Recording acoustic guitar in stereo - should you use spaced or coincident mics?
7 important microphone types that you should know and the benefits of each
Three types of musician you'll prefer to work with in the studio, and one type that you won't
How to get started quickly in home recording
How to record or amplify the melodica or any unfamiliar instrument
Setting microphone preamplifier gain to achieve both adequate headroom and a good signal-to-noise ratio
Is it time to reinvent the physical mixing console?
New vs. old guitar strings: Part 1 - The case for new guitar strings
One simple step you must take to make sure your masters sound really great
Why mono is better than stereo for recording vocals and dialogue
Subscribe to access our latest, up-to-the-minute articles with hints, tips and adventures in audio in the weekly Audio Masterclass Newsletter.
The second Audio Masterclass/audiomasterclass.com Creativiy Competition is still open for entries.
Here is last week's announcement again. The closing date for entries has been extended to April 23, 2007...
You can read about last year's Creativity Competition here. It led to an extraordinary outburst of amazingly original music. You'll never hear anything like it anywhere else, that's for sure.
And this year's Creativity Competition is going to be even better. Are you ready? Here is the brief. All you have to do is...
Write and record a Beatles song.
Yes, a Beatles song. Not a song by the Beatles, but a new song of your own creation that is so convincingly Beatle-like that it could have been freshly dug up from a newly discovered archive.
So the song has to sound 'Beatley', and the recording has to sound Beatley. OK, you don't have to sing in a Liverpool accent. We'll let you off from that.
The inspiration for this competition comes from Noel Gallagher of Oasis who once said on TV that he had the art of writing Beatles' songs, "Off to a T". And he's not wrong composition-wise, although the sound of Oasis is totally different.
But I reckon you can do better. Don't you think so too?
Your song should sound as though it came straight off a Beatles album. From all the way back to Please Please Me (UK) or Introducing The Beatles (USA), right up to Abbey Road, which was their last album recording although not their last release.
In fact your song could come from the next album the Beatles might have made if they had not split up.
Sonically you can use any of the sounds that the Beatles might have used, all the way from solo guitar to full symphony orchestra (sampled orchestra allowed!). You can write a John song, a Paul song, a George song or even a Ringo song (but I bet you don't remember any!). You can use any musician that the Beatles used, from Eric Clapton to Billy Preston, even to David Mason (who played trumpet on Penny Lane). In the interests of opening the competition to all, you can use a female vocalist, and if you use a female lead vocalist you can use female backing vocalists too. Yoko and Linda sound-alikes need not apply.
If you wish, you can submit photographs or artwork in styles associated with the Beatles. Although this is not part of the competition, it may be useful in the promotion of your work. Wherever your artwork is published, so will your song be too.
So what's the prize?
Er.. none. You're in it for the fame and exposure. And there will be significant exposure on the Audio Masterclass website. The winner will be judged by voting on the Audio Masterclass website. There is no voting fee.
It may also be possible to promote your work outside of Audio Masterclass. If there's any money on offer, then we'll come back to you to discuss a deal.
So, you'll be wanting a summary of the rules, any here they are...
The closing date for the second Creativity Competition is Monday April 23, 2007. Entries will be available for voting on the Audio Masterclass website a week after that.
So, sharpen up your creative skills, listen to a few Beatles albums, and get writing and recording! Send your song in 160 or 128 kbits/second MP3 format as an e-mail attachment to
If you have any questions, just ask them in the comments section and I will reply here.
One more thing - when you send in your song, could you tell us which Beatles album it could have been on?
Thank you for your interest in the Audio Masterclass Creativity Competition, however entries are now closed, as of May 6, 2007.