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Audioguide: Recording

Audioguide: Recording

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Our latest episode of Audioguide explores recording techniques such as microphone placement, room acoustics and avoiding common pitfalls. Getting your head around how to record your source sounds properly is essential for great sounding audio productions. Presented by Laura Michelle Smith. Music by penguinmusic.

PodcastRecordingMicrophone TechniquesRoom AcousticsPhase IssuesAcoustic TreatmentProcessingAudioProductionRecording LevelsSound
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Hello and welcome back to Audioguide, a podcast series from audio.com where we explore the world of sound and audio production. I'm Laura Michelle Smith and in today's episode, we're stepping into the world of recording techniques. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting your audio journey, these techniques can make or break your recording. Let's begin with microphone placement. The way you position your microphone has a significant impact on the sound you capture. When recording vocals, for instance, experiment with the distance and angle. Closer miking captures more direct sound while pulling back can introduce some room ambience. And don't forget to use a pop filter to reduce plosives that are made when you pronounce letters such as B and P. When recording instruments, microphone placement is equally critical. For acoustic guitars, consider the 12th fret or sound hole, adjusting the placement for different tonal qualities. When recording drums, varying the placement within the drum kit can help you achieve a balanced sound. You can experiment with miking individual drums to achieve a dry and precise sound or try mixing in overheads and room mics for a more live sound. Next up, you'll want to consider room acoustics. If you're in a room with poor acoustics, sound reflections and echoes can negatively impact your recording. Consider investing in acoustic treatment like diffusers and absorbers to minimise unwanted reflections. A well-treated room can make a massive difference in your recordings. Now let's talk about common recording pitfalls. These are the traps that even experienced audio professionals can fall into. One of the most common pitfalls is not setting proper recording levels. Recording your sound source too high, sometimes known as a hot signal, can lead to clipping and distortion. While recording too low can introduce noise when you later boost the signal in post-production. Always monitor your levels and leave some headroom. Another pitfall is neglecting phase issues. When recording with multiple microphones, especially on instruments or drums, be aware of phase problems. These can lead to a thin or hollow sound. Use your ears and phase alignment tools to make sure the signals are in sync. Avoid over-processing in post-production. While it's tempting to add effects and equalisation, over-processing can result in an unnatural sound. Start with a clean recording and apply effects sparingly to enhance the original sound, not to cover up mistakes made at the source. Lastly, don't underestimate the importance of preparation. Set up your equipment and test everything before the recording session. Check for any potential noise sources like fans, lights or other electronics. Being well prepared can save you from unexpected issues during recording. In conclusion, recording techniques are the foundation of every great audio production. Whether it's microphone placement, room acoustics or avoiding common pitfalls, these details matter. Take the time to experiment, learn from your mistakes and hone your skills. That's it for this episode on recording techniques. We hope you've gained valuable insights into capturing the best sound possible. Be sure to stay tuned for more audio tips and tricks in our next episode. Remember to email us on social at audio.com or join our social media channels to share your thoughts and feedback. Thanks for listening. Until next time.

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