Archive for Recording Tips

More recording tips

Reel to reel tape recorder

Here are some more recording tips from independent
Nashville based Renaissance Recording Studio’s John Wheeler


Wheeler suggests a project studio with good quality tape deck, mics, mixing board, can be thrown together for around $8,000.


Here’s the breakdown:

  • Mics—high end AKG C-414 for slightly under $1,000, lower end AKG C-3000 or Audio Technica 4033 both for under $500
  • Recording decks—ADAT (digital) for under $1,000 or 8-track reel to reel recorder for a little over that (In fact, the above Tascam MSR-16S 16 track analog reel to reel which is more than Wheeler says is necessary to get started was being listed for a “Buy It Now” price of just $1,600 from a Syracuse, NY, seller on ebay at the time of this post)
  • Mixing board—Mackie 8-channel console for around $500 used
  • Other odds and ends—microphone preamps (budget Symetrix and DBX units or Avalon and Focusrites high end), JBL or Yamaha NS-10 monitor speakers, good low cost reverb either Lexicon or Yamaha REV-500, low cost DBX 160A or RNC compressors
  • Things to avoid—cheap microphones with poor sound quality, multi-track cassette recorders, mini-discs
  • Other alternatives—Record directly to your hard drive provided you use 44.1 kHz or greater (This may require extra hardware and software for your computer)

For more on Renaissance Recording Studio serving the independent music community check the studio’s main link and for more tips on microphone selection and placement, tracking techniques and mixing click here, here and here.

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Seven recording tips for your next independent music project

Recording tips for your next CD project

So, you’re ready to record your band’s next independent release and are looking for some pointers.


Here, from Disc Makers’ Jason Ojalvo, are seven things to keep in mind while planning your next (or first) foray into the world of sound recording.


  1. Set realistic goals: Ojalvo suggests deciding first on the size and scope of your project. Are you after a CD to sell at gigs, to distribute to friends or for nationwide or even worldwide distribution?
  2. Set a realistic budget: The kind of recording you hope to produce and what you want to use it for will to some degree determine the budget as well. (For example, an album and packaging fit for national airplay and distribution will cost more then one you plan to sell to fans at local performances)
  3. Pick the right studio: Ask other bands who they would recommend. Choose studios and producers who have created recordings you would like to emulate. Interview studio engineers and producers and ask for samples of their work to be sure your goals and their approach are a good fit.
  4. Come prepared: Know your material, record rehearsals to identify problem spots, make sure you’re well rested and prepared to do your best.
  5. Make the right choices: Picking the right microphones, choosing whether to plug your electronic instruments direct or mic the amplifiers, creating the right mood for the best performance, planning out track arrangement and effects—all will have a huge impact on your final recording.
  6. Know what you want: Be sure the recording you leave with sounds as great on a simple car stereo as on those high tech studio speakers and evaluate the sound against recordings you admire
  7. Master mastering: Decide what format is right for your project (DAT, one-off CD, PMCD, reel-to-reel tape, or 1630). Hire a professional mastering engineer to give your final recording that professional sound.


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