#1
This thread will cover pretty much everything to do with recording. I'll add new posts covering different topics when I have the time. To start with I'll post some slightly technical stuff which is good to know because it'll help you understand what you're doing later down the line. I'll then start posting about mixing processes and how to use effects such as EQ, Compression, Limiters etc...


Post 1: Microphone Types


Carbon Microphones

Carbon Microphones were made using technology first found in early telephones. Carbon dust are incased between two metal plates. As sound waves strike the plate it compresses the granules changing their electrical resistance. A direct current is passed from one plate to another and the changing resistance results in a changing current.

Ribbon Microphones

Ribbon microphones use a thin piece of metal (usually Aluminum) suspended vertically between the poles of a permanent magnet. Changes in air pressure cause the ribbon to move back and forth between the magnetic poles creating voltage. Older Ribbon microphones have a relatively low output so a step up transformer is used to increase the output voltage and output impedance. Most modern Ribbon microphones don’t suffer with this due to improved magnets & more efficient transformers.

Dynamic Microphones

Dynamic microphones work a lot like ribbon microphones. The diaphragm is attached to a coil. As sound waves strike the diaphragm it causes the coil to move back and forth past the magnet creating a current.

Condenser Microphones

Condenser means capacitor, an electronic component which stores energy in the form of an electrostatic field. A capacitor has two plates with a voltage between them. In the condenser microphone, one of these plates is made of very light material and acts as the diaphragm. The diaphragm vibrates when struck by sound waves, changing the distance between the two plates and therefore changing the capacitance. The closer become the stronger the current.


Polar Patterns

There are many different Polar Pattern types but in recording the most common are Cardioid's, Hypercardioid's and Supercardioid's. Microphones using these patterns are unidirectional, meaning they're sensitive at picking sound up in only one direction.

All microphones have different frequency responses, the range of frequencies which the microphone can pick up or hear, and some are more suited to different instruments than others. For example:

A good microphone for recording a snare drum would be an SM57 because its frequency range is 40 hz to 15,000 hz and it's cardioid pattern rejects most unwanted noise (or bleed) from the rear and some from the sides reducing the amount of cymbal, hi-hat and tom spill in your drum recordings if placed correctly.


CARDIOID



A good microphone for recording Cymbals and Hi Hat could use a omnidirectional, hyper or supercardioid pattern. Omnidirectional microphones are none-directional and thought to be the "purist" of microphones because they don't have much colouration to their sound. Hypercardioid's are similar to cardioid's' but have a much tighter front area of sensitivity and a small amount of rear. Super-cardioid's have more front pickup and less rear pickup than hypercardioid.


Omnidirectional




Hypercardioid



Supercardioid


Bi-directional microphones receive an equal amount of sound from the front and back. Most ribbon microphones are Bi-Directional and use a Figure of 8 pattern.


Figure of 8


There are many different Polar Pattern types, go read up on them

Post: 2 Recording Gear

So, what will you need to start making your mind melting tunes? As always it depends on how much you want to spend or what you want to achieve ultimately. Do you want to write and produce your own music that sounds as good as a professional recording? Or just record a few riffs? Most online dealers do special entry level recording bundles which come with everything you need at a competitive price. But if you’re looking to build your own custom set up you’ll need the following.

Computer

You’ll need a PC or Mac with at least 2Gig of RAM (I’d recommend having more if you’re going to be working with software sample library’s, 6Gig a least)

External Soundcard

Getting an external soundcard for your first set up is way better than getting a PCI soundcard as most external cards have XLR, Hi-Z instrument inputs, Monitoring sections, PAD switches and Phantom Power for microphones that’ll require it.

www.m-audio.com/index.php?do=products.family&ID=USBinterfaces
http://www.focusrite.com/products/audio_interfaces/scarlett_2i2/

DAW

A DAW or Digital Audio Workstation - such as Cubase 6, Pro Tools 9, Logic or Fruity Loops for recording, editing, mixing and mastering your music. All these companies will have different versions of their flagship product which anyone can afford.

www.steinberg.net
www.avid.com
www.imageline.com
www.apple.com/logicstudio/

Microphone

You’ll need a microphone for recording vocals and guitars I recommend an SE Electronics SE2200a a great sounding microphone which is very versatile.


Sample Library’s

Now, most DAWs come with their own sample library but the quality of the samples leaves little to desire. It’d be a good investment to later purchase some decent 3rd party products that will vastly improve the quality of your music. Look up companies such as Native-Instruments, Toontrack and East-West samples.

www.native-instruments.com
www.toontrack.com
www.soundsonline.com


Multi Track Recorders

If you're not interesting in creating a fully produced song that could pass at commercial quality, then ignore most of the the above. If you want a basic means to record song ideas using multiple layers then invest in a Multi Track Recorder. If you look around there's some pretty advanced ones that are relatively user friendly with a decent amount of features including drum beats etc...


I'll try to keep this thread updated and add more content covering most areas...
Regards
Last edited by MrTinkle at Sep 16, 2011,
#2
Good stuff but you gotta realize what noobies around here ask. Its stuff like:

Hey guys, how do I get a better sound? I'm going my guitar into my mic port
What are some good mix tips in Audacity
What gear do I need to buy?

I mean, very informative post. Probably not going to get much action though. Especially since no matter how nice of a guide you write, people will still post questions
Derpy Derp Derp Herp Derp
#3
What lockwolf said.
hell I just started recording recently and asked similar questions to that lol.
maybe a more basic detailed version of the steps to start recording would be more efficient?
(if that makes any sense. :P )
NEW SIGNATURE!
#5
I will get around to covering the answers most newbies post, just thought I'd start off with some basic knowledge. It's really handy to know this stuff
Regards
#6
I have to argue with a few points.

For hi-hats I find cardioid to be better. I don't want that mic picking up anything except what's in front of it. Placement is key of course, but cardioid is much more forgiving in my book... You are the first person I've ever heard say that hyper/super is the way to go. Not that those are the wrong way, but I see more disadvantages than advantages in both of those over a cardioid.

Omni's are very popular in the recording world. Figure 8's are probably more so. I'm not sure how either of those can be left out while including hypercardioid.
#7
Quote by sandyman323
I have to argue with a few points.

For hi-hats I find cardioid to be better. I don't want that mic picking up anything except what's in front of it. Placement is key of course, but cardioid is much more forgiving in my book... You are the first person I've ever heard say that hyper/super is the way to go. Not that those are the wrong way, but I see more disadvantages than advantages in both of those over a cardioid.

Omni's are very popular in the recording world. Figure 8's are probably more so. I'm not sure how either of those can be left out while including hypercardioid.


It's personal preference, best bet is getting some microphones with changeable capsules. I'll amend that though so my personal preference doesn't factor into the info. I'm only listing the most common basics it's up to the reader to learn more.
Regards
#8
Well the first thing that I think of when I see a "newbie" thread is their budget for recording equipment. We should make a section that divides up how much people are willing to spend on equipment. Such as: W/ $200, you should get this. W/ $400, you should get this. And so on... That's what half the new threads I see are about. Each price range can have different combinations that people suggest. Anyway, that's my thought... I'm highly intoxicated at the moment so I may have missed something.
#9
Quote by lextexrex
I'm highly intoxicated at the moment so I may have missed something.



Lmao I hope that's true. But yeah, it would be a good idea to do a detailed thread on price listing.
Regards
#10
2 reverse Jaegar bombs + a few beers + 3:30am eastern time... yeah, I'm intoxicated. Doesn't matter if I'm sober or not; I always end up on this page. Though I think this is the first time I've actually posted in this mindset. Yeah!
#11
Good article, but it's really not aimed at newbies, a lot of this is far more advanced than someone taking their first step into recording requires.

You also miss out the first decision a newbie needs to make - whether to use software or invest in a purpose built multitracker as their DAW. For a large amount of people who just want to make recordings at home, the multitracker is a more relevant way forward than investing in all the equipment and upgrades required to set up a useable PC based system.
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#12
Quote by GaryBillington
Good article, but it's really not aimed at newbies, a lot of this is far more advanced than someone taking their first step into recording requires.

You also miss out the first decision a newbie needs to make - whether to use software or invest in a purpose built multitracker as their DAW. For a large amount of people who just want to make recordings at home, the multitracker is a more relevant way forward than investing in all the equipment and upgrades required to set up a useable PC based system.


Don't worry I will get into all of this, I'll be adding to the original post when I can more and more stuff.
Regards