Home Recording Studios Challenging Commercial Studios in Nashville And Beyond

This is an awesome article about the power of home recording studios and their ability to stand up to the large commercial studios. The Tennessean Music Team wrote about several examples of home studios, along with responses from representatives of the big commercial studios about this trend. I have long been a believer that you can, with the right knowledge and gear (and not even very expensive gear anymore!) record and produce audio on computer-based studios that sounds as good as the stuff coming out of commercial studios.  Here is more proof. Read the full article here: http://blogs.tennessean.com/tunein/2012/09/16/home-recording-studios-challenge-the-majors/ … [Read more...]

Understanding Sound and Acoustics

I am constantly saying that knowledge trumps gear when it comes to producing good sounding audio.  Its actually pretty common for someone to record really bad audio using really expensive gear.  That boils down to good old-fashioned not having the right knowledge.  I am also always saying that you don't need a lot of knowledge, or that the knowledge isn't too hard for anyone to understand.  I still stand by that. But that does not mean that more and deeper knowledge isn't better.  Quite the opposite. For those who really want to dig into the fine details of audio, getting to understand the properties of sound and acoustics is an excellent thing. This article by Neil Thompson Shade is an excellent primer on sound and acoustics. Not only does it cover some of the basics, but it also … [Read more...]

Vocal Microphone Rufus Wainwright Uses On Stage

We just saw a CBS Sunday Morning segment about Rufus Wainwright where there were several clips of him performing on stage, always with the same microphone.  Since it was clearly not your typical Shure SM58, used by so many lead singers on stages around the world for decades, we decided to start rooting around the internet to figure out what mic he was using.  I'm not ashamed to say that Lisa figured it out first - but only by 60 seconds;).  Anyway, it turns out that Rufus Wainwright uses the Shure KSM9 Handheld Microphone as his vocal mic on stage - at least in the footage shown in this piece. Of the KSM9, Wainwright’s front-of-house engineer Suneil Pusari said in an interview for Mix Magazine that the mic has a great openness and detail that accurately captures the different aspects of … [Read more...]

How to Build a Home Recording Studio, Pt 2: Four Tips For Preventing Noise

This is part 2 in a series called How to Build a Home Recording Studio, where you learn how to set up a computer-based studio capable of recording pro-quality audio. In part 1, I left off in the section talking about ways of preventing noise in our recordings. The best way to do this is to record in an acoustically ideal space that not only is dead quiet, but does not affect the audio in a negative way either - such as creating echos and reverb. Since those spaces are really hard to come by, the next best option would be something like an vocal isolation booth treated with materials to prevent and/or absorb echos, allowing you to record only the signal. Let's take a look at some of these. You can buy a full-blown vocal booth, such as the Clearsonic IsoPac, which will run you about … [Read more...]

The Newbies Guide To Audio Recording Awesomeness Affiliate Program

The new course, The Newbies Guide To Audio Recording Awesomeness 2: Pro Recording With Reaper, has an excellent affiliate program available for anyone who would like to promote it and make a 70% commission on each sale you make.  The price for the course is $47, so your cut ends up being $32.90. You can pick your own affiliate code (nickname), and have access to a page with your statistics (http://www.homebrewaudio.co/NewbiesGuide2/reseller.php) as well as resources such as banners with your affiliate code already built in. To sign up to become an affiliate and start making money selling this info product, just go to this page: http://www.homebrewaudio.co/NewbiesGuide2/affiliates.php … [Read more...]

A Good Mixing Space Without Breaking The Bank

Bad recording and mixing spaces come with the territory in home recording.  Most of us use rooms in our houses, usually converted bedrooms, that were most definitely NOT built for acoustic goodness.  They are, in fact, quite the opposite.  The box with hard walls and ceilings wreak havoc with our audio, most often manifesting as echo-y and reverb-y sounding vocals.  But less obvious, and much more insidious, is the way wound waves interact, causing us to hear things that aren't really there, or not hear things that are there.  This slaps us in the face when we are mixing music in a room like that.  Things usually sound pretty normal.  You hear all the sounds and mix volumes so everything works well together.  You apply EQ to boost some frequencies and lower others until it sounds great.  … [Read more...]

Easy Home Recording Basics – The PC Recording Studio

Home recording can be an entertaining and rewarding pursuit, but it may also turn into a rewarding business! Only one or two years back, studio quality recordings were only done in sound-proof studios with thousands of clams worth of equipment. There are some basics to be absorbed, though. First what do you need? You can spend a ton of cash on gear that you don’t really need. I recommend that if you’re just starting out, you don’t buy any of it. The least expensive and easiest way to get studio-quality recordings is with a computer that was made in the past…say…10 years (this being 2010).  This will be your PC recording studio. You’ll also need a microphone (or “mic” for short). If you’re just starting out, you can learn all the techniques for creating pro-audio with just a plastic PC … [Read more...]

Bad Voice-Overs Ruin Great Looking Videos

If I had to estimate what percentage of very professional-looking sales videos on the web were accompanied by crappy audio due to poor voice-over quality, I'd have to say at least 50 percent. That's a lot folks! And there is no reason for it - none at all.  Audio for video is not hard. If your videos are just for fun, the narration quality may not be that important.  But videos for your business affect the bottom line, and amateur-sounding audio might well be limiting how successful you are. When someone goes through the trouble of creating a sales video they usually have a goal of - oh I don't know - selling something. With that in mind, the wise salesperson will want to put forward as professional an image as possible within their budget. One of the ways they do this is to produce a … [Read more...]

Microphones Used By Boston Pops For July 4th

One of the things I like to do is point out all things audio that pop (no pun intended) up in popular culture.  The Boston Pops are a classical music ensemble, so when they play live, they most definitely need amplification and lots of microphones.  This article talks about what mics they used this year for their annual 4th of July spectacular in the Hatch Shell at the Esplanade for 400,000 attendees. This year DPA microphones were the star attraction for microphone geeks.  d:vote 4099 mics were used in the string section, 4023 compact cardioid mics were used on the piano, and the vocalists and narrators wore 4066 omni headset microphones. Check out the full article here: http://www.prosoundweb.com/article/dpa_microphones_play_key_role_at_boston_pops_fourth_of_july_spectacular/ … [Read more...]

The 21st Century Home Recording Engineer is You

I'm going to say a word and I want you to remember the first picture that pops in to your mind. Ready? OK, here goes: "Recording Engineer." What image did your brain conjure for you? I'm guessing there was a large mixing board and a really smart-looking guy with both arms stretched out tweaking and pushing scary-looking controls. Was I close? The guy in that image I just described is probably someone who did extremely well in computer science, electrical engineering, and probably some sort of shop class in school. Their vocabulary is peppered with words like "impedance" and "discrete class-A." I hate to throw around such controversial terms as "geek" or "boring," but they may cross your mind. This guy became an audio recording engineer because he loved it! He couldn't get enough of the … [Read more...]