Free Kick & Punch Impact Sound Effects Library

Free Kick & Punch Impact Sound Effects Library

Free Kick & Punch Impact Sound Effects Library

39 Unique Impacts Sounds for Fight  Scenes

 

Here are 39 unique hit sounds custom recorded at Bad Racket Recording Studio, originally created for use in the film Powerbomb, but have since made their way into a number of other films & shorts. Source material was the impact sounds was created using cabbages being hit and smashed with various objects and a large piece of slate. Additional post-processing was used to add some sub frequencies to the impacts for a more weighty sound. Feel free to use them in any Movies, TV Shows, Web Videos, or any other type of content.

Free Punch & Kick Impacts Sound Effects Pack

I created these sound effects because I felt like there was a big lack of quality kick & punch sound effects (especially free ones). Most of the existing ones I heard sounded too cartoonish, and lacked any sort of realism or a larger than life sound. Being continually disappointed in what was available I custom recorded these in December of  2017, while working on the Foley & Sound Design for a film. Recorded using a Sound Devices 664 & Modded Oktava MK012.

 

 

All Sound Effects are 24 bit 48 khz

 

These sound effects fall under an attribution creative commons copyright, meaning you are free to use, share, and adapt them, even for commercial purposes, but must credit the original author (Henri K. W. Rapp). You can learn more about these copyright terms at CreativeCommons.org.

 

Download Free Punch & Kick Impact Sound Effects Pack

Audio Timecode Workflow for DSLR Cameras

Audio Timecode Workflow for DSLR Cameras

Audio Timecode Workflow

Audio Timecode Workflow for DSLRs and Cameras without Timecode

 

More often DSLRs such as the Canon 5D, Panasonic GH5, & Sony A7S are making their way into professional video productions as well as entry level professional video cameras that lack features like Timecode input (like Canon C200 & C100 or Sony FS5). Achieving sync on sets with these cameras or multicam sets has fortunately simplified in recent time with Audio Timecode or DSLR Timecode Workflow, making post-production much easier and more streamlined. You can always sync manually with a slate, but that is a tedious and time consuming process that increases post-production cost. Audio timecode is an easy to implement, reliable method of sync.

Audio Timecode On Set

Using a DSLR or Entry Level Professional Camera with audio timecode is very straightforward on set. Audio needs to be recorded to 1 of the camera’s audio inputs, either via a specialized timecode cable or through use of a BNC to XLR or ⅛” Adapter. I typically feed reference audio as a safety net to the second audio input on the camera.

Set your audio level on camera after connecting timecode to it and you are good to go!

 

Audio Timecode for DSLRs Canon C100
Audio Timecode feed into Canon C100

 

Audio Timecode Post-Production Workflow

Fortunately thanks to a few clever pieces of software, audio timecode is easier than ever before, and allows you to batch process footage prior to editing. What these softwares do is replacing the Audio timecode with File Embedded Timecode to each clip. After the batch process is done, you can integrate the clips into your video editing workflow just as if you were working in any other multi camera timecode workflow.

 

While there are a few great choices for software, my favorite piece of software is by ca company called Tentacle Sync, called Tentacle Sync Studio. They offer a free 14 day trial, but its purchase price is $149 US. With this software you can import all your footage & external audio recording, recognizing the audio timecode embedded into the footage, and the File Timecode embedded into the audio files. A few additional options lets you replace the audio in your video clips with any of the channels of audio from externally recorded audio. Then with a click of a button you can export everything ready to bring into your editing software such as Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, or Avid Media Composer.

 

Tentacle Sync Studio is mac only, but they offer a PC solution called Tentacle Timecode Tool. Allowing you to integrate this workflow into PC computer based Editing Systems. Alternatively there are two other software options with similar functionality available for both Windows and Mac OS X, Gallery’s Timecode Tools & Video Toolshed’s LTC Convert (AUX TC)

Tentacle Sync Studio Audio Timecode Software
Tentacle’s Sync Studio Software for decoding Audio Timecode into Media Clip’s File Embedded Metadata Timecode
Recording Aaron Lewis (of Staind) Performing Live At The Bluestone

Recording Aaron Lewis (of Staind) Performing Live At The Bluestone

Recording Aaron Lewis (of Staind)

Performing Live At The Bluestone

Back in July 2017 I was hired to record an acoustic set of Aaron Lewis (of Staind) at The Bluestone concert venue in Columbus Ohio. Knowing it’d be viewed by tons of people (Millions of views on Aaron Lewis’ Facebook & Hundreds of Thousands on Youtube), I really wanted to bring a new level of quality to Country Rebel Clothing’s videos; I wanted to make the listener feel like they were in the room at the time of the performance. Fortunately I have tons experience recording for live performance videos at Cleveland Recording Studio, Bad Racket. Anytime you do anything in the field you want to make sure you have plenty of preproduction discussion and get the details locked down ahead of time. That way when you arrive, you are more then prepared.

 

Gear Choices & Setup

For recording this I opted for my Sound Devices 664 multitrack recorder/field mixer. It offers 6 high quality transformer based preamps (Which are on par with Millenia Audio, great for a transparent clean sound), variable low cut filters, very transparent analog limiters on every input and output, flexible routing, and the ability to record the stereo mix as well as iso tracks for each input. By using the 664, I didn’t have to haul a full mixer, outboard preamps, & converters down there, making my load in/out considerably smaller. Being DC powered, I don’t have to depend on power in a building I’ve never recorded in. I fed a mix to the A & B camera as well as timecode.

With multiple close mics, relative phase between the mics becomes a big deal; This is especially important with sources that aren’t especially loud like acoustic instruments. Not knowing what the space was going to be like or what their arraignment in the rooms was like I choose to bring only multi-pattern condensers. I chose a vintage stereo pair of AKG C414EBs for acoustic guitar, a Neumann U87 for Aaron Lewis’s vocals, a hand built clone of a 70s Neumann U87 for lap steel guitar, and a stereo pair of Michael Joly Engineering modified Oktava MK012s in ORTF with cardioid capsules on the balcony above as room mics. With all the close mics I ended up using them all in bi-directional mode, with the nulls angled directly towards the source I am trying to reject. The AKG C414EBs on acoustic’s nulls are pointed towards the vocals and lap steel. The null of the vocal mic towards the guitar and lap steel, and the U87 on the lap steel’s null was pointed toward Aaron Lewis. Solo’d up, each mic had excellent rejection from one another, yielding a much cleaner recording. The room mics added a nice tail since it was a fairly reverberant room, and really put you in the room with the performance. Since this room is normally a bar, I had to go around powering down/unplugging every source of noise, which was primarily beer coolers & AC. Otherwise, in addition to bleeding in the close mics, the rooms mics would have had far to high of a noise floor to be used.

 

Aaron Lewis Live at Bluestone Videos

Aaron Lewis – Lost and Lonely (Acoustic) // The Bluestone Sessions

Aaron Lewis – Northern Redneck (Acoustic) // The Bluestone Sessions

 

Aaron Lewis – Country Boy (Acoustic) // The Bluestone Sessions

 

Aaron Lewis – That Ain’t Country (Acoustic) // The Bluestone Sessions

Timecode vs. Genlock: Why timecode is not enough to stay in sync

Timecode vs. Genlock: Why timecode is not enough to stay in sync

Timecode vs. Genlock: Why timecode may not be enough to keep your set in sync

 

The common assumption is that by feeding timecode to camera you will keep camera and sound in sync. Unfortunately this is not so, Timecode and Sync are not the same thing. Timecode is in fact only metadata to identify how the first frame is labeled for time when the camera begins rolling. Once a camera starts recording, it ignores external timecode and uses its own internal clock to record. The problem you get here is the camera clock is not calibrated to the external sound recorder’s clock, and slowly they will drift apart as you continue to record. This is especially problematic for productions that require a long roll time (30 minutes plus), such as Reality TV or Event Coverage. This can cause endless headaches in post when you match the audio and video with timecode, and by the end of the clip the video is noticeably out of sync with the audio. The solution here is Genlock.

 

Canon-C300-Genlocked-Timecode-Sync
Canon C300 with External Timecode and Genlock

 

What is Genlock?

 

Genlock originated in the early days of broadcast and video switching systems. Genlock was used to keep cameras, and other video sources’ frames in sync to avoid nasty artifacts introduced when switching from one source to another. These days most switchers can compensate for this rather than feeding black burst to every source from a central clock. In the HD world Genlock is still hanging around, but these days it uses a protocol called Tri-Level Sync to clock both the frame rate and line rate. This is especially important for 3D two camera rigs. Because Genlock clocks the capturing of frames on a camera, it can be used to keep the picture from drifting from the audio over time.

 

Keeping Set in Sync with Timecode, Genlock, & Word Clock

 

In order to keep every device in sync, you need to have everything clocked by one central master clock. The cameras need to be fed timecode and genlock, and the audio recorder needs timecode and word clock. As per the recommendation from Thom Shafer, I decided for my rig to use Timecode Systems :Wave Master Clock. This acts as a generator for Word Clock & Genlock and is slaved to my Sound Devices 664 for Timecode. With an additional 9 pin Lemo to USB data cable, I am able to control metadata, arm and disarm tracks, start and stop recording, and more on my Sound Devices recorder. The Timecode Systems UltraSync Ones get rejammed twice per second via 865 MHz to 923 MHz Worldwide ISM bands. Each camera gets an UltraSync One that outputs timecode and genlock keeping the camera perfectly in sync with everything else on set. Ambient offers a similar solution with their Lockit boxes and ACN Network.

 

Timcode & Genlock Keeping Cameras and Sound in Sync
Timecode Systems :Wave Master Clock for Timecode, Word Clock, & Genlock Generator connected to Sound Devices 664

 

Common Cameras That Can Be Genlocked

 

Here is a few examples of commonly used cameras that can be Genlocked (Some, like the FS7 for example, require additional accessories to take Genlock and Timecode):

 

Arri: Arri Amira, Arri Alexa, Arri Alexa Mini

 

RED Digital Cinema: Red Weapon, Red Epic, Red Scarlet, & Red Raven

 

Sony: Sony FS7, Sony F5, Sony F55, & Sony F65

 

Canon: Canon C700, Canon C500, Canon C300 Mark II, & Canon C300 Mark I

 

Panasonic: Panasonic HPX-2000, Panasonic HPX-250, Panasonic P2HD, Panasonic Varicam 35

 

Timecode Systems Ultrasync One Genlock Canon C300 Mk. II
Canon C300 Synced with Timecode Systems Ultrasync One feeding LTC Timecode & Genlock

 

Call me at 347-450-2213 or Contact Me to Talk About Your Production

Cleveland Commercial Recording for Kids Foot Locker & Joe Schiavoni for Governor

Cleveland Commercial Recording for Kids Foot Locker & Joe Schiavoni for Governor

Cleveland Commercial Recording for Kids Foot Locker & Joe Schiavoni for Governor

 

Last month was one of my busiest months of the year for Production Sound Mixing. Two of the commercials I worked on recording all the sound on location this November were just released. One was Kids Foot Locker: New Kid In Town featuring Isaiah Thomas, and the other was the Boxing  Commercial for Joe Schiavoni’s gubernatorial campaign. For both I used my Sound Devices 664, Michael Joly Engineering MK012, Wisycom & Lectrosonics Wireless with Sanken COS11 Mics, and Denecke SB-4 Timecode Sync box. The Boxing ad was a 1 camera shoot on Red Epic Dragon Cinema Camera. The Kids Foot Locker shoot was a 2 camera shoot with 2 Canon C300 Cinema Cameras. Whenever possible I tethered and fed audio to camera, and when not possible I relied on Timecode.

Joe Schiavoni For Governor – Boxing Ad

Kids Foot Locker: New Kids In Town

Behind The Scenes Photos

Joe Schiavoni Boxing Ad Location Recording in Youngstown Ohio

Red Epic Dragon Cinema Camera Denecke Timecode Sync Sound Recording

Cleveland Commercial Recording

Sound Devices 664 Wisycom Wireless Lectrosonics Sound Recorder

Kids Foot Locker Commercial Boom microphone Cleveland Ohio Production Sound Recording

Contact Me To Get A Quote on your Production!

DIY Building a 4 Pin Hirose Battery Power Distribution Box for Location Recording

DIY Building a 4 Pin Hirose Battery Power Distribution Box for Location Recording

DIY Build for Hirose Power Distribution for Location Recording

 

For someone who has done a fair amount of electronics over the years (especially at Bad Racket Studios) it seemed silly to spend $200 minimum on a commercially available battery distribution box when parts for a power distribution isn’t more than $75 in value. The core function of power distribution is to have a power input that feeds several devices, while protecting against a short circuit or to keep you from drawing to much current. Adding a locking switch prevents accidental power downs while giving you the convenience of being able to power on your whole sound bag with the ease of flipping one switch.

 

Hirose Battery Distribution for Location Recording

 

While there are several commercially available battery distribution boxes that offer additional features such as voltage readouts, USB charging, and indicator lights; These are not necessary to the core function of it and could easily be added at a later date. For circuit protection I used an auto resetting circuit breaker, since that’s what all the major brands do. I opted to have mine based around 4 pin Hirose connectors since my NP1 battery cup, Sound Devices 664, and Wisycom Wireless all use Hirose power connections.

 

Building a Battery Distribution Box

Firstly we need to start with milling the metal enclosure to allow mounting of the switch and 4 pin Hirose connectors. By marking with a sharpie on the aluminum enclosure center points for drilling, then using a prick punch you can get your drill holes to line up perfectly centered. Drill out all the holes to appropriate sizes for the connectors and switch, then lightly round over the jagged edges of the drill holes with a countersink bit. This is also a good time to do the same for the belt clip that allows easy mounting to your sound bag. Once the machining is done, it’s time to prime and paint! I would highly recommend using a high quality spray paint such as Montana Gold Spray Paint, as its base is not only high quality than most other brands I have used but also it is higher pigmented and available in many colors. I did mine in an orange the exact color of my logo for brand coordination.

 

Building DIY Power Distribution for location sound

 

The next step is wiring the whole thing up. For ease of wiring I like to start by soldering wire pigtails to the appropriate pins on each Hirose power connector. Pin 1 gets the ground, pins 2 &3 are not connected, and pin 4 gets the positive (+) DC power. The input connectors positive lead should get soldered directly to the locking toggle switch, and the output of the switched to the DC auto resetting circuit breaker. All the output connectors’ DC positive (+) leads can be attached to the output of the auto resetting circuit breaker. Additionally the input ground and all output grounds can be tied together.

 

4 pin Hirose power connectors Hirose Power Distribution for location sound

 

Once everything has been soldered and the enclosure’s paint has cured you can mount all the Hirose connectors, switch, and belt clip on the enclosure and close up the casing. At this point take a multimeter and test every connection and the switch function to ensure you wired it correctly.

 

Wiring Hirose 4 pin Power Distro

Hirose Power Distribution for Sound Devices Bag Recorder

 

Wiring Diagram

Here you should be able to see a wiring schematic for the Battery Power Distribution box.

Wiring Diagram for 4 pin Hirose Power Distribution for Location Recording pinout

Field Testing & Impressions

 

By this point I have used it out in the field for a number of shoots and it has performed perfectly! The only feature I am missing is USB charging, fortunately building a Hirose to USB charging lead is pretty easy and I will likely do so in the next month. The locking switch is smooth and the locking mechanism easily protects against accidentally power offs. The 6 outputs have been more than enough for anything I’ve encountered thus far. The most I have powered off of it at this time is a Sound Devices 664, Wisycom MCR42S, Lectrosonics SRc, and 2 Lectrosonics 411A, and had no issues what so ever! If you wanna save a few hundred dollars I highly recommend building your own battery distribution box to get power to all your gear in your bag.

 

4-Pin Hirose Power distro with Sound Devices 664 lectrosonics src Lectrsonics 411a wisycom mcr42s

 

Bill of materials

7x Hirose 4 pin Connectors: https://www.mouser.com/search/ProductDetail.aspx?r=798-HR10A-7R-4S73

 

Die Cast Aluminum Enclosure: https://www.mouser.com/search/ProductDetail.aspx?r=546-1590B

 

Auto resetting circuit breaker: https://www.mouser.com/search/ProductDetail.aspx?r=457-1610-92-6A

 

Metal Belt Clip: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01C3A0NEM/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Locking Toggle Switch: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00M1T397Y/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Montana Gold High Pigmented Spray Paint: https://www.amazon.com/Montana-Gold-Acrylic-Scampi/dp/B00251AW0A/ref=sr_1_11?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1508803767&sr=1-11&keywords=montana+spray+paint&refinements=p_n_feature_twenty_browse-bin%3A3267894011

 

Photos of Battery Distribution

Hirose Battery Distribution for Location Recording

Hirose Power Distribution locking toggle switch

Hirose Power Distribution for NP1 Lithium Batteries

Hirose Power Distribution for location sound

 

Studio Quality Voice Over Recording on Location

Studio Quality Voice Over Recording on Location

Recording Studio Quality Voice Overs on Location

A guide to recording voiceover on location with examples from Nike – Come Out of Nowhere with Lebron James

 

 

Sometimes for productions whether timeline/talent availability, etc, it is necessary to record studio quality voice overs on location in a less than ideal space. Not too long ago I had to record a voiceover with Lebron James for a Nike commercial and the room we had to work in was a locker room with showers. The flutter echos in there were nasty to say the least, but with a little acoustic treatment, careful room positioning and mic choice, it ended up sounding phenomenal.

 

The Room and Transforming it into a Recording Studio

If you have the luxury to choose the room where you can record start with choosing a the largest driest space you can find. Larger rooms tend to have less acoustic problems. As when you start getting into large lengths of distance between walls the phase of sounds start to come less into play and you have less issues with standing waves, comb filtering, and flutter echos. A lot of times a great way to find a good recording space is to walk around and clap and listen for a place with the no weird flutter echos or excessive tail. Drop ceilings and carpet are usually a good place to start but the less parallel walls the better as well.

 

In the case of the Nike Commercial, the locker room had two sections. Both had parallel walls, but one section had carpet and a drop ceiling while the other had tiled walls and floor. Needless to say it was better to set up in the first section. Production had provided black curtains and stands to hold them to cover all the walls and make it feel a bit less like a bathroom. The locker room also had 2 doors with a short hall between them which helped seal us off from the outside world well. The downside side with this room is it was a narrow rectangle with close parallel walls. It sounded a bit boxy and you could hear a tail and slap of the showers only a doorway over. We needed to tame this and use mic polar patterns to help downplay any acoustic problems. Fortunately the best place for sound was also the best place for camera for the interview we were shooting immediately after. We set up with him about a third of the way into the room facing longways. Using four layers of sound blankets and squeeze clamps we made a barrier between the between the interview room and the nasty high frequency tail of the showers. Working at Bad Racket, a Cleveland Recording Studio, I additional brought a 6 of our rock wool filled absorption panels. Placing them behind and on either side of where we were recording and supplemented those with a few additional sound blankets.

Recording Voiceover On Location with Lebron James for Nike Come Out Of Nowhere

 

One thing that was less than ideal was the air conditioning vent directly above my microphone. We had locations look into getting it shut off, which I would recommend doing so several hours before it’s time to record, because in some larger buildings you may shut it off but it may take a couple hours to actually fully come to a rest. From when they turned it off, it took a little over an hour before it actually shut off in our room at the Wolstein Center.

 

Recording Studio Quality Voiceover on Location

 

Microphone Choice, Polar Pattern, and Proximity Effect

 

For the location voiceover recording I used a Sennheiser MKH-50; It has great proximity effect, which makes for a rich and intimate sounding voice over, as well as smooth highs, and a super cardioid pickup pattern. This polar pattern helps it reject well from the sides downplaying further the boxiness of the side walls and the reverb of the show stalls 6 feet away since they were perfectly in the nulls. Small diaphragm condenser mics also have exceptional transient response and off axis colouration yielding extremely precise sounding recordings. To get that nice proximity effect that makes people sound larger than life being right up on the mic is essential. I’d recommend about 6” from the capsule, keeps it full without getting out of control with the proximity. Every mic has a different sweet spot. Having something to act as a pop filter is also essential, in my case I used a Movo windscreen.

 

Microphone Preamps & Recorder

 

With any location recording where you don’t have the controlled environment of a recording studio, eliminating extra noise every way. Especially if the voice actor is speaking at lower volumes for the lines. I own a Sound Devices 664, which has very clean & transparent mic preamplifiers with extremely low noise, built in limiters, and can mix to the Arri Amira camera and more. The sound devices mixers are also battery powered which is always a plus when on location.

Sound Devices 664 Timecode Multitrack Recorder and Field Mixer

Room Tone & Mixing

 

Though I wasn’t the one who mixed Come Out of Nowhere, I’ll talk briefly about mixing. Though standard practice in most location recording, recording room tone on location is important. Later in post production using software like iZotope RX you can use advanced noise reduction tools to learn the ambient and self noise profile and remove it. If the dialog is captured well on location, then a fairly minimal hand should be needed for mixing it. On most dialog a subtle low mid range cut can open up the vocal sound, a slight lift above 12k can give it a little air, and a touch or compression to even out the volume of the dialog.

Fabian Gomez and Coco Monteros – Gold Medal Entourage – Olympic Channel

Fabian Gomez and Coco Monteros – Gold Medal Entourage – Olympic Channel

Location Recordist for Olympic Channel’s Gold Medal Entourage

 

In mid spring of 2016 I worked a television shoot for the Olympic Channel doing post 2016 olympic athlete coverage called ‘Gold Medal Entourage’ I worked 3 days with them doing location sound in Pennsylvania & Ohio. The clip bellow is from the day we spent with Fabian Gomez on the PGA Tour, then later cooked a meal with them, and shot a series of interviews later into the evening. Check it out:

 

 

 

Location Recording Gear

I used a Sound Devices 633 Mixer/Recorder timecode jammed two Sony FS7 Cameras and while feeding reference audio to camera. Pretty straight forward shoot since it was primarily interviews and b-roll My primary mic was a Sennheiser MKH 8060 on a boom, and secondary micing Lectronsonics LT Transmitters with Sanken COS11D Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphones on each persons body.

Location Sound Sound Mixer in Pennsylvania & Ohio with Sound Devices & Lectrosonics

Recording Studio Preparation

There are several things you can do to prepare before you come into the recording studio that can go a long way to determining the results of your final product. Recording Studio Preparation is essential so your recordings sound tight, tonally balanced, and cleaner. If you’d like to schedule a tour or preproduction meeting email me or check out the rest of my site

Recording with Reverse The Curse

Everyone –

1. Deciding To Record Live or Separate –

Whether you record live or everything separate, each can provide phenomenal results, but both sound a little bit different. Depending on your music, your goals, and what is more comfortable, you will need to choose what is right for you. Typically for music with more improvisations, or that carries a more raw vibe it’s good to record live as a band in the same room with the different sources isolated. When you are standing in the same room, you can play off each others body language, and perform in a very natural way, as a band, like you do at practice. Alternatively when recording separate it allows you to focus in more on each separate instrument and really perfect each performance and the instruments tones. It additionally gives me as an engineer a little more creative freedom to capture a unique and memorable aesthetic character to your recordings. A lot have great records have been made both ways, but what takes precedence is getting a quality performance, so which ever way you are more comfortable recording is what I would recommend. I find more often than not, bands like to lay down their core rhythm tracks down first as a live band, then overdub vocals, leads, and any other auxiliary instrumentation.

2. Rehearsal & Preproduction –

When recording, its best to enter the recording studio adequately prepared to lay down your tracks. The most important thing to every recording is the performance, so rehearse more than you think you ever should need to. If possible, even tap out the tempos of your songs, figure out the beats per minute, and practice as a band to a click track or metronome. This can be a little strange at first, but once you get used to it, it will keep your performances tighter than you’d be able to on your own. Work on getting all your tuning and tones sounding the way you want them to before you even enter the studio and make sure the guitar, bass, and drum tones all have their own space, and want to sit well together tonally to begin with.

Guitars & Bass –

Custom fender Style Guitar Cabinet with Orange Tiny Terror Guitar Head

3. New Strings –

Guitars and Bass’ need new strings before every recording project. This allows not only more attack and punch off of your strings, cleaner more resonate fundamental frequencies with less nasty overtones. They will respond better to a wider range of dynamic levels, and sit better in the mix before I even begin to touch an EQ. Having old strings results in guitars and bass sounding flat and muddy.

4. Setup:

How can your recordings sound great if your instruments don’t? Make sure your instruments are set up before coming into the studio. When properly setup, they will play better, hold tunings better, have better intonation, and sound all around better. This is particularly important with bass, with more tension on the neck. People often overlook the importance of bass, but it ties everything together in recordings. It’s unfortunate when you have to autotune bass to get it to sit in the mix right.

Drums –

Bygone Days Drums

5. Rehearsal & Performance:

No other instrument is more apparent if there is a sloppy performance. In most styles of music drums are the backbone of the song, so the best thing you can do is practice. Practice more, then practice some more. Figuring out the tempos of the songs and practicing to a click track can really help tighten your performances when you get in the recording studio (especially for drums). It is not right for every band, but for most, it will help keep everyone consistently on time and tighten the overall performance. The way mics pick up a sound and the way your ears do is considerably different. It’s best to hit the shells harder than you think you should, and the cymbals lighter than you normally would. This helps us already establish a mix in the mics. In a recording situation, we are constantly striving to get a little more attack out of drums so they punch through a mix. The best way to do that is to play that way. Cymbals are almost never as loud in the final mix, so easing off on them can clean up the final drum sound considerably. (especially when you have 11+ microphones on the drum kit with cymbals bleeding into everything)

6. New Drum Heads –

Before every time you record at least the top heads should be changed. New heads have a brighter attack and more punch. When drum heads wear out they stop producing the fundamental tone as well, and develop weird overtones and rings. Under mics, the source is magnified, so if you have great heads it will sound great, but if your heads are worn out and ringy, that will also be put under a microscope. This goes for kick drum, snare, and toms. A kick with old heads will lose low end, and lack in attack, resulting in it getting lost in the mix. Same goes with snare and toms, they will lose body and have a much duller attack. Bottom heads don’t need to be changed as often, but should likely be changed every third time you change the tops. Bottom heads are important too they have a lot to do with resonance and body. Basically moral of the story, if you want good sounding drums, change the heads. Make sure you also choose the heads most appropriate to the music you are trying to record. If you need head recommendations, I’d be happy to help.

7. Drum Tuning –

Having your drums in tune is an absolute necessity when it comes getting a good drum sound in any recording. Having an even tension and pitch all the way around helps yield a clear and focussed tone without nasty rings or overtones. The ratio between the top and bottom head is hugely important, it has everything to do with what the resonant tone is like, and how long it resonates for. Typically you are going to want your bottom resonate heads a fair bit tighter than your top batter head. Every drum is different, so you just have to play around till you find the drums sweet spot. Though usually, it’s in the range of a 3rd to a 5th higher. Tuning your batter and resonant heads the same pitch will yield way to much sustain (and not of the good parts), and a lack of punch and attack. For kick drums I find tuning the batter head as low as it can go with still holding tension on the head works best, with the resonant head a slight bit up from there. Unless you are playing Jazz, or possibly acoustic folk music you are better off cutting a head in your resonant head. This will make the kick dryer, bigger, punchier, and allow for better microphone placement.

8. Vocal Preporation –

With vocals being the main focus of most genres of music, it is worth doing a little bit of extra prep to help ensure your final product is the best it can be. You’d be surprised how often people come in to record and are still writing the lyrics while in the studio (which is just a waste of your money and both of our time). Having everything already written, with each part worked out, and practiced the way you will perform it will make vocals not only take less time but turn out far better in terms of performance. How can you deliver an emotional performance when you are stumbling on the words you have half written? Before you come into the recording studio, we can give you rough mixes of the songs to practice to. Being well rested is essential, otherwise you will be having to push past your fatigue and strain to get a good performance. Focus more on the vowels and let the consonants take a backup roll. The consonants aren’t the sound of your voice, they are what gives definition and the rhythmic component, while the vowels are the tonal part of your voice. Make sure you lock into the rhythm of the song for when and where you stop and start any part of a phrase.

9. Keys –

Keys are fairly simple compared to the rest for preparation. The most important part of any recording is the performance, so make sure you are well rehearsed and have your keyboard parts worked out. Other then that, just make sure everything is in good working order, no buzzes, hums, shorted jacks, or whatever else could ruin an otherwise good take.