Tips, Techniques, Examples about my favorite musical instrument, the Twelve-String Guitar.

If you play guitar check out Playing Technique, or Strings / Setup. There are also some interesting posts about guitars at, you guessed it, Guitars.

If you want to spread your musical talents around, you will find some good info at Recording.

Marketing - meh - I'm probably the world's best bad example. Although you could find funny stuff there.

I've made some music videos through the years, and you can find them and other interesting music at Music I Like, Music I Play.

Monday, November 10, 2008


I was checking the sound of some of my 12-string tunes on the car stereo; the soft notes were getting lost in the car noise. I wish car stereos had built in compressors. A compressor pumps up the quiet parts. Sometimes you can hear a really aggressive compressor on a radio announcer's voice; the background noise "pumps up" between each phrase. I usually can't hear compression when it's done right - the music seems to sound the same, but I can hear every note, even while driving.

Sometimes compression is done for a musical effect, and
I'm starting to use it on some test pieces. I've often been jealous of the sound many 12-string guitarists get with their magnetic pickups. You probably know the sound: a bit "digital", as if the attack is a bit squared off, then a very slow decay. The decay often sounds a bit louder than the attack, giving the notes a kind of bounce. This turns out to be fairly easy to mimic with compression. I'm using the SC4 plugin from Steve Harris. The latest pieces use the fastest attack: 1.5 milliseconds, a short decay: about 30-50 milliseconds, a 4.5 ratio and a 10 dB elbow. It doesn't sound real, but it makes me a tad less jealous of the magnetic pickup players.

Here's a demo piece.

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