5 Home Recording Hacks
Reading Time: 6-8 minutes
Alright, let's face it. Studios are damn expensive and sometimes are just out of the budget. But what do you do if you want to get an idea out into the world? In comes home recording. I'll be honest, you can make some pretty incredible stuff at with today's technology. Also, it's probably a good idea for every musician to at least have a rudimentary understanding of how recording works. It will help you when you get into a commercial studio. So, today we're going to give you 5 home recording hacks that can help you get the most out of your home recording.
1) HALLWAY DRUM ROOM MICS
I love this hack. So let's say you're recording in a small room in your house, but you want to get huge "Bonham" style drums. How are you going to do that without a reverb plugin? Well, you're going to put the room mic in another room! Experiment with this, but generally the further away, the bigger the room sound (as there is a pre-delay). Things like stairwells are great, kitchens, hallways, etc. Get creative. Just because your room isn't that big, doesn't mean you can't have a big room sound.
2) Closet Vocals
This one is pretty obvious, but yeah, set up a mic in your dark and dingy closet, and get tracking! These work great as there is very little reflection (assuming you have clothes hung up in there) and it's a tight, controlled sound. Now you may say, "well what if I want to have a roomy vocal sound?" Hey fair enough, there are plenty of times where I do too! But I think in this instance, it's probably best to use a plugin. You could try the drum room technique above, but use your own judgement.
3) Egg Cartons
This will make your room look...well pretty damn hilarious. But egg cartons are a great way to provide diffusion to your room. Their naturally corrugated form cause the dispersion of sound waves in every direction, which is great for getting rid of standing waves in your room. So collect as many as you can, try to grab some from a grocery store recycling bin, and staple them to your walls! It will do wonders. Now having said all that, if you can afford real sound absorption and diffusion materials, do that.
4) Hang Carpets and Blankets
Get a few old carpets and/or blankets and hang them from the wall. This can really help with any reflections in the room that are causing a build up of frequencies. However, don't over do this either! Sometimes too much dampening can completely kill the sound of your room. Use your ears. It may be better to do some dampening with blankets and some diffusion with either egg cartons or real diffusers. I also hear alot of guys say that you should treat either your ceiling or your floor, but not both. So if you got carpet on the floor, leave the ceiling alone!
5) Use Specific Rooms For Specific Sounds
For instance, the Foo Fighters recorded the drums for their record "Wasting Light" in Dave Grohl's garage, because he said it sounded aggressive and huge. I'm sure you've also heard of people singing in the bathroom or shower, and that's because the bathroom typically has alot of reflections and therefore a natural reverb. Now, you have to be careful, as you may not want too much of this. But it may work great for an effect. Try it out and get creative!
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