At various points throughout your recording career, you’ll have chances to record certain instruments for the first time.
Maybe you’ve never recorded an actual piano, or a drum kit.
Or maybe you’ll need to record something truly esoteric like an accordion, or a hammer dulcimer, or bagpipes.
Having never done it before, where do you start? I had the pleasure of recording a violinist in my studio last week.
I’ve recorded violin before, but never in my home studio. It’s a lot of fun to mic up a new instrument, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin.
You Don’t Have To Re-Invent The Wheel
Chances are someone else has recorded the instrument you’re about to record. Before your session, take a few minutes to find out as much as you can about recording that particular instrument.
Don’t make this a 4-hour research session, though. That’s how people end up researching for years and never actually finishing anything.
Ask a friend. Better still, check with your Twitter/Facebook friends. Post something in a forum, like PSW’s REP. All you’re looking for here is some quick feedback for where to start.
I’d also recommend simply doing a Google image search. You can learn a lot from pictures of recording sessions.
For instance, I just googled “violin recording session,” and in about 30 seconds of perusing the image results I had 2 new ideas for recording violin.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great idea to try new things. There are no rules, but just because everyone uses an SM57 on a guitar amp doesn’t mean you can’t use it, too.