Newbie topics

Newbie topics
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Here are some topics that people new to recording need laid out in simple terms. Please add your own topics to this thread.

How to record XXX instrument
MIcrophone Types
Choosing a DAW
MIDI Basics
MIDI advanced


Maybe something like:


  • voice
  • Bass
  • Guitar
    • What mic to use
    • Amps
    • amp-sims
    • Cabs
    • General things to look for when recording guitars
    • Finding your sound
    • Dealing with guitarists :stuck_out_tongue:
    • and so on
  • Drums
  • etc


  • Vocals
  • Bass
  • Guitars
    • Compression
    • EQ
    • Effects
  • Drums
  • Key’s
  • other instruments
  • add more here !

And so on…


If we get a good list of possible topics, we can start by addressing one of these on a separate thread.


Basic info on acoustically treating the recording and/or mixing space.


Where to start with EQ
Tips and Tricks with reverb/delay
Basic fx
Get your head around Frequencies
Vocal techniques - microphone placement, dynamics, pop filter, mouth noises, harmonies, breathing, practising, capturing the killer take,
Click tracks and timing
Drum grooves - where to start
Mixing - basic steps
playback systems (phone, computer, car etc…)
Choosing your instruments… recommendations for various…


Hah… that was a ‘snap’ moment with us all writing simultaneously :wink:


Nice when that happens :smiley:


We already have a book’s worth of topics in about 5 minutes.


How to master Native Instrument’'s Kontakt in under five minutes.
That was a joke.


It would be easy enough to start off with say a paragraph on each, leaving them open for fresh discussion… they are all subjects that could be useful for us to re-visit… I often find there are tricks I’ve forgotten/overlooked…


I guess the topics aren’t going to be hard to get out there, but the package we cram it in is.

We’re going to have to decide how we are going to structure it.

Having a segment with random mixing tips and tricks is nice to have as well, maybe you can do it even interview like and just quote tricks people mention on here. Like quote of the week or something. But the main source of information should be like a bundle like it would be if it was used in school.
Some one that is completely new, that doesn’t even know you need a mic to record a voice should be able to find his or her way in this bundle.

There is so much confusion if this or that issue should be addressed during mixing or during recording, that we should make a very obvious and logical structure to prevent even the slightest confusion.

If this all could be preceded with an intro piece that explains the concept of this bundle would be great as well. You could explain how people should address the information put on here.

This could be followed by a setting up kind of topic like the one Brandon made, but then A LOT smaller, just to explain how important your room (reference) is, and how you can get a relatively cheap basic setup that gets you started, goal specific, artist, hobby recorder, home recorder, pro, etc Just some info that gets your feet on the ground, and your mind open for suggestion.

Then the actual bundle should come. This way you actually end up with a great tool instead of yet another compilation of bits of information. Stuff can always be added or edited or what ever, but maintaining a good structure is mandatory in my opinion, or its all going to be wasted time.


I think it’s important to identify the target audience here, because “beginner” has a pretty wide range. The advice you give somebody who is trying to record through their video game headset is going to be much different from the advice you give the guy.

The implementation would be hard, and I’m probably getting too far ahead on this, but it would be cool to start out with a questionnaire that asks:

What do you already own?
What is your budget?
What do you want to be able to accomplish?

The guy wanting to record acoustic songs needs a different setup than a guy recording his band in his garage, which is different from a hip hop guy rapping over beats.


ROFLMAO! :beerbang:


This could either be explained in the intro piece or be addressed on the forum true discussion threads I guess. Cause what you suggest would be super cool, but making a bundle of information is a bit different from a customized search engine I guess :slight_smile:

People can still ask on the forum what they should be focussing on, and be directed to pages in the information bundle. The correctness and completeness of the bundle is gonna determine the success of it all.

I would target any one who’s not super pro. I mean that its probably of no use to fixate on engineers who have several awards on there name :stuck_out_tongue: lol But I would still try to make it useful for as wide variety of people as possible.

If you address every instrument separately, eventually you will have covered everything a rapper, a singer song writer, a band, or a complete studio engineer needs to know.


There’s a lot to discuss, obviously, but if you are trying to attract beginners, I’d suggest laying it out to just help them get going:

  1. What you need to get started
    a. computer (minimum specs up to extravagant)
    b. DAW (brief discussion about favorites that other members can help with)
    c. Input device
    d. Mics, cables, all the junk you need to get going at the most basic level
    e. Importance of monitors, and how to spend your money in the right places
  2. Basic Recording Techniques
    a. How to get input to your DAW
    b. MIDI for Dummies (drum sims, sliding things on the grid, velocity)
    c. Proper recording levels
    d. EQ, Compression, Reverb 101
  3. What to listen for, and how to fix problems
    a. Reference recordings
    b. Where mud lives, how to fix.
    c. Where harshness lives, how to fix.
    d. When to do a new take rather than try to fix a bad one.
    This is kind of the Dr. Suess version of what Boz mentioned, but the really basic stuff of getting started helps to get people understanding what the language is, and from there they will search out what they need to know as long as they know what questions to ask.


Did not see gain staging listed.
How much headroom should I leave for mastering?
When to bus/aux/parallel effects.
Using a reference track.
What to look for in a reference track.


Um… just wondering about all this in terms of target audiences… when I first started out on RR forum in 2011 there were a huge number of us newbies actively searching for information. The numbers dropped right off over the years and I’m not sure that newbies actually want to learn all this stuff any more… thoughts???


Very interesting Emma. Great point!

I wouldn’t presume to know what newcomer are after…but honestly, I’ll admit it hasn’t even crossed my mind to consider how the information they were after may have changed over the last 7 years. I’m really glad you brought this up.


Track Editing
Song Editing
Music file storage and organization
Optimal or sufficient computer specs to consider before purchasing
Standalone DAWs VS Computer DAWs


Whatever is presented here for newbies should be the result of research, otherwise you’re just guessing, and that could result in a significant waste of time and energy.