Questions relating to the process or action of recording music live or in the studio.

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28
votes
6answers
5k views

How do jazz players communicate while playing?

When a jazz group is playing and improvising, how do they communicate so as not to produce cacophony? Somehow, one player's choices and intuition need to guide the other players so that they can ...
19
votes
6answers
3k views

Every time I press 'record' I forget how to play and sing!

I have a very simple home setup with a 4-channel USB interface, into which I plug my electro-acoustic guitar and a decent mic (SM58). Purely for fun/learning/curiosity what I sound like, I will often ...
19
votes
3answers
18k views

How necessary is an USB Audio Interface?

I'm currently recording songs on my computer and the quality of my microphone is awful and the microphone is very quiet. That doesn't surprise me, because it's a 20$ karaoke microphone... I got into ...
18
votes
1answer
25k views

How do I connect my musical instrument to a computer?

There are many variations on this question, so I thought it was worth writing (and answering) one for the general case. I want to record my instrument using a computer, or use my computer to apply ...
17
votes
2answers
18k views

What are the advantages of WAV vs. MP3?

Being an electronic music producer, file format is something I have to consider at some point. I usually export my songs as .wavs and then convert them to .mp3s later (since they are smaller than ...
16
votes
3answers
511 views

How can I tell when music is live and not recorded?

I was walking past a bar the other day and heard music coming out. I could immediately tell that the music was live, being played in the bar at that moment. This is something I have often noticed, I ...
15
votes
6answers
7k views

How to record a piano with high quality?

I want to record myself playing the piano. I am a complete beginner when it comes to this, so I just want to ask the basic questions, so I can and make an informed decision, once I buy the equipment ...
14
votes
1answer
578 views

What is balanced audio all about?

What is balanced audio? What is a balanced cable? What is the advantage of using balanced audio? How does balanced audio work?
13
votes
7answers
6k views

How do you mic a guitar amp?

How do you go about mic'ing a guitar amp for live performance? Would you do anything different if you were mic'ing the amp for studio recording? Is there anything specific I should look for in a ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

XLR vs 1/4 (jack/TRS/TS) output on digital piano. What is better to connect to audio interface?

Hello! I'm planning to buy audio interface to connect my digital piano for computer recording. I'm newbie in computer recording, and my question is: What is the best output (I mean, best quality) ...
10
votes
7answers
989 views

How should I practice before going into the recording studio?

I've heard that one of the best ways to save money in the studio is to spend a significant amount of time woodshedding before the actual studio date, which will help keep the amount of mistakes to a ...
9
votes
11answers
2k views

How to give more depth to vocals when mixing?

I'm recording vocals with a SM58 mic through a USB audio interface and getting clean audio with no ambient noise. At this point it sounds pretty flat (no reverb or echo from the room). So in my DAW ...
9
votes
4answers
9k views

How can I get the instrumentals for a song?

I'm wondering how people usually get the instrument track for the songs they want to sing. I was wondering if there is any way I could get the instrumentals for the song at ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Difference between recording with a microphone in front of the amp vs. using an amp simulator?

I am going to record music with the guitar and bass guitar. However, I am still undecided between using an amp with microphone, and an amp simulator. Which of the two would be a better choice when ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Do I need a pop filter when I'm recording guitars?

According to @JCPedroza in my previous question about pop filters : It (the pop filter) protects the microphone from things like fast moving air and saliva. Its main function is to attenuate ...
9
votes
6answers
712 views

What are the practical advantages of keyboards with non-weighted keys vs. weighted hammer action?

This is not a question about what type toy keyboard a beginning piano student should learn on if a real piano is not an option. I am talking about professional quality keyboards in the above (to well ...
9
votes
2answers
347 views

What's a “guide” in the studio recording process?

When I was talking with my friends about recording in studio, they said that a "guide" is important to lead the recording. What's a guide actually? Is it a track to tell us the song's structure, or ...
9
votes
2answers
300 views

Do classical and rock musicians train with different goals?

I expect most musicians aim to master the instrument they play. But articles & interviews I've read suggest that: Classical musicians: Place importance on precision and theoretical knowledge ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What should I look for in a recording microphone for personal use?

I was browsing through mics on Amazon and quickly realized I was out of my depth. There are a couple closely related questions I am wondering about: Are there different types of mics for (1) ...
8
votes
8answers
257 views

How can I get the vocals to stand out better in the mix when recording?

I am helping a friend (very talented aspiring singer songwriter in the folk music genre’) by making some free demo recordings of her music to promote her talent. She has a nice voice but it’s on ...
8
votes
3answers
869 views

Free resource for pitch correction on a whole track?

I have a very old recording (from about 1940) in mp3 format. The pitch of it is in a little bit bellow B♭m, and for someone who has perfect pitch it's just pain in the ears. Or if you want to jam with ...
7
votes
4answers
843 views

Overcoming “tracking nervousness” when recording a take?

I'm in that nasty position of becoming nervous when I hit the record button. I can be in my own little studio, no pressure whatsoever, playing perfectly, but as soon as I hit that record button, my ...
7
votes
2answers
12k views

How do I stop a sensitive microphone picking up breathing when recording acoustic guitar?

I am using a budget condenser microphone to record acoustic guitar. The microphone has a Cardoid pattern, and is pointing toward the end of the fingerboard (between the sound hole and where the neck ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

TS vs TRS cables to connect mixer to audio interface

I understand that TS cables are mono and TRS cables are capable of delivering a stereo signal. However, if a jack supports TRS, could I still run a TS cable to it (and if so, what happens), and if a ...
7
votes
1answer
259 views

What is the purpose of the pop filter?

In many professional recording studios, I always see this attached to their microphone : What is the purpose of the thin black sheet separating the source of the voice and the microphone?
7
votes
8answers
7k views

How do I use my computer as an amp and effects processor

I have an electric guitar and an m-audio preamp-usb and would like to use my laptop to record music as well as listen to what I am playing. I would also like to use it as an effects processor. Ι have ...
7
votes
2answers
250 views

Methods of effectively recording drums (out of studio)

I have made many drum covers on youtube but I find it hard to record drums. I have settled for using a decent quality camera and hoping it picks up the sound okay. I was wondering, is there any ...
7
votes
3answers
181 views

Is there a formal term for a recording's pitch being “in the cracks”?

Lots of recordings were (sometimes intentionally) speed up/slowed down before final mastering, so that, even if the band was tuned to concert pitch, it isn't in the released version. If you have a ...
7
votes
3answers
464 views

Collaborative remote music recording

Is there a network of musicians who can record musical phrases/tracks for other musicians? I an an amateur musician, I write and record songs (voice, guitar, and virtual instruments such as ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Using an electric guitar with GarageBand

To use an electric guitar with GarageBand, is a USB cable necessary?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Howto: Electric Bass Guitar - Home Recording

My question should be quite clear from the title, but, I want to know what devices should I look to home recording my bass guitar, I've tried connecting my amplifier output to my notebook's microphone ...
6
votes
4answers
795 views

How to monitor a song with a low budget

I'm working a lot with home recording but the loudspeakers of my computer are a bit old, so I might get new ones. The problem I frequently had while recording was, that my speakers had a very full ...
6
votes
2answers
684 views

“Dull” sound when recording dry audio from an Ibanez S series, not caused by old strings?

I'm using my trusty Ibanez S5470 (wonderful guitar, if a little weak in sustain due to its scant weight) to record some dry audio inputs to use for re-amping later, directly into my Focusrite Saffire ...
6
votes
3answers
557 views

Why I tend to play faster tempo without realizing it?

I'm a pianist and I'm having something weird happen. When I play the piano and record myself I always tend to play faster than what I think. When I watch myself I see that I'm playing too fast but ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Pop filters and dealing with plosives in live performance

I was just listening to a recording of a performance I did a few weeks back, and couldn't help but notice the ridiculously explosive P's and B's. I'd obviously like to avoid this. I can't recall ever ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

How many sound interface inputs do I need to record drums?

I'm aiming to buy a sound interface to start recording. I need to record drums, guitars, vocals, and bass. I notice most products have XLR inputs with pre-amps (usually 2, 4 to 8), and have extra ...
6
votes
2answers
273 views

Production techniques for adding electronic elements to rock

I've been working for a year on home recording and I kept all my sounds "pure" so I didn't mix my songs a lot. However, I notice that a lot of bands use synthesizers or even complete electro mixes as ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Home recording: Preamp or Dynamic Mic?

I've been recording songs for almost a year now but I still don't know all the secrets of a good home recording. I'm currently using a Rode NT1-A condenser microphone, a Focusrite Saffire 6 audio ...
6
votes
2answers
206 views

What factors should be considered to determine the correct gain level when recording instruments?

I recently bought electric drums and I tried recording them through a MIDI interface. I'm not sure what the gain levels actually do, but from a quick internet search, it's related to the level of ...
6
votes
3answers
812 views

What should I look for in a portable audio recorder to be able to record loud concerts/jam sessions?

Whenever I try recording concerts or practice sessions with my smartphone the resulting audio is, as one would expect, horrible. Putting a tape over the microphone usually just amplifies the hum in my ...
6
votes
1answer
51 views

If my music is very dynamic, should I run it through a compressor after recording?

I am finishing the recording of a song which starts out with gentle piano, builds up to a fairly "loud" bridge with several more instruments, then gradually goes back to the same arrangement as the ...
5
votes
3answers
813 views

What is the technology where two vocals overlap simultaneously in songs?

In some new songs by indian music directors, there are two simultaneous solo vocals overlapping, both pronouncing the same words in the same tune, but still able to hear two distinct voices. ...
5
votes
3answers
810 views

Awful timing when recording multiple tracks

A few days ago I started recording a song (not mine, it is going to be a cover version) and when I first recorded a guitar intro (just four bars of fingerpicked chords) I was horrified by my timing. ...
5
votes
1answer
678 views

Why is Hendrix's tuning at Woodstock in between Eb and E?

I have the album Live at Woodstock in digital format. I noticed that everyone in Hendrix's band is (seemingly) tuned to some pitch between Eb and E. I've heard some various, uncited sources that ...
5
votes
3answers
123 views

What's the best way to provide musicians a copy of a song to use to prepare for a recording session?

I have a few originals I am ready to professionally record and want to provide the musicians that will be recording with me an opportunity to listen to a "skeleton" of the song (most basic outline ...
5
votes
2answers
94 views

Time-aligned sound samples

if you were to provide an application and a set of samples that a user can use to compose rhythms to be played back by a sequencer, whithout having to care about time-aligning, how would you save ...
5
votes
1answer
27 views

What properties of a material make it ideal for acoustic foam or paneling?

I want to make some acoustic foam/paneling substitute but I'm wondering makes foam paneling "good" or not? I know that if it's too dense or stiff then the sound won't "trap" and will just bounce right ...
5
votes
3answers
305 views

How to mic an upright piano to record singing and playing?

I have a pretty standard upright piano and I'd like to move some of my playing+singing from guitar to piano as a way to get more comfortable playing chords. I like to record myself - just for fun or ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Any heads-up tips for recording bass guitars?

I'm getting myself into recording (bought several equipment already) and I'm really having fun! I've only tried the drums yet and it goes well so far. I want to move on to the bass guitar next. ...
4
votes
2answers
493 views

Aiding the transcription of naturally occuring sounds. e.g. Horse whinnying, bird singing, etc

I edited the question extensively. The comments helped me to phrase it to reflect more what I really wanted to ask. .................... I don't have perfect pitch and badly trained and imprecise ...