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Cheap Advice On Live Sound
48 Tips To Make Your Band Sound Better
(pdf format)

This is the real deal. You get 48 full-length articles from the Cheap Advice Guy covering all aspects of setting up and running a live sound system for a band.

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Making Your CD’s Song Titles Appear In iTunes

Home Recording No Comments

So you finally finished recording enough songs for a CD of your music. Or maybe your band has accumulated enough decent live recordings to collect onto a “Promo CD” to show off the band. You’ve burned the CD and made a few copies, you’ve even printed up some cover art. Wow! You’re ready to roll. Or are you?

If this were 1997, hey, you would be good to go. But as they say, that was then, this is now. Now, the very fact that you are putting your music on a CD is considered somewhat retro! Most people will either play your CD on a laptop or other computer or, more likely, they will import it into iTunes, where your songs will get mixed in with all the songs by Arcade Fire or Jefferson Airplane or whatever they have on there.

Here’s the problem. When you first pop your home-burned CD into your MacBook, iTunes comes up, ready to import. But what are these song titles it’s showing? Instead of “Dreams Of Saskatchewan”, the first song seems to be called “Track 01″. The second song is “Track 02″, that’s not right either. They’re all like that!

What’s more, if you put your CD into a regular CD player, perhaps in your car or home theater system (remember, DVD players will play CDs), it will not display the song titles like it does when you put in the latest Jack White CD. How could it? You haven’t told it what they are!

The fact is, if you don’t do something about this, the appeal of your CD could be greatly reduced, especially for habitual downloaders. So, you’re saying, how can I get the correct song titles to appear when I import my CD under iTunes or play it in a player?

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Use Your Laptop As A Synthesizer - Live!

Live Sound 3 Comments

If you use your laptop and your favorite recording software as the basis for your home studio (like I do), you are accustomed to the idea of playing your studio keyboard and recording the part as a MIDI track, giving you the flexibility of assigning a new voice to the already-played part right up to the time when you mix the song.

But has it occurred to you to use that same recording software to turn your MIDI-ready keyboard into a synthesizer with all the latest and greatest voices that you could play as part of a live show? Me neither! (Until recently.) Here’s how to do it.

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It’s a Recorder! It’s an Interface! It’s the Zoom R16!

Home Recording 3 Comments

I got into computerized recording fairly recently, finally scrapping my trusty (or more accurately, dying) Yamaha MD8 (an 8-track MiniDisc recorder) and substituting a MacBook laptop running GarageBand, Logic Express, and Cubase. A quick rainy weekend spent rewiring the whole studio and I was ready to go!

To get audio in and out of the laptop, I bought an Audio Genie Pro two-channel interface from American Audio. (See my article A Simple Audio Interface For Your Computer for more info about this device.) The Audio Genie Pro’s two-channel limitation was not really a problem, since I usually only record one thing at a time anyway, even if there is another musician with me, which there usually isn’t.

A problem arose, though, when I went to transfer dozens of unfinished 8-track songs from the MD8 to the laptop before bagging the old gear. The MD8 lacks a digital output, and with only a 2-lane “audio highway” leading into the laptop via the Audio Genie Pro it would take four passes to transfer each song. Plus, the resulting tracks would have to be painstakingly realigned on the computer to bring them back into time sync. There had to be a better way!

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Tips On Songwriting Home Recording Tips Live Sound Tips