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Acoustics are a major part of any recording that uses microphones.

 

Not everyone who owns a home studio has the budget to hire a professional sound proofing company.

 

 

Sound proofing can be done inexpensively if you are handy with a few tools.

 

Before you begin a sound proofing project we recommend trying a recording project like the one below.

 

it will enable you to have  a better understanding of the acoustics you are working with.

 

A while back I had a challenging recording job presented to me.

I had a friend who wanted me to record his Cd at a time when I was on the road.

 

He really didn't have the budget to go into a studio.

All we had to work with at that time was a handful of microphones and a Roland 16 track digital recorder.

 

Since he was insistent I agreed to help him  record his music.

Most of his instrumentation was acoustic and included:

 

A few acoustic guitars

Lead Vocals

Drums

Acoustic and electric bass

Electric guitars

Percussion

Steal guitar

Keyboards

Mandolin

and a few other items.

 


 


 

We were to work in a home that had no sound proofing.

I'm sure many beginning students can relate to this situation.

 

I often hear how students can get frustrated at the possibly of doing a job like this with only a handful of microphones and a non-studio environment.

 

I can understand.

 

Before we get into the details of how this job was done i will tell you the results.

 

This finished Cd received international air play, was on the charts and was considered for a Grammy nomination.

 

This Cd was done entirely in that environment including all the mastering.




OK, How was it done....

 

When i decided to take on this recording challenge I realized I would have to be creative with microphone techniques and acoustics.

 

Acoustics are every thing to a recording and being aware of the acoustics in any environment extremely important.

 

I began by listening to EVERY room in the house.

Yes, that includes all the bathrooms, hallways, bedrooms, every room.

 

I also took each instrument that we were going to record and listened to them in all the rooms.

 


Not only did we examine all the rooms, we also listened to different parts of the same rooms.

 

What I mean by this is I would have him play one of his instruments in different locations of the same room.

 

I found that one guitar sounded better in bathroom 1.

Another guitar sounded better in the office.

 

Yet the third guitar while soloing sounded best in a corner of a hallway.

 

For the drums I used a small carpeted room that was just big enough for the kit, myself and the drummer.

We also used this room for vocals.

 

With electric guitar we went direct and also miked an amp that was in a small bathroom with tiled floor.

 

The electric bass was also direct but we placed a bass amp in another room and miked this amp.



For the most part each instrument was done one at a time.

 

What could have been very difficult was he recorded the drums last because the drummer was not available.

 

Fortunately the drummer was very good and we had no problems.

All work was done with headphones.

 

We did a number of tuning changes on the kit based on what the song needed and tightened or loosened the snare based on the dynamics of the song.

 

It would have been interesting to watch this recording being done as each part took place in different rooms and locations in the same house.

 

The microphone techniques are all the ones mentioned on this site.

After this recording was completed it went to radio with in weeks and received a lot of air play.

 

 


 

It remained on the charts for a couple years.

None of the recording was re-done.

 

The reason i am telling you this is because many students believe it is not possible to get record company results on a small budget and with out a proper studio environment.

 

The truth is if you LISTEN to what your options are and LISTEN again, you can find a way.

You may notice that when we give you individual assignments we sometimes ask you to mike things differently or have you do some experiments with microphone technique.

 

The reason is, we are listening to your acoustics as well as your entire system and having you experiment so we can all learn what is possible.

 

Over the years I have done a number of recordings in homes, clubs, and many non-studio environments.

 

Several of these have been released commercially.

Its all about LISTENING.... and not so much about budget.


 

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