Don’t Be a Miking Sissy!

February 8, 2012

Recording software offers truly excellent virtual amp and instrument sounds, which makes it an easy decision to abandon miking source sounds. And, let’s face it, there’s also trepidation amongst some home-studio engineers that they won’t be able to capture fabulous miked tracks without kick-ass gear and a great-sounding room. Get over it! Here’s how to wield mics with no fear, and add dimensional impact to your homegrown tracks.

Seek Goodness

Just because you don’t live in a big, commercial studio doesn’t mean that all the recording environments in your home are crap. Even the tiniest apartment has spots that offer a “clean” sound without obnoxious reflections, noise leakage, or other sonic gremlins. Take the time to seek out these optimum areas.

Avoid Ugliness

Minimize the effects of less-than-stellar room sounds by close-miking amps, instruments, and vocals. You can always add ambience with signal processing.

Stand Down

Record through as clean a signal path as you can. Avoid compression, EQ, and other gizmos—just stick the mic in front of the source sound and dig the organic bliss.

Just Do It!

Some musicians are always saving up for the “right” mic or preamp, and, as a result, no miking ever gets done. Well, using stunning gear is always a treat, but, trust me, brilliant recordings can be made with inexpensive tools. Use your noggin, be creative, outfox limitations, and you’ll likely record something amazing—even if it’s with a $49 Radio Shack mic.

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