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Set Up Your Home Music Studio

Friday, December 21st, 2007

Home Music StudioMany music enthusiasts like to set up their own music recording studio. They might want to do that for their own convenience, as a hobby or to monitor their own practices. Whatever the reason may be, setting up a recording studio at home does need enough patience and determination to overcome the glitches that are bound to make the whole process somewhat complicated. The following information could be handy in starting with your own set up at home.

  • First of all you have to think about the purchase of equipments for your home studio. This step is generally the least daunting of the entire process. you will easily get most of the equipments on discounts.
  • You should always try to check out how well the equipments are working in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises at home.
  • You could also try the trial period offer and return the goods if they are not to your liking.
  • You could try to buy these goods second hand as used equipments are perfect for the first home recording studio setting – the equipments will be very cheap and you will be able to learn and improvise before trying for the brand new costlier ones.
  • Naturally, you will have to be careful when dealing with such transactions, but if you are savvy enough, you will get some good equipment from auction sites like e bay.
  • Try not to buy equipments that are too old as electronic goods tend to have a limited life span. You should also check all the switches and other parts for wear and tear. Too loose parts can signal the poor condition of the recording equipments.
  • You could look at the manual to get an idea of how worn out the studio equipments are. Ideally, the whole set of equipments must be cleaned and set to appropriate levels for optimum recordings.
  • Again, if you are purchasing them from overseas, you may have to be careful about the voltage levels as different countries follow different standards. So always check with your seller and also check every instruction in the manual before plugging in .You would not want your costly purchase to be destroyed due to a minor oversight.
  • Once the purchase is successfully made, you can look into the manual for the exact settings needed to ensure the optimum working conditions for the studio.
  • You have to set the correct level of the signal in order to prevent any unnecessary loud noises during home recordings.
  • Noise is a common problem in home recording studios and you must try to minimize it as much as possible.
  • Every device can be a culprit in noise creation, leading to distortions. Since it is impossible to turn off all the noise, the best you can do is set the desired signal at the correct level.

Hence, with a little money and a lot of determination, you can start your own recordings in the comfort of your home. Just remember to consult the technical books as well as the experts before starting any such venture.

How To Connect A Guitar To A Computer

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

To Connect A Guitar To A ComputerSo many players want to record guitar playing on their computer. Digital recording is more popular than ever for pros and amateurs alike. But there are some things to be considered when you connect a guitar to a computer; mostly how you want to connect the instrument, and the quality of the recording you hope to capture. The type of guitar computer interface you choose will greatly affect the sound of the electric guitar through the computer and the overall recording you can expect.While it is possible to play guitar through a PC just by plugging it in, this basic approach is likely to be fine for most though many players don’t like sacrificing a good sound for the ease of quick setup. Electric players need a ‘high impedance’ input to get their electric guitar to connect to a computer, and though most computer soundcards come with high impedance inputs, these inputs are usually not strong enough to get a good guitar signal or in the long run, for recording guitar effects for PC. This lower ‘impedance’ can cause noise problems too. A player can avoid all this of course by plugging the guitar into a ‘line-in’ jack, instead of the ‘mic-in’, but then the all-important preamp is needed.

Almost any one attempting to connect a guitar through their computer or familiar with recording a guitar into a mixing consol should be familiar with a preamp. The preamp does exactly what its name implies, it “amps” the signal before it goes into the plug-in. Therefore your guitar’s signal will get that extra boost it needs when you record guitar on a pc…or into any other device that is not an amp. There are plenty of external interfaces that combine computer soundcards with a preamp. Or if you like more components to you set-up you can always buy a preamp separate from your sound card. There are a lot of stand-alone vintage preamps out there that will not only boost your signal, but warm your sound before it goes into the ‘cooler’ digital domain of your pc.

It’s not only the pristine quality of digital that makes recording guitar on a pc so much fun, it is also portability. With very little equipment you can put down a riff (or an entire song actually) into a laptop! And added to all this wonderful technology is the fact that there are so many recording guitar effects for pc now on the market, a player can access different amp sounds and settings, effects. Well after you have wrestled with how to connect a guitar to your pc and have recorded a strong signal, you can call record guitar effects with pc during recording or in post-production.

Of course information about how to connect your guitar to a pc and the wonderful wide world of effects is available through an on-line pc guitar tutor and websites devoted to digital recording. You can even purchase a computer guitar tuner (some programs include a free computer guitar tuner) so everything you will ever need is self-contained in your rockin’ pc! Some players are even recording parts, then downloading and sending these pieces of tunes to musician’s half-way across the world. The possibilities really are unlimited for the guitar player who says: “I want to connect a guitar to my pc”; he or she will be amazed at the varied and easy results they can achieve when they simply start recording guitar on a pc.

Indian Musical Instruments

Monday, October 15th, 2007
  • Sitar

sitarSitar is of the most popular music instruments of North India. The Sitar has a long neck with twenty metal frets and six to seven main cords. Below the frets of Sitar are thirteen sympathetic strings which are tuned to the notes of the Raga. A gourd, which acts as a resonator for the strings is at the lower end of the neck of the Sitar. The frets are moved up and down to adjust the notes. Some famous Sitar players are Ustad Vilayat Khan, Pt. Ravishankar, Ustad Imrat Khan, Ustad Abdul Halim Zaffar Khan, Ustad Rais Khan.

  • Sarod

sarodSarod has a small wooden body covered with skin and a fingerboard that is covered with steel. Sarod does not have a fret and has twenty-five strings of which fifteen are sympathetic strings. A metal gourd acts as a resonator. The strings are plucked with a triangular plectrum. Some notable exponents of Sarod are Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Pt. Buddhadev Das Gupta, Zarin Daruwalla and Brij Narayan.

  • Sarangi

sarangiSarangi is one of the most popular and oldest bowed instruments in India. The body of Sarangi is hollow and made of teak wood adorned with ivory inlays. Sarangi has forty strings of which thirty seven are sympathetic. The Sarangi is held in a vertical position and played with a bow. To play the Sarangi one has to press the fingernails of the left hand against the strings. Famous Sarangi maestros are Rehman Bakhs, Pt Ram Narayan, Ghulam Sabir and Ustad Sultan Khan.

  • Flute

fluteFlute is a simple cylindrical tube of uniform bore and associated with Indian music since time immemorial. Flutes vary in size. Flute is held horizontally and is inclined downwards when it is played. To produce sound or melody one has to cover the finger holes with the fingers of the left and right hand. Variations in pitch are produced by altering the effective length of the air column. Notable flute exponents are Pt Pannalal Ghosh and Pt Hari Prashad Chaurasia.

  • Shehnai

shehnaiShehnai is a traditional musical instrument, associated with auspicious occasions like marriages and temple processions. Shehnai is a double reed instrument with a tapering bore which progressively increases towards the lower side. The Shehnai has finger-holes to produce semi, quarter and micro-tones. Ustad Bismillah Khan is the unrivalled maestro of the Shehnai.

  • Tabla

tablaThe most popular musical instrument used in North India is the Tabla. The Tabla consists of a pair of drums- the Tabla and the Bayan. The Tabla is made of wood and whereas its head is made of stretched animal skin. Finer tuning of Tabla is done by striking the rim of the Tabla with a small hammer. The Bayan is the bass drum and is usually made of metal with a stretched skin head. Both drums have a black spot in the center made of manganese or iron dust.

  • Pakhawaj

pakhawajIt is believed that the Tabla was derived from Pakhawaj. Pakhawaj usually accompanies Dhrupad style of singing. Pakhawaj is a barrel-shaped drum with two heads which are made of layers of skin. The heads of Pakhawaj are expanded by leather straps which run along the sides of the body over small cylindrical wooden blocks that are used for tuning.

  • Harmonium

harmonium The harmonium is a traditional and popular musical instrument of India. The harmonium has a keyboard of over two and one-half octaves and works on a system of bellows. The keyboard is played with the right hand while the left hand is used to operate the bellows. Harmonium is more popular in North India than in the South.

  • Mridangam

mridangam The mridangam is one of the most popular classical instruments of South India. Mridangam accompanies vocal, instrumental and dance performances. The present day mridangam is made of a single block of wood. It is a barrel-shaped double-headed drum, the right head being smaller than the left. The two heads are made of layers of skin. The mridangam is played with hands, palms and fingers.

  • Ghatam

ghatamThe Ghatam is one oldest percussion instruments of South India. The Ghatam is a mud pan with a narrow mouth. From its mouth, it slopes outwards to form a ridge. Ghatam is made mainly of clay baked with brass or copper filings with a small amount of iron filings. The Ghatam produces fast rhythmic patterns. Ghatam is generally a secondary percussion instrument accompanying mridangam.

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