Sounding Board: November 2008

A LITTLE MORE PUNCH, PLEASE Thank you for your review of portable recorders “Portable Recorder Showdown”— 9 08 . As a songwriter using guest artists on demos, I would like to have a portable digital recorder to work remotely. I

Thank you for your review of portable recorders [“Portable Recorder Showdown”— 9/08]. As a songwriter using guest artists on demos, I would like to have a portable digital recorder to work remotely. I thought I was getting that functionality with my DigiTech GNX4 workstation; however, it doesn’t support maneuvering around and punching in/out within a track. This is a hardship for those artists whose takes are less than perfect.
With the overdub feature, the TASCAM DR-1 appears to be the songwriter’s dream machine. However, it does not offer punch in/out recording either or, as your review pointed out, a high impedance instrument input.
Can you give me any gear ideas short of putting my recording software on a laptop and carrying all of the input paraphernalia?
-Ron Free (via EQ’s Letters to the Editor forum)

Executive Editor Craig Anderton responds:
You might need to step up to something like the TASCAM DP-02, Boss BR- 600, Korg D888, or a similar portable studio. But why not use the GNX4, record takes without worrying about punching, then transfer the tracks into the DAW software that’s included with the GNX4? That would also have the benefit of letting the artist just keep playing, rather than having to wait for punch operations and the like. Ultimately, you’ll have the most flexibility by recording remotely, but editing in your studio at your leisure.

I don’t know how you guys manage to be so much better than the other recording mags of the world, but please do keep it up. I’m impressed on a monthly basis by your ability to be topical and interesting, in marked contrast to all of the other music magazines out there (save Tape Op). You guys always seem to get gear to review ahead of the curve. I often feel like I know everything I need to know about some piece long before I read about it in my copy of [names of competing mags withheld because we are gentlemen—EQ editors]. Your how-tos are things I actually find applicable in my own music, and you talk to artists who are taking recording in cool, new directions.
So this is a plain ol’ kudos letter. As someone who used to be Managing Editor of a magazine, I know how few of those you get.
-Andrew Vietze (via email)

Executive Editor Craig Anderton responds:
First of all, thanks for the kind words. Rest reassured we get a lot of kudos letters; however, any kind of critical letter gets priority in Sounding Board because we figure it makes for a more interesting read. (And by the way, we’re with you on Tape Op—as you may have noticed, we have no problems mentioning each other in our respective forums and publications, and we even share some of the same authors.)
Of course, on a professional level, we want to put out the best magazine we possibly can. But on a personal level, we love what we do, and we love working in this industry—which makes it easy to stay excited about EQ month after month. And you better believe there’s a lot more to come!

I just wanted to thank you for the excellent cover story on Todd Rundgren [“Bang the Drum”—9/08]. I only wish it was longer! The guy has simply created so much brilliant music. He’s had a long, influential career, and produced a handful of true masterpieces, including the two most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard, “Cliché” and “Hawking.”
I hope you are able to do further interviews with the man—perhaps one article focusing more on his own songwriting/recording and another on his production work for others? But I’m thrilled you put him on the cover for this issue; he’s overdue for the exposure and attention!
-Brad Page (via email)

Editor Matt Harper responds:
It will be a while before we do another piece with Todd. This is not because he doesn’t deserve all the coverage—he clearly does (we’ve received tons of fan mail just like yours about the piece). It’s just simply impossible for us to fit all of the deserving artists out there into the pages of the magazine and website, so our “re-coverage cycle” tends to be rather long. However, you’ll be pleased to know that our sister publication, Guitar Player, ran a lengthy lesson with Todd in their 10/08 issue. By the time you read this, the article should be online. Click your way over to and check it out for yourself.

In the July installment of Cheat Sheet [“Recording Electric Guitar”—7/08] you recommend using a Low Pass Filter [LPF] for getting rid of hum and rumble. Wouldn’t you use a High Pass Filter [HPF] for this instead?
-Bob Mithoff (via email)

Executive Editor Craig Anderton responds:
Yes, you most definitely would! I meant to say Low Cut, as that’s the term used on most mixers but a Brain Scramble occurred. I think I’ll blame it on recent sunspot activity. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Got something to say? Questions, comments, concerns? Head on over and drop us a line in our Letters to the Editor forum, send us an email or snail mail c/o EQ Magazine, 1111 Bayhill Dr., Suite 125, San Bruno, CA 94066 for possible inclusion in the Sounding Board.
Note: Letters may be edited for length and/or clarity. Direct correspondence by EQ editorial is not guaranteed. All submissions become the property of EQ magazine and can be published in any medium.