MIDI Step Sequencer For iPad

There are so many cool music making and recording apps for the iPad that it's hard to keep up with them all. Here is a recent one that is a 4-track MIDI sequencer called the Nord Beat CoreMIDI Step Sequencer. IF you don't know what sequencer does - well, it's sort of like the drum machines of old (though the sounds a sequencer uses don't have to be drums). There is a tempo and time signature you can assign to a box (in this case, an iPad app). Then there are buttons that correspond to up to 16 beats in one "sequence." You can assign a sound - usually a drum hit - to each button to create a pattern over the sequence. Then you can build songs by stitching together a bunch of sequences. Anyway, here is some info on the Nord Beat: … [Read more...]

What Kind Of Headphones Does Ryan Beatty Wear In AT&T Commercial?

Ryan Beatty is wearing a pair of Skullcandy Uprock headphones I here recent commercial For the AT&T No Text Pledge. The Uprocks are lightweight stylish, excellent sounding headphones. The 40mm drivers make for great sounding bass and high-end detail. They also use the handy tangle-free flat cable with a 1/8th inch gold connector plug. These are simple, straightforward headphones that don't have active noise cancellation or ipod/phone control or anything like that.  Consequently they are MUCH more affordable than those other headphones (such as Beats by Dr. Dre) at just about $25. To find out more or get your own, click here. … [Read more...]

Using The Appegiator Function in Pro Tools Vacuum Synth

As of version 8 of Pro Tools (current version is Pro Tools 10), there is an analog synthesizer plugin called Vacuum added to the other virtual instruments in the software.  Wink Sound does a regular "how to" video series on You Tube, and here is one of their tutorials on how to use the appegiator tool in Vacuum.  BTW, an arpeggio is basically just playing the single notes in a chord, one after the other, instead of playing all the notes at the same time as is normal when you play a chord. Here's the link to the video: http://youtu.be/SVyqlMpTRJo … [Read more...]

Home Recording Studios Challenging Commercial Studios in Nashville And Beyond

This is an awesome article about the power of home recording studios and their ability to stand up to the large commercial studios. The Tennessean Music Team wrote about several examples of home studios, along with responses from representatives of the big commercial studios about this trend. I have long been a believer that you can, with the right knowledge and gear (and not even very expensive gear anymore!) record and produce audio on computer-based studios that sounds as good as the stuff coming out of commercial studios.  Here is more proof. Read the full article here: http://blogs.tennessean.com/tunein/2012/09/16/home-recording-studios-challenge-the-majors/ … [Read more...]

What Do You Most Want To Know About Home Recording?

Our mission at Home Brew Audio is to provide you with resources (tutorials, articles, gear reviews, tips and techniques, etc.) to help you achieve your goals and dreams.  For some, that will be recording their music so they they can release their own songs or CDs, record demos and auditions, etc.  For others, it might be to start a voice-over career - getting paid to be the voice behind radio or TV ads, e-Learning videos, audio books, documentaries, video games, etc.  And for some it might mean putting out more professional sounding podcasts, YouTube videos, webinars, sales videos, etc. Either way, there are so many topics out there for us to write about and create tutorials around that I thought it was time to ask you directly what you would like to learn.  If you ask us for it, we … [Read more...]

SMPTE Timecode And Synchronization

Here is an article about synchronizing recording devices so that there is a common time reference for all machines and people involved in a recording project involving either just audio, or both audio and video.  In the days of tape recording (and for those who still use tape) it was common to "stripe" the tape with SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) time code, essentially using up one of your precious available tracks, for the sole purpose of providing the common time reference, which was really handy if you were using several MIDI instruments. For many of us recording on our computers, this is not as necessary anymore.  And a lot of us will never use it, especially those of us recording solely for voice-over applications.  But it is always good for the … [Read more...]

Home Recording Reference In The Movie The Vow

I was watching the movie, The Vow (with Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams) last night and wanted to report another pop-culture reference to audio recording - specifically home recording versus commercial recording studios. Leo (Tatum's character) is explaining to Paige's (McAdams) parents that he runs a recording studio in Chicago, and that Paige had convinced him to turn it into a business. To that, Ryan (Dillon Casey), Paige's sister's soon-to-be brother-in-law, asks: "Isn't that sort of a dying field? No, I just mean - can't people record things on their computers at home and they sound just as good?" Leo replies: It may be a dying field, and you can record high quality stuff at home. But come on. You can't get the Sun sessions on your laptop." Well, Te Sun sessions, in my … [Read more...]

The Secret To Good Quality Audio On Your Home Recording Studio

Everyone has their favorite tool for doing certain kinds of jobs. For example, I use the large chef’s knife to slice tomatoes, but my wife likes the paring knife for the same job. They both work. And if I lost my knife, I could use my wife’s. Nobody likes change, but at the end of the day, as long as you know what the job is (smite the tomato into tiny pieces), any knife will do. What does this have to do with recording audio at home? Here’s what. Surf around the internet for advice on setting up a home recording studio and you’ll get all kinds of advice about what gear you NEED to have. If you look at the blogs and forums where continuing tips and tricks are being doled out, you’ll find that most of the time, the advice is how to use a certain piece of gear or software. That’s great if … [Read more...]

Home Recording Awesomeness – Virtual Instruments

Professional sounding audio recording is not as dependent on money (for good gear, studio musicians, commercial studios, etc.) like it was for so many years. Now you can produce pro audio right from your computer without having to spend much (or any) money at all. This new technology has also made it possible to record instruments for your music that you don't actually have.  You can have drums, piano, trumpets, guitars, etc. playing in your song without knowing how to play these instruments or without having someone else play them.  Sounds impossible, right?  Well that's the magic of virtual instruments. Real Virtual Instruments I'm sure you're familiar with the typical sounds a computer plays when a MIDI file is launched (for a review of what MIDI is, see our article: MIDI Recording – … [Read more...]

Is EQ Really Necessary?

Someone asked this question over at the Home Recording Forum: If you're getting the right tone from the start when you record, for example using the tone control on the guitar and its amplifier, why is EQ needed in mixing? I've read a bunch of articles singing the praises of EQ, but in the mixes I made I didn't touch it and they worked fine. I think I only used it once, to round off some top end on a guitar that was annoyingly bright. Why is it considered so important? I answered the question with the following: You're right about EQ's necessity if you get the tones right at the source. Ideally it should not be needed, especially if you only have one or two tracks to deal with (say a voice over with some royalty-free music). Many folks over-use EQ to "fix" bad recording … [Read more...]