Since its debut in late 2013, the Audio-Technica Blog has been your destination for everything audio. From recording tutorials to guest blogs from industry titans, we strive to bring you the best content we can muster up.
This is the 19th installment in guest blogger Frank Klepacki’s series on music production. Today Frank writes about his move to a travel-friendly setup. If you missed Frank’s previous post, you can read it here.
After years of honing my preferred guitar tones, I’ve had to adapt them to different settings, from full amps and mics in the recording studio, to plug-ins, to live performances with and without amps. Each of these settings offers a different curveball to overcome, and sometimes you need to adapt your sound accordingly.
One thing that really created a need to have an ampless rig and be as portable as possible was doing fly-in tour dates and performing with symphonies. Stage volume is crucial to a symphony so it is preferred to not have a blaring guitar amp on stage. I’ve tried several different pedals with amp modeling, but nothing was getting the tone that I really wanted. They all fell short in some way. So I switched my focus to acquire a few pedals that are exceptional at what they do, rather than settle for a jack-of-all/master-of-none pedal.
This is the 18th installment in guest blogger Frank Klepacki’s series on music production. Today Frank shares more of his preferences for recording drums. If you missed Frank’s previous post on this topic, you can read it here.
TOMS: AE3000 and ATM350. I use AE3000s on my 10″, 12″, and 14″ toms (as well as larger toms when called for) and an ATM350 on my 8″ tom. Because I have a tight kit configuration, I have to consider placement carefully, amount of bleed and tone. When using typical dynamic mics, it’s easy to compromise the rest of the kit’s tone by tweaking the tom EQs too much in the mix. For that reason alone, the AE3000 condenser is such a breath of fresh air – it picks up the round natural tone of the tom, with high-end attack, and I don’t have to tweak it to death after the fact. I even had one tom give me some overtone issues and I was able to control it with this mic by slightly adjusting the mic’s position. My ideal positioning for these mics is approximately a few inches above the tom and pointed straight along the drumhead.
This is the 17th installment in guest blogger Frank Klepacki’s series on music production. Today Frank provides tips for recording drums. If you missed Frank’s previous post, you can read it here.
As a producer/engineer who also happens to be a professional drummer, one of my pet peeves is hearing album recordings that have had the acoustic drum tracks replaced by acoustic drum samples. I often wonder, was it laziness? Could they just not get a good sound out of the live kit? Is it that a new generation of producers/engineers is being taught to just do that from the start, rather than taught how to make the best of the live instrument? The value of learning how to do this the right way is important. How do you think those replacement samples got recorded in the first place? I understand that sample replacement is a nice option to have if you absolutely cannot make the track work, but in my mind it should be a last resort, rather than being automatically abused, such as the whole auto-tune thing.
This is the 16th installment in guest blogger Frank Klepacki’s series on music production. Today Frank talks about getting into voice acting. If you missed Frank’s previous post, you can read it here.
Voice acting is a quirky thing. People often ask me how does one get into that?
Voice acting differs from screen acting in the sense that you don’t get to be visual, or be in make-up and costume. You show up to the recording studio in your casual outfit of the day, and you get the emotion across that you need to just with your voice alone. The visual might be an animated cartoon, a video game, a film or ad that you simply narrate over. It could be an audio book. And if someone is going to listen to you for any length of time, you need to sound interesting and act as a storyteller.
This is the 15th installment in guest blogger Frank Klepacki’s series on music production. Today Frank talks about what the future holds for music artists. If you missed Frank’s previous post, you can read it here.
So given the Apple / U2 promotion example, what if companies like Microsoft, Sony, or Samsung also started doing pre-release buyouts of sales of say, just one single with an artist for a period of exclusivity / promotional use? On the one hand, maybe it would give artists a unique opportunity to expose the music through the channels people are using more for music, which includes their smartphones, portable music players, and accounts they have with digital retailers.
This is the 14th installment in guest blogger Frank Klepacki’s series on music production. Today Frank talks about what the future holds for music artists. If you missed Frank’s previous post, you can read it here.
There is quite a bit of discussion out there in terms of where the music business is at, and where it’s headed. The old model crumbled under the digital age, for failure to embrace it in the beginning. Digital music download sales now compete with subscription-based streaming services. The CD used to cost an average of $15, and you had to buy the whole album even if you only liked a couple of songs, unless there was a single available. Digital sales gave you the option to download and purchase only your favorite songs if you wish, and now streaming services use monthly subscription fees to have access to all music content on the service. The problems are that compensation to the artists continually went down with each of these progressions, overall sales are still declining, streaming services haven’t been profitable yet, and piracy is still an issue. With music seeming to be devalued by the current generation in this way, the only way a newer artist can do anything financially substantial with their art is to seek other non-traditional avenues.
This is the 13th installment in guest blogger Frank Klepacki’s series on music production. Today Frank talks about sound effects for video games. If you missed Frank’s previous post, you can read it here.
Establishing the games “mixing board” in my experience, starts with what we refer to as “Presets.” Presets are basically a defined set of parameters that contain all the basic things you need to adjust for a sound effect, including volume, pitch, distance settings, panning, filtering levels, priority, and anything else of importance. You could compare this to the idea of setting up a “Bus” for sub-mixing.
This is the 12th installment in guest blogger Frank Klepacki’s series on music production. Today Frank talks about sound effects for video games. If you missed Frank’s previous post, you can read it here.
Sound effects in video games have a different angle and approach than working in linear media.
With TV and film, you are working with all the respective tracks in a mix, placing it in surround, and ensuring that the desired experience is heard appropriately the same way every time. You have full control over that, and you remain in the comfort zone of your DAW.
This is the 11th installment in guest blogger Frank Klepacki’s series on music production. Today Frank talks about how to break through fear and find your voice. If you missed Frank’s previous post on electronic dance music, you can read it here.
I figured in order to tap into my love of funk and soul music, I needed to start by imitating funk band singers I loved, such as Sly Stone, Al Green, Larry Graham, Prince, & D’Angleo. I spent quite a bit of time trying to imitate them and writing songs where I was trying to sound like them. I recorded an albums worth of stuff and was excited about the idea of releasing it – but something held me back. I couldn’t put my finger on it but something just didn’t feel right about releasing it. After taking some time to think on it and come back to it, I discovered that it just didn’t feel like it was my “own” voice. It felt like an impersonation. Which it was. Ultimately it took a bit of “soul” searching (pun intended) – but I realized through that experience, that impersonation was not my actual goal.