Welcome all to the latest installment of The Record Shop Nashville Recording Studio’s audio-fueled, music extravaganza AKA our BEHIND THE GEAR series!!!   Today we’re very happy to talk with y’all about two very neat gizmos in our creative arsenal; our two A Designs P-1 Pre-Amp Modules.   We’ve already talked about a few of our many different Pre-Amps – please click the link above to read about them! – and the wonderful qualities each one adds.  What sets the P-1 aside from the rest of our outboard gear is it’s incredibly simplistic layout and functions.  Strap yourself in, loyal reader, and let’s dive into the A Design P-1 Pre-Amp!A Designs P-1 Mic Pre

A Designs P-1 Mic PreQuality Without Compromise

“Quality Without Compromise,” is A-Designs motto, and boy do they mean it.  Their dedication to creating high-quality audio equipment for live performances and studio recording is only matched by their determination to keep their amazing products as affordable as they can.  As you can see from their website’s About Us Page here, they understand the changing landscape of the audio market and they wish to aid those in need.  A Designs also maintains a fantastic relationship with their customers.  This, along the amazing sound and clarity of A Designs products, is why these modules have been used by professional engineers like Al Schmitt and Dave Pensado to musicians like Rob Wasserman and Justin Medal-Johnson!  Check out who else uses A Designs here!

The P-1 & A Designs’ 500 Series

A Design P-1 & the 500 SeriesA Designs did the world a favor by creating their signature 500 Series Mic Pres.  Though similar in their lunchbox look and minimalist features, each one of the five different mic pres (the blue box, second from the left excluded) was tailor made to capture the timbre of certain instruments and to attenuate specific frequency ranges.  To achieve these separate functions each lunchbox is equipped with its own custom-wound transformers.  The P-1 was designed to emulate the very popular Pacifica mic-pre.  The fidelity of the P-1 is incredible; in fact, it has the highest fidelity of all the 500 series mic-pres.  It mostly accents the low and high-end frequencies with tremendous accuracy, but don’t fret, there is still a fantastically noticeable presence to the mid-range.  The P-1 is so versatile too; you can use it on practically any sound source.  The Record Shop’s henchmen are quite keen to the way the P-1 brings out vocals and hi-hats; it’s perfect for capturing transient sounds.  As you can see from the photos, the P-1 has 5 main components: +48V phantom power, a 20dB pad, phase reversal, mic/line compatible input jack, and a big ol’ red gain pot.  For more information on A Design Audio’s 500 Series click HERE!

 

 

logo-final1

 

That wraps up today’s chapter of Behind The Gear!  Thanks for tuning in.  We hope it was informative.  Please feel free to roam around the rest of our blog.  Click here to see The Record Shop Nashville’s complete gear list.  And hey!  Don’t be stranger!  Follow and chat with us on Twitter @therecordshop

 

One of the biggest advantages of visiting a Nashville recording studio is that you will have professionals handle every aspect of your live music recording experience. However, visiting a professional recording studio is not for everyone. It requires a fairly substantial budget, which not all upcoming musicians can spring for. There are some things you should keep in mind in order to enhance your live music recording experience.

Use a quality microphone

If your input device is not going to give you high-quality audio recordings, you should be prepared for an average end-product. You should make sure that if nothing else, you invest in a proven microphone that suits your needs. Although they are slightly more expensive, unidirectional microphones should be preferred to their omnidirectional counterparts so that background noise is minimized. A large diaphragm condenser microphone might suit your needs perfectly.

Avoid noisy places for recording

The last thing you want to do is have to sift through a whole lot of background noise on the computer and manually remove it, since it is both frustrating and not particularly effective. Ideally, you should record in a soundproofed room. Make sure you are able to cut off as much background noise as possible, especially fans and loud air-conditioners.

Get a preamp

Preamps are the cheapest way you can get a professional feel to your recordings. Instead of plugging your instrument or microphone directly into the recording equipment, you should pass it through a preamp since it will enhance the quality of your source sound significantly.

Invest in good mastering software

Mastering your own music is not an easy task, but with the right software, there is no reason you can’t do a great job from your own home. There are countless products available for various price ranges, and you should choose one based on your particular needs, expertise, budget and level of usage.

NashvilleOver the last few years, Nashville’s music scene has elevated itself into international recognition due to the density of both the music business and the creative guitar-pickers, ballad belters, and session gods whose music graces the ears of locals and visitor alike.  The Nashville Skyline is alive with the sound of music!  Everywhere you go you are bound to hear music radiating from the local bars or some beautiful soul busking on the street corner.  Music is love.  Music is life.  We’d go so far as to argue that there is no other city in the world that is more involved, entranced, and obsessed with music than Nashville.  So as a budding artist who bravely wants to venture into the world of the music industry, here are 6 reasons why Nashville is the right place for you to be!

 

1) The Industry Lives Here

Nashville has been immersed in the Music Biz since the turn of the 20th century.  Since then, the Nashville Sound, and the massive amount of hard work put in by this town’s locals, has lifted Nashville’s rank to that of NYC or LA.  In recent years, Nashville has even surpassed the coastal giants in regards to industry involvement.  According to the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s analysis, found HERE, the Music Industry contributes $5.5 billion to the local economy and is responsible for around 56,000 jobs.  Everything an artist could need is here, and anyone an artist may need to help build their career is easily found here.  What are you looking for?  A Manager?  A Booking Agent?  A studio to record at?  A Publisher? An Entertainment Lawyer?  A PRO to join?  A quick Google search will provide you with lists of professionals who want to help make your career take off.  Nashville also has a very large film and photography scene for when you or your band are ready to shoot some music videos or get some photos from your next show.

2) It’s Called Music City for A Reason

Come down for a visit, and you will immediately be greeted with audible bliss emanating from someone with an instrument and a dream.  On any given day, at any given time, one can hear and see live music.  Step onto the fabled Broadway Strip where every bar and honky-tonk you pass has sweet music pouring out of it like electric sugar!  Continue your search for live music, and you will come across Nashville’s many music venues too.  Spring Water, Mercy Lounge, Station Inn, The Cannery Ballroom, Exit/In, Marathon Music Works, The Belcourt Theater, 3rd and Lindsley, The Basement, and 12th & Porter are just a few of the great venues in Nashville to check out great touring acts and local bands.  Then you have the Legendary Ryman Auditorium, TPAC, and Bridgestone Arena housing big name Jack White Nashvilleacts.  Are you a singer/songwriter or solo act?  Then you’re in luck, because Nashville also has many open mic’s and writer’s nights all over town; Bluebird Cafe should be first on your list! 

Once you spend a few hours you will also come to learn that everyone you meet in Nashville plays an instrument!  In his AMEX Unstaged concert footage, Nashville immigrant turned music-ambassador Jack White talks about finding musicians to record and tour with during his Blunderbus-era debut.  “The thing about Nashville is that everybody’s from all over the place.  I mean, you’ve got people who are like playing hillbilly, Appalachian music since they were little kids.  I’m from Detroit, so this is very different for me, having access to that many musicians around, you know?”

 

3) There is Creative Inspiration Everywhere

MLK Nashville QuoteNashville is the new Grenwich Village; a true bohemian hotspot oozing with creativity, vibrant colors, and a style all its own.  Each street you walk down has retro coffee shops, vintage clothing outlets, houses that have been turned into independent businesses (shout out to the Pfunkey Griddle!), and each one has endless racks for hipsters to lock their fixed-gear bikes too.  Good vibes are always being spread from the beautiful people of Nashville.  Spending time roaming Music City and interacting with it’s inhabitants is bound to get your creative juices flowing.  More of a night person?  Perfect, because Nashville’s night life is completely our of this world bonkers!  From the great bars on Broadway and Division Street (there are so many more too), to karaoke, dance clubs, dinner theater, and more, Nashville has it all.  Follow this link HERE to the Nashville Scene’s website where you can get a better idea at all the great places and events Music City has to offer.

 

4) Nashville is Much Friendlier & Affordable

When people think about breaking into the Music Industry, their first thought is to move to the NYC or LA.  We say NO!  Move to Nashville instead where Southern hospitality is alive and kicking.  Many professionals have moved here to get away from the blunt, fast-paced world of the coasts.  In the South, people are genuinely interested in you.  It is very common for meetings to start off with 15-20 minutes of getting to know each other, asking how your mother is doing, before getting down to business.  There is a low tolerance for rudeness round’ these parts, and having polite manners will gain you more brownie points than having a good song.  Speaking of manners, ladies, when dealing with Southerners do not be offended if they refer to you as “Ma’am.”  They ARE NOT referring to your age whatsoever!  In Nashville, like the rest of the South, calling people “sir” and “ma’am” is one of the first social cues that children are taught.  It becomes instinct.  

Rogers NashvilleNashville is also much more affordable to live in than NYC or LA ever will be.  While moving into the heart of the city is still pricey, it is still very doable with new apartment complexes and developments being built everyday.  Many of these new developments have even been tailor made specifically for career artists.  However, if big city life isn’t for you there are many fantastic neighborhoods only a stones throw away from Music City.  Franklin, Hermitage, Green Hills, Hillsboro Village, Belmont, and Vanderbilt are just a few great areas to go house hunting in!  Follow this link HERE for a Nashville living/housing guide.

 

5) Education

I believe in nashvilleAccording to the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s analysis from earlier, Nashville is slighted to become world’s “premier music education center”.  Besides having Belmont University and MTSU, two of the best four-year institutions for Audio Production, Music Performance, and Music Business education nearby, Nashville also has created many educational programs.  One of the largest is “Music Makes Us“.  Mayor Karl Dean, the Nashville Public School system, and many industry professionals joined together to provide high quality musical education to children K-12 by incorporating traditional musical schooling while also tackling newer genres, styles, and technologies.  Other fantastic education programs can be found at SAE, The Recording Connection, and BlackBird Academy!  It is also very pertinent to mention that the studios, publishers, labels, etc all have internship opportunities! 

“I don’t see us as being a farm team for the music industry,” he said. Instead, Dean said, the effort is a recognition that music “enriches a person’s life, makes them a well-rounded person and helps them academically.” –Mayor Karl Dean

 

6) The Record Shop is here!

We know how excited you are about starting your career in the music industry, and we want to help!!  The Record Shop Nashville’s mission is to provide the best quality product and service for our clients whether they are looking to record a simple demo, an LP, EP, or voice overs.  If you want something visual (that’s not to abysmal) , we also provide high quality video and photography.  Pack your bags, call the movers, and head down south to Nashville where good music, people and food are abundant.  

 

 

logo-final

 

 

Thanks for spending some time inside The Record Shop’s Nashville Recording Studio!  Be sure to follow and chat with us on Twitter @therecordshop for daily updates from Giovanni & The Henchmen.

Hey y’all!  Welcome back the The Record Shop Nashville Recording Studio for another installment of BEHIND THE GEAR, one of the most splendiforous, titillating gear blogs on this rock we call Earth!  Well…we love it anyways.  Today we want to share some information about one of the most prolific pianos in music history.  The one…the only…Fender Rhodes Mark II electric piano!  The Fender Rhodes has been a coveted piano since it’s creation in 1960, when its inventor Harold Rhodes teamed up with Leo Fender to begin mass producing these fine instruments.  From Ray Manzarek to Herbie Hancock to “The Ruler of the Rhodes” Billy Preston, pianists alike have been performing live and recording the songs of their generations with these pianos.  So come on in, and lets talk about the Fender Rhodes!

harold rhodesHarold Rhodes: Inventor & Humanitarian

Before we dive into the instrument itself, we at The Record Shop want to shed a light on Harold Rhodes.  A Los Angeles native, Rhodes began teaching piano when he was 19, where he developed what is now called the “Rhodes Method” of teaching.  Harold aimed to combine classical piano’s reliance on written sheet music with jazz improvisation.  During WWII Rhodes, now one of the top piano instructors in the U.S., joined the Army Air Corps where he continued to teach piano to his fellow soldiers.  Harold was soon asked by the Air General Surgeon to create a music-therapy program for injured GIs.  Rhodes then built several “lap-top” pianos, along with kits that soldiers could build themselves. These portable, 29-key pianos were made from used aluminum from B-17 airplanes and functioned almost like a xylophone.  “Make and Play”, as the program was named, became the the most successful music-related program ever implemented by the United States government!  After he returned from War, Rhodes continued teaching and developing pianos with his new venture Rhodes Piano Corporation.  Then as history goes, Leo Fender bought RPC in 1959 and mass production began. 

 

Rhodes Mark II

The Rhodes Stage Piano

Harold stayed with the Rhodes company after the 1965, CBS acquisition of Fender and developed the first Fender Rhodes piano.  These 73-keyed pianos were made up of two parts – the actual piano and a built-in power amplifier and speaker.  5 years later the 73-note Stage Piano was released!  The Stage Piano was marketed for its light-weight portability, detachable legs, sustain pedal, and single output jack.  From 1970 – 1981, Rhodes put out The Mark I Stage Piano, which was modified several times over the 1970s, and the Mark II Stage Piano.  Of the Mark Series (I-VII), the Mark I and II seem to be the most sought after by pianists.  There other pianos in the series seem to be used more for specific sounds and tastes, but they are mostly purchased as collectors items.  The Mark II is essentially a Mark I stage piano after all the design changes made during the 1970s.  It has the same black suitacse look, removable music rack, flat hard cover, volume-control & tone-control (bass boost) knobs, tuning fork principle sound generation, sustain pedal, and adjustable legs. 

fender rhodes mark IIThere really isn’t much we can say to describe the Mark II’s tone in words.  Follow this link HERE for a video demonstration by Neville Styke’s YouTube channel where he showcases the full audio spectrum of the Mark II.  In closing, the Rhodes Mark II Stage Piano has a completely unique tone that can add so much richness to your track and arrangement that is simply unparalleled.  Harold Rhodes gave the world an amazing gift by creating these instruments, and he will forever go down in history for his revolutionary designs for pianos and sound creation.  So, the next time you find yourself in Nashville give us here at The Record Shop a call and tickle the keys of our Mark II. 

 

 

 

logo-final1

 

Thank you for joining The Record Shop Nashville for another Behind The Gear.  We hope we’ve been informative.  Click HERE for a complete list of our Nashville Recording Studio’s gear.  And HEY!!! Follow and chat with Gio & the crew on Twitter @therecordshop!  See y’all next time!

Nashville Recording Studio Steinway Baby GrandpianoBrace yourselves people because The Record Shop is tackling one of our Nashville Recording Studio’s most prized possessions in today’s BEHIND THE GEAR: our 1923 Steinway Baby Grand Piano.  You heard me.  A 1923…Steinway…Baby…Grand…Piano!  Just look at this gorgeous piece of music-making heaven.  LOOK AT IT!  It’s hard to describe just how incredible this piano sounds.  The slightest tickle on those ivories sends the hair on the back of your neck straight up while it covers your body in goosebumps.  It’s no wonder that these pianos were the preferred piano by past music greats like George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, and Cole Porter.  Even today, Steinway pianos are beloved by artists like Henry Connick Jr., Diana Krall, and Billy Joel.  Check out their Steinway’s website for a full list of artists.Henry Steinway

 Steinway & Sons

In 1853, Heinrich Englehard Steinway and his five sons C. F. Theodore, Charles, Henry Jr., William, and Albert founded Steinway & Sons.  Over the next three decades, these six men revolutionized the modern piano to what it is today.  During this long, developmental period they patented almost half of the company’s 127 inventions based off of the acoustical research done by one of music history’s favorite physicists Hermann von Helmholtz.  If you want to dive deeper into the pure awesomeness that these six men radiated check out these links to their History page and their 161 Facts page!

Peter KeysPeter Keys & His Steinway

 Like our Hammond Organ, The Record Shop’s baby grand was entrusted to us from Rock n’ Roll great Peter Keys!  “..[I]t was my parents, and when I was a baby, I’d crawl under it and fall asleep while they played classical duets.. It was the first piano I ever played. When my father passed away in 1989, I inherited it, had it shipped from New York to San Francisco where I lived until 2000, when I shipped it to Detroit and had it in my studio there until 2008. I then moved to Nashville, and brought it to The Record Shop. I have written and played it on thousands of tracks over the years. It was fully restored and restrung in 1975, and refinished in 2006. I had a new set of bass strings put on last year.”  The Record Shop is very fortunate to have such an incredible instrument within out Nashville Recording Studio, and we are lucky to see and hear the new songs that continue to be played on it.  

Thanks for tuning in for The Record Shop Nashville’s Behind The Gear!  We hope it was enjoyable and informational.  Feel free to check out the rest of our site, and please, don’t be a stranger.  Follow and chat with us on Twitter @therecordshop for daily updates, photos, and videos!  Have a nice day y’all!

A charity event or concert can be a great way to land that first live gig as a new artist or band. Charities are usually happy to have artists give their time for live performances at their events as it enhances the overall value and excitement of an event.  As a musician there are many benefits in performing at charity events.  These can include expanding your fan base, providing you exposure to new industry professionals, getting performance experience, and having a fun and rewarding way to give back to the community.

 

Supporting Great Causes as a Musician

Hosting a charity concert or donating album sales to charity by using a program like Reverbnation’s Music for Good will often get you the attention and support of local press and media. Charities such as United Way, Habitat for Humanity and the American Cancer Society will often host events which draw large crowds.  A simple Google search can lead you to a whole directory of charities in your local area.  From there you are only a phone call or email away from getting booked at a charity event.  If you don’t get the gig don’t fret.  The organization now knows who you are and that you want to help them, which may lead to you being one of the first artists they call when they put on their next event!

 

Music for GoodMusic For Good Charity Event

Reverbnation is a great site to be a part of as a new artist because it allows your music to be easily accessible by fans and it allows you to be part of the massive online Reverbnation music community. Music for Good is a charity donation program offered by Reverbnation.  It allows artists to give a portion of money made from each song to a charity of the artist’s choice.  Artists have the opportunity to select the portion of money that is donated from each song purchased, as well as the specific songs they want to be part of the program.

 

FanDistro Project       FanDistro Charity Event

FanDistro is way to help charities and reward your fans at the same time.  By creating a project page and sending it to your fans they can then share your music or purchase your songs.  If they do then they are rewarded with free merchandise and 20% of the sales go a charity in the fan’s name. 

Having reliable apps available to you on your portable devices can help to make the music recording process more mobile and flexible.  Music apps out there can assist you with tuning, editing and songwriting.  Here are a few of the best apps for Android.

 

ChordBot ProChordBot App

ChordBot is an app that will help with the songwriting process on the guitar immensely.  The chord sequencer is very user friendly. You can complete entire songs within the app and then export the songs as MIDI or WV file formats.  This app costs $5.

 

PocketBand ProPocket Band App

PocketBand is a great app that is useful for both DJs and recording artists. It contains polyphonic synthesizers for 125 instruments, 35 drum beats as well as a synthetic modulator.  You can also add recordings done on a microphone and edit them until they are a completed track using the app.  An advantage of PocketBand is that there is a large online community who uses this app and participate in publishing songs, voting on others’ tracks and collaboration online.  It can be bought for $10.

                                                    (Pictured Below: Screen Shot from SoundStack Android App)

Sound LooperSound Stack Looper App

Sound Looper,and many other loop apps, can be used as part of the songwriting and music editing with great success. Sound Looper can be used to edit a variety of music from hip hop to dub-step or rock. Sound Looper has the capability of taking a recording that you have input, adjusting its volume and pitch and then producing an infinite loop that you are able to use for recordings. The user interface is very easy to use, which helps make Sound Looper one of the best apps of its type for Android users. It is a great value as well, at a price of $1.

 

Archetype Guitar TunerArchetype Tuner App

The Archetype Guitar Tuner app is very handy when you are traveling for gigs and are away from your studio.  It does well in recognizing pitch and costs $5.           

 

 

 

 

logo-final1

Thanks for spending some with us today in The Record Shop Nashville Recording Studio.  We hope we’ve been informative.  Please take a look around our website, and be sure to follow & chat with us on Twitter @therecordshop for daily updates from Gio & His Henchmen!!

 

Summer is the best time to take in outdoor music performances and Nashville hosts some of the best summer music festivals around. Be sure to check out your favorite bands throughout the summer!

 

June

In mid-June there is the American Artisan Festival which is held at the Centennial Park. This festival mainly focuses on various handmade crafts, but also features local music performances. The TNN Country Awards are also in mid-June. This is a country music lover’s haven and the awards show features country stars from across the States. The Celtic Music and Summer Solstice Celebration is also happening in June. Here you will find the best of all things Scottish and Irish including Celtic dancing, music and of course, the bagpipes. The International Country Music Fan Fair happens in June too. This festival hosts over 24,000 country music fans and over 100 different country artists. It takes place at the Opryland and the fairgrounds.

 

July

The main event that takes place in July is the July 4th Independence Day celebration. These take place at Riverfront Park and there will be lots of food as well as an awesome fireworks show. This event is fun for the whole family.

     

August

In August be sure to check out the Music City Pig Fest. It takes place in mid-August at the National Guard Armory. It includes a huge array of barbeque vendors as well as entertaining activities for kids such as pony rides.

 

September

The Tennessee State Fair takes place in mid-September and it is one of the largest events in Nashville. There will be amusement rides, livestock shows, games, a petting zoo as well as acrobatics and karaoke. The Nashville Shakespeare Festival will be in early September. At this festival you can enjoy live theatre outside at Centennial Park. At the end of September is the African Street Festival which features a celebration of African culture through music, food and poetry.

 

     

 

Online music streaming and can be a quick and efficient method for getting your music out there for listeners to enjoy.  Many speculate that streaming is the future of music consumption.  Statistics already show a rising number of streaming site subscribers while digital downloads, album and single alike, are declining fast.  There are a growing number of great streaming sites out there to choose from on the web.  Lets take a look at a few!

 

Groovesharkimages-3

Grooveshark is an overall great music streaming site.  You can search for almost any song and create a playlist, just as on an iPod, with the same playback options.  Its only fault is that sometimes the site will freeze and your playlist is lost.

 

 

 

spotify music streamingSpotify

Spotify is one of the best known music streaming sites out there. It has a catalog of over 20 million songs available for listening. Besides creating a playlist or listening to one album, you can also use Spotify’s radio option. This feature will choose music related to the original artists you were listening to and create a unique playlist for you. You can subscribe to their premium plan to get an ad-free version as well as higher quality tracks.

 

 

PandoraPandora Music Streaming

This music streaming site takes the personal playlist to a whole new level. You can choose a song and then Pandora will create a custom radio station of similar music. It works really well the recommendations for music selections are usually good choices based on the song you picked. With their premium service you can get rid of the ads and download a desktop app.

 

 

Google Play Music StreamingGoogle Play

Google Play is another great option for music streaming. You can choose from over 20 million songs to listen to. This streaming service is great when it comes to mobile listening options so you are not restricted to listening to music from your desktop.

 

 

MixcloudMixCloud Music Streaming

 

Mixcloud has a bit of different collection of music than the other music streaming services mentioned. They have a large collection of DJ mixes, podcasts and longer audio format recordings. It is great for listening to background music for long periods of time. 

 

 

 

logo-final1

 

 

Thanks for stepping into The Record Shop Nashville Recording Studio!  Follow & Chat with us on Twitter @therecordshop for daily updates from Gio & His Henchmen!  We hope to see y’all again!

 

Music apps are useful for musicians who are traveling, touring and recording. They can be used on portable devices such as laptops, iPhones or iPads. They can also be integrated into studio equipment through your computer system. They can be helpful in editing, tuning and creating backbeats.

 

Cleartune     

For tuning stringed instruments and wind instruments, Cleartune is a chromatic digital tuner that has a good range to get the job done. It is easy to find a desired pitch because of the way that the note wheel is designed. You can tune your instrument with a precision of up to 1/100th semitone. The cost for the app is $4 and it is also available for Android devices.

 

Beatmaker 2

This updated version of Beatmaker has an easy to use interface and a large selection of back beats to choose from. This is a music production app with many different features. You could create a tempo of your own by including custom drum beats or keyboard notes. Once the beat has been created you can edit the volume, pitch and groove to customize your sound for your song writing and recording needs. This app costs $20 and is only available for iOS.

 

Real Time Analyzers

This music app has the capability of listening to music and displaying its frequency ranges in audio samples. When you are in the process of fine tuning your tracks, this app will certainly help you out. It will also help with recording live performances. The cost of this music app is $11. 

 

FourTrack

FourTrack is an app which you will find very useful during the editing stage of your music production. You can record and layer audio sounds to make songs and perfect them for 16-bit or 44.1kHz quality. This app has an export feature so you can record with software on your desktop computer. It costs $5 and you can also get it for Android.