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Discover the industry secrets to recording crisp, rich instrument tracks and vocals in any type of recording environment. Join renowned audio engineer Bobby Owsinski as he walks through the process of miking and tracking a complete song by Underground Sun recording artist Iyeoka and A-list session musicians in a top-of-the-line studio—in a way that is applicable to any recording space and musical genre. Learn how to select the correct microphone and polar pattern for each instrument, with hundreds of revealing listening examples for drums, acoustic and electric guitar, piano, keyboards, and more. These professional techniques offer critical insights for those just getting started in the recording process, and a trustworthy reference guide for more seasoned engineers. Bobby also demonstrates how to monitor and sculpt EQ settings, why and when to process your input signal, and how to choose the right outboard gear for the track. This course employs 360-degree, 3D visualizations that provide an unprecedented perspective of the equipment, players, and microphone placements discussed. Plus, with the raw audio files provided, you can critically listen to every recorded example at home with your DAW of choice at full 24-bit resolution.
When you begin to add multiple mics, compression, and EQ during recording in an effort to find the perfect sound, it's really easy to get frustrated. If you are doing that you're probably overlooking some of the basics of mic placement that can get you where you want to go pretty easily. Go out into the room, stand in front of the instrument, and listen to the musician play the part from the song that you are about to record. Playing the song is important because you might be deceived if it's another song or just random playing. Listen for the tonal balance from the vocal and/or instrument as well as the way the room responds to it.
Listening to the instrument in the room will give you a reference point to the way it really sounds so you can compare it to what you hear in the speakers in the control room. There are several ways to find the sweet spot, place an omni-directional mic, cover one ear, and listen with the other. Move around the player until you find a spot that sounds best, that's where to place the mic as a starting point. Place a cardioid mic, cover one ear and cup your hand behind your other ear and move around the player or amp until you find the place that sounds the best.
That's where to place the mic as a starting point. To place a stereo mic or stereo pair, cup both ears and move around the player or amp until you find the place that sounds the best. That's where to place the mic as a starting point. You can't place the mic by sights. The best mic position must be always found not predicted. It's okay to have a starting place but that may not end up being the best spot. Change the mic position instead of reaching for the EQ. Chances are that you can adjust the quality of the sound enough by simply moving the mic in order to avoid using any equalization.
The EQ is difficult to undo later and can inflict some unwanted electronic artifacts that can never be removed. Moving the mic, which is acoustic equalization when it really comes down to it, will usually sounds smoother and more pleasing to the ear. Give the mic some distance, remember distance creates depth. The instrument or amp will sound a lot more natural than using artificial ambience. If possible, leave just enough distance between the mic and source to give a bit of room reflection to the recorded sound. So those are the five secrets of mic placement.
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