A great manual for home recording principles and techniques

Posted by: Charlie Fogle

A great manual for home recording principles and techniques - 09/05/19 05:24 AM

"Using Your Portable Studio" published in 1996, is a 300 page manual about home recording by award winning producer Peter McIan. The book is a technical, hands-on book to using professional studio multi track recording techniques on a consumer 4 Track recorder in a home studio environment. Only the content dealing with the limitations and physics of recording with physical tape and tape recorders are obsolete.

This is a book about sound and how to capture it cleanly. One has read 225 pages into the book before there's ever an instruction to hit the 'record' button. There are chapters on set ups for recording drums, bass, guitar and vocals. A chapter on microphones.

After 216 pages of theory presented in lay terms, Mr. McIan begins a chapter that gives step by step instructions how to record and mixdown sixteen instruments using a four track portable home studio machine. Each with it's own EQ, panning and special effects. The book is still in print because it's still relevant today to the home recordist even if they use a DAW with unlimited tracks.

Why? First, because there are still tens of thousands stand alone analog and digital recorders being used by home recording enthusiasts today. There are still tens of thousands of studios using mixing consoles recording into dedicated hard disk recorders whether they are stand alone devices or computer based DAW's. This manual is useful to home recording enthusiasts that use current devices such as the Zoom H4n or similar. The Similar Tascam digital recorders like the DR-05 and more so, actual dedicated home studio recording devices like the DP004,006,008,02,03,Dp24/32 and their newest release, the Model 24. This manual is relevant to owners of units such as the Zoom L12, L20 and the Zoom series of hybrid recorders R8, R16 and R24. It's also applicable to brands by Roland, Korg and older units by Tascam and Zoom.

It's a book about channels, tracks, hard wired busses, Fx busses, subgroups, inserts, sends and returns. It's about sub mixes, premixes and bouncing while capturing the absolute quietest audio signal or combinations of signals as possible. It's about getting the most out of routing and mixing.

The best part. It's available on sites like Amazon and Barnes and nobles for as little as $2.90 USD. Regardless of your recording medium of choice, there's a lot of useful information in this book for everybody.

For those who are completely 'in the box' users of BIAB, this manual is for you too. BIAB works quite well and easily as an 8 channel one input (mono or stereo) digital multi track recorder. The principles of submixing, premixing and bouncing work marvelously with BIAB. In fact, because it's digital, the signal and quality exceed anything possible with original tape based portable studios. It is surprisingly easy to quickly mix and export a song of 70 instruments on dozens of tracks to a high quality radio ready stereo mix.

Using Your Portable Studio

Posted by: sslechta

Re: A great manual for home recording principles and techniques - 09/06/19 11:42 AM

Nice share. I think I have that book laying around somewhere. I also had a similar Tascam Portastudio. Good info in there!
Posted by: Jim Fogle

Re: A great manual for home recording principles and techniques - 09/06/19 01:22 PM

Manufacturers like Teac, Tascam, Korg, Yamaha and Roland used to spend a lot of money educating their audiences through seminars, videos, handouts and teacher programs. +++ HERE +++ is a link to download the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement manual. The manual provides a comprehensive guide to using a mixer. While directed at live sound all the information is true for mixing too.
Posted by: edshaw

Re: A great manual for home recording principles and techniques - 09/06/19 05:00 PM

I've gotta have this. Off to Amazon.
You know, I've never really sat down with the guitar and recorder for the purpose of tweaking the guitar sound. Oh, I'm constantly tweaking the sound through the amp, as part of regular practice and rehearsal, but never thought of making the recorder an integral part of that process. Hope that's not putting it too hazy.
I'm on a high today. I traded in my Les Paul for a PRS standard 22 and cash. Guitar Center. What a great sound master that Paul Smith is!
Posted by: Jim Fogle

Re: A great manual for home recording principles and techniques - 09/06/19 06:15 PM

Charlie let me borrow his book. I liked it so much I decided I gotta have this. Charlie's book is soft bound. I lucked up. I found a used library copy that is hard bound.