Where to begin, again?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by kcprogguitar, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. kcprogguitar

    kcprogguitar Member

    May 2, 2012
    Kansas City
    In a nutshell, I'm a guitarist of almost 40 years and a home recording newbie since the fostex 4 track.

    I've since gotten into a DAW. Interfaces… but…

    Some things I just don't know. And all the articles I read seem to make a jump over simple definitions of what I'm trying to figure out. For example, I'm starting to get my head around compression. But. Then someone goes off on "side chain" and "Aux Bus" and I'm left in the weeds. I want to learn, so where I can safely go ask questions? Last thing I want is to start a thread somewhere, and it turns into some engineers measuring wienies on the internet.

    Is there a forum somewhere that actually welcomes questions? I'd rather do without ones that continuously state "use the search function" and would rather one that has tutorials or stickies.

    So in the interest of being crystal clear. I want to be able to ask as stupid a question as I need to in order for ME to understand.
  2. treeofpain

    treeofpain Silver Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2007
    Columbia, SC
    I found that the easiest way for me to understand how compression works was to just do my own experimentation and see what I like or don't like in different situations. It would be helpful for you to have a basic understanding of basic terms like ratio, threshold, attack, release, gain... Then you might try loading a "preset" compressor setting, looking at it, and understanding why it was set up that way for that particular instrument. While each song and track are different, there tend to be some basic defaults that folks will begin with for each type of track, then tweak to taste.
  3. cjcayea

    cjcayea cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce

    Oct 15, 2008
    Upstate NY
    please read this


    this is really a well written guide for the beginner as well as the seasoned pro-sumer. i dont know who this guy is as hes just an anonymous forum contributor, but its filled with a-ha moments. seriously, give it a look.
  4. mixwiz

    mixwiz Member

    Nov 17, 2010

    Damn dude. Beat me to it. I refer to this often.

    Though I like tgp, gear slutz is a little more recording centered. There are some really experienced guys there and some are willing to help noobs
  5. Silent Sound

    Silent Sound Member

    Jun 8, 2012
    That's really the best advice. Just get your hands dirty. If you know too much about how things work, you can fall into the habit of mixing with your eyes, which is a bad idea. It's a far better practice to learn how each knob effects the sound, and the best way to do that is to turn those knobs, one at a time, and listen to what they do.

    As for things like "side chain" and "aux bus" those aren't really things you can easily just get your hands on. For that, I would recommend Google, or the search function on one of those recording sites. Google especially, because you can search multiple recording sites at once. You can ask a question on a forum by opening a new thread, and you may or may not get a good answer, and it will probably take a while for the right person to reply. Or you can look up where someone else has already asked that question and get an immediate response. It's a whole lot quicker, and you don't have to put up with people telling you "use the search function noob!" because you already did. Then, if you still can't find an answer to your problem, or are still unsure about something, posting a new thread can be a good idea.
  6. Teal_66

    Teal_66 Member

    Jan 29, 2013
    South Florida
    I just have to throw in my 2 cents here... It's very important that you get your room sound as good as you can, because if you have a really bad acoustic situation (like a square room with no sound absorption), then it's going to be very difficult to hear anything accurately - especially something like a compressor, which many times is subtle.

    This was a huge problem for me - as especially the lower frequencies were really inaccurate. Instead of driving myself crazy trying to find the problem in the computer, I just fixed the room - and what a difference that has made to what I hear (in my room).

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