All posts tagged “Record U”
By Giles Reaves
So you finally finished recording all your vocal tracks, but unfortunately you didn’t get one take that was perfect all the way through. You’re also wondering what to do about some excessive sibilance, a few popped “P”s, more than a few pitchy lines and some words that are all but too soft to even be heard – don’t worry, there’s hope! And hey, welcome to the world of vocal editing.
A Little History…
Since the beginning of musical performance, singers (and instrumentalists) have craved the possibility of re-singing that one “if only” note or line. You know the one: “if only I had hit that pitch, if only I had held that note out long enough, if only my voice hadn’t cracked”, etc. With the advent of early recording technologies, these ‘if only’ moments were now being captured, and performers were forced to face reliving those ‘if only’ moments forever! One ‘if only’ moment could ruin an entire take.
With the popularity of analog tape recording in the mid 20th century also comes the popularity of splice editing. Now you can record the same song two different times, and choose the first half of one take and the second half of another. Next comes multi track recording, where you don’t even have to sing the vocal with the band!
By Giles Reaves
Drums are probably the oldest musical instrument in existence, as well as being one of the most popular. Drums are also one of the most basic instruments, having evolved little in concept through the years: at their most basic, drums are anything you strike which makes a sound!
As simple as they are, drums can be difficult to master. The same can be said of properly recording drums. While most folks may recommend that you go to a ‘real studio’ to record drums, that isn’t always a possibility. They will also tell you that drums are difficult to record properly, which is at least partly true. But it’s also true that there’s a lot you can do, even with a very limited setup – if you know some very basic techniques.
To introduce you to the world of drum recording at home, I’ve gathered some of my favorite tips and recording techniques in hopes of encouraging you to try your hand at recording some drums in your personal home studio. I’ll cover a few different scenarios from the single microphone approach on up to the many options that become available to you when you have multiple microphones.
By Ernie Rideout
In the Tools for Mixing series here at Record U, we discuss a number of useful types of effects and processing in other articles: dynamics such as compression and gating, EQ types such as shelving and parametric, send effects such as reverb and delay, and master effects such as maximizing and stereo imaging. Most importantly, these other articles cover how you can use these effects and processors to make your mixes sound great.
What’s different about insert effects, the subject of this article? Well, in some ways, absolutely nothing. Insert effects can be compressors, EQs, reverbs, delays, and any other kind of processor. Like these effects and processors, insert effects are very effective tools to give each track its own sonic space and to make your mix sound better — it’s these goals that we’ll focus on in this article.
By Ernie Rideout
Of all the tools we talk about in the Tools for Mixing articles here at Record U, reverb is unique in that it’s particularly well suited to make it easy for you to create clear mixes that give each part its own sonic space.
Reverb derives its uniqueness from the very direct and predictable effect it has on any listener. Since we humans have binaural hearing, we can distinguish differences in the time between our perception of a sound in one ear and our perception of the same sound in our other ear. It’s not a big distance from ear to ear, but it’s enough to give our brains all they need to know to immediately place the location of a sound in the environment around us.
Similarly, our brains differentiate between the direct sound coming from a source and the reflections of the same sound that reach our ears after having bounced off of the floor, ceiling, walls, or other objects in the environment. By evaluating the differences in these echoes, our brains create an image accounting for the distances between the sound source, any reflective surfaces, and our own ears.
The good news for you: It’s super easy to make your mixes clearer and more appealing by using this physiological phenomenon to your advantage. And you don’t even need to know physiology or physics! We’ll show you how to use reverb to create mixes that bring out the parts you want to emphasize, while avoiding common pitfalls that can lead to muddiness.
By Gary Bromham
When preparing a space for recording and mixing we enter a potential minefield, as no two areas will sound the same, and therefore no one-solution-fits-all instant fix is available. There are, however, a few systematic processes we can run through to facilitate vastly improving our listening environment.
When putting together a home studio, it is very easy to spend sometimes large sums of money buying equipment, and then to neglect the most important aspect of the sound; namely the environment set up and used for recording. No matter how much we spend on computers, speakers, guitars, keyboards or amps etc., we have to give priority to the space in which they are recorded.
Whether it be a house, apartment, or just a room, the method is still based on our ability to soundproof and apply sound treatment to the area. It is extremely difficult to predict what will happen to sound waves when they leave the speakers. Every room is different and it’s not just the dimensions that dictate how a room will sound. Assorted materials which make up walls, floors, ceilings, windows and doors – not to mention furniture – all have an effect on what we hear emanating from our monitors.
Fig 1. A vocal booth with off the shelf acoustic treatment fitted.
Whether we have a large or a small budget to sort out our space, there are a number of off-the-shelf or DIY solutions we can employ to help remedy our problem. It should be pointed out at this stage that a high-end studio and a home project studio are worlds apart. Professional studio design demands far higher specification and uses far narrower criteria as its benchmark, and therefore costs can easily run in to hundreds of thousands!