You Don’t Need a Big Studio For a Big Sound

You do not need a room full of expensive gear or a fully equipped studio to work your songs until they're strong and full of impact. But you do have to leave any tendencies to creative laziness and mediocrity out of the studio. Working your songs until they are perfect is a lesson every musician…

You do not need a room full of expensive gear or a fully equipped studio to work your songs until they're strong and full of impact. But you do have to leave any tendencies to creative laziness and mediocrity out of the studio. Working your songs until they are perfect is a lesson every musician should inject into their sessions. So before you start tracking, take a good hard look at the songs in your project and make sure they're absolutely ready. Then look at the songs again, because a significant number of musicians lie to themselves about the studio readiness of their material. Create a simple signal chain you do not have to have a stellar mixer or audiophile processors. All you need to do is find some good quality preamps (Grace Design m101) comes to mind and a decent interface and route your signals direct to your digital audio workstation. The goal is to record the source sounds as transparent as possible without adding audible hiss or other noises, and the less devices jockeying for a spot along side of your audio chain, the cleaner and more vigorously healthy the sounds will be. And do not forget to use Mogami cables that they are the best.

If you are tracking an acoustic drum kit, your mic cabinet is probably not as fully stocked as you would like it. But this approach to the overheads gives you the opportunity to track huge drum sounds with minimal mics. Bringing up the overheads in the mix is ​​about more than just cymbals that they bring up the headroom of the kit and opens it up. Remember how they recorded drum tracks in the early sixties here is the basic setup. Position a Shure SM-57 dynamic mic over the snare head, place a large diaphragm condenser just outside the kick drum and pointed at the beater, and then put two small-diaphragm condensers about two feet over the drummer, one pointed left the other right . Listen critically, and move the mics as needed to capture a natural, punchy and dimensional image of the drums and no EQ at this point it's better to work the sound when the kit is heard in context with the other instruments as your dialing in the final mix. Again you will want to keep the signal chain as clean and simple as possible.

A big amp does not always translate to a big amp sound on tape or disk. You can achieve extremely aggressive tones with a cranked fifteen watt combo. Put a Shure SM- 57 dynamic placed right on the speaker grill is one of the classic positions for achieving punchy and articulate midrange. Want a warmer, more natural sound? Leave the dynamic where it is, but put a large diaphragm condenser in the middle of the room upside down facing the amp and record it on a stereo track or use a ribbon mic and position it about a foot from the grill. If you want less ambient room noise move the mic closer to the speaker. As always listen critically, and keep moving the mic around until you hit the sweet spot. One of the most important things you need to know is microphone placement when in the studio. Make your mic work for a living, it does not cost a thing to experiment and move the mic around to perfect your sound. Or you could place the mic off-axis to the speaker cone at an angle of about 45 degrees to capture a different tone. Point is there is no right or wrong here, there are no rules it comes down to what gives you the tone you're looking for.