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Mitt navn er Robin Bjerke. Jeg er en freelance Studiotekniker og studioprodusent ve Urban Sound Studios i Oslo ( Her skriver jeg ned mine tanker om det å jobbe i et studio, forskjellige mikrofonteknikker og hva jeg mener om dem. Først og fremst vil jeg atdette skal bli et sted man kan ta nytte av om man er glad i lydteknikk og musikkproduksjon. Ingenting er fastsatt, det finns ingen regler. Som Joe Meek sa: If it sounds right, it is right.

My name is Robin Bjerke. I am a freelance studioproducer and engineer based at Urban Sound Studios i Oslo, Norway ( I'll be writing down my thoughts about working in a commercial studio, different studio techniques and other useful tips. Most importantly, I want this to be a resource to you people out there that love sound technology and music production. Nothing is set in stone, there are noe rules. In the words of Joe Meek: If it sounds right, it is right.

torsdag 22. april 2010

This is a preliminary version of a song I am working on for my up and coming part time solo project. It would be wonderful to hear what you guys think :)

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tirsdag 20. april 2010

Brainwave: Overheads

Hi all, just a short post on some thoughts pertaining drum overheads.

I had the distinct pleasure of recording one of Norways best session drummers (in my oppinion) this weekend and we talked a bit about recoring techniques for drums.

One thing I touched upon, which is really useful and effective when recording in a great recording space is getting the overall sound from the overheads. Alot of people will EQ out all the low and mid from the overheads so that you just get the cymbals, and while this can be very effective and sometimes necessary, I feel it can be detrimental to the feel of the recording.

At the studio where I do most of my engineering, Urban Sound Studios in Oslo we have a fantastic 80sqm live room. The first thing I do when doing the sound check for drums is solo the overheads, and I know I have positioned them right when the whole kit sounds balanced, both in the stereo image and the sound between the different drums. Ideally you should be able to get a good, balanced sound from just the overheads and perhaps a kick drum microphone.

Play around with different stereo techniques as well, as each one has their own distinct stereo character.

Recording the acoustic guitar

Good day to you all!

First off I would like to apologise for not posting anything for so long! I have been busy with work and sound and all that Jazz. On a lighter, more optimistic note, I received a question to the youtube vid I released a while back about a microphone for acoustic guitar and vocals being performed simultaneously

He was wondering about recording and getting a good acoustic guitar sound. So I thought I would oblige and write this short piece.

Even though I might be stating the obvious I feel it is important to point out that everything starts at the source. Make sure you have a quality guitar, with new and played in strings and a good guitarist. There is no shame in borrowing a guitar if it will better the result of the recording.

When recording acoustic sources like a guitar the choice of microphone is quite important. The sound of an acoustic guitar is very rich and complex and each guitar has their own unique configuration of harmonics that make the sound. You should choose a microphone that accentuates the range of frequencies you wish to focus on in the recording. Most people will use a Condenser microphone due to their transient and high frequency response, but this is not necessarily a must. Dynamic microphones can produce fantastic results, and if you are as fortunate as to own or have access to a good quality ribbon microphone you can't go wrong.

The most visable and tangible part of getting a good quality recording is the microphone placement itself. Alot of people will tell you that "this is where it sounds best" etc. etc. Well... I don't want to tell you where to place your microphone because there is no real "sweet spot" that is universally shared. Everything comes into play, from the strings used, the style of playing, calibre of pick, quality and material of the guitar and not to mention the room that you are recording on.

The best piece of advice I can give in this aspect is to tell the guitarist to play, or have someone help you out if you are playing, and take a listen. Literally stick a finger in one of your ears and move your other ear around until you find roughly the sound you are looking for. You will notice how the guitars tonality changes according to where you are and how far away you are from the guitar. A common rule of thumb is that the further up the neck you go the more crispy and attacky the sound will become. Closerto the soundhole produces warmer and eventually muddy and boomy qualities. The sounding board (On the other side of the sound hole from the neck) produces some very nice, rounded tones that can be very good for a mellow sound.

Experiment also with varying the distance to the guitar ad you will notice that the sound develops as the sound from different parts of the guitar meld and create their own feel. Setting up a microphone at a distance however does put some very stringent requirements to the room, and may therefore not be a viable option for a home studio.

Another thing to try out is over the shoulder, producing results very close to what the player hears. From the ground up pointing at the sounding board. Setting up a microphone behind the guitar. The possibilities are literally endless, and nohing is right unless it sounds right. The most important thing is to play around and find the sound you want.

Now that you've listened to the guitar and set up a microphone in various places but still not found the exact sound you're looking for, you might want to try finding another microphone and combining the best of many worlds.

Allow me to make a suggestion based on my experience, though it may not apply to you it serves as an example of the above.

I usually go for a large membrane condenser at around the 13th fret of the neck. About a foot or two out from the guitar and pointing straight down. I then set up another microphone, usually a small diaphragm condenser (A cigar mic) pointing towards the soudning board while being angled a tad toward the center of the guitar. You want the microphone to point towards the largest area of the soudning board at an angle of oh, say 30 degrees to the plane. When panned a little here and there in the mix this setup provides some very nice results, and gives a slight quasi stereo effect as well.

I hope this article has been helpful :) Let me know if you have any questions!

And remember, if it sounds right, it is right.