Studio Recording

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What is a Studio Compressor? What Does It Do?

Updated: Studio Recording
what is a vocal compressor

An audio compressor is one of those pieces of gear that everyone tries to get by without for some odd reason.  Guitar players, for instance, feel they should be able to achieve the effect with their fingers.  Vocalists try to do the job of the compressor by moving closer and further away from the mic.  Some mixing engineers will even automate the volume or literally […]

What is a Preamplifier? Why Do We Need Them?

Updated: Studio Recording
what is a preamplifier?

It goes like this:  If you're recording with a microphone then you need to use a preamplifier, no questions asked. It is 100% possible to record without one and you have the same percentage of a chance to get horrible results.  The reason I'm so adamant about this is that I recorded my first 30 songs or so without one because I had no clue what […]

Headroom in Audio Recording: What, Why, & How

Updated: Studio Recording
headroom

What in the world is headroom?  Why should we care?  Even if we did care, how the heck do we use it? These are the three most common questions surrounding this mysterious topic.  Most people who are trying to record a song aren't interested in perfection, so they just hit the 'record' button and go.  Even those who do care about quality find that they […]

Microphone Pickup Patterns: Understanding & Using Directionality

Updated: Studio Recording
microphone pickup patterns directionality

Imagine this scenario: you have a bluegrass band that has four members and they want to record live with all four members.  So you make them stand at the four points of a square facing each other so they can jive off each other's energy.  You go for close miking on each band member to isolate each sound the best you can for mixing purposes. They […]

Taming Sibilance and Plosives

Updated: Studio Recording
sibilance and plosives

"How come every time I say word that features a 'B' or 'P' syllable, it sounds like I'm hitting a kick drum with my voice?  And then every time I use a word with an 'S' or a 'T' it sounds like a snake is hissing through a football coach's whistle?" Knowing why this happens is just as horrible as trying to explain the problem to […]

The Microphone Proximity Effect

Updated: Studio Recording
proximity effect thumbnail

For studio engineers involved in tracking and mixing, the eternal war wages on.  We want our final results nice and warm in the low and mid-range of the frequency spectrum, but it's always easy to venture off too far and end up with muddy results that lack clarity and punch.  A phrase you'll often hear is "we'll fix it in the mix."  No, just no. […]

How to Setup a Recording Studio

Updated: Studio Recording
recording studio at home

Go ahead and freak out if you want to, but it's totally unnecessary.  This easy guide will have you becoming a studio tech wizard in ten minutes flat.  No longer will you look at a piece of gear and experience your brain slowly shutting down under the sheer anxiety of wondering what you're going to break. Learning how to setup a recording studio at home […]

The Acoustic Treatment Guide for Panels & Foam

Updated: Studio Recording
acoustic treatment

The reason every major studio has these "boxes" hanging on the walls, or the walls themselves are made of cloth covering "something firm but soft," is the same reason why their recordings and mixes come out pristine and beautiful, while amateur works sound like they were recorded in a small closet or a bathroom (most of the time they are!). The reason is that they […]

Recording Vocals at Home: Clean & Clear

Updated: Studio Recording
recording vocals at home

No matter your goal... whether you're a rapper, producer, singer, podcast creator, video game designer, etc., you need a quality vocal chain set up and ready to rock at home.  Recording vocals at home used to be a dream, and now it's a no-brainer.  Money is no longer the barrier to entry.  The know-how is what gets in the way because you have to know not […]