Ask Joe #57 – Monitor Setup

Wanna submit a question for the podcast? Go here:

Questions covered this week:

  • How should I set up my monitors in my room?
  • How do I make acoustic guitar recordings sound full?
  • How do I get guitar/vocal recordings to stand out?
  • How do I get the boom out of voiceover recordings?

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Using Compression to Make Quiet Things LOUD

We all know compression turns things down.

And we say we know that you can use it to make quiet parts louder, but some of us (myself included at times) have a hard time actually using compression this way.

We feel like this — if a signal is passing through my compressor, that compressor needs to be squashing it at ALL times. No exceptions.

‘Tis a slippery slope…one that leads to overly-compressed, lifeless mixes.

BUT…let me remind you (and myself) of one of the many uses of compression. Check out the new video:


And if you want the full story on exactly how I set up the compressor in the video (plus a bunch of other stuff that will make you luuuv compression), go here:

When Proximity Effect is Your Friend

With all the tutorial videos, podcasts, and webinars I do, I spend a lot of time in front of a microphone, recording spoken word.

I almost always use a dynamic microphone (my trusty AKG D5).

When I first started doing tutorial videos, I would go for my best “radio voice,” and put the microphone right up next to my mouth. As we all know, our good friend the Proximity Effect exaggerates the bass frequencies of a source as you move the mic closer to it.

While my voice sounded big, it also sounded a bit boomy. (more…)

Dealing with Spoken Word (and how to make it loud enough)

If you do recording long enough, you’ll eventually be asked to record some sort of spoken word.

Maybe your great uncle Joe-Bob wants to narrate his life’s story for posterity, or perhaps you’re asked to record the sermons at your church. Or maybe you’re simply running live sound for some sort of speech.

It can be tricky.

Especially when you’re trying to make the voice nice and loud, easily heard, and at a consistent, steady volume.

Lots of speakers are very dynamic, meaning they have moments where they whisper and others where they yell.

It can be a nightmare to try to reign them in. (more…)