So to me, if you want to learn recording, this is the most critical part of recording awesome tunes…MIC Placement! Mic placement is everything. It is THE most critical part of recording music in my opinion. The only other thing that is this important is gain staging, which I will cover later.
From what I have found , most home recording enthusiasts will only have to worry about vocals. Mic placement still comes into play when you are doing vocal tracks, voice overs, etc. When recording vocals, its not really called mic placement, and is more often referred to as proximity effect. Proximity effect is basically how the mic reacts to how close or far away the vocalist is from the microphone. The closer you are to the mic, the more bass or low end you will hear in the recorded track. The opposite is true when you are far away from the mic. To get that vocal sound you are used to hearing on your favorite recordings, you will need to experiment with proximity. In most modern music, the vocals are very prominent, and up front in the mix. Yes, compression can be a key component, but driving the mic with the frequencies that you want in the final mix is key.
When recording strings or micing a cab, the mic placement is just as key as the singers proximity. The difference here is that you have a speaker that is driving the mic. The cone of the speaker is going to drive the higher end frequencies, treble, and as you move out towards the edge of the speaker, you will capture the lower end, bass. If you think of a drum as being a speaker, the same philosophy applies as well.
My suggestion is to play around with proximity and placement as much as you can. All mics react differently to proximity. If you have a couple channels of inputs, throw one mic close to the source and one far away from the source. Its best to choose mics that are alike…but not necessary. Once again there is no right or wrong, as long as your “vision” of the sound is replicated on the recorded track.
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