These Are The Recording Tactics That Have Stood The Test Of Time
Ever since the invention of the first recording devices, musicians have been putting their all into creating recordings that are as accurate, pitch perfect and professional as possible. Often being restricted by budgets, musicians and recording engineers have had to be resourceful and deploy tried-and-tested tips and tricks in order to achieve that cutting edge sound, despite sometimes using equipment and methods that originated in the century past. However, technology isn’t everything and as the following methods will demonstrate, keeping it classic can produce brilliant results for recording artists and engineers. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it – as the phrase goes!
Eliminating unwanted noise on stringed instruments.
This technique is so primitive and lacks sophistication, but it’s brilliantly effective in eliminating background noise and any dud notes when playing strings. If you’re recording a piece where you’re not required to play an open note and are concerned about unwanted tones ruining your recording, try tying a hair band, piece of cloth or even a sock (yes, a sock) around the first fret or headstock. Used mainly when recording guitar, the principal can be applied to other string instruments including violins, cellos and bass guitar.
Take the plunge and play it in a live take
A common complaint of modern day recording is that every single track can sound exactly the same. Up to the minute digital recording methods and mixing techniques can, on occasion, mask the uniqueness and vibrancy of a song, whilst the total absence of instrumental or vocal variation can lead to an artificial sound. By recording your track live, you run the risk of multiple mistakes for sure, but also stand to benefit the elusive ‘live’ electricity that cannot be replicated in any way through digital mastering. Not always practical, but you should definitely give it a go if you’re looking to capture some magic without splashing out on an extremely costly producer.
Mix in a different location to where you record
This practice was all the rage in the 70s and was utilised with the purpose of creating a distinctive piece through the power of alternative perspectives. It could be an idea to work with a different audio engineer than the professional who recorded your raw tracks in order to harness the power or a fresh take and bring something extra to your sound. If you’re loyal to your recording engineer, try substituting your desk for something more unconventional or exploring mix practices usually associated with a different genre.
Multi-track your instruments, every time
Simple but effective. This holy grail of recording techniques has proven itself worthy of the test of time. By recording your instruments or parts individually you create a rich yet defined sound that offers superior mixing potential. For additional effect, try recording one or more track just a tiny fraction out of tune or off key – pros tell us that is gives the illusion of multiple instruments playing live at the same time.
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