Cover image for Sound recording advice : an instruction and reference manual that demystifies the home recording studio experience
Sound recording advice : an instruction and reference manual that demystifies the home recording studio experience
Volanski, John J.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Diego, Calif. : Pacific Beach Pub., [2003]

Physical Description:
336 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TK9968 .V655 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
TK9968 .V655 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Describes how to setup and operate a home recording studio. Towards that end, the book describes all of the major equipment in a home studio. Where to find the best deals when buying new or used equipment. How the various pieces of equipment work together, how to modify various pieces of equipment. How to understand technical concepts such as acoustics, power, grounding and noise. How to record various musical instruments using microphones, how to bounce tracks.

Author Notes

John J. Volanski is an electrical and audio engineer who has operated his own home recording studio for over 20 years. He has been involved with electrical engineering, audio engineering and video engineering from the design and development side, and also from the user and musician side

Table of Contents

About the Authorp. 9
Preface- a Note to the Readerp. 10
Acknowledgmentsp. 11
Warning- Disclaimerp. 13
Introductionp. 15
Part 1 Electronic Studio Equipmentp. 19
Elements of a Home Studiop. 19
The Dedicated Spacep. 19
Capturing Performancesp. 20
The Recording Mediump. 20
Manipulating the Live or Recorded Soundp. 20
Combining Sounds Togetherp. 23
The Final Resultp. 24
More about Project Studiosp. 24
Ok, I Want to Record Music, Now What?p. 26
Recording Formats for the Home Studiop. 33
Reel-to-Reelp. 33
Cassettep. 33
MiniDiscp. 34
DATp. 35
CD-R and CD-RWp. 36
Multi-track Digital Recordersp. 37
Digital Audio Workstationsp. 39
DAW Plug-Insp. 42
What's Next?p. 43
Power for Your Studiop. 45
Power Distribution to the Studiop. 45
Power Distribution in the Studiop. 49
Sequencing of Powerp. 52
Power Distribution for the Computerp. 52
Microphone Preamplifiersp. 54
Tubes vs. ICs in Amplifiersp. 56
What is MIDI?p. 58
Connecting Equipment in Your Studiop. 60
Audio Patch Baysp. 60
MIDI Patch Baysp. 64
Digital Signal Standardsp. 65
Audio Cablesp. 67
Monitoring Sound in Your Studiop. 69
Equipment Recommendationsp. 77
Computerp. 78
Mac versus PCp. 79
Audio Cards and Computer Interfacesp. 80
Multi-track Recordersp. 82
Reel/Reel Multi-tracksp. 82
Cassette Multi-tracksp. 83
MiniDisc Multi-tracksp. 84
Modular Digital Multi-tracksp. 85
Modular Hard Disk Multi-tracksp. 86
Mastering Recorders (2-Tracks)p. 90
Mixersp. 92
Microphone Preamplifiersp. 99
Microphonesp. 101
Effects Processorsp. 104
Dynamics Processorsp. 106
Enhancers and Excitersp. 107
Reference Monitors (Speakers)p. 107
Power Amplifiersp. 109
Headphonesp. 114
Headphone Amplifiersp. 114
Headphone Amp Kitsp. 115
The Bottom Linep. 116
Recommended Basic Systemsp. 117
Recommended System under $500p. 117
Recommended System under $1000p. 120
Recommended System under $1500p. 122
Recommended System for about $2000p. 122
Recommended Standalone Studio System for $5000p. 123
Recommended Computer Studio System for $5000p. 124
Recommended Systems Over $5000p. 125
Buying New & Used Equipmentp. 127
Usenetp. 127
Search Enginesp. 128
Judging the Condition of Used Gearp. 129
New and Used Gear Listsp. 129
Used Equipment Web Sitesp. 130
Part 2 Studio Layout and Furniturep. 133
Acoustics in Your Studiop. 133
Studio Furniturep. 139
Equipment Racksp. 141
Locating Equipment in the Studiop. 144
Shelves for Keyboard Support Standsp. 146
Pedal Boardp. 147
Electromagnetic Interference & Noisep. 149
Spectrum Analyzer and RTAp. 157
Removing Audible Noisep. 163
Overview of room treatments and acousticsp. 163
Single-ended noise reduction unitsp. 163
Removing other noises in the studiop. 166
Removing mic popping noisesp. 166
Removing audible computer noise in the studiop. 167
Balanced versus unbalanced equipmentp. 170
Direct Boxesp. 171
The Control Room vs. The Recording Spacep. 172
Part 3 Modifying Your Equipmentp. 174
Tape Deck Remote Controllerp. 174
Adding a Power Switchp. 185
Adding a Headphone Jackp. 194
Master Fadersp. 197
Simple Passive Audio Mixer for $5p. 208
Line Output Converterp. 211
Finding Schematics for Equipmentp. 211
List of New & Surplus Electronics Parts Suppliersp. 213
Part 4 Capturing Sound Recordingsp. 215
The Nature of Soundp. 215
The Physics of Soundp. 215
Psychoacousticsp. 221
Measuring Sound Intensityp. 224
Miking/Tracking Instruments & Vocalsp. 227
Tracking in Generalp. 227
Miking Vocalsp. 228
Miking Instrumentsp. 233
Brassp. 233
Woodwindsp. 234
Saxp. 234
Harmonicap. 234
Pianop. 235
Solo Violinp. 237
Solo Cellop. 238
Electric Bass Guitarp. 238
Electric Guitarp. 240
Acoustic Guitarp. 241
Drumsp. 244
More on Microphonesp. 249
Bouncing Tracksp. 251
Mixingp. 256
Setting Gain Structurep. 256
Mixing the Songp. 260
Tricks of the Mixp. 263
Masteringp. 271
Part 5 Tools, Advice & Miscellaneousp. 274
Wall Wart Adaptersp. 274
Rubber Cleaner/Revitalizerp. 276
Heat Shrink, Cold Shrink and Velcrop. 278
Anti-Skid Rubber Feetp. 280
Media Backupp. 280
Troubleshooting and Toolsp. 282
Basic Toolsp. 282
Troubleshooting Techniquesp. 285
Noisy Volume Controlsp. 288
Intermittent Signal Connection Problemsp. 289
Tape Deck Drive Problemsp. 290
Home Studio Securityp. 292
Home Studio Insurancep. 295
Best Practices in the Studiop. 297
Other Miscellaneous Tipsp. 300
Tips for Burning CD-Rs and CD-RWsp. 300
Keeping a Notebookp. 301
Listening to Your Mix on Other Speakersp. 302
Tips For Better Noise Reductionp. 302
Automatic Key Depresserp. 303
Low-cost Light Show Controllerp. 303
Pertaining to Analog Tapes and Recordersp. 304
Pertaining to Recording Music to Tapep. 305
Keeping Track of Signals on Mixer Channelsp. 305
Getting Convincing Guitar Sound from a Keyboardp. 305
Understanding Guitar Effectsp. 306
Large Keyboard Support Standp. 307
Free Mastering Bookletp. 307
Sharing MP3 Filesp. 308
Can't Sing In Tune?p. 308
Shielding Your Monitors (non-invasive method)p. 309
Shielding Your Monitors (invasive method)p. 310
Which Unit To Buy?p. 310
Low-cost, Lightweight Portable Recording Systemp. 310
Musician's Earplugsp. 312
Recording Vinyl LPsp. 312
Adding a MIDI Retrofit to a Synthesizerp. 313
Non-slip Material for Desk-top Unitsp. 313
Figuring Out Speaker Polaritiesp. 313
Long Speaker Cablesp. 314
Telephone Ringer/Signalerp. 315
Battery-Backed RAM Memoryp. 316
How do I learn more about all this Studio Stuff?p. 318
Fade to Silencep. 319
Indexp. 320