The secrets of low-budget music creation technology
Many musicians and sound engineers underestimate the capabilities of modern computers.
Many musicians and sound engineers underestimate the capabilities of modern computers, music applications, and inexpensive sound cards. At the mention of such a technique, they scornfully purs their lips and pronounce a word in which all their contempt for the world of mere mortals is concentrated: “multimedia” … However, acquaintance with Western periodical music publications suggests that the entire civilized world has long turned to face low-budget technologies: articles are written on this topic, the advantages and disadvantages of various programs are discussed, and serious people like Eric Persing (owner of Spectrasonics and creator of the entire library of sounds for Rola synthesizers nd) put the first experiments on the use of software synthesizers in serious budget projects. And the prices of programs and plug-ins make you think. For example, a set of Waves Native Gold Bundle plug-ins costs as much as $ 1,300, which is comparable to the price of autonomous devices of a fairly high class.
So what happens – we are again behind the entire planet and still have not understood that the sound technology industry is dying out, and the future lies with the “virtual studios” hiding in the bowels of ordinary staffers? Yes and no. On the one hand, there is no doubt that virtual studios are serious professional recording tools. But on the other hand, stand-alone “iron” devices have their own sound color, which is difficult to repeat in a “virtual studio”. For example, the sound of the equalizers of Soundscraft consoles is fundamentally different from the sound of the equalizers of Mackie or TL Audio mixers, and many professionals believe that some specific things can only be done with their help. And the sound of the same Clavia synthesizers (Nord Lead or Nord Modular) cannot be repeated using virtual synthesizers of VST or DXi formats. In addition, there are tasks that are simply more convenient to solve using stand-alone devices. For example, providing concerts or permanent installations in clubs, concert halls, etc.
But the reverse is also true – many things that are very easily done on ordinary computers using virtual studio programs are quite difficult to repeat in ordinary recording studios. At the same time, there is no longer a conversation about the minimum necessary sound quality. If you load professional sound libraries into a regular SB Live and use a slightly better external converter than the built-in converters of the board, then not one of the coolest sound engineers will distinguish its sound from E-mu or Akai samples. This thesis has been tested by me many times, and people who cannot be blamed for the lack of hearing and experience with serious equipment were caught on this bait. And working with SB Live is much more convenient than with expensive standalone samplers. Although a lot depends on the particular user – there are a lot of pitfalls in the process of transferring libraries from one format to another, and good results can be achieved only by knowing the shortcomings of SB Live or sound processing programs.
In this article, we will talk about how to record really high-quality phonograms using inexpensive multimedia equipment and modern programs. But do not flatter yourself. There are no universal ways to “get cool.” It all depends on you – on your desire, perseverance, ability to experiment for a long time, and hearing in the end. And do not forget that sound recording is a rather complicated technological process. That is, real knowledge and understanding of what is happening are important here. In other words, to record a phonogram well, you must be not only a musician, but also a good engineer. Physics, in short, you need to know and love …
How does a high-quality phonogram start? Many people think that with a sound card installed in the computer. But this is not so. A high-quality soundtrack begins with a QUALITATIVE SOURCE OF SOUND, which will subsequently be recorded using one or another sound card and program.
Most often, in home studios, musicians record the voice of a vocalist or guitar. In order to record a voice well, we need three things:
A room suitable for recording.
Everything seems to be clear with a good singer. In addition to having voice and hearing, he must be able to work with a microphone. That is, do not “puff” on the membrane, move away from the microphone when switching to the “fast and the furious” and approach the microphone in lyric places in order to use the effect of increasing the number of bottoms while reducing the distance. Also, the singer should be able to sing in studio conditions, when there is no “swapping” of the hall. The main problem of the singers in the studio is sluggish and inexpressive tracks (well, not rushing and that’s it!). In general, you need to train hard and hard to achieve acceptable results.