Posts belonging to Category Tips for Engineers



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…)

How to Prepare a Drum Kit for Recording

Most recordists will agree that acoustic drums are the most challenging instrument to record (and record well). One of the reasons (among several) is that a drum kit has so many moving parts that are prone to rattles, squeaks, buzzes, and other annoying sounds. It’s also quite a task to tune a drumkit, which always needs to be done prior to any recording session. (more…)

How to prepare Wav files for Tunecore using iTunes

Tunecore is a service for musicians that allows you to sell your music on the iTunes store and other digital retailers with minimal hassle. I recently had a client who was trying to get his music uploaded to Tunecore, but wasn’t sure how to create the specific file type that is required by them. (more…)

Recording Bands – Together or Separate?

by Jon Goad

When working in the studio, some producers/engineers prefer to record each instrument completely separate from each other. First, they’ll record the drums, then the bass guitar, then the rhythm guitar, then the keyboards, etc. It’s almost like building a brick wall, with each instrument representing a single layer of bricks. (more…)

Recording Audio for an Independent Film

Between November 2010 and March 2011, I had the opportunity to do something I had never done before–record the audio for a short film. Some friends of mine who have a video production company here in Northeast Arkansas (Anthem Pictures), were producing it, and recruited me to handle the audio. (more…)

The Importance of Accurate Monitoring in the Studio

How many times has this happened to you? You’ve been slaving away for hours, even days, mixing your latest musical masterpiece in your home studio. Everything sounds absolutely perfect. Then, you burn it to a CD, jump in the car, and pop it in your CD player. You’re ready to hit the open road and jam out to the greatest tune you’ve ever recorded. Then, the CD starts playing. You’re underwhelmed. The CD sounds dull and lifeless. There’s not enough high end. There’s too much low end. And what happened to the snare drum? You can hardly hear it at times because it’s being buried in the mix by other instruments. (more…)

A Different Way to Record Bass

A couple of years ago, I read a book called “Guerrilla Home Recording: How to Get Great Sound from Any Studio”. A neat tip that I picked up from the book is to record the signals from both a DI box and a miked bass amp to different tracks. Then you can blend the two tracks together to get a different tone for different songs. You’ll get a very clean tone from the DI box (because it’s coming straight from the bass guitar’s pickups), and depending on how hard the amp is driven, you’ll get some grit and distortion, and more color from the miked amp. I’ve used this technique with some limited success. (more…)

Squeeze Play – Compression Demystified

When discussing modern recording techniques, you can’t get far without someone bringing up the topic of compression. If you’ve seen a compressor in the mail-order music catalogs or online music store, but never understood what it was or why you might need it on your recordings, sit tight. (more…)