This week, we’re looking at some of the biggest mistakes you might be making with your recordings.
Much of what you’ll see is stuff we’ve written about before. But people are still making these mistakes every day.
I’d say the biggest mistake people make and the one I’ve suffered from the most in the past is poor mic placement.
Simply put, you shouldn’t record tracks until you have a good sound from the microphone.
You probably don’t record in a professional studio, right? So don’t expect that you immediately get pro studio sounds. Instead, get the best sound you can get right now. It’s that easy. If you want your best recording, don’t worry about acoustic treatment or the size of your room. Just move that microphone around until you get a good sound.
It takes time to do this. It can take hours. If the source doesn’t sound good, it might take hours to find the right mic position. (Of course, it could also be that the source sucks). But the power of well recorded tracks will outweigh everything else you do throughout production.
If you have the patience to move a microphone several millimeters, over and over, you just might be rewarded with a great signal. A little background doesn’t hurt, either. This guide from Renaissance Recording gives you a good starting point for your microphone placement adventures. As you’ll see there are guidelines for micing, but few hard rules:
This is not intended to be an exhaustive discussion, but rather a point of departure, for the true rule is that there are no set-in-stone rules. Experiment and use your imagination once you have mastered the basic techniques.
The bottom line is to start with some common practices, and then fine tune the placement with your ears as the guide. Do that and you’ll be on the road to your best recordings yet.