Once you have completed the long and difficult path of building your own home studio, you will be able to…
Novices are often so proud of their work that they forget the most important part of the whole project…
That’s recording music!
The problem is that… making a good recording studio is really much more difficult than you might think.
You always have to remember that the quality of a recording has little to do with the instrumentation…
And a lot with the skills of the people who use it.
This means that… to create something that has its value, you need to know what you are doing and where you want to go.
Starting from this place and continuing throughout the fifth chapter…
We will start talking about the fundamentals that all newcomers should know before starting with the recording sessions in their home studio.
Ready? Let’s start…
Common Registration Techniques
If you’ve never had the chance to work in a studio before…
You probably have no idea of the huge number of steps needed to carry the song that you only have in your head…
In an mp3 file that can be shared with the whole world.
Let’s see the 6 key points:
1. How to Register a Song
Recording a song is a complex process.
From start to finish, there are many complicated situations to deal with.
Those who are at the beginning, especially, will find it difficult:
Remember the various steps, and…
Understand the common thread that binds them to achieve the final goal.
In this lesson we will see in detail the 4 fundamental steps of musical production, which are:
2. Registering the Item
Regardless of your musical style, learning to record voice is an absolutely necessary skill in this world…
Especially because it’s the part of a song that EVERYONE pays attention to.
But unlike other instruments…
For which both the positioning of the microphone and the recording techniques to be adopted are in the hands of the sound engineer…
With the voice, much of the control over the performance lies with the singer. This can be a complication, especially when the singer has little or no studio experience.
3. Recording Instruments
Solved the voice problem, it remains to be addressed only… everything else.
Generally, pop music (in the broadest sense) uses mainly 4 instruments:
The problem is that… the methods traditionally used in pro studios to record these instruments are not always suitable even for home studios…
Because often the lack of adequate technical instrumentation makes everything more difficult
4. Polar Diagrams
When you start building your own arsenal of microphones…
One of the first things to evaluate is the polar diagram of the microphone(s) you are interested in.
Cardioid, figure-8 and omnidirectional are the 3 most common polar diagrams, and you will hear them mentioned continuously.
Surprisingly, few people really understand what they really are and what I use to do with them… often they don’t even have the faintest idea.
This is a big flaw, as understanding polar diagrams is essential to properly match a microphone to a recording session.
If you make a mistake on this point, your recording will have its destiny marked before it even begins.
5. Stereo Recording: The 5 Techniques
Once you have gained an in-depth understanding of polar diagrams and their operation…
The next logical step will be to learn the art of stereo recording.
While the technicians of the professional studios use these techniques every day, and thanks to them they get that fantastic sound width that we hear in music and television…
Sadly, most home office owners have never even tried it…
You want to because they do not have the right equipment, because they do not have the necessary knowledge, or simply because they have never heard of it.
The result, however, is that they end up wondering why their recordings sound so “amateur”.
6. Mixing with headphones
51i-mix with headphonesIdeally, mixing should be done using studio monitors…
But today, with the spread of completely independent musicians who produce their music directly in their home studio… mixing with headphones has become the norm.
It won’t be ideal, but the truth is that nobody would if they didn’t also have its advantages.
To understand exactly what they are and how you can use them in mixing, take a look at this post:
Mixing with Headphones: The Final Guide
PART 2: Understanding Sound
As you continue to delve into the world of audio recording, you will begin to notice that you have become able to hear things that others simply can’t hear.
This is because you are beginning to truly understand what SOUND is, and how our ears and brain use the information it conveys to interpret the world around us.
But before your ears can do that… your brain needs to understand how it works in theory.
To speed up your learning curve I have prepared the following 4 points:
- Binaural Listening
- Understanding What Decibels Are
- Fletcher Munson’s Curve
- Digital Audio
1. Binaural Listening
Binaural Listening Have you ever wondered exactly why we have TWO ears?
Instead of just one? Or three?
Through evolution, this system of “binaural listening”, (binaural means “two-ears”)…
It has been selected as the most efficient to allow animals (and humans) to perceive “directional” information related to the surrounding environment.
The first question you could ask yourself is… “How does it work?”
The second question that you will surely ask yourself is… “How can I use it in music?”
In this post you will find the answers to ALL these questions…
How Our Ears Hear the Sound Direction
2. Understanding What Decibels Are
Probably among the various topics related to music recordings…
Decibels are the most misunderstood.
This is a big flaw, because as musicians we work with decibels on a daily basis, regardless of whether we know what they are or not.
Everybody thinks they know what they are, but in reality almost no one really knows.
Try to do some research about it and what you’ll find is a bunch of mathematical equations and scientific terms that you can barely make sense of.
That is why I have addressed this point so that everyone can understand.
3. Fletcher Munson’s Curve
Fletcher munson curveIf you are reading this post, you probably have never heard of it…
Or maybe, yes, but you have no idea why you’d be interested.
Trust me: as you gain experience in the field, you will hear more and more about this topic.
And since you’re going to have to familiarize yourself with this topic anyway, why not start right away?
Without going into detail, Fletcher Munson’s curve practically shows how the human ear perceives the sound volume at different frequencies.
4. Digital Audio
One of the recent technological innovations that have made it possible to disseminate home recordings is the…
The most important one is certainly Digital Audio.
Nevertheless, it is not surprising given how boring this topic can sometimes be…
That few people understand anything about this important part of home recording.