New recording web site and book now available

A new book has recently been published which I am sure will be of interest to Pop-Music readers. The book is entitled Sound Recording Advice, and it simplifies the process of establishing a home recording studio. Please let your readers know about this book! In addition, a web site has been launched at which gives plenty of free advice on how to configure a home recording studio. The web site and the book are all about education, which is one of the main things you are about.

A technical expert has finally simplified the confusing process of buying recording equipment and setting up a home recording studio for hobby or business purposes. John J. Volanski, an electrical and audio engineer, has written a new book entitled Sound Recording Advice to help guide neophytes and even those with some audio recording background in the set up and operation of a home recording studio. The book was released late in 2002 and is being published by Pacific Beach Publishing.The art of making quality recordings goes far beyond plugging a microphone into a tape deck and pushing the RECORD button. Adding confusion to the process, technology has now provided more ways than ever to record audio: multi-track cassette decks, multi-track reel-to-reel decks, multi-track MiniDisc recorders, multi-track disk-based and tape-based digital recorders, and even home computers with audio interface cards. If you add to that a bewildering array of digital and analog mixers, power conditioners, reverb and echo signal processors, equalizers, enhancers, synthesizers, samplers, amp and speaker modelers, and products to tame unruly acoustics, then you have a nearly vertical learning curve for any musician or hobbyist interested in recording audio at home.

Despite the daunting challenge, more and more people are now interested in making their own audio recordings at home rather than paying for time in a professional recording studio. These interested people include high school, college and private music students, singing groups, bands of all types interested in making demo recordings to interest record companies, individuals wanting to record advertising jingles or other commercial material, people developing slide shows or multimedia shows with audio content, authors recording audiobooks, and the hobbyists who simply enjoy recording their own musical creations at home.

The popularity of home computers has also fueled the interest in home recording. With new wideband networking available in the form of DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) and Cable Modems, more and more people are trading recordings over the Internet. Properly configured home computers can now be used to record and mix multi-track audio (and video), send and received compressed audio over the Internet, and act as desktop music jukeboxes. Of course, with this increased technical flexibility comes an intimidating array of alphabet soup such as AES/EBU, CD-RW, DAT, DAW, dB, EIN, EMI, EQ, ESD, IEEE-1394, MIDI, MP3, MOV, PCM, RFI, SCMS, SMPTE, S/PDIF and USB. What does all this stuff mean? What do I do if I just want to record music as quickly and inexpensively as possible? WHERE DO I START? HELP!

The reason that John J. Volanski wrote the book Sound Recording Advice is to help people get started recording their own music at home. The book is a thorough yet simplified guide on how to overcome the steep learning curve of setting up a home recording studio. It reads easily and covers all aspects of recording including power, ground, acoustics, studio layout and furniture, what new and used equipment to buy and where to buy it for lowest prices, how to record various instruments and then mix, bounce tracks and generate a master recording. The 336-page book also includes hundreds of other important tips, including info on how to make and modify some of your own equipment and troubleshoot studio problems.

John J. Volanski is an electrical engineer with additional training in audio engineering. He has operated his own home studio for over 20 years where he has gained expertise in how to set up and operate a home recording studio. He has done technical writing during most of his professional career, including writing articles for Electronic Musician and Avionics magazines. As part of his professional engineering career, he has designed and developed many electrical and audio systems concerned with avionics, Virtual Reality (including a patented motion-base VR system), commercial entertainment, and surveillance.

Sound Recording Advice can be purchased ($19.95) from the author’s web site: It is also available by check or money order from Pacific Beach Publishing, P.O. Box 90471, San Diego, CA, 92169. The book is also available from better bookstores (through wholesaler Baker & Taylor and Partners Book Distributing) or online from (

Here is what people are saying about Sound Recording Advice:

‘Not surprisingly, musicians ask a lot of questions about setting up home studios. So, when someone comes up with a book that sorts it all out, handles the subject with an informed, do-it-yourself, hands-on mentality, covers all of the main bases with loads of tips and detail thrown in, and emphasizes getting the biggest bang for your buck – well, we can only applaud. Overall, this book succeeds in doing what the author set out to do. It is a highly useful guide and reference for studio setup, designed to be easily understood even by beginners and those without a technical background. It will get you off to a solid start in setting up your studio (or improving your current setup), and it can prevent you from investing a lot of time and money in the wrong equipment and in creating technically bad recordings. Those savings alone are worth far more than the price of the book.’

James A. Putnam & Dennis L. Trunk, Musician’s Tech Central (music and recording web site resource),

‘Sound Recording Advice by John J. Volanski $19.95 (336 pages) Copyright 2003. This is available from Pacific Beach Publishing, bookstores, and Amazon, etc… Lots of great

information in this volume. The author is not afraid on using specific

models and brands as examples, and the references to websites scattered

throughout the book is worth the admission price.’

Richard Paulsen, Technical Support, BEHRINGER USA,

‘Congratulations on a very well written piece of work. I think you have truly nailed down what it means to “do things on a budget.” I have already recommended your book to a few people. BTW – I’m glad you summarized the links in your book on your website. LOTS of great information.’

Jeff D. Szymanski, Chief Acoustical Engineer, Auralex Acoustics,

‘This is an excellent book for those of us who enjoy producing music out of our own homes. It could easily work well as a text or a reference for a college music technology class. The author has exhaustively covered the waterfront when it comes to understanding and doing home studio recording. This book is especially valuable when it makes suggestions about the equipment composition one should use for different budget levels. No serious recording musician should be without this extremely complete reference and how-to book. It is filled with tips, shortcuts, and valuable hints. As an example, a paragraph about burning one’s own CDs was easily worth the cost of the book. We rated it five hearts.’

Bob Spear, Publisher and Chief Reviewer, Heartland Reviews,

‘Congratulations! I am really impressed. Your style is very close to what mine would be if I wrote a book. It is perfectly placed on the ladder of technical depth. In short, I like your work very much.’

Dr. Robert Lackey, Professor of Electrical and Audio Engineering, Ohio State University

‘As I was poring over the usual batch of letters we receive here at Tape Op, I realized that a lot of our question-laden readers would do well to read a book about recording with a real basic, straight-up approach. John Volanski recently wrote and self-published just such a book, and it’s called Sound Recording Advice. All the information is presented very clearly, with simple, logical real-world options for the low to medium budget home recordist. There’s great info on buying new and used gear, recommendations for studio setups at different price points, some simple DIY projects…just about everything you need for reference when recording at home. I wish this book was around 10 years ago, because it would have saved me a lot of time.’

Larry Crane, Editor, Tape Op Magazine,

‘Established semi-pro performers and amateurs interested in expanding their recording horizons to the home arena will love Sound Recording Advice, author Volanski’s tour-de-force, A-Z reference for the home recording artist.

Packed within is advice on electronic studio equipment (basics galore), studio layout and furniture (discussion of everything acoustic), modifying equipment (adding power switches, headphone jacks, master faders), capturing sound recordings (miking, mixing and mastering), and tool choices ‘S plus miscellaneous thoughts on media backup, rubber cleaners, home studio security and insurance. It’s a keeper: Solo stars in the making and garage bands everywhere will sing a joyous tune for Volanski’s excellent effort.’ (Sound Recording Advice was awarded ‘Honorable Mention’ status.)

The Boox Review,

‘When you are producing and especially recording music in your own home studio it can be a bit hard to find the right kind of advice. And this book written by John J. Volanski is a real source of the right kind of advice. I have read the book with great interest and it kept me reading till the end. Much advice on how to construct your home studio is available in the book. I really advise anybody who works around the studio to get hold of this book – -.. it only costs $19.95. Which is a very low price for a book like this. More than 300 pages of information about how to set up a studio that works. This book will certainly satisfy your need for knowledge about how to set things up in a right way. Great material!’

Studiofreaks (music & synthesizer web site), Belgium. (

‘Sound Recording Advice reads very easily. Perfect for the non-technical musician. I had heard many of these technical terms before, now I know what they mean!’

Mitch Wilson, leader of the band No Knife

‘A bang-up job! I have learned a lot from it. No struggle at all to follow you. Very smooth writing style. Congrats are definitely in order!!’

Kirk Gramcko, musician and home studio owner

‘If you have the space (and a bit of spare dosh), starting up a home studio is not only rewarding but a creative and ear-opening experience. The main advantage to starting up a home studio is that it allows the individual to go it alone – without the need to rely upon dodgy sound engineers, over-priced studios, angsty producers and a wealth of other pitfalls and problems. It also means there is no necessity need to “get signed”. At atoms we are all for the “do-it-yourself”, “avoid the middleman” approach and long for the day when the music we buy isn’t just the product of a company whose only concern is making money. Going solo allows a more creative flow and lets face it; everyone enjoys twiddling with nobs and pushing buttons. But starting up such a studio is not without it’s difficulties which is why J J Volanski’s book “Sound Recording Advice” seems to be something of a minor Godsend…’

atoms, UK music e-zine,

‘Here we have two great educational books I feel are excellent! While Building Pro Audio Loudspeaker Enclosures by Jeffrey A. Forsburg will be of interest for those of you DIY folks whole find joy in designing and building your own loudspeakers, Sound Recording Advice For the Home Recording Studio by John J. Volanski covers many facets that concern not just recording studios. This book has good information on various recording formats (CD, DAT, reel-to-reel, etc.) power distribution, cabling, and also basic system recommendations and much more. While the system recommendations are for recording studio owners, the chapters concerning studio layout and modifying equipment should more than make up for the content that may not be directly geared towards high-end home audio reproduction. Furthermore, this book will give a good glimpse to those who are not familiar with the techniques in capturing and recording sound.’

Steven R. Rochlin, (web site for Audiophiles)

‘Even though the title centers on recording sound and music from within

ones home, over half the book covers topics important to all audio

enthusiasts. The author covers the pros and cons of different recording equipment like tape decks, DAT, Reel-to-reel, and many others. Practical advice is given on how to store and rack the equipment and running of the cables.

The author writes in a very knowledgeable fashion and it is evident that he has a great deal of knowledge to share. Listed within the book are dozen of web sites where products can be purchased. For example, at one point he recommends using snap-on noise filters for cables, but instead of paying $18 at an electronics store, the author gives a web site and part number where they can be purchased for $1.50. There is even a mention of Smarthome in a section on security for the home recording studio and equipment. Overall, this book succeeds in doing what the author set out to do. It is a highly useful guide and reference for studio setup, designed to be easily understood even by beginners and those without a technical background. It will get you off to a solid start in setting up your studio (or improving your current setup), and it can prevent you from investing a lot of time and money in the wrong equipment and in creating technically bad recordings. Those savings alone are worth far more than the price of the book.


The book is well written. The only comment I would have for its

improvement would be for more diagrams and photos. The first 100 pages

are a little short in this department, but the author makes up for it with great writing without being too technical.’

John Lockyer, Sr. Technical Advisor, Smarthome, Inc.,

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