Monday, December 19, 2011

A dedicated controller for Reason!

New from Nektar, a “all-in-one” controller for Reason and Record!

Here is the press release, and You could win one for yourself too!

Nektar Technology, Inc. - December 19th, 2011 (ictw) - There have been already a lot of rumors about it, now it is official: Nektar, the California based new brand for Advanced Control * Enhanced Workflow
announce Panorama P4, the first dedicated Controller Keyboard for Propellerhead Reason. This couples with a great prize competition. Musicians can win the very first Panorama P4 rolling off the
production line, by submitting their competition entry at

Panorama P4 is Nektar’s vision of how a great controller keyboard should work. As there are many controllers on the market already, it is still a challenge to find one that offers the feel and flow of
operating the software, as if it’s hardware.
Panorama P4 uses a communication protocol that has been
custom designed for Reason 6, putting control - every control - at the musician’s fingertips. Panorama, in addition, of course also features traditional MIDI controller capabilities, including a MIDI output, so its possible to switch between the virtual and a hardware instrument rack in real-time. Panorama P4 really provides access to all areas.

Panorama P4 will be shown to the public for the first time at the NAMM Show 2012 in Anaheim, January 18th – 21st 2012 at booth #4912.

Now it is possible to win the first ever made Panorama P4.And the rules are simple: Answering the the questions and including one’s real name and email address.The competition will run until NAMM and if more than one submission got all answers right, Nektar will pick the winner through a random draw. As there is one question even Nektar do not know the answer to yet, everybody is invited to make a good

Panorama is expected to be available in Q1 2012. Price tba.

More Information you can find at:

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Buy Toontrack Music'c latest EZX® expansion, Americana, before the end of October 2011 and automatically enter the competition to win a hand carved, custom designed and one of a kind guitar. On top of that, once you've won - we will have your name or custom inscription carved in the pickguard. How cool and unique is that?

Contest Rules:
• To be eligible to participate, a copy of Americana EZX must be registered to your personal Toontrack account before the end of the month of October 2011.

• Any place of purchase is valid

• Only new copies apply (second hand owners are not eligible to enter)

• One lucky winner will be randomly picked from all copies registered from September 30 through October 31 2011

Follow this link for more information about Toontracks EZX® Americana expansion pack.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Review of Billy Penns’ “Guitar Set UP Guide” E-Book.

From the creator of the popular 300 Guitars website comes a new E-book that perhaps every guitar player should have.

This is one thick “E-book”. How about 46 pages of knowledge, packed with great images, relevant video links, and so, so much more!

However, before I take you any further, perhaps I should explain both “who is Billy Penn”, and “why it is that we should we take his advice?”.

In Billy’s own words and with paraphrasing too…….

“I began my career as a guitar (and amplifier) tech out of necessity and pure love for the instrument. As far back as I can remember I was always interested in how things worked, came apart and went back together………..

Around the age of 19 I got a job at Kramer Guitars in the stock room which was right next to the repair department. I used to hang out and watch to see how some repairs were performed. As I got older I started playing in bands but my full time day gig was as a Union Electrician. My band mates and their friends would give me their broken guitars and amps and I would fix them. I couldn't decide which I loved more, playing them or fixing them. So I decided that it would be cool to be the best I could be at both……….

I then worked in various music stores doing repair work. I actually created a repair tech job at Outlaw Guitars which specialized in vintage guitars and amps. I got an education of a lifetime there working on all the different prized gear you can think of. I used to stay late and open every amp and guitar to see how they were built and how they all were different. I really got more interested in amps during this time and decided to start a boutique amp company.………

Around this time the playing bug started to gain strength and I found myself touring for part of the 90's and spending a little time in Nashville. Being on the road and in the studio was another great education. This was the other side of the bench as I like to call it. Needless to say I took care of everyone's gear but I didn’t mind at all. So after about 20+ years working on countless guitars and amps (some pedals too) and having my own “Pennalizer” brand of amps I decided to go online with my passion and started…….I actually have my own band called the Inside Drivers and play gigs regularly and record. I like to keep that aspect of myself “plugged in” so I can constantly learn more music and come up with ideas to better help players with my services.”

Now, back to the review…….

This E-book is geared towards electric and acoustic guitars, but not the types with “floating trems” and locking nuts. There will be another E-book coming soon which will cover these types of guitars.

As a guitar player, band member, songwriter, and over all guitar enthusiast, I have always wondered just which important guitar adjustments I should try to make on my own. With much regret, what I found out was that this information is “trade sensitive”, and that no guitar tech seems willing to just give this knowledge away. My guitars just seem to fall out of perfect setup as the gigs pass, and my guitars never seem to play the same ever again.

Billy Penn makes no bones about giving us the exact and precise information that we all need, and wish to know. Such knowledge is vital to the way that our guitars “play”, feel, sound, tune up, and perhaps most important of all, how long our guitars will last. It is like having a guitar tech with us, for as long as we keep our E-book Guitar setup guide that is.

Within the pages of this E-book, Billy Penn teaches us how to perform the most vital of guitar adjustments. Billy teaches us how to adjust our guitars’ intonation, truss rods, radius, action of the strings, pickups, and all of this with exact precision! The information that I have always tried to obtain is “just what substances should be used to polish all of the different types of guitar finishes”. Well, that is also in this excellent guide E-book!

Billy lists the best possible tools that we should have available before we begin our guitar work. He details what the work space should look like, what it should contain, and as we read along he details lot of great tips. Great tips that we can all use to make our job a lot easier.

All of the fine measurements are in this E-book, along with a lot of images, video links, and knowledge that most “techs” do not like to give away. Thanks Billy Penn, for helping all of us guitar players! At $4.99 this is a steal, and a must have!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Winner for August songwriting contest!

Well, one more month has passed, and one more songwriter has won.

Congrats to Genta Tamashiro, and a job well done!

I love this tune, and the story behind the song. Here is what Genta has to say about the song “ Left in the past 2”……

“Hello my name is Genta Tamashiro. I am from Denver, CO but I am currently going to college in Hawaii at the University of Hawaii. I went to Denver School of the Arts (which is a public school with emphasis on the arts in Denver) for middle and high school where I studied music. I recently started recording music and I love it. I have no formal training in recording or audio engineering but I hope to go to school for it soon. At the moment all I use to record is a copy or Logic Studio that was given to me from a good friend, an input box to hook up my mic to my laptop, and a Shure SM58 microphone.

After much deliberation, I decided to send you this song I made that I call Left In The Past. I started making this song after a rather intense dream I had a few months ago where I was a soldier in some great war just to come home to have my wife leave me for being gone for so long. It is a strange dream considering I'm only 19 years old and have never been married! Never the less, it was a very strong dream and one of the very few that I can remember after waking. The song depicts one specific scene in my dream where my now ex wife is walking away from me while for some reason I do nothing to stop her.

All the instruments in the song are played by me and all the vocals are me as well. The drum kit is not live but a used a series of sampled sounds. The marimba you may hear is a MIDI instrument inside Logic and the guitar is live. I hope you enjoy my song. I have more songs as well in many different styles that I would love to enter if possible, if not, I would still love to have you hear them if you wanted to, I am always looking for feedback in the music that I make. :)
Thanks A lot,
Genta Tamashiro”

Enjoy your prizes Genta!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Home Recording Weekly Songwriting contest winner for July.

This past month saw all sorts of entries. I got some musicals, some country, and some of that good ole’ rock and roll.

This is the song that “caught my ear”, and I fell in love with the “hook”.

Congratulations, Cherell Willams, on a job so very well done!

Here is what Cherell Willams wrote to me……

“I am an amateur songwriter but not a performing artist. I spent years throwing away songs and recently I wrote a song and did my first home recording with the help of my husband and I was like "Wow, I finally wrote a song I actually like LOL ;)

We didn't have everything we needed but we used what we had and did the best we could with what we had. We had a regular old mic (we wanted a condenser mic), no pre-amp, and an acoustic guitar that rattles a bit and is not warm sounding at all. So it's basically a good quality song but the mix is not a very good mix. It definitely needs to be recorded over but I'm still proud of it LOL :)

We look forward to upgrading and getting little home studio up to par so we can produce a better quality recording. I'm excited now!

In my recording of "It's a new day" I played the guitar I'm not a professional guitar player by the way. I can play a few chords and a few songs. I'm not a vocalist but I do what I can. Didn't have anyone to sing the song for me, so I sang it myself and my husband who is a very talented singer help me with the background vocals.

My influence is just music itself. The genres I like to call my songs are "Positive". Just positive, simple, clean music along with some contemporary Christian. I just hope my music will be a positive, encouraging, uplifting influence to many. I desire to have my songs placed in T.V./Film. Can you imagine movies without music! The music is what enhances the plot. Can you imagine a world without music!

Here is a list of prizes that Cherell has just won!

1) A 30 day, Full Access pass, to Groove 3 training videos. With new titles like “Reason Instruments volume 1”, and “Reason Instruments volume 2”, and my personal favorite “Mixing Rock”, there are videos waiting for you, and your musical journey!

2) From Bias, a copy of SoundSoap 2! This is such a perfect tool for video, music, mastering, and on and on!

3) From The Sound Guy, SFX Machine Pro ! A wonderful plugin for any application. Need effects? Here they are!

4) From LoopMasters, how about some DVD’s full of professional loops and samples! These are the best of the best!

Thanks for all of the amazing entries, and there is still one more month of contest left to enter! Good luck to you all!

Please refer to the post that details the rules for entering!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Big news from Propellerhead software today!

First of all, from Propellerhead, Reason version 6 has been announced!

New in Reason 6
Combining all the features from Record, Reason version 6 adds audio recording and editing, along with
Propellerhead's acclaimed mixing console with masterfully modeled EQ and dynamics on every channel, multiple parallel racks, Line 6 amp models, new effect devices plus additional features. New creative effects designed for inserting directly into instruments and tracks include: Pulveriser, sound crushing effect with crunchy compression, dirty distortion and flexible modulation; The Echo, advanced stereo echo with modern delay and analog tape echo emulation: and Alligator, a three band pattern gate for complex rhythmic texturing. Interface enhancements, high definition audio transpose and true 64-bit compatibility highlight other new feature improvements.

But, as if that is not enough, Propellerhead software has also announced their new Balance audio interface. This is very big news indeed. A lot of my blogs’ readers have asked a lot of questions about just which interface I feel is best to partner up with Reason and/or Record. Here is a link to the spec page. Wow, and just check out the all of the input options onboard of the Balance audio interface too!

Balance, a two-in by two-out audio interface for Mac and Windows, is designed for the single person operated home/project studio. Fully USB 2 powered with separate volume controls for monitors and headphones, it contains 8 input connections to keep all instruments, mics and devices connected and ready to record with the press of a button—without software pop-ups or control panels. The included Reason Essentials packs in all the recording editing, effects, instruments and mixing tools needed to create great sounding tracks.

Lastly, a stripped down, but very powerful version of Reason has been released too, called Reason Essentials. This is better than Reason Adapted ever thought about being.

Just for the record, with no Propellerhead pun intended, please keep the song entries coming in! There are still two more months of the Home Recording Weekly Blog Songwriting contest going! I still have prizes to give away to some songwriting subscribers!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Winner of the June Songwriting contest.

Congratulations to Alex Brown! The winning tune for the first leg of this three month long contest is titled “ I know it’s true”, and it caught my attention for several reasons.

Alex writes……

“I am 15 years old and I started playing piano at age 12 and now I play guitar, drums, and bass. I got really into music and recording, and so I started a band, and we practiced almost every day on the weekends. We also started recording a lot. I started working on a lot of solo work the past year and writing songs, and I recorded this one in my room. I used Logic Express 9 to record it and a midi keyboard and an old vocal mic my dad gave me. I turned my room into a little, mini home studio that I recorded it in. I wrote and recorded this song in one night, and I played all of the instruments by myself! Thanks again for taking the time to listen it means a lot! I hope you like it! “

Like it? Nope, I love it!

First of all, the guy is only 15 years old! Secondly, the piano “hook” is simply wonderful. I do not ever wish to consider the quality of a recording for the contest, but the quality here is not bad at all. What a great flow of medley and vocals. I love this tune, and have added it into my own Ipod. Great job Alex Brown and friends!

Here is the list of prizes that Alex has won, and the prizes for the next two month long songwriting contests.

From Bias, a copy of Bias Soundsoap2 pro. From Loopmasters, two”artist series loop and sample DVD packs. From The Sound Guy, a copy of their SFX Machine Pro plug in. From Groove 3, a full access, 30 pass to training videos!

Next up, send in your songs for the month of July! For the complete list of the easy, simple, must follow rules, follow this link!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Toontrack Musics Chuck Ainlay EZ Mix

The other day I received a copy of the brand new Chuck Ainlay EZ Mix preset package from Toontrack. After a few long mix sessions using it, I decided to shoot a quick demo video for it, and the amazing sounds that it produces.

Part 1

Part 2

If you wish to obtain professional mixing results as fast as possible, this is your EZ Mix preset pack! Available at the Toontrack website for 29 U.S. Dollars!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Two new tools from IK Multimedia

IK Multimedia announces 2 new mixing legends as add-ons to T-RackS: Black 76 and White 2A
Available as single plug-ins or integrated within the new 64-bit T-RackS® suite of mixing and mastering processors

May 2011, Modena, Italy – IK Multimedia is proud to announce the release of two new T-RackS mixing plug-ins that are modeled on two of of the world’s most renowned analog compressors: the Black 76 Limiting Amplifier and the White 2A Leveling Amplifier. These prestigious effects are available as single plug-ins for the most popular DAWs, or they may be integrated in the new T-RackS suite of mixing and mastering effects, now updated with 64-bit compatibility, both in standalone and plug-in modes.

The Black 76 Limiting Amplifier is modeled after what is probably the most used, most known, most wanted, and most universally recognized compressor / limiter in the audio industry. There are probably no professionally created records without tracks using this unit! It’s a true legend and a piece of history. The engineers that made this FET based compressor reached a level of cleverness and magic that only true visionary geniuses can achieve. While there are many revisions of this hardware, IK Multimedia modeled the LN version, revision E, because it's the one that has the most sonically recognized and wanted character, thanks to its input transformer and class A output stage.

This compressor can be used on literally everything: drums, drum sub-mixes, vocals, bass, guitars, piano, choirs, brass, strings, etc. It adds its sonic footprint to the sound that for many reasons simply makes music sound better. Vocals, for example, will gain presence, consistency, clarity and punch in a way simply not obtainable with other units. Drums will gain power and density with total control over the level of "snap", and guitars will get a magic midrange zone that makes them truly sing. The Black 76 is a must for mixing, but thanks to the perfectly stereo linked version provided with the MS option, it can also be effectively used for mastering if used with care!

The White 2A Leveling Amplifier is based on a legendary vintage unit that is entirely tube-based. It’s a totally different device in terms of construction where all the compression magic happens inside an optically coupled element formed by a fluorescent panel and some photocells: the famed T4A element. There is no electronic circuitry involved with the compression itself. It's just a tube amp with photo-resistors, lit by a fluorescent panel driven by the output signal. At the time of this invention, there were not many ways of making an audio compressor: only variable-mu and optical. Optical was the simplest one, and if proper elements for both the light emitting panel and the photocells were matched, magic happened.

Originally intended for use in broadcasting, it immediately became a truly signature unit for music recording and mixing. It’s a must-have for both tracking and mixing vocals, but it’s also tremendously effective on electric bass, upright bass, piano, winds and many other tracks where you need a gentle compression with great warmth and consistency. This is one of the few units in the audio industry that nobody will allow to be substituted for anything else.

Two years in the making, these two units have challenged IK Multimedia’s superior modeling capabilities and pushed them to the extremes. These units have been modeled down to the finest detail in each of their stages, matching all the controls and their behavior, including the ultra-accurate VU-Meter response. Perfected with countless measurements and A-B listening sessions, IK has produced two of the most realistic emulations available in software so far. Other companies have attempted this with average results, but with the Black 76 and the White 2A, it doesn’t get better when it comes to classic analog-modeled plug-in compressors.

Both the Black 76 and the White 2A are available as single T-RackS mixing plug-ins for all popular DAW platforms in RTAS, AU and VST formats. They also give the flexibility to be perfectly integrated with the T-RackS suite of effects as they can be opened inside the T-RackS twelve-slot, serial-parallel processor chain, both in standalone and plug-in modes, taking advantage of T-RackS advanced routing, metering and preset capabilities. With the addition of these two new classics, T-RackS users will have a total of 12 superior dynamic and EQ effects to choose from, including a full-fledged professional metering suite for all of their professional mixing and mastering needs.

Furthermore, T-RackS and all its effect processors have been updated to version 3.5 – now supporting all 64-bit DAWs – and the update is available a free download to all existing T-RackS 3 Deluxe, Standard, shell and Singles users.

The T-RackS 3.5 standalone application is fully compatible with the new ARC version 1.3, which also adds native 64-bit compatibility.

Pricing and availability
The Black 76 and White 2A cost only $99.99/€74.99 each (excluding taxes) and are immediately available as a download from the IK Multimedia online store or from selected music retailers carrying the T-RackS 3 singles in Multi-box format.

For more info:

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Toontrack Songwriters drum pack 3

Toontrack Songwriters drum pack 3 review/demo.

Once again the creative minds over at Toontrack have put together a midi pack for all of us songwriters! Songwriters Drum Pack 3 is only 29 dollars, and chock full of great drum lines. The video posted is a listening to the midi found within Songwriters Drum Pack 3. I am using Superior Drummer in order to audition the midi files, and I am employing Platinum Samples, Joe Barresi “Evil Drums” for the samples!

This midi pack is just as chock full of great midi as all of the other midi packs found over at the Toontrack website. Sit back, and let me take you through some of the midi drum lines found within…….

Friday, April 29, 2011

Problem solved, by IK Multimedia of course!

One of the newest and coolest things in our world are the iPhone, iPad, and all of the musical apps that go with them. These apps are getting very realistic, with everything from guitars, guitar amp sims, pianos and organs, and vocal altering masterpiece apps. One of the main reasons that I have stayed away from all of these apps is due to the problem of not being able to save and then use our material; after a long session of writing with them. Well, that is not the case any longer. I welcome the iRig Recorder! Thanks to IK Multimedia for understanding our needs and our wants!

Here is a link to the new video for the iRig Recorder.

The iRig Recorder organizes your recordings by date and time and also tags them with a geographic location for easy and reliable file management of your recordings. Export your files via email, Wi-Fi, FTP and iTunes File Sharing in a variety of sizes and formats (including CD-Quality uncompressed audio- 16-bit 44.1 kHz). This is cool for all of you field recording junkies, or you “on the go” interviewers!

iRig Recorder features:

Convenient, easy-to-use mobile recording and editing app: just launch the app and press record. The perfect companion to iRig iMic for your podcasts, interviews, concert and field recordings. One-touch recording with real-time monitoring. Intuitive, non-destructive editing tools to cut, crop and loop your recordings. Pitch and time–based effects include changing the speed of your recordings (without affecting pitch) to adapt your content to other media such as audio and video. Organize your recordings by creation date and tags with geographic location. Eight intelligent effects processors automatically optimize your recordings – no audio knowledge required.

iRig Recorder App is available for $4.99 / €3.99 from the App Store on iPad, iPhone or iPod touch or at

Friday, April 22, 2011

Soldano and Orange amps from the IK Multimedia Custom shop!

Not only can you now download Amplitube 3 for free, but you can add amps, stomps, cabs, and rack effects like an “ala carte’” system, as you want them.

Leave it to IK Multimedia to make shopping for gear more fun and easy! Introducing the new IK Multimedia Custom Shop! Well, I took a little trip to the shop, and I was pleasantly rewarded. Brand new in the Custom Shop are some amps, mics, rack effects, and new stomps. What is cool is that you can (of course) purchase or try out any of the amps, mics, rack effects, and stomps currently available in any of the IK Multimedia products such as Metal, Ampeg SVX, and Jimi Hendrix. Plus, there are some new faces.

The new “tube amps” in the IK Multimedia Custom Shop! are a few Orange amps (Tiny Terror, Rocker Verb 50, the AD-30TC) and a Soldano SLO-100 amp. These are a warm welcome, with no pun intended. As you will see and hear in the video that I have posted, these amp tones are right on and they work as their real cousins might.

I love the little things that are well represented here, like the quality reverb found in the Orange 50 rocker amp. Simply put, it is just a very well done reverb, and that means a lot to me.

Let me have your attention for another second here, and let’s check out the attention to detail found on the face of the Soldano SLO-100 amp! Just like the original, there is a clean/crunch switch included. More to the point, it sounds familiar and awesome in clean mode, and even better while in crunch mode. The sustain that this amp seems to incorporate is very realistic, as are the harmonics and the slight “hot feel” that it gives to my guitars’ pickups. I just love the tones that I am able to conjure up from this warm rocker. The clean tone is very “tube like”, and can be used with your guitars’ volume to dial in that sweet spot. The crunch is a sonic treat for the 80’s rocker in us all too. Let us not forget the overdrive/normal switch, which again, is just like the real deal, and it works and sounds like the original too. Lastly, as for the switches that is, is the Bright/Normal switch. Yes, it works and sounds like the real deal. Hey, go ahead and check it out, for yourself, for free!

Next, I would love to thank a couple of fellow bloggers for putting one of my songs on their podcast. The Homemade Hit show played a loop based song that I put together for my (at the time) girlfriend. Thanks so much Tony and Dave! You guys rock, and we all listen to the The Homemade Hit show as often as we can!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Recent music news to share.

IK Multimedia is proud to offer a FREE upgrade to the new AmpliTube 3.5, a fully functional version of AmpliTube 3 with all features, a selection of 24 free gear models and the new Custom Shop, a brand new way to try and buy single gear models of legendary brands à la carte to build a truly custom tone.

The Custom Shop includes officially certified models from legendary brands such as FenderTM, Orange®, Ampeg®, SoldanoTM and many more. Here is a link to see some of the new stomps, new amps, new rack effects, and other new gear.

Here is a link to see the new video about the Custom shop.

Here is a link to where you can learn more about Custom Shop from IK Multimedia.

Toontrack has released a brand new midi pack, named “Blues midi pack”. You can hear audio samples by clicking this link, and you can see the video for Blues midi pack by following this link. The midi files are played by Hans Lindback, and it appears to be the real deal, and covers many blues styles. What else could be as cool? Well, how about a price tag of only 29 bucks?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New guitar Bridge ideas

Leo Fender came up with some very innovative ideas. He first designed, and then improved upon, many electric guitar designs, pick up systems, and related parts. However, with the passing of time, new ideas pop up from time to time, and then things just change. Take for example guitar tremolos.

Leo Fender had some great tremolo ideas in his time. My personal favorite design is the string thru body, but that is not the only tremolo idea that Leo had. In my opinion, the single most important idea that he came up with is the tremolo and the tremolo bar. He came up with the idea of using a tremolo bar in order to create those diving sounds. The design has been used for decades and decades, but time has shown that it has some flaws.

To begin, with the tremolo bar, came some minor tuning issues. You see, each time that the string tension changes, the tuning is altered. To remedy that problem, folks have added tilted head stocks, added “string trees”, re-designed bridge parts and pieces, added springs to the rear of the tremolos, and on and on. The radical idea of completely locking the strings “in tune” came along (via the locking nut and the floating tremolo), and that seemed like the final answer. But, even that idea seems to be tweaked every few years or so.

So, lets take a look at some of the newest tremolo designs. Several new tremolo designs come to mind, and they each solve different problems, and use different approaches in order to reach the “stay in tune” dream.

Super Vee

As taken from the Super Vee website:

Our "Drop -In" Double-Locking Tremolo System that Does Not Require Any Permanent Modifications to Your Guitar. Patented Design Features makes the Super-Vee Dive-Bomb Proof with zero-friction action. It Always Stays in Tune.”

Trem King TK-1

As taken from the TremKing website:

The TK-1 is a drop in replacement for most vintage style tremolo units. Some routing inside the spring cavity may be needed on certain models. Installation instructions and a template showing the necessary cutout is provided with each unit.”

Stetsbar Pro2 S-Style

As taken from the Stetsbar website:

Stetsbar is the modern, professional, linear tremolo system that retro fits to stop tail, hard tail, Tele and Strat style guitars without any modification - no new holes, no routing! Hi-tec micro roller bearings combine with a bridge that moves with the trem to give the Stetsbar unrivalled pitch range and stability for its class coupled with a extremely smooth up and down action. With a straight forward, rapid fit to guitars like the Gibson Les Paul, SG, ES335, Flying V, Fender Telecaster, Stratocaster and many more, Stetsbar is the trem of choice for professional and amateur guitarists worldwide and - with the OEM version - for guitar builders who need the best. Available in four models and gold, nickel, chrome and black finishes, now is the time to experience the difference that Stetsbar will bring to your guitar!”

Wilkinson ATD HT440 self-tuning hard-tail guitar bridge

There is not much to be found on line about these little gems. Here is a Youtube page about guitars with them installed.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Monthly wrap up...

I just wanted to clean up my hard drive and desk top by posting these “review type” videos.

The links for the products mentioned in the video post are...

Rock Solid Guitar Stands

KRK KNS 8400 Headphones

Bongo Ties cable ties

Thanks for stopping by, and feel free to subscribe today!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Guitar stands from Rock Solid.

No matter the environment that you are putting a Rock Solid guitar stand into, you can find a complimentary color stand! The all wood construction is solid, and the finish is a very smooth, and stunning finish! Top it all off with an instrument gripping, rubber-like material just so that your prized instruments will not move, nor will it scratch your finishes! A well designed, well made solution for your cramped music rooms!

Rock Solid guitar stands come in three different colors, Ivory, Dark Cherry, and Honey.

IVORY Dark Cherry Honey

So what more do you need? Get rid of your clutter, toss out your unstable guitar stands, and get your Rock Solid guitar stand today! Free up some valuable space in your home, recording nook, or studio!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Groove 3, “Mixing Rock ”......O.M.G.!!!!!

Let me tell you where you can go to “get your learn on”, find those loops that you need, or find some fun and cool apparel...... Groove 3

Groove 3 has a ton of great training videos, for musicians of all types, and all of which are top, top, top quality!! These training videos cover lots of topics such as some of the most commonly used DAW's, all sorts of plug ins (from Superior Drummer 2.0 and Auto tune , IK Multimedia plugs, right on down to Waves Plug ins, and even Melodyne), and also production, recording, and mixing videos. Heck, they also sell loops and even T-shirts too!

Introducing “Mixing Rock”, from Groove 3. But what is it, and what is included?

A training video, as taught by Multi-Platinum Engineer and Producer Kenny Gioia.

Mixing Rock contains 37 video training tutorials, with almost 7 hours total run time!!!!!!!!!

Mixing Rock is great for the beginner to intermediate producers and engineers.

Mixing Rock viewing Options: Online, Download, Boxed Disc, and iDevices.

Mixing Rock ” is broken up into “categories”. It is almost laid out as a book might be, and in a perfect working order. The list of categories goes like this:


Organize the session

Groups, Busses, and Effects

Technical issues

Basic Vocal/ Drum mix

Bass and keys


Piano and mutes

Final vocal mix

Automation and final mix

Each “category” contains video titles underneath of itself. For example, under the category of “Organize the session”, the different training video choices are:


Track naming

Color coding

Track clean up

Re-Ordering tracks

I have been watching, no, scratch that..... I have been learning a lot as of late. I have been absolutely engrossed in these training videos, and just let me add that for all types of musical know how, Groove 3 is the place to be. The quality of the training videos found there is simply amazing, and the content is wonderful, and jam packed too!
Have you ever wanted to stand behind a rock and roll mixing engineer, and have him explain clearly each and every process as he mixes a song? If so, Mixing Rock is the training video to get.

It is all very well laid out. In fact, it is shot just as Kenny Gioia likes to work through a song mixing session.

Mixing Rock starts with a likely scenario. A mixing engineer (possibly you) gets a song emailed to him from a recording studio that needs to be mixed. Kenny Gioia , then, starts to work. Work begins by “setting it up” in Pro Tools. Learn how to quickly figure out just what is happening in a song, how to label the tracks so that you know what and where they are, and when and where to add some basic panning and volume adjustment.

As a note, I picked something very cool up from the very first video. Right from the start you learn just how important the “quick” keyboard shortcuts are. Making your work as fast and as easy for yourself as possible seems to be the name of the game here. Don't miss-read this, the pace is not too fast for the viewer to catch on, but, instead, Kenny Gioia shows you how to get around your mixes quickly. Weather mixing is a career or a hobby, you will want to make routine edits as fast as possible.

Kenny Gioia speaks as he works. I became completely engrossed in the Groove 3 training videos for this very reason. What am I learning? Well, Kenny Gioia actually tosses in a lot of extra information about just what it is he is adjusting, how it is done, and why he is doing it. Very well done! I am learning a lot of time saving tips, or new and quicker ways to edit my tracks. I am learning how to properly pan my tracks in order to get a nice, full, and exciting mix. I am learning to use busses and sends while mixing, just to make life a lot easier. I am sure that if you spend your days mixing songs as a profession, then speed is your friend. I do not spend my days just mixing, but I will now use these tricks to both speed up my work flow, and make life easier and less confusing while mixing.

Things started to change for me by the fourth video. I was starting to learn bigger things, things that I have been doing myself, but just not as well as I could have been doing them. I learned a lot about using templates, effect sends and returns, and even about the “solo safe” trick found in Pro Tools. Let's not forget all of the things that I did not know too, like the pre/post fader tips that I learned in this one single video. This is all very big for me, as I need to squeeze every bit of power out of my software, and into my mixes! This alone was worth the price of Groove 3Mixing Rock ”.

I thought that I knew a lot about using, or creative application of effects. I was wrong. I have now (since watching “Mixing Rock ”) learned four times what I had ever known before. Kenny Gioia is a master of his craft. Not only does he know how to make great effects loops, but he shows the viewer how to make the best effect loops by just being creative with your DAW's features. Brilliant stuff here. This is what separates “Mixing Rock ” from any other training video that I have ever watched.
I get a lot of compression questions here at the Home Recording Weekly blog. I like to think that I have compressors understood, and I still think that I do. However, I learned how to use all types of compression while watching “Mixing Rock ”, as well as how to use multiband compression, and all in order to get that polished professional sound that we all want so badly. This video will take some re-watching, but that is the best part about Groove 3 training videos, and Mixing Rock , you can watch them all again and again.
This sort of intense learning continues on and on, as you continue on with the videos in Mixing Rock. Some of the ongoing topics range from timing issues, and fixing timing issues using elastic audio, and all about fixing them in multi mic'd sessions mind you! Tuning minor vocal issues are addressed, and in the spirit of teaching, the great tips continue. Through out these videos, Kenny Gioia not only opens up most of his favorite plug ins to enhance and/or fix tracks, but he delivers some very solid tips on some of the most commonly used plug inns. Plug ins that we probably all have, or we all have access to. Little tips, and great big tips alike, and these are the things that make Mixing Rock shine.

Kenny Gioia explains why he mixes the way that he does. He mixes the main vocal first, and then he jumps on to the drums. This particular mixing order never made sense to me, but Kenny explained just why he does this, and now I will do it his way too. It is all about getting a great, “matching space environment” sort of feel, and he gets it that way with you looking over his shoulder. Thanks so much Kenny Gioia!!!

Overall, besides learning more than I thought ever existed, Kenny Gioia shows us how to get every single ounce of sound and tone out of our tracks by using every trick and every plug in that he likes to use. He uses and teaches us how to apply sends, returns, tracks of all types, buss tracks, groups, fades, Elastic Audio, all sorts of effects from echo to ping pong delays, delay compensation, Transient modulators, EQ's, EQ's that act as Gates, Compressors, panning, low and high pass filters on EQ's, and just about everything else that you can (or can not) think of.

Kenny Gioia sets up his effects as a template, which I found interesting. He explains why he chooses to do things this way, and then continues on mixing. This comes back and makes perfect sense towards the end of the Mixing Rock training videos, as he automates the effects with us. So, if you don't think things should be done this way, just sit back and let Kenny Gioia show you how, and why he does it like he does.

Not only does Kenny Gioia add the “sonic magic”, but he demonstrates the techniques he has learned along the way as he works. He “tunes us in” to how we can achieve tight, and right sounding tracks using modest effect levels. I loved watching Mixing Rock the first time through, and I will continue to love it as I watch it again and again. I want all of this precious information to stick in my mind!

Some things that I have never done, but now feel confident doing are applying parallel bus compression, adding drum hit samples to multi mic'd drum sessions, using delay compensation, and writing automation. What an incredible look into a great rock mixing session! I really enjoyed learning how Kenny Gioia uses automation to make a song “Breathe”, or to come alive. Kenny Gioia also details the many different ways that he writes automation, which I needed to see. I use automation, sure, but just not as creatively as Kenny Gioia does. I will from now on though!

Here is the bottom line...... Groove 3 has a whole inventory of amazing training videos. A lot of “learning” mixing engineers, right down to hobbyist folks just like You and I, can learn a lot from watching Mixing Rock . The training video is the best way to learn, in my humble opinion, well, other than being able to actually be there and ask questions. The video and the audio quality is top shelf, and the price is very low. You get a whole lot of incredible information, from a professional (Kenny Gioia), for a low price. What could be better?

Last of all, if you can't decide which items you want, or you are like me and want them all, you might want to opt for a subscription, in the form of an “All acess webb pass” from Groove 3 . All acess webb pass start at just 29.99 for a full 30 days! How much could you learn in 30 days? A lot!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Subtractive EQ practices, High and low pass filters.

This post is meant for the person that has some great songs recorded, and is looking to apply some better EQ prior to mastering their new song. I hope you enjoy this post, and if you do, please let me know about it. I will post more of these types of posts if folks like them.

These days, I get a lot of folks visiting this blog, and quite a few are looking for information about “additive and subtractive EQ procedures”. Today I would like to discuss some subtractive EQ procedure examples, focusing on High and Low Pass Filters.

But before I get too far into High and Low Pass Filters, let me stray off the beaten path for a moment, and give you some great advice. You can't put lipstick on a pig. Yep, that's right. That saying means that if your song is poorly recorded, then no amount of EQ will make it sound good. Go back now, and re-record those troubled tracks. A bad take is a bad take. I know because I have tried to “polish a turd” before, and it still looked like a turd.

Now that those harsh words were typed, let us get on with a quick lesson on frequency metering. “Why?”, you ask... Well, you can't remove any unwanted frequencies unless you know where they are located. I am not talking about a tracks gain level meter, or a master faders' gain meter, but a frequency meter.

IK Multimedia T-Racks S3 deluxe freq. meter

Placing a frequency meter across a single track shows just exactly what is happening, sonically, within that track. The frequencies (on most frequency meters) are laid out from left (lower frequencies), to right (higher frequencies). The more of a particular frequency present within a track, the more “bars” will be present in that section of the frequency meter. This has little to do with measuring a tracks' “gain” or “volume”, but, instead, measuring just where, and how much of each frequency are present within the track or tracks.

Another great idea is to put a frequency meter across a master fader. Solo each track to make additive or subtractive adjustments, and then “bring in” the other tracks, one at a time. Continue to watch the meter as you “un-solo” the tracks, and keep a sharp eye on just what is happening within the meter. Notice which tracks bring in that unwanted frequency boost. Which tracks, when played together, seem to send the levels “into the red”, so to speak. This is the best way to analyze the bass and a kick, together and separate, within your songs. This method also makes getting a great overall mix a snap.

First up, the High Pass Filter...

Let me be the first to tell you that a High Pass Filter is often called a Low Cut Filter. A Low Pass Filter is also called a High Cut Filter. These are examples of calling the same thing a different name. Let me explain why, as I detail what all of these filters are.

OK, let's say that today you are tracking a new song, consisting of 4 tracks, and all with just one microphone. The first track is a drum kit. The second is a guitar. The third track is a bass. The final track is a vocal track. Short and sweet, right?

However, without you even noticing, your neighbor is mowing the lawn today. There seems to be a motorcycle pass by your house every half hour too. Plus, you can't hear it, but passing trucks keep on hitting the same pot hole, and all of this creates some awful low end energy. Track after track, this low end frequency energy (or information) builds up, until the song is finished. Each track solo'd seems fine, but when played all together the low end just sounds muddy. This is from the build up of low end frequencies within your tracks.

What can you do to help avoid all of this? Simple! How about using High Pass Filters on each of your tracks?

But what is a High Pass Filter?

High Pass Filters work on a simple premise. Basically, a High Pass Filter lets only the high frequency information pass through the filter un-touched. The low frequency information, however, is not allowed to pass through the filter. You tell, or set the filter to start cutting back at a particular “cut off” frequency. All that you need to do is to “tell” the High Pass Filter what this “cut off” frequency is. Then, all of the sound information higher than this setting (or cut off frequency) passes through the filter, and all of the sound information below this cut off frequency is cut. By the way, most of the low end rumble that we all cut out of out tracks can not be heard with our ears (roughly below about 20HZ or so). However, it adds up with each track and before long it begins to sound like “do-do”.

There is no particular “magic setting” for using High Pass Filters on your tracks. Each track is different! My advice is to start at the lowest “cut off” setting (so that the filter is not even working) and slowly move it up, until it sounds as you want it to. Solo the track as you do this, but make sure to bring in each of the other tracks, one by one, just to make sure that it still sits well in the mix. Know exactly what information you are removing. Study your tracks' frequencies with a meter: both before, and as you adjust the High Pass Filter. Solo the track as you adjust the settings of the High Pass Filter, but un-solo it just to double check that it sits right with all of the other tracks in your mix.

Using High Pass Filters has become a “must do” with me, as long as the track was recorded with a microphone. A lot of other instruments could benefit from High Pass Filters too, like bass, guitar, and snares. Problem is, too much High Pass Filter can be bad.

This brings me to the next topic for this post, the Low Pass Filter. Just think what the opposite of a High Pass Filter would be, and that is a Low Pass Filter. The idea, here, is to get rid of any unwanted, and pesky, high frequency audio. These high frequencies can certainly add up to spell disaster too, even perhaps more noticeably than low energy audio can. Tracks with “too much high frequencies” can sound distorted, or “tin like” and will just sound un-professional.

Once more, almost any track can be a good candidate for a Low Pass Filter. Most often I place a Low Pass Filter across acoustic guitar tracks, piano tracks, vocal tracks, and lots of other tracks too. The repeated truth, here, is that independently each track might sound rather acceptable. But, as each track that has too much high end adds up, what you will have is treble distortion!

I know this because I did this time and time again! I would blame the distortion on an over EQ'd hi hat, and then re-eq the hats. But once I played the freshly eq'd song the distortion was still there! Then I went through and listened to each track solo'd, but I just could not find the culprit. Sure enough, as I un-solo'd the track, I would hear it happening. What was going on?

The answer was that I was looking for was to add a simple Low Pass Filter to each of the tracks. This not only fixed the problem, but it even added some high end clarity. How, you ask? Well, without the distortion on the high end of things, the high end could now be heard more clearly.

So, what is the magic frequency that one should set the Low Pass Filter to “cut off” at (or start working at)? Well, I do not know. Each track, just as each song, is different.

With the track solo'd, I start at the highest frequency setting for the low pass filter, and then slowly start working it down. Once it sounds perfect, I stop. Next, I add in other “like tracks” one by one, to check that it still sounds good. Next, I like to add the other tracks and make sure it still works in the mix. Keep in mind that “like tracks” (like acoustic guitars for example), can have an additive eq effect when recorded with the same microphone, and so bringing them in first is a good idea.

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