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DIY Music

Eventide H3000 Factory Plugin Harmonizer Review

Saturday, September 12th, 2015 - by Ed Driscoll

“It f***s with the fabric of time!” When producer Tony Visconti explained the concept of the original Eventide Harmonizer on a conference call around the time of David Bowie’s Low in 1977 (the first of Bowie’s experimental albums produced in Berlin) that Visconti shared with Bowie and synth pioneer Brian Eno and was asked what […]

Interview: Mitch Gallagher, Editorial Director of Internet Music Giant

Monday, August 24th, 2015 - by Ed Driscoll

Longtime readers of PJ know that many of the first bloggers, myself included,  had a background in do-it-yourself music, which helped ease the transition to DIY journalism. Glenn Reynolds explored this theme in 2006 book, An Army of Davids, and I’ve been writing about DIY music over the past 15 years for Guitar World, […]

Scenes from a Guitar Festival

Monday, June 22nd, 2015 - by Ed Driscoll

 There’s an economic concept known as a positional good, in which an object is only valued by the possessor because it’s not possessed by others. The term was coined in 1976 by economist Fred Hirsch to replace the more colloquial, but less precise “neener-neener.” —Dr. Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory, episode Season 3, Episode […]

Pitch Perfect: Is Celemony’s Melodyne the Most Versatile Pitch Correction Software Ever?

Sunday, June 14th, 2015 - by Ed Driscoll

There are lots of computer-based digital audio workstations (DAWs) that transform Apples and PCs into multitrack recording studios, and a seemingly endless amount of applets for those DAWs to process and transform sound. But among them, perhaps the most intriguing is Celemony’s Melodyne program. Melodyne originally debuted in 2001, and quickly set new standards for […]

Interview: Jimmy Wallace on the Annual Dallas International Guitar Festival

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 - by Ed Driscoll

Since its humble origins in 1978, Jimmy Wallace has been one of the chief forces behind the sprawling annual Dallas International Guitar Festival, which is being held this year from May 29th through the 31st at the Dallas Fair Park. If you’re a player or simply a fan of the electric or acoustic guitar, and […]

Book Review: Making Music: 74 Creative Strategies for Electronic Music Producers

Friday, May 8th, 2015 - by Ed Driscoll

“For many artists, nothing inspires more existential terror than actually making art. The fear that we’re not good enough or that we don’t know enough results in untold numbers of creative crises and potential masterpieces that never get realized,” electronic music composer/producer Dennis DeSantis writes at the beginning of his new book, Making Music: 74 […]

Is This the Most Bizarre Bar Mitzvah Video of the Year?

Thursday, March 5th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

There’s a subset of Jewish culture that has so much money to blow on their kids that celebrations like Bar Mitzvahs turn into outrageous, television-worthy affairs. If you want the full story in the form of a cute, thoughtful comedy, check out Keeping Up with the Steins. If you want to skip straight to the awkward […]

Avantone MixCubes: The Little Speakers with the Awful Sound That Are a Must for Your Home Studio

Monday, February 16th, 2015 - by Ed Driscoll

I’ve written extensively about home music recording since 2002, and have witnessed the technology available to those recording at home to rapidly grow to allow for pro-quality sound. Provided your computer has sufficient RAM, programs such as Avid’s Pro Tools and Cakewalk’s Sonar allow for near unlimited audio tracks – imagine going back in a […]

David Byrne: Creepy Liberal Hypocrite

Monday, February 16th, 2015 - by Kathy Shaidle

Hey, remember the early days of rock & roll? Even if you don’t remember them, surely you’ve heard the story: How white people stole rock & roll from black musicians, paying them a pittance (if that) for their music, then getting rich and famous? How decades later, a bunch of almost forgotten, destitute black artists […]

Was Rod McKuen the Secret Godfather of Punk Rock?

Monday, February 9th, 2015 - by Kathy Shaidle

For hacks of a certain vintage, the name “Rod McKuen” served as a effortless go-to punchline ingredient, the way “Sarah Palin” or “Justin Bieber” does today. Zillion-selling author and lyricist McKuen was the Thomas Kinkade of poetry. His death last week left me decidedly unmoved, except that I was quite distressed to learn this, from […]

Review: Alan Parsons’ Art & Science of Sound Recording: The Book

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 - by Ed Driscoll

With the exceptions of George Martin, Quincy Jones and Glyn Johns, arguably no other recording producer is as quite a household name as Alan Parsons. (And only Parsons has been namechecked by Austin Powers’ nemesis, Dr. Evil!) Starting at age 18, Parsons began working in EMI’s legendary Abbey Road Studios in 1967 before going on […]

How the Sex Pistols Made History by Lying About It

Monday, November 10th, 2014 - by Kathy Shaidle

“…the stage where Johnny Rotten unveiled his baleful stare has given way to a Harry Potter section.” The venerable St. Martins School of Art having moved to a new campus, another esteemed institution took over its old building this year: Foyles, one of the many beloved book merchants that line London’s Charing Cross Road. Traditionalists […]

Review: Izotope RX4 Audio Restoration Software

Monday, November 3rd, 2014 - by Ed Driscoll

When the Boston-based Izotope audio software company released the first iteration of their RX program in the fall of 2007, it was a revelation in digital audio cleaning applications. It allowed hum, hiss, and background noises to be removed with much fewer artifacts than before, and it allowed the user to drill down to a […]

TC-Helicon’s VoiceLive 3: A Box Full of Virtual Backup Singers

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 - by Ed Driscoll

One of the hallmarks of great pop songs, recorded or live, are great harmony vocals. While non-melodic rap and death metal are often largely exempt from this artistry, just about all classic pop music is known for its harmonies, from Motown, country music and folk, to the Beach Boys and the Beatles. Even in hard […]

Meet The Least Likely Songwriter to Have A Top Ten Hit

Saturday, August 31st, 2013 - by Chris Queen

These days, most pop music consists of style over substance. Regardless of talent, today’s top stars like Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and Justin Bieber are largely more concerned with dance moves and video poses than songwriting chops – which makes the appearance of a delicate ballad like “Oh Sweet Lorraine” by Green Shoe Studio featuring […]

Interview: The History of Epiphone Guitars

Sunday, January 13th, 2013 - by Ed Driscoll

For years, Walter Carter was the in-house historian at Gibson Guitars, before serving a similar function for well-known vintage guitar dealer George Gruhn. He has a new book out this month published by Backbeat Books, called The Epiphone Guitar Book: A Complete History of Epiphone Guitars. Its slick, glossy, 160-pages are heavily illustrated, with many […]

Mastering the Music Domain

Saturday, October 6th, 2012 - by Ed Driscoll

For those who enjoy recording their own music or podcasts at home, mastering is one of the more little known aspects of the process. Most people are aware of overdubbing, editing and mixing, but comparatively few understand how critical mastering can be to add the final sparkle to a mix, how it can transform a […]

The Home Recording Handbook

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012 - by Ed Driscoll

A decade ago, in one of my earliest reviews of a software-based recording program, I dubbed it “Abbey Road in a Box.” That may seem slightly hyperbolic at first, but today’s digital audio workstations (or DAWs for short) are incredibly sophisticated programs, combining the ability to record music digitally, then add built-in and aftermarket effects, […]

The Pros and Cons of the Future of the Electric Guitar

Saturday, August 11th, 2012 - by Ed Driscoll

Debuting in the mid-1970s, largely thanks to Japan’s Roland Corporation, guitar synthesizers have long had their share of headaches, until Roland launched their VG-system in the mid-1990s. Instead of concentrating on synthesizing strings and trumpets, suddenly here was a unit armed with loads of great guitar-oriented sounds and effects, which tracked flawlessly. The original VG-8 […]

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Electric Guitar

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012 - by Ed Driscoll

I first began playing guitar around November of 1982; I remember vividly driving back from the Moorestown Mall having purchased (in the now defunct B. Dalton bookstore chain) The Guitar Handbook by Ralph Denyer. Covering everything from the author’s favorite guitar heroes, to what to look for when buying a guitar, to an extensive and well-written […]

Overexposed: Lana Del Rey, Saturday Night Live, and How Indie Music Hype Cannibalizes Its Young

Monday, January 23rd, 2012 - by Jonathan Sanders

Lana Del Rey has been built up over the last few months as the great white hope for music in 2012, a songwriter with the creativity to push herself in a unique direction while crafting music with hooks that are timeless and unforgettable. She’s “the gangster Nancy Sinatra,” a sultry musical minx who pouts her […]

Creating the Sounds of Star Wars

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011 - by Ed Driscoll

Last month, when I was putting the finishing touches on my post on the classic British Cinesound sound effects library from the 1960s and 1970s, I did a quick Amazon search to include a link to the sound effects from the original 1966 iteration of Star Trek, which you can download as an MP3 collection […]

Let’s Watch Peter Gabriel Invent the Music of the 1980s

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 - by Ed Driscoll

Pardon the freakout screen capture of Gabriel in the above clip of “Shock the Monkey” from his fourth album, but by the early 1980s, he somehow managed to combine just about all of the elements that would drive rock and pop music for the next decade: African polyrhythms, drum machines, gated drums, the Fairlight CMI […]

DIY Culture Versus Old Media: An Interview with Glenn Reynolds

Monday, July 25th, 2011 - by Ed Driscoll

Glenn Reynolds should need little introduction to PJ Media’s readers, but just in case you’re beaming in from another temporal plane or quantum singularity, he’s a pioneering blogger, whose is PJM’s flagship blog, and he hosts the long-running Instavision show on He’s also the author of An Army of Davids, which explores do […]