Recording Fundamentals Not Just for Beginners

While the intent here at Rockin’ DIY is to provide important audio recording information to people of all skill levels, I believe that the content is especially useful for beginners. For the most part I try to stay away from unnecessary terms and steer clear of the audiophile mentality. However, the fundamentals that are found here are applicable in just about all recording scenarios. Even the most snobby gear junkies cannot deny this. There is a foundation that is just not going to change. Sound will always act the same. The way the producer or engineer intends to capture this sound is a reaction to its scientific characteristics. I do not identify myself as a beginner when it comes to my experience in audio recording. However, I also do not consider myself a master of the process. I would not even categorize myself as a professional.

Picture of Recording Process Starting in Studio and Ending in Russian Dance Party

Photo by LionDoc / CC BY-SA 3.0

The majority of my equipment is not considered professional grade. This is another reason I have to focus on the fundamentals. I need to achieve results as efficiently as possible, with equipment of mid-level quality. I definitely do not try to record with a bunch of crap, but I also cannot afford the best. The goal is to maximize the capabilities of the tools in my possession and utilize all the knowledge I have gathered throughout the years… and so far so good. I have had good results in my home audio recording studio. And while there is always room for improvement, I have definitely heard recordings that are far worse than what I am able to achieve. I consider my approach to be mid-fi, not too polished and not too amateurish. All I desire to do is convey an idea successfully by accurately capturing the sound of the music.

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Tweaking the life out of a recording is never beneficial. This is what I hear all over the radio. Music that is sonically dead, recorded with all the best equipment, by the most successful producers, and with monumental budgets. And in the end, the sound is lifeless. Many listeners are not concerned with this, but I am. The music I represent is heavy with emotion and expression. A sterile recording would not lend itself well to the kind of music that I feed into the console. Therefore, I aim to use the recording process as just another instrument in the studio, another piece of the puzzle. I want the music to drive the recording session, and not the other way around. These are all my opinions, though. Maybe I am full of crap. I mean, I have never achieved any kind of significant success in the recording industry. But considering what it seems to be becoming, I am perfectly content right where I am.