The Essential Recording Studio Tips And Tricks From Pros
26 Apr 2022
Starting a recording studio will give you so many options, both from the standpoint of business opportunities as well as personal prospects. However, having a recording studio and knowing how to use one are not one and the same thing. First, is merely a question of having the money, hiring the professional, and following a guide. The latter is a matter of experience, and it’s a lot harder to come by.
With all of this in mind and without further ado, here are several studio tips and tricks you need to follow in order to get the most value out of your recording studio.
Experiment With Microphone Placement
The only way to check the sound quality of the recording made is to check it out. Naturally, microphone placement is going to play a huge role here, and the best way to find the ideal spot is to experiment with it.
In theory, acoustics is an exact science, and the ideal position could be calculated. However, it’s too much work, not to mention that all of this work is quite unnecessary. So, you might want to take a simpler (empirical) route. All you need to do is place the microphone somewhere (in an intuitively good spot) and make a recording. Then, place it someplace else and try to see how these two-recording results compare.
Needless to say, after doing these enough times, it will be quite easy to recognize these ideal spots. Experience is one of the most important assets of any studio technician, and the quickest (and the most reliable) way to get it is to experiment.
Prepare the Room
The studio is much more than recording and editing equipment. In order to ensure that the recording produced here is of the highest quality, you want to prepare the room, as well. First, you want quality acoustic panels installed on the walls. Second, you want a layout that you can alter depending on the conditions of the recording session. To be valid, your studio needs to be well-adjusted.
One of the most important things you need to keep in mind is the importance of absolute seclusion of the studio from the outside world. Let’s be completely clear and mention that no amount of noise reduction will protect you completely from the outside noise. In order to achieve this, you need to make sure everything is structurally appropriate.
You can’t stop just with the walls. Your ceiling will make a difference, as well. Also, if there are any windows in the studio, they need to be covered in order not to create a reflection. In fact, windows are probably the bigger problem in any room. Lastly, if you have the privilege of choice, you should definitely look for the room facing the backyard (not the street) and choose the most remote area of your home.
Be Loud and Clear
While the quality of the microphone will determine the quality of the recording, your own confidence and volume will also make a world of difference. Naturally, there’s a difference between yelling and speaking or singing with clarity.
One of the tricks that many people use to get more confidence is to assume a more confident pose. In other words, even though you’re in your own studio (potentially by yourself), it is definitely a good idea to try standing up while you’re speaking or singing.
When it comes to the script, it’s usually best to have it printed out and placed on a music stand. When it comes to high-quality production, even the material holding the script makes a difference. Therefore, what you want is something that won’t reflect the sound. A lot of home-based studio owners find foam to be ideal for this task.
Consistent Recording Environment
You would be surprised at just how common this mistake is. You see, each room has its own acoustic layout. Everything reflects sound and changes the room’s acoustics, regardless if you’re aware of it or not. Unfortunately, you won’t always be able to make the recording in one sitting, so make sure that you remember the way things were for the next go.
What does this entail? Well, first of all, you need to make sure that the setup is the same as the last time. Look at all the technical settings, the position of the microphone, your distance from the microphone, and even the position of various elements in the room. Changing just a single thing might create a discrepancy later on.
One trick that can help you out here is to take a photo of your previous setup. This way, you can revisit the situation in the studio during the last recording and try to recreate it. Ironically, this visual recording will drastically impact the quality of your audio recording.
Think about Editing Tools While Recording
In order to improve your editing efforts, you must first understand how the editing tools work. Then, you need to implement them into your own recording. This is a simple process but an effective one, and it may deliver some of the best results.
For instance, when aiming to implement noise reduction, you must first get a noise profile. This is why you might want to record a couple of seconds of absolute silence in the end. Then, you will use this to get a perfect noise profile that you can later implement while filtering out the noise. It is a simple trick, and these 4-5 seconds of absolute silence will be cut out later. Nonetheless, they’re absolutely detrimental to this step.
In other words, you need to envision the entire editing process (at least the basics of it) while recording. Compressing, normalizing, and amplifying the recording will all be necessary. Why not try to figure out how these elements will be affected while creating the recording? This is definitely a step that will enhance the results.
Invest in Software
Quality software is just as important as the room itself. Therefore, you might want to do your research, read some reviews and make sure that you budget this, as well. Sure, there are some free tools out there, but these have limited functionality. Just think about it. When you’re already spending so much money on your home renovation project, why not add one more crucial thing to the list of expenses.
Even more important than just investing in it is that you learn how to use it properly. Once again, if you want quality, you have to pay. Sure, you can watch some YouTube tutorials, but there are two methods that will give you the greatest effect. First, you might want to pay for a proper course. Second, you should play around and experiment.
This is one more reason why your recording studio needs to have a comprehensive budget, as well as operational costs. After all, it’s an end-to-end project, and it needs to be observed as such from the financial standpoint, as well.
In the end, even with all the tips provided above, until you’ve started practicing them, it will be near-impossible to implement them properly. Still, you need to have a game plan, and this list is a decent starting point. If we had to offer just one tip, it would be that, while outfitting the studio, you need to think about the way in which it’s going to be used. It’s that simple.