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Know How

Our coverage includes a high percentage of craftskill and ‘how to’ content that will prove invaluable in your day to day work. Whether it’s DAW tricks and tips, maintenance and wiring practicalities, or furniture and computer ancillaries, you’ll find our approach unique, entertaining and informative.

  • You’ve spent months contemplating the equipment that will grace your studio, selecting the right software, ensuring that all the necessary processing will be in place, and checking that it’s compatible with itself and your needs. But possibly the most difficult part remains. What do you put it all in and how do you lay it out?
  • We continue our look at studio equipment that is easy to look after: what you can do, what you shouldn’t do, and when you should call for a grown up. KEITH SPENCER-ALLEN contemplates the microphone.
  • Since the release of its flagship PowerMac G5 systems in June of last year, Apple is once more able to offer a range of machines that are at least comparable in power to the high-end PC-based hardware currently on the market. While the G5’s initial claim to be ‘the world’s fastest personal computer’ has been rejected by some (and indeed, conspicuously removed from Apple’s own marketing), there can be little doubt that this is an extremely powerful machine, and that the leap from the previous range of G4s is a massive one. BILL CUNNINGHAM answers some questions.
  • It has been consistently overshadowed by other packages when it comes to the 5-pin DIN but Pro Tools has a fair bit going for it as a MIDI tool, providing you hit the right buttons.
  • Following on from the last issue’s look at foldback and cue systems, we focus on the remaining components in the musician/studio interface. KEITH SPENCER-ALLEN ventures out on to the studio floor.
  • Against all earlier expectations, vinyl disc cutting is thriving. But with none of the original manufacturers active, how and why does the business work? KEITH SPENCER-ALLEN descends into the underworld of the cutter.
  • When we last met Becky and Fred they were working on a new mix, and now they’re convinced they’ve got a hit on their hands. Things have been moving fast and they’ve lined up the local radio DJ to debut the new hip-hop tune. Mastering engineer BOB KATZ listens in on progress.
  • You’ve got the room and an affordable modern picture source to work to but you’re going to need something to shine it on. JIM BETTERIDGE says that procuring a suitable projection screen is challenging, particularly when cash is a bit tight.
  • Studios interrupt the loop — Musicians perform and an audience responds, and the performers react to the audience. It is a natural state of affairs. Place a studio in the process and the performer/audience feedback disappears. For the inexperienced it is difficult to reproduce the feeling that drives live performance. For the veteran, a change in studio tactics can produce unexpected results. KEITH SPENCER-ALLEN suggests ten things to try.
  • The session’s going well but you need something a little different. KEITH SPENCER-ALLEN goes off the wall and suggests directions for miking experimentation that deviate a little from accepted practice.
  • Becky and Fred have had a tiff and the culprit is a small matter of conversion. Marriage counsellor BOB KATZ steps into the breach.
  • Having sent Becky and Fred away on honeymoon bliss, BOB KATZ has got the place to himself and takes the time to ask if we should peak to full scale to fill up all those bits.
  • Drum timing correction has always been a pretty arduous affair, whatever platform you’re on. The massive time savings seen with other editing tasks in recent years have not been seen when it comes to timing corrections on multitracked drums. Steinberg’s ANGUS BAIGNET lets you in on a smart and fast way to do it.
  • One of the strongest indicators of community spirit is its use of specific and exclusive language. Pro audio suffers from its fair share of jargon but we also use words regularly with origins that are a little cloudy. KEITH SPENCER-ALLEN looks in on the derivation of some popular terms.
  • Having set down some ground rules in the last issue BOB KATZ embarks upon the in-depth side of getting the most from your sound chain so it’s running sweet and right.
  • Last issue BOB KATZ told us we’d be discussing those pesky balanced and unbalanced analogue interfaces, but he’s postponing that to tell you the story of an album he just mastered for, Irish singer, Karen Egan, which used (and abused) some of the techniques he described last issue.
  • Continuing the ‘consoles of note’ concept introduced in the last issue, KEITH SPENCER-ALLEN looks at ten mixing consoles that identify key points in the continued development of the mixer.