Home Project Studio: Parts 3 & 4

Half-round Geometrix sound absorbersPart 3: The truth about isolation booths
We find ourselves immersed in the building of the isolation booth, after a slight delay caused by unforeseen delays.

The room is coming along well. Two dedicated 20-amp circuits have been installed for audio power. Lines have been run for lighting. The ceiling has been insulated and the outer walls are ready to be prepped for paint and wall treatments. Now that the main part of the room is taking shape, it is time to look at the ISO booth design and construction.

I had just ordered industrial felt to “float” the inner framing of the booth when I spoke to Nick Collerian at Acoustics First. Read more…

The $999 Home Studio

A pair of VLA-4 powered monitors makes it easy to mix your project. As the cost of home recording technology has continued to fall, the list of products and their available features continues to grow. So it seems timely to ask the question, “Can you put together a viable home recording set up for less than $1000?” To help answer this question, we turned to pro audio veteran, Richie DeCarlo at Philadelphia’s music superstore, 8th Street Music. Let’s see what gear goes into a prototypical home studio rig and how much bang for the buck can you get with a grand. Read more…

Home Project Studio: Part 1 & 2

This five-part series of articles will take a real world look at the why’s, where’s, when’s, and how’s of creating a professional-grade home recording studio. The articles will be written as things happen, and I’m sure there will be enlightening anecdotes, technical twists, and surprising turns (for you and me) as I attempt to actualize a vision that is shared by many recording enthusiasts. Read more…

Pro Studio: Vocal Mics in the Studio

Fast Forward’s Pro Studio guru puts four mics through their paces

One of the key elements in any popular song is the vocal performance, and an essential part of capturing a vocal performance accurately is the microphone used in the recording. Top recording engineers know how important it is to match each singer’s particular vocal qualities and timbre to the microphone that will best capture the power and subtleties of that voice. This month, Fast Forward brought four high-quality vocal microphones (i.e. list price of $1,000 or more) into the studio and ran each through its paces, recording male and female vocal tracks and some narration. By the end of the session, you’ll have a good idea of which of these mics may be worth the investment for your home recording studio and what you might want to look for in studios near you. The four contenders include: the Kiwi, from BLUE Microphones; the TLM 103 from Neumann; the Black Hole BH-2 from JZ Mics; and the KSM 44 from Shure. I invited my colleague Jeff Crawford, a local producer and engineer over to provide a second set of ears for the evaluation. Two singers were asked to help with the testing, each one bringing a backing track of a song that they were familiar with to use for the test session. Read more…

Acoustic Guitar Recording – The Basics

If you’re doing home recording, one of the main instruments you may be using for accompaniment is the acoustic guitar. Learning the basics of acoustic guitar recording requires time to experiment a bit to find your instrument’s sweet spots for micing, and also understanding some essentials with regard to your guitar and recording environment. We’ll use the most popular dynamic mics that many musicians rely on for gigs, the venerable Shure SM-57 and 58, to show how to get a good recorded sound from your acoustic guitar. We’ll also recommend two affordable condenser mics that can help you take your guitar’s sound to the next level. Read more…

When It Pays To Have a Home Recording Rig

The Boss BR 600 delivers a powerful all-in-one recording station that is ideal for guitarists.Talk with any musician who writes and performs his or her own music and chances are that one of the things near the top of their “to do” list is to regularly record their songs. There’s no better way to improve your performing and writing chops than to routinely record and critique your own music. So when does it make sense to invest in buying and learning how to use a home recording rig and when does it make sense to shop around and use a professional studio? Read more…

How to Record Vocals in a Bedroom

Don’t have a dedicated recording studio? Recording in your house? Check out these tips and tricks from Audiotuts+ to get the most out of your sound in an imperfect setting.

The number one factor in vocal recording is the room. You might’ve thought it was the mic you’re using or the pre-amp you’re running it through, but the truth is if you’ve got a U87 and an Avalon but the room you’re recording in is crap, you won’t be much farther ahead than a guy using a Behringer mic through an Mbox.

You could buy one of those (often rather expensive) reflection shields that attach to the stand and sit behind the microphone, and this will do you some good, particularly if your mic is omnidirectional. However, most common vocal microphones for both home and studio users are cardioid, so the shield will still help to an extent but the majority of problem reflections will come from the front — that is, the surfaces behind the vocalist’s head.

Click here to read the entire article on Audiotuts+.