Home Sweet Home Studio

Moving recently has been very exciting for me, and not just because I’m moving in with my girlfriend. In our new house we have a spare room, which means I get a home studio! I think this may have only been agreed too so my girlfriend no longer has to listen to me mix, but all the same, I’m very happy. 

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Luckily I have a reasonable amount of gear already to outfit my new studio room, a pair of Yamaha HS5’s, a Focusrite Saffire Pro 40, an SM58, some drum machines, guitars, a bass, amps, keys etc. and I’ve just bought an AT2020. 

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The AT4040 is a great mic I’ve used often at LIPA. Its great on acoustic guitar and works amazingly on some vocals. The 2020 is it’s cheaper, cardioid little brother. I got a chance to try it out last week when my friend Will came over. We recorded some acoustic covers of a couple of Black Metal songs. Only using my new AT2020 on my pretty crappy Fender acoustic was an interesting trial. The great thing about a limitation like that is it forces you to take time to get the result you want, rather than just throwing a ton of microphones in front of an instrument. Carefully positioning the mic for each section of the songs to get the result I wanted, and not settling until It sounded perfect. 

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I’m a fan of the AT2020 already and it genuinely seems like the best microphone in it’s price range. It has great rejection from the back, lovely sounding mids and highs and is incredibly versatile. If you’re looking for a budget condenser mic I would highly recommend it. It has a somewhat lower output than I would like however, but a low self noise, so in the age of digital recording this isn’t really a problem. 

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I need to spend some time treating my new room and getting used to it, but I’m pretty happy with how it sounds already, and it’s inspiring me to mix. I’ve got tons of material to mix, so I’ll have something to show you all pretty soon!

Thanks to Charlotte Tangen for the photos and thanks for reading,

Liam.

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Adventure Awaits

Lately I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my next step in life. I’m more than half way through university, and I soon need to work out what the hell I’m going to do when I finish. What’s for sure is that recording is my one true love (Minus my girlfriend, don’t hit me Charlotte).

So a studio seems the way to go, working in one or owning one. Both of these prospects are completely terrifying. In the UK, London is the go to place if you want to work in a commercial studio. But with moving to London comes London prices and living on nothing working as an assistant and I like being able to eat. But opening a studio requires lots of upfront cash and a hell of a lot of work. Even then you never know if people will come record and you may waste a lot of money for nothing. There’s no clear answer, just to try to do the math and see which seems feasible.

There’s definite pluses to each, there’s so much to learn from the professionals but equally lots to learn from trying to figure it out on your own. Dream scenario, I’d get a job at a big studio work my way up and eventually open my own studio. But we’ll see… Either way I want an adventure and I won’t settle for any less. Anyone who knows me probably knows I’m pretty stubborn and I’m not prepared to be bored at any rate.

Basically, I’m having an identity crisis. So as soon as I can I’m going to bury myself in mixing until everything makes sense. Mixing makes everything better. I think this is probably something everyone goes though, so If my fellow brothers (and sisters) in audio are feeling the same I hope this may comfort you. To the future!

Thanks for reading,

Liam.