Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Like a Rolling Stone, Dylan Hits 70!

Bob Dylan's 70th Birthday celebration TODAY, (May 24th), wouldn't be complete without his music.  Here Highway 61 Revisited does his perennial favorite, Like a Rolling Stone.
Highway 61 Revisited, the world's ONLY Bob Dylan Tribute Band performs this month at BB King's Blues Club in NYC, NY so check the CONCERTS listing at the bottom of the webpage.  Notice: Copyright music and lyrics reproduced by kind permission of Special Rider -- for original, exclusive
performances by Bob Dylan, check-out the official channel at www.youtube.com/bobdylan.

Joel Gilbert - lead vocals on a Gibson J-50

John JJ Jackson lead guitar Gretsch Arch Top

Monday, May 9, 2011

Home Recording Studio Basics: BOSS BR-1200CD

Studio equipment tips to make your next CD / Mp3 recording project a success!

If you are just starting to think about a home recording studio to make your musical ideas come to life, getting a stand alone portable digital recorder is a good place to start. You'll want a system that will grow with you so don't worry if things like mastering and recording drum and bass tracks are not top priorities right now. They will be more important later so it is best to invest in a recorder that has at least 8 tracks.
I chose the CD burning feature of the BR-1200CD 12 track digital recorder because it allows me complete control over my production from first idea to finished disc. I can also quickly provide producers or venues with a sample CD on demand in minutes. No minimum orders! Of course many pros will simply exchange MP3 files but often times the sound quality will only be as good as the receiving end's laptop or MP3 player.
A CD can travel easily in a car where is when most agents would have the time to listen to it.

Here are some of other features of the BR-1200CD from the BOSS website:
From guitar pick to compact disc, the BR-1200CD can turn your ideas into radio-quality songs with power and ease. Packed with great COSM® effects and amp models derived from BOSS’s GT-6/6B multi-effects processors, plus a great-sounding bass and drum rhythm programmer for instant backing tracks, the BR-1200CD is the friendliest and most comprehensive hard disk recorder on the market.
  • 12-track playback with 192 V-Tracks
  • Fast drum pattern creation with EZ Compose
  • Vocal harmony generator and pitch correction
  • USB port for file sharing with computers
  • CD-R/RW drive
Now if you are someone like myself who has had very little if any experience in digital recording, you'll find the BR-1200CD to be pretty intuitive and easy to use. The microphone and guitar jacks are logically placed in both the front and back of the unit. The only thing is with this model, you can only record two tracks at a time. It really isn't a major problem for me because I prefer to layer or over-dub my tracks anyway. That way if the last set of tracks you recorded doesn't sound right, you can scrap it without killing all of the tracks you've recorded prior.

The BR-1200CD has great built in effects for both vocals and guitar. It will even accommodate a phantom powered mic but you will need to make that adjustment within the system itself. I would seriously consider upgrading to a condenser mic for use with this recorder especially if you are looking for warm clear vocals to stand out in the mix. I've used the Audio Technica ATM710 and AT2021 condensers with this recorder and have been blown away by the presence and richness they offer over dynamics. I can't wait to find out how the new Audio Technica-4081 Ribbon Mic will perform with this unit but I'm eager to experiment. Read our recent Review of the AT-4081!

Just like any other technology, there are nuances and a learning curve in the art of recording. Starting off with quality, all in one solutions means your recording studio will be less "Rube Goldberg-ish" and streamlined to get your projects out the door like a professional. I would also recommend purchasing the BR1200CD Instructional DVD shown in the banner ad section on the left. It can help cut to the chase and quickly get around the recorder. Here is another review featuring the instruments we've recorded with the BR-1200CD!
The BOSS BR-1200CD on the job in the studio along with the BOSS DR-880 Drum & Bass Machine. All in one, stand alone digital recording studios like this means less chance that you will loose your precious music files due to your lap-top crashing. A 40 GB hard drive on the BR-1200CD gives you more than enough room to create, edit and store your music. Retails for $1052.00, Street $899.00, (Sweetwater). Headphones: ATH-M50's by Audio Technica