Depending on the genre of music, if you’re doing a live performance, or you’re recording the entire band or ensemble simultaneously, sometimes you can get away without a click – especially if you have a really solid drummer. But 80% of the time in a studio recording – especially if we’re just cutting drums and bass – we’re playing to a click. Read more.
I’ve had drummers who won’t take off their front head, and refuse to cut a hole in the front head. I’ve had to work with that. They had gotten the tuning to sound amazing, or they were purists and didn’t want anything inside the drum. The biggest issue you have when you don’t have the mic in the drum is you’re going to get bleed – bleed from the cymbals, and from the other drums – which can be a real problem for the kick, because it’s driving the entire song, and a lot of times when you’re mixing you want to gate your kick and snare. Read more.
I want to hear a combination of the drum – the hit of the drum – and the snares almost equally as loud as the drum. In a standard 4/4 set up, you’re hearing the snare on the 2 and 4. That snare has a space to fill – it’s the answer to the space the kick drum is filling on the 1 and 3. The snare and the kick have to work together to pull the song forward. If you have a great kick sound, and the snare isn’t matching it, you’ll have this imbalance. Read more.
Jon Marc Weiss is an accomplished recording engineer, studio designer, and musician with over 20 years’ experience. Echoes’ Andre Calilhanna checked in with Jon to discuss the challenges of recording and miking an acoustic piano. Read the post.
Re-amping is a recording technique that can salvage or spruce up tracks recorded in a home studio or less-than-ideal recording environment. It’s also a great way to experiment with sounds and tones without having to constantly re-record a part. You can even totally reinvent a part without compromising the original track. The basic idea is to take a recorded track, send the signal to studio monitors or an amplifier, set up a mic, and record the “re-amped” track. Read more.
When you’re recording an electric bass guitar, blending a direct injection (DI) line recording with a mic’d cabinet is the safest way to make sure you’re going to get the tone you’re looking for. If you have the preamps, mics, and tracks to do it, you might want to record as many as four bass tracks – a DI and three mics – and somewhere in the blend of those four individual tracks, you’ll find the tone you need for each song. Read more.
When considering how to record brass and reed instruments – and when recording saxophone in particular – the player and the tone he’s able to get from the instrument are vitally important. If you’re recording a professional with a lot of studio experience who knows how to get certain tones out of the instrument, you’re going to have a very different approach than if you’re in a home studio recording someone who’s new to the instrument and playing stacked notes.
“Take Grover Washington, Jr., for example,” says Jon. “I had the good fortune to record sax with Grover on a session in the mid 90s. He was as good as it gets. His tone was amazing. You could pretty much put a mic anywhere and it was going to sound good because he could resonate his sax really well.” Read more.
Many of us have the gear to make our own home recordings, but often physical and/or acoustical limitations in the space where we record have an impact on the sound of our recordings. Read more.