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Pros and Cons of Analogue vs. Digital Audio Recording

When it comes to recording, each sound professional wants to create a certain sound. Each individual artist comes into the studio with an idea of the perfect masterpiece. When you merge the talents of the right artist with those of the right sound professional, the result is musical magic. As with any field, the difference between a good sound engineer and a great sound engineer is the equipment.

In the recording industry, the debate is between analogue and digital equipment. Which is better? Truthfully, there is no correct choice between the two styles of equipment. It is a matter of personal preference. Some engineers prefer the sound produced by analogue equipment while others prefer the quality of digital. Before choosing recording equipment, it is wise to look at the similarities and differences between the two styles.

Equipment
With analogue recording setups, there is physical hardware to consider. The mixing desk that is a part of an analogue setup can be bulky, but it can also lend a professional appearance to the recording studio. Digital equipment is less bulky and typically is easier to store when not in use. Digital equipment can also be less expensive than analogue because it relies more on the use of software and plugins than on the use of physical equipment.

Sound
Analogue recordings are typically more natural sounding than digital recordings. Analogue can also be more accurate recordings than digital as analogue captures the changes in air pressure as the sound is recorded. Digital recordings can sound too perfect to be believed natural.

Editing
Editing is the realm where digital recordings shine. It can be easier to edit digital recordings because the editing process involves manipulating the soundwaves by sight. In just a matter of minutes, raw recordings can be polished and made into a finished product. Editing is far more time consuming with an analogue recording system. With analogue, the engineer has to rely on how the sound is heard to edit.

Both recording methods have a balance between positive and less positive attributes. Digital equipment provides clean sound while analogue provides a more natural-sounding recording. When choosing recording equipment, the ultimate deciding factor should be the desired sound.

This blog was originally published on Sebastian Corbo’s website.

Best Digital Audio Workstations

A digital audio workstation, also known as a DAW, is the best way for musicians to streamline their creative process, experiment, record demos, and even come out with a polished product. Recording has never been easier, and with a DAW, musicians don’t need to pay a big, fancy studio full of technicians to make something awesome. For musicians of all skill levels, focuses, and genres, a DAW can make the creative process a whole lot easier. Here is a list of some of the best DAWs out there.

LOGIC PRO

This platform is flexible, professional, and extremely user-friendly. Unlike some DAWs, the user interface is very intuitive, meaning that users can get started right away. There is no prohibitive learning curve, and it’s easy to uncover new functions. Logic Pro features smooth pitch correction for audio recordings, plenty of samples, and with their Smart Tempo tool, users are given the ability to change the tempo of recorded audio without shifting the pitch. When it comes to DAWs, Logic Pro is arguably the most versatile platform on the market. Alas, there is a catch: it’s only available on Mac OS.

ABLETON LIVE

So many creators use Ableton Live, and that’s because it caters to so many types. Whether the user is a singer-songwriter, a DJ, a composer, or anything in between, Ableton Live will adapt to anyone’s needs. They offer an impressive library of samples and VST’s, and users have an abundance of tools for constructing their own sound. Ableton Live allows users to get as technical or basic as they want, and that’s great for musicians who want to start simple and progressively build up from there.

STEINBERG CUBASE PRO

Steinberg has some great VSTs and MIDI capabilities, and it holds up very well when recording audio. Steinberg was one of the biggest pioneers in the history of DAWs, so their platform is built upon years of experience. They’ve been improving their product for decades, and their constant dedication really shows. At the end of the day, Cubase gives users an extremely polished interface that’s very easy to navigate.

FL STUDIO

This DAW is fully capable of recording audio, but it truly shines in the beat-making department. The VSTs that come with FL studio sound phenomenal and layering drums on a track is a super straightforward process that allows you to experiment with ease. They’re constantly updating the workstations with groovy new features, making it a platform that’ll never feel stale. FL Studio has an extensive sample library, and all of the native effects are super useful. With FL Studio, there’s no fluff; it’s all substance.

This blog was originally published on Sebastian Corbo’s website.

How to Deal With Altitude Sickness While Traveling

Mountain climbing is becoming an increasingly popular sport. Aside from the usual perils of climbing, there is another thing that both beginners and seasoned professional climbers should watch out for. Altitude sickness is a physical disorder that happens when the human body is deprived of oxygen at higher altitude levels. This is especially prone to happen if the human body ascends too quickly without giving themselves time to properly adjust to the change in the air, whether it be through self-propulsion or being lifted mechanically.

There are ways to determine if you are starting to feel the effects of altitude sickness. Some symptoms to watch out for include difficulty sleeping, headache, increased heart rate, dizziness, light-headedness, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, or even shortness of breath. At this stage, altitude sickness is still in its mild to moderate stage, which means intervention is necessary to prevent it from worsening.

The slower the ascent, the more time your body has to adjust. This will translate immediately into your body’s physical response to the air changes. On average, it takes a person 2-3 days to properly adjust to a major height difference. If you are traveling by plane or by motorized vehicle, you shouldn’t try to reach your destination in one day. It’s important to travel no more than a few thousand feet per day and take frequent rest breaks. If you are traveling on foot, it’s even more crucial to listen to signs of exertion. You should travel no more than 1,000 feet per day and rest a full day after an incline of 3,000 feet.

Calories count when you’re up high, so ignore the usual advice to avoid carbohydrates because you need the extra caloric intake. Bring along plenty of snacks like dried fruit, chocolate, string cheese, bananas, and granola bars. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, a major contributor to altitude sickness vulnerability. In addition to doing certain things in excess, there are also things it is highly recommended you should avoid, including anything that can aggravate altitude sickness. Some examples of things to stay away from include smoking, drinking, and taking any type of sleeping pills.

Go at your own comfortable pace. You aren’t in a competition with anyone other than yourself. Don’t overdo it beyond what you can sense you’re capable of. When sleeping at night, be aware that altitude sickness can creep up on you while sleeping and it tends to accelerate at night. For this reason, it’s wise to climb to a slightly lower altitude to sleep. 

This article was originally published on SebastianCorbo.ca.

Some of the Best One Hit Wonders of All Time

one-hit wonder is a term that is commonly used in the music industry, although it can also be utilized in other fields. In the entertainment industry, the phrase generally applies to an individual artist or band who gains huge notoriety for a sole piece of work, like a single song, that overshadows any subsequent work. This unique “hit” can stay as a household name for years to come, even throughout multiple generations. Unfortunately for the artist, they never again achieve anywhere close to that level of success, which is why it is dubbed a one-off hit, but they nevertheless bring joy to millions of listeners. 

Sometimes a song from years ago is brought back into the public eye because of its collaboration with a big-budget theatrical production, thereby introducing it to a whole new audience. The song “Wipe Out” by The Surfaris manages to reinsert itself into mainstream society about once a decade by popping up in television shows or movies. “O-o-h Child” by Five Stairsteps is also well-known for its many contributions to the movie and television scene over the years.

People often associate a song with an iconic movie scene. When the movie is a romance, it immerses itself even deeper into our subconscious minds. Dirty Dancing was a pivotal coming of age film for many people, and one of the most memorable scenes included a harmonica-laden “Hey! Baby!” sung by Bruce Channel. While many people are familiar with the faster-paced remix, a number of people are familiar with the slow-paced original because of the fame brought about by this film.

Quentin Tarantino is a filmmaker who is very well-known for his eclectic taste in oldies music. He has incorporated a distinct blend of tunes into his movie soundtracks and introduced that mix to today’s younger generation. His films are so successful, in fact, that they will keep on bringing attention to these songs for years to come, just from the films’ recirculation alone. Some of the songs resurrected by Tarantino include Nancy Sinatra’s “Bang Bang” in Kill Bill Vol 1, Urge Overkill’s “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” in Pulp Fiction, and George Baker Selection’s “Little Green Bag” in Reservoir Dogs. 

Sometimes, a song lives on by being sampled into other songs. One example is “Mr. Big Stuff” by Jean Knight. Her song was a big hit in the 1970s and has been sampled numerous times. 

This article was originally published on SebastianCorbo.com.

Popular Bands That Started in NYC

New York City is one of the most diverse places in the world, which is an essential component in creative industries. Since melting pots are destined to breed creativity, it’s no surprise that the Big Apple has been home to some of the world’s most eclectic and inspiring musical groups throughout the ages.

The punk rock scene initially started over in England in the mid-1970s, but soon found its way to America. The anti-establishment messages, angry lyrics, and quick beats of punk music resonated perfectly with the teenage angst of that era. One of the most notable bands that originated in New York at that time was the Ramones. Many people thought they were related because they all shared the same last name, but it was just part of the act. They were a main staple of the punk genre for over 22 years, touring nonstop, and the four boys from Queens have been hailed as the first official punk band of all time. 

Blondie is perhaps one of the most famous household names when it comes to punk music. Debra Harry was the co-founder and lead singer, and she helped propel the group to the top 40 singles chart eight times. She also had an edgy look that many people wanted to emulate.

There were other popular music styles at that time, like the underground rock scene. This differed from the punk scene in that it was less angry and more centered around art and poetry. The Velvet Underground was a band that consisted of varying quantities of band members throughout the group’s lifetime. Founded by Lou Reed, the artist Andy Warhol was also a major contributor when it came to securing venues and doing promotional work. The band mostly earned its cult-like following since their heyday, not so much when they were actively touring.

There are several artists who owe their careers to the rise of indie rock, also known as garage band rock. The Strokes came onto the scene in the late 1990s. Three of the original founding members met while attending a college preparatory school in New York. Like many indie groups, they mostly performed in small venues as a preference because they enjoyed having a close connection with their audience. 

On the other side of the spectrum is folk-rock music. No duo is more iconic than native new yorkers Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. They originally met in Queens, and started making music together over a decade later. They will be remembered for generations because of their well-known lyrics, melodies, and heavenly voices. 

The Life of Ric Ocasek

Richard Theodore Otcasek was a singer, producer, actor, painter, photographer, and author. He was known to most of the world by his stage name, Ric Ocasek. He was born in Baltimore Maryland on March 23, 1944. At the age of 16, his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio because of his father’s job with NASA. Ric briefly attended college, but he dropped out in order to pursue a career in music. 

He formed his first band, called ID Nirvana, after meeting bassist Benjamin Orr, who was on a local variety show with his band the Grasshoppers. Together, they joined up with various other bands before eventually moving to Boston. The next music venture they founded was a folk-rock band called Milkwood. Next came the creation of Richard and the Rabbits, which included a new band member, Greg Hawkes. Together, the three of them eventually formed the band The Cars, which soon became a household name. 

The band stayed together for ten years. They recorded six studio albums and had 13 songs that earned a spot on Billboard’s top 40 list. Ric also recorded his own tracks during a solo career that spanned over the course of three albums. 

Music wasn’t his only passion, however. He was a prolific doodler and loved to draw often. In addition, he was also an author, publishing a book of poetry in the early nineties. He also published a book of song lyrics that contained previously unseen writing pieces and examples of his photography. As a painter, he delighted audiences with his own gallery shows. As a producer, he helped many bands launch their careers. Some of the groups he helped were Weezer, No Doubt, and Bad Religion, to name just a few.

In later years, he reconnected with his old bandmates to release a new album for The Cars. This gave a whole new generation a chance to know him and experience his talents. Before he died, he and the Cars had the honor of being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. While on stage, he thanked his family and his manager and his former bandmates, including Orr who had died a few years earlier. 

At the age of 75, Ric Ocasek was found dead at his New York City townhouse by his estranged wife, Paulina Porizkova. He had passed away peacefully in his sleep while he was home recovering from surgery. 

Sony Unveils Modern Walkman

Remember the days of cassettes and walkmans? All you had to do was insert a cassette or cd, slide those headphones on, and you were good to go with a limited music listening experience. A lot has changed since those days and so, apparently, has the walkman. 

As a part of the celebrations of the walkman’s 40th anniversary, Sony is launching an updated version that blends seamlessly into this digital age. Dubbed the NW-A100TPS Walkman, this innovative new music player has some surprising features. 

Sony has always been known for high-quality products with fantastic audio quality. The new walkman is no exception. While the sound is great, the appearance is a nod towards nostalgia. A soft case comes with the player which makes it closely resemble its original version, a cassette player, and it even has the added touch of making it look like an actual cassette is playing. 

The twist? That cassette looking screen is actually a sophisticated touch screen that allows you to choose music, view album art, get track details, and so much more. The storage is a bit small at 16GB, but that just means you only put your favorite tunes on for a more personalized listening experience. 

Other features include a high-resolution touch screen, wifi streaming, microSD slot, and USB port. The price, coming in at around $900, is similar to a smartphone. Thinking about getting one? Just wait until you hear the audio. You might not be able to resist!