Turning your living space into a proper recording environment can be an uphill struggle, but when there’s no budget for a proper recording studio, this might be the only solution. However, it’s important to understand that poorly recorded sources can have a direct impact on how music translates from demo to release. Nevertheless, there are some things we can keep in mind to make the best out of our home recordings. We will share with you some useful tips down below.
Place your microphone in the best position
Microphone placement is paramount for quality home recordings. Careful and conscious positioning of mic and source will make further mixing and editing in your DAW much easier.
Where to actually locate the microphone depends on a few variables:
First, the sound or timbre of the instrument. Study the source well, and before you decide on a sweet spot, try multiple mic placements.
Second, be aware of the acoustics of the room – that means whether your recording area resonates or not, and how much. A microphone picks up everything, and can’t differentiate like our brains do what’s the source and what’s room reflections. Evaluate how the distance from the mic to the instrument translates into the presence or absence of room sound. Generally, the closer the mic is to the source, the more you can avoid any unwanted room reflections.
Head motion is one of the best tools for audio engineers to find the sweet spot of the microphone. This means merely moving your head and using your ears as a microphone to find where the instrument sounds best. Take it from there.
Headphone sound leakage (bleed)
The fact that your microphone can pick up the backup track bleeding through your headphones is an issue that tends to slip by often, particularly with newcomers to the audio recording world. The best way to avoid it is to use a pair of fully enclosed headphones. This is a must if you want to guarantee that during recording sessions you record exactly what you want, nothing else.
Recording at a safe distance from your computer
Recording in the same room as your computer can also cause unwanted noise. Try to position the source and mic as far away as possible from it. Additionally, you can try to position your mic in such a way that the rejection node is facing this noisy source.
It’s important not to cover up the computer, this will only lead to the computer’s fan getting louder as it attempts to compensate for increased heat.
Choose the right audio cables for recording
Another essential aspect of successful and good quality home recordings is using high-quality connection cables. A good cable is resistant enough to prevent ticks, cracks, and hums you can come across during your session with a faulty cable. This can mess up an otherwise perfect take.