Studio Recording

Operating a recording studio can be a nightmare of the uninitiated. But don’t worry. All you need to know about using all of that complicated studio equipment can be found here, from cabling and signal chains, to mic positioning and acoustic treatment. Put this together with info from our other columns and you’ll have more clients and projects than you can handle!

Microphone Basics: The Beginner's Guide Stuff You Need to Know

Updated: Studio Recording
mic basics

Let me give you the low down. You can read some really in-depth information about microphones on the internet that's simply not reality based. You don't need to know how every piece of an engine works to be able to drive a car. Even seasoned recording studio engineers couldn't reel off a list of all the types of microphones, because we don't use or even […]

How to Soundproof a Room for Studio Quality Recordings

Updated: Studio Recording
soundproof rooms

With advances in technology driving the cost of music recording microphones, interfaces, and computers down, everyone is building their own home recording studios. Why not, right? Why pay $500 for a 5 hour time block in your local studio when you can buy a really nice mic for the same price? Double that and you've got nearly everything you need to record vocals, guitar, keyboard, […]

What's the Difference Between Mixing and Mastering?

Updated: Studio Recording

We've all heard the difference between an amateur recording captured in your buddy's garage and a professional recording tracked in a recording studio equipped with all of the best gear available.  But that only affects the clarity of the song in general. Those differences in recording environments and access to gear is like the difference between working with a puzzle where the pieces were cut […]

DIY Studio Desk Plans - Custom Fit For Your Needs

Updated: Studio Recording
studio desk plans

What you'll discover as you browse the internet is that there's a whole ton of people who have built their own studio desks, but very few ever documented the process meticulously in terms of isometric engineering sketches or even your typical carpentry blueprints on a dirty napkin. This is the same conundrum we face in the world of computer desks and essentially every other kind. […]

How to Achieve Low Audio Latency While Recording

Updated: Studio Recording
low latency audio

Let's say you're an accomplished guitarist who has been playing live for nearly a decade, ripping improvised solos alongside your band mates in your city's most celebrated cover band. You realize you don't want to pretend to be a member of Talking Heads for the rest of your life, so you bring it up to your crew and they all confess the same.  But rather […]

Gain Staging - Levels are Everything for High-Resolution Recordings

Updated: Studio Recording
gain stage

It's hard to blame musicians for not having a perfect gain stage... Most have never even heard of this aspect of signal processing. Ignorance won't save you though.  It's either done right or you've compromised your ability to have the highest quality song at the end of the day. Your gain matters at every step, from the preamplifier, equalizer, compressor, converters, and even when printing […]

Instrument Miking Techniques & Tips to Capture Your Best Sound

Updated: Studio Recording
instrument miking

There's a danger to studio recording and mixing the results.  We all fall prey to using our eyes instead of our ears.  It's simply a part of how our brains are wired and how we survived all this time. But the beasts of the recording jungle, your clients and audience, will eat you alive if you listen with your eyes instead of your ears.  It's […]

How to Use a Patchbay

Updated: Studio Recording
patchbay guide

So you finally got sick of climbing behind your desk or wiggling under your rack to change your audio signals' path through your now giant recording gear collection. I don't blame you. The dust, the spiders, the cat hair, and other surprises aren't worth the trouble, especially when there's an affordable and genius solution on the market. Take into account that most of us end […]

Open Back vs Closed Back Headphones

Updated: Studio Recording
open vs closed headphones

There's so much more to the story when it comes to choosing a set of headphones.  If you score even a higher tier of consumer level headphones then that's about all you'll need.  They'll have a 1/8th inch headphone jack and probably a 1/4 inch adaptor.  You can plug them into your smart phone or MP3 player and you're rocking and rolling. But what about […]

Condenser vs Dynamic Mics: 10 Myths Busted!

Updated: Studio Recording
condenser and dynamic mic myths

Some of these issues are flat out mythology and categorically false, while others are true in some applications and false in other scenarios. No wonder there's a lot of contradiction to be found on message boards and websites. Couple that with people pretending to be more knowledgeable than they are and others simply parroting bad advice and you can quickly see how the confusion continues […]

What is a Headphone Amplifier? Do I Need One?

Updated: Studio Recording
headphone amp

Even once a person discovers headphone amps, they usually first encounter the snake oil audiophile type that are meant to misinform and syphon money out of your pocket, attempting to charge as much as $20,000 and more for some gear that can get the job done for $200 and even less at times. So what's the truth? The reality is completely different than some people […]

7 Studio Must-Haves for Comfort & Productivity

Updated: Studio Recording
7 studio must-haves

As you continually visit the same room day in and day out and start accumulating years of your life spent in it, you begin to get hyper-sensitive.  Little things can become giant distractions.  Minor annoyances can cause you to flip out out of frustration. The big things can make you throw your hands up and be ready to quit forever.  There are moments when you […]

13 More Vocal Recording Tips

Updated: Studio Recording
tips for recording vocals

The difference between solid production and perfect production all boils down to which recording engineer is willing to go the extra mile to take advantage of those last diminishing returns. Most of the time, the temptation is to grab your best mic that's probably already plugged in and on a mic stand, stick it in front of the vocalist, and press record.  The reality is […]

Close Miking: Why, When, & How?

Updated: Studio Recording
close miking

Everyone has heard of this term.  It's so common that people who have zero clue what they're talking about will offer up the solution: "Just close mic it!" But what does this really mean?  Why was the technique developed?  What does it offer over other techniques such as distance miking?  How do we use it and when should we use it? There are other microphone […]

Recording Studio Cables: All You Need to Know

Updated: Studio Recording
studio cables

"No, no!  Not the Cat-5, bring me the XLR.  No, that's the TRS to TS!  No, not the optical... Nevermind, I'll get it myself." It's easy to get frustrated and have zero tolerance for audio cable confusion, but that was all of us at one time or another.  You have to start at the beginning, but that doesn't mean you can't take the accelerated course […]