The most critical aspect of producing professional studio sound recordings is the commonly overlooked technique: ACOUSTICS. Poor studio acoustics can be a problem, rather than having a modest home vocal sound booth or world-class equipment at your disposal.
You must understand how sound interacts with your studio sound recordings or mixing environments. The best thing today is that there are many inexpensive things you can do to produce great studio audio recordings.
Sounds, as you well know, react to different materials within your vocal sound booth. Since sounds are created by vibrations in the air, your studio acoustics must have the correct materials. An example would be your tiled bathroom.
Tiled bathrooms are one of the best settings for singing. Studio sound recording is great in this environment if you are recording rich vocal tracks, but it is not a perfect environment for other sources.
Recording and mixing studio sound in this environment is an absolute no no. Now, I am not suggesting that you do studio sound recording in your bathroom or build a home recording studio in your bathroom. However, each room will offer its own particular acoustic issues.
Addressing this problem from the start is the best way before you start recording sound in the studio. Some people will overcompensate if the low frequencies are absorbed by the acoustics of the room. This can make your bass tracks too heavy once you listen to them outside the recording booth.
Try using a bass trap to tame those overwhelming low frequencies. A 4-6 kHz sine wave is a good way to test studio sound recording acoustics. Try using a software synthesizer to perform this test. The best method is to accurately monitor the acoustic design of your room.
As you play your sound and turn your head you will notice that some sounds disappear in some areas of the recording booth and are louder in other areas. It is a complicated process but it is necessary to have the best studio sound recordings.
Many home studio recording engineers don't have the space available, so what you can do is use a commercial or homemade gobo. What is a gobo, you ask? Well, a Gobo is a portable wall that can be placed around the instruments or the powerful microphone.
The gobos will help contain sound leakage for your studio sound recording. Make sure your Gobo is 3x3 in size. If you get one too small, the low frequencies will work on the Gobo and you will have poor studio audio recordings.
Using smooth surface gobos and padded gobos is a great combination to really personalize your studio sound recordings. For those of us on a budget, hanging heavy blankets on a clothesline can do a good job of keeping signals and noise out.
It is necessary to isolate the recording of guitars, vocals, percussion or any other sound that moves through the area. Isolating microphones and instruments is the best way to prevent sound leakage. Try to concentrate all of your voices in one vocal booth.
A vocal booth is a small room built specifically for studio sound recording for vocals. Your home recording studio won't have a vocal booth, so a good-sized walk-in closet will work just fine. Clothes in a closet can absorb sound reflections.
Dead space is an ideal artificial treatment during mixing. I'll cover mixing in another article, so be on the lookout. A tiled bathroom, long microphone cords, and headphones can provide lively studio acoustics that may not require any reverb.
It won't really matter as outside interference can be kept to a minimum for excellent sound recording in the studio.
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