Tone and Metering

Tone and Metering

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Two old-school practices to benefit modern recordings


When we discuss tone, we’re not talking about what you adjust with the tone control(s) on your electric guitar, and not that Magical Thing that distinguishes Eric Clapton from every other guitarist (sigh). No, I’m talking about a 30- or 60-second recording of sine waves, usually mid-frequency (400Hz or 1000Hz—but keep reading). Tone used to be a ubiquitous tool in professional recording studios, and I’m going to argue that it could be useful again.

This article was inspired by Eric Ferguson’s excellent “Loudness: What You Need to Know” (Recording, Oct. 2018). If you can, go find that article; it’s a good introduction to a gnarly subject.