Dual Harmony: Mastering Acoustic Guitar Recording with Condenser & Dynamic Microphones

Recording Acoustic Guitar

In the realm of music production, recording an acoustic guitar can be a nuanced art. The technique of using two microphones – a condenser mic at the 12th fret and a dynamic mic at the body – has become a popular method. This approach, known as Acoustic Guitar Dual Microphone Recording, offers a plethora of possibilities and challenges.

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Pros of Condenser Mic at the 12th Fret:

The condenser microphone, positioned at the 12th fret, captures the guitar’s high frequencies and intricate details. This placement brings out the clarity and brightness of the strings, making it ideal for emphasizing melodic elements.

Cons of Condenser Mic at the 12th Fret:

However, the condenser mic can sometimes be overly sensitive to ambient noise and may require a quieter recording environment. Additionally, it might emphasize fret noise and pick sound, which might not be desirable in some cases.

Pros of Dynamic Mic at the Body:

Pointing a dynamic microphone at the guitar’s body focuses on the lower frequencies and the resonance of the wood. This placement adds warmth and depth to the recording, providing a fuller and richer sound.

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Cons of Dynamic Mic at the Body:

On the downside, dynamic microphones might lack the detail and brightness that condenser mics offer. They can sometimes result in a muddier sound if not positioned correctly.

Blending Possibilities:

The beauty of Acoustic Guitar Dual Microphone Recording lies in the ability to blend the unique characteristics of both microphones. By adjusting the mix between the two, you can achieve a balanced and harmonious sound, combining the brightness of the condenser mic with the warmth of the dynamic mic.

Distance and Positioning:

The distance between the mics and the guitar plays a crucial role in determining the sound’s presence in the mix. A closer mic placement results in a more direct sound, while a farther placement captures more room ambiance. Experimenting with distances and angles is key to finding the sweet spot for your recording.

Phase Issues:

When using two microphones, phase issues can arise, causing the sound to be thin or hollow. To avoid this, ensure that the microphones are equidistant from the sound source and check the phase correlation during mixing. Utilizing phase alignment tools can also be beneficial in addressing these issues.

Avoiding DI Signal for Acoustic Guitars:

Direct Input (DI) is often a go-to method for recording electric guitars, but when it comes to acoustic guitars, relying solely on the DI signal might not be the best choice. The DI signal captures the sound directly from the guitar’s pickup, bypassing the natural acoustics and resonance of the instrument’s body. This can result in a sound that is flat, lifeless, and lacks the depth and warmth that acoustic guitars are known for. Additionally, the DI signal might emphasize the piezo quack, an unnatural sound characteristic of piezo pickups, which can be challenging to manage in the mix. By opting for microphone recording techniques, such as the Acoustic Guitar Dual Microphone Recording, musicians can capture the true essence of the instrument, preserving its natural tone and dynamics, and achieving a more authentic and vibrant sound in the final mix.

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Acoustic Guitar Dual Microphone Recording Conclusion:

Acoustic Guitar Dual Microphone Recording is a versatile technique that offers a range of sonic possibilities. By understanding the pros and cons of condenser and dynamic microphones, experimenting with blending, and being vigilant about phase issues, you can master the art of recording acoustic guitars and achieve a sound that resonates with harmony and depth.

This article provides a comprehensive guide to recording acoustic guitars with dual microphones, offering insights into the advantages, challenges, and technical aspects to help musicians and producers create harmonious and balanced recordings.

By the way: This whole process can also be a part of your own signature sound. Even audio engineering is an art form. It’s also about pushing boundaries and creating something new. If you need some more ideas about developing unique sounds download our FREE SIGNATURE SOUND CHEAT SHEET now!

Ask Audio Engineer Toby Schuetgens from Simple Life Studio to mix & master our song!

If you need your own tracks to be mixed or mastered, hit the button above and feel free to reach out.


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Recording Checklist

Before you start recording, run through this recording checklist to ensure a smooth and productive recording session:


  • Song arrangement is finalized.
  • Instruments and equipment are in working condition.
  • Backup storage for recordings is available.

Room Setup:

  • Choose a quiet, acoustically treated room.
  • Position instruments and microphones appropriately.
  • Ensure good lighting for visibility and creative atmosphere.

Microphone Check:

  • Microphones are clean and free from debris.
  • Microphone cables are functioning correctly.
  • Phantom power is provided if needed for condenser microphones.

Recording Checklist continuation:

Headphones and Monitoring:

  • Headphones are comfortable and working.
  • Set comfortable monitoring levels.
  • Verify headphone mixes for all performers.

Instrument Tuning:

  • All instruments are properly tuned.
  • Verify tuning periodically during recording.
  • Use the same tuner for all instruments.

Signal Flow:

  • Check signal path from instrument to recording software.
  • Ensure proper gain staging for each instrument.

Recording Setup:

  • Choose the appropriate recording format and sample rate.
  • Arm tracks for recording and set input levels.
  • Verify recording software settings.

Reference Tracks:

  • Prepare reference tracks for tonal and performance benchmarks.
  • A/B compare recordings with reference tracks if necessary.

Recording Checklist continuation:


  • Warm up before recording.
  • Perform multiple takes for comping options.
  • Focus on timing, dynamics, and expression.


  • Keep track of take numbers and notes.
  • Record details of microphone placement.
  • Document any unique settings or effects used during recording.


  • Regularly save and backup your recording project.
  • Make additional backups of raw audio files.


  • Take short breaks to prevent fatigue.
  • Listen to reference tracks during breaks for perspective.

Recording Checklist Conclusion

Mixing is so much easier when you have high quality sources to work with. Spend a lot of time to capture really awesome tracks that sounds almost like a finished track. This is all about getting it right at the source. Play with microphone placement a lot, especially when you already know where the instruments should be placed in the mix. You can create a lot of atmosphere already in the recording stage when placing microphones at a place that supports the positioning in the mix.

Download a free recording checklist to place it in your studio

I’ve created multiple checklists and cheat sheets over time and you can now download them all for free for a limited time.

  • Recording Checklist
  • Mixing Checklist
  • General EQing Cheat Sheet
  • 7-Step Mix Guide
  • Home Studio Necessities
  • File Preparation Cheat Sheet
  • Signature Sound Cheat Sheet

All you have to do is signing up with your email address on one of the files and then you’ll automatically get access to these other downloads too.

Mastering the Basics: Home recording for beginners: Recording Your First Song at Home

home recording

Are you a budding musician or content creator eager to record your first song at home? You’re in the right place! Recording your own music can be an exciting and rewarding journey, but it can also feel overwhelming if you’re just starting. In this article, we’ll break down the process of recording your first song at home into easy-to-follow steps. Whether you’re a singer-songwriter, a rapper, or simply want to capture your musical ideas, this home recording for beginners guide will help you get started on the right track.

Getting Started with Home Recording

Step 1: Set Up Your Home Studio

Before you hit the record button, you’ll need to create a suitable recording environment. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Microphone: Invest in a quality microphone that suits your needs and budget. USB microphones are beginner-friendly and plug directly into your computer.
  • Headphones: Get a pair of closed-back headphones for accurate monitoring. Especially for vocals you can also try open-back headphones.
  • Computer: A laptop or desktop computer with recording software (Digital Audio Workstation or DAW) installed.
  • Soundproofing: Consider using rugs, curtains, or acoustic panels to reduce noise and echo in your recording space.

To learn more about acoustic treatment find this blog article

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Step 2: Choose Your Recording Software

Selecting the right recording software is crucial. For beginners, free or low-cost DAWs like Audacity, GarageBand (for Mac users), or Cakewalk are excellent choices. They offer essential recording and editing features to get you started. If you plan to go a little more professional in the future you could also try Reaper or a Cubase Version for beginners which you could upgrade with your needs later on.

Cubase Version that fits your needs

Ask Audio Engineer Toby Schuetgens from Simple Life Studio to mix & master our song!

If you need your own tracks to be mixed or mastered, hit the button above and feel free to reach out.


Step 3: Prepare Your Song

Before recording, ensure you’re well-prepared:

  • Lyrics: Have your lyrics finalized and printed or displayed on a screen for easy reference.
  • Instrumentation: If you’re playing instruments, make sure they are tuned and ready to go.
  • Practice: Practice your song until you’re comfortable performing it flawlessly.

Step 4: Recording Your Song

Now it’s time to hit record:

  • Set Levels: Adjust microphone input levels to avoid distortion.
  • Record Multiple Takes: Don’t be afraid to record multiple takes to get the best performance.
  • Edit as You Go: Some DAWs allow basic editing during recording to fix mistakes.

Step 5: Editing and Mixing

After recording, you’ll need to edit and mix your tracks:

  • Cut and Trim: Remove any unwanted parts or mistakes.
  • Adjust Levels: Balance the volume of individual tracks.
  • Add Effects: Experiment with reverb, EQ, and compression to enhance your sound.

Step 6: Export Your Song

Once you’re satisfied with your mix, export your song as an audio file. Choose a high-quality format like WAV or FLAC for the best results.

Step 7: Share Your Music

You’ve done it! Your first home-recorded song is ready to share with the world. Consider uploading it to music streaming platforms or sharing it on social media to get feedback from friends and listeners.


Recording your first song at home is a significant milestone on your musical journey. With the right equipment, software, and a bit of practice, you can create impressive recordings that showcase your talent. Remember, the key is to start small, learn along the way, and have fun experimenting with your music. Happy recording!

Whether you’re a budding musician or content creator eager to record your first song at home, this home recording for beginners guide covers the essential steps and tips for a successful home recording experience.

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DIY Acoustic Treatment: Budget-Friendly Solutions for Better Home Studio Sound

Acoustic Treatment

Are you tired of unwanted echoes and a less-than-ideal sound quality in your home recording studio? You don’t need a massive budget to improve the acoustics of your space. In this article, we’ll explore DIY acoustic treatment solutions that are not only effective but also easy on your wallet. Whether you’re a musician, podcaster, or voice-over artist, creating a better acoustic environment can significantly elevate the quality of your recordings. Let’s dive into the world of affordable acoustic treatment for home studio and transform your home studio into a sound haven.

Why Acoustic Treatment Matters

Before we get into the DIY solutions, let’s understand why acoustic treatment is essential for your home studio. When sound waves bounce off walls, floors, and ceilings, they create reflections that can muddy your audio recordings. These reflections lead to problems like echo, reverb, and standing waves, all of which can negatively impact the clarity and precision of your recordings.

Proper acoustic treatment helps you:

  1. Reduce Echo: Echo can make your recordings sound unprofessional. Acoustic treatment absorbs sound waves, minimizing echo and creating a cleaner sound.
  2. Enhance Clarity: Clear audio is essential, whether you’re recording vocals, instruments, or podcasts. Acoustic treatment helps reduce unwanted background noise, ensuring your recordings are crisp and articulate.
  3. Achieve Professional Sound: With the right acoustic treatment, your home studio can rival professional recording spaces in terms of sound quality. This can be especially valuable if you’re producing music or content for clients.

Acoustic Treatment itself is a huge topic and often controversial discussed. There are good reasons for acoustic treatment and sometimes even good reasons against. At least for a recording situation acoustic treatment is very helpful to get clean recordings. The better the recordings are the easier it is to mix later on. It’s all about getting good sources. When it’s about mixing, acoustic treatment is often overrated. For sure at least some treatment at the first reflection points in your room helps but at his point it’s even more important to actually know your room. Listening to professional mastered and released music in your studio helps to learn and understand your room acoustics. You also should reference to other songs while mixing. To dive deeper: measuring software like “Sonarworks ID Reference” helps to understand your room even better what will finally lead to better mix decisions. Hit the following link that fits your location to learn more about Sonarworks:

Sonarworks US

Sonarworks EUR

Ask Audio Engineer Toby Schuetgens from Simple Life Studio to mix & master our song!

If you need your own tracks to be mixed or mastered, hit the button above and feel free to reach out.


DIY Acoustic Treatment Solutions

Now that you understand the importance of acoustic treatment, let’s explore some affordable and effective DIY solutions:

1. Acoustic Panels

Affordable acoustic panels for home studio

Acoustic panels are one of the most popular solutions for treating sound in home studios. You can create your own acoustic panels using materials like dense foam, mineral wool, or even old mattresses. These panels absorb sound waves, reducing reflections and echo in your room.

To create DIY acoustic panels:

  • Purchase the necessary materials from a local home improvement store.
  • Cut the material to the desired size and shape.
  • Wrap the material with acoustically transparent fabric, securing it tightly.
  • Mount the panels on your walls using brackets or adhesive.

2. Bass Traps

Budget-friendly bass traps for home studio

Bass traps specifically target low-frequency sound waves that can be challenging to control. To make DIY bass traps:

  • Use mineral wool or fiberglass insulation.
  • Shape it into triangular or cylindrical forms.
  • Wrap the traps with fabric and place them in corners where bass buildup is most significant.

3. Diffusers

DIY sound diffusers for home studio

Diffusers scatter sound waves, creating a more balanced acoustic environment. To create your own diffusers:

  • Build wooden frames with slats or irregular shapes.
  • Paint the frames to match your studio decor.
  • Mount them on your walls at different angles.

4. Bookshelves and Furniture

Using bookshelves for acoustic treatment

Don’t underestimate the impact of everyday objects on your studio’s acoustics. Bookshelves filled with books or other items can help break up sound reflections. Position them strategically in your room to reduce echo.


Improving the acoustics of your home recording studio doesn’t have to drain your bank account. With these affordable DIY acoustic treatment solutions, you can enhance your sound quality and create professional-grade recordings. Start by selecting the method that best suits your space and budget, and watch as your home studio transforms into a sound haven.

Remember, proper acoustic treatment is an investment in the quality of your audio productions. So, roll up your sleeves, get creative, and enjoy the improved sound in your home studio. Your listeners and clients will undoubtedly notice the difference.

By the way while talking about acoustic treatment, it can also be a part of your unique signature sound. You can also use room reflections in a creative way for example to create your own reverbs. Just place a crappy speaker in your bathroom and place a microphone in another corner of your bathroom. Then run your vocals through that speaker and pick up the room reflections with your mic. After that you can blend your own reverb to your mix in your DAW.

For more ideas for your own signature sound, hit the following link:

Free Signature Sound Cheat Sheet

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Creating Depth in a Mix: Pro Tips for a 3D Sound

creating depth in your mix like a pro

Creating depth in a mix is crucial for a three dimensional and atmospheric sound experience. Creating depth is one of the first steps in mixing as soon as the rough / static mix is done. The easiest ways to bring an instrument further back in a mix are:

  • lowering the higher frequency registers with a high shelf EQ or cutting the high end at all with a low pass / high cut filter.
  • adding reverb with shorter or no predelay
  • compression with longer release time

Learn exactly how to dial in the equalizer, compression and reverbs to bring an instrument further back in a mix in this blog article.

Watch “Creating depth in a mix” on YouTube:

Depth in audio mix refers to the spatial positioning of sound elements within a mix. When done correctly, it can make your audio content sound immersive and dynamic, drawing your audience deeper into the experience. To achieve this, you’ll need to employ various techniques and utilize specific tools. Let’s dive in.

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Understanding Depth in Audio Mix:

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to create depth, it’s essential to understand what depth means in the context of audio mixing. Depth is often divided into three main dimensions:

  1. Foreground: This is where the primary sound elements or instruments reside. It’s what the listener focuses on and is typically the loudest and clearest part of the mix.
  2. Midground: The midground contains supporting elements that provide context and texture to the mix. These elements are slightly quieter than the foreground but play a crucial role in creating depth.
  3. Background: These are the elements that sit furthest back in the mix, often providing ambience, space, and atmosphere. They add a sense of depth by placing the listener in a specific sonic environment.

When it’s about visual elements there is an obvious difference between objects that are closer and objects that are far away. Compared to the closer object the further back element is smaller and has blurry outlines. At some point it’s just kind of an spot left with a specific color.

When it comes to audio it’s almost the same. First of all you need some kind of reference. One instrument can only sound like further away, when another instrument is really close. Compared to the closer instrument the further back instrument seems blurred until there is only a small area of frequencies left to barely identify a specific instrument. The following techniques and tools are a good help to acheive more depth:

Ask Audio Engineer Toby Schuetgens from Simple Life Studio to mix & master our song!

If you need your own tracks to be mixed or mastered, hit the button above and feel free to reach out.


Techniques for Creating Depth in your mix:

1. Panning and Stereo Imaging:

  • Experiment with panning to place instruments and sounds in the stereo field.
  • Use stereo imaging plugins to widen or narrow the perceived space of an audio element. But be careful with widening plugins, they might cause phase issues at some point.

2. Reverb and Delay:

  • Apply reverb to create the illusion of space, placing sounds in different acoustic environments.
  • Play with the predelay time. Imagine you are in a room with two guitarists. One is really close to you and the other one is at the other end of the room. The direct sonic from the close
  • Use delay to add depth by introducing echoes or reflections.

3. EQ and Frequency Separation:

  • Use EQ to carve out space for each instrument, preventing frequency clashes. At his point it might help to switch to mono on your monitoring chain. This helps to find points where frequency ranges of different elements cover each other.
  • Consider low-pass and high-pass filters to push certain elements into the background.

4. Automation:

  • Automate volume levels to make certain elements more prominent at specific points in the mix.
  • When it’s about the specific reference elements in your mix automation can help to change the distance between instrument throughout the mix to make it more dynamic and increase the feeling of depth in your mix.

5. Layering and Doubling:

  • Layer instruments to add richness and depth.
  • Double-track vocals or instruments to create a sense of space and width.

6. Depth through Arrangement:

  • Arrange your tracks thoughtfully, placing elements with similar frequencies apart from each other to prevent masking.
  • Even in the recording stage before the mixing you can create depth by placing microphones differently.

Tools for Creating Depth:

Most DAW’s come with really powerful stock plugin. You can try these first but just in case you’d like to try something more the following plugins a worth a try.

1. Reverb Plugins:

  • Explore reverb plugins like Valhalla Room or FabFilter Pro-R for realistic spatial effects.

2. Delay Plugins:

  • Consider delay plugins such as Soundtoys Echoboy or Waves H-Delay for creative depth.

3. Equalization Plugins:

  • Use EQ plugins like iZotope Ozone EQ or Waves Q10 for precise frequency control.

4. Stereo Imaging Tools:

  • Experiment with stereo imaging plugins like iZotope Imager or Waves S1 Stereo Imager.






Creating depth in your audio mix is a crucial step in delivering a captivating and immersive listening experience. By understanding the dimensions of depth, employing the right techniques, and using the appropriate tools, you can take your audio content to the next level, leaving your audience in awe of your three-dimensional soundscapes. So, don’t hesitate to experiment and refine your skills to achieve the perfect audio mix with depth. With your unique way of creating depth you can develop your own signature sound as well. Your listeners will thank you for it.

THIS is how you REALLY create depth in your mix
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Easy way to record electric guitars

Easy way to record electric guitars

There is an easy way to record electric guitars these days. Yes, you can record the signal from your electric guitar directly to your audio interface and you don’t necessarily need to set up an amp with a cabinet and a lot of mics to get good sounding guitar recordings. All you need is some additional processing in the box to make your recordings sound really good. In the following article we are going to dive a little deeper into this.

Recording electric guitars traditionally involves miking up amplifiers and cabinets to capture the desired tone. However, this process can be cumbersome, especially for home studios with limited space or those seeking a more streamlined workflow. Fortunately, there is an easy way to record electric guitars – using amp simulations and impulse responses.

Choosing the Right Amp Simulation and Impulse Response

Amp simulations replicate the sound of real amplifiers and can be inserted directly into your recording software. Impulse responses (IRs), on the other hand, capture the unique sonic characteristics of guitar cabinets and rooms, allowing you to add realistic ambience to your recordings. Begin by selecting an amp simulation and IRs that complement your musical style. Many software plugins offer a wide range of options, from classic tube amps to modern high-gain stacks.

Setting Up Your DAW

After installing your chosen amp simulation and IR plugins, it’s time to set up your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). Create a new audio track and insert the amp simulation plugin. This virtual amp will serve as your primary tone-shaping tool. Then, add another track and insert the IR plugin. This track will blend the direct guitar signal with the sonic characteristics of a cabinet and room.

Direct Signal Recording

Connect your electric guitar directly to your audio interface using a high-quality instrument cable. This direct signal eliminates the need for microphones and physical amplifiers. Adjust the input gain on your interface to ensure a clean and distortion-free signal. With amp simulations, you have the freedom to experiment with various amp models, tweak settings, and find the perfect tone for your track.

Adding Realism with Impulse Responses

To enhance the realism of your recorded guitar sound, insert the IR plugin on the corresponding track. Impulse responses can emulate the acoustics of different spaces, from tight studios to vast concert halls. Blend the direct signal and the IR-processed signal to achieve a balanced and three-dimensional guitar sound. Adjust the mix until you’re satisfied with the sonic character and spatial depth.

Fine-Tuning and Mixing

Once you’ve dialed in the desired tone using the amp simulation and impulse response, it’s time to fine-tune your mix. Apply any necessary equalization, compression, and effects to shape the guitar’s place in the overall mix. Since you’re working with direct signals and virtual processing, you have the flexibility to make adjustments without being locked into a specific room or microphone placement.

Using Plugins

There is a huge amount of plugin you can choose from and especially for beginners it’s quite difficult to figure out where to start. First of all most DAW’s these days are equipped with a lot of professional sounding plugins. You can go through them first and find plugins you could work with and start to learn to to use them properly.

The next stop could be the huge library from waves.com. They have tons of really good plugins with all kind of effects even the pro’s in the audio world use a lot. Hit the following link to take a look at the waves library:

Go to waves.com

Try to develop your own sound

It helps a lot trying to copy vocal effects from established productions. This gives you a great feeling on how dial in specific effects. But as soon as you feel comfortable with vocal effects you should start to experiment with them. go beyond the borders and try stuff that is actually ‘wrong’ from a technical perspective but sound good. Trust your ears: when it sounds good – it is good. If you would like to dive deeper into creating your own signature sound our free signature sound cheat sheet could be a good help.

Download you free copy of our signature sound cheat sheet here


Recording electric guitars with just a direct signal into your interface and utilizing amp simulations and impulse responses is an easy and efficient method to achieve professional-quality results. By sidestepping the need for physical amplifiers and cabinets, you can focus on crafting the perfect tone and mix, all within the confines of your digital workspace. Embrace this modern approach, and you’ll be well on your way to creating outstanding guitar tracks that stand out in any production.

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Creating Studio-Quality Sound at Home: A Comprehensive Guide for Audio Engineers

The dream of achieving studio-quality sound right from the comfort of your home is now a reality for audio engineers. With advancements in technology and a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips, creating impeccable recordings in your bedroom studio has never been more attainable. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through a step-by-step journey to help you craft studio-grade soundscapes that rival professional recording studios.

The Fundamentals of Sound Quality

Before diving into the technical aspects, it’s essential to understand the core principles of sound quality. Explore concepts like frequency, amplitude, and dynamic range. Learn how these elements interact to shape the sonic character of your recordings. You don’t necessarily have to study audio engineering at an dedicated school. You can also learn the basic yourself due to YouTube tutorials for example. But you need any kind of system and some basic fundamentals about sound processing, sonic behaviors and such to really understand what you are actually doing.

Building a Budget-Friendly Home Recording Setup

Creating a high-quality home recording setup doesn’t necessarily require breaking the bank. Discover cost-effective alternatives for microphones, audio interfaces, and other essential equipment. Uncover strategies to make the most of your budget while still achieving exceptional results.

Our recommendations when it comes to audio interfaces is the Steinberg series. One of it’s benefits is that it has Digital Sound Processors (DSP’s) build in. This helps you at recording because the Interface DSP’s handele Plugins without latency. The size of the interface you need depends on what you are about to do it with it. How many mics you’d like to record simultaneously or how many outboard gear you’d like to run later on. Just a little side-note: plan bigger than you might think you need. We all grow and with that our needs get bigger. Click here to learn more about the Steinberg Interfaces.

Recording Techniques for Crystal-Clear Audio

Effective recording techniques are at the heart of capturing pristine audio. Delve into microphone placement techniques for various instruments and vocal recordings. Understand the significance of proper gain staging and how it affects the clarity of your recordings.

Mixing and Mastering Like a Pro

Take your recordings to the next level by mastering the art of mixing and mastering. Explore techniques for EQ, compression, panning, and more to create a balanced and immersive mix. Learn the intricacies of mastering to ensure your tracks sound polished and consistent across different playback systems.

But keep in mind: producing music is an art form. It’s not only about technicalities or right and wrong. It’s about music. Try to develop your own signature sound. Click here to learn how to develop your own signature sound.

Troubleshooting Common Sound Issues

Even the most skilled audio engineers encounter challenges along the way. This section will help you troubleshoot common sound issues such as background noise, phase cancellation, and unwanted resonances. Equip yourself with problem-solving skills to overcome obstacles and achieve top-notch recordings.

Mastering the Art of Home Recording: Essential Tips for Audio Engineers

Recording Acoustic Guitar

In the dynamic world of audio engineering, the ability to create professional-quality recordings from the comfort of your own home has become more accessible than ever. Whether you’re an aspiring audio engineer or a seasoned pro, mastering the art of home recording is a valuable skill that can take your musical creations to new heights. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into essential tips and techniques that will empower you to achieve outstanding results right from your bedroom studio.

Setting Up Your Home Studio for Success

When it comes to home recording, the right setup can make all the difference. Start by designating a dedicated space for your studio, ensuring minimal external noise and distractions. Invest in ergonomic furniture and acoustic treatment to create an environment conducive to creativity and precision.

Choosing the Right Microphones and Monitors

Selecting the appropriate microphones and monitors is key to capturing and reproducing high-quality audio. Research different microphone types and polar patterns to match your recording needs. Additionally, invest in reliable studio monitors that provide accurate sound representation, aiding in precise mixing and editing.

Talking about Monitors: at our studio we trust our Yamaha HS 5, these are great monitors for smaller rooms. As soon as you learned to know them by simply listening to music you know at your mixing place, they will help you very well identifying problems or making your mix translate to other listening situations.

Yamaha HS 5 Studio Monitors

Click here to grab your studio monitors at musicstore

Understanding Acoustics and Soundproofing

Acoustic treatment plays a pivotal role in achieving professional sound quality. Learn about sound reflection, absorption, and diffusion to optimize your room’s acoustics. Implement soundproofing techniques to prevent unwanted noise from entering or leaving your studio, ensuring clean recordings.

Mastering Mixing and Editing Techniques

Home recording isn’t just about capturing audio; it’s about shaping and refining it during the mixing and editing stages. Dive into the world of EQ, compression, and reverb to balance and enhance your recordings. Explore editing tools to remove imperfections and create polished tracks.

By the way: if you are interested in learning more about mixing techniques, next to our blog, you can find some in depth tutorials at our YouTube Channel

Leveraging Virtual Instruments and Plugins

Maximize your creative potential by integrating virtual instruments and plugins into your recordings. These tools offer a wide array of sounds and effects that can elevate your productions. Learn how to use virtual instruments to compose music and enhance your tracks with versatile plugins.

As I started out I was overwhelmed about all that offers you can find online about plugins and such. I could not decide which ones I need, how much money to spend on them etc. For you to help: you can start with waves plugins. They have a huge amount of professional plugins for absolutely fair prices. Click here to check out some waves plugins.

Corrective Room EQ

Corrective Room EQ

Monitor / Room Frequency Response Measurement

In some cases it absolutely makes sense to use an additional corrective room EQ even you have a well treated room from the audio perspective. A room EQ might be easier to set up than a very good acoustic treatment for your room but it also has it´s disadvantages.

How a room EQ works

A room EQ is set as the last peace in your output chain directly before the monitors. What the room EQ is than doing is to adjust the frequencies so that the result is an almost flat response. A corrective room EQ can not replace a good acoustic treatment in your room, but it should be seen as a additional supplement in some cases. To make it all possible you have to measure your room before to give the room EQ the proper information it needs to adjust the frequencies. For example it needs to know if you have any kind of standing waves in your room, the EQ can than disable by lowering the output for the specific frequency range.

So you need a measuring microphone and a software to measure the frequency response of your room. The software I use is “Sonarworks SoundID reference”. This is an all in one solution, depending on the package it also includes a measuring microphone. It also contains the measuring software as well as the final room EQ you can run as a standalone solution on your device but also as a VST Plugin within your DAW.

Sonarworks SoundID reference

If you want to check out Sonarworks SoundID reference software hit one of the following links depending on your location:

link for the USD offer

link for the EUR offer

Room Measuring

After you have installed the software you have to connect the microphone to your interface. Simply follow the instructions from the software for the proper setup for your system.

Is everything set up correctly the measurement can begin. The software will now send a click sound through your monitors which is caught by the microphone to locate the position of the microphone. Once the position is located the software runs a frequency sweep through the monitors. Now the microphone can measure the room response of the frequency sweep at a specific position. This progress will be repeated for about 30 locations in your room. This will bring enough data to the software to finally set up the room EQ.

Measuring Results

The picture above is the result of my latest room measurement. As you can see it is everything else than flat. As I have expected the is some trouble going on in the low end, as well as a build up in the top end. And even the mid range has it´s ups and downs.

This pictures shows you the calibration the EQ does with the data from the measurement to achieve an almost flat frequency resonse.

And this is the result of the measurement and the final room EQ. It´s almost completely flat from about 100 Hz up to the top. Everything below 80 Hz can´t be flat in my case because of the monitors. They can´t reproduce a solid low end and I´m not using an additional subwoofer. Something that isn´t there can´t be fixed with a room EQ.

Disadvantages from a room EQ

You have always to check back the room EQ. Because it can bring some problems in. For example phase problems. The more an EQ has to change frequencies, the more it can lead to phase cancellations.

The next thing is a small latency between the right and the left monitor for example. Sometimes there can be false information within the measurement process and when the room EQ tries to fix latency or delay problems, which hasn´t been a real problem before, can lead to problems with the stereo image and the perceived stereo center.

For example: to place a vocal directly into the middle between two speakers it´s necessary to reproduce the same signal at the same time on both speakers. When the room EQ tries to fix a delay problem, and delays a signal, even when it´s just a couple milliseconds, it will loose the perceived stereo center and it feels like the vocals appear more on the left and the right side.

Conclusion: Corrective Room EQ

All in all it really can help a lot and can make a huge difference in some circumstances. A room EQ can help to improve your monitor situation in your room and it can also identify some problems. But it also is very important to know your room and your monitors and to check back with reference tracks for example. When you have bad monitors in an untreated room, the room EQ can not hep you that much. The most important thing is the room treatment, the next important thing are the monitors itself and than afterwards you can bring the room EQ into the game.

What is an independent or indie artist?

home recording

An independent or indie artist is an artist who publish his music on his own. An independent artist is so to say self-employed, an entrepreneur, in the music business who is doing, next to the whole music thing, the management and the marketing for example.

Modern music industry

These days it is as easy to publish music as it never was before. Everyone who has a computer with an internet connection can upload music to the common music streaming platforms at almost zero costs.

Also music production became way easier than let’s say 20 years ago. Modern technology makes it possible, that these huge recording studios are not absolutely necessary.

That’s why many artists start to record their music on their own in the rehearsal room for example. That makes record deals almost unnecessary.

These artists who publish their own music on their own are called independent artists or easily indie artists (has nothing necessarily to do with the genre). Because that is what they are: independent.

The complete business

But that also means they have to do everything else what’s around the music as well on their own.

They have to be the songwriters, the Instrumentalists and vocalists, the producers and often also the engineers.

But next to it they have to be managers, booking agents, artwork creatives, marketing experts and so on.

It´s not just writing songs, playing an instrument and to sing along. You have also to record the songs in a quality that is comfortable to listen to and carries the emotion of the song. Also you have to mix and arrange the song in a good structure, that fits the art on the one hand but also makes it possible to sell the song. After that you have to make it fit to streaming platforms or CD formats and to be sure it sounds the best it can on all different devices. Not to forget that old kitchen radio and modern bluetooth speakers.

But after that the job ain´t done. Actually the hard works starts right now. Because all the work isn´t it worth when nobody listens to the songs. So you have to make sure to get it heard. You have to make the artwork for the song, the video(s), you have to provide the platforms with the lyrics and additional informations. You have to send it to curators for playlists and radio stations and so on. You have to manage the library so that the older songs are not forgotten over the newer releases. You have to engage with the fans.

I think you can slowly imagine what´s all connected to it.

A lot of hard work

All together is really a lot of work. It needs a lot of organisation to get it all done and stay creative at the same time.

It can also cost a lot of money. Especially in the beginning. And also especially in the beginning the return on investment is, let’s say, unavailable.

Let’s talk numbers

You know what an artist gets per stream? It’s currently about 0,003 $ per stream, but only when you listen to at least 30 seconds of the song. That has changed the whole structure of modern music and release strategies. It’s necessary to keep the intros short and to enter the first chorus within these first 30 seconds. Also the whole songs are getting shorter as what they used to be before the streaming era. When a song is about 6 minutes long you get also 0.003 $ per stream. So when a song would only be 3 minutes long you could double the amount of return when two streams are counted in the same time.

So let’s say you need about 1,500 $ to make an average living. In streams it would be 500.000 streams. And to reach 500.000 streams on a monthly basis is really a lot of hard work. Especially when you think of that are about 60.000 new songs are uploaded to Spotify daily.

Everything has it’s pros and cons. It has never been easier to be an independent artist but to make a living out of it seems to be more difficult than it has ever been before. That’s why signing a contract on a huge label definitely has it’s right to exist.

What you can do to support your favorite independent artist

Software driven platforms

It’s all about the algorithms. Not only social media but streaming platforms as well are algorithm driven. All these platforms make a living of their users. So they will keep you on their platform as long as possible. To achieve this, it is necessary that you are given the content you are really interested in. And that is where the algorithms comes in. The software analysis you as the customer and the content to find the best next fit.

But the algorithms can not work without proper data. And that is where you come in turn. Because of there is not data available for new artists and new music. But you can help to gain that data without any costs.

What you can do for free

Hit the like buttons on the songs you like, share them with your friends and family and also in your own playlists. Feed the algorithms with proper data so that it can come to work and suggest the new songs to others listener that might like the music to gain streams.

It’s also important to make connections. Add new songs together with other artists that fit together in your playlist. Also cross over to social media, like and comment posts. A huge impact would be when you name artists together. For example in a story “hey I found this great track from artist a. It sounds a little similar to this track from artist b”. You know what I mean?

Follow your artists on their social media accounts and even better join their email lists because it also helps a lot to stay in tune on upcoming releases. It’s important how many streams and songs gets especially in the first hours. If there are enough streams in a short period of time the algorithms notice that and become aware of what is happening with this special song.

So it’s up to you to support your favorite artists and help them out to keep up with making and publishing new music. They don’t have these huge marketing budgets to buy into the proper data for the algorithms or drive huge campaigns on their releases. They are reliant on you, on their fans.

Talking for myself as being an independent artist as well: thank you very much for your support so far. You all make it possible for me to do what I love to do! Can´t say it often enough: Thank you 🙂