Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day 1

It's been quite a while since I've blogged, so bare with me. In school, I was taught that recording is all about the perfect room and environment. Everything from the ground up built specifically for recording music and sound. Not only that, I was told that there should not be much mixing (especially EQ) done in a good recording. All of this spouted off by people who have millions of dollars to spend on such business ventures.

The rest of us entrepreneurs are forced to work with what we have. I've recorded in basements, garages, living rooms, bedrooms, etc. All of these have something in common, they're not built especially for recording music. Though, I am going to state something that pretty much any snob at an AES (Audio Engineer Society) convention would argue to the ends of the earth against. You can get good recordings in ANY of these rooms.

As an audio engineer, you need to look into your own past to gain some perspective. Before you knew the in depth ramblings of audio elitists that came before you, what did you know of audio recordings? You only knew what moved you, the music. You knew nothing of 5,000,000 dollar rooms and the Lord-Alge twins. Just what your ears received and your mind perceived.

Close your eyes and go back to that time in your mind... You didn't judge a song according to how "the vocals were drenched in reverb" or how it didn't sound like that one Green Day song Christopher Lord-Alge mixed. Your homework for the day is to go find, and/or dig up one you already know of, a great song/album/piece of music that was recorded "terribly". Listen to it two or three times and revel in it's ugliness until you don't consider it ugly anymore. After that, listen to an album that you consider to be terrible that has "great" audio quality.

Now, which one would you rather listen to? Which one holds its ground in your book of greats? This is all about breaking down the perspective on what is great and what isn't. If you can't possibly like something that isn't in the realm of pop recording techniques, then go elsewhere for tips and techniques. All I can say is, if you're not rich, I suggest you find a studio in which you might become an intern.

If you are rich, well ask daddy to fork out the cash to build fancy recording studio or fork it out yourself. If you're in between and you just like good music, do your homework and I'll be back for the next installment. Don't worry, we'll get into the good stuff. Patience grasshoppers, don't get ahead of yourself or you're liable for a good ol' face plant.