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Microphone Month 5

Mitch Gallagher

Mitch Gallagher

Sweetwater Editorial Director, Mitch Gallagher, was introduced to recording when the manager of the rock band he was in loaned him a 4-track cassette recorder. He studied electrical engineering and computer science at North Dakota State University, eventually earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Moorhead State University (now Minnesota State University - Moorhead). His graduate studies at the University of Missouri in Kansas City included music composition and classical guitar.

He toured as a lead guitarist/vocalist in rock and country bands, and has played with big bands, fusion and experimental music groups, and as a classical and steel-string guitar soloist. As a classical guitarist, he studied with Michael Coates, Douglas Niedt, Jason Vieaux, and Denis Azabagic. He has performed in master classes with William Kanengiser of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and Lorenzo Micheli of Italy’s SoloDuo.

As a music technology specialist, he has taught college courses, lectured, given clinics, consulted with pro audio manufacturers, and spoken at festivals, conventions, and conferences around the world. Publications such as the Washington Post consult him as a technology expert. He is a respected recording, live sound, and mastering engineer, and operates his own recording studio and production company, MagMedia Productions.

As a composer, he studied with Henry Gwiazda, Gerald Kemner, and James Mobberley. His compositions cover genres from classical to experimental to heavy metal. “Prophecy #1: At First Glance,” an experimental percussion ensemble/synthesizer work based on the Fibonacci number series, received a 1991 NARAS (Grammy) award in the Best New Music/New Classical category. He was a featured artist at the 1994 International Computer Arts Festival in Sofia, Bulgaria, where he lectured on his Prophecy series of electronic music compositions.

The former senior technical editor of Keyboard magazine and former editor-in-chief of EQ magazine, Gallagher has published thousands of articles in magazines such as Performing Songwriter, Acoustic Guitar, EQ, EQ en Espanol, Keyboard, Pro Sound News, Guitar Player, Premier Guitar, Government Video, Extreme Groove, Music Technology Buyer’s Guide, Videography, Strings, M, and Microphones & Monitors. He is also the former editor of Church Sound magazine, and served as associate editor at Live Sound magazine.

His books include Make Music Now!, Pro Tools Clinic, The Studio Business Book, 3rd Edition, Acoustic Design For The Home Studio, Mastering Music at Home, and The Music Tech Dictionary. Project Studio Mastering is his first instructional DVD. His latest book is Guitar Tone: Pursuing the Ultimate Guitar Sound. His next book will be available in early 2015.

He is featured in well over 500 YouTube and Facebook videos, and currently hosts three weekly video shows for Sweetwater: The Sweetwater Minute, Guitars & Gear, and The iOS Update.

Gallagher operates MAG Media Productions and the Sound Sauna Studio, teaches audio recording and music business as associate faculty for Purdue University/Indiana University, and performs regularly with several bands as a vocalist and guitarist. He has been the Editorial Director for Sweetwater Sound since 2005.

Articles by Mitch Gallagher

5 Questions with Peter Erskine

Here at Sweetwater, we have the good fortune of having many of the world's leading musicians stop by for a visit, or in the case of drummer/educator extraordinaire, Peter Erskine, booking time to record an album in... Read more »

PRS Unveils JMOD 100 John Mayer Signature Amp

John Mayer is perhaps best known for his well-crafted, chart-topping pop hits, but when you explore his catalog it becomes clear that the man is a serious guitarist — check out his blues work and his... Read more »

5 Tips to Set Up Your New Guitar Amp

You've finally ordered that sweet new guitar or bass amp you've been dreaming about — and it's arrived! There's the ceremonial unboxing. Then you plug it in, dial up your usual settings...and it doesn't "wow"... Read more »

Hands On: Gruv Gear Club Bag, Sliiv, and Bento Boxes

We all take gear on the go. Whether you're simply carrying your laptop around, putting together a mobile studio, taking gear to a gig, jam, or session, or traveling around the world, you want your gear to arrive... Read more »

Hands On: IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitors

Looking for studio reference monitors that are small and light enough to throw in a bag for travel or for portable use, compact enough not to overwhelm your desk, accurate enough to use to mix with confidence, and... Read more »

First Look: Avid Pro Tools 12.6

Avid has unveiled the latest version of Pro Tools, v12.6, which will be released later this month. I had an opportunity to sit down for a hands-on "sneak peek" at some of the new features in the new version. There... Read more »

Audio Networking Explained

Computer networks have been used for decades to interconnect multiple computers and other digital equipment. A network provides an economical and efficient way for devices to share data and for users to communicate... Read more »

8 Ways to Put Your iPad to Work Onstage

The iPad has been a revelation for many users, myself included. I remember when Apple came out with the first iPads. I looked at one and thought, why would I want that - I have a laptop? Fast-forward to today, and I... Read more »

Pedalboard Essentials: Loop Switchers

I've been using pedals in my guitar rig since back in the Dark Ages, when they were steam powered. (Keeping the fire stoked with logs under the pedalboard to keep up the steam was a real hassle during gigs...) I've... Read more »

5 Fun Guitar Synth Pedals

Looking for new tones from your guitar? Want to cover some of those great sounds that keyboard players normally play? Look no further than the current crop of killer effects pedals for guitar that can create synth... Read more »

Sweetwater’s Guide to Keyboard Key Sizes

Full-size keys. "Slim" keys. "Mini" keys. There are these key sizes — and others — found on synths and keyboards. Unfortunately, the name given to a key size doesn't always tell you all that much about... Read more »

6 Cool Ways to Use Stereo Mics

Want to bring some life to your recordings? Put stereo miking to work! A number of companies manufacture stereo microphones — that is, they've placed two microphone capsules within a single body. Then there... Read more »

7 Gifts That Will Fit in a Stocking

It's that time of year — gift-giving season is upon us! (And don't forget, gift season also means gift receiving!) Don't procrastinate, get your wish list ready now for your friends and family. If you need... Read more »

6 Essential Home Studio Building Blocks

A home studio may be the ultimate facilitator of creative freedom for a musician. Where else can you create, totally unfettered by the clock, free to experiment for as long as you like? That's something you'd... Read more »

10 Gig Bag Essentials

There's nothing worse than getting to a gig, session, or rehearsal and finding out that you forgot something, or that something you needed wasn't included in your gig bag. One way to avoid this nightmare situation... Read more »

Sneak Preview: Hands On with Avid’s Pro Tools Dock

Avid's upcoming Pro Tools Dock has generated a ton of interest since it was announced at the recent AES show. And for good reason — it looks super cool! Combining an iPad running the Pro Tools Control iOS app... Read more »

iOS update

Apple made several big announcements earlier this fall, which I think are going to have a big impact on musicians — I know they will impact how I make music! First, the big news (no pun intended) was the... Read more »

Hands On: Manley Force

When Manley introduced their awesome Core tube channel strip, the question was could they deliver the renowned Manley quality at a new, low price point. The answer was a resounding "yes"! Now the company is back... Read more »

Focusrite Clarett 8Pre and Clarett 8Pre X

What is it that you want from an audio interface? Transparent sound quality, dynamic and detailed mic preamps, low noise, no latency, and ease of use. In many ways, you can sum it up by saying that the interface... Read more »

Building the Desktop Studio

Is there any question that the era of the desktop studio is here? With today's technology, you can assemble a studio that fits in a laptop bag and delivers fully pro power and sound quality. Here's the story: my... Read more »

7 Questions About Sample Rate

It's easy to talk about the sample rates for sessions, but how much do you know about it? In this article, I'll answer a few questions about sample rates. What is "Sample Rate"? Sample rate is literally how fast... Read more »

Equalization — A Primer

Equalizers. We use them all the time, but other than twisting knobs (or adjusting sliders), we don't generally think about what they are — or how they came about. An equalizer (EQ) allows for manipulation of... Read more »

An Intro to Reverb

Reverb is arguably one of the mixing engineer's most-used effects. Though its popularity waxes and wanes (there was a time when singers sounded like they were in the bottom of a well, and a time when reverbs were... Read more »

4 Tricks to Hear Your Amp On Stage

It doesn't really matter what sort of equipment you bring to a gig if you can't hear it. So here's a bit of advice on hearing your amp on stage. The crux of the matter is this: To hear your amp, it should be pointed... Read more »