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The 5 Best Methods for Recording on Location

This is a guest post by Ashley Coxx. If you would like to submit a guest post, check out the guidelines here.

While musicians have access to state-of-the-art recording studios, many travel to record their tunes on location. Challenging perhaps, for producers to get the sound quality they need, the practice of recording on location is a rewarding way to make music.

Moreover, there are many possibilities for recording music with top-notch production and great sounds that rival the studio setting. The following five methods are among the best ways to record in a non-studio setting.

1. Choose Location with Care

Many artists choose to record at a particular location due to its optimal acoustics.

Some rooms are known for their great drum sound while some locations may enhance vocals. If you’re recording indoors, it’s essential to prevent leakage from heating or cooling elements from through to your microphones and muddying the clarity of your recordings.

While a lot of tweaking can be accomplished by editing with modern recording programs, it’s somehow always better when you get that organically pure sound. Depending on whether you’re recording a single musician or an orchestra, consider your location with care; discover its pros and cons before you fly the band in so you’re ready to tackle any issues before they can detract from your recording process.

2. Field Recording

If you are in a situation where the natural sounds of your setting won’t interfere and may even complement your live recording, you can opt for field recording.

Ocean waves might have more ambiance than the local airport, but there are many natural settings that can enhance the acoustics of a performance. Of course, if you are recording a band, it is still best to lay down vocal tracks separately. The various nuances of a vocal performance can easily be lost in a live recording situation even with the best of microphones.

Of course, there’s no harm in trying, but whenever possible, it’s usually recommended to record vocals in isolation from other instruments to avoid muddied lyrics and so forth. Zoom Handheld Recorders are now popularly used for many types of field recordings.

3. Microphones—Best You Can Buy

There’s always a lot of hype about various recording programs—the latest and greatest upgrades Pro Tools has to offer!

However, no matter what program you choose, you can avoid a lot of editing headaches simply by recording with the best microphones for your recording situation. Stereo microphones and a minimum of leakage can allow you to capture a great recording outside of the studio.

It’ll take some time to set up the microphones to capture each instrument as perfectly as possible, but tweaking your microphone setup is one key method of getting the most out of a recorded performance.

4. Mobile Studio

At one time, you had to be as successful as the Rolling Stones to afford a portable studio.

Today, there are many recorders you can easily move from place to place and remain well in budget. Today’s technology will allow you to record with a laptop given the right software. Whether you are going with a minimum of gear or a bus-full of recording equipment, you can now bring the studio to just about any setting you want to record at.

5. Self-Recording Keyboards

Keyboards like the Korg MS-1 that specialize in sampling can also record music. You won’t capture a lengthy performance the way you would with a laptop, but using an instrument—typically keyboards—that can record themselves along with other sounds is another interesting method to use when on location. Its built-in microphone is also handy and its editing capabilities and software make this particular keyboard ideal for recording situations.

Recording On Location

Recording outside of the studio setting is more popular than ever. Given the right equipment for your plans, you can capture a performance anywhere.

You can also take your tracks back to a studio to tweak them or dump them into your editing program to make the changes you need. Research your gear and try to hire the best recording engineer for the job and no one is ever likely to know you recorded anywhere but in a professional recording studio.

Author Bio:

Guest post contributed by Ashley Coxx for – Ashley is a freelance music writer. 

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About me

About Björgvin Benediktsson

I’m Björgvin Benediktsson. I’m a musician, audio engineer and best-selling author. I help musicians and producers make a greater impact with their music by teaching them how to produce and engineer themselves. I’ve taught thousands of up and coming home studio producers such as yourself how to make an impact with their music through Audio Issues since 2011.

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