Five Easy Recording Tips for Brass

Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash

Do you have a recording assignment or project coming up soon, but you’re not sure just how to begin? Have you tried recording yourself in the past, but haven’t been thrilled with the results? Whatever your aim is, these five easy tips will get you going in the right direction.

  1. Use an external microphone. The built-in microphone in your phone or computer is not going to give you the best results. Don’t worry–you don’t have to break the bank to get something high quality! The Zoom H1n for $119 is an excellent option. 
  2. Place the microphone 6-8 feet in front of you and 6-8 feet high. This is a great position to capture the best parts of your tone. (This applies to French horn players as well–DO NOT place the microphone behind you!)
  3. Sit in the middle of the room. Don’t sit too close to any walls. You’ll want to allow plenty of space for your sound to develop, so that it becomes a ‘finished product’.
  4. Record in a large room if possible. With regard to residential spaces, living rooms, game rooms or dens are usually larger rooms with higher ceilings than other parts of a house. This extra square footage and vertical space will allow for more development of your sound.
  5. Absorb and diffuse sounds with furniture and décor. If you have to record in a small room, choose one with lots of furniture and carpet. Small rectangular rooms will create slap echo, which can make your sound harsh and unfocused. A room with lots of furniture and carpet can help to deaden the echo and spread sonic energy in the space more evenly.

Remember to be patient and enjoy the process, as there will be some trial and error involved. Happy recording!

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