You don’t need a great microphone to sound good. While microphones vary from tens of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, all of them are completely useless if your recording environment is unsuitable. Go soft or go home (or both!). Soft furnishings are key when it comes to recording voices. Your recording environment is the most important part of any audio content. I spend a lot of time treating badly recorded audio; the better you record at source, the better the audio will sound and the easier it will be to edit.
Whether you’re recording yourself or someone else, you’ll save time in the long run by getting lots and lots of takes. The most obvious reason for this is that musicians typically need a couple of run-throughs to start feeling comfortable and confident. But you also need to give yourself as many options as possible for splicing things together during the editing process, so you don’t have to go back in and record “punch-ins.” Re-recording is a time-waster; recording songs more than once the first time is a life-saver.
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Cardioid polar patterns are typically best for recording single voices as they offer the most noise rejection. Bi-polar, or bi-directional, pickup patterns are great for recording interviews as they capture sound from the front and back of the microphone. Omnidirectional pickup patterns capture sound from all directions, which is great for recording a large group of people, but it often captures a lot of ambient noise.
Anybody can buy a $50 microphone and start recording, and in fact, with increasingly popular companies like Anchor, you don’t even need the damn microphone! This offers amateur users great accessibility and a lot of interesting and niche content; as a result, you might be wondering, “how can I stand out from the crowd?” I’m here to answer that question and take you from a bedroom podcaster to a studio quality podcast pro.
The answers lie in the way that melody takes words and frames them in a different time and space. Melody can change the amount of time we spend on certain words (rhythm) lengthening or shortening the length of notes or space — by changing the pitch between words (intervals), up or down. This is what makes song so different from speech. And yet, there are parallels you can take advantage of.
The right book, or set of books, can play an enormous role in your development as a producer and audio engineer. Be it a book meant to be a reference text in case you ever run into a stumbling block or one meant to inspire you with stories and perspectives from the pros, having a stocked shelf in your studio will ensure that you’ll never be alone to figure things out.
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We can help you get your tracks sounding professional in six weeks. All of our mentored online courses come with 1-on-1 coaching, guidance, and feedback on your work. So whether you’re interested to dive deep into a production-related topic like Advanced Mix Techniques, Making Music in Logic Pro X, or Songwriting for Producers, or just to work with a Soundfly Mentor directly to achieve your next musical goal, your next phase starts with Soundfly.
Similar to social media platforms, it’s easy to get fixated on increasing your total number of likes, followers, or views. While it’s always encouraging to see these numbers go up, the truth is that these are just vanity metrics — or, in other words, things you can measure that, while not completely meaningless, don’t matter all that much in the grand scheme of things.
Will Marshall is the instructor for Soundfly’s Songwriting for Producers course. Preview the course for free here to see if it’s a fit for you, or let us know your musical goals and we’ll pair you with a personal mentor directly who can help you reach them!
Our one-on-one mentorship programs are built on our belief that accountability and guidance can have a huge impact on students reaching their goals and developing their musical identities. We currently offer 12 mentored courses and a custom mentorship program called the Headliners Club. Our mentors are passionate, experienced musicians with a shared love of personalized learning and artistic curiosity. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected].