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Thread: How do you get that "pro studio" sound....at home?

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    How do you get that "pro studio" sound....at home?

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    Hi All

    I'm new here and know I have a TON of reading to do! It seems everytime I listen to a youtube video the quality is amazing, they get tht "pro studio" sound. This gilr for example, I heard earlier and she says she records at home with simple gear:


    And here's me:


    I always have a "hollow" sound, like "not warm" if you know what I mean?


    Is it really possible to get a great sound at home?

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    First off...she's done several albums, so I'm sure even if she really is doing it all at home by herself, she's got some experience with recording under her belt.

    Second...you're sitting in a bare-walled room...and that's going to add to your "hollow" sound. You need a better room or do some acoustic treatment in that room. Looks like you're in the kitchen (?)...try moving out to the living room where there some carpet anc couches, it will help with "warming" up the tone of the room.

    Third...you're recording with the the mic(s) positioned at a distance, and that too will make things sound thin, hollow.

    You should try recording tracks individually....focus on the just the guitars, and then do the vocals so you can get closer to the mic.

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    Big + 1. Most of the time what we're fighting at home is the sound of our home.

    Like Miro says, there's a lot you can do to minimise this without actually altering anything.
    Microphone choice, mic distance, position within the room, choice of room.

    Recording in a nice sounding room is a great thing that's probably gradually being forgotten but, where that's not a choice, the goal is to make the room have the minimum possible affect on your recording.

    Some guys make up permanent/semipermanent/portable panels using 4" rockwool or other dense insulation.
    I have a few that I keep here. I just bring them out when I'm tracking and put them away again after.

    If you look into that road, though, you do need density. Sheets/lightweight foam etc isn't going to do the same job.

    Like Miro says, maybe you have a less lively room in your home?
    If you have a packed bookshelf or densely filled wardrobe or closet, set up facing it and try that. It may absorb or diffuse quite a lot.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grawlf View Post
    That's a tad too much terminology. What do you mean by 'mix'?
    Quote Originally Posted by Steenamaroo View Post
    No VST can emulate that smell.

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    Hi Guys

    Thanks for the replies! I record in a room off the living room (I'm in Spain we don't use carpets or rugs of any kind really here), cheers for the idea about the walls! Treatment needed then!

    As for the distance, this is what all the big guys on YouTube say, "back up!, we don't listen to the guitar with our ear next to it" (Graham, recording revolution), same with singing "don't get too close to the mic! it gets boomy/too deep/etc etc"..... so it's better to be closer then?? I'll definitely try that!!!

    Recording seperatly isn't really an option for me, my videos go to my busking blog "The Online Busker" so I much prefer to record all together....

    I'm happy wth the gear I use, now I'm going to change the way I use it!! Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmalltownJoe View Post
    Hi Guys
    As for the distance, this is what all the big guys on YouTube say, "back up!, we don't listen to the guitar with our ear next to it" (Graham, recording revolution), same with singing "don't get too close to the mic! it gets boomy/too deep/etc etc"..... so it's better to be closer then?? I'll definitely try that!!!
    There is no set answer...it depends on the source, the room, the mic and the tone you are trying to achieve.

    You don't want to be on to of the mic, but as you move closer to a mic, the tone will get a little fatter/beefier/warmer...if you get right on it, it will get muddy/bassy due to the proximity effect.

    So you need to experiment with the different mics and find the best position.
    For acoustic, there are many mic positions you can use to get different tones.
    Experiment.

    For the bare rooms...well, at best, try hanging some blankets on a wall or two...something to take out that hallow, reverberant tone from the bare room.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmalltownJoe View Post
    Hi Guys

    Thanks for the replies! I record in a room off the living room (I'm in Spain we don't use carpets or rugs of any kind really here), cheers for the idea about the walls! Treatment needed then!

    As for the distance, this is what all the big guys on YouTube say, "back up!, we don't listen to the guitar with our ear next to it" (Graham, recording revolution), same with singing "don't get too close to the mic! it gets boomy/too deep/etc etc"..... so it's better to be closer then?? I'll definitely try that!!!

    Recording seperatly isn't really an option for me, my videos go to my busking blog "The Online Busker" so I much prefer to record all together....

    I'm happy wth the gear I use, now I'm going to change the way I use it!! Thanks!

    It's a trade off, like most things.

    You can back away from the mic for a more balanced and faithful capture of your instrument, but you'll take in a lot of the room ambience too,
    or you can get close to the mic and maybe have a less natural capture of the instrument, but it'll be drier and less tainted by the room.

    What you really want is a room in which either option sounds nice. That's what you don't have.

    Using acoustic panels or some kind of treatment, or using any advantages that your rooms have, should let you find a middle ground.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grawlf View Post
    That's a tad too much terminology. What do you mean by 'mix'?
    Quote Originally Posted by Steenamaroo View Post
    No VST can emulate that smell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmalltownJoe View Post
    As for the distance, this is what all the big guys on YouTube say, "back up!, we don't listen to the guitar with our ear next to it" (Graham, recording revolution), same with singing "don't get too close to the mic! it gets boomy/too deep/etc etc"..... so it's better to be closer then?? I'll definitely try that!!!
    The big guys are right in the sense that (a) a room contributes significantly to the sound of an instrument, and many instruments do not sound very pleasant when close-miked, and (b) many microphones have a proximity effect which accentuates the bass when you are up close. However, because the room contributes significantly, you have to have a room that will work in your favour, not against. That is why studios invest so much in studio design.

    However, you can get excellent results in an domestic room. Others above have given a range of useful suggestions. Heavy, bulky furniture and stuff to break up bare walls (e.g. rugs) will help reduce unwanted audio artefacts such as echoes and nodes.[/QUOTE]

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmalltownJoe View Post

    Recording seperatly isn't really an option for me, my videos go to my busking blog "The Online Busker" so I much prefer to record all together....

    I'm happy wth the gear I use, now I'm going to change the way I use it!! Thanks!

    I kinda thought that might be the case. Though what threw me was that you showed yourself playing two guitar parts...so I thought maybe you were multi-tracking.

    So...try this....set up one microphone positioned for your vocals, and the other microphone positioned for the guitar.
    Yes....it can feel somewhat awkward at first trying to sing, play and maintain position for the two mics, but with a little practice it's not that hard.
    Start by finding a good position for one thing...guitar or vocal...and then once you have that postion/tone to your liking, dial the other mic position in.
    It might take a bunch of test passes...but once you get them both dialed in, remember the recipe, and stick to it.

    By using two mics, once for each purpose, you will have a better "mix" of both guitar and vocals.

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    Guitars might be a little out of tune.

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    Thanks for the advice guys, I have a lt to work on now! You've done a good job of welcoming the new guy to the forum, well apart from that one sarcastic pendejo, but I guess there's one or two on every forum

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