Should I have the album or songs recorded and mixed by the same person? I would say probably not. You do want a fresh perspective when you get to the mixing process, a fresh set of ears providing feedback and maybe giving you ideas for production at the mixing stage. The only reason why I would go with a mixing engineer who has already been involved with project is if maybe one of the writers is a mixing engineer and wants to be the mixing engineer on the project or somebody that just has a clear vision for the project and has already planned out aspects of the recording process to be addressed in the mix and is already thinking of how they’re going to mix and that relates to how they recorded it.
Ever since the proliferation of digital technology within the world of recording, many artists have chosen to get lazy and, often rely on pitch-tuning plugins, or think that there is a plugin for every mistake they're prone to make while recording. They're wrong. As an audio engineer, I can confidently say that, despite the wide array of tools at our disposal, it is ALWAYS a better idea to record something correctly from the get-go. Naturally, not all circumstances allow for fine-tuning during tracking, however, a project will ALWAYS become much more time-consuming and tedious, when corrections need to be made that could've been avoided during tracking. More time equals more money. Plus, any time spent correcting mistakes, and cleaning up sloppiness, is time taken away from honing in on the sound of the final product. Over time, having tracked big name acts, with vocal coaches and vocal producers, I can attest to this fact: Every word, every note, must be completely perfect in terms of pitch, inflection, energy, and desired effect. Many times we will track a single line over and over again with multiple takes, until the line is just right. This is not to say that many artists will not repeat a verse 40 or 50 times (especially with rap) until it is flawless. The artists should be comfortable enough to play the part in their sleep, backwards, forwards, with the ability to be playful because it is so well ingrained. This takes time and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. […]
So as the owner of the Fish Tank recording studios here in Miami, I am very particular about the quality of sound being captured in our live room. I am also aware that the look and feel of the live room needs to be such that we can set the right vibe for our clients. Great looking, bleeding edge acoustic treatment, that is affordable, is incredibly hard to come by. The entry level home studio gets egg crate auralex foam. Nothing wrong with that, but it does not treat anything other than some high frequency reflections. No bass management or diffusion. The next step up would be the serious home or project studio that uses panels and bass traps from the likes of GIK acoustics, Realtraps, RPG, and a hand full of ready made products. When looking to take things to the next level, the studio owner must look for custom solutions, which uniquely suit the room. Treatment that is custom made for the room, is not inexpensive. Framing and stretching fabric using the track systems found in large commercial studios can can cost upwards of $10,000 for a modest control room. I had my last control room treated professionally, and it is very hard to accept anything less for the new rooms. I have been curious about stretching fabric, and have decided to start with the most difficult area to treat: the ceiling! We will begin treating the ceiling with the assistance of Victor Rakovich from Mainstay Materials, our supplier for […]
Most engineers would agree that recording vocals requires a great attention to detail. What does your singer sound like and what qualities of the voice do you want to bring out most for this particular track? How will it be mixed? With a little bit of planning, the microphone and hardware units can make a tremendous difference in the overall quality of your recording. As long as you have a good quality converter (article coming soon) and well-treated room there are two things that can get you to a professional quality vocal sound. First things first, the Microphone. This is the most important piece of the puzzle but it can be expensive, so when you are ready for final recordings, book a studio that has high-end microphones. Large diaphragm condensers are a good choice for capturing the full timbre of your source. We use a Neumann U87, which can be very forgiving, to smooth out the vocals when desired and give ourselves a more compressed sound to work with. Another option for those seeking clarity is the Neumann TLM 49 which is very open sounding and transparent; a great choice for experienced singers who want their signal clean for processing later. For a more classic, polished sound, with subdued high-end we might choose a Royer 121 Ribbon Microphone. Pre-amplifiers are important for our vocal track because it will boost the signal, transparently or in a distorted euphonic way, and add different harmonic quality depending on the components inside of the hardware unit. Here at the Fish Tank we have an assortment of quality microphone and […]