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Proper Audio Recording Levels

Proper Audio Recording Levels
NOTICE: If you don't want to read any this or just don't care to understand it, there's a "dumbed down" version at the bottom. Let me get something out of the way here - I'm going to try to keep this very "fool proof" - I'm not trying to sound or present this very scientifically - This is just the rantings of hundreds and hundreds of posts on a dozen or more audio forums exploding like a volcano recorded with lots of headroom. I just hope to instill a basic understanding of why certain trends and common beliefs are just plain bad. And by the time you're done reading, and perhaps doing a little experimentation based on this, you won't need me to prove it. You'll know it yourself. Is this a "miracle cure" for bad recordings? So, if you've been struggling with recordings that sound "weak" or "small" or too dense or "just not 'pro' enough" then please, read on. As a mastering engineer, I work on recordings from pretty much every level of experience. You're probably recording too hot. Related:  Music ProductionMixing and Miking

Five Creative Uses Of Loudspeakers That Can Enhance Recordings 1) Adding More Snares to Snare Drums If you’re presented with an “inherited recording” to mix (one you didn’t engineer) with live drums where no bottom mic was used on the snare drum, or the track sheet says “snare” but all you’ve got to work with is a dull thump, try this: Route an aux send bus output from your mixing console to a small powered loudspeaker (or, if you have an extra power amp, a regular small passive loudspeaker) you’ve placed out in the studio room or vocal booth. I’ve done this, putting my small, powered 5-inch Yamaha loudspeaker right on top of a decent sounding snare drum sitting on its stand. Use a spacer so the loudspeaker itself does not dampen the snare drum head too much. I used the plastic protective ring from a 2-inch reel of tape for a spacer, strapping it and the loudspeaker down to the drum’s shell with gaffer’s tape. While sending on the aux send bus from the original snare track, slowly add in the bottom mic. 2) Recording Sympathetic Vibrations

Audio Recording Center: Electric Guitar Tips Article I'm always amazed by how many people working in home studios think you need a $750,000 console, a 48-track digital machine, an arsenal of $2,000 microphones, and tons of outboard gear to make your tapes sound "professional." It's just not true. What you need is some basic knowledge about the physics of audio (most of which you can learn by dropping a pebble in a puddle of water), and some pretty basic and inexpensive equipment. This is especially true for recording the electric guitar. Trust me--if it were brain surgery, I would have become a brain surgeon and made my mother a much happier woman. The single most important factor in getting great electric guitar sounds (of course) is that the sound coming out of the amp should be great. As a general rule, I'll set up the 57 right against the amp's grill cloth, pointing it directly in to the speaker (sometimes at a slight angle from the outer rim of the speaker pointing toward the center). And now for that physics lesson.

Ten Tips For Better Drums Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Bruce Aisher runs through ten essential tips for getting the most from your drums. Sub-mix Compression While there is often a lot of focus on compressing individual sounds or even the whole mix, there’s also a place for something that sits firmly in the middle: sub-mix compression (sometimes referred to as ‘bus’ compression). Compressing individual drums can give definition to each element, but compressing all of them together can act like a sonic gel, and may also improve the overall groove, giving the whole drum part a better ebb and flow. What settings to use is really a matter of taste and is perhaps determined by how audible you want the final result to be. The second approach would be to go in with all guns blazing and deliberately squash the hell out of the drums to create an extreme effect. Uncompressed House Groove Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin.

7 Obscure Mixing Techniques Used by the Pros Most of the time there is an obvious choice. Need more mid-range? Grab an EQ and boost the midrange. So with that said, here are seven counterintuitive mixing techniques pros regularly use to solve unconventional problems: 1. What? 2. When we want to hear more bass in a bass guitar, kick drum, or other low-end element, the obvious solution is to boost the low end. 3. But wait, doesn’t a compressor restrict dynamic range? 4. If you’re using a brickwall limiter on your master buss, chances are you’re doing so to make something loud. Well, yes and no. 5. Now that really doesn’t make sense. 6. Remember that reverb is used to create a sense of space. 7. Not that I feel loudness is absolutely paramount to a successful mix, but in today’s climate of iPods, noise-ridden listening environments, and DJ controlled playlists, it’s important that the record lives within the same general vicinity of apparent loudness. Now it’s your turn!

The 10 best lectures on electronic music ever; watch them now Thanks to the wonders of the internet, one’s quest for knowledge really has no limitations. Between the plethora of digitized articles, documentaries, and—on the technical side of things—instructional videos and guides around, there is no shortage of information accessible to those who seek to learn more about the ever-expanding world of electronic music. The lecture, however, makes for a unique form of information sharing as it not only provides the necessary facts and details, but also allows for attendees (and, eventually, viewers) to get a sense of the person behind these facets of knowledge. Richie Hawtin is surely one of techno’s living—and gigging, for that matter—legends, and his lecture at this year’s Red Bull Music Academy NYC session proved to be an enthralling and informative discussion. Thanks to Daft Punk and their inescapable summer jam “Get Lucky,” the genius of guitarist/songwriter Nile Rodgers has been introduced to a new generation.

How to Manage & Minimize Latency in Your Audio Projects Whatever genre you are working in and whatever DAW you use to produce your music, it is likely you have suffered from latency issues at some point. Whether you are aware of it or not latency can be a real problem in the modern digital studio and can really effect your workflow. To help you tackle this tricky subject I’ll break it down into easy segments, starting with what latency actually is and following onto subjects such as optimizing your system and how to tackle latency throughout your workflow. Step 1 - What is latency? Latency is the delay generated when a signal is routed through a digital audio workstation and connected peripherals. A similar thing occurs when you use an instrument, or microphone, to record audio into your DAW. Even if you are using a high end machine with the correct settings, a quality interface and the latest drivers … you will still experience latency. Even high end machines suffer from latency. Step 2 - Optimizing your machine Logic Pro’s buffer setting page

Pensado's Place - Learn how to produce, record, mix, and master music and audio Five Tips To Improve The Feel Of Your Recordings When learning to mix – sound is of paramount importance. Understanding the ins and outs, and how it all interacts is the building blocks from which any mix is made. However, once sound and the manipulation of sound is learned, there is a further and more important step: feel. People listen to music on laptop speakers, ear-buds, and in cars on the freeway with the windows down. Under all these circumstances, the sound is clearly compromised. When dealing with sound, we tend to think in terms of tone, timbre, balance, image, and punch. Punch is how the sound jumps out at you, image is the world the sound lives in, and balance allows the important elements to step forward. Here are some feel-related ideas for you to ruminate on: 1. Sometimes it’s nice to momentarily unbalance a key element to build tension, and then return it to a balanced level as the release. 2. Consider old Motown recordings. 3. 4. 5. Be sure to visit the ProAudioFiles for more great recording content.