The recording environment – the room – can be thought of as an integral part of the sound, as much as instruments and mics. There’s a reason that recording studios and concert halls are built a certain way. Soundproofing is part of the equation: you don’t want to hear the neighbors and they probably don’t want to hear you either. The other part is acoustics… Making instruments and voices sound better in the room.
Recording studios are specially constructed to sound musical while minimizing undesirable sounds. Bedrooms and basements are not. Low ceilings and plaster wall reflect the sound back onto itself, causing some frequencies to disappear (combing) and others to magnify out of control (standing waves). Some of these problems can be mitigated with room treatments or commercially available products but if you’re starting with an imperfect space, you’re only going to be relieving symptoms, not curing the disease. Worse: without a neutral control room and professional monitoring, you may not hear problems before it’s too late.
Drums are especially hard to record well in home and project studios. The complex interaction of frequencies, and time delays inherent with multiple microphones (phasing) can be a challenge to record in a professional studio. In a smaller room, like basement or practice space, it can be nearly impossible; harder still if you are attempting to record amplified instruments, vocals, etc. at the same time.
The digital revolution has put affordable recording technology within the grasp of almost any band or artist. Hard drives are cheaper than ever and standard audio file formats make it easy to work seamlessly on the same project in different locations and different software programs.
At Ultrasuede Studio, we work with many bands and artists that use home and project studios. The Hiders, Seedy Seeds, The Guitars, The Kentucky Struts, Kry Kids, Low Hanging Wires, High Heels, Fairmount Girls, Culture Queer, The Sundresses, Fists of Love, Tonefarmer and You, You’re Awesome have all used Ultrasuede Studio to augment and enhance their self-produced projects.
Consider the recording process for a group that’s used to rehearsing and performing together. You know the songs and you’re performing them live with everyone playing their parts at the same time. Recording the parts everyone already knows – the basic tracks – can usually be completed in a few hours or a day. For the price of a cheap piece of audio gear with no lasting value, you can record your basic tracks – the foundation upon which you will build your record – in a professional studio with top quality mics and gear.
You record live, the way you practice and perform, while an experienced professional recording engineer sweats the details of setting up, placing multiple mics, take management, headphone mixes and everything else. When you’re finished, you leave with a hard drive full of great-sounding tracks, in virtually any file format you choose, ready for a seamless transition to your system where you can work to perfect vocals, solos and new parts on your own time.
Ultrasuede’s control room was designed with the same attention to acoustical quality as our live room. It’s the perfect place to perfect your mixes before mastering, especially if your mix room suffers from any of the issues mentioned earlier. Low frequencies can be particularly hard to manage outside of a professionally-designed mix room. If your mixes tend to sound very different from one playback system to another, that can be an indication that there is a issue with your monitoring – the room and/or speakers are a system.
We built our audio system to easily accept connections from your laptop, hard drive or desktop computer. Some people prefer to bring their computer, connect it to our system and make changes in real time. Others prefer to bring files on a drive and open them on our computer. Logic X and ProTools 12 are already installed. Still others will bring a CD, listen, take notes and make changes on their own. Whatever your preference, whatever your budget, there is a way Ultrasuede Studio can help you make your music sound better.
Want more info? Give us a call at 513-394-6427 or use the contact form below.