Sunday, December 11th, 2011
I’m amazingly lucky in so many ways, and one of them is my good fortune in having a dedicated recording space. I can leave mics and guitars out, decorate to my preference, put speakers in the middle of the room, and best of all, hang broadband absorbers all over the walls and ceiling and stuff them into every corner.
I found that installing these panels made a lot more difference in the quality of my recordings than upgrading a preamp or a/d converter, or even buying a new microphone. By improving the sound in the room, the acoustic treatment made the whole recording process much easier and more enjoyable. So when people ask me how to improve their recordings, one of the first things I suggest is room treatment. (more…)
Thursday, July 15th, 2010
I’ve been moving my audio processing to REAPER over the last year or so. It’s a powerful and reliable program in a fast moving package, with a very active and helpful user community. All these factors make it a real pleasure to use.
Now for the icing on the cake – the development team has linked in the FFmpeg video libraries and given REAPER the ability to do simple video editing. I’m totally happy with my video editing system since I moved to Edius Neo 2.5, but when I played around with video in REAPER I realized that this is a tool many musicians want and need. (more…)
Wednesday, December 30th, 2009
I’ve read many times on the internet that condensers are too sensitive, they pick up the mouse in the next room, the refrigerator downstairs, the arm hairs brushing on the top of the guitar. People have suggested that a dynamic mic is better when there’s ambient noise, clumsy technique, or a bad sounding room. Have you heard this myth? Do you believe it? (more…)
Thursday, June 25th, 2009
Mics are fun. They are a great gear fetish item, because they’re collectible, a bit esoteric but still familiar, come in a wide range of types and sizes, and most of them have a bit of a phallic quality (grin). Even better, when I read about microphones on the internet or in recording magazines it seems that each mic has a dramatically distinct personality, and a big part of the job of a recordist is choosing the optimal mic for any given source and style.
Sometimes when I’ve listened to mic samples I thought I heard these dramatic differences, but after a bit I realized that I was listening to different performances, not different mics. Sure the mics had been changed, but the player was hitting the strings differently and playing different riffs at a different volume – so how could I tell what part of the difference was the mic, and what part the player?
Since then I’ve tried to do some mic tests of my own, and I’ve tried to educate myself on audio testing. At this point I’m beginning to think that the differences in microphones are a lot more subtle than I had been led to believe, which makes a careful test even more important. As I’ve mentioned before, very small differences in volume are registered by our ear/brain combination as differences in quality rather than loudness. I’d like to demonstrate the steps I now take to try to make my mic comparisons, and preamp and a/d comparisons, meaningful. (more…)