8 Powerful Home Studio Lessons

I’ve been recording in my home studio for years.

I’ve recorded in a hallway at my parent’s house, in a dorm room at college, in a tiny (and really messy) bedroom I shared with a roommate, in church sanctuaries, in lots of apartments, in a log house, and finally in 3 different rooms in my current house.

The one common theme? NONE of those places were designed to be studios.

That’s the beauty and the frustration of working in home studios. All those imperfections make for a challenging (but immensely rewarding) environment for making music.

Over the years I’ve learned countless valuable lessons, but today I want to share with you eight of the most POWERFUL lessons I’ve learned. These are things that have made a dramatic impact on the quality of my recordings.

Here we go… (more…)

Welcome to Mistake-ville

What’s the deal with everybody being so anti-mistakes?

We want everything to be perfect, or at least we want people to see us as “mistake-free” people who have their act together.

You know what I call those people? Booooooring.

A friend of mine is a well-known producer here in Nashville. He’s worked with lots of major artists and has some serious clout. But you know what I like about him? He makes mistakes, AND he doesn’t mind telling you about them.

Just the other day he told me about a concert he was asked to play bass for. The band called him the day before, and he agreed to play. (more…)

The “Steamboat Willie” of Audio Editing

I occasionally get some flack from people when I talk about audio editing.

First, there’s a group of people who believe that editing is cheating. They say that using audio editing tools to change the performance in ANY way makes it less musical, less real, less awesome.

Then there’s the other group of people who say I’m too “old school” in the way I do editing. My approach is super-simple, and it just requires basic editing tools. (Heck, I don’t even currently own any tuning software.) I just use the features in my DAW to get the job done.

But I personally think editing is an awesome tool, just like EQ and compression. It helps me ENHANCE the recordings, to polish them and make them ready to be mixed.

One of my readers left this comment on the site a while back: (more…)

Beware the Killer Editing Robots

Ever heard of too much of a good thing?

Yeah, if you get too crazy with your editing tools, you can completely suck the life out of your recordings.

And you know what happens when you suck the life out of something, right?

It turns into a robot…a killer robot.

To avoid lifeless, robotic-sounding tracks, check out the latest in podcasting greatness from Graham Cochrane and myself. 🙂

In today’s episode of the Simply Recording Podcast, we pose the question: How far is too far when it comes to editing?

Join the discussion here:

SimplyRecordingPodcast.com/editing

Joe Gilder

P.S. Did you know I’ve got an in-depth tutorial video all about editing?

Yup, I sure do. AND…it comes with practice tracks. Real life, non-robot practice tracks. Cool, huh?

‘Tis all right here:

www.UnderstandingEditing.com

Grumpy Old Fart

We’ve all met at least one.

The “grumpy ol’ fart” in the neighborhood.

You know the one. He says things like:

“Back in my day, when we would walk 15 miles uphill in the snow…”

or

“That’s the way we’ve always done it.”

He hates change. He doesn’t see any reason to try new things. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” he grunts.

Well you might think that I (being the young whipper-snapper that I am) would be against this old dude’s way of thinking.

But alas…I’m a bit of an old fart myself.

(At least about some things.)

Take editing, for example. Simple functions such as cut, copy, paste, nudge, fade, etc. have existed since the dawn of digital audio.

Fast forward a few decades, and things have advanced quite a bit, with newer and newer technologies being developed every year. We can now do so much more than we could before. (Tuning, pitch-shifting, time-stretching, quantizing, etc.)

But you know what?

I still like the “old fart” way of editing. Give me a DAW with basic editing functionality, and I’ll be well on my way to a nice, polished-sounding recording in no time.

Why? Because I stick to the basics. I keep it simple. I don’t use fancy software.

And it works for me.

It’ll work for you, too. (If you know how to do it.)

To learn the good old-fashioned editing skills (that never go out of style, no matter how many new features the latest software upgrades promise), skee-daddle on over to:

www.UnderstandingEditing.com

Joe Gilder

Going Click-Less

Krist asks:

How do you work with a band or artist that can’t play to a click track? How do you edit if it’s not “on the grid”?

You probably don’t run into that too much at your level, but most of us are working with folks of much less skill.

It’s true. I do get to work with some killer musicians. But that ain’t always the case.

Sometimes people can’t play to a click (i.e. metronome), and the best thing for the song is to kill the click and just let ’em play.

Come editing time, though, you’re in a pickle. (more…)

Why I Don’t Use Elastic Audio or Beat Detective

Yesterday I spent the day shooting videos on drum and bass editing for my Production Club members.

With all the advances in editing technology, especially in the last 5 years, you’d probably assume I’m all about using time-stretching algorithms and beat detective to help me “quantize” my audio tracks, right?

Wrong.

Call me old-fashioned, but I’m all about SIMPLICITY when it comes to editing. (Come to think of it, I like simplicity with most things.)

That’s why I choose to manually chop up my tracks and edit them “by hand.” It’s something that’s simple, clean, and applies to all recording software.

I don’t care if you’re using Garageband or Audacity or Logic or Studio One — the basics of editing and pocketing are the same. Whenever I try to use these fancier editing tools, I end up feeling like I’m losing control of the track.

Rather than intentionally pocketing the downbeat of the first bar of the chorus, I’m trying to tell a piece of software to do that for me, all in the name of “efficiency” or the super catchy catchphrase “workflow.”

Inevitably the automagical software will try to “fix” things that don’t need fixing. Or it will stretch the audio and leave noticeable, audible artifacts.

I don’t want to spend hours getting the recordings to sound amazing, only to allow some time-stretching algorithm to come along and degrade the sound.

The way I edit doesn’t allow for any degradation in sound. It’s smooth. It’s seamless, and you can do it on any DAW.

If you want to see my exact process for editing everything from drums and bass to acoustic and electric guitars or vocals, you need to check out Understanding Editing.

You’ll learn my method and then practice on the practice tracks I provide. You’ll be a better editor by the end of the weekend.

Here’s the link: www.understandingediting.com

Have a great weekend, and happy editing!