Zoom H6 – Acoustic Guitar Shootout

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

I’ve been interested in the new Zoom H6 since it was announced back in April of this year. I’ve long hoped to find a multi-channel portable recorder with performance comparable to a nice consumer audio interface at a friendly price. In other comparisons I’ve done the lower priced battery powered gear added a bit of noise that I don’t hear with a comparably priced audio interface, even when using the same mics. But technology moves on and there have been some terrific new preamp-on-a-chip products released in the last couple of years, so Zoom’s claim of improved preamps seemed plausible. Now that I have my unit I’m trying those comparisons again. (more…)


Rode NT1a vs ADK A6 plus Two

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

There are a number of comments I expect to hear when microphones are discussed. Someone is likely to call the Rode NT1a harsh, strident, shrill, or some similar indication of high frequency problems. And when asked to recommend a mic for recording acoustic guitar, the ADK A6 is one of the more common responses. So how obvious are the differences between these two mics in a four way blind comparison? (more…)


Ever Heard of a Martin Tiple?

Friday, February 8th, 2013

At various times in my life I’ve surrendered to the urge to collect musical instruments. It’s a common ailment among my peers, and probably one of the less damaging addictions one might suffer. But over the past few years I’ve tried to go straight, stick with the instruments I have and definitely stay away from oddball stuff that once called out to me.

Then I ran across an Ebay auction for a Martin Tiple. Now the “tiple” is one of a number of smallish stringed instruments played throughout the Spanish and Portuguese speaking world, where the word is pronounced “teeplay.” But a Martin Tiple is a strange member of the `ukulele family, an instrument that was vitally important to the CF Martin company in their history. I’ve learned a lot about the Martin Tiple by visiting Uncle Emile’s Blog, The Martin Tiple.

I started off tuning this tiple like a modern tenor uke, G C E A or C6 tuning. But we discovered that it plays and tunes better one step higher in a D6 tuning of A D F# B. (more…)


Free Tools to Tweak Q3HD Audio

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

I’m continually learning about the importance of volume/loudness/level in recording and video. Our listeners expect a “normal” level similar to commercial recordings, but through the vagaries of technological and commercial development, normal recording levels are just not as loud as normal delivery levels. Our recordings will sound wimpy and unimpressive if we deliver them at the level we used to capture them. (more…)


YouTube Audio Again (and ABX again)

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

In a previous entry discussing YouTube audio I mentioned that Google/YouTube changes the details of their upload formats, transcoding, and streams without much fanfare. Happily all the changes I’ve seen so far have been toward higher quality, and lately they’ve upgraded the audio streams again. (more…)


Guitar Flangdang 2012

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

The heading on this blog says it’s about home recording and acoustic guitars. I actually became an acoustic guitar nut before I became a recording nut. We hosted our first guitar gathering back in 2001 with the idea that I would have a chance to try out guitars I could never experience otherwise. (more…)


Slack Key on the GoPro HD Hero2 ? ?

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

In the guitar world we often talk about a phenomenon we call GAS – it stands for Guitar Acquisition Syndrome and it’s obviously an addiction that afflicts a lot of us. It’s common to see forum signatures with more than a half-dozen instruments listed, sometimes all very similar. I’ve certainly suffered from the ailment myself, but it’s been a few years since I bought a guitar. These days I have CAS – Camera Acquisition Syndrome, and it’s no less of a disease. (more…)


Playing the Keys of C and D in Open G Tuning

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

I think of this blog as being about acoustic guitar playing as much as it is about recording, but somehow the gadgets seem to get most of the attention. I’ve been fooling around with playing in different keys while using open G tuning and came up with a post that focuses on the playing side of things. (more…)


About the Blog

    Howdy, my name is Fran Guidry and this is my Homebrewed Music blog.

    I play Hawaiian slack key guitar and recorded my solo acoustic CD at home. Most of the recording information I find on the internet seems focused on bands, drums, multitracking, and so on but my main focus is recording solo acoustic guitar. Lately I’ve been enjoying video recording along with audio, so that shows up in the blog as well.

    I’m also a guitar nut. I love big ones and little ones, handmades and factory guitars, cheap ones and expensive ones. So I’ll be sharing the fun of exploring guitars as well, along with the challenges of amplifying acoustic guitars for live performance.



    My recording philosophy is pragmatic, skeptical, not super critical. After all, the performance is by far the most important component of a track, and every aspect of any recording is a matter of taste.

    But I do like to know “about stuff.” Back in hifi days I learned about double blind testing. I learned that we humans can easily hear differences that don’t really exist. The more I’ve learned about our human auditory system, the more I’m skeptical of what people say they hear, especially if they claim that a particular microphone or preamp or cable has some magical property.

    I’ve only been recording since 2001, and when I started I found the usual places on the internet. I sought advice and accepted it, thought I would improve my recordings by using more expensive equipment. It didn’t work.

    Two things that did seem to lead to better recordings were experience and room treatment. Getting an appealing sound is the combination of many small details, and learning those details only comes from experience. Amd the sound of the recording space is obviously a big factor.

    I’ve only recorded seriously using digital technology, but I remember trying to record rehearsals and gigs back in analog days. I don’t have any nostalgia for analog recording and playback systems at all. I think even low end digital systems can capture marvelous recordings. So when I look at gear, I look for good specs: low noise, broad flat frequency response, wide dynamic range, low distortion. I’m not interested in colorful components, mics and preamps with a sound, I want the sound to be the sound of my guitar.

    But the last word is that I’m just learning and I hope you find something useful in my posts.