Silent Way's Guides, Tips and Tricks

This public archive offers dozens of guides, hidden functions, secret modes and practical how-to tips. Also see Silent Way's Recording Equipment and Mac Forums.

NOTE: For the past few years, new tips have been posted in The Silent Way Forum.
The tips listed here are still updated and valid, but check the Forum for more.

The Mac tips and shortcuts pages are essential for all Macintosh users. Check out the free Newsletter and dozens of tips...

Getting better audio quality out of (and into) your computer is pretty easy. A few minutes and/or a few bucks will improve your audio quality immensely! This page has the scoop on quick and easy ways to completely overhaul the sound of your music. Check out the long list of 180+ USB/FireWire interfaces and 20 USB/FireWire PCI cards.

Convenient session track sheets, ready to be filled in. With easily selected pull-down menus with all the key info: instrument, mic preamp, format type, bit rate, sample rate, date, etc. There's even an "Analog" option. Now with bult-in Digital Audio Hard Drive Storage Calculator. (Microsoft Excel required.)

A list of many mixing boards' individual channel direct outputs, inserts, connectors etc. Indispensable for live recording. Know ahead of time!

MP3 streaming beats all the net radio formats. Most PCs and Macs already have an MP3 stream player, but there are better free players.

Audio Equipment tips

These recording equipment tips, tricks, hidden functions, hacks, alerts and modifications can make a big difference in sound quality and functionality. Most equipment has unpublished modes, unusually wired jacks, hidden menus or other "little eccentricities."

NOTE: For the past few years, all the new tips have been posted in The Silent Way Forum.
The tips listed here are still updated and valid.
Check out the "Recording Studio Equipment" section of the Forum for new tips...

Silent Way is "pin 2 hot" compliant

Silent Way Recording conforms to the Audio Engineering Society standard of a "pin 2 hot" XLR connector. There was a time when the standard was not agreed upon. But now no studios should still be "pin 3 hot.". If you've got the choice, go "pin 2 hot." If you've already got a studio wired as "pin 3 hot," you need to evaluate whether it is worth it to change to today's standard, as all new and recent gear is "pin 2 hot."

If you don't know, "pin 2 hot" means that pin #2 of the three-pin XLR analog audio connector carries the "positive," or "hot" signal, and pin #3 carries the "negative," or "cold" signal. Pin #1 is always the "ground". Believe it or not, there was no universally agreed-upon standard for cable and equipment connectors until 1992 (AES-14-1992). Microphones had previously been standardized as pin-2 hot in 1975 by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in Publication 268, Part 12.