HSC Production Club is now open

Joe Gilder has just opened up his great HSC Production Club course. The Production Club is an 18 week course covering all aspects of producing a song in your home studio, from preproduction to mastering.

Check out the video below for an overview of what the course is about, then click here to sign up.

Each year The production Club gets bigger and better. Not only do you get all the awesome content for this round of the course, you get all the content, videos and Q & A from previous years.

Guest Post: Charcoal Based Low Frequency Absorption

Mike Sorensen (@mikesorensen06) is a master cabinet maker, structural engineer and the author of the AcousticFields.com sound diffusion audio blog. I think you’ll find his research on activated carbon for acoustic absorption very interesting.

If you’re going to make a great recording you have to find a solution to the room acoustics. Like the black sheep of any family, room acoustics are somewhat left un-talked about given their unsexy nature. Yet they are key to helping you produce the best sound from your recordings whether in the live or listening room.
Some people think that throwing up a bit of foam here, dampening the sound there and generally shutting the door and turning off the extractor fan will do it but alas no. There is a big science that goes into it and I want to share some of my years of experience with you today so you can start to consider some of the treatments and how they work in conjunction with your studio space.

Diaphragmatic Absorbers
Diaphragmatic absorbers are powerful, low frequency, absorbing technologies. One must build a solid, sealed box that has a front wall that can “move” in reaction to sound pressure waves. This front wall movement slows the wave down, so that it can enter the inside of our sealed cabinet. Yes, the cabinet is sealed without any air holes. Low frequency waves that are 40 and 50 feet long do not care about some 1/4″ air holes in any type of absorber. With low frequencies we are dealing with waves of energy not rays.
Continue reading Guest Post: Charcoal Based Low Frequency Absorption

Audio Recording Bootcamp – 99 cent eBook for charity

Producer, engineer and host of Ronan’s Recording Show, Ronan Chris Murphy has released Audio Recording Bootcamp, a 99¢ eBook for charity. Go get it: Audio Recording Boot Camp

Audio Recording Boot Camp ebook cover

Ronan’s unique perspective and down to earth advice on recording and producing makes it a really enjoyable read. In just a few days of it’s release it’s already ranking highly in Amazon’s charts.

“Audio Recording Boot Camp” is a for charity book, eBook and video series presented by Recording Boot Camp.

Culled and updated from many articles and essays over the years, Audio Recording Boot Camp features over 40 pages of recording advice and perspective from Ronan Chris Murphy. 95% of the net proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the recording program at Phoenix House, a center dedicated to helping teens with drug addiction and uses music recording  as a tool to help with recovery.

Go get it: Audio Recording Boot Camp

Bass Guitar Recording

Bass doesn’t always get the attention it deserves in a recording situation. I see a lot of home recordists rush through bass recording, only to later be frustrated with the bass when it comes time for mixing. It’s really too bad because it’s the foundation of the song. A great bass will groove tight with the drums and support the guitars. Fitting it in the mix will take minimal effort and you will be loving life.

A great recording starts with a great source. When it comes to tracking bass guitar, the source is comprised of many factors:

Musician:

  • Technique and playing position – Playing with a pick or with fingers or thumb. Intensity, Playing close to the bridge, in the middle or close to the neck. Choose what is appropriate for the song
  • What is played – playing bass lines that serve the song and don’t clash with the drums or guitars rhythmically or melodically.
  • Tuning – Check the tuning often

Bass:

  • Strings – new strings usually sound best and give you the brightest tone to start with.
  • Electronics (Pickups and EQ) – The pickup selection and tone settings
  • Wood and construction – The wood used in the neck and body really effect the sound. Maple and Ash are bright and punchy, mahogany is thicker and darker.

Continue reading Bass Guitar Recording

DO's and DON'Ts of Acoustic Guitar Recording

DO keep your strings fresh (and keep the ends cut short)
DO wash your hands before and after playing
DO listen to the instrument to find the best mic placement
DO wear closed-back headphones to avoid escaping noise
DO find the spot in the room where the guitar sounds best
DO try to breath quietly through your nose (yes this is a problem sometimes!)
DO try to stay in the same position in front of the mics
DO try different thicknesses of picks for different sounds


DON’T forget to tune often
DON’T place your mics close to the sound hole
DON’T stop if you make a mistake
DON’T assume the built-in pickup actually sounds anything like your guitar, not to say it can’t be useful at times
DON’T forget to empty your pockets of keys, change and cellphone
DON’T rush through the recording, take your time now to get it right.


In Flames in the studio 2011

In Flames is a great metal band from Sweden. On their YouTube channel they’ve posted 6 short documentaries on the progress of their 6th studio album. There’s not a lot of techniques to see but there is some discussion of the production and lots of nice gear to see and hear.

Continue reading In Flames in the studio 2011

5 Tips for a Great Acoustic Guitar Recording

I wrote this article for the Revolution Audio newsletter. You may find it useful.

5 Tips for a Great Acoustic Guitar Recording

Here are 5 tips for getting great acoustic guitar recordings in your home studio.

1 – Guitar Selection: Every brand and style of guitar has a different sound. Yamaha or Martin, a full size Dreadnought or a smaller Parlor style. They all sound different, your favorite or most expensive guitar may not be the best for every situation. Having a few choices available will help you get a lot closer to the sound that’s right for any song.

2 – Tuning and New strings: It’s very simple but often overlooked. Before an important recording session, put new strings on your guitar. Before every take make sure it’s perfectly tuned. If you use a capo remember to compensate with your tuning.

3 – Listening: Instead of just putting the mic where you think it will sound good, actually get up and walk around and listen to the tonal changes in each part of the guitar. When you find a favorite spot, put your mic there. This is a great starting point for a mono (single mic) recording as well as a good warm-up for your ears. If the song calls for a stereo acoustic guitar part, you still need to find the sweet spot for the mics. How high or low, close or far, you don’t know until you take the time to listen.

4 – Mic Choices and Position: In the studio it is unlikely you will prefer the sound of a dynamic mic on acoustic guitar compared to a condenser, but if you’ve never heard it, by all means try it, try all your mics. Large diaphragm condensers and small diaphragm condensers are the most common choices for acoustic guitar recording. Again, listen to the differences between mics and where you place them. The closer the mic is to the instrument the more ‘Proximity Effect’ (an exaggerated low frequency boost in the mic) there will be. Avoid using mics that might exaggerate lows, mids or highs in an already too dark, middy or bright guitar. Pick a mic that complements or balances the sound, dark mic on a too bright guitar for example.

5 – Processing: After you’ve done your best capturing the guitar right, you still may need to do some work to get it playing nice with all the instruments. In the mix you’ll usually need a bit of processing to make room for other instruments, control dynamics, among other things. Generally you need to: cut the very low frequencies, shape the mids to make room for vocals, compress a few dB to even out the performance and add a little reverb to give it space.