are quite a few slightly different approaches. It is standard practice to use a dynamic microphone. Dynamic microphones are robust, cheap, do not require a separate power source and are great for close proximity miking. This is because they can can handle the high sound pressure levels blasting out from the speaker. 2 of the most commonly used dynamic mic models are the Shure 57 and the Sennheiser MD421. Condenser microphones on the other hand are sensitive, expensive and need a power source. These are also very useful for recording guitars, but it is more common to set them farther back, away from the amp so they can capture the sound and ambiance of the room. Guitar amp cabinets are composed of different numbers of speakers, usually 1,2 or 4. The speakers themselves may all sound slightly different, so it's worth experimenting by listening to the sound of each speaker miked separately.

These are the most commonly used techniques in miking guitar amps:

1. Using a single dynamic mike close to the speaker.
The microphone is placed facing directly at the speakers center, so that it is almost touching the grille cloth. Keeping it at that proximity, the mike can then be moved along the radius of the speaker, from the center to the edge. Varying where along the radius the mic is placed, will affect the tonality of the recorded sound. Placing it in the middle will result in a bright, punchy sound, whilst the closer the mic gets to the edge, the darker the tonality produced.

2. Using a single dynamic mike, 6 - 12 inches from the speaker.
Use the same technique described in the first example, but position the mike further away to capture room ambiance. This will also result in a more developed sound.

3. Using multiple close dynamic mics.
Recording the amp with different mics and blending the sound will result in more dynamic, richer tone. A good idea is to try placing one dynamic mic dead-center to a speaker and another on the edge. You could also try putting mics across multiple speakers if you have a cabinet with more than the single speaker. It's also worth tilting one of the mics slightly off-axis, as this will give another variation to the sound.

4. Combination close and distant mics
If you own a decent condenser microphone this method is ideal. Place the dynamic mic(s) close to the amp as described in the example above. With the more powerful and sensitive condenser, position it anywhere from 6 inches to a few feet away. It will probably take some experimentation to find the best result. With the separate signals you can then choose to blend them or keep them on separate tracks.

5. Front and Back miking of open-backed combo amps
Place a dynamic close as described in method 1 or 2. Then place a condenser a small distance behind the amp as opposed to in front as described in the previous example. It's usual to blend the 2 sounds, but keep in mind that this is an advanced technique, and it can introduce phase issues which take some audio engineering skill to deal with.

When recording your guitar sound, it's best to try to record as "dry" as possible. The reason for this is that once the guitar signal has been recorded with the effect, it's impossible to remove it. You could be in a situation where the guitar track is recorded with an effect and then in the final mix-down, the track doesn't fit in with the rest of the instruments. Of course this does assume that you have the outboard equipment and ability to add quality effects to the final mix. But it is a good concept to keep in mind and most rudimentary recording set-ups feature some kind of effects send channel. This basically means that you can plug your dry recorded guitar track into an external stomp-box or effects unit and re-record the result to a new track. It gives you much more control over the finished product.

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Article Source: Tony_J_McManus     TOP of Page


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