How many times has a nasty room resonance totally killed your recording? At first, it can sound cool to have natural room reverb. But as soon as you start compressing and EQ'ing your tracks, everything sounds thin, phasey, and ultimately unusable. Reverb is an effect more easily and precisely applied after the initial recordings. It is almost impossible to remove it after it's already in the recorded tracks. It's best to be sure it's exactly what you want and and that you are able to capture it properly. In today's article, we'll give you a few tips to keep those reflections out and save your mixes.
1) Treat your room
This one may seem obvious, but it must be said. The easiest way to fix your room sound is to simply make the room sound better. We really like the London kits from Primacoustic. They are an incredibly lightweight and simple solution to stop reflections in a room.
In our studio above our store, we had started with a gutted room that had bare walls and a hardwood floor. We tested out a snare drum and it sounded like a massive hall. In order to fix it and make it usable as a control room, we threw up Primacoustic treatment and a rug. Since then, we have used it for lessons and recording samples and it sounds great.
2) Avoid recording in corners
Even in a treated room, corners will have lots of buildup and cause phasing in your microphone. In a treated room, it's best to be away from as many reflective surfaces as possible so that your microphone will pickup only your voice or instrument.
3) Switch to a dynamic microphone
Sometimes, it's just best to take the room out of the equation. Most people are using condenser microphones for their recordings because of the detail and nuance. That kind of detail sounds great, but not when it's picking up the details of your small bedroom. Sometimes, it's best to ditch the condenser and switch to a dynamic microphone like the Shure SM7B or the Heil PR 781G. These are two very common microphones among podcasters and voiceover artists. They both sound great and pickup what is directly in front of it - nothing more, nothing less.
4) Record at quieter volumes
If a new dynamic microphone is out of our price range, it can help to simply turn down your microphone preamp. The quieter you have your microphone levels, the more focused it will be on whatever is directly in front of it rather than picking up everything around it. If you go this route, please note that you will need to get closer to the microphone and may notice more plosives.
Sometimes, the room is out of your control. Maybe you are recording at someone else's studio and their live room is very...live. That can be cool for drums and some other performances, but not for certain things like most vocals. The best way to have complete control over whatever space you are in is the Aston Halo. This is a solution by the British company to combat room reflections from all directions by wrapping around the microphone rather than just sitting behind it. This takes all guess-work out of using someone else's space and keeps the control of your sound in your hands.
These are our 5 best tips for reducing room noise in your recording. Be sure to check out our other articles here!
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