As an audio engineer, recording quality audio is one of the hardest things we are faced with.
Good audio is critical and essential to the overall quality of your sounds. But the truth is that most people struggle with recording quality audio sounds, especially in their home studios.
But it does not have to be so because getting started is far much easier than most people imagined. All you need to do is to master a few of the basics and you should be recording quality audio in no time.
In this article, we will be looking at 5 tips for recording quality audio in your home studio:
1. You need to invest in a good microphone
When it comes to getting good sounds, the one thing you need to make a priority is a good, quality microphone.
This is because when it comes to microphones, you literally get what you pay for. Simply put, if you want good quality audio then you need to get a good mic.
So, there really is no need trying to make do with that cheap PC microphone on your desktop.
While using a low-quality mic is acceptable in some situations, if you really want to get superior audio quality then you need to shell some extra cash on a microphone.
To get started, you definitely want an unidirectional microphone.
Simply because you want a microphone that picks up only your vocals in front of the microphone and cuts out all ambient sounds.
This is very important if you find yourself recording in a room that is not treated properly.
Also, you need to make sure you get a condenser microphone.
This is simply because of something called a phantom power on the microphone which helps to increase the volume of your vocals when recording.
2. Try to get and maintain a consistent environment
In an ideal situation, you should record in an environment that is well treated and you can easily control all the sound inputs.
But like we all know, this might not happen so you need to get creative with your recording room.
The simple truth is that the more you can control your recording room, the better the audio quality you get.
There are a couple of ways you can go about doing this.
The first one is to make sure you maintain a consistent routine that you use whenever you are recording.
So for example, you may:
- Always use the same room and settings on your DAW and microphone when recording.
- Maintain the same distance from your mouth to the microphone always.
- Use a pop filter or a screen to reduce all forms of plosives and sibilance when recording.
3. Remove all ambient noise
When it comes to recording audio and getting quality sounds, little things really do matter.
You want to make sure you get rid of all background noise as much as possible.
But the truth is that you can never get complete silence so taking out as much as you can, will go a long way in making your mix much clearer.
Here are some tips to help you get started.
- Switch off all machines when you are recording. So make sure you turn off any and all office machines, Air conditioners and any machine that produces a vibrating or humming sound.
- Try to do your recordings at night. This is because most people are usually asleep and you can control whatever sounds that are being made at this time.
- Move your microphone far away from your PC. This is because your computer makes a lot of ambient noise that can easily be picked up by your microphone.
- Put up signs in and around your recording room telling people to be silent especially when you are recording.
4. Make sure you dampen the sound
Notice anything peculiar about most Pro studios?
They always have some material covering the walls and the ceilings.
This is because this material helps to absorb the sound waves.
So if you really want to get quality audios when recording you need to make sure that you dampen the sounds.
One cheap and effective way you can do this is to build a small cubicle with the walls treated, which you then use as your recording booth.
If you are the DIY type of guy then you can place some rails on the wall and then hang up some blankets.
This will go a long way in absorbing sound waves and leave you with clear and quality audio.
5. Learn to use your ears
Finally you want to learn how to trust and use your ears especially when it comes to recording audio.
It may take a long time to get comfortable using your ears, but that is the best thing that can happen to you as an audio engineer.
Your ears will never lie to you or deceive. What you hear is the actual sound that is being recorded.
To get started, you can walk around your recording room shouting or clapping your hands.
This will help you get a good impression of how various parts of the room is setup and the changes you need to make to get quality audio.
Getting quality audio when recording at your home studio is not as hard as most people make it sound.
Some of the things you need to do are simple and basic.
As stated you need to invest in a good microphone. This is the most important thing.
Then you need to learn how to control and treat your environment.
Finally you need to trust your ears and make the necessary adjustments based on what they are telling you.