Academy Dashboard Forum Academy Academy Lesson Suggestions Working with less than ideal recordings

  • This topic has 3 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 5 years ago by Niki Pichler.
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    Aaron White

      Hi All,

      Hope everyone is fine and dandy?

      I have been wondering if there was any possibility that there could be a video or possibly a multi-track session where we could watch/mix a project that hasn't been recorded in a pro studio? I really enjoy watching and listening to the mixes that everyone makes but for some of us we don't have the facilities or resources to get the facilities.

      I currently work in collaboration with good friends, and while we have loads of fun we're not all the best musicians or recording engineers. If PLAP could record a song in a bedroom or something on very commercial products or perhaps play less well it would be more realistic to some of our own working environments. At least while at the bedroom level of recording/mixing/producing.

      When I was 13 I recorded at a pro studio and listening back to the records now I'm really surprised how they make a bunch of teenagers sound so much better than we actually were plus we had a terrible sound live.

      I totally get that the best thing is to improve on these things first, and we shouldn't be disguising poor recordings all the time but it's not always possible at this level with no contacts or little money. Plus it's nice for me to help local musicians record and get results.

      Just a thought but I may be looking at this from the wrong angle.



      • This topic was modified 5 years ago by Aaron White.
      Niki Pichler


        i recorded one of my bands a year ago and i just had the first basic recording gear and this was my first recording session directed by me ^^ i made lots of mistakes and learned a lot in this process. my bandmembers gave their ok that i share the raw multitracks of one song in the academy but it will have to wait until friday that i can make them and put them online for you to download.

        We mostly recorded in an old houses living room, that we treated with DIY acoustic panels. My mic locker was far away from today (some 20 euros akg small diaphragm condensers on xy-overheads etc.) and the biggest mistakes were made at the drum recordings. i didnt setup a hihat mic and the combination of xy OH and ortf ribbon roommics made the drums farely mono.

        i also improved my mixing a lot since then but have to say altough i made all the mistakes i am pretty happy with the result and even more happy with all the things i learned from it ^^

        that you can have your first thoughts on the song, here is the youtube link to the song i will share on friday:

        Cheers, Niki

        Aaron White

          Hi Niki,

          I only just noticed your reply so sorry about the delay.

          Thank you for this I will take a listen to this later when I am at my computer (not at work ;-p) and give you a reply.

          I think like many people on here I am just being a bit of a perfectionist. Some of my stuff probably would pass into most peoples ears but it takes me a long time to think that I have something ready. Some of the free lessons on here have really helped me in just the last few days so I'd say joining this community is one of the best decisions I made.

          What would you say where your biggest hurdles to overcome? Was there particular area's that you were unsure about or even didn't even take into consideration before you realised them?

          Mine I think was the use of FX like delay and reverb and really not appreciating their history and why and when each type was used. No rules to it of course but it makes a huge difference at least to my ears when I know what type I want to use and most importantly why.

          I also am getting a YouTube account ready for sharing music and ideas with other budding producers so would like to share my stuff then also.



          Niki Pichler


            sorry for the long delay but I had to work a lot lately.

            I posted the said multitracks for everyone to use with a description here:

            To your questions:

            The first big hurdle is to realise that you aren't working with top professionals most of the time! You have to stay positive and encourage them while also giving tips to improve to after all getting the best performance possible. That doesn't mean it is perfect, so learning the basics (and later advanced stuff) of how to fix timings and for a singer also fix the pitch to get a good more professional sounding raw record is key! I don't think most of the videos out there for correction are good. They always seems like giving you a tool for easy correction just pulling it to the grid. BUT this is wishful thinking that music will sound better on a grid. You need to practice where to put transients that the performance sounds human, with good timing and with as less artefacts as possible. This is a lifetime of work to master! The same for pitch correction. There is no skill ceiling, you can always improve on them!

            After that you can start working on your mixing effects. For me I try to make the mix sound as natural as could be and I use so much unnatural tricks to achieve a good natural sound. This is pure experience and knowledge. (One example for knowledge is a trick Warren uses all of the time (me too xD): having the close-recording on one side and the verb of it on the other side to give it a more 3D sounding feel (if a guitar is near you on the right side the first verb reflexion you will hear comes from the left side so its an unnatural imitation of a natural phenomenon).

            And the last of the "first" hurdles to overcome is: knowledge and experience is key, gear is not! for sure a new preamp or a new plugin is nice to have but first you should be good with the things you have before you start getting to know new stuff! I wasted so much time and money on getting new plugins and stuff to overcome my insecurity and incompetence I could have invested in so much more stuff that really would have helped like basics!

            I stop here as I could write for hours about this so I will stop here ^^

            If you have more questions just ask and have a good time producing, recording and mixing!

            cheers, Niki

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