CHAPTER 3 :
Recording tips from the Pros
Move Around the Room
Angle Your Amp
Play with Mic Placement & Angles
Get the Air Moving
Focus the Energy
As we’ve already touched on, experimenting is the best way to determine the recording techniques that work best for you and your studio. There are many basic rules, and definite acoustic anomalies you need to be aware of (and typically avoid), but being good at capturing tones and sounds is largely a matter of practical experience.
That said, as someone working in a home studio environment, don’t be afraid to bring in external resources to help you record — a little bit of money can go a long way. If you can’t execute the recording of a drum part because of space or microphone limitations, cut the drums in a local studio and have them give you a stereo
mix to work with. If you need help recording vocals, working with an experienced engineer will help you better understand the process and enable you to hit the mark on your own the next time you record.
Of course, you’re ready to record now - so here are some basics to keep in mind to help you make the most of your home recordings.
Move Around the Room
Move around the room before you hit record and capture an instrument’s tone to tape for osterity, take the time to physically move the instrument or amplifier to different parts of the room and listen to how it sounds. Playing an instrument in different parts of the room can make a big difference in the tone. If you’re recording an acoustic guitar, violin, piano, sax, or any acoustic instrument, and you play it near a wall with a lot of glass and wood, you’ll get a more reflective sound than if you’re up against a baffle. If you’re recording an amp, play around with different spots until you get the right tone for the track.
Angle your amp
Raising an amp off the ground or angling it can
have dramatic effects on the tone, depending
on the room and the amp. The floor may be
wood, and it may have a resonant cavity below
that’s diminishing your low end, or adding more
because it’s vibrating. By pulling the amp off
the floor and putting it on a stand, essentially
you’re decoupling it. Even if you’re angling it,
only part of the amp is touching the floor, so
you’re basically removing the floor from the
equation in terms of the tone.
“If you have an amp perpendicular to the
floor, all the energy is going forward, and low
to the ground,” says Weiss. “Let’s say you’ve
got an eight-foot ceiling. You’ve got many more
mic placement options if the amp is kicked up
at a 45-degree angle. Now you can put a mic
up in the corner to get more of the room. If
you’re going for a really tight sound, you might
just want to leave it on the floor, focus the energy, and take the room out of the equation.
A professional studio is going to have a floor
built specifically so that it won’t have pockets
of resonance underneath. Your home studio
probably won’t be as predictable, so finding
the right spot and the proper angle can make
an enormous difference.”
HOW TO MAKE HOME