Professional Sound in Unprofessional Environment.
The biggest question in my beginnings was: “How to achieve professional sound in unprofessional environment.”
Some people said to me in my beginnings: You need this, you need that, you need this kind of microphone, that kind of speakers, but all I’ve need was encouragement and spark of truth that everything that matters for commercial sound is knowing how to use your unprofessional environment, how to use what you have in your hands as tool, instead of dreaming in vain and waiting for the best tools. Remember …
“Gear doesn’t buy quality, but quality buy’s gear”
Knowing your environment is foundation for good ending product. You can have good monitor speakers, but good monitor in bad room is bad monitor speaker. Question is not did you have perfect sound room and environment (because in today’s world no one does), but did you know your room, your sound environment.
Our ears are tunable, we can tune our sound perception. So instead of pursuing perfect room, you should pursue perfect ear tuning. You can tune your ears by listening to a quality music, and try to build perception how did you hear base on your favorite sounding song, play different songs from your favorite sounding production style, listen all of them in same volume that you will work on.
The Volume should be quiet, so quiet to listen the sound of keyboard typing (say goodbye to listening to loud music) don’t forget, our EARS are EXPENDABLES. But more on loudness in some of the next topics.
When your ears are tuned, when you know how does professional music sounds on your speakers, on your environment, YOU ARE READY FOR MIXING AND MASTERING.
The Vocals of Michael Jacksons album Thriller are recorded with Shure SM7, a 300$ microphone.
In one of my workshops for audio recording and mixing, I’ve mixed with behringer PA Sounding System in Church environment. Imagine the sound in church. It was great experience for me and my audience. I found my sweet spot, and I start listening to a professional sounding song in similar genre like the song that I have worked on. I listen for some time, my ears ware tuned, I have build up my perception of how this environment and gear reproduce the sound, and then start with mixing and mastering…. In the end the result was awesome, my final product was 90% from I would have done in my studio. I menage to produce professional sound in unprofessional environment.
Know better your environment and gear, tune your ears and start working. Your ears and perception are your ultimate resource in the beginning. Good usage of what you have will buy you better tomorrow.