Recording Music

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Partnering Microphones with Preamps: Solid-State

Solid-state preamps use transistors to boost the level of the microphone. These preamps can be designed to produce as clear and detailed a sound as possible [more…]

Microphones for Vacuum Tube Preamps

These preamps use vacuum tubes to process and amplify the microphone’s signal. This generally adds some coloration to the sound of your mic (how much and what kind of coloration depends on the particular [more…]

Hybrid Preamp Features

A hybrid preamp contains both solid-state and tube components to boost the microphone’s signal. Most of the inexpensive (under $1,000) “tube” preamps that you find in the marketplace are actually hybrids [more…]

Compressor Use in Home Recording

A compressor enables you to alter the dynamic range (that is, the difference between the softest and loudest sound) of an instrument in your home recording. Along with the microphone and preamp, the compressor [more…]

Analyzing Microphone Accessories

Along with your new microphones, you’re going to need a few accessories in your home recording equipment inventory. These include microphone cords, stands, and pop filters. [more…]

Daily Care for Your Microphones

After investing hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in microphones for your home recording studio, you probably want to know how to take care of them properly. A good microphone lasts a lifetime. Take [more…]

Home Recording Microphone Storage

Most professionals have mic lockers, where they can safely keep their mics when they’re not in use. Mic lockers come in several varieties. You can make a special locked box fitted with foam padding that [more…]

Great Source Sound for Your Home Recordings

The quality of your home recording relies heavily on two things: how your instruments sound and how well you get that sound into your computer without messing it up. The problem is that anyone can easily [more…]

Setting Optimal Sound Signal Levels

Getting a sound signal to the home recorder takes several steps. The path that the sound takes from the instrument or microphone to the recorder is called the [more…]

Monitoring Pre and Post Sound Signal Levels

Most digital systems provide several options for monitoring sound signal meter levels during the home recording process. You can have prefader input levels, postfader input levels, prefader track levels [more…]

Great Guitar Sound in Your Home Recording

Do you wanna know how to get the absolute best, richest, most engaging guitar sound on your home recordings? Well its something you need to figure out by listening as you tweak your gear. That said, you [more…]

Killer Keyboard Sound in Your Home Recordings

They key to getting a killer keyboard sound is making sure that you get the sound into your home recording system without messing it up (no pressure here). Depending on your gear, keyboard sounds can be [more…]

Sound Compressor Parameters in Home Recording

Compressors are processors that allow you to control the dynamics of a signal — and boy, are they ever versatile. Compressors have a series of dials that allow you to adjust several parameters. They are [more…]

Sound Compressor Settings in Home Recording

When you use a sound compressor to keep transients at bay during recording, you only want to compress the highest transient levels — the ones that would overload your system or eat up your headroom — and [more…]

Effective Use of Spot Microphones

Spot miking (also called close miking) involves placing your microphone within a couple of feet of the sound source. Home recordists use this technique most often because it adds little of the room [more…]

Sound Recording with Ambient Microphone Placement

Ambient miking is simply placing the mic far enough away from the sound source so that you capture more of the room sound (the reverb and delay) than the sound of the actual instrument in your recording [more…]

X-Y Pair Stereo Microphone Techniques

X-Y (coincident) stereo miking consists of using two microphones that are placed right next to each other so that the diaphragms are as close together as possible without touching one another. X-Y stereo [more…]

Blumlein Stereo Microphone Technique

The Blumlein stereo microphone technique is named after Alan Dower Blumlein, who patented this approach in 1931. Blumlein stereo miking involves placing two figure-8 microphones at right angles to one [more…]

Spaced Pair Stereo Microphone Considerations

Spaced-pair stereo miking involves placing two microphones at a distance in front of the instrument(s) that you want to record and at a distance from one another. This approach can work well if you record [more…]

Overcoming Problems with Stereo Miking

When you do stereo miking in your home recording process, watch out for phase cancellation and poor stereo imaging. These are thorny issues but they have simple solutions. [more…]

Creating Home Recording Miking Combinations

Often you’ll want to use more than one microphone in your home sound recordings. The possible combinations are almost limitless: You can use several spot mics on one instrument, you can use a spot mic [more…]

Great Lead Vocal Sound from Your Room

Regardless of the type of home studio you have or the style of music that you record, you’ll probably record vocals at some point. And unfortunately, vocals are one of the most challenging sounds to do [more…]

Miking for Great Lead Vocal Sound

You have a lot of options for miking lead vocals in your home recordings. The type of microphone that you use dictates not only the sound quality but where you place it in the recording studio. [more…]

Recording Great Backup Vocals

To record backup vocals, you can either track each part separately by using lead vocal microphone placement techniques or you can have all the backup singers sing at once into one or two microphones. If [more…]

Miking for Great Electric Guitar Sound

Miking your electric guitar for great sound is a personal thing. If you’re a real guitar player, you undoubtedly take great pride in recording your sound exactly right on tape, er, disc. You likely spend [more…]

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