Up until now HSR has never really considered the question of what home recordists actually do with their finished products. Do they make cassette copies to give to their friends? Do they use them as promotional vehicles for obtaining live gigs or do they send them to record companies or press records from them? Judging by the number of cassettes piling up in the corner of our offices, obviously many of you send copies to us for review purposes. For those we thank you, but we would still love to know what the rest of you do with tapes when you've finished recording them, so please drop us a line and tell us.
In this issue we have included more features on practical, 'down-to-earth' recording tips in 'HSR Insight' and 'Studio Sound Techniques' in the hope that these will spark off ideas that you can apply to your own recordings. If you feel you have some unusual, or just plain interesting tips that you'd care to share with fellow readers, then don't hesitate to send them in. Likewise with our 'Home Studio Recordist' feature, which is proving to be one of the most widely-read parts of the magazine.
You will also, in this issue, find a review of the Quantec Room Simulator, and no doubt some people will be wondering why on earth a £6,000 piece of studio equipment is being reviewed in a 'home recording' magazine. The answer lies in the opening subject matter of this Editorial.
Most home recordings serve as demos for songs or music, and many people will sooner or later book time in a professional studio in order to better record their creations. Once in the studio, however, they will undoubtedly be confronted with a different array of gadgets to those that they're used to, and have little idea of their full capabilities and how they could be put to good use on their recording. The usual conclusion is to ask the sound engineer or producer for advice, but then they have already begun to lose their control over the final product, which is never the case when recording at home on their 4-track or whatever.
However, if the home recordist can familiarise himself with the gadgets that a studio possess, in advance of a session, then he or she will be better placed to judge whether or not the snare should be put through a noise gate, for example, and not simply accept what a producer says as gospel. This knowledge can be gathered partly through reading reviews — hence the inclusion of the Quantec!
You could, of course hire such devices, as well, but then the majority of people couldn't really afford to pay the £70 rental charge for more than a day, which isn't enough time to become acquainted with such a unit.
Finally, our featured cover artists — Torch Song - will undoubtedly be a new name to most readers, but HSR felt that they so perfectly epitomised the whole 'home recording' ethic, having worked their way up to owning a full-blown pro 24-track studio of their own, that they deserved early recognition. A year ago their only claim to fame was having been 'Tape Of The Month' winners in our sister publication Electronics & Music Maker, but at the time of writing their new 12" single 'Prepare To Energise' had shot straight into the American Billboard charts at number 29! Some feat!
Here's to a promising future for the band, who look set to emulate the success achieved by the likes of Human League and Naked Eyes. Let their achievements serve as encouragement for the countless thousands pouring over their Portastudios in tiny bedrooms. Keep at it and we'll give you every help we can!
Editorial by Ian Gilby
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