Last modification: 01/19/08 19:26

Tips, Tricks & Other Useful Stuff
(aka, The Busiest Page On The Site)

Blog Material  Product Reviews  Recording Items  Audio Papers  Impulses  Guitar School  Recording Magazines  Copyright Searches  Patents  Amp & Tape Sims  Humor

Some of these things just can't be easily categorized, or might have been better off as blogs. However, the word "blog" wasn't even invented when I wrote most of these!
 Presented, for your archival enjoyment:

Blog Material

Whatever happened to Deluxe Paint?
Dallas' DPaint interview with the Swedish Amiga magazine AZine
Thinking about renting a U-Haul? Caveat Rentor!
Install a home generator and go off the grid.
A short essay on guitar and growing up.
University doesn't offer PPP dialup? Surf the Web using your student UNIX account.
ISP logs you off after 10 minutes of idle? Run KeepAlive 3.0 and surf with impunity! (Win '95, NT)
Back in the days of Front Page 1.0, I taught students all they needed to know in FrontPage 101
A particularly good analysys of the end run toYngwie's song Rising Force, with a tip on nomenclature.
Reading the Binaural Perception of Masking reminds me why I never pursued a PhD.
So you really want to be a star? Really? Probably not bad enough to read this article, I bet.

Product Reviews

The ENGL 530 "Modern Rock" twin-tube rackmount preamp awaits you, reviewed.
A tube pre isn't complete without a good overdrive to put in front of it. Like the MI Audio Tube Zone!
Elegant Sounds Await with the pedal-sized AMT Electronics SS-20 Tube Guitar Recording Preamp
Whet your appetite for tubey recording with this ART "Project Series" Tube Mic/Inst Preamp w/USB
Stealth Taping, or Field Recording? An early-adopter's look at the Edirol R-09 24-bit WAV/MP3 Recorder
SONAR 6 "hands on" Product Review, updated and unexpurgated - fresh from the 121st AES show
The secret's out - K-Stereo has been cloned. Get your free SHEPPi plugin here!

Coming Soon: Line6 TonePort UX8, Peavey JSX Micro Colossal, XOTiC BB Plus, Grendel Sound Dead Room, Barber Tone Press, and more!

Items Of General Recording Interest

Music In Progress, or How To Create A One Man Band. (Some excellent books on recording here!)
Guitar Frequency EQ Chart - a handy mix visualization chart for bass & electric guitarists
The 7 Bad System Dwarves have a similar great take on describing EQ bands
...but Dave Moulton's 10-octave ISO Spectral Management EQ chart probably describes it best
...and here's Dave pontificating on exactly that, courtesy iZotope
Instrument Frequency EQ Chart - an EQ tonal reference various instruments from Computer Music magazine
...yet, this chart is interactive and pretty darn cool - worth hanging on the wall!

"Using The Equalizer Effectively" is a very interesting article with some unique thoughts regarding guitar and bass EQ.
"Digital Effects And Simulations" is a short AES article containing items of interest to analog stompbox-modeler heads.
SOS: "The Secrets of Warmth and Air" - that Drawmer 2476 Mastering Processor sounds a bit like Voxengo's GlissEQ, dunnit?
The Fractal and Kemper Wikis are a repository of guitar tips in their own right.
Why bother with audio analyzers? Can they help with bass management? (thanks to NuGen Audio)

Adding distortion or sub bass to mixes? Future Music wrote some cool articles about this which you can read here and here.
Meanwhile, props to Premiere Guitar magazine for mentioning gain-stacked overdrives in "Secrets Of Saturation"
Read what Celestion has to say about distortion in Understanding Guitar Speakers
And this article explains why even a 5W tube amp is still as loud as a trumpet.
The IFRP's ISRC Handbook is the definitive guide to understanding the ISRC codes used in CD mastering.
Kit Rae's Big Muff Circuit Guide is one cool circuit breakdown for pedal modders.
Audio compression is one of the most difficult concepts to get one's mind around, so check out this visual simulator.

Audio Papers, Articles & Docs

Recording Academy (GRAMMY) Producers & Engineers Wing: Recommendations for Hi-Resolution Music Production
The rare Roland HyperCanvas HQ Manual covers Performance Files & Control Presets, missing from the TTS-1 docs
The EDIROL Orchestral HQ docs can be found here.
And finally, the new Sound Canvas-VA (2015) manual can be found here.
TTS-1 Softsynth programmer? How about the Line6 Gearbox or M-Audio Axiom 49? This little MIDI controller reference is pure gold!
Beta Monkey Music Drum Werks IX fan? Make it Session Drummer 2 compatible with this file!   Drum demo here.  Song demo here.

Roland's BOSS Guitar Effects Guidebook is like a giant App Note for BOSS guitar pedals. Read it!
"The Persuader" : a minimalist starved-plate tube overdrive for under $65! Schematic here. Or just order the kit.
...But why did Roland leave out the great BOSS ME-X Expandable Multiple FX? Hard-to-find owner's manual here.

Windows DAW User? Run light! "Convert To Windows VSP" (PDF). "Boosting Vista Performance" (PDF). 2) Disable Unnecessary Background Services.
3) A complete description of all Windows Services can be found
here, along  with 4) some more recommendations from C|Net
Shure's Microphone Techniques For Recording (.pdf) is a useful starter guide to mic placement.
Mixing Extreme Metal? SoS's two part series (with sound files) can be found here.

More goodness from SoS, Dave Lockwood's "Mixing Bass Guitar" from 2022.
The Mark Mynett goodness continues with SoS's three part series "Making Modern Metal" here. Bonus video here.
Craig Anderton (Quadrafuzz inventor) has an interesting SoS article on multiband distortion in SONAR here.
...and SoS's four-part series on Creating Scripts For Kontakt can be found here.
A Steven Slate Drums 3.5 Instrument Definition for SONAR can be found here.
SSD 4.0 Platinum "Deluxe Rock" Instrument Definition for SONAR can be found here.
XLN Audio's Addictive Drums 2 Instrument Definition for SONAR can be found here.
Impact Soundworks' "Shreddage II" Instrument Definition for SONAR can be found here.
Convert Notion 4's drum events To General MIDI and From General MIDI as well as Notion will allow with this useful pair of SONAR .CAL scripts.
And lastly, Young Guitar's hard-to-find transcription of Andy Timmons instrumental "Deliver Us" can be found here.

Impulse Response Corner


ENGL e-530

ENGL e-570

t.c. electronic VPD-1

Palmer PGA-5 (sample)

Behringer GI-100

Damage Control's Demonizer preamp has an excellent mic'd closed-back 4x12 cab emulator built-in. This impulse response is my (very good!) simulation.
The ENGL 530 also has a useful cab emu (aka "Frequency Compensated Line Out") whose impulse has been captured here. (Waves Q-Clone version here.)
... as does the deluxe ENGL 570 SE (inside pic), whose impulse has been captured here. (Waves Q-Clone version here. Similar to the e530, only with more presence and less bass)
...or perhaps you're just wondering what the above sounds like while being profiled by the Kemper Profiling Amplifier (KPA send/Palmer return/KPA monitor, 96k/24, 37MB)
t.c. electronic's VPD-1 vintage-pre drive guitar pedal has a "speaker sim" button captured here. (Waves Q-Clone version here.)
Meanwhile, here's a capture of the Palmer PGA-05's speaker simulator (inside pic) with a setting that I like: (.WAV here.  Q-Clone here.)
Behringer's GI-100 "Virtual 4x12: (.WAV here. Kemper .kipr here.)
Line6's GearBox Plugin has a basic Early Reflections impulse that can be found here.
AMT Electronics goes deep with two great technical articles on Speaker Simulation and Tube Saturation, but like all their translations, pass the aspirin!
Try this Phase Rotator impulse as an "Aphex 230"-style broadcast vocal treatment. Also see: "What Happens To My Recording When It's Played On The Radio?"
The BBE D82 impulse (Lo Contour & Process Off) is like the conceptual opposite of the above - delaying the lows (subs) rather than the highs (vocal harmonics)
Mastering pure riff metal? This Dream-Theater inspired EQ snapshot is a great starting point. For iZotope Ozone.
This behind-the-scenes Ozone snapshot of Hetfield's Bob Rock-era "Sandman" tone is instructive indeed. Interview snippet here.
The Mesa-Boogie Mk. IV amp manual (almost certainly used in the above recording) can be found here.
Meanwhile, here's a baritone metal riff loop from the new "Star One" album. Wow, is this EQ bright! Ozone snapshot here. "Making Of'" video here. (thanks, Lori!)
On a related note, AES member Alex Case wrote an interesting short paper on the analysis of cab-miking, even if it's a little off-base.
But nothing you've read up to now can prepare you for Slipperman's Recording Distorted Guitars From Hell. Oh, the humanity.
The Sustainiac manual to Schecter's C-1 Hellraiser FR S can be found here.

Richard Z. Kruspe's Guitar Rig 5 "Rammfire" Cabinet

Mic A, dry

Mic B, dry

Usage note: Dry impulses are in mono, wet "Air" impulses stereo. By combining these time-aligned impulses it should be possible to generate all the in-between settings of the Rammfire "Matched Cabinet" plugin.
No details were available regarding Richard's actual (angled 4x12") cabinet or speakers used. It's unknown if these impulses also reflect Richard's Neve 1081 mic pre.

Mic "A" Left "B" Right Dry    
Mic "A" (Neumann M149) Dry Wet  
Mic "B" (Telefunken U47) Dry Wet  
Mic Blend (center slider position) Dry Wet 50% Wet


Guitar School Articles

I became a paying subscriber to GuitarWar (later MusicianWar).com in 2001, contributing a number of tech articles and several dozen songs over the years as "CapnZilog" . By 2007 the community had around 300 active competitors, but since the site's opening over 1,100 people and 200 teams from all over the world have collectively participated in over 7,000 musical battles. Think of it as "American Idol" for the lead guitar set (and thanks to the great Sacramento Trek-punk band Warp11 for inspiring the logo... "McCoy's" expression just cracks me up!)

A Decibel Primer (Oct 27, 2006)   Newly updated article here (PDF)
How To Mentally Compute Decibels like a Friggin' Supercomputer (power dB's)
Also see: "The Loudest Sound In The World Would Kill You On The Spot"
Sweetwater's Understanding Signal Levels in Audio Gear (with Lynn Fuston)
Stereo Spatialization For Bigger Mixes (Jun 24, 2006)  [mp3]
Simulating Analog Tape Flange In SONAR 5 (Jun 08, 2006)  [mp3] [Also: See Craig Anderton's new technique] 
Recording your Guitar - Wet, or Dry? (Feb 15, 2006)
Understanding Sample Rates & Wordlengths (Feb 02, 2005)
Effects: Track Insert, Aux Send or Bus? (Jan 30, 2005)
Far Beyond Compression (4 advanced control freaks) (Dec 16, 2004)
MP3 Encoding (Sep 30, 2004)
Taming The Reverb Options Monster (Aug 31, 2004)
Optimized Picking, Ice Skating & Turntables (Aug 10, 2004)
Cap'n Zilog's Amazing No-Tears Tab Solution (Jul 20, 2004)
How Do I Record A Bass Guitar? (from TAXI - Jun 23, 2004)
Your Best Bet For A #1 Song (from TAXI - Aug 21, 2003)
Preserve Your Bits! (Mixing & Mastering) (Feb 25, 2003)

MusicanWar Newsletter Nov '06 (topic: SONAR6 Producer Edition)
MusicianWar Newsletter July '06 (topic: The Jimmy Hats)
MusicianWar Newsletter Apr '03 (topic: Interview w/CapnZilog)

Recording & Guitar Magazine Links

TapeOp (creative home & pro recording, free subscription!)
Audio Media (trade magazine, free digital version available)
Live Sound International (trade magazine, free digital version available)
Pro Audio Review (trade magazine, free digital version available)
Musical Merchandise Review (trade magazine, free digital version available)

Audio Technology (AU) (pro & home recording)
Computer Music (UK) (home recording)
Future Music (UK) (home recording)
Music Tech (UK) (home recording)
Sound On Sound (UK) (pro & home recording, w/Craig Anderton)

Electronic Musician (home recording, now incl. Craig Anderton's EQ)
Mix (pro studio recording)
Recording (home recording)
Virtual Instruments (just like it says)

AES Journal Online  (members only, academic)
Computer Music Journal (MIT quarterly, academic)

Billboard (dot-biz. A lot cheaper than subscribing to the magazine!)
Classic Rock Magazine (UK)  (Read enough of the above and one day you might end up in here...)
Guitarist (U.K.) (Part of the MusicRadar magazine group)
Guitar Edge (digital version available)
Guitar Interactive (free, digital only)
Premiere Guitar (quality editorials & reviews, free digital version available)

Performing Rights Organizations (creator & copyright searches)

The Harry Fox Agency (physical sound recording royalties, aka 'mechanicals')
ASCAP (songwriter performance royalties)
BMI (songwriter performance royalties)
SESAC (elite songwriter performance royalties, by invitation only)
Global Music Rights (Irving Azoff's PRO, est. 2013)
Sound Exchange (songwriter and sound recording performance royalties for Satellite & Net Radio) (Grammy metadata)
U.S. Copyright Office (it all ends up here!)  Also see: Is It Protected By Copyright? also see: "The Ultimate Guide to Copyright" (the root of all ISRC codes)
UPC Code Lookup (what's your CD's label? You can also try here.)
CDDB Music Map: Who's Listening To What, Worldwide

Recording Technology Patent Library

Alex Welti
Andy (Harold) Hildebrand
Anthony M. Agnello
BBE Sound
Brent K. Butler
Bob Katz
Bob Moog
Bruce Egnater
Christoph Kemper
Cosmos Lyles
Curt Knoppel
David Gibson
David M. Schwartz
David P. Rossum
Don L. Bonham
Eddie Van Halen
Eric P. Ambrosino
Eric Pritchard
Floyd Rose
Gregory Heet
Groove Tubes
Henry Burnett Wallace
Jack C. Sondemeyer
John Cuniberti
Joseph M. Fontana
Kevan J. Geier
Marc Gallo
Michael Batio
Michel Doidic & Marcus Ryle
Michael Fuller
Michael Gerzon
Neal Schon
Noel Borthwick
Ole Juul Kristensen
Peavey Electronics (also here)
Randall C. Smith (also see: Mesa-Boogie)
Richard Aspen Pittman
Ron Kuper
SRS Labs
Stephen Desper
SR&D (also here, here and a variety here)
Thomas Dolby

Aiken Amplification also maintains a cool list of amp-patent links. Also, see: Hedy Lamarr & Steve Jobs's Patents

Amp, Tube & Tape Sims

AcmeBarGig's Dual Integrated Gain
Arie Ardiansyah's Aradaz Amp
Audiffex AmpLion Free
 Bootsy's TesslaSE Transformer-Coupled Saturator
BTE Audio Juicy77
DamyFX Doctor Crunch
Daniel Lind's TbT Archives (wide variety of goodies)
Ferox Vintage Tape Modeller
Fretted Synth Audio FreeAmp
Ignite Amps' The Anvil. Also, NRR-1 & TS-999 Overdrive
LePou Plugins SoloC
Mokafix' NoAmp
Nick Crow's Tube Driver (supports oversampling!)
Nick Crow's Wagner Mk. 2 Sharp
Nick Crow's 7170 & 8505 Lead
Rob Rokken Audio Roktion 808
Ronald Passion's ReChromE & ReGolD. Also see here.
Run Beer Run (strange guitar & amp FX)
Togo Audio Line TAL-Tube
TSE's X-30 ENGL 530 Simulator (try it with my E530 cab impulse, eh!)
Musicrow Preamp Emulator
Wurr Audio Engineering Little Tube Booster

Not Free, But Almost

Aegean Music AmpVision
Auraplug Ampfire!
Gallo Engineering Studio Devil
MasonSoft Dammit Distortion
 NovaDSP GXStack
Plektron (checkout IRCab & WTComp - free!)
Scuffham Amps' S-Gear
Wurr Audio Engineering Green Machine Amp II

Mil-Spec Distortion

iZotope Trash
Line6 PodFarm
Peavey/Alien Connections Revalver Mk. III

DIY Guitar Pedals
Line6 ToneCore Developer's Kit

Misc Cool Stuff
Antress' Modern Plugins ( cool allpass phase plug!)
Jeroen Breebaart
Solid State Logic
Togu Audio Line
Variety Of Sound (aka Bootsy)
Christian W. Budde (analysis plugs - also see Audiolocation, above)
Terry West (EQ & compression plugs)
Mike Senior's Freeware Top 10 (SOS columnist)

And, Finally
some big lists of amp sims maintained by other people that you can find here and here.

Halfpixel Madness
("You.0", where hast thou gone? Click strips to read full-size)

Oh, how I hated that jingle

Hell hath no fury like a Dark Lord scorned

Hell Hath No Fury, Pt. 2

Hell Hath No Fury, The Conclusion

And it's probably not the first time, either...

And, Finally

Some of my Favorite Things can be found here, reviewed.


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