June 02, 2010
Remember when the owner's manual to your tape recorder was the size of a diner's menu? With today's high-powered software, the documentation can look more like an encyclopedia, which is why we like the clean layout of Hal Leonard's Power Tools book/DVD combos. The series includes tutorials on such software as Pro Tools 8, Logic Pro 9, Cubase 5, and others... If pain sometimes accompanies your playing, check out Janet Horvath's book Playing (Less) Hurt (Hal Leonard). This guide to preventing and living with music-related injuries is well illustrated, discusses all kinds of instruments, and offers detailed steps for identifying and dealing with problems… We wouldn't normally include a songbook in MediaMine, but if you want to get inside some of the best songwriting of the last century, check out Alfred's 70th-Anniversary edition of The Wizard of Oz for Fingerstyle Guitar, which offers standard notation and tablature, as well as a CD demonstrating the pieces… In Hudson Video's A Day in the Recording Studio, drummer Mark Schulman combines both the technical and creative elements to demonstrate how to capture professional drum sounds in a project or home studio… Speaking of home studios, it's far from new, but the Gearslutz.com message board remains one of the best sources for info (and lively debate) on equipment and techniques… If you want to focus on specific recording points (and avoid the arguments of a wide-open message board), check out recordingquestions.com, which lets users post a question or share his or her own knowledge about a range of audio and recording topics… Mobile apps are all the rage, and we're sure that soon our phones will be able to record a bazillion tracks while letting us tweet about our Facebook activity (or is it the other way around?). Until then, however, there are plenty of good apps to help you rock out while you're out, including Alfred's iGuitar Chord chord finder; the rebirth of Propellerhead's ReBirth (the software drum machine that eventually led to that company's groundbreaking Reason); and IK Multimedia's AmpliTube iRig, a mobile version of its popular guitar amp simulation software.