Building Quality Homes
 

 

Digital Recording

              In the early days of Tape recorders, Recording music or voice or any type of sound for replay/ reproduction could be classed as a fine art. Getting a signal onto tape was often a complicated process involving mics , mixing desks, sound processes, Gates, Compressors and many more outboard effects. This then became a balancing act with signal levels against noise, tape saturation against Tape quality and Tape speed, dealing with hums, sound on sound noise build up etc etc

So there were many factors to consider when recording but how is Digital Recording any different you may ask?

Well like Tape, Digital can also record noise with your sound source if you have a noisy signal path! But generally Digital sounds cleaner and crisp (perhaps because your ear is missing the continuous noise when tape is playing back and not listening to say 441000 snippets or sound in 1 second? [which is 44.1KHZ or CD quality]).

���� When recording signal into Digital it is a good idea to lower your anticipated recording level and leave plenty of headroom, that is to say, unlike tape where it is generally accepted to get as much signal down on tape as possible, high signals being digitally recorded tend to break up into unpleasant crackle which gets added to your recording. Low recorded levels can always be raised later with effects without introducing any more noise, but it�s dam hard removing Crackles from a recording (but not impossible in the Digital World!).


Digital Recording and Playback Tips

I have found when in mixdown mode using DAW or Software mixers on dedicated Recording programmes like Cubase and �Pro tools etc. there is still a biting point on Faders (like with analogue desks) where just about pushing the level into the Red brings out a punchy sound but anything less and it sounds wimpy and weak!, if you get to many channels into the red then you overload the Stereo Master bus and have to start again with each channel �..it�s a challenge sometimes and often not as forgiving as Analogue!

����� When Playing back music using Software recording programs such as Cubase, I always use the Timing Offset tool to delay or advance each individual track to help make a song groove better, eg. Try advancing a snare track by -0.200ms ��this makes the Drummer sound right on top of the Beat and pushing the song forward!, or delaying a guitar or Vocal track by +0.300ms gives an interesting effect of dragging the song, Experiment is the key word!

On my Master fader section I tend to leave EQ as is but always use a VST Plugin effect like Stereo Tape Emulator then going into a VST L1 maximizer� which brings up levels and kind of Compresses everything, I always set my Master Fader about -3 DB to allow for Mastering in another Software program like Wavelab where you would gently add a bit of EQ and more compression etc.