Posts Tagged ‘recording’
Recording Part 6 – Dynamics
The control of dynamics in a recording can be tricky. As guitarists we all know about dynamics – some passages need to be played more softly, others more loudly, etc…, but in a recording you don’t necessarily want those quiet passages to get lost by being ‘too’ quiet, and you also may want your track to be as loud as possible without losing any clarity or nuance (or you’re OK with finding a happy medium), and these issues are what we refer to in recording as ‘dynamics’.
Chances are you already know what an equalizer does – it amplifies or attenuates certain frequencies in a signal (the sound of your guitar, for example) to make it sound better, reduce feedback (in a live situation) or both. Probably the most confusing thing about EQs is the terminology (a high-pass is the same thing as a low-cut, for example), so my focus here is going to be on what all the words mean that are associated with EQ. EQs are generally referred to as filters, because they filter out unwanted stuff (though they do other stuff, too). More…..
There’s a lot to say about microphones, and I’ll admit that there’s still a lot of mystery in them to me, as I don’t understand a lot of the technical stuff about how they work, but I have a pretty good understanding of why some are better than others in a given application, so I’m going to try to explain some of that here.
I’ve gotten a bunch of emails asking me what to buy in order to get started, so I thought I’d try to address the issue. GSI doesn’t carry any of the stuff I’m talking about, so I have no bias there, but I still have a few caveats: I haven’t used most of the products I’m talking about, so I can only really explain what does what and how it works; you can spend anywhere from nothing (assuming you already have a computer) to tens of thousands of dollars on this stuff; there are so many brands and models of each thing to choose from that there’s no way I can cover them all, but this should help you figure out what, if anything, you need to buy.
Mic placement and input levels are two of the things that will most affect the sound of your recording, so in part two of my ongoing series on recording I try to break it down a little and offer a few suggestions for getting the best sounding you can. I also included a couple of MP3s so you can hear the difference levels and mic placement can make.
The Curtis Institute of Music recently announced that it would be creating a guitar program, and chose guitarists Jason Vieaux and David Starobin to lead the new department. I had a chance to talk to Jason about Curtis, about teaching in general, and about a lot of other stuff, from practicing to recording to performing the Aranjuez with ten different orchestras in one year.
We at GSI are nearing completion of a project archiving audio snapshots of some of the historic, rare guitars that have passed through our doors. We decided that this would best be accomplished by working with a brilliant guitarist, who would perform musical pieces that were individually selected for pairing to a respective instrument, in a manner that that would best exploit and demonstrate the unique tonal qualities of each guitar.
The result was a collaboration between GSI and guitarist Marc Teicholz that led to our forthcoming CD entitled ‘Valseana,’ which includes 18 waltzes played on 18 master instruments, including 2 Torres, 2 Hauser I, Hauser II, Garcia, Santos, Esteso, Fleta, 2 Rodriguez, Barbero, Hernandez y Aguado, Bouchet, Friederich, Rubio, Blochinger, and Romero Jr. Click the image to continue and to hear some samples.