AUDIO ENGINEERING TIPS: HOW TO MIC GUITARS AND VOCALS


Anyone experienced in audio engineering will tell you, it’s not only about how talented you are or how many compressors and EQ’s you have access to in Pro Tools or Logic Studio Pro. If you do not have a quality microphone and understand microphone placement techniques, your recording may very well be doomed before it even begins! Here are my best tips on “How To Mic Guitars And Vocals!”


LEARN MUSIC PRODUCTION FROM A PRO!

It is invaluable for an audio engineer to know things like types of microphones (condenser, dynamic, tube and ribbon), polar patterns, live instrument microphone techniques, safety and placement procedures, and when and how these procedures are used. Every characteristic from make, model and price should be considered, but the most important question will always be, “How does it sound?” These are all things that you’ll learn in good audio production schools from industry professionals.

In this video, songstress Tina Nicole helps F.I.R.S.T. Institute (an audio engineering school in Orlando, fl) and Program Director Richard Ott share some tips and tricks on how to mic guitars and vocals!

DON’T FORGET ABOUT ROOM ACOUSTICS!

In an era where home studios are becoming more popular, so should the awareness of recording studio design and room treatment. Having solid room acoustics are the beginning of all great audio recordings. It has been said that when you know your room, you know your sound! However, there will undoubtedly come a time where you will come across a studio where the room is poorly treated and, as a result, the acoustics are poor. If you were going to mic a guitar, for example, in this case you would place the microphone close to the loudest part of the instrument.

MICROPHONE SHOOTOUTS: IT’S MORE THAN PRICE AND LOOKS.

In order to select which microphone best fits your project, artist and vision, it is a common practice to have what is called a microphone shootout. This is a hands-on method of comparing a wide variety of microphones. Each microphone is placed side by side as you listen to playback from your respective DAW (Pro Tools, Logic, etc.), compare sound quality and tonality and ultimately make your decision.

This is an effective process not only for vocals but for instruments as well. Some shootouts are even performed blindfolded because it is best approached with an unbiased opinion judged on how expensive a microphone is, the brand, or how it looks.

IN THE END, EVERYTHING IS SUBJECTIVE.

When dealing with microphones, sound or any form of art and creativity, what is good and what is bad will always be subjective, a matter of opinion and personal taste. Becoming familiar with these aforementioned microphone techniques and types will only help you in your subjectivity. What is of upmost important is that the audio engineer or music producer rely solely on their most important tool, their ears!


LEARN HOW TO PRODUCE MUSIC YOURSELF!

Before you can be a music production professional, you’ll need a quality education from a good audio production school like F.I.R.S.T. Institute, one of the best audio engineering schools in Florida. There you’ll learn what you need to get your new audio production career off the ground. You’ll get hands on experience, in real studio settings, with small class sizes. Faculty at F.I.R.S.T. Institute are working audio engineering industry professionals who have a passion for mentoring the next generation of audio engineers and producers.  Check out the Audio Engineering and Music Production program at the F.I.R.S.T. Institute audio production school today.