Where do we record?
I can record smaller sessions from my apartment in Abbotsford, or from your house (in a garage or lounge room). I carry a number of sound absorption panels to control for typical unwanted room sounds. For sessions that require more space, are louder, or potentially more time consuming (recording drums or a horn section) it is up to you to provide a suitable facility.
How long will it all take?
Every project is unique and will vary in length depending on a few key factors; the competence of the performer/s, variation of instruments (changing microphones for different instruments can take time), the quantity of tracks required for recording and the depth and detail of post production.
New to recording?
Recording can be stressful. Always watching the clock whilst trying to nail a take can really impact a session and take the joy out of recording. Make sure you (and your fellow musicians) are well prepared, know your music back to front and practice as much as possible. Get together with bandmates and discuss your project and make sure everyone is on the same page. It is also important to think about sounds, tones and the overall vibe of your project. These are all concepts to be considered throughout the production stage.
Capturing realistic tones is a rewarding aspect of recording music. Developing suitable sounds involves patience and fine adjustments. Comparing microphones, preamps and various microphone placements can take some time but the results are always worth it.
Given that typical living spaces do not offer good isolation, and as I have a limited number of recording inputs, instruments often need to be tracked separately. With this process a guide track is required. Where possible I encourage recording to a click track. This helps with timing, cues and editing and saves us time down the road.
Rhythm instruments are typically recorded first followed by vocals and other lead instruments. After tracking we move on to editing and mixing. I use an industry standard recording software, ProTools, along with a vast selection of UAD plugins. You can be involved as little or as much as you like with the creative input. Reference files throughout can be made available for ongoing changes.
WHY TREAT A ROOM?
The basic reason to treat a room is so that you can accurately hear what is going on inside that space. Whether it’s the excessive chatter at a bar or the numerous loud speakers in a studio, you need to hear what’s going on. Large, hard surfaces often exacerbates sound, instantly making a space noisy and difficult to hear. With the help of proper treatment, this excess noise is absorbed out of the room rather that into your ears.
Room setup guide (pro audio)
Often when people treat a room they make the mistake of only targeting the high end of the frequency spectrum leaving the bottom end unaffected and leaving the room unbalanced. Therefor, thicker and denser absorption products are the most suited choice for critical listening spaces such as music studios, rehearsal rooms, etc.
There are a few basic rules that I have learnt over the years for setting up a critical listening space. I've listed these below. But remember they are simply just a guide and are not to be followed strictly as every space is different.
Find the shorter wall of the room and place your speakers there.
Make sure you have some sort of non-transferable layer between your speakers and the ground. I put my speakers stands on concrete blocks and seems to work well. Foam pads under speakers are better than nothing.
Create an equilateral triangle between you and your two speakers centred along the wall. Align the base of triangle (your two speakers) parallel to the wall, about 30cm back from the wall surface to begin with.
The speaker's tweeters should be slightly higher than your head and tilted in and down facing directly towards your ears.
Choose three or four songs that you know really well and that vary in dynamics and style. Listen to them intently.
Place the speakers on the adjacent wall and do the same thing.
Compare the two and decide which wall sits right with you. Think of clarity, fullness and detail.
Now we need to find the distance between you and the speakers. Most speakers will have a suggested listening distance relative to their size. Try moving them back and forth along that imaginary triangle line to find the optimum positioning.
Put all your furniture in your room and try and make it as symmetrical as possible. Any non-symmetrical placement can skewer your stereo image.
Speaker height is important now that we have a table or console in front of it. Try moving the speakers up and down and see what works best. Timber tables often require the speakers to be higher rather than lower, but remember to always tilt them directly towards your ears at all times.
Now it's time for acoustic treatment placement. Depending on how many absorption panels you have and if you also have diffusion panels, this process may vary.
Place the first two panels either side of you between you and your speakers.
Place some bass traps in the room corners behind the speaker.
Hang one or two in the same position on the ceiling above you.
Place some directly behind the speakers.
Then some directly behind you.
This will obviously vary depending on how many panels you have. You may want to try prioritising some walls before others or spreading them evenly around the room. Experiment and see what you like.
If you have any questions at all on this, please feel free to shoot me an email.