How-tos and other things
How to submit audio files:
We prefer .wav or .aif files, although we can work with .mp3 files if that's how your audio is saved. If you are unsure, don't sweat it! Just send what you've got and we'll work it out.
If you can, name the file thusly:
[song/project name, if applicable]_[part name]_[musician name]_[mmddyy]
for instance: project1_trumpetswellsBb_ChristopherHawthorn_032920
but don't stress about it.
Send your audio files to firstname.lastname@example.org
Smartphone Home Recording Tips
If you’re brand new to home recording, chances are you’ll be starting out with the gear you already own— a smartphone or tablet. The following suggestions are aimed at getting the most out of this type of setup (but apply to every level of audio recording).
Assuming your instrument is well maintained and in good working order, the next most important thing is the room you’re in. Be aware of environmental noises that can bleed into the recording (appliances, HVAC, traffic noise, etc.). You may need to temporarily turn off the furnace or unplug the fridge while recording. If possible, experiment with different spaces in your home to see where your instrument sounds the best to you.
The positioning of a microphone (or in this case, smartphone/tablet) has a dramatic effect on the sound of a recording. Starting 3-4 feet from your instrument, experiment to find the distance that captures the most balanced sound. Record yourself playing for 10-20 seconds and then listen to the recording you’ve made. If the tone sounds boomy, harsh, or distorted, try moving the mic further away (or to the side). If it sounds echoey and undefined, try bringing it closer for a more detailed tone.
There are a variety of audio recording apps that come standard with smart devices (or are free to download). I won’t get into the specifics of each app here (a quick Google/YouTube search will bring up many tutorials), but in general these “voice recorder” style apps are all largely plug-and-play. Press the record button and the levels will automatically be set. After you’re finished playing, wait in silence for approx. 5-10 seconds before stopping the recording. This helps to cut down on unwanted noises during the decay of your last note.
If you're recording with a metronome or click track (which will be essential for making this music happen), please use headphones/earbuds! Usually one ear is all you need, leaving your other ear free to listen to your sound properly. We want to make sure that the microphone doesn't pick up the sound of the metronome in addition to you.
In summary, the key to getting a good recording is listening back with a critical ear (use headphones!) and experimentation. Remember, the nuance and emotion of a performance are more important than the technical limitations of a recording setup. So have fun, don’t take yourself too seriously, and I can’t wait to hear what you make!