Category Archives: Recording Tips

Breaking down David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”

Here’s a clip with Simon Wood going through the original tracks from David Bowie’s classic song, “Space Oddity.” I always find it useful to hear the individual elements of the mix in order to gain a better understanding of the song as a whole. I am especially fascinated the supporting musical elements that make the song, what it is. Note the really excellent bass and drum interplay near the end of the song. H/T Drew Dundon.

Tape Op Magazine: Great Free Resource

Tape Op Magazine

A great magazine

Tape Op Magazine has been around since 1996. Each bi-monthly issue is packed with a wealth of information for the recording musician – Everything from interviews with producers and engineers, to reviews of the latest gear and recording technology. I love reading about the famous and not so famous people who worked behind-the-scenes to create some of iconic recordings that helped influence my musical tastes. Besides hearing about these people, you also get to read about some of the famous recording studios where the magic was created. In addition, you will find many valuable recording tips to help you in your own musical pursuits. Tape Op Magazine is one of the few magazines I read from cover to cover. If you are a recording musician, this is a must have resource.

Did I mention that mail subscriptions of the print edition are free? That’s right. For people who live in the United States and the United Kingdom, magazine subscriptions are free.

Click on this link and get started with your subscription. You won’t be sorry.


Case Study: The 15 Year Evolution of a Song

In the Beginning

In the late 1980’s, while I was living in Pennsylvania, I took my first step into the world of multi-track recording. This is when I purchased a brand new Tascam Porta 05, 4-track cassette recorder. Armed with my new 4 track, a bunch of blank cassettes and a couple of cheap Radio Shack dynamic mics, I started my home recording odyssey.

4 track goodnees

Tascam Porta 05

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Recording Spotlight: Thrift Store Scores

Hello. My name is Marwood W. And I am a Thrift Store Addict….

Thrift Stores can be a great resource for the self-recording musician. I have found some wonderful treasures rummaging through thrift stores in the Seattle area. Aside from finding useful cables and patch cords for dirt cheap, (For example, Monster Cable products for under a buck.) I have found some other gems that have helped me in my music creating process.

Here’s a breakdown of some of my favorite Thrift Store Scores:

I found this 1960’s or 1970’s “Granada” Japanese made Classical Guitar for under $25.00 at a local Goodwill Store. After replacing the old and mismatched tuning pegs and strings, I ended up with a very playable and good sounding gut string guitar for under $50.00.

Next on my score list is this basic mountain dulcimer I picked up for about $20.00. When I bought it, the thrift store clerk asked, “You want to buy that musical thingy?” While he didn’t know what the instrument was, I knew I found a gem. This dulcimer is not much to look at – in fact, I suspect it was a kit that someone put together. The inside label reads, “Hughes Dulcimer Co. Denver Colorado” with a date stamp of March 20th, 1981. I really enjoy the “droning” sound this produces. Keep a look out for Check out my song, “D-Day,” (which I hope to release very soon) to hear it in action.

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