Adrian Try
Adrian is the Music & Audio Editor for Tuts+. He's been playing keys and acoustic guitar for three decades, and has six kids. Follow him on Twitter at @audiotuts.
  • Music & Audio
    36 Audio Interfaces Under $1000Thumb
    Most home studios today are centered around a personal computer. (And yes - despite what the ad says, a Mac is a personal computer too.) An audio interface is the audio gateway from the outside world into your computer. Most computers come with a sound card with line and mic inputs, and many people use these when starting out with audio recording. But if you are serious about the quality of your work, you should avoid them. They have inferior audio to digital converters, and often produce a good deal of noise. You need to choose a professional audio interface that allows you to plug in your mics and instruments, and connects to your computer through a USB, Firewire, PCI or PCMCIA interface.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Why You Should Always Buy Top-Quality Audio GearMusic and audio
    When buying music gear, it’s always worth investing in quality. If you buy a guitar that sounds bad no matter how you play, you’ll never learn to play well. You’re more likely to get discouraged and give up. I started learning music when I was a student with a part time job. While I saved up for my first synth, I spent a lot of time visiting music shops and deciding which keyboard to buy. There is something very liberating about going into a shop when you can’t afford to buy anything. To begin with, I had no idea of the gap between home gear and pro gear, but I learned quickly.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    The Benefits of Learning to Play MusicThumb
    Is today’s consumer mentality robbing us of musicians? In the past, there seemed to be more motivation and more reasons to become a musician, so more people learned to play a musical instrument. I think it is a shame that a relatively low number of people are musicians in our consumer world today, and we are missing out on something. Back then, to hear music someone had to play it - live. Today we just flick a switch. Most people are consumers of music, but not musicians. Musicians are seen as being the talented few. Is there any way we can change this mentality, and any reason to?Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    8 Reasons MIDI is Still Alive and KickingMusic and audio
    “Is MIDI dead?” The question seems to be echoed from forum to forum. MIDI was invented in the early 80s just after I got into music. Back then keyboards were primitive, the personal computer had just been invented, and 640K was enough RAM for anyone. MIDI was a solution that fit like a glove in that world. You might be surprised people are still using it today. And yet it seems that MIDI is everywhere you look in music recording. We use it in ways that the original engineers never dreamed of or intended, and it looks like MIDI is here to stay. Even if you’re part of the “I don’t do MIDI sequencing – I’m a real musician” club, MIDI may still form a key part of your setup.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Electronic Drums: Adding Life to Your Rhythm TracksMusic and audio
    Have you ever recorded using real acoustic drums? First you need a good kit, and a room to put it in — a room with good acoustics and enough space for drums and mics, including room mics which often need to be meters away. You need a truckload of microphones — different types and great quality. And a mixer and audio interface that can handle all of those inputs. Finally you need to find (or become) an exceptional drummer! In comparison, recording electronic drums is a breeze. Unfortunately, they can also sound programmed and mechanical. There are good arguments both ways for using acoustic or electronic drums in recording — you can read the pros and cons at Harmony Central. But there is definitely a place for electronic drums for the home recording artist.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    40 Sites that Help You Choose the Right MicrophoneHomemicspreview
    If it’s worth recording, it’s worth recording well. To do that, you need a quality microphone. Purchasing your first microphone is a lot more complicated than you may have imagined. And discovering your favorite mic can take years of experience and experimentation. The job of buying a new microphone is an important one—and an expensive one. It can be a very complicated one. Fortunately, the Internet is filled with pages of useful advice and recommendations about microphones.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    14 Sites That Help You Practice Music More EffectivelyThumb
    I admit it. I’m at a low point when it comes to practicing music. It’s not that I never practice - I just don’t practice enough to be consciously improving. It hasn’t always been that way. I can point to a number of very effective periods in my musical life where the right practice has led to quantum leaps in my playing. During those times I spent at least an hour practicing every day (sometimes more), had a focus each week on what I wanted to get good at, but didn’t spend all of my time just focusing on that one thing. I divided my time between theory, warm-ups, scales and licks, and practicing other things I’d learned over the previous months.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    No Electricity Required: The Raw Beauty of the Acoustic GuitarThumb
    As a young musician, I strongly identified with electronic music. I was into synthesizers and drum machines, digital effects and multi-track recording. I always thought that if I got into guitars that it would be the electric variety with a highly processed sound and pedals everywhere. I wasn’t prepared for the raw beauty of an acoustic guitar.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    7 Places to Find Inspiration for SongsThumb
    Where do you find inspiration? It is as intangible and elusive as a ghost. You know when you have it, and can’t manufacture it when you don’t. Without it, creative work is a chore, and often a fuitless one. With it, magic happens. The question of where inspiration comes from interests me, and over the years I’ve kept notes about where the inspiration for successful songs has come from. It has been found in many and varied places. Most of all, it comes from real life - especially from sincere insights into life truths, and emotional responses to events and relationships. Some artists seem to have discovered ways to help the creative process, and inspire inspiration.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    The Art of Combining Instruments and SoundsThumb
    Finding the right combination of instruments and sounds is an art form, and takes the same creative energy as choosing the right chord, creating a beautiful melody or writing engaging lyrics. A lot of time should be spent in choosing the sounds and instruments you will use in a recording, and how those sounds relate to one another. The instruments you use can define your sound.Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    5 Ways to Deliver More Expressive VocalsSinger
    Singing is the first music-making experience most of us ever had. It came naturally without a single lesson probably before you even went to school. You probably started with a nursery rhyme or other well-known song, and you sang for the simple pleasure of it. And your mom probably thought you were amazing!Read More…
  • Music & Audio
    Clapton and Williams: Seven Perspectives on Playing GuitarMusic and audio
    Eric Clapton and John Williams are master guitarists from opposite sides of the spectrum. Clapton is a self-taught electric lead guitar player with a blues-rock emphasis, while Williams is a trained classical guitarist. Both have been playing for decades, and are incredibly versatile. In the early 80s they got together to talk guitars. The conversation was published in “Making Music” by George Martin, a book very influential in my own musical development. Though the conversation took place a quarter of a century ago, their insights still have great value today. This article summarizes their thoughts into seven perspectives on playing guitar.Read More…