Resources For Producing Pro Sound

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Member Since: May 26, 2012

Looking for a text-book or resources that I can use/refer to, read about what is required for a professional "sounding" recording. I have mixed feelings about this but I would like to try some different settings to hear the difference to what I produce now. I notice that most of my 'electronic' percussive songs are well received, but my miked drum set sound can get ugly.

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MASSIVE Mastering, LLC
Since: Aug 05, 2008

Jul 28, 2012 09:04 am

what is required for a professional "sounding" recording

A professional sounding source, captured and processed by an experienced engineer.

There are no "different settings" that differentiate a "pro" and "non-pro" sounding recording -- Most of the time, the difference is that a "pro" makes the recording he actually set out to make. Sometimes, making that recording takes teams of professionals with aggregate decades of experience using top of the line gear (and most obviously, in properly tuned and acoustically managed spaces on monitoring chains that are actually up to the task). Other times, it's a simple as capturing a wonderful sounding source and just staying out of the way.

Recording a drum set for example -- It starts with a really nice sounding set. I've had sessions where it takes six hours or more just for the drum tech to tune the kit properly -- for one song -- then several more hours to mic it up to capture. And I'd hope it would go without saying -- Tracking drums takes an exceptionally well-treated and properly appointed space, a properly tuned (I mean PROPERLY TUNED) kit, in good condition, played by someone who knows how to hit 'em, mic'd in the sweet spots, with the proper mics for the task, positioned properly in the room, assuming that room can handle the SPL's, etc., etc., etc., etc.

I'm not trying to sound discouraging here - but it doesn't "just happen" and there isn't any particular road map.

Since: Dec 04, 2007

Jul 28, 2012 10:39 pm

IMO, and this is just the way I'm doing it, but:

Read discussions between people who are doing what you want to do. Read how they do it, and try to gleam any useful techniques. Hang out here, check out the studio central forums, gearslutz...etc. etc. etc. I'm positive people around here have asked about drum mic techniques in the past.

A book or two might help on the finer details, but beyond the reading, you want to get hands on. Experiment. Wear headphones while you move mics around so you can hear what the mics are hearing.

I really only have two books myself: "The Zen Art of Mixing" by Mixerman, and "Audio Post Production in your Project Studio" by Casey Kim. I also have a small book on live sound. Not that they are primers on the subject....more that they caught my eye at the local Barnes & Noble. :P

I basically used them to inform myself about different aspects/utilities/etc. The rest was reading forum discussions and developing my abilities from a hands-on perspective by constantly experimenting and working to improve my abilities.

I think in this field, the hands-on part of recording (at least for us home studio guys) is where most of the concepts will start to sink in. So go, play, and experiment. Learn while experimenting, and eventually things will start to make more sense.

In the end, a good sound is a good sound regardless of a professional is capturing it, or a guy at home with his own equipment. Sure the professional probably has more experience under his belt, but that only dictates the ease and speed at which they get that result. (Okay, it's more than that I know, equipment and environment come into play too, but it's the experience of knowing how to use the room to its fullest that makes things easier/faster, whatever)

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