Recording Music

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Distant Microphone Sound Recording Techniques

When you use distant miking, you place microphones about 3 or 4 feet away from the sound source, as shown in the following illustration. Distant miking enables you to capture some of the sound of the room [more…]

Miking the Hi-Hats in Your Drum Set

The hi-hats are generally part of the main groove, and as such, you want to spend time getting a good sound. You may have problems with a few other microphones on the drum set picking up the hi-hats, particularly [more…]

Creating the Best Cymbal Sound

You want to know one secret to the huge drum sound of Led Zeppelin’s drummer, John Bonham? Finesse. He understood that the drums sound louder and bigger in a mix if the cymbals are quieter in comparison [more…]

Miking Acoustic Guitars and Similar Instruments

At the risk of offending acoustic guitar, banjo, dobro, harp, or ukulele players, all strummed or picked string instruments are grouped together for this discussion. While they all sound and play differently [more…]

Maneuvering Horn Microphones

Horns, such as trumpets, trombones, and saxophones, use similar miking techniques, so if you want to microphone horns, you don’t have to understand a ton of different techniques. [more…]

Placing Mics for a Piano

If you’re lucky enough to have a real piano to record, you’ll probably want to record it live rather than use a piano patch on a synthesizer. [more…]

Setting Up Microphones for Strings

Stringed instruments — violin and fiddle, viola, cello, and acoustic bass — can be a lot of fun to microphone. They have a rich tone and produce an almost unlimited variety of textures. Each instrument [more…]

Prepping Your Drum Set for Miking

If you’re like most musicians, getting great-sounding drums seems like one of the world’s great mysteries (you know, along the lines of how the pyramids were built or how to cure cancer). You can hear [more…]

Using the Room to Benefit Your Drum Miking

The room influences the drums’ sound more than it influences that of other instruments. If you’re looking for a big drum sound, you need a fairly live room [more…]

Microphone Placement for Kick (Bass) Drum

When recording a kick drum, most recording engineers choose a dynamic microphone. In fact, you can find some large-diaphragm dynamic mics specifically designed to record kick drums. [more…]

Setting Up the Snare Drum Microphone

The snare drum is probably the most important drum in popular music and recording. The bass guitar can cover the kick drum’s rhythm, and the rest of the drums aren’t part of the main groove. A good, punchy [more…]

Bouncing Techniques for Home Recording

Bouncing is like submixing, but you do bouncing after you record the tracks. For instance, you can record all your drum mics onto separate tracks initially and then, later on, bounce [more…]

Miking the Whole Drum Kit

When you are recording, you want to have at least one (but preferably two) ambient microphones on the drums, if for no other reason than to pick up the cymbals. Assuming that you use two microphones, they [more…]

Multitrack Recording Basics

If you like, you can record lush, layered music without involving anyone else. In other words, you can multitrack.This is in contrast to as recently as the 1960s, when someone wanted to record a song, [more…]

Getting Ready to Record Multitrack

Before you can start multitrack recording on your system, you need to set up a few things. First, you need to find and choose the instrument or sound that you want to record. [more…]

Selecting a Multitrack Recording Sound Source

When you select a sound source for your multitrack recording, you simply set up your instrument or microphone so that it records to the track of your choice. Here’s how to select a sound source: [more…]

Getting the Multitrack Sound You Want through Effects

The question of whether to record effects — reverb, delay, chorus, and so on — along with an instrument is a long-debated topic. Professional recording engineers caution you against recording your instruments [more…]

Recording Effects with a Studio-in-a-Box (SIAB) System

If you decide that you want to record your instrument with effects and have a studio-in-a-box (SIAB) it's pretty easy. You need to route the instrument through the effect processor and route the effect [more…]

Recording Effects with a Computer-Based System

If you decide that you want to record your instrument with effects and you have a computer-based system, such as Logic Pro, involves these steps: [more…]

Choosing a Monitoring Source for Your Home Recording

To record effectively, you need to hear what you’re doing. This requires you to set up your monitoring source so that you can hear what you want to hear. You want to monitor the sound that’s going through [more…]

Sharing Your Home Recording Files

Because your music is stored on a hard drive, you can transfer the data to other systems. The advantages of file sharing are far-reaching. You can collaborate with other people without ever being in the [more…]

Home Recording: Getting Your First Take

Your palms are sweaty and your hands are shaking as you get ready to press the Record button for your first take. There’s something about knowing that what you’re about to play is for keeps [more…]

Manual Overdubbing in Your Home Recording

Punching in and out refers to being able to overdub a section of a performance (that guitar lick you keep missing, for example) while keeping the part of the performance that you like. Punching in and [more…]

Automatic Punching in Your Home Recording

Automatic punching in and out is one of the many gifts from the digital recording gods. This process allows you to fully concentrate on getting your part right without having to worry about getting the [more…]

Use a Recording Loop for Repeated Punching In

If you have a tricky part to record and you know it will take you a few tries to get it right, you can use the repeated punching (also called loop recording) function. During the repeated punching procedure [more…]

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