Posts belonging to Category Recording



Review: Rack Writer Dry-Erase Rack Panels

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In my studio rack, I now have one dual-channel and three 8-channel rackmount mic preamps (for a total of 26 inputs) that I use for recording all of the vocals and instruments. One of the challenges to any session is remembering which mic is connected to which preamp. On more than one occasion, I’ve found myself twiddling a Gain knob to no avail, only to realize that I grabbed the wrong knob by mistake. So the thought occurred to me–wouldn’t it be nice if I could label each preamp channel somehow, so that I could easily see which one I was actually adjusting? (more…)

Studio Monitor Burn In: Fact or Fiction?

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One of the things I love about recording is the passion that other recording enthusiasts have for it. If you’ve frequented any of the popular recording forums (TapeOp, Gearslutz, Homerecording, etc.), you’ll find some very colorful discussions about what gear is best and how best to use it. Occasionally, I’ll discover that there’s a whole mythology that has developed around a certain recording technique (e.g., the “Recorderman” overhead mic placement on drums) or a certain “best practice” that people either swear by, or swear at. Such is the case with whether or not to “burn-in” new studio monitor speakers. (more…)

The Shure SM7B – Magic Mic, or All Hype?

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Originally released in 1976, the Shure SM7B has become the stuff of recording legend. It was the mic that was used to record the vocals on the best-selling album of all time: Michael Jackson’s Thriller. It’s still the preferred vocal mic in the studio for many famous Rock vocalists. You’d be hard-pressed to find a recording forum without dozens of threads about the SM7B, and how every engineer should own one. The demand for these mics is so great that you’ll pay almost as much for a used one as you would to buy a new one. (more…)

Review: Behringer Ultragain ADA8000 Mic/Line Preamp & A/D/A Converter

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If you’re looking to expand the inputs and/or outputs of your recording interface, and that interface comes equipped with ADAT (also sometimes called “Lightpipe” or “Toslink”) inputs and outputs, look no further than the Behringer Ultragain ADA8000. The ADA8000 is an 8-channel Mic/Line preamp and A/D (Analog-to-Digital) converter. But as a bonus, it’s also an 8-channel D/A (Digital-to-Analog) converter. This comes in handy if you need additional analog outputs from your DAW, like maybe for mixing “out of the box” using an analog console, or if you need additional analog outputs for creating headphone mixes for multiple performers while tracking in the studio. (more…)

Monitoring Vocals in the Recording Studio

One of the challenges that any engineer faces when recording vocals in the studio is creating a good mix in the headphones for the singer. The goal is to create a nice balance between the singer’s voice (which is being monitored directly from the microphone) and the rest of the recorded mix (the drums, guitars, bass, keys, other vocal tracks, etc.). If the singer can’t hear enough of their own voice in the headphones, they will have a tendency to go off pitch or sing too loudly into the mic. On the other hand, if they hear too much of their voice in the headphones (and not enough of the mix), they will often not be locked in well with the music and sing too softly, therby creating a weak performance. (more…)

Review: Behringer Ultramatch Pro SRC2496 A/D/A & Sample Rate Converter

The Behringer Ultramatch Pro SRC2496 is a Sample Rate & A/D/A Converter that allows you to transfer digital audio between devices with different sample rates, formats, or interfaces, and remove dropouts or jitter from digital media. The various digital outputs can be used simultaneously, allowing the unit to also serve as a digital signal splitter/patchbay. The SRC2496 also provides up to 24-bit/96 kHz A/D/A conversion, making it what could be the most affordable stereo A/D/A converter on the market. (more…)

Sennheiser e604 vs. CAD M179 on Toms

For several years, I’ve had some Sennheiser e604’s that I’ve always used for recording the toms on drum kits. Lately though, I had been particularly unimpressed with how my tom tracks have sounded, so I decided to try out a pair of the much-loved-for-toms, CAD M179’s. I only bought two M179’s and set one mic between my two high toms (10″ & 12″) and the other between my two floor toms (14″ & 16″). I engaged the -20 db pad on the M179’s and set the pattern to hypercardioid to try and minimize bleed. (more…)

The Secret Ingredient of Recording

A few weeks ago, I was watching the movie Kung Fu Panda with my son. In the film, Po (the Kung Fu Panda), finally learns the secret of both Kung Fu, and of his adoptive father’s noodle soup: there is no secret ingredient. If you’ve seen the movie, you know what I’m talking about. A few days later, I started considering how this same revelation applies to the world of recording. (more…)

Digital Audio Connections Explained

If you’re confused by the multitude of common digital audio connections available today on many recording interfaces, such as ADAT, S/PDIF, AES/EBU, S/MUX, Word Clock, etc., you owe it to yourself to read this excellent article from Presonus:

Digital Audio Connections and Synchronization

Review: Behringer Behritone C50A

The Behritone C50A

For quite some time now, I’ve known about the merits of checking your mixes in mono to test for phase problems, and having some “grot boxes” (cheap, lo-fi speakers) to see what your mix will sound like on a less-than-stellar playback system. The idea behind the mono grot box is this: who cares if your mix sounds great on your studio monitors if it sounds like garbage on most listeners’ playback systems? (more…)