With so much information available today and accessible by so many, one can make decisions in the studio environment with a solid understanding and by being well informed.
Whether the topic is mixing or the accumulation of gear for the home studio, or miking techniques or the achievement of a certain guitar sound, the DIY recordist is not alone in his quest for making recordings.
There are many like us out there on the same sonic path. Seek out those who share your interests, and delve into the many recording forums online. Not only will you be joining a community of fellow enthusiasts, but you’ll also be able to find out the answers to questions you may have related to your DIY recording ethic.
And if you can’t find the answers to whatever you’re seeking, don’t be afraid to post your questions. You’ll be amazed at how many others are asking the same questions. I have a decent collection of books related to the topic, and I frequent recording forums. The two most popular I find are www.gearslutz.com and www.homerecording.com.
These are a plethora of knowledge, advice and information. I personally enjoy gleaning helpful tips or advice from reading interviews from producers (or in my case, from my interviews with the producers and engineers themselves) and what better way is there to learn the tricks of the masters, than getting advice from the source itself?
Those in the know, and those at the highest level of the recording chain, are a well of information, invaluable to us mortals in our own learning curve and path to recording knowledge.
In fact, any of the readers of this blog have any pressing questions needing answers, feel free to shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the next time I’m speaking to a producer and engineer, I’ll put those questions to them. And if there are topics you feel you’d like me to discuss in future posts, again let me know.
To sign off on today’s more philosophical post, here’s some advice from master producer/engineer/mixer Tim Palmer:
“Don't let the technology lead the way. You must be the master. Use your ears and not your eyes. Sometimes when seeing a wave form, it may look wrong but actually sound right. Listen to your mixes in the car, on headphones and see how the music is translating. Find a set of speakers and really learn how they sound. Don't over compress every sound, leave some dynamics, and try not to over equalize the sound.
"It's not just about creating a nice balance and making everything sound good. Maybe some things shouldn't sound so good, maybe something should be way out of balance, sometimes for one thing to sound good, something else may have to suffer. Too much use of the solo button can steer you wrong, you have to look at the overall picture.
"It's not always about perfection. Sometimes you can take a part out of context, and it's not so good, but within context it's amazing.I think delays are better when they're a little bit out of time and create a bit of rubbing. Especially with music being so precise these days, so it can be good to loosen things up a bit and relax them. Maybe a delay that's bang on will just disappear into the snare drum sound, and you'll find yourself turning it up louder and louder to hear it. If it's a little bit out of time, you'll get a bit of rub and you might hear it more clearly.”
Joe Matera is an Australia-based rock guitarist who has played in countless original and cover bands over the past 20 years. As a solo instrumental artist, his current release is an original guitar instrumental track called "Face Off'," now available on iTunes. He also makes a guest appearance playing a blazing guitar solo on UK thrash metal veterans Atomkraft's cover of the Thin Lizzy classic "Cold Sweat," which is out this summer. He also is a Guitar World contributor. For more info, visit joematera.com.