The Soundboard: Picking Your Studio Monitors

by Blogger on ‎06-24-2014 03:33 PM - last edited on ‎06-25-2014 08:57 AM by Editor in Chief

KRK RokitsThe goal of a studio monitor is to represent audio in the most accurate, uncoloured form it can. That being said, all speakers colour sound to some degree. Monitor speakers are designed to be as flat as possible whereas it’s assumed that consumer or Hi-Fi speakers enhance aspects of the frequency spectrum.

 

A pair of monitor speakers are going to be your best friend. Regardless of whether you record, edit, mix or master audio, your studio monitors will determine how well your work translates to … well, pretty well everything else out there: car audio systems, TV’s, headphones and earbuds.

 

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Roland F-20 Digital Piano Review

by Blogger on ‎05-21-2014 01:12 PM - last edited on ‎05-26-2014 01:39 PM by Editor in Chief

Roland F-20 Piano LessonsI was both excited and skeptical when I heard that Roland was releasing the F-20. I was excited because of the sub-$1,000 price point for a weighted-action, 88-note digital piano. I was skeptical for the same reasons.

 

The appeal of a digital piano is unmistakable – especially for families who want to start piano lessons, but are hesitant to invest in an expensive instrument. The Roland F-20 seems to make the commitment to music a bit less painful.

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The Soundboard: All about Microphones

by Blogger on ‎04-24-2014 11:56 AM - last edited on ‎06-25-2014 09:03 AM by Editor in Chief

manymics.jpgAny meaningful discussion with an recording engineer will inevitably morph into a discussion about microphones. Just as a closet full of shoes is never enough for a lot of the women I’ve known, a closet full of microphones is rarely ever enough for most recording engineers.


There are a lot of different types of microphones and there are a many, many brands, shapes and sizes to pick from. I hope to at least get you started with a road-map of what to look for in microphones and I apologize in advance for setting you on this path! If you’re set on recording as a hobby or career, there’s a very good chance that you’re going to get slightly obsessed with microphones.

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Now at Best Buy: Fender Stratocaster HSS Plus with iOS Connectivity

by Blogger on ‎04-20-2014 02:26 PM - last edited on ‎06-04-2014 01:49 PM by Editor in Chief

Fender Strat Headstock

It was really only a matter of time before Fender would introduce USB connectivity to their Stratocaster line. 


Why would you want to have a USB port on your guitar?  

 

It really comes down to convenience. By putting a small USB port (and an A/D converter) in your guitar, the guitar signal is digitized locally and then transmitted to your computer (or other device) over a USB cable.

 

The guitar retains all its standard analog capabilities BUT outputs to USB as well.

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The Soundboard: Learn about Audio Interfaces

by Blogger on ‎04-15-2014 01:40 PM - last edited on ‎05-14-2014 02:51 PM by Editor in Chief

Interface CoverIf, like most home or project studio owners, you’ve opted to use a computer as the center of your studio, then you’ll most likely be hearing a lot about audio interfaces. 

 

For the typical home user, the sound card on your computer is just fine. Unfortunately, for a studio owner, you’ll very quickly find that the onboard sound system is inadequate for your needs. They’re typically noisy, they lack inputs and outputs you’ll most likely need and they can be inefficient in the way they translate analog and digital audio.

 

That’s where audio interfaces come into the picture. An audio interface is a piece of dedicated hardware that you connect to your computer. In the most basic sense, the interface is the audio middleman between you (the real world) and the computer. 

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The Soundboard: Learn about music software

by Blogger on ‎04-08-2014 10:54 AM - last edited on ‎05-14-2014 02:45 PM by Editor in Chief

DAW TornadoFor the vast majority of home studio owners, the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software is the control center of their studio. The DAW is the program that allows you to create, record, edit and arrange audio.

 

Picking one that fits your needs can be a confusing tornado of options, features and opinion. Which one do you chose? 

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The Soundboard: What studio gear do you need?

by Blogger on ‎04-01-2014 02:29 PM - last edited on ‎05-14-2014 02:41 PM by Editor in Chief

What StudioHow are you going to be using your studio?

 

The answers to this question will set you on a path to figuring out what you might need to start your journey in recording. There are many, many different configurations of gear that can be assembled into a studio. Which configuration fits your needs best?

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The Soundboard: Series Introduction

by Blogger on ‎03-24-2014 09:53 PM - last edited on ‎05-14-2014 02:38 PM by Editor in Chief

home-recording-hub-image.jpg

 

Home recording technology seems to get better and cheaper with every passing moment. What you can achieve in your spare room or home studio today was only in the realm of high-priced professional installations a dozen years ago. The problem you've probably already encountered is that there is a LOT of information out there. I'm going to try and break things down into manageable chunks. I'll walk you through some concepts you should be familiar with and touch on some gear that you may or may not want to consider.

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Gibson Guitars - New Features for 2014

by Blogger on ‎03-20-2014 03:47 PM - last edited on ‎03-20-2014 05:26 PM by Editor in Chief

gibson-head.jpg

If you name any prominent rock guitarist, there’s a pretty good chance that they have played or do play a Gibson guitar. Gibson has a long history as an instrument maker and is celebrating their 120th anniversary this year.

 

To mark the 120th year milestone, Gibson has released their 2014 models with features that help with playability and look great too. 

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Roland CUBE Amplifiers bring your music to life

by Blogger on ‎03-13-2014 11:58 AM - last edited on ‎04-17-2014 03:52 PM by Best Buy

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 11.19.12 AM.png

In June of 2013, Roland announced a revamp of their popular CUBE line of guitar amplifiers. The CUBE line has been around since 1978 and has been the bread and butter of many practice and recording sessions. Randy Rhoads, Joe Walsh and Ritchie Kotzen are some of the artists who have used the amplifiers in the studio and on stage.

 

Roland has been a solid brand in the music industry for decades. The CUBE line of amplifiers has a great history and has served many guitarists well. Of all the smaller practice amps out there, I have to admit that the offerings from the CUBE line sure look cool. From what I heard from them at NAMM, they also SOUND great too.

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NAMM 2014: ESP Guitars - Works of Art

by Blogger on ‎01-26-2014 05:55 PM - last edited on ‎03-13-2014 08:57 AM by Editor in Chief

ESP Guitars - or are they?From what I understand, Best Buy and ESP are negotiating an exclusive model of their guitars that you can only get through Best Buy. Unfortunately, I can't share any details about that deal at this point in time.

 

However, I took a spin through the ESP booth today and was left speechless by what I saw. There are some beautifully crafted guitars hanging on the walls throughout the booth. The folks at ESP obviously like building guitars and are very creative .... to the extreme! To placate your interest, take a look at the photos of the models we found there...

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NAMM 2014: Gibson Les Paul Guitars

by Blogger on ‎01-26-2014 02:30 PM - last edited on ‎03-13-2014 09:00 AM by Editor in Chief

Wall of Gibson GuitarsGibson showed us some truly beautiful guitars in the Melody Maker and SG lines. They are celebrating their 120th anniversary this year and have added some really tasteful extras to their lines to celebrate.

 

What I really found exciting was the Min-ETune feature hardware that Gibson demonstrated to us. Will this be the end of manual tuning?

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NAMM 2014: IK Multimedia

by Blogger on ‎01-26-2014 08:35 AM - last edited on ‎01-27-2014 10:20 AM by Editor in Chief

IK Multimedia iRingIK Multimedia makes a number of well-respected products for the pro-audio market, but has struck a chord, in a big way, by creating simple devices and apps for the iOS platform. 

 

Their "i" line of hardware products allow musicians and music lovers to create, record and produce music on their iOS device in a way that is not intimidating, but also gives access to deep features.

 

They've come out with two new iOS products this year: the iRig Mic HD and the iRing.

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NAMM 2014: Artist Sightings

by Blogger on ‎01-26-2014 12:36 AM - last edited on ‎01-27-2014 10:21 AM by Editor in Chief

PaparazziWhile we've been at NAMM, we've been hearing about the dreaded Saturday crush from the vendors and NAMM ventrans we've talked to. Up until today, it's been fairly easy to navigate the aisles between the booths. You might get the odd small crowd gathering around a performance, but nothing that would put you out.

 

Today, the artists showed up for their endorsement deals obligations and the crowds followed.

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NAMM 2014: Fender Strats

by Blogger on ‎01-25-2014 05:52 PM - last edited on ‎01-27-2014 01:47 PM by Editor in Chief

Fender Strats from the Custom ShopThe Fender booth was a treat for us. Why wouldn't anyone like strolling through a large room full of iconic guitars, basses and amps. 

 

There are some new things from Fender that will please both their established clientelle as well as their new ones. We got treated to a look at a few of the treats that Fender has in store for Strat lovers.

 

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NAMM 2014: Fender Amps

by Blogger on ‎01-25-2014 05:30 PM - last edited on ‎01-27-2014 10:24 AM by Editor in Chief

Fender_F_logo.gifThe Fender booth was a treat for us. Why wouldn't anyone like strolling through a large room full of iconic guitars, basses and amps. 

 

There are some new things from Fender that will please both their established clientelle as well as their new ones. We got treated to a look at a couple of the Fender Amps that will be carried by Best Buy.

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NAMM 2014: Casio

by Blogger on ‎01-25-2014 04:39 PM - last edited on ‎01-27-2014 10:28 AM by Editor in Chief

Casio-keyboards.jpgWe had the opportunity to take a look at some of the keyboards from Casio that will be appearing in Best Buy. We even got some killer video of two of their products being played ever so skillfully.

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NAMM 2014: Day 2 Odds and Ends

by Blogger on ‎01-25-2014 10:26 AM - last edited on ‎01-27-2014 10:26 AM by Editor in Chief

20140124_121724.JPGYou never know what you'll see at NAMM. Here's a rag-tag collection of memories from Day 2 at NAMM.

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NAMM 2014: Tanglewood Guitars

by Blogger on ‎01-25-2014 01:20 AM - last edited on ‎01-27-2014 10:27 AM by Editor in Chief

20140124_134524.JPGIn the midst of all the blinking lights and touch-screens, I've been pleasantly surprised to find some really beautiful workmanship. Not just injection molded plastic and brushed metal, but wood and other natural materials crafted into instruments that I'd be extremely pleased to handle and play.

 

A stop by the Tanglewood booth prooved to be one of those times.

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NAMM 2014: Shure

by Blogger on ‎01-24-2014 07:19 PM - last edited on ‎01-27-2014 10:28 AM by Editor in Chief

pg_microphone_line.jpgShure Microphones are dependable and solid. They make arguably the most popular dynamic mics. Model Numbers like the SM7B, SM57 and SM58 are the bread and butter of any major studios' microphone closet.

 

Shure has some great new offerings for not only the professional musician and studio owner, but the home studio owner and weekend warrior.

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NAMM 2014: More Yamaha - a potpourri.

by Blogger on ‎01-24-2014 04:27 PM - last edited on ‎01-24-2014 04:34 PM by Editor in Chief

Yamaha App OfferingsYamaha's got a lot to offer! In the last post, I talked about seeing the THR series of guitar amplifiers in action. I'll cover off the rest of our stay at the Yamaha booth - digital pianos, analog mixers, studio monitors, bass guitars and electronic drums. Not too much to cover...

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NAMM 2014: Yamaha Guitar Stuff

by Blogger ‎01-24-2014 03:33 PM - edited ‎01-24-2014 07:37 PM

Yamaha_violet[1].pngYamaha has a LOT of instruments and gear in its catalog. I mean a LOT. When you take into consideration all the acoustic band, orchestral AND contemporary instruments and gear, it's no wonder they book the entire ballroom at the Anaheim Marriott for themselves. We got a peak at some of the offerings that Yamaha has - we had a lot of fun doing it too.

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NAMM 2014: Emerging Themes, small and portable from Roland, iRig and more

by Blogger on ‎01-24-2014 08:25 AM - last edited on ‎01-27-2014 11:03 AM by Editor in Chief

ve-5-rd_top_gal.jpgIt's only been one day at the NAMM show in Anaheim California, but I've been seeing a couple of themes recurring as I walk among the booths. Continued integration of or integration with touch-screen devices and miniaturization & portability seem to be features that a lot of vendors are including in their product lines this year. Day 2 will be a test to see if my hunches here are correct and to see if there are any other trends emerging.

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NAMM 2014: The Weird and Wonderful - Day 1 Wrap-up

by Blogger on ‎01-24-2014 01:12 AM - last edited on ‎01-24-2014 09:41 AM by Editor in Chief

beautiful-microphones.jpgNAMM is BIG and LOUD. Along the way to giving you a sneak-peak at some gear that Best Buy is going to offer you, my francophone co-hort and I came across a few things that gave us pause, made us stop and look or were just ... plain weird.

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NAMM 2014: Samson GoMic Microphone - A Dark Horse

by Blogger on ‎01-23-2014 11:15 PM - last edited on ‎01-27-2014 11:01 AM by Editor in Chief

20140123_163120.JPGA tour through the Samson booth proved to be a treasure trove of good ideas and why-hasn't-anyone-else-thought-of-this discoveries. Not only were there things that make you go "hmmm", but the yet-to-be-confirmed forecasted price points seemed to be more than reasonable. After a long day walking the Anaheim Convention Center, the Samson booth turned out to be an energizing stop with many Easter eggs.

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NAMM 2014: Roland – Can’t forget about Drums and Keys

by Blogger on ‎01-23-2014 05:56 PM - last edited on ‎01-27-2014 10:58 AM by Editor in Chief

20140123_093637.JPGRoland has some cool toys for drummers to help add or enhance your sound. More things to hit and make noise with - what could be better? Digital pianos can now be had for under four figures???!!! Yes they can - and they're pretty darn nice to boot.

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NAMM 2014: Roland Has Something to Offer Every Musician

by Blogger on ‎01-23-2014 11:51 AM - last edited on ‎01-23-2014 03:43 PM by Editor in Chief

Roland-cube-NAMM-2014.jpg

 

Roland has a lot to offer the musician - whether you're an amateur or pro. For the guitarist, there are a number of exciting treats that Roland and BOSS have come up with that you can find at Best Buy.

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New Year's Resolution - Challenges & Tips for learning guitar

by Blogger on ‎01-21-2014 03:01 PM - last edited on ‎01-23-2014 03:45 PM by Editor in Chief

beginner-guitar-package.jpgLearning to play an instrument is a lifelong endeavour but you have to start somewhere.  Many people pledge to begin to learn a new instrument – guitar or keyboard for example - but stop before they get very far.  Most often we simply give up on our goal, thinking “this is just too difficult."  

 

In this article we highlight some of the early common challenges experienced by beginner or aspiring guitar musicians and share some tips for getting started on learning guitar, with the basics for success in the early stages of the learning curve.   Many of these challenges and tips will apply to the early stages of learning any instrument.  

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NAMM 2014: Best Buy will share all the latest news on Musical Instruments

by Editor in Chief ‎01-20-2014 11:40 AM - edited ‎01-23-2014 10:48 AM

namm-2014.jpgJanuary is a big month for new product announcements. In early January there was CES – the largest trade show for consumer electronics. Many companies keep their new products a secret so they can excite and surprise consumers with their announcements during the conference.  Late January has the NAMM show – the largest trade show in the world for musical instruments. Just like at CES, attendees at NAMM often keep the products they will present under wraps, until the show. What will be the biggest news in musical instruments for 2014. Best Buy will be at the conference to find out for you.

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Sennheisser HD 280 PRO - Headphones for Critical Listening

by Blogger on ‎01-13-2014 03:39 PM - last edited on ‎01-14-2014 03:41 PM by Editor in Chief

sennheiser hd280.jpg

 

There is very little to find wrong with this pair of headphones. Released over 10 years ago, they continue to be touted as the “best bang for the buck” in their price-range. The HD 280 PRO’s are very comfortable to wear – even for long periods – and did not disappoint when put through casual and critical listening tests.

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