This is the first post in our new “Question of the Week” series. Each Wednesday our Audio Solutions team will address a question they frequently receive and provide detailed steps to help you get the most out of your Audio-Technica gear. This week they discuss a problem that can result from improper turntable setup.
In Part 1, we told you how to install the headshell and counterweight, and how to balance the tone arm. Now it’s time to set the stylus tracking force. Setting the force properly will keep the stylus from skipping out of the record groove at especially dynamic musical passages (too little force) and prevent excessive wear to stylus and records (too much force).
The AT-LP120-USB Turntable is a professional direct-drive turntable with both analog and USB connection capability, so you can use it with all standard audio equipment or plug it directly into your computer. But make no mistake, this isn’t just a tool to transfer records to MP3s – it’s loaded with all the tools you’d expect from a professional turntable, including adjustable tone arm and pitch control, ½-inch Dual Magnet™ cartridge, three speeds (33/45/78), DJ functionality and more.
In all seriousness, Audio-Technica wants to see where you’re going this summer (and what you’re hearing when you get there). It’s a simple process: just print out a copy of #ATMicMan, take him with you and snap a photo of him at your destination.
Robert Bigelow’s Tips on Mid-Side Mic Recording
While hardly a new technique, many engineers shun mid-side because they don’t know how to properly execute this technique. Luckily for us, veteran sound mixer/editor Robert Bigelow does, and he was on hand to show attendees how it’s done.
Mid-side microphone recording is used primarily for capturing ambient sounds and live music. It permits a wide array of stereo field sizes, much wider than with a single stereo microphone. Mid-side lets the engineer make the stereo field as wide or as narrow as desired. Here’s how it works.
Lavalier microphones are smaller electret or dynamic mics used for public speaking, television, theater and film applications.
Fred Ginsburg is a veteran sound mixer and educator known for his work on television and film. From the Audio-Technica booth at NAB 2014, Ginsburg delivered an informative lecture on the best practices for using lavalier mics. Here is a summary of what we learned.
The Backup Plan
This is the fourth installment in guest blogger Ryan Hewitt’s series on recording. Today he discusses the value of backup plans. If you missed his last post on staying to get the job done, you can read it here.
Have you ever meticulously planned out your recording setup only to use absolutely none of the equipment you thought you’d want to use? Yeah, me too.
Using a single mic to record a group of vocalists allows the singers to control their blend and balance more naturally than if they were recorded individually. The result can be a richer, more organic sound.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a few tips that will help you record a small vocal group as a single unit.
1. Figure 8 Pickup Pattern with Two Vocalists
Using an AT4047MP multi-pattern condenser microphone set to figure 8 will allow you to record two singers with one mic. Place a singer on each side of the mic. The front and rear half of the mic act as if there were two cardioid elements in one housing back-to-back. The balance of the vocalists can be controlled by adjusting their relative distance from the mic.
The human voice is the most complex, most dynamic instrument you will ever record. Lead vocals are the centerpiece of most tracks, though they may be the most difficult to nail in the recording process.
Below, you’ll find everything you need to know to capture vocals during the recording process.
1. Reduce Ambience and Plosives
Before you can capture the ideal vocal sound, you have to make sure that you don’t capture excessive ambience and plosives.
a. Plosives are bursts of air that can be created when singing or speaking consonants, especially p’s and b’s. Place a pop filter between the singer and mic to prevent the bursts of air from distorting the sound.