Studio Basics

 Beginners Fear Not!

I will save you from terrible debilitating despair you feel when you enter your first reel (get it, reel – lol) studio! [ok, not as funny as it was with a superheroesque soundtrack playing in my head but you get the idea] This is one of the reasons I created LRT and the Studio Basics page.

Yes I actually started out more like The Greatest American Hero but without the perm and flashy suit, I couldn’t fly or change quickly in a phone booth for sure! In fact this is how most musicians react the first time they go into the studio.

Going into a professional recording studio for the first can be very overwhelming, even more-so than your first time

Studio Control Room - oh how Scary!
Studio Control Room – oh how Scary!

onstage – take it from me as I’ve had my fair share of butterflies and suddenly forgot how to play more than one time.

The same goes for setting up your own home studio though a little more on the frustrating and overwhelming sides.

It doesn’t have to be

a chore or stressful or intimidating to set up a great studio at home provided you know what the hell your doing. I didn’t at first.

Keep it simple as the saying goes and that rings true here at LRT. So lets discuss some basic studio protocol and workflow first.

Where the hell does that cable go?
Where the hell does that cable go?

Protocol

Keep your studio neat and clean and well organized. I understand how it is when inspiration strikes, it rips through my studio like a hurricane – just pick up when your done, it will be much easier and more satisfying to start working the next day.

Keep you cables neat and organized and NEVER EVER run power cables and audio cables along the same path as this could introduce noise into your system – Not Good! instead cross them perpendicular to each other or keep them at least 6 inches apart.

I don’t know about you but I’d be bummed if a cup of coffee was spilled on my expensive equipment. Food and drinks are definitely OK in the studio and sometimes a necessity. Just have places to keep them away from your gear.

No smoking – if you are a smoker it would be best not to smoke in the studio – I know this sucks but I am an electronics technician by trade and smoke destroys equipment – trust me on this.

If there is only one thing that you learn here today it is to have a sound back-up protocol and schedule it or complete it frequently (at least after every session). Shame on you if you lose your talents or your own brilliantly executed and recorded work of art. BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP! Make separate copies of work and keep them in a safe place also.

Workflow

This will differ by preference from individual to individual but below are some things you may want to keep in mind to run your studio efficiently and effectively;

  • keep a log or tracking form or sorts that contains key data on each song

 

  • jot down mic placement and mics used and any other special items or out of the ordinary circumstances should you need to re-take a track at a later date.

 

  • both on your computer and in hard copy have a method to organize and store your data

 

  • whether you are using a DAW, all in one multi-track recorder or a component system keep similar instruments to the same tracks for ease of navigation and repetitive use.

 

  • Label cables and device I/O’s (ins/outs)

 

  • take regular breaks to mitigate listening fatigue and burnout.

 

And as for Super Heroes

I must keep my identity a mystery to preserve my good deeds … or you could check my About Eric page and blow my cover … just don’t forget your super secret decoder ring.

That’s it for now. I hope you’ve enjoyed this information and send me comments on best practices you’ve use for studio basics.

Make sure to check out my posts on M&M’s and Cans!

ROCK ON!

E

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “Studio Basics

  1. I am just starting out in a recording studio. Actually, it is a simulation lab where we do medical simulation for nursing and medical students. Having a well-balanced audio really makes a difference in the educational experience for the students. If the audio is difficult to interpret or understand. Students and faculty can not get values from the simulation. I have found the audio as the most difficult part to maintain. I will be trying some of the information within this website to help me make the most of their experience.

    1. Welcome to LRT Ken!

      I understand perfectly about clean quality audio in regards to comprehending the material presented. This can be demonstrated in reverse right on YouTube with various videos. You may have run across a video that has less that par audio and it just goes to show the creator did not know what they were doing or take the time to do it right. The result – the message doesn’t translate and most folks skip the video and find another one to view.

      I myself have been in the medical field for a few decades as both a medical equipment repair technician and a director of medical equipment repair. I have also worked in maintenance, phone systems, transcription, HVAC so on and so forth. The need for messages to be relayed as precise as possible is of utmost importance leading to any recorded material needing to be of excellent quality.

      Should you need anything or have any particular question do not hesitate to ask me, I can help you with your set up.

      ROCK ON!
      E

  2. Hey E – some sound and practical advice there. Thanks for sharing. I did some recording a couple of years back for a band I was in with a VERY basic setup (pretty much a mixer a couple of mics and some recording software).

    Was a great experience but was definitely frustrating at times. Knowing some of these studio basics (like keeping power cables and audio cables separate) would have saved me a lot of time and frustration. Always had issues with noise!

    Still look back fondly on the experience and hope to do more of it in the future.

    Your site will definitely come in handy the next time around. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Loved the studio basics! Personally, I’m one of the people on the side of the mic, rather than the one handling the equipment, though I interact with audio majors day after day.
    I wish I had more knowledge on the subject. I’ve never been savvy with similar topics.

    If I do decide to delve into audio, I’ll be back to commit every word to memory!
    Thank you for the information 🙂

    1. Thanks Matt! I will surely have important info for those on the other side of the mic at LRT. Don’t commit too much too memory save your memory for your crart – stop back here to refresh. Stay Cool!

      ROCK ON!
      E

  4. That sounds like a well organised studio : ) Can be tempting to leave these important factors out when you wanna get down to creating but, yeh, very important stuff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*