All tutorial requests HERE


Anssi Tenhunen
OK, since many of us know a bit of something, but any many people want to know a lot about everything, I was thinking that we should collide our wise heads together and make tutorials. Preferrably something that is not related only to certain DAW enviroments and certain brands of equipment, but talking about techniques and tricks that can be done with any generic tools you have, in-depth as possible.

For example the sidechain tutorial I made, the drum recording guides by Daunt and OZ, and a lot of the other stickys that we have in this Production techniques -subforum.

One of the more asked ones was how to use the compressor efficiently, that some of you were asking for (here?).

Also there has been a lot of talking about what is dual/quad tracking in multiple threads, like what it its and what are the benefits compared to single takes. That could easily be summed in one in-depth tutorial, also short snippets would add a nice flavor to it.

Also the "tone-search" for guitar would be a nice subject in my opinion. Yes, I know we have the Fredman guide already for that swedish deathmetal 5150 sound, but talking in general; Why you really don't need that much bass in the guitar tone and have a bassplayer in your band etc.

Also the other end of reamping; Oz made a fabulous guide about the reamping preparations, but I think there should be a more indepth guide for the reamping process itself too.

Some other good tutorials, like "fix it as early as possible" kind of tutorials that explain that if you use 1 extra hour to find the perfect micplacement for the guitar or the drums or do 10 extra takes on the vocals, so you don't need to use 30 hours to fix it in the mixing process for example.

Anyone want to suggest other topics or even want to make guides? Also here is the list for some of the suggestions:

  • The advanced use of compressor -guide
  • Tone guide for guitar/bass
  • "Well planned is half done; fix what is broken as early as possible"
  • Examples of heavymetal drum-programming 101
  • Loudness war
  • The guitar pickups; tonecomparison of the same picking pattern with different pickups (DI-signals)
  • Mixing/panning for guitars
  • Requirements for (good) recording enviroment

Current stickies

List of tutorials

Updated: JAN 17, 2011

edit: NEW jan 17, I will sort them out later

Added Aug 18, 2011:
Maybe we could nominate some people to write the guides? I know a few people on here would really fit the bill for a drum programming tutorial.

It may come under the heading of Dual/Quad tracking but a mic placement tutorial would be pretty beneficial for single mics techniques. Explaining all the various tricks and tips for finding the sweet spots.

EDIT: Or at least collate all the helpful posts of the past couple of years into one thread.
It may come under the heading of Dual/Quad tracking but a mic placement tutorial would be pretty beneficial for single mics techniques. Explaining all the various tricks and tips for finding the sweet spots.

EDIT: Or at least collate all the helpful posts of the past couple of years into one thread.

I am starting my studies at the Pirkanmaa University of Applied Studies (for engineering audio and marketing music) next month, I think I could find myself plenty of time to write about this. Then.
Wonderful topic, congrats.
I might add I am interrested in how to chose the mics for different types and sizes of drums if that's the case. But chosing the mics in general, regardless of budget.
And a final mixing/panning guide for guitars.
Cheers to all.:kickass:
I might add I am interrested in how to chose the mics for different types and sizes of drums if that's the case. But chosing the mics in general, regardless of budget.

I can answer that one. With the assumption that time is not a restrictive nominator, the best way to test it is A/B comparison. Or trial and error. Because it really usually is a matter of taste, this is by far the best way to test it. The more mics the better.

We made a drum mic comparson with my friend about an year ago, because he had a load of different mics, as did I, and he was about to get more mics and he just got a Tascam DM-4800 at his workplace, so we used it as our test platform and learned how to use it. The digital consoles are really superb for this kind of tests, because the meters are really good and menu-adjustable volume-sliders are very accurate opposed to the analog consoles. Do note that you can also do the test within any DAW or analog console, do not restrict yourself to the tools you have. You can even use a Behringer mixer with only two XLR inputs for all I care, if it gets the job done.

So what you need to do, is to place the mics at the same/used distance and preferrable at the same angle. The distance/angle thing is usually pretty easy to do with drums, because they are round objects. Then turn off all dynamics, EQ and anything that affects the sound. Then adjust the gain so, that the input meter is at the same level (We chose -6dB) and set the faders to the optimal noise-to-signal ratio (usually marked as zero). Preferrably use the menus of the console for more accuracy. This way the volume doesn't affect the results ("this one sounds better because its louder"), so its all about the characteristics of the mic. Then just A/B the mics. One channel open, listen, close the channel, open second channel, listen, close channel, repeat ad nauseum and pick your poison.

For example we compared 4 different mics on toms, 3 mics on kick and 6 different mics on the snare top, and along them we compared the t.bone MB75 to SM57. We first thought the MB75 sounded weaker, but then we noticed that it was a bit further away, but when I put it closer, they were pretty identical. But its not rocket science to build an SM57, you know.

Also we noticed that for live use AKG D112 was just a puff, even when put inside the drum pointing at the beater. B52 had a nice balance between snap and low end, but my favourite was e901 (the Sennheiser equivalent to Shure beta91 boundary mic, that you put inside the kickdrum) because it was sounding like it was already processed. Very snappy, altho the low end was bit weakish, but the reason for this is that all the airmass goes over the mic compared to the conventional drummics, where the air travels into the mic.

But do remember, that if you have a very sensitive mic, don't put it in front of a kick drum or something else that very violently moves the air, to prevent mechanically breakage. But still, majority of the modern mics are able to handle high SPL without breaking, but still again; use your ears. Some of them might sound horrible if when they choke and sound like used TP from the high SPL, but then again some might be too insensitive for ghosthits, so choose your mics wisely.

Also if you encounter a situation, where you don't know how you should mic something, use your ears. Run around in the room and listen where it sounds the best, stop where it sounds the best and put a mic there. This method works for a lot of stuff, for example a violin usually doesn't sound the best from the piezo mic, but it sounds very good from a distance, but then again for electric guitar this is usually not the best way to do it, even tho Sunno))) used it. A monkey, sorry, I mean an assistant, is usually a good way to do this. Put some ear protectors to them (or insulating headphones) with a mic on their hand on the recording room, when you are listening in front of your monitors. Make them run around with the mic, then just stop the noise when monkey needs to stop and put the mic in the stand at that position.

Hope it helps
drum programming tut would be nice.
i just can't ever seem to get a good workflow going and it takes FOR EV ER.

I'm tempted to take a shot at drum programming, since my 'randomization beyond all hope of ever recovering this beast from the state of pure entropy it currently holds' technique seems to have fooled a few people here and there...

First off, I salute you for this Ahj, cuz sometimes a prewritten tutorial can be replaced by a collection of all the good threads on the subject with a brief description of what to look for in each - and on that note, I present my assembled collection of Acoustic Treatment threads (Great overview) (Great overview) (Info about 703 vs. 705, esp. on pg. 2) (Good info on DIY bass traps)

Hope it helps!
Found some more interesting threads. ezdrummer q. nr.1 answered here. I use this trick all time now thanks to that thread. Awesome thread, tons of good info.

Maybe you should try to list it like:

  • Link
  • Link

It feels crowded listed that imo
Vocal tips. It seems there is a MAJOR focus on guitars/drums/bass here and really not much on vocals.

Would like to see a lot of stuff on signal chain/mics/mic placement/processing/etc for vocals.
[UEAK]Clowd;7537552 said:
Would like to see a lot of stuff on signal chain/mics/mic placement/processing/etc for vocals.

Signal chain
Clean and short as possible, unless it is for an effect, but you can usually always add that shit later. Mic > preamp > possibly EQ and/or compressor > recording device input

Mic and preamp
These things can kill your wallet, if you really want to sound good. Unlike guitars, all singers sound different and all singers don't nessecarily sound as good thru some mic. All singers from A to D might sound OK in mic #1, but singers C and D sound better with mic #2, but singers B and D also sound good thru mic #3, while only singer A while shouting might sound thru mic #4, because it costs 10 bucks and is a little broken.

The safest way to go is usually those wrist thick large diagphram condenser mics for the normal singers, and a Shure SM58 as a backup for the hopeless cases that just cant relax enough in front of the studiomic/popfilter when time is limited. Remember: Performance goes always over soundquality, unless the only good take really sounds totally like unlistenable shit.

When you try which mic you should use, use the best preamp you have. Or the one that you think is the best. Then use ALL the different mics you have and plug them to the preamp one by one, and make the singer do a short clip (10-20 seconds) of the style of vocals the singer will perform. Record and choose the best one. When you have tried thru all the mics, then try all the different preamps you have. Record and choose the best one.

I personally have found that if you are not using topnotch mics that sound good no matter what the singing style, you should always use a different mic for different kind of vocal style. Singing, shouting, growling, whispering and whatever you can come up can sound drastically different thru different mics. For example a kick mic can sound really tight with deep death metal growls that are overdriven and compressed to hell and back.

Mic placement
Google for pictures. With a large diagphram condenrs mic, you put it in a stand in a spider shockmount with a popfilter 1-3 inches from it and singer 0-50 inches away from the mic depending on the effect. If you want really intimate whispers in your ear, use a deep voice and put your face as close to the popfilter as possible. If you want a distant shout, go further. Usually 1 feet away from the mic is preferrable for singing. With a SM58, just give it to the singer, don't give a fuck and press rec+play.

When you record, record only the dry signal. No reverb, delay, pitch correction or other effect shit, unless you are doing it for an effect like using a distortion for "radiosound". You can split the signal if you want to record the effects too, but I recommend you still always record the dry signal because, once again: you always add it in later (and you do this at the mixing stage, unless you are in a hurry and/or on a tight budget).

If someone else wants to elaborate more on the post-processing part, be my guest. I personally usually just compress a lot, a bit of EQ if it doesnt fit in the mix and use a touch of reverb and delay if the song needs it.

And this one is just a principle of mine, but I NEVER use autotune (or similiar auto pitch correction products), because they usually sounds like shit, and you will sound good if you can sing. Thats what talent and hard word is for. I really hate that its always an assumption that the players must nail their parts perfectly (ok, copypasteing and multiple takes included), but the singer can be autotuned. Fuck that shit! If you can't sing for shit, then you really just need to rehearse a lot more or just don't sing. I do the latter part myself.