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The November 2023 Issue of RECORDING: The Singer-Songwriter Issue––Essential Tools & Techniques

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The Singer-Songwriter Issue––Essential Tools & Techniques


Welcome to the November Pumpkin Spice Singer-Songwriter issue of RECORDING Magazine! While the term singer-songwriter conjures images of classic 1970s icons singing their hearts out at a grand piano or telling tales while strumming a favorite broken-in acoustic guitar, thanks to a myriad of tools available today, many songwriters not only want a great microphone, stellar interface and a capable DAW but the whole studio shebang!


18 Reviews


You want gear reviews? We got 'em. Our November issue is packed with incredible tools for songwriters and recording musicians alike––including a few we can't even talk about yet. 

We start with the most affordable microphone from our friends at Earthworks to date, the hand-held SR117. We also check out the SR3117 wireless capsule version, perfect for performance and live recording. Then, we have the Profile USB microphone from Sennheiser.

On the interface front, we have the new 4th generation Scarlett 2i2 from Focusrite, a significant step up from previous versions. For preamps, we plug our favorite ribbon mics (and more) into the TRP3 and the equalizer-equipped RPQ3 from AEA.

For your listening pleasure, we bring you the new KH-120 II monitors from Neumann and the DT 770 Pro 80 ohms closed-back headphones from beyerdynamic.

To help get your keyboard ideas down and even aid in your mix, we have the latest affordable keyboard controller from Arturia, the KEYLAB Essential 61 MKIII. Finally, on the hardware front is the new FT-1 Freqtube from Freqport. Billed as a "Multi-Instance Analog Hardware Processor"––check out the review to find out what that means.

In software, we help you correct your phase issues with Aligner from NUGEN Audio. We have the unique new BinAmp preamp plugin from PSP Audioware based on the input section of the classic Binson Echorec. Speaking of uniqueness, we twist, turn and mangle our audio with the Transit multi-effects plugin from Baby Audio. Then we go old-school tape with the latest pedal-turned-plugin from Strymon as we double up our tones with the Deco Tape Saturation and Doubletracker Plugin.

Last but not least, we check out the new Abbey Road High Percussion library from Spitfire Audio, and we help songwriters everywhere get funky and soulful with the latest Soul Roads EKX from Toontrack.



Our interview for this issue is with singer-songwriter Edie Brickell (New Bohemians, Steve Martin, Jerry Garcia) and trumpet-playing electronic composers CJ Camerieri and Trever Hagen. Together as Heavy MakeUp (the band and album name), this trio pushes into experimental, organic, electronic, and improvisational territory while retaining a classic, modern, cinematic songwriter vibe that explores a broad range of emotions and atmospheres.




A Day In The Studio: Orchestral Pop at Abbey Road

At the end of July, our editor, Paul Vnuk Jr., traveled to the famed EMI Abbey Road Studio 2 in London to attend a day's worth of orchestral sessions overseen by Producer Mark Hornsby. From the arranging, conducting, mic selection, monitor choice, tracking procedures and future Dolby Atmos mix considerations, come read what went down.

The story continues in Inside The Studio as Mark Hornsby shares what went down before and after the Abbey Road sessions.

In this issue's Studio 101 installment, our resident audio instructor, Joe Albano, considers multiple aspects of the recording singer-songwriter, from tracking multiple writers in one room, simultaneously singing and playing while recording, when to and when not to use a click track, headphone bleed, layering in the band and more.

Marc Urselli documents working with songwriter Bjorn Yettling of Peter Bjorn and John in this month's Session Log.

Dave Martin brings us his wisdom in Readers' Tracks, and we wrap up with a special Fade Out this month from singer-songwriter, producer, and the man behind MasterWriter, Barry De Vorzon.

Whether you sing, play, compose, produce or record––check out the November issue of RECORDING Magazine––and hey, it's fewer calories than a pumpkin-spiced latte.

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Editor - RECORDING Magazine

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