Sunday, January 29, 2017

Guitar Tuners: 4 Different Types for Guitar and Bass Players

A guitar tuner is essential for every guitar and bass player to keep in tune. There are many tuners available that are good in different situations. If you’re looking for a new tuner, we recommend a chromatic tuner that will display the nearest note. They also tell you how sharp or flat your string is. When choosing the right style of tuner, we recommend considering when and how you’ll be using it.

Snark SN5X Clip-On Tuner

One option to tune a guitar is a clip on tuner, such as the Snark SN5X Clip-On Tuner. These tuners clip on the headstock and detect pitch through a vibration sensor. They have a bright display to show your current note and pitch to make it easy to read. Clip on tuners work great, since background noise isn’t able to interfere with the vibrations in the guitar. They also don’t require anything to plug in so they work with electric and acoustic guitars.

Korg TM50 Combo Tuner

The Korg TM50 Combo Tuner is also a great solution. It has a ¼” input so you can use it with a guitar or bass. There’s also a microphone for acoustic guitars. This tuner has an easy to use display, but it’s not visible from a distance. This makes it great for practicing, but not live performances. There’s also a built-in metronome, making it easy to practice on beat.

Boss TU3 Chromatic Tuner Pedal

If you’re looking for a tuner for on-stage, a pedal tuner is a good choice. We recommend the Boss TU3 Chromatic Tuner Pedal. This tuner works like any other pedal. Simply press it down to activate. The bright lights are easily visible on stage. The tuner cuts out the signal so the audience can’t hear you tuning.

Korg PB05 Rackmount Tuner

If you're a professional musician, we recommend the Korg PB05 Rackmount Tuner. It is rackmountable and works great for studio or live performance playing. This is great for setups involving rack guitar amps. Since it requires a signal to be plugged in, this can't be used with acoustic guitars unless they have a pickup. It also isn’t very portable, so we don't recommend it as a practice tuner. With its larger size, this tuner is also very visible. You'll easy be able to see it on stage at a distance.

There are many more guitar tuners available, such as those built into an acoustic guitar or phone applications. We’ve decided to cover these standalone tuners, since they can be used by anyone.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

5 Kindle Books Everyone Recording Music Should Read

Kindle Music Recording Books
Learning music recording and mixing can be a long and difficult process. Though practice is a great way to improve, there’s also some knowledge you’ll need to be successful. Recording books are definitely a good place to start.

If you’re planning on getting into music recording and production, these are a few recording books we recommend you read. These books cover everything from tracking instruments, to advanced mixing techniques.

Recording Secrets for the Small Studio

The first book we recommend is Recording Secrets for the Small Studio by Mike Senior. This book is specifically targeted at home recording. It focuses on how to get the most out of budget equipment instead of focusing on expensive preamps and microphones. Not only is this book a good start, but it also covers the pros and cons of advanced techniques. It will focus on some common mistakes made in a small studio environment. It also covers the importance of recording it right the first time instead of fixing it in the mix.

Modern Recording Techniques

Another book we recommend is Modern Recording Techniques by David Mules Huber and Robert E. Runstein. This is a book for more advanced recording. It has a heavy focus on different types of equipment as well as recording studio design. There is also focus on topics such as acoustics as well as running a recording studio as a business. Though targeted more at professionals, there is definitely some useful information that can help guide you when designing your studio.

Mixing Audio: Concepts, Practices, and Tools

If you’re looking to learn advanced mixing techniques, Mixing Audio: Concepts, Practices, and Tools by Roey Izhaki is a good choice. This book starts off with the basics, such as how to use different tools such as compression, equalization, and reverb. It also covers how to properly monitor your mix, with consideration given to your monitor speakers, room, and headphones. The book concludes with a few examples of different mixes and how you can get the same results. Learning the mixing process and workflow to get a final product is an invaluable skill in the home studio.

The Art of Equalization

During the mixing process, equalization is basically the most important tool you have access to. It allows you to cut and boost frequencies, giving each instrument their individual space in the frequency spectrum and allowing them to all work together without clashing. The Art of Equalization by Thomas Juth covers how to use equalization to clean up your mix. This will allow you to make clearer mixes and work quicker in a home studio.

56 Mix Tips for the Small Recording Studio: Practical Techniques to Take Your Mixes to the Next Level

Those who are just looking for quick mixing tips, should consider reading 56 Mix Tips for the Small Recording Studio by Amos Clarke. These tips are easy to use, and there’s no need to read each tip. Simply find something describes a result you’re looking for and follow the tips to carry it out.

We hope these recording books will benefit you, and increase your home recording skills. Just remember that even though they provide useful information, there's no substitute for practice!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Virtual Reality Headsets: 3 Options to Experience VR on Your Phone for Under $30

Virtual Reality Headset
With technology quickly advancing in virtual reality, many people may want to experience what all the hype is about. Virtual reality headsets allow for full immersion. Simply strap on the headset and look around!

Virtual reality headsets work by showing a separate image to each eye, making things look 3D. The image is displayed on a cell phone which is placed in the headset.

One difference between the cell phone based VR headsets and those that use a computer is motion tracking. Headset VR systems rely solely on the motion tracking capabilities of the phone. Computer systems have more complex tracking to detect the headset position. Also, cell phones don’t have as much graphics power as a computer, so the virtual reality environment is usually not dynamic. Changing your head position changes the location that the images are rendered from. This requires more processing power.

Though many high end VR systems provide great results to gamers, they are expensive and require powerful computers. Luckily, there are a few cheaper options available that only require a smartphone running iOS or Android. Though mobile VR headsets aren't made for intense gaming, they're a great way for anyone to experience virtual reality.

There are a few different options available for mobile virtual reality, but we’ll be sticking to those that are under $30. These headsets have different features and quality, so we’ll do our best to cover which ones are a good deal. It’s important to keep in mind that though there are many headsets available, not all are a good choice. Lots of companies write fake reviews to increase their sales.

Google Cardboard

At the low end is a product that started the mobile VR revolution, the Google Cardboard. This low cost option consists of a folded piece of cardboard that holds the phone and two lenses. The current Google Cardboard has cut out for the nose and face and there's no padding. This system isn't exactly the most comfortable option available. The Google Cardboard supports many Android or iOS phones with a screen size of 4 to 6 inches. The headset holds the phone in with a piece of Velcro, so it's unlikely to fall out. The Google Cardboard has no way to adjust the lens position; this is a problem that may cause vision issues for some users.

One of the main drawbacks of Google Cardboard is that it doesn’t have a strap. This means that you’ll need to be holding it against your face the entire time you use it.

View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack

The View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack is a more durable mobile VR headset. This headset is made out of a plastic, and will be much tougher than Google Cardboard. This headset is also more comfortable. The View-Master headset supports many different iOS and Android apps, so it can be used with almost any phone. There’s also a lever to make changes within an app without taking the phone out of the headset. Keep in mind this feature doesn't work with all phones. Similar to the Google Cardboard, there's no way to adjust the lenses, so it won’t be right for everyone.

Leelbox 3D VR

The Leelbox 3D VR is one of better options for cheap virtual reality. This headset is made out of plastic and appears to be fairly durable. Unlike the other options, it features a strap, so there's no need to hold it. There’s also soft padding where the headset comes into contact with the face, making using this headset a comfortable experience.

This headset has adjustable lenses for pupil distance and focal distance for distortion-free viewing by people with different eyes. This product is compatible with just about any smartphone front 4.7-6.0”. It also supports many VR apps such as Google Cardboard and Google Streetview. The VersionTech headset also has holes in the side, allowing the phone to remain cool. In addition, the holes allow you to plug in headphones while using the headset.

Virtual reality is a great experience, and we definitely recommend a mobile VR headset. These allow anyone to experience virtual reality with their cell phone, without an expensive computer.