Recording studio

Gain Staging

Advice on how to make good use of the meters in your DAW and learn how to properly read them. 

Building a Home Studio | Part 2

PC or Mac, this is the ultimate question. If you're unsure of which one to get, you can always get a Mac and install parallels to run both platforms. A PC will ultimately be a little more affordable and have multiple options for a decent DAW.

I have personally had both computers and over the years have settled on a Mac. I started with a G4, then moved to a G5, and now I currently use a Mac Pro. If you're going to run a ProTools HD system, you'll need a computer that can handle PCIe cards. You can buy a chassis to house the PCIe cards, but then that is one more cable and device on your desk.

Be sure to get a computer with a fast processor and at least 8 GB of RAM. The i5 & i7 processors are excellent options for audio production. If you're not quite sure what to choose, call a specialist. I work directly with Joseph Secu at Sweetwater.com (800) 222-4700 x1232.

Also be sure to get a good monitor. With all the mainstream TVs having the ability to connect via HDMI or VGA ports you can have a large selection of monitors to choose from. Being able to see what you're working on is very important. You're going to be staring at this computer screen for hours on end, so it would be a good idea to invest in a screen that doesn't strain your eyes.

Tomorrow we'll cover microphones.

Behind the Scenes | Recording Engineer Clean Up Work

The recording engineer's work is not done after the session is over. The engineer must spend time working on the audio files to clean up unwanted noise in the files and make sure that fades are properly applied to smooth transitions. Back up copies need to be made and even though the engineer doesn't sit there and watch the computer transfer files, the engineer has to wait and check after the transfer is done to make sure that all the files transferred properly.

I'm usually in the studio hours before a session to check on timing issues and pitch correction. Returning to a session after taking some time off allows me to hear the tracks again with fresh ears. This way I'm more likely to catch little mistakes and focus on the recording's blemishes. This also gives me time to focus on ways to approach and produce the recording. I usually take this time to make notes for mixing the tracks. This way I am prepared for mixing as soon as the client arrives at the studio. If any re-tracking is required, will usually start there and then proceed to mixing. It's the little things like this prep work that keep my clients happy and keep them coming back to record more at Shine On Studio.