Monitoring speakers are necessary when recording audio, especially if you want to achieve great results. However, studio speakers can’t do the job by themselves, so if you already have a pair of high quality studio monitoring speakers yet are still making crappy audio, then maybe you’re doing a few things wrong. Here are 8 things you can do to achieve the results you want:
Record with good-sounding instruments
Before you start recording, you need to make sure that none of the instruments are faulty or out of tune. If an instrument needs new strings or heads, replace and tune it before the session. Old guitar strings also sound bad, so you might want to restring your guitars as well.
Avoid recording your guitar with reverb
You should only record your guitar with reverb if it’s absolutely necessary and if you’re 100% sure that you’re not going to change it during mixdown. Otherwise, you should record it dry, especially if you don’t really think it’ll fit with the arrangement. If the guitarist can’t play without reverb, you can make up for it by adding some to his headphones from your software.
Avoid recording in the red
Digital clipping makes a recording sound bad, and once you do that you can no longer go back and fix it. This is why you should avoid recording in the red as much as possible. You can just record at a lower volume, and just raise the volume in your mix. Again, you can’t remove clipping, so you might as well just prevent it from happening.
Use the right microphone(s)
Not using the right microphone can result in an awful vocal track, so make sure you are actually using the right one. Condenser microphones are what you’d normally see in studios, and probably what you should be using. Dynamic microphones work for some vocals and styles, but obviously not everything. Compare the two and use the one that fits your recording needs.
Record with good-quality cables
If you want a high-quality recording, it’s ideal to invest in high-quality equipment. Cables do matter even though they may not matter as much as the microphone you’re using or the kind of pre-amp you have. They still have a say in the overall sound of the record, so don’t go cheap.
Take your time
Rushing is often a bad thing, and this also applies to recording audio. While some artists may work under pressure, the majority generally don’t. Don’t expect a vocalist to be able to produce all the vocal tracks to an album in just a short time. Perfection takes time.
Be in the correct position
A good-sounding room and some acoustic treatment are definitely necessary for recording a great audio, but so does the position of the microphone. You can’t just stand in the middle of your bedroom and sing into the microphone you’re holding and still expect to record a good audio. Not all positions are ideal for achieving a great vocal performance, so determine where you should properly position yourself in the room before you start recording. The position of your monitoring speakers also matter, as they will sound different depending on where they are in the room.
Record at 24 bits instead of 16
Now that we have 24 bits, it doesn’t really make sense to record at 16 bits anymore, unless your computer is really slow. It gives you more range of possible volumes in your files and you won’t have to worry about recording into the red. Plus, if you really need it to be 16 bits, you can always convert it to 16 from 24.