Recording Advice – Delicious Audio – The Stompbox Exhibit's official blog about Guitar Pedals and Effects http://pedals.thedelimagazine.com A blog and video aggregator about the best stompboxes and effect guitar pedals Tue, 23 Jan 2018 18:07:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.5 How to improve your tone with an EQ pedal (by Wampler) http://pedals.thedelimagazine.com/how-to-improve-your-tone-with-an-eq-pedal-by-wampler/ http://pedals.thedelimagazine.com/how-to-improve-your-tone-with-an-eq-pedal-by-wampler/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:18:11 +0000 http://pedals.thedelimagazine.com/?p=27327
How to improve your tone with an EQ pedal (by Wampler)
Pedal geeks on a constant quest to conquer their dream distorted tone try (and buy) pedal after pedal in search of "the sound in their heads." EQ pedals might sound like a boring option in the pool of exciting devices available out there, but they are actually a powerful tool in widening your pedalboard's palette or bringing out new subtleties out of your old effects.
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How to improve your tone with an EQ pedal (by Wampler)

Pedal geeks on a constant quest to conquer their dream distortion try (and buy) pedal after pedal in search of “the sound in their heads.”

EQ pedals might sound like a boring option in the pool of exciting devices available out there, but they are actually a powerful tool in widening your pedalboard’s palette or bringing out new subtleties out of your old effects.

This classic video from a few years ago by Brian Wampler demonstrates how some popular BOSS gain pedals can be fine tuned with the help of a simple – and utterly affordable – graphic EQ stompbox.

Needless to say, EQ pedals with more bands or more surgical parametric options open up even more possibilities.

Brian highlights 6 ways you can use an EQ to widen your sonic options, here’s the list to help you navigate the video:

1. EQ after OD to color it (boost bass & treble, tame mids) – 2:35
2. As a boost – 4:40
3. Boost into an OD/Distortion to get more gain – 5:00
4. A tighter boost before the OD/Distortion – 5.52
5. Always on on a clean tone
6. Run it into the amp’s effects loop to sculpt its distortion channel. – 8.30
7. Get a better sound at quieter volume – 10.45

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Recording Guitar Advice: the Importance of Phase http://pedals.thedelimagazine.com/recording-guitars-the-importance-of-phase/ http://pedals.thedelimagazine.com/recording-guitars-the-importance-of-phase/#comments Wed, 07 Jun 2017 19:59:19 +0000 http://www.delicious-audio.com/?p=2696
Recording Guitar Advice: the Importance of Phase
Most engineers and producers, to allow themselves more options at the mixing stage, record guitars (electric ones in particular) with two or more microphones placed at a different distance from the sound source. Shoegazer bands are particularly famous for using this technique, which indeed can help give the guitar a more roomy and open sound (if the mics are spread across the stereo field), but can also be problematic, because of a little mysterious word called “phase”.
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Recording Guitar Advice: the Importance of Phase

Most engineers and producers, to allow themselves more options at the mixing stage, record guitars (electric ones in particular) with two or more microphones placed at a different distance from the sound source. Shoegazer bands are particularly famous for using this technique, which indeed can help give the guitar a more roomy and open sound (if the mics are spread across the stereo field), but can also be problematic, because of a little mysterious word called “phase”.

We are about to walk you through a quick and easy experiment you can try at home that will open your eyes about how important phase is!

1. Place two mics in front of your amp: one very close to the cone and another one about 2 feet away.
2. Record an electric guitar part, preferably distorted chords or power chords.
3. After you record, change the two tracks’ settings so that they have roughly the same volume and position them both in the center of the stereo field so that you get a perfectly mono sound.
4. Now insert a short delay plug-in on the track of the closest mic,
5. Play the two tracks back together in a loop with the delay set at 0 ms (no delay) and every few seconds increase it 5 milliseconds at a time.
6. If you have a “phase reverse” button in your DAW, experiment with that as well.

You will notice that every time you change the delay the guitar tone you get will be slightly different. Reversing the phase might have even more drastic results. That is what “phase” does to your recorded guitar sound – or any other sound source for that matter. And that delay trick is used by many producers to get the right tone from a combination of mic sources.

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Mixing Drums Secrets: Eqing Overheads for Punch http://pedals.thedelimagazine.com/mixing-drums-secrets-eqing-overheads-for-punch/ http://pedals.thedelimagazine.com/mixing-drums-secrets-eqing-overheads-for-punch/#respond Mon, 15 Feb 2016 20:37:08 +0000 http://audio.thedelimagazine.com/?p=10191
Mixing Drums Secrets: Eqing Overheads for Punch
MarcMcClusky_profile[1] Getting drums to sound "BIG" is one of the most common goals of your average rock band so we thought you might find useful this advice on how to get that bombastic live drum sound directly from a guy (producer Marc McClusky) who mixed record by Weezer, Everclear, and Bad Religion among others.
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Mixing Drums Secrets: Eqing Overheads for Punch

Getting drums to sound “BIG” is one of the most common goals of your average rock band so we thought you might find useful this advice on how to get that bombastic live drum sound directly from a guy (producer Marc McClusky) who mixed record by Weezer, Everclear, and Bad Religion among others.

This snippet is part of Marc’s panel at the 2015 Brooklyn MixCon, you can see the entire video here.

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Pedal Tricks: The Shimmer Effect http://pedals.thedelimagazine.com/pedal-tricks-the-shimmer-effect/ http://pedals.thedelimagazine.com/pedal-tricks-the-shimmer-effect/#respond Thu, 18 Dec 2014 15:44:44 +0000 http://audio.thedelimagazine.com/?p=8470
Pedal Tricks: The Shimmer Effect

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A lot of cool stuff can be done using creative pedal routing. A common sonic technique employed by U2's The Edge among others is "The Shimmer," an effect that creates an ethereal string-like reverb under your guitar's regular signal.
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Pedal Tricks: The Shimmer Effect

“Shimmer” is a word that has become somewhat trendy in the stompbox realm, with many new stompboxes claiming to be able to reproduce the “shimmering effect.”

This effect, made famous by U2’s The Edge, creates an ethereal string-like reverb under your guitar’s regular signal and it’s actually something that can be done using creative pedal routing.

I set this effect up by taking a “dry out” from my pedalboard, running that through a volume pedal (in this case a Ernie Ball VP Junior) and then into patch 117 of a Digitech IPS 33 Intelligent Pitch Shifter – a harmonized delay.

The output of the pitch shifter will then go either into a separate amp or direct into the PA.

If you don’t have a dry out in your board you can use a standard A/B switch engaging both the A and B outputs. You can also use the “Octo” setting on a Line 6 Verbzilla pedal in place of the Digitech but I don’t think it sounds nearly as cool.

Play single notes or any arpeggiated pattern and slowly bring in the “Shimmer” with the volume pedal for a spacey celestial effect.

Of course the configuration of “The Shimmer” can be used for any other dramatic swelling effect, and it works particularly well with delays and reverbs. – Vinnie DeMasi

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A brief history of Lo-Fi music and DIY recordings http://pedals.thedelimagazine.com/a-brief-history-of-lo-fi-music-and-diy-recordings/ http://pedals.thedelimagazine.com/a-brief-history-of-lo-fi-music-and-diy-recordings/#respond Tue, 20 May 2014 15:26:46 +0000 http://audio.thedelimagazine.com/?p=7601
A brief history of Lo-Fi music and DIY recordings
DIY is a word that goes hand in hand with rock music. Read Delicious Audio's brief history of Lo-Fi music.
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A brief history of Lo-Fi music and DIY recordings

DIY is a word that goes hand in hand with rock music. Read Delicious Audio’s brief history of Lo-Fi music.

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Know Your Filters: Low Pass, Band Pass, High Pass, Resonance. http://pedals.thedelimagazine.com/production-advice-know-your-filters-low-pass-band-pass-high-pass-resonance/ http://pedals.thedelimagazine.com/production-advice-know-your-filters-low-pass-band-pass-high-pass-resonance/#respond Thu, 20 Feb 2014 23:50:52 +0000 http://audio.thedelimagazine.com/?p=6856
Know Your Filters: Low Pass, Band Pass, High Pass, Resonance.
Electronic music wouldn't sound much different from its electric sister if filters hadn't been invented. A filter is a frequency amplifier (or "tamer") device, i.e. an effect that operates on the frequencies of a sound - it can boost them, cut them or mute them, but it can't create ones that don't exist in the original. So it's basically just an EQ, although one that gets used for sci-fi sounding effects rather than for improving the quality of recordings (like during the mixing process).
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Know Your Filters: Low Pass, Band Pass, High Pass, Resonance.

Electronic music wouldn’t sound much different from its electric sister if filters hadn’t been invented. A filter is a frequency amplifier (or “tamer”) device, i.e. an effect that operates on the frequencies of a sound – it can boost them, cut them or mute them, but it can’t create ones that don’t exist in the original. So it’s basically just an EQ, although one that gets used for sci-fi sounding effects rather than for improving the quality of recordings (like during the mixing process).

There are 3 main types of filters: the Low-Pass (the most popular in electronic music) progressively cuts frequencies starting from the most trebly ones, while the High-Pass works the other way around. Both these filters have “cutting slopes” (called Q) that can be adjusted, so that the high or low frequencies are cut in a more or less radical (or steep) way. A Band-Pass filter instead incorporates both filters by only allowing a central frequency range to be played – therefore cutting both some high and some low frequencies.
Another concept you should be familiar with is Resonance, which is actually just another filter – a Peak Filter in this case –  that boosts frequencies right where the high or low pass filter are starting to cut them, creating some kind of wah-like effect that doesn’t seem to ever get old when applied to analog synths.
A lot of the fun of playing with filters is in playing them live, or – when recording – creating automation that modify the sounds in unexpected ways. The sonic possibilities opened by filters are endless – try them on anything, mastering the filters is crucial for any electronic musician. – PDG
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Recording Tips: Editing Live Drums http://pedals.thedelimagazine.com/recording-tips-editing-live-drums/ http://pedals.thedelimagazine.com/recording-tips-editing-live-drums/#comments Fri, 20 Dec 2013 16:32:58 +0000 http://audio.thedelimagazine.com/?p=6875
Recording Tips: Editing Live Drums
The average indie musician is way sloppier than - say - folk or metal ones, and although music fans into genres like lo fi and garage rock can cope with drumming that's not tight, it's not a good idea to have drums too out of time even on the most lo-fi of records. Also, unless you have a few extra hundred dollars to hand to your sound engineer to tighten the drum tracks, you should probably learn how to do it yourself. Ideally drums should be recorded to a click together with the bass, and both instrument tightened with editing before the other instruments are recorded. During editing, the click will allow you to have a visual reference of where the "perfect" tempo is compared to the drummer's hits. If the click isn't used, you'll have to adjust things relying exclusively on your sense of rhythm.
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Recording Tips: Editing Live Drums

The average indie musician is way sloppier than – say – folk or metal ones, and although music fans into genres like lo fi and garage rock can cope with drumming that’s not tight, it’s not a good idea to have drums too out of time even on the most lo-fi of records. Also, unless you have a few extra hundred dollars to hand to your sound engineer to tighten the drum tracks, you should probably learn how to do it yourself.

Ideally drums should be recorded to a click together with the bass, and both instrument tightened with editing before the other instruments are recorded. During editing, the click will allow you to have a visual reference of where the “perfect” tempo is compared to the drummer’s hits. If the click isn’t used, you’ll have to adjust things relying exclusively on your sense of rhythm.

The most important thing when editing multi-track drum recordings is to make sure you ALWAYS cut, paste and move around ALL the drum tracks at once – DAWs have ways to group them to facilitate this. After you do that you can start cutting and moving hits that are late or early, and replacing ones that are weak or bad. Click with the scissor icon on the single drum tracks (kick, snare, tom) rather than the overheads, since those get each sound a little later because they are farther from the source. Always make sure you do the cutting a few ms before the hits (see picture) and then – to “cut out” a hit – just before the next one.

If a gap is created when you move the hit earlier or later, cover it by extending the section of the sample that has silence on it – i.e. make the beginning of the following sample earlier, rather than extending the end of the hit you moved, because you’ll find another hit on the latter.

If the drum you are cutting has a long and bassy decay like a tom you may want to experiment with crossfades to make it sound as natural as possible. Editing one track separately from the group sound should be only a last resort measure – since this is something that might create weird phase related effects.

Crossfades help remove clicks and are crucial in editing, but with drums should be kept as short as possible, and away from the hits’ attack.

Also, don’t be afraid – occasionally – to replace entire drum parts with identical, better performed ones: As long as you avoid too rigid quantization and keep some of the human factor in the performance, nobody will realize the drums were edited.

For a cleaner sound – and to save hard disk space – you may want to delete all the tom section that don’t have any hits (toms might resonate during the performance, creating an unwanted boominess. This can also be achieved with a gate plug in, which “predicts” when the hits is coming – that way you don’t lose any of the attack).

If you recorded the bass together with the drums, I find it useful to create a copy of the bass track, group it with the drums and edit them together, keeping the original Bass track ungrouped for backup just in case.

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The Old-Timey Single Mic Technique http://pedals.thedelimagazine.com/the-old-timey-single-mic-technique/ http://pedals.thedelimagazine.com/the-old-timey-single-mic-technique/#comments Mon, 11 Nov 2013 20:28:19 +0000 http://audio.thedelimagazine.com/?p=6879
The Old-Timey Single Mic Technique
If you are into folk music, you may have noticed that more and more revival country bands share just one microphone on stage - we witnessed that ourselves when Spirit Family Reunion (pictured) played our NYC B.E.A.F. at Brooklyn Bowl last June. This is an old-fashioned technique that still works wonderfully (also visually) for a genre as communal as folk music, with the added bonus of allowing musicians to control their voices (and the lead instruments') volumes by moving closer or farther from the mic.
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The Old-Timey Single Mic Technique

If you are into folk music, you may have noticed that more and more revival country bands share just one microphone on stage – we witnessed that ourselves when Spirit Family Reunion (pictured) played our NYC B.E.A.F. at Brooklyn Bowl last June.

This is an old-fashioned technique that still works wonderfully (also visually) for a genre as communal as folk music, with the added bonus of allowing musicians to control their voices (and the lead instruments’) volumes by moving closer or farther from the mic.

To pull this off you’ll need a quality, large diaphragm cardioid condenser with good feedback rejection, placed at chin height in the middle of the musicians, facing them. Careful mic positioning is necessary to avoid feedback, while a slight boost of the lower frequency will compensate for the proximity effect typical of cardioid mics – where the farther the source, the thinner it sounds through the mic. Singing/playing at an angle will also allow for some natural EQ, since these mics filter out some high frequencies if you don’t sing right in front of them.

The one mic technique requires some learning though: Musicians should record their rehearsals through the mic to get an idea of what placement and distance they should have from the mic – not only in each song, but also in each song section.

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5 Tips to Buying a Used or Vintage Acoustic Guitar http://pedals.thedelimagazine.com/5-tips-to-buying-a-used-or-vintage-acoustic-guitar/ http://pedals.thedelimagazine.com/5-tips-to-buying-a-used-or-vintage-acoustic-guitar/#comments Tue, 29 Oct 2013 18:25:04 +0000 http://audio.thedelimagazine.com/?p=5958
5 Tips to Buying a Used or Vintage Acoustic Guitar

Used and vintage acoustic guitars can be your best friend or worst enemy. Obviously nothing is more important than how the guitar sounds and feels in your hands, but here are a few tips to make sure the guitar is in good structural shape.
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5 Tips to Buying a Used or Vintage Acoustic Guitar

Used and vintage acoustic guitars can be your best friend or worst enemy. Obviously nothing is more important than how the guitar sounds and feels in your hands, but here are a few tips to make sure the guitar is in good structural shape.

Bridge and Saddle – The first thing I look at when I am considering buying a guitar for my shop is the bridge. I make sure that it’s flush against the top of the guitar and not lifting or cracked. There should be no space anywhere between the bottom of the bridge and the top of the guitar. Use a metro card, and try to slide it under the bridge if you are not sure. Once you’ve made sure the bridge is in good shape, check the saddle to make sure that there is some room to lower it if you want to. If the saddle is all the way down, it can be a sign that the neck angle may be a problem.

Neck Angle & Neck Joint – The neck angle on any guitar is very important, and will determine if the guitar can be properly set up. Sight the guitar from the headstock to the bridge. The top of the fret board should make a straight line to the top of the bridge and the bottom and the saddle. The neck should be straight or mostly straight with just a slight amount of relief. Check the neck joint, and make sure the neck is tightly glued into the body. Any space between the neck and body is a big problem.

Braces – Forgetting to check the braces can be a costly mistake. Tap the top and back of the guitar lightly with your knuckle. A loose brace will rattle if you tap the wood above it.

Frets – Make sure that the frets are smooth and level, and don’t have indentations or divots in them, and that there’s enough height to the frets to grind and polish the divots if you need to. Usually, you can tell if the frets need work just by playing the guitar. Play a chromatic scale up the neck on every string, and make sure every fret sounds clean without buzzing or fretting out.

Cracks – Look the guitar over for open cracks. Old acoustic guitars can often have cracks in the body. In general, if the cracks are properly repaired, there isn’t much to worry about. If the guitar has any cracks, gently push down on the crack, and make sure that there is no movement. In general, body cracks are much less worrisome than neck cracks. If the guitar has a neck or headstock crack, just make sure it was repaired well, and ask for $100 off the price because it affects the value. – Sam Taylor (Southside Guitars, Brooklyn)

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Human Factor in Electronic Drum Loops http://pedals.thedelimagazine.com/human-factor-in-electronic-drum-loops/ http://pedals.thedelimagazine.com/human-factor-in-electronic-drum-loops/#comments Mon, 16 Sep 2013 22:15:36 +0000 http://audio.thedelimagazine.com/?p=6564
Human Factor in Electronic Drum Loops
My feeling as a music producer is that in Electronic Music today there is WAAAY too much to-the-beat quantization. For the uninitiated, “quantizing” is the process of aligning the hits of a musical phrase to the song tempo and its subdivisions (quarters, eights of a note etc). Sure, there are plenty of people out there who are happy to dance to the strict “uhmp-tz-uhmps” embedded in the majority of dance tracks. But why not try to feed the crowd something that’s even more contagious in setting booties in motion?
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Human Factor in Electronic Drum Loops


My feeling as a music producer is that in Electronic Music today there is WAAAY too much to-the-beat quantization. For the uninitiated, “quantizing” is the process of aligning the hits of a musical phrase to the song tempo and its subdivisions (quarters, eights of a note etc). Sure, there are plenty of people out there who are happy to dance to the strict “uhmp-tz-uhmps” embedded in the majority of dance tracks. But why not try to feed the crowd something that’s even more contagious in setting booties in motion?

The syncopation found in funk, hip hop and Afrobeat drumming makes those genres so much more compelling to dance to, and with today’s technologies, you don’t really need a human drummer to emulate that.

My advice to the up-and-coming EDM producer is to initially work on drum loops separately from the tracks. Make a selection of drum hits and existing loops that you like, and create combinations of them, slowly building your own library and paying particular attention to how slight delays on the various beats and backbeats affect the way the drum pattern “feels.”

It’s always good to keep the first hit (normally a kick) perfectly quantized to the first beat to keep the rhythm consistent, but you can experiment with pretty much any other tempo subdivision – and don’t forget about the triplet option, which can introduce a completely unexpected element.

Most modern sequencers allow you to lay down the samples on a grid, zoom in, cut and move the elements around, while some let you use and create quantizing templates that can automatically apply a more or less noticeable syncopation to your loops. In the EDM genre, nailing a drum loop is already a big step towards a dance-floor hit, and syncopation is an element no electronic producer should overlook.

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