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Introducing Yamaha's MODX Synthesizers: Sound in Motion
Yamaha's MODX synthesizers are built on a legacy of some of the most influential synthesizers and workstations ever created. From the MOTIF XF and MX Series to the flagship MONTAGE series, Yamaha synthesizers have been found on countless stages and used in a wide range of productions. 
  • Legendary composer Igor Stravinsky talked at length about a phenomenon known as the “Terror of the Blank Page,” which emphasizes the challenge of beginning any creative process. Similar to an empty sheet of staff paper, a recording is essentially a blank slate—a place to invent something from nothing.
  • Likely, the most subjective microphone placement in all of recording is the room mic for a drum set (or perhaps a room mic for any instrument setup for that matter).  As with any recording, the sound concept you have in mind should lead the decision making process.  In other words, what is the intent?
  • If you’re finding yourself with a limited budget resulting in limited gear, you’re certainly not alone.  The good news is technology has come a long way from the days of being limited to any sort of multi-track recording outside a 4-track recorder.  Now, the most cost effective of digital audio workstations, paired with the power of today’s computers, provide us all with nearly unlimited options for recording multiple tracks, multiple takes, and multiple versions.  However, even with these advantages, we still need a decent instrument and decent microphones to lay a strong foundation for a finished record.  Thankfully, almost all live instruments can be recorded with just one or two microphones. 

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Gear Tips

Recording Guitar: Do I Really Need All This Gear?
All that’s required to record guitar is you, your electric guitar (or acoustic/electric), a cable and a computer with some freemium digital recording software. However, amps, mics, external preamps and other gear play a crucial part in crafting a great-sounding record. Let’s break down some reasons to look at these additional tools. Depending on where you are in your journey, we also have some tips for success when recording with a minimal setup.
  • Many like to use both a mic and a DI (direct box) when recording acoustic guitar. However, each can serve a purpose individually as well. It all comes down to the intent. The primary reason to use a mic is to capture the tonal qualities the human ear hears when the instrument is played. On the other hand, a DI converts string vibrations (from the magnets in a pickup) to electrical signals and can have a sound more similar to an electric guitar. Certain types of pickups, like piezos, function more like actual microphones, converting the physical vibrations of the instrument to a voltage, which produces a less “electronic” sound.
  • Similar to acoustic guitar recording, an amp and DI can each play a crucial role in the final result, and recording both (if possible) can provide some cool options. A microphone on your guitar cab or combo's speaker captures the air movement produced by the drivers and introduces your room's tone into the recording—how much room depends on mic type and placement. The electric guitar pickup serves as the electronic sound source emitting from the instrument. Among other things, pickups can boost and/or cut signals coming from the guitar. Pickups come in active and passive configurations and differ greatly in quality, behavior and affordability.
  • After getting our hands on the brand new Technics SL-1210GR turntable, we connected with some of the most respected DJs in Hip Hop culture, the Beat Junkies, to give the new decks a spin and help teach us how to scratch, live from their newly built Beat Junkie Institute of Sound.

Buying Guides

  • We’ve compiled a list of some of the most reliable and best-sounding acoustic and acoustic-electric steel-string guitars from top-name manufacturers ­­­­­­­­­­- all under $200.
  • There are a few important things to consider when shopping for an electronic drum set: the type of material the heads are made out of, the size of the kit, and the variety of sounds available in the module.  We’ve selected a few of our popular models for you to peruse and compare.

Performances

Heart & Soul | The White Buffalo
We caught up with Jake for a performance of The White Buffalo's "The Pilot" from his 2012 album 'Once Upon A Time in the West', live at Unison Studio in Los Angeles featuring the Taylor 710e.

Interviews

Marv Green: The Bluebird Cafe at Guitar Center
These days, songwriter Marv Green is known as a bit of a Nashville legend. After penning the 1999 Lonestar hit song "Amazed", reaching the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts shortly after its release, he's gone on to write for top country artists including Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire, Eric Church, Tim McGraw and more. We sat down with Marv at his This Music studio on Music Row in Nashville for chat about making it as a songwriter, as well as the story behind his trusty Vintage 1950 Gibson J-50.
  • Performing an original song in front of an audience is no easy task. Now, try performing during of one of Nashville's most coveted showcases to a sold-out crowd - you've just put yourself in the shoes of a Bluebird Cafe songwriter. We threw a pop-up Bluebird Cafe In-The-Round Experience at our Guitar Center Nashville store, inviting seven songwriters to perform and talk about their experience navigating Music City's plethora of opportunity - meet Alabama-natives Josh & Judy Allison.
  • The featured artists of the Dominican Sounds showcase find a welcome stage at SOBs Sound of Brazil in Lower Manhattan, specializing in the Latin soundscapes of the Dominican Republic, Brazil and beyond. Each born and raised in the island of the Dominican Republic, the opportunity for these singer/songwriters to play for a new audience is a chance to celebrate the most vibrant colors of their celebrated art and heritage. We caught up with the artists after their showcase to talk about the experience of bringing their music to the states, as well as the gear they can't leave home without.
  • London-born Jade Bird has officially touched down in the states – wowing new audiences with her dynamic energy and powerhouse vocal range. “I’m only 5’3” – but I have lungs.” We caught up with Jade after her sold-out show at the famous Pappy & Harriett’s Saloon in Pioneertown, CA for a chat about life on the road in the states and why her Taylor 612e Acoustic is the perfect road companion.
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