Writing

Music Technology, Music Education & Software Development Articles

Published Magazine Articles by David Summer

David Summer is the author of several articles on the subjects of Music Technology, Music Education and Software Development. All of these articles have been published in leading music and software magazines, including Recording Magazine, Electronic Musician, The Instrumentalist and Dr. Dobb’s Journal.

When You’re the Band, Successfully Recording by Yourself

Successfully recording, producing and performing all alone in a home recording studio

Helpful advise on recording by yourself in a home studio. Recording alone is a subject that’s often alluded to in recording publications, but rarely addressed head on like this. Includes advise on both technical and non-technical upfront organization and preparation.

Also things to watch out for when the recording red light is on, the mic is hot and you’re all alone, doing everything yourself, producing, engineering, performing, etc. Finally, advise on what to do right away at the end of a solo recording session. Read the complete article.

Article published in Recording magazine, March 2010.

Stella A Cappella, Recording Unaccompanied Vocals

Recording unaccompanied vocals in a personal home recording studio

Includes advise on helping a vocalist stay in tune while recording a cappella and selecting the proper location for your particular a cappella recording. Also includes tips on vocal overdubbing and mixing your a cappella recording.

David Summer
Recording A Cappella

A short excerpt from the traditional Christmas Carol Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming, demonstrates some of the concepts discussed in the article. This is an a capella recording of the piece arranged, performed, recorded and mixed by David.

The voices are arranged in 4-part harmony with each voice part doubled 4 times; bring the total track count to 16. See the article text for recording location and microphone positioning. Read the complete article.

Article published in Recording magazine, October 2006.

Blowin’ in the Wind, Recording the Flute

Recording the flute in a personal home recording studio

David Summer
Recording Flute – Mics

Includes selecting a location for the flute recording, as well as choosing the proper microphone and microphone positioning. Also included is advise for the performer, the flutist making a recording.

Two sets of sound clips were written and recorded by David in order to highlight some of the points made in the article text. The first set of flute sound clips illustrates the effect of using different types of microphones when recording the flute.

The second set of clips shows how changing the position of the microphone can subtly change the way the flute sounds on a recording. All of the flute sound clips in this set were recorded using a large diaphragm condenser microphone (a Neumann TLM-103).

All the sound clips were recorded by David in a basement and have no added EQ or effects. This was done to better illustrate the differences in the microphone types and positions and allow for easy comparison.

The two different musical phrases were written to include notes throughout the commonly used range of the flute. Refer to the article text for further explanation of the sound clips and the different techniques used to record them. Read the complete article.

Article published in Recording magazine, March 2006.

Creativity Traps

Finding the proper place for technology in your creative process can be a challenge

At what point should you bring technology into your project? How much is too much? When does technology actually hinder your ability to be creative? In this Recording Magazine guest editorial David explores when, and when not, to use technology as part of your musically creative process. Read the complete article.

Article published in Recording magazine, September 2005.

Recording Brass Instruments

Recording great brass sounds in a personal recording studio

David Summer
Recording Brass – Mics

Concentrating on recording the Trumpet and recording the Trombone, including a brief overview of the physical characteristics of brass instruments and how they’re played.

Three sets of sound clips were written and recorded by David, playing the trumpet and trombone, in order to highlight some of the points made in the article text. The first set of trumpet sound clips illustrates the effect of using different types of microphones when recording the trumpet.

The second set of clips demonstrates the sound of the muted trumpet. The three most popular types of mutes are used. All of the trumpet sound clips in this set were recorded using the ribbon microphone (a Royer R-122).

The third set of brass recording clips shows how doubling or tripling brass parts can strengthen the sound, resulting in a “fat” horn sound. All of the brass sound clips in this set were again recorded using the ribbon microphone (a Royer R-122).

All the brass sound clips were recorded by David in a basement and have no added EQ or effects. This was done to better illustrate the differences in the microphone types and positions and allow for easy comparison. Refer to the article text for further explanation of the sound clips and the different techniques used to record them. Read the complete article.

Article published in Electronic Musician magazine, November 2004.

Implementing Audio Captcha

How to implement an audio CAPTCHA for your website
The article reviews Captcha in general, discusses Section 508 compliance, illustrates a simple front end for the audio Captcha, gives a detailed explanation of David’s audio Captcha implementation and suggests customized audio alternatives for better website integration.

See and try out a practical demonstration of this audio Captcha as part of David’s web development and business communication website. This audio Captcha is synchronized with a visual Captcha counterpart. It’s exceptionally easy to use for a visually challenged website visitor, requiring no mouse interaction at all.

The article also includes the PHP, JavaScript and HTML source files as well as MP3 files that you can use as a basis for your own audio Captcha implementation. Read the complete article.

Article published in Dr. Dobb’s magazine, January 2008.

Shelling the Pod

How to dynamically create descriptive web pages in support of podcasts

These web pages, dynamically created using PHP, present information about a podcast as well as information about each episode of the podcast. All of this podcast information is dynamically generated using a single source, the podcast’s RSS feed file. The article includes the PHP and HTML source files described in the article text.

This method of dynamically generating information to describe a podcast and it’s related episodes from an RSS feed is in use today on several websites. The article also reviews podcasting in general, syndication principals and RSS file formats including using the iTunes XML namespace. Read the complete article.

Article published in Dr. Dobb’s magazine, January 2007.