If you have heard of the ever-popular Chronicles of Narnia series, you should have also heard of the phrase called chronological snobbery. This phrase is coined by a British author of the aforementioned, and his name is C.S. Lewis. It pertains to the intellectual climate of both our age and assumptions that things that have become outdated should be discredited. This has fallen into the world of audio mixing and recording. Currently many individuals and groups are all about modern music making and techniques. From this article, you will walk away with four simple and brilliant tips for better recordings by tapping into techniques that are considered old school.
Find the best spot to sing in the room
Some singer and vocalists alike will pace around the live recording room and ask where would be the best spot for them to sing. This usually happens when they explored the studio whilst planning for their upcoming album(s). When they discover just the right spot to sing, that is exactly where they will stick to on the actual recording day. Hence, experienced audio engineers as well as recording engineers stress that singers should make the habit of finding the best sounding spot in a room to perform and create a great sounding recording.
Whether you have a small room to work with or not, you should still search for every nook or cranny that sounds best. Also, do so if you are recording instruments other than your voice. If you make the effort to set aside a few minutes before each recording sessions to locate a sweet sounding spot, your microphones will have an edge when capturing your audio source in the best possible way.
Get unnecessary technology out of the way
Some professional singers have stated that they prefer not to have too many microphones around, so engineers have to use as few as possible or even disguise the ones that need to be used. Singers like the aforementioned prefer to record in a more relaxed or living-room atmosphere, wanting not to be acutely aware that they are being recorded.
Some professional musicians who perform with a band also prefer not to be too fixated at the fact that they are recording. Being too aware of what’s unnecessary can strip away the required emotion for the particular song. You should always relax yourself and focus more on playing good music. Sometimes having too many equipment could allow modern science and technology to creep in and affect your more creative and artistic endeavours. Microphones can become a visual block if you get too distracted, so you would be better off with just the minimal.
Set up the right ambience
Many professionals and recording artists alike gave commented that musicians should go out of their way to create a space that is both creative and comfortable, regardless of the size of the available recording space. You can do so with the help of candles, lighting, hiding cables as well as clearing any unwanted clutter. A studio that looks choked is no creative space and may even induce a sense of stressfulness. Technology should never get in the way of music making and if it does, you will have to find a more suitable way to re-arrange it.
Use fewer tracks and inputs
An entire album can be recorded through a console consisting more than 50 tracks, but in fact only 8 will be used. Albums can also be tracked live without the use of overdubs, thus these are the only 8 inputs that are really the final track count. A normal studio diagram could include tracks for the following:
• Ambient mic with omni-mode
• Stereo mic drum
• Double bass
• Pedal steel
• Electric guitar
• Acoustic guitar
Here’s the thing, a couple of great things can happen when you utilize fewer inputs and tracks. For starters, you will have more headroom in the digital world, your stereo spectrums becomes clear and wide, you encounter fewer masking and phasing issues and your mix comes together much faster.
Be a one-shot wonder whenever possible
In the past, many musicians rely on their chemistry as a band and the real live vibe to execute the recordings, which makes their songs so compelling. Technology was not as advanced as today, and they couldn’t just go back to a certain part of the track to edit or fix things. Today, you should keep in mind to do your takes when everything is emotionally right. This way you have better chances of making records that are much more emotional and can touch listeners more deeply. If you are recording vocals, you should allow yourself or the singer to sing the entire song. You should also let your guitarist or drummer to play from start to finish. The concept is nuanced and so subtle, but you can experience the difference it makes.
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