Your audio journey – Part 6 – Your First Recording

As the audio journey continues finally we reach something practical! So far I’ve covered theory including recording space, microphones, interfaces and mixers and optional processors so by now you should have what you need to get you started.

One thing I’ve not discussed is headphones. You’ll need a pair of headphones and by that I mean studio headphones rather than the ear buds that come with an iPhone. There are many choices that you can make here, some will come down to personal comfort preference but the important thing is that your headphones are up to the job.

My headphones of choice are Beyerdynamic DT100 headphones. This particular model has been around for every, they are sturdy but comfortable and produce a good quality sound.

For DJing work, and personal audio listening I use Beats by Dre but I wouldn’t use these for professional voice work as they “colour” the audio too much. By that I mean they add their own equalising to the audio to produce what the manufacturers deem to be the best listening experience but from an audio production point of view you want to know the audio your listening to isn’t coloured in any way and is true so you can mix and master your audio properly.

When selecting your headphones pay careful attention to the ohm rating. This will affect how loud your headphones will go and by that I don’t mean deafeningly loud but whether or not your interface of mixer will be able to drive them to produce a loud enough sound for you to work from.

Let’s get on to connecting your equipment.

If you have a microphone processor then you’ll want to connect your microphone to this and connect the processor to the interface or mixer. Important to note that you’ll have to power your mic, if it’s a condenser mic, via your processor.

If you don’t have a processor and will be doing your manipulation in post processing then connect your mic directly to your mixer or interface. In this instance the mixer or interface will need to provide 48v phantom power if needed.

Connect your mixer or interface via USB to your computer and then configure your digital audio workstation to recognise and use your new equipment. In Adobe Audition this is first done under the edit, preferences, audio hardware menu.

I would recommend using ASIO instead of MME if you’re using a PC. It’s a better sound mechanism and has far less latency than using the onboard MME sound drivers than run through Windows sound engine. Set both the input and output to be your audio interface or mixer and plug in your headphones.

Once that’s done move to the move to the audio channel mapping sub-tab and as a word of warning if you’re using a dual input interface the chances are that Audition will default to input 1 on the left channel and input 2 on the right channel. This will not work out well as you’ll end up recording just the left channel if your mic is connected to input 1. Configure the single input you’ve connected your microphone to to be both left and right

Now you’re configured and ready to go ….

Good luck!

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