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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What To Change When Things Don't Sound Right

Miking A Marshall Cabinet image from Bobby Owsinski's Big Picture blog
Recording is an interesting business in that each situation is unique. When it comes to music, the song, the arrangement, the players, the performances, the signal chain, and the acoustic environment all vary in one way or another each and every session.

Because of this uniqueness, there are times when you're recording when you find that a part doesn't fit well in a track, or fits too well where it can't be distinguished. Here's a list of things to try in order of importance the next time you run in to either situation.
  • Change the source (the instrument you are miking) 
  • Change the mic placement 
  • Change the placement in the room 
  • Change the mic 
  • Change the mic preamplifier 
  • Change the mount of compression and/or limiting (from none to a lot) 
  • Change the room (the actual room you are recording in) 
  • Change the musician 
  • Come back and try it another day
Take notice that nowhere one there is there mention of equalization. Unless you have a lot of experience, it's best to follow the above points before you ever reach for an EQ knob. You'll be surprised how much better things can sound.


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