Kinda late to the party but I wanted to respond to some of these issues.
gr4nf wrote:Things I learned recording my last album:
1. Basses (or maybe it's bass players) sometimes play one note in a song louder than all the others (usually an open string). This is really easy to fix with a really sharp notch in the EQ at the note and the octave above it.
Yes or you can use a compressor and it won't affect the overtones of other notes like extreme EQ notching will do. That's what compressors are for.
3. Before you mix in your DAW, cut every track by at least -2 dB. I don't know why this isn't the default.
You should not be pushing the meters when you track. You should leave plenty of headroom, unless you're still recording at 16bit, but who is doing that? 24bit has a huge dynamic range. Use it. Individual tracks should be hitting at around -12dbfs on average. There is NO reason to try to get as close to digital zero as possible with 24bit. So if you track you sources correctly, there is also no reason to lower each track by 2db.
There was an eye-opening thread on the Tape-Op forum about modern digital recordings and correct gain staging. It's long, but well worth the read. You can read it here.
4. Miking every drum is just one of many sounds you might want out of your set. Depending on what your going for, 5,000 dollars of drum-specific mikes might sounds less desirable than just two overheads and a kick, or even one close dynamic and one far condensor.
Yes and it is highly dependent on the room. Most people spend a lot of money and time on their gear but none on room acoustics. Treating your recording space will affect the sound of your recordings more than any new piece of gear. And it's not expensive nor hard to do.
6. Reverb is not that cool. If you notice it immediately, you're probably doing it wrong (purposefully spacey effects excepted).
That's strictly a taste issue. I'd say distortion isn't that cool and is one of the most over-used effects of the last 50 years, but hey... that's just my opinion.
7. If you don't like the sounds you're getting from a mic, try a different one, even if it's not the one that's "supposed" to be best for that particular application.
Also, move the damn mic. Instruments can change radically by simply moving the mic a few centimeters.
8. Compression, even in conservative amounts, can destroy an acoustic guitar or piano, or at least drastically alter it in an arguably objectionable manner.
If you're using shitty compressors, yes. The good ones don't do that when used "conservatively". But even so, that can be a desirable effect.