AES Section Meeting Reports

Pacific Northwest - November 7, 2018

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The PNW Section welcomed Jack Endino for its November meeting, where he expounded on a 2002 article in TapeOp magazine about problems regarding guitar tuning in recording situations. Nearly 70 people attended the presentation, held at Shoreline Community College in Shoreline, WA.

Jack Endino is a Seattle record producer, recording engineer, mixer, and musician with somewhere over 500 records to his credit, including bands like Nirvana, Mudhoney, and Soundgarden. He earned his BSEE from the University of Washington in 1980, and was recording in earnest by 1986.

Jack's original "rant-style" interview about problems in the studio due to guitar tuning problems showed up in TapeOp Magazine in 2002 (and can also be seen on Jack's website, with addenda, at This evening was not just about tuning, but a huge list of caveats, tips and tricks to remember when dealing with modern guitars in the recording studio. Jack had his vintage Fender guitar amp, speaker stack, effects pedal array, and a couple of his guitars to demonstrate.

Beginning with general tuning differences caused by music style and picking style, he also covered many details about tuning aids and what works and what doesn't. Electric guitar construction, pickups and effects pedals and their problems were discussed at length.

Jack also talked about guitar amplifiers — tube/solid state, the raw speakers in the cabinets, polarity of inputs and speakers, and different mic placements for different speaker cabinets.

After a refreshment break, door prizes were awarded to:
-AES 2018 NYC Convention Dailies: won by Rick Rodriguez
-Belden CAT cable prep tool, courtesy Steve Lampen/Belden: won by Jeremy Papke
-AES USB thumbdrive, courtesy Bob Moses/AES: won by Rob Ward
-Airline comfort kit, courtesy Bob Moses/AES: won by Steve Wilkins
-Fluke infrared thermometer, courtesy Rick Rodriguez/Fluke: won by Bunnie Moore

Next, Jack did demos on the ProTools rig, showing some of his techniques like timing alignment of 2 mics on a guitar cabinet, and special EQ needs to fix problems. He also played demos of a host of his microphones, all recording the same, re-amped guitar solo over the same rig. As an example, he could compare all of his SM57s and find the unique sound character of each one under the same conditions.

Finally, for something completely different, he played a bit on his custom commissioned, non-Western tuning 19-note-scale guitar. He noted that unknowing players to his studio who just pick it up and start playing it get freaked out.

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