This FAQ section should provide valuable information for your home recording so that you are able to deliver your tracks in state-of-the-art quality for every project independently from if you work with me or anybody else in the music business.
In which format should I record and deliver my files?
Wave files with 44.1 KHz sample rate and 24 bit are absolutely sufficient for mixing & mastering.
Is there a naming convention I can use for my files?
A good naming pattern is super important to enable your mixing engineer to work efficient and with a good creative vibe for your material. If he has to find out what the heck 'Marko_1' is at first then there will be much less creative energy he can put into your music.
How should I export the files from my recording project?
Please export in 44.1 KHz and 24 bit. Always export from beat 1 to the end of the song.
How should I provide the time signature & tempo information of my track?
If your track is a straight 4/4 beat with a constant tempo it is absolutely fine to just leave a note like e. g. 4/4 132 bpm.
What is Editing?
Editing is the process that takes part after you recorded your tracks. Dependent on the genre and other factors there might be more or less editing necessary to get the source material in a mix ready condition for the specific genre. While an indie band might need no or just very little editing, fast and technical metal has to be as tight as possible most of the time to be able to compete with other bands in the genre.
What is Reamping?
While in the early times of recording you had to commit every sound in the recording session nowadays thanks to modern technology it is possible to make decisions like amp or synth sound later in the production. In terms of guitar and bass recording this is achieved by capturing the DI, the unaffected signal of the pickups.
What is Mixing?
In the mixing stage all your raw tracks are melted together. The mix engineer uses tools like EQ, compression, saturation, automation and spatial effects to give your recording a cohesive, competitive and three-dimensional sound.
What is Mastering?
While mixing focuses on every single element of the mix, mastering focuses on the big picture of the whole song or record. Mastering takes care of the loudness of your tracks and that the playback sounds good on nearly any device. This process also takes care of that all songs on your record sound cohesive so that your record sounds like a record and not like a bunch of songs which were just randomly put together.
Is there a general guideline for working with you?
Yes! Just download the Mixing Requirements Guide! If you have any additional questions feel free to contact me.
How should I deliver my mix if I want you to master it?
Please deliver it in wave format and without a limiter on the stereo output. Please take care that your mix does not peak above 0 dbFS because otherwise you will have digital clipping which I can not fix.
Home Recording Equipment 1x1
How to identify a good DI Box?
A good DI Box is well built using quality parts and especially a high quality conductor. Cheap DI Boxes tend to muddy your signal which is not desirable and something which can not be fixed later in the production. If you want something great and that will last your whole life then invest in something like a Countryman 85, the Rupert Neve DI or a Radial JDI. The DI signals of a Kemper also work pretty well but you have to know how to set it so that your DIs are not clipping.
How to identify a good Interface?
The Recording Interface is the heart of your home studio. A good Interface for home recording has clean preamps and high quality transformers with enough headroom for hard picking and high output pickups. An example for a very good home recording interface is the Audient ID14.
How to identify good instrument cables?
The quality and length of instrument cables has a high impact on the quality of your sound. The longer and thinner the cables are the more highs you will lose in your recording. The higher the wire cross-section the longer of a cable you can get away with. Best would be to use a cable between instrument and DI Box that is as short as possible. The Sommer Cable The Spirit XXL 3 m is a great cable for recording. It is short, has good connectors and a high wire cross-section.
How to identify a good microphone cable?
Microphone cables use symmetric wiring and because of this they are not so extremely affected by length like an instrument cable. Just use a cable with good connectors and you should be good to go.
Drum Recording Guidelines
1. Drums are the hardest instrument to record. If you are not 100% sure about drum recording and/or you don't have a good room please consider to use midi drums.
Guitar Recording Guidelines
1. Always take care of the intonation of your instrument. A bad tuned instrument is not fixable and will always sound bad.
Bass Recording Guidelines
Most of the guidelines which are applicable for guitars are also applicable for bass. Additional to that:
Vocal Recording Guidelines
1. A good mic technique will make it much easier to mix your vocals because they will be more consistent in their sound.