Uh-oh… You’r recording and all of a sudden there’s an audio problem.
When you are right in the heat of recording – whether in the friendly confines of the studio or on-location, some critical piece of gear is bound to fail at the most inopportune moment.
A mic may stop working, the mixer may hiccup, the recorder may have issues, et al.
It’s oh-so-easy to get flustered when several people are staring you down as you frantically try to hunt down the problem(s) and try to fix it fast.
But, before you go any further, take this short quiz:
It’s almost always the ______________________.
The answer to that question 99 times out of 100 is:
It’s almost always the cheap thing.
Of course it’s possible for major parts of your rig to be at fault. After all, mics can and will fail, mixers can go haywire, and the recorder can stop … er … recording.
However, often it’s a simple fix that gets an operation up and running again.
For example, more often than not the cause of an inability to pass signal is something seeming simple like a bad XLR cable, a dead battery, an errant switch, or simply operator error.
So, step back and work through the cheap things first (not just those shoddy cables you just purchased, though they could well be at issue) to see if that’s where your problems lie.
Swap out cables, replace the batteries, check all the switches, and make sure you’re not overlooking something stupid that you did or are doing wrong.
If you can always remember that little adage, you’ll be back working with your audio quickly (and usually less expensively).
Have some good, simple advice to share? Let us know in the comments below!
Jeffrey P. Fisher provides audio, video, music, writing, consulting, training, and media production and post-production services for individuals, corporate, and commercial clients through his own company, Fisher Creative Group. He also writes extensively about music, sound, and video for print and the Web and has authored numerous books and training DVD’s.