Workshop Recap: Overdubbing Audio

The DWRL’s new recording room saw its first action in the Overdubbing Audio Workshop held this past Friday. Will Burdette was at the helm, and he began by instructing participants on both audio recording equipment and strategies, with particular focus on recording in studio environments. He then provided those present the opportunity to record in two distinct environments (one being the new recording room featured above) before uploading to Garageband, performing minor editing functions, and listening to the differences between the two recordings.

Will Burdette drops knowledge during the instructional portion.

The instructional portion covered a range of studio equipment, including the industry standard Shure SM7B dynamic mic, Cloudlifter mic activator, and the Focusrite Scarlett 2 interface–both currently in the DWRL’s new recording room and in the image below. Participants were then led to think about a range of recording concerns, including monitoring and noise reduction. They learned, for example, that using headphones to monitor during recording is best, but when not possible, visual monitoring can suffice. Strategies for reducing unwanted noise such as plosives and sibilance were covered, and limiting environmental noise such as “handling noise” or movement in a chair were then discussed before moving to the practicum portion of the workshop.

Temporary equipment setup in FAC 7

Participants were given the opportunity to record twice, first on the setup seen above in a standard computer classroom, and then again in the recording studio featured at the top of this post. Both setups used the same hardware and software, leaving the recording environments as isolated variables. Participants paired up and recorded short conversations before at each station before moving to the next portion.

Station for editing recorded audio

Participants concluded by uploading their recorded files to Garageband, performing minor editing functions, and splicing the two files together. The difference in recording quality were remarkable, and hearing the differences gave each person present a greater appreciation for and understanding of recording environments.

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