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In The Studio: How To Record Violin (Or Any New Instrument)

Have an upcoming session but recording an instrument for the very first time? This tutorial has got you covered.

By Joe Gilder September 18, 2012

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This article is provided by Home Studio Corner.

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.

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About Joe

Joe Gilder
Joe Gilder

Sound Engineer
Joe Gilder is a Nashville based engineer, musician, and producer who also provides training and advice at the Home Studio Corner.


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