Gino Robair is former editor of EM

Archive for July, 2010

Gino’s Big Adventure: Building a Personal Studio, Part 6


Fig. 1

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 7

Hit the Floor Running

In his book Home Recording Studio: Build It Like the Pros (Cengage), Rod Gervais explains that no room is completely soundproof. All you can really do is minimize sound transmission by decoupling the structures, sealing any and all gaps, and being sure that your surfaces—walls, ceilings, floor, doors—resonate at little as possible (and at as low a frequency as possible).

Cheap to do? No. But it’s not outrageously expensive, either.

My room is being designed for tracking and rehearsing, rather than, say, mixing. Consequently, I’m working toward a space that is pleasing to play and record in—one that maintains a high level of isolation from the outside while keeping the sound of the drums and amps from annoying the rest of the house as well as the neighbors. So rather than spend the money on acoustical treatment once the room is built, I’m investing in the structural aspects. If you’ve looked into the cost of high-quality acoustical treatment, you know that it’s pricey, and treating a room adequately can begin to feel like a remodel once you get the bill. more

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The Next Big Thing Uses Yesterday’s Technology


Although it’s hard to resist the convenience of a digital audio workstation, nothing beats the way analog tape colors sound. It’s a format that makes guitars, bass, and drums sound huge, while smoothing out the voice like butter.

It’s common for engineers to record to multitrack tape to reap the benefits of tape compression and tone, then dump the tracks into a DAW for tweaking and mixing. Unfortunately, tape is an expensive format to use in terms of the blank media—reels can cost as much as $250 each. Considering that you get only 15 to 30 minutes of recording time per reel (depending on tape speed), if you do multiple takes of each song, it can amount to quite an investment.

The million-dollar question is, How do you get the warmth that tape offers, while maintaining the convenience and lower media costs of computer recording? more

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