Studio Techniques

Different Techniques - Same Goals

Location recordings generally use distant miking, sometimes with closer spot mics. Studio recordings generally use close miking, and create the illusion of distance or space with "artificial" reverb and other effects. In either case, microphone selection and placement are critical for shaping a sound. Most studio engineers will use equalization for both sound correction and creative effect, while classical engineers would only EQ for correcting deficiencies in the original recording. In either case, the goal is to end up with a quality recording that is musically and technically satisfying.

Location-Style in the Studio

Some mic techniques that are more well known for classical recordings translate beautifully to the recording studio.

I often use a Jecklin disk with a pair of Earthworks QTC30s for overheads on drums, augmented with close mics for snare, kick and toms. Huge, but very natural, sound. With that setup, I can use the Jecklin array as room mics for a more standard close mic sound, or mix the Jecklin array heavy for a bigger, more organic sound. Many jazz drummers will find just a Jecklin disk (maybe with a bit of kick mic) provides that perfect balance for the whole kit.

Mid/Side (M/S) miking is great for recording guitar, piano or sax, as well as groups of singers (Bruce Swedien did lots of stereo overdubbing).

About the author


Dave is a recording engineer, musician and software developer in Minneapolis.

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