Guitar Picks

I liked this site a lot. Really fun looking stuff. Anyway, they had a few guitar pick sites that I thought were pretty interesting. Wow, I’ve sunk to a new low…I’m finding guitar picks interesting now.

The first was Hot Picks. They had some “scary” looking skull picks. Which I thought were pretty lame. I did, however, like their motion picks. They change images when you move them. Like pogs. Remember Pogs? Hot Picks had designs like the alien head breaking open, the shark attack, burning skull, etc. You get the jist. I also like their website.

The second was the Pickard. Captain Pickard? No, it’s a credit card with four picks cut out. You’re supposed to carry it in your wallet for an “emergency.” What? Just in case the last minute, late night, back alley, guitar showdown breaks out?

You can even put the picks back after use. That’s not a bad idea. There are a few different designs to choose from. Skulls, flags, panther, hamburger, rising sun, Jesus, Canadian flag, etc. Their site doesn’t ever give the price…which leads me to believe they’re overpriced.

Pickard’s website kinda cracks me up, there is a “Look Who’s Talking” section with band testimonials. They have such legendary bands as Crunchy Frog, Another Man’s Trash, and The Morsels talking about how Pikcard rescued them with an emergency pick. Classic.

Check out Pickard and Hot Picks, they are both worth the surf over.…

How to Record Better Vocals

Here are a few tips for recording vocals:

  • Make sure you have a quiet isolated room. Make sure you don’t hear the computer, air conditioning, heater, traffic, family noises, etc.
  • Put the mic stand on the carpet and cover your music stand with a towel to avoid reflections.
  • Use a shock mount. Don’t let the singer touch the mic or mic stand while recording.
  • Have the singer maintain a consistent distance from the mic while singing.
  • Make sure there is no bleed from monitors in the control room.
  • Make sure the singer is in a comfortable, private singing environment.
  • If your room is very live, put up some carpet, rug or towels on opposing walls to create diffusion.
  • Find the mic that works best for your voice. Test all of the mics you have to find your favorite.
  • Make sure you have decent lighting. You don’t want too much natural light. You want enough to be able to read the lyrics, but you also want to create a comfortable mood.
  • Have your lyrics and a pen handy for the singer to jot notes.
  • Check the headphone mix, make sure the music and the vocals mix well to create excitement for the take.
  • Be familiar with the song, so you know exactly where the parts go.
  • Keep notes on the session. You want to know what tracks are keepers, etc.
  • Have the singer record a scratch track so you know where everything goes.
  • Have the singer listen back to everything on the monitors so he can get an idea of what things “really” sound like.
  • Sometimes you might need one side of the headphones off so they can hear themselves. Sometimes different headphones may help.
  • Make sure the mix in the headphones is dry and not too loud.
  • Use a tiny bit of compression when recording vocals.
  • Have some water or tea to keep the singer’s voice from drying up. Never beer, pop or anything carbonated.
  • No smoking while recording vocals.
  • Keep things fun and upbeat.
  • Move on if something is taking more than 4 or 5 takes. You don’t want the singer to get tired.
  • Use a pop filter.
  • Chop everything up into small parts. Don’t expect the singer to record the entire song. Break it up into manageable sections.
  • Punch in as necessary to fix parts.

Using these tips when recording vocals will ensure a decent vocal track and a happy singer.…