How to record an instrument and why gear does not matter, yet!

A frequently asked question is how to record an instrument in a recording studio right? Which microphone do I have to use? Which preamp should I buy for it? – Take care of the acoustic level first! Your instrument, your voice, your explosion, whatever you want to record.

There is a term in the audio world that is known as the „Shit-In-Shit-Out-Effect“. It means that when your signal doesn’t sound good in the very beginning (the instrument so to say), no preamp or microphone or other gear will sonicly elevate your production and make it sound great at the end. The quality of the weakest link in the chain determines the quality of the final product.

Fixing problems on the acoustic level, not in the mix is more likely to safe your recording. Also highly recommended: To go even further back in chain, and fix problems in the arrangement and music first will do it even better. After this the question how to record a specific instrument should follow. If you have a superb expensive guitar for example you should definitely go for a high quality condenser mic followed by an FET preamp and a high quality AD. As mentioned above, if one part is of inferior quality, the final results will be, too.

Keep that in mind when choosing some new fancy audiogear to buy next time.

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