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The Studio SOS Book

Book Description

Professional studio design is a specialized science, with more than a touch of "black magic" thrown in. Over the past few years, Sound on Sound magazine has made one trip each month to a reader’s studio. These visits have demonstrated that it is fairly simple to make a huge improvement to an untreated project-studio room, without spending a fortune. However, they’ve also proven that beginners’ attempts at DIY acoustic treatments often cause more problems than they solve.

Utilizing knowledge from dozens of visits to readers’ home and project studios, the SOS team imparts easy-to-understand, organized troubleshooting advice. Learn how to rid yourself of monitoring problems and get an accurate monitoring system, how to enhance the sound of your recording space, and how to perfect your instrumental and vocal recordings. Decrease the time you spend re-recording and mixing, simply by improving your room with advice from the guys who have seen it all when it comes to make-do small studios. Contains:

  • A structured look at the problems that most often plague small studios, with individual studio case studies addressing each issue
  • Real solutions that you can both afford and implement; no thousand-dollar investments or idealized studio designs that don’t work with your space!
  • Case studies that look at small studios’ specific problems, with additional break-outs tips that address quick fixes to common problems

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright Page
  5. Table of Contents
  6. Preface
  7. 1. Monitoring
    1. What is ‘Coloured’ sound?
    2. Resonant Modes
    3. Room Shape and Size
    4. Checking for Bass Problems
    5. Across or Along?
    6. Monitor Placement
    7. Asymmetry Can Help
    8. The Magic Triangle
    9. Stands
    10. Room Reflections
  8. 2. Sound Absorbers
    1. Absorbing Sound
    2. Carpet, Egg Boxes and Other Myths
    3. Decay Time
    4. Less Effective Solutions
    5. Flutter Echo
    6. Scattering
    7. Bass Traps
    8. Broadband Bass Traps
    9. Limp-mass Absorbers
    10. Free Bass Absorption
    11. Commercial Products
  9. 3. Practical Monitoring Solutions
    1. Gain Structure
    2. Speaker Phasing
    3. Suitable Monitors
    4. Speaker Positioning
    5. Uneven Bass
    6. Subwoofers
    7. Fixing the Imaging
    8. Mirror Points
    9. Rear Walls
  10. 4. The Recording Space
    1. Vocal Booths
    2. Vocal Booth Treatment
    3. Instrument Recording Space
    4. Reflections and Resonances
    5. Other Rooms and Spaces
    6. Keyboards – Real and Virtual
  11. 5. Soundproofing
    1. Where Does Sound Go?
    2. Sound Meets Wall
    3. And The Bad News...
    4. The Weakest Link
    5. Window Upgrades
    6. Doors
    7. Floors
    8. Ceilings
    9. Good Vibrations
    10. Summary
  12. 6. Cables and Connections
    1. Balanced and Unbalanced
    2. Cable Screens
    3. Unbalanced to Balanced
    4. Gain Structure
    5. Impedance
    6. On the Level
    7. Speaker Cables
    8. Cleaning
    9. Summary
  13. 7. Vocal Recording
    1. Mic Powering
    2. Directionality
    3. Position
    4. Mic Choices
    5. ‘Comfort Reverb’
    6. The Studio ‘Vibe’
    7. Artist Monitoring
    8. Processing Prior to Recording
    9. Summary
  14. 8. Acoustic Guitars
    1. Recording acoustic guitars
    2. Figure-of-Eight Microphones
    3. Finding the Optimum Mic Position
    4. Stereo Recording
    5. Improving DI’d Guitar
  15. 9. Electric Guitar and Bass
    1. Model Behaviour
    2. Miking a Guitar Amp
    3. Keep it Down, Lads!
    4. Amplifier Types
    5. Try All Your Mics
    6. Guitar Sound Styles
    7. Shaping the Sound via Mic Position
    8. Remote Amping
    9. Re-amping
    10. Hiss and Hum
    11. Bass Guitar
    12. Reality Check
  16. 10. Drums
    1. Tuning the Kit
    2. Snares
    3. Kick Drum
    4. Mic Positioning
    5. Close miking
    6. Tracking
    7. Pre-Mixing and Panning
    8. Sampled Drums
    9. Divide and Conquer
    10. Drum Replacement
    11. Using Loops
    12. Summary
  17. 11. Mixing
    1. Keep it Clean
    2. Getting Started
    3. Preliminary Housekeeping
    4. Track ‘cleaning’
    5. Initial Balance
    6. Buses and Sends
    7. Auxiliary Sends
    8. Sends and Groups
    9. Grouping the VCA Way
    10. The Art of Mixing
    11. Polishing and Shaving
    12. Vocal Levelling
    13. Panning
    14. Reverb Space
    15. Mix Perspective
    16. EQ to Separate
    17. EQ ‘Bracketing’
    18. Vocals
    19. Vocal Reverbs
    20. Automatic Tuning
    21. Bass Guitar
    22. Electric Guitars
    23. Acoustic Guitars
    24. Judging the Balance
    25. Problem Solving
    26. Noise Gate
    27. Distortion
    28. Simply the wrong sound
    29. The Mix Medium
  18. 12. Mastering
    1. Home or Pro Mastering?
    2. Evaluation Mastering
    3. The Process
    4. Mastering EQ
    5. Mastering Dynamics
    6. Mastering Compression
    7. Gently Does It
    8. Parallel Compression
    9. Editing Tasks
    10. Final Checks
    11. Internet Audio
  19. Glossary
  20. Index