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Please Note

Many of you may find some of the topics in this section to be common sense.  While I agree with you, it is important information for those who have never had the experience of recording.  The goal of this entire blog is to make people confident that they know what they are doing when they press the record button.  For that to happen, it is extremely important to start with the most basic of concepts.  If you are not new to recording at home, you will most likely be able to skip over the Before Recording section.  Better still, if there is something that you would like to contribute to the topics at hand, please feel free to comment, or even send an email about something that you feel should be covered.  That goes for any section of this site.  So, please read on and get ready to dive into the world of home audio production.

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Welcome To Home Studio Connection!

Welcome to Home Studio Connection!  Here you will be able to find resources for all your home recording studio needs.  I have been recording out of multiple home studios for over 15 years.  In the beginning, I started on an old Fostex 4-track recorder.  Now, I have a more professional setup, but the principles remain the same.

In the coming weeks, I will be adding articles on everything from setting up your own studio on a budget, to room treatments, and even gear recommendations and reviews.  Over the years, I have filled several notebooks with little tips and hacks to make any room sound great.  I will be sharing a wealth of that knowledge as well.

Be sure to check out our Twitter page and answer our weekly poll.  The goal is to do one post on what I want and one post based on the poll results.  I feel that it will easiest to provide readers with the information that they want if they have input into what gets posted.  If there is a topic that you want to see covered, feel free to shoot me an email.

 

Five Logic Plugins To Try

Not all awesome plugins come with an extra price tag.  While there are thousands of third-party plugins that are absolutely worth the money, these five plugins come with Logic Pro X.  I use at least two of these in every mix I do.  Check out the link below to read the article.

Top Five Logic Pro X Plugins

As always, just press record; you never know what might come out!

BIAS FX vs Amplitube4, TH3, GTR3 and Guitar Rig 5

I have gotten many messages asking me about amp simulators.  In my opinion, there are a lot of great options out there.  It’s really about personal preference on sound.  Personally, I tend to gravitate towards Positive Grid’s Bias Amp and Bias FX.  Recently I’ve been experimenting a lot with amp blending in Bias FX and have been getting some incredible results.  I found the below video which gives a demonstration of five of the most popular amp simulators.  I hope you find it helpful in your journey in finding the perfect tone.

As always, just press record; you never know what may come out!

What is Compression?

Compression is the second most important part of a mix.  There are three main reasons that I like to use compression.  They are good for controlling volume and dynamic range, fattening up tracks, and creating energy in a track.  I have created a presentation to give a basic run down of compression and what different parts of a compressor do.  Follow the link below to check it out.

Compression by Home Studio Connection

Compression is something that can make or break your entire mix.  It is absolutely crucial to have a plan when using compression.  Trial and error is definitely involved, but you need to at least know why you are compressing your track to get the desired result.

As always, just press record; you never know what may come out!

Stephan Forte (Adagio) BIAS FX Desktop tutorial – Positive Grid

I have been using Positive Grid’s Bias Amp Pro for a pretty long time now.  Recently, I also began using Bias FX Pro.  Positive Grid has done an excellent job in the logical step up from Bias Amp.  Now you have the option of blending two heads and adding in stomp boxes.  It has been a great addition to my demoing arsenal.  To see an in depth tutorial and see what the Bias FX is all about click the link below.

 

Adagio’s Stephan Forte shared a full BIAS FX Desktop tutorial so you can get the most out of it. Get ready to shred!

Source: Stephan Forte (Adagio) BIAS FX Desktop tutorial – Positive Grid

As always, just press record; you never know what may come out!

Vocal Compression And How To Use It

Behind only EQ, compression is one the most important, yet misunderstood, components of a good mix.  This is especially true of a vocal mix.  Compression tames erratic levels of a singer’s performance.  It also tames distortion causing transients.

The main thing to keep in mind when using compression is that you shouldn’t realize that it is there.  This can be a difficult concept to get the hang of.  You just want to catch extreme transients and tame them so that they don’t clip.  Good compression has a fast attack, a quick release, and a low ratio.  This smoothes the vocal track without coloring the sound of the singer’s voice.

Typical settings for a lead vocal track would look like this:

  • Ratio:  1.5:1 – 2:1
  • Attack: <1ms
  • Release: About 40ms
  • Gain: Adjust gain so that the output level matches the input.

Typical settings for backing vocal track would look like this:

  • Ratio: 2:1 –3:1
  • Attack: <1ms
  • Release: About 40ms
  • Gain: Adjust gain so that the output matches the input.

These are only guidelines and should not be used as fact for any given mix.  These settings are only to give you a good starting point when you begin the compression stage of the mix.

As always, just press record; you never know what may come out.

Before You Record: Acoustic Guitar

Before you even begin to ponder microphone placement, there are a few things that you have to do to get the best possible sound out of your guitar.

v  The night before you are going to record, remove your strings.

Ø  Older strings have a dull, darker tone and intonation can be kind of whacky.

v  Before you restring, wipe down your entire guitar.

Ø  Oils from skin contact on your guitar can build up and can begin to deaden the sound

Ø  There are guitar cleaning products and I recommend using them.  I like Dunlop Formula No. 65 because it both cleans and polishes.

Ø  Make sure you clean and completely wipe down the entire guitar.  I usually do this is in the same order so I know everything has been completed.

§  Back of body

§  Sides of body

§  Neck

§  Back of headstock

§  Front of headstock

§  Fret board

§  Front of body

Ø  Give everything one last wipe down with a microfiber cloth.

v  Now, restring your guitar

Ø  Keep in mind that new strings are more prone to finger screech

§  To battle this, I like to use coated strings.  You can also use string lubricants.

v  Make sure you give your strings a really good stretch.

Ø  If you don’t stretch your strings, they will not stay in tune.

§  There are multiple methods to doing this and I will be doing a post on the best methods in the near future.

Ø  After stretching, make sure you play a quick song to make sure everything sounds good.

§  Don’t play for more than five minutes.

Ø  Put your guitar back in its case, close it up, and don’t even look at it again until you are ready to record the following day.

Note: Make sure that your guitar is set up properly before restringing.  This is incredibly important for overall sound, intonation and ease of playing.

As always, just press record; you never know what may come out.

Microphones: Does The Price Tag Really Matter?

I’m sure that everyone knows a gear snob or two.  I know many.  I, myself, can be a gear snob about certain aspects of my studio setup.  Let’s be honest though.  Does the price tag on a microphone really matter?  I agree with this article almost 100%, and tend to say no.  What do you think?

Click here to check out the article.  Feel free to comment your thoughts. As always, just press record; you never know what may come out!