Week 1: Improve your Recording Skills

Join me for an exciting two-week intensive designed to enhance your recording skills, regardless of your starting point or the equipment you have at hand. Whether you're using a smartphone or a professional studio setup, this series will empower you with practical techniques and insider knowledge to achieve the best possible recordings.

What to Expect:

  • Hands-On Experiments: Each assignment includes interactive experiments that focus on different aspects of recording— from mic placement to lighting. Learn by doing, and discover how slight adjustments can make a big difference in your final result.
  • Expert Guidance: Led by Martin Zimny, the nerd behind all European tonebase productions, seasoned musician and audio-video professional, these sessions offer personalized tips and tricks tailored to the varied equipment setups of our participants.
  • Community Interaction: Share your experiences, receive feedback from peers and your instructor, and engage in a supportive community of fellow music enthusiasts and aspiring producers.

No special equipment is needed to get started; just bring your enthusiasm and whatever recording tools you have—your journey to better recording begins here!

Timeline:

  • Sign-Up : April 26th
  • Course Period: April 29th - May 10th
  • Optional check-In via Zoom: May 7th

 

Assignment Week 1

Understanding your room, understanding your Instrument, understanding the ambiance and reverberance!

Conduct these three experiment with your recording system:

  1. The Position of the Instrument within the Room
    Record yourself in three  different positions in the room, move the recording device with you and keep it stable relative to yourself
  2. The relative position of the Microphone
    Stay in one position in the room, but change the position relativ to your instrument. Keep the distance between the instrument and the microphone/smartphone the same. Choose three different mic positions.
  3. The Distance of the Microphone to the instrument
    Stay in one position in the room, keep the relative recording angle, but change the distance of the microphone three times.
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      • Stéphane
      • Stephane.1
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Martin Thank you is there something to do to have an "objective" listening ? ... to have a result that is resilient to diversity of output devices ?

       

      Regarding other reflexions, I try to identify what quality of sound needs to be observed.

      So I updated what I play for the experiment (I try to find the smallest set of note to get the maximum of information, if you have advices ... I'm very interested) :

      So that my check list to understand relation between experiments parameters and observation on the sound can be :

       - Loudness : (A) I add a chord played loudly and check the peak do not exceed -6dB

       - Duration : (A, B, C) I try to let ring to see how long the record catch the sound (but not very precise)

       - Timbre : (B) I play each sequence on different part of the guitar to see if differences are visible

       - Pitch : No idea, is there something to check on that ?

       

      I'm interested in any advice, the subject is more complex than I thought at the beginning...

      Like
  • I was only able to get in a short time today to work on the assignments, so so I narrowed it down to experimenting with the relative position of the microphone.  As you can see in the photos of my studio, I have a fairly narrow space to work in. I chose my customary  position for recording videos and experimented moving the mic from four settings. 

    The back of the room is my “live” area and features only the acoustic squares on the back wall.  The front of the studio is the production area and I have acoustic panels surrounding that half of the space.  This really has helped eliminate any resonances and noice from the computers and cameras. 

    Later this week, I want to experiment with the distance of my CM4”s to the guitar in various positions.   Grateful to everyone for sharing their experiments. I’ve been working at it for some time and I can bear witness it that has been a steep learning curve!

    Like 1
    • Rick Lord  Beautiful music and very well played. Your recordings are already outstanding but my vote would go with the position 3 . It will be interesting to hear Martin's choice.

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    • Rick Lord great to see your setup Rick, are you using an UAD Apollo interface?

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    • Andre Bernier are you sure you prefer Rick's 3rd position (with mics behind)? #1 or #4 sound better to me 😅

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    • Blaise Laflamme my main interface is the Apollo 8. I also have a Mix-Pre Six I take out to record performances. It’s no less equal to the Apollo IMHO. 

      Like 1
    • Rick Lord Thanks for the closer look, this is indeed what I thought I was seeing! 😅 I owned an Apollo Twin X for a few months before I bought a MixPre-6 II that I'm using ever since, it's definitely a great device!

      Like 1
    • Blaise Laflamme Rick Lord  Your are right Blaise. My mistake. It was the number #4 I was talking about 😂

      Like 2
    • Andre Bernier Thank God! 🤣

      Like 1
      • martinTeam
      • LIVE
      • martin.3
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Rick Lord Hi Rick! I'm not sure, have you recorded with 2 mics? It reads like you did, but it sounded mono, so I turned on my analyzer, and it shows that there is no stereo image! 

      Like 1
      • martinTeam
      • LIVE
      • martin.3
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Rick Lord Oh god, who is that guy on your screen, haha

      Like 1
    • Martin Yes - I used 2 mics each with its own track with inputs set to mono.  I then pan the tracks in post, and if I really want a wide image, I use Ozone Imager to get more width.  

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    • Rick Lord Nice Set UP!

      Like 1
  • Please find my week 1 assignments. There are 9 recordings in total. Sorry for the bad playing, I have not practiced the passage much yet :)

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    • Khiem Nguyen nice to see you here Khiem! #1 sounds fuller but 30 degree towards bridge has nice clarity... I'll have to listen to on my other computer with better speakers.

      Like 1
    • Khiem Nguyen I also like the 30 degree toward the bridge and positioned higher.

      Like 1
      • Derek
      • Derek
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Khiem Nguyen Hi Khiem. I also think 30 degrees towards the bridge has a nice clarity but I also like the last video

      Like 1
    • Blaise Laflamme it is nice to be back and see you and other friends again Blaise! Thank you for listening and for your comment. I think the 30 degree towards bridge has nice clarity. The last video which is "Position 3: towards the corner with 45 degree angle from the bridge" seems to be close to that, but with more bases.

      Like
    • Andre Bernier Thank you very much Andre. I think the 30 degree towards bridge and positioned higher has nice clarity and it blocks a little bit of nail and squeak noise. The last video which is "Position 3: towards the corner with 45 degree angle from the bridge" seems to be close to that, but with more bases and less clarity.

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    • Derek thank you very much Derek. Yes, I do agree with you that the last video is very close to the "30 degrees towards the bridge". The last video has more basses, I think, due to I positioned myself towards the corner, so I guess the mics catch the bass bouncing back from the walls.

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    • Khiem Nguyen you're right, this is another one that sounds good... you could probably play a bit with microphone height to get the right balance of trebles and basses.

      Like 1
      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Khiem Nguyen I think you reeeeaaaally should invest in mic stands, haha! That being said, I really liked all of your recordings! I probably think that 45° from the bridge is a bit too sharp, I'd recommend more of 30° angle!

      Like 1
    • Blaise Laflamme thank you Blaise with your suggestion, I will try to vary the mics height and see the effects :)

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    • martin haha, Martin, I will try to acquire some functioning mic stands; they will make my life much easier :D. Thank you for watching all videos and giving me recommendation. I will keep the 30degrees angle in mind as the first choice for my room :)

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