recording tips

Don’t wait ’til mixing to get a great tone. Record your sound as best as you can to make your tracks shine.

Recording bass can be a challenging task. Whether we are talking about a natural, woody upright-bass tone that balances well within a jazz quartet, or a nice, round electric tone with definition and copious amounts of low end for “modern” situations, the science behind how to achieve these sounds has eluded more than a few engineers and players. As both a player and as a recording and mixing engineer, I wanted to pass on a few tips that have served me well over the years.

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A reverb tip from the playbook of legendary engineer Al Schmitt.

Hi everyone, and welcome to another Dojo. This time, I want to focus on the creative possibilities of using multiple reverb buses to spice up your tracks and mixes.

The first time I heard of this concept (many years ago) was through the legendary engineer Al Schmitt, who recorded Duke Ellington, Elvis Presley, Jefferson Airplane, George Benson, Toto, Steely Dan, Vince Gill, and Michael Jackson, to name a few. He also mixed well over 150 gold and platinum records. When he talked, people listened. Especially me. A couple of years ago, I was fortunate enough to spend four days filming him while he engineered and mixed an album from start to finish at Blackbird. Whenever he was waiting for some gear to get set up, or the band to arrive, I would express my deep appreciation for the records he engineered/produced and ask him questions. This article is based on part of one of those conversations. So, tighten up your belts. The Dojo is now open.

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Image 1: Impulse response reverbs like Audio Ease’s Altiverb excel at cloning real acoustic spaces.

The entire world of ’verb—from traditional to extreme—really does lie at your fingertips. Here’s how to access it.

This article is for recording guitarists eager to make the most of reverb plug-ins. We’ll explore the various reverb types, decode the controls you’re likely to encounter, and conclude with some suggestions for cool and creative reverb effects.

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