PC Video in REAPER 4

Friday, October 28th, 2011

REAPER 4 has brought quite a lot of improvement to REAPER video handling. With a little creativity it’s possible to add titles, cut between multiple clips, and insert stills, all with reasonable stability, excellent performance, and great audio processing. I’ve done a blog post and a video about using REAPER to sync audio and video, but I thought I’d do another one that looks at making a complete simple music video, with titling and overlays. (more…)


Field Recorder Comparo – Sony PCM-D50 & Zoom H2n

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

A friend loaned me a Sony PCM-D50, a unit that many people seem to feel is at or near the top of the heap in hand-held recorders. Since I just got my Zoom H2n I thought it might be interesting to compare them with some level matched, same source clips. And as long as I’m putting up recorders I threw in the old faithful Zoom H2. For a reference I included a Rode NT4 stereo mic connected to the Echo Audiofire Pre8 here at Digital Duck studios (my upstairs man-cave). (more…)


Guitar Cam Fun

Friday, August 5th, 2011

Please don’t tell my wife how many little HD cameras I have. She wouldn’t be mad, but she would certainly tease me without mercy. These things have gotten so inexpensive that each one seemed like a reasonable purchase, it’s only when I look at all of them spread out on a table that I realize what I’ve done.

Now that I’ve done it, though, I’m pondering uses for all these gadgets. One that I’ve been playing with for a while is a “guitar cam” – a camera mounted directly on the guitar and giving an unusual view of the performance. With all these cams hanging around and Lynnie out of town I went to work. (more…)


Playing the Angles with the Zoom Q3HD

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

The mics and preamp on the Q3HD deliver a new level of audio quality to lower cost video cams, simply by being as good as today’s average pocket recorder. But I read posts by folks who have the Q but are still frustrated in their efforts to get the sound they hope for in their videos. (more…)


New Blog Look, New Camera, New Video

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Lately I’ve been dragging myself into the 21st century in my web design and implementation efforts. I recently overhauled my slack key guitar site, Kaleponi.com and helped out a local hula group with their site as well. All this new knowledge got me thinking about good old Homebrewed Music and its rather generic look, and the result is this new three column fluid layout. I hope you find it easy to read and navigate.

I also made a big step in my video camera arsenal with a shiny new Panasonic Lumix GH2. (more…)


Zoom Q3HD with and without the Zoom H2

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

I’ve been a bit frustrated as I thought about using the Q3HD in the field. We’re getting ready to head to O`ahu and I’m looking forward to shooting outdoors in the beautiful scenery and weather there. As good as the Q3HD mics are, their sensitivity is a bit low, and they’re going to be pretty far away to pick up the sound of an acoustic guitar outside. I would really like to see a preamp for external stereo mics, like the 1/8″ mic input on the H4n. With this feature I could use my very effective Rode NT4 stereo mic and put some very nice audio into my videos. With the current configuration I would need a portable battery powered preamp, adding to the size, weight, and complication on every shoot. (more…)


Another Mic Comparison – Schoeps and Rode

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

As I’ve mentioned before, for many years I believed the recording advice I found on the internet. I visited recording forums and searched for discussions of acoustic guitar recording, and bought gear based on those discussions. I was never happy with my tracks, and I hoped that I could find the combination of gear that would make my recordings sound great.

One consistent recommendation was the Schoeps line of microphones. I was lucky enough to find a deal on a pair of used Schoeps CMC64s (CMC6 modular bodies and MK4 cardioid capsules) a few years ago, and even though they were fairly expensive I bought them because I knew that once I had a pair of Schoeps, I could no longer blame the microphones for my less than satisfactory results. (more…)


Some Mics for the Kodak Zi8

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

I’ve been touting the Zi8 as a low priced tool for “look at me” YouTube videos because it allows the use of an external mic. It’s usually the case that our preferred framing for a shot moves the camera some distance from the subject. This means that the sound recorded by the camera mic is heavily affected by the sound of the room, and that is rarely a good thing for sound quality.

By separating the mic from the camera, I should be able to position the mic for optimum sound while placing the camera for the visual effect I want. Of course, I can do this wihout an audio input on the camera by a technique called parallel recording, that is, recording on a separate audio system of some kind. The familiar clack of the slate at the start of a movie sequence is used to make it easy to synchronize the picture and sound, and this technique works very well for my homebrewed videos as well. Still it’s very tempting to think that recording directly to the camera is an easier way out, with camera audio every take and every edit lining up without any extra effort. (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.