Music Recording Techniques

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Mastering Home Recording Mixes

Mastering is an often-misunderstood (and even unknown to many) part of the music production process that can make or break a CD (well, not literally). Mastering consists of several important steps that [more…]

Microphone Techniques for Electric Bass Recording

When you set up a microphone for an electric bass, getting a good sound can be a real bear. Your two adversaries are muddiness (lack of definition) and thinness [more…]

Finding the Right Microphone for the Situation

Certain microphones work better than others for particular situations and in general, microphone choice is fairly subjective. The following list contains basic suggestions based on what is typically used [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…]

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…]

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