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Home Recording FAQ

Contributor: TC Staff    Rating: 4/5    Views: 1065

Home Recording FAQ
by Shawn Maschino

2) Home Recording Frequently Asked Questions
2a) What is home recording and why would I want to do it?
2b) What are the most popular uses of home recording?
2c) Are there any books/mags available on home recording?
2d) Where can I find other resources, like on the Internet?
2e) Well I want to start a home studio, what do I really need?
2f) Where is the best places to find equipment, and should I get new or used?
2g) What are the basics behind recording?
2h) Who can I stay cost effective or make money recording?
2i) What is the standard recording procedure?
2j) What does mastering really do (or, why aren't my recordings as loud as others)?
3) What is / are... ?
3a) a 2/4/8/16/24... track recorder?
3b) a mixer?
3c) a patch bay?
3d) better, analog or digital?
3e) compression?
3f) reverb?
3g) these -10db and +4db numbers about, and what is balanced and unbalanced?
3h) the difference between dBu, dBV, dBv, and a dBm?
3i) a X-Y mic'ing setup?
3j) some eq'ing tips?

4) How do I ... ?
4a) record vocals?
4b) record guitars?
4c) record drums?
4d) record bass?
4e) record various other inputs?
4f) use my MIDI gear and/or computer in recording?
4g) build my own ... ?
4g1) patch bay
4g2) mixer
4g3) effects
4g4) monitors/speakers
5) Recording Hints and Tips
5a) What is bouncing?
5b) What is punching in/out?
5c) How do I get rid of the background noise?
5d) My levels are all off, what can I do?
5e) Why does it sound right while recording, but come out lower during playback?
5f) I want to go from analog to digital, but where should I start?

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2) Home Recording Frequently Asked Questions
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2a) What is home recording and why would I want to do it?

A musician or aspiring sound-engineer who wants to put together a private, or
public, small and cheap, or professional and expensive studio might do it in
their home before moving to an outside facility.

2b) What are the most popular uses of home recording?

One of the biggest reasons for recording at home is to make demos of your
band to try to get signed, or to record a song you wrote to try to get it
sold. Other uses are to record your jam sessions in case you come up with
"the" song and it will be on tape and not lost forever. Many musicians and
sound enthusiasts simply enjoy sculpting sound in the comfort of their own
home.

2c) Are there any books/mags available on home recording?

Here's a short, but by no means definitive, list
Title - Author - ISBN # - $
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Musicians Home Recording Handbook - Ted Greenwald - 0-87930-237-2 - $19.95
Project Studio Blueprint - Greg Galuccio - Introduction to Professional Recording
Techniques - B. Bartlett 0-672-22574-3
Sound Advice: A Musician's Guide to the Recording Studio - Wayne Wadhams - 0-02-872694-4
Multi-Track Recording - Brent Hurtig & J.D. Sharp - 0-88284-355-9 - $19.95
MIDI for the Professional - Paul D. Lehrman & Tim Tully - 0-8256-1374-4 - $24.95
Audio In Media: The Recording Studio, - Alten, Stanley R. - 0-534-26064-0 - $45.75
Home Recording Techniques
Home Recording for Musicians
Hot Tips for the Home Recording Studio
Making a Great Demo
The Billboard Guide to Home Recording
The Musician's Guide to Home Recording, Second Edition
The Musician's Home Recording Handbook
Using Your Portable Studio
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Some pro and project recording magazines are EQ, Mix, and Recording and can
be found at Barnes & Noble bookstores and many other book/magazine stores.
You can also find EQ at http://www.eqmag.com and Mix at
http://www.mixmag.com. Mix Magazine (as well as many music equipment
catalogs) maintains a very good selection of relevant books which you can
purchase from them.

2d) Where can I find other resources, like on the Internet?

An outstanding set of internet links for the home recording enthusiast can be
found at the HomeRecording.com Web site at
http://homerecording.com/musiclynx.html

A select list of other sites are:

GAJOOB
http://www.utw.com/~gajoob/
A great site with reviews on indie releases, places to look for help and lots
of other neat tricks...

4-Track FAQ
http://homerecording.com/4trackfaq.txt
A FAQ on 4-track recording, good place to start.

Guitar Geek's Recording Chats
http://www.abilnet.com/guitargeek/recording/recording.html
Interviews with artists about how they record at home.

Sonic State's Tweak of the Week
http://www.sonicstate.com/directories/tweak.html
Good cheap easy tricks to try.

The Unofficial Tascam 424 Home PageThe Unofficial Tascam 488 Home Page
http://homerecording.com/tas488.html

Doing it Yourself
http://www.ram.org/music/making/tips/DiY.html
includes:
Building a Studio
Using the Studio
Copyrights, Trademarks, and Publication
Duplication and Di

Looper's Delight
http://www.annihilist.com/loop/loop.html
Mostly tips for using an Echoplex to make loops, but some general useful
info/theory/discography stuff.

Studio

Budget FX
(dance-music-centric, but good advice anyway)
http://bunji.realitycom.com/kilo4-3/fx/budgetfx.htm

How to Use a Patchbay
http://homerecording.com/patchbay.html

Some others with good general tips are:
http://members.aol.com/harvgerst/records/tips.html
http://www.guitar9.com/studionine4.html
http://www.guitar9.com/studionine3.html
http://www.guitar9.com/studionine.html
http://www.soundtech.co.uk/index.html
http://www.soundtech.co.uk/hints.html

Some good sites with specific info:
Sonic State Mic Database -
http://www.sonicstate.com/directories/mics/MIC-MAN.HTM
Sonic State's Synth Site -
http://www.sonicstate.com/synth/test.html
DOTCOM's online drum machine -
http://www.abilnet.com/guitargeek/effects/effects.html
STOMPER Drum Synth -
http://www.lysator.liu.se/~zap/stomper.html

In addition, be sure to check out the various newsgroups.
Some of the more popular ones are:

rec.audio.pro
alt.music.4-track
rec.music.makers.songwriting
alt.music.producer
rec.music.makers
rec.music.makers.bass
rec.music.makers.guitar
rec.music.makers.synth
rec.music.synth
rec.music.compose

Mailing Lists -
Home Recording Mailing List - Send a message to [email protected]
with "subscribe homerecording" in the body of the message and see the Home
Recording Web site for more info.

Mixmasters - Another recording/mixing list, send a message to
[email protected] with "subscribe mixmasters" in the subject. Read the
Mixmasters FAQ first at http://homerecording.com/mixmasters.html

2e) What do I really need to start a studio?

That all depends on the quality of sound you want. There are many books that
outline this well, along with sites on the Internet that contain information
on construction of a studio and how to set one up. Normally, you are not in
business until you have something to record on. If this is your first foray
into recording, consider one of the many kinds of 4 track machines currently
available. You will also need a system of monitoring, or listening to the
music you put on tape, which can be on headsets, but speakers are usually
best. A home stereo setup works well for this, but at some point you may
want to consider purchasing professional monitors and a professional
reference amp for the best quality and clarity. There are lots of other
devices that you'll probably want to look into that are covered in later
sections.

For a fairly short write-up on setting up a studio, go to
http://homerecording.com/studio.html

This in no way covers everything, but it's a good place to start for new people.

Contributor: TC Staff    Rating: 4/5    Views: 1065


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