Wednesday, January 4, 2012

How do I record things?

You're saying to yourself "How do I record stuff using the Tardis voiceover booth in The Forbidden Palace?"*

Well, how do I?
You start inside the booth. There are two blue cables which come in through the top port. They're each labeled: "Mic 1" and "Mic 2". Just plug a microphone into one of those two cables.
The cables in the booth are labeled. They come in from up top.
OK, so I've plugged in a microphone. Now what do I do?
The signal from those mics appears at our patchbay.
What does that look like?
It looks like this:
Closeup of the patchbay.
See where it says "Mic 1" and "Mic 2"?
That's where you plug an XLR into and record straight to the Sound Devices 702 or what-have-you.
What mics do we have?
We have different microphones. Do make sure you ask me about them as they might not all be around.
Where are they?
In a case marked "Input Transducers" on top of the booth.
You have to be kidding me.
I wasn't going to label the case "Microphones".
Oh. I see your point.
Left to right: SM 57, Black Oktava MC-012a, Silver Oktava MC-012a, Black Oktava MC-012, diagonally on top: AKG 460 (with CK-61 capsule.)
Of all our microphones, only the Shure SM 57 does not need phantom power.**
All the other mics do need phantom?
Yes. That's frequently just called "+48V".
What mics are used for what?
The SM 57 is very hearty. It's mostly used for big violent things like guitar amps and snare drums.
The Oktavas are what we use for recording dialog in the field.
The AKG 460's are nice for music-related stuff. I record the Russian Chamber Chorus of New York (sometimes) with them.
Which mics would I use for ADR?
Well, I've been using the Oktava's for ADR. I put it up high and pointing down at the actor. Because that's how we would have recorded on set.
How about voiceovers?
Try the Rode NT-1's. They'll be the best - sounding mic for most voices. Remember to use a pop/spit filter. And never blow into any microphone.
Rode NT-1 mics.

Really? Don't blow into a microphone? But I see people do that all the time. 
It destroys them. Don't do it. The more expensive the microphone, the faster it'll destroy the mic.
What's the deal with the other mic in the booth?
That's an AKG C12A. 
It's funny 'cause it looks like a little bitty AKG 414.
Don't say that. You'll hurt its feelings.
What's it for?
Mostly my own vocals. I got it because it doesn't have the hyped high-end of an AKG C12.
And it's eight thousand dollars cheaper.
And that.
What if I want to use it?
You don't want to use that microphone.
That isn't the microphone I'm looking for.

*I call our new studio "The Forbidden Palace". You know, because I can.
**The C12A does not need phantom either, but that's because it has an external tube power supply.

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