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How to make high-quality audio at home: sound practice tips from a sound engineer

Each author or performer of songs will sooner or later want to record his own piece of music. But here the question arises: how to make high-quality audio recording? Of course, if you composed one or two songs, then it is better to use a ready-made studio. Many recording studios offer their services. But there are authors who have already written a dozen songs and they have plans to continue their work. In this case, it is better to equip a recording studio at home. But how to do that? There are two ways. The first way is simple. It includes the minimum of what is needed for a fairly high-quality recording: a sound card with microphone and line inputs; a computer that meets the system requirements of the sound card; sound recording and information program installed on the computer; headphones; microphone cord; microphone.

Every musician who knows computer technology will be able to assemble such a system himself. But there is a second, more complicated way. It assumes those studio components that were indicated in the first method, and additional equipment for better audio recording. Namely: a mixing console with two subgroups; audio compressor; voice processing processor (reverb); acoustic system; patch cords to connect it all; room isolated from extraneous noise. Now let’s take a closer look at the main components for a home recording studio. IN WHICH ROOM MUST RECORD?

The room (announcer) in which the audio recording is planned, ideally, should be separate from the room in which the equipment will be located. Noises from fans of devices, buttons, and faders can “pollute” a recording. Interior decoration should minimize reverb inside the room. This can be achieved by hanging thick carpets on the walls. It should also be taken into account that a small room, unlike a large one, has a lower level of reverb.

WHAT TO DO WITH A MIXING CONTROL?

In order to connect all the devices together and send a signal to the sound card, you need a mixing console with two subgroups. Remote control switching occurs as follows. A microphone is connected to the microphone line. From this line, a message is sent to subgroups (no message is sent to the general output). Subgroups are connected to the line input of the sound card. Also, a signal is sent from the subgroups to the common output. The line output of the sound card is connected to the line input of the remote control. From this line, a message is sent to the common output, to which the speaker system is connected. If there is a compressor, then it is connected through the “insert” of the microphone line.

If there is a reverb, then an unprocessed signal from the Aux output of the microphone line is sent to it, and the processed signal is returned to the remote control at the line input and from this line is sent to subgroups (no send is made to the general output). The headphones receive a signal from the Aux output of the microphone line, the computer line, and the reverb line. The following happens. In the speaker system, such a sound picture is heard: a phonogram from a computer, voice from a microphone and processing from a reverb. The same thing sounds in the headphones, only separately adjusted on the Aux output of all these lines. Only the signal from the microphone line and from the line to which the reverb is connected is sent to the sound card. MICROPHONE AND MICROPHONE CORD A key element in a sound studio is the microphone. It depends on the quality of the microphone whether high-quality audio recording will be made. You should choose the microphones of firms that make professional equipment. If possible, the microphone should be a studio one, since it is it that has a more “transparent” frequency response. The microphone cord should be made in a balanced wiring. Simply put, he should have not two, but three contacts.

SOUND CARD, COMPUTER AND SOFTWARE

As mentioned earlier, for a simple studio you need a sound card with a microphone input. This is necessary in order to connect a microphone to a computer without a mixing console. But with a remote control, a microphone input in the sound card is not required. The main thing is that it has a linear input (In) and output (Out). The system requirements of the “sound”  high. The main thing is that it has a processor with a clock frequency of at least 1 GHz and a RAM of at least 512 MB. The program for recording and mixing sound should be multi-track recording. A phonogram is played from one track, and a voice is recorded to another. The program settings must be such that the track with the soundtrack is defined to the output of the sound card, and the track for recording to the input.

COMPRESSOR AND REVERB.

Many semi-professional mixing consoles already have a built-in compressor (Comp) and a reverb (Rev). But using them for high-quality audio recordings is not recommended. For lack of a separate compressor and reverb, you should use software analogs of these devices, which are available in a multi-track recording program. All this will be enough to create a recording studio at home.

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