How to Get Perfect Sounding Recordings for Your Song

Good preparation makes the perfect recording

In many musical genres, good preparation – or pre-production – can contribute significantly to the quality of a recording.

If the individual parts are perfectly prepared, you can save yourself additional stress during the final recording process by getting competent support for the technical side of the recording. This allows the individual musicians to concentrate fully on the creative process and deliver the best possible performance.

In addition, the time needed for recording can be significantly shortened by good preparation, because this will probably save you from having to re-record a part many times and the recording will be perfect after just a few takes.

A less stressful recording process can also result in more creative “flow”, which can have an additional positive effect on the final product.

The rule here is: good preparation allows for more spontaneity and creativity.

Good sound during the recording process

From an audio engineering point of view, the best thing for the quality of the audio recordings is:

Get your sound from the front end!

The more attention is paid to the highest possible quality of all components in the recording chain and process, the greater the chance of a great result. This includes all elements that play a role in the recording: the instruments, the room, the microphones, the length of the cables, the shielding of the individual musicians, etc.

Note: The earlier in the production process there is good quality, the better the result.

Given that the goal of the mixing process is to SHAPE the sound you already have, and not completely CHANGE it:

No matter whether you work with self-made recordings or with samples: the quality of the mix stands and falls with the quality of the sounds used and how well they complement each other.

The most important elements of a good recording from an audio engineering perspective (the order may vary slightly depending on the signal) are:

Instrument > Room > Microphone-Position > Microphone

Even though today’s music production probably doesn’t rely on recording instruments as much as it did a few decades ago, in our online courses we place great emphasis on teaching techniques to capture the best possible sound – that’s what recording is all about, after all.

Here are just a few points that can have a big impact on sound-quality when recording instruments:

  • Are the instruments prepared appropriately and well-tuned? For example, a well-tuned drum set (tuning of the individual drums in terms of pitch, sustain; tuning of the individual drums in relation to each other) recorded with standard miking is always superior to a poorly tuned drum set that is extensively miked in its contribution to a coherent and powerful overall sound.
  • The following applies to miking: The positioning of the microphone in relation to the instrument has a greater influence on the quality of the recording than the quality of the microphone itself; in other words: there are qualitative differences in the frequency response that different microphones can record, but an unfavourable positioning of a very expensive microphone produces a worse recording than the optimal positioning of a merely “good” mic.
  • When recording several instrumentalists at the same time: Are the players distributed suitably in the room?
  • For a “clean” and solid low end, the other elements in the mix should not contribute significantly to the frequency ranges of bass drum and bass. In addition, with a coherent harmonic relationship between the elements of the low end, the track can develop a punch that cannot be generated by mixing techniques alone.
It becomes clear: for a coherent overall sound, a large variety of aspects comes into play in different musical styles and for different production methods – and it is not easy to stay on top of things. In our online courses, we provide comprehensive insights into the production methods of a wide range of music styles and genres and their constituting elements, to get a feel for how these fit together perfectly.
Find out more about the HOFA audio engineering online courses here.


Christoph Thiers
Christoph Thiers
Christoph Thiers has been active in the music industry for over a decade and has worked on hundreds of productions of various genres as recording, mixing and mastering engineer. His track record includes artists such as Die Fantastischen Vier, Sarah Connor, Birdy, Nathan Evans, RAF Camora and Boris Brejcha, as well as numerous awards and chart placements. He is also engaged in new media formats and artist development, acts as a consultant to indie labels, artists and start-ups alike and has been involved in various software developments for professional music production. In recent years, Christoph has specialised in immersive music production and handles Dolby Atmos mixes for international label clients and renowned indie artists.

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