5 Common-Sense Tips for Sound Engineer Newbies

by Wes on March 27, 2011 · 1 comment

Being a newbie to recording music can be a lot of a fun, but does come with its challenges and 1000’s of questions. Here are some tips for newbies to recording music, these are five f the most common questions received in the realm of recording music.

1. How can I get the best EQ settings for guitar?
Think about this question for a little bit, this question is impossible to answer. Each recording has it’s own set of rule and requirements. The best compression settings, EQ, and effects are solely relevant on the needs of the song.

You wouldn’t want to add a thick beefy guitar sound to something that is going for an indie rock? .my best advice for this question is to ask many questions or intern for someone who your like their style of recording and learn their bag of tricks.

2. Which is the best microphoneTo use?
As with the question above, what’s best ultimately depends on what fits the song. My best advice is to get some that are versatile that give you a lot of headroom to fix it in the mix.

3. How do I remove the room’s ambiance from a recording?
Conceptually, it makes sense that since we use reverb to add depth, there must be some way to reverse the process. Unfortunately, this does not exist. If you don’t notice until you’re mixing that a guitar track has too much room sound, you have 2 options:

A. Live with the sound
B. Re-record it

4. How do I use this $2500 auto tune plugin that I just happen to have installed on my machine?
Answer: Read the manual silly.

5. Is this mix finished?
Never. You have to learn the art of defining when the mix is in superior state, and stop there. As an engineer, you will never feel it is done. We continue to improve, but none of us is ever done acquiring knowledge, as true of recording and mixing as it is.

You will out yourself as a amateur by asking these questions of an experienced engineer. Don’t be ashamed of that. We all have a lot to learn, and learning something new is the fun part.

One final thing that I would like to say, it to get out the are start doing it. So many people want to study and learn, but never get in the trenches and get it done. The best way is to do trial and error.

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