recording

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This time-proven approach can help keep vocal and guitar tracks at the fore.

Hello and welcome to another Dojo. This time, I’d like to explain sidechaining and how to use it on different sources for greater control and expressivity. Sidechaining typically involves routing the output of one track to control the dynamic range or volume of another track. Think of old-school radio broadcasts. Remember how every time the DJ spoke the music would “duck” or reduce in volume. This technique made a very quick transition into studio and live recordings, as mix engineers used it as a way to keep the lead vocalist on top of cymbal crashes, guitar solos, horns, background vocals, etc.

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Recording vocals and a flattop at the same time can be tricky for a number of reasons. Here are some techniques to try when attempting to mitigate the sometimes-conflicting concerns of this common studio scenario.

On a recent record I produced at Blackbird in Nashville, I had to track an artist who played acoustic guitar and sang at the same time. While not an infrequent occurrence by any means, it dawned on me that this would make a great Dojo topic. So, this month I'm going to share a technique that may help you achieve great results when this situation or similar ones arise.

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With automatic level setting, an omnidirectional condenser, and a pair of phantom-powered XLR inputs, iZotope's latest puts a lot of recording power into your iOS device.

It just ... works. Very good mic. Easy to setup.

App is iOS only.

$299

iZotope Spire Studio (2nd generation)
izotope.com

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Since COVID upended the world, nearly every serious musician I know has become at least slightly better at recording. And that uptick in engineering interest may make iZotope's second iteration of the Spire Studio portable multitrack recorder worth checking out for those looking to strike fast when they're inspired. I was up and tracking less than three minutes after unboxing the unit.

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