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The Unique Geek

The Unique Geek
November 16, 2011

What’s a preamp? And why do I need one?

When I used to think of preamps, I used to think of them as a lifeless utility device. I suppose they are, ultimately – I’ve never had a conversation with one and they do serve a function. But, preamps also have their own personalities. Let’s go back to how I first really knew they existed.

Way back in time (a land before the laptop computer) I owned an acoustic guitar and bought a pickup to put in the guitar because I was too broke to own both an acoustic and an electric. But, recording the guitar was always awful because I captured a ton of noise and it was always so darned quiet. I don’t even want to tell you what I was recording on, it’s too dark, I can’t go back there – just know that there were about 10 people recording audio on the computer back then and …

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The Unique Geek

The Unique Geek
September 12, 2011

What’s the right DAW Software for me?

It is time for the masses to rise and say, “enough!” Are you like me? Are you sick of reading product reviews, spec sheets and talking to professionals about which interface may be right for you? If so, this is the article for you.

Who are the best people to ask?

First of all, if you are blessed with an uncle who never married, squeezes into his Kia, works part-time as a security guard at Walgreens and is secretly smarter than everyone else alive – consider yourself lucky. This is just the type of person that you need to approach with this quandary. Even if your personal expert never completed a song after using their favorite DAW for the past seven years, they know an awful lot. The person who has used Sonar for years and once used Cubase may still be an expert at Cubase. So, don’t discount their …

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The Unique Geek

The Unique Geek
September 7, 2011

Examining Mobile Studios: Idea or Reality

There was a lofty dream sold ages ago to musicians. As early as ten years ago you started to see the prospect of putting the music studio in your backpack. We began seeing images of people sitting in the subway stations making beats and countless hippies frolicking in the woods with their acoustic guitars and recording their inspiration instantaneously. If you were quick to jump on this train, like me, and gave up that dream after numerous issues – give it a try again. It’s like “plug-n-play.” That term originated during Windows 95 days. Us clever geeks snickered amongst ourselves because we came up with the term “plug-n-pray.” Is there nothing funnier than computer humor? LOL. Plug-n-play never became a reality until the past few years. You can actually plug in many devices and just use them as they have their drivers sitting on the USB chipset itself, for instance. …

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The Unique Geek

The Unique Geek
July 21, 2011

What to Listen for in Recording Monitors

One thing people often take for granted when they first put together their home, project or pimp studio is the importance of great recording monitors. Most folks, when they start recording on their own, worry about what software they’ll use. Next, you fret over the recording interface. Soon, before you know it, you’re strung out on getting more and more microphones. All the while, you are just using speakers from a Craigslist find – 1997 monitors that were cheap back in 1997.

I’ve made this mistake, for far too long. Every few years, I’d make a small upgrade from the previous pair. With each new monitor pair, I increasingly began hearing what was truly going on. One day you’ll get to a point where you are comfortable with your monitors – you’ve “learned them.” There is a lot to be said for “learning your monitors”, it’s crucial. But, what does …

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The Unique Geek

The Unique Geek
June 1, 2011

ReMess Up Your Audio

Are you like millions of other Americans? Do you have a guitar effects processor and would like to spruce up your love life/guitar tracks? Do you find it hard to concentrate at work because your synth parts aren’t “sick?” Well if this sounds like you then stay tuned for the next 30 minutes to learn how you can bring that spark back to your love life and audio tracks. [Note: this won’t take 30 minutes and “millions” of Americans is probably an exaggeration.]

 

Why are you chasing around more plug-ins? Well, for one they are cool and keep sounding better with each passing year. But, if you already own an external effects processor/sound mangler then it’s time to start using that, too, in your arsenal of effects for a mix.

There is a reason why we have interfaces with so many outs. You have 8 outs, say, because you …