I have not been blogging for a while, but it was all for a good cause – the development and release of a recording and mixing piece of software. Creating this software took a while, but it was worth doing. I learned a lot and I can finally "put my money where my mouth is". Orinj is not yet released. Hopefully it will be by the time you read this post.
This blog initially was about recording on the cheap. And mixing with the Line 6 PODxt is cheap. We use the POD mainly to get a good reverb and some equalizing and we do not want to pay for alternatives.
I have been eyeing the Pantheon reverb plug-in that came with my Lexicon soundcard forever now, wanting to test it and write a review. I just installed it and the task of writing a review seems daunting. This is a reverb with many options, various presets, and more controls than I expected. I am sure that whatever I write below will turn out incomplete, but here it goes:
Some time ago I wrote about ordering a new strat neck from Warmoth Direct. I ordered a maple-rosewood neck, with boat contour, brass/nickel medium jumbo frets, compound radius, corian nut, a truss rod, no binding, clear gloss finish, etc. The neck arrived promptly, looked just as I ordered, and felt as I expected. The rosewood looked a bit cracked, but maybe that is just the way it was supposed to be. There was one problem with the neck though: the keys were not mounted on.
In an attempt to get some interesting sounds out of a reverb, whether useful or not, I decided to experiment. To give credit where credit is due, I did spend some time reading articles on harmony-central.com about various properties of what I would consider non-natural reverbs.
I still want to write some more about reverb, but I decided that now will be a good time to take a break. So I will write a bit about my newest purchase – a custom made neck for my strat.
My last post was about reverb, but I managed to cover only the properties of the natural reverb and to talk a bit about the digital reverbs that we chose. Here is some information about the "unnatural" – i.e., simulated – reverb.
Reverb? Sure, but how much and which one? Reverb is needed. Our biggest mistake when releasing our first album was leaving it semi- dry and boring. We should have added more reverb to our songs. First, our songs would have been livelier as that is what reverb does – it simulates the real life effects of a sound in a room, a club, or a concert hall. Second and equally important – most music that we listen to has reverb artificially added and so that is what our listeners are used to. Our songs sounded "unnatural" with little reverb.
To be sure, contemporary home studio equalization uses digital equalizers. A couple of years ago, when I was trying to design a couple of equalizers, I finally understood what they actually do, so perhaps before we go into how we use equalization we should talk a bit about digital equalizers.
Panning is one way to separate clashing instruments. Equalizing is another. Equalization changes the amplitude of various frequencies in the sound mix. Some people even swear that equalization creates the perception of moving instruments up and down in the mix (as opposed to panning, which moves them left and right). Is that even possible? Perhaps. Having different instruments occupy different frequency ranges definitely makes them more distinct in the mix.