Help with recording

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Belzeebub, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. Belzeebub

    Belzeebub V.I.P. Member

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    Lots of great talented folks on here who most likely professionally perform & record as well as equally talented folks at home who know a thing or two about home recording. I need your help guys and gals.

    Here's the scoop:

    I have some tunes in my head that I'd like to record but I dont belong to any band or group so its pretty much a solo thing. I would like to record the bass, rythym and melody parts seperately and be able to combine all of them on one track. I do not have a studio or access to one. All I have are my guitars, amps, few pedals, and a laptop that I can connect external speakers to. Im looking for a cheap but quality, simple way to be able to record at home. Im not looking to make a demo cd or anything. And I dont have much $$$ as well to buy mics, mixers or expensive software/hardware. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. ThrashPirate

    ThrashPirate Senior Member

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    I record with Audacity, it's free and will get your feet wet. I'm no pro but learning. I'm sure more will chime in with some really great choices.
     
  3. Phil47uk

    Phil47uk Senior Member

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    I have an old Tascam 8 track which I can work, but my youngest son has a super 4 fan cooled computer with Cuebase and other ridiculous expensive stuff on it. You can actually record the bloody soundtrack to Gladiator on this thing the sounds are so real and are all sampled. The problem is I can't work the bloody thing. I'm still back in the days of analogue. He's into rap, which is not my thing at all, but I'll give him his due, he has come up with some good stuff.

    I'd probably go digital these days, as it's so much easier. Hell you can loop riffs, cut one note out, change the key etc etc. All I have to do is learn how it all works..:hmm:
     
  4. coldsteal2

    coldsteal2 V.I.P. Member

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    you can also download a free version of
    Sonar 7 producer, which kicks but
     
  5. GeeJay

    GeeJay Senior Member

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    Software:
    You can probably make a start with freeware or shareware. Try looking on here:

    Hitsquad.com - Musicians Web Center

    I know you said you don't have any money for hardware, but I think you'll struggle without anything. I suggest you consider getting a small mixer, they are not that expensive I use a Behringer MX802, works like a charm. I currently have my old turntable in a couple of the mic pre-amps (panned hard to give Left and Right channels), a cassette deck in a stereo input, my Guitar Port into another stereo input. The mixer tape connection (IN and OUT) are connected to my soundcard, so my computer is really like a tape deck.

    Something like this MIXERS / POWERED MIXERS - UB SERIES MIXERS - EURORACK UB802 : Ultra Low-Noise Design 8-Input 2-Bus Mixer with Premium Mic Preamplifiers and few leads from Maplin or Radio Shack and you're starting to get somewhere.

    A used dynamic microphone, say a Shure SM57 with a XLR-XLR lead would be next.

    After that it's a case of learning how to hook it all up and get it working.

    The biggest challenge with a laptop is the sound card. If it doesn't have line in all of what I've said above about hardware is a bit bollocks and you gonna need something that plugs into the USB port.

    Again Behringer might be the way forward if you can score something like this :
    MIXERS / POWERED MIXERS - XENYX MIXERS SERIES - XENYX 1204FX : Premium 12-Input 2/2-Bus Mixer with XENYX Mic Preamps, British EQs, 24-Bit Multi-FX Processor and USB/Audio Interface this comes with a USB interface.

    It's also possible to by the audio-> USB interface independantly http://www.behringer.com/UCA202/index.cfm?lang=ENG (I think I'm gonna get one of these myself....)

    I hope this is useful info. Anyway, Cheers!
     
  6. Boleskinehouse

    Boleskinehouse Senior Member

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    I need help with this too. There are so many options out there. I don't know where to start! I'd like something that has a programmable drum machine, and I guess I can play my own bass. Maybe there should be a forum about this stuff in here... :)
     
  7. GeeJay

    GeeJay Senior Member

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    Hitsquad.com - Musicians Web Center

    Honest, take a look here. There are loads of music software resources on this site. I've been droppping in and out for 10-years or more..
     
  8. Lyrica

    Lyrica Songwriting Machine V.I.P. Member

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    i spend a lot of time on a home recording forum and one of the programs that comes highly recommended is reaper. you can have it registered for 40 dollars but it's free to download. it doesn't use a lot of resources and it's very powerful if you learn how to use it. i recommend it.
     
  9. shal1234

    shal1234 Senior Member

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    Belzeebub, I have pro tools software with a huge interface that can do just about anything. However, to this day the best stuff i ever recorded was with an old Fostex tape 4-track. Let me explain why.

    Tape 4-tracks will give you an intimate feel and sound. Reason- it's just you, your guitar and amp, and a reel of tape. No strange functions to cloud up your mind and compromise your creativity. It's easy and you are instantly satisfied. It will also do wonders for your creativity because you are forced to do more with less.

    So it's tape (intimate and luscious) vs digital (cold and distant, and creativity compromising due to an overload of bells and whistles).

    Tape wins, no contest in my opinion. Check ebay for an old cheap Fostex tape 4-track. If you want to know more about their features or how to use them i'd be glad to help. AS for how you'd record a guitar with a 4track, there are 3 ways.

    1. Connect a mic
    2. Plug in directly
    3. Use the internal mic

    All 3 have worked well for me.
     
  10. shal1234

    shal1234 Senior Member

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    there is a Recording social group here. apparently no one knows about it.
     
  11. Boleskinehouse

    Boleskinehouse Senior Member

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    You mean The Cellar? Go have a look in there, and you'll see why that isn't quite what I'm looking for... :laugh2:
     
  12. Belzeebub

    Belzeebub V.I.P. Member

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    Thanks for all your input! I will be looking into those options. For now, the 4-track tape recorder appeals to me for its simplicity and (I would imagine) being relatively inexpensive to buy and use. Ive never done any sort of recording before other than the usual hand-held video cam which usually doesnt turn out very well at all.
     
  13. Lyrica

    Lyrica Songwriting Machine V.I.P. Member

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    i record all the time and no one told me about it or invited me in.:shock:
     
  14. st.bede

    st.bede V.I.P. Member

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    highly recommended is reaper.....I fully agree...however there is a learning curve...I have checked out reaper for a friend and it look very good...

    presounce fireface is a good way to get your audio in and out....I have one that I use for things that are not extremly critical and, it is a good piece of gear...

    now days you can pick up a 4 track or 8 track tape recorder for pretty cheap....the tascam stuff I used in the "early days" worked pretty good for me but, I could only bounce down a little because the quality of the audio degraded quick...

    sure 57 is always a good mic...a true work horse...
     
  15. st.bede

    st.bede V.I.P. Member

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    any one is invited and I would love to hear any of your wisdom....if you go to your profile...look to your right at Group Memberships ...click on join social groups...then join The Recording Studio...ask away or throw out your two cents....
     
  16. Belzeebub

    Belzeebub V.I.P. Member

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    If I recorded on a tape-based device, how would I go about transferring the content onto a cd? Do the 4 track/8 track recoders plug into computers directly?
     
  17. GeeJay

    GeeJay Senior Member

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    The short answer is no it won't.

    Let me try and help.

    Normal cassette tape decks record in an analogue format.

    Whereas a CD is recorded in a digital format.

    If your computer has a 'line-in' connection the soundcard, then all you need to do is connect the tape deck to the line-in, start up your recording software on the computer, press play on the tape deck and when the track is finished, press stop on the recording software.

    You will now have to save the file you just recorded to a folder on your hard disc. This will be a WAV file. The original sound file will have then been converted into digital.

    You then need to burn this to a CD using something like Nero, Roxio or even Windows if you have the right version. This process will turn the WAV file into the right digital format for CD.

    Unfortunately, you have a laptop. I think it's unlikely that you will have a Line-In port on your laptop, so I think you will need to go in through the USB as I suggested above.

    The Behringer audio-to-USB interface I mentioned above will work if you connect it to a tape deck. In the UK these are about 30 quid, so not desperately expensive.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers!
     
  18. Sea Pull

    Sea Pull Senior Member

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    +1 I am also a Reaper user. Great multitracking and editing and very user friendly. That and a USB instrument interface and I was rolling for less than $200
     
  19. shal1234

    shal1234 Senior Member

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    If your final goal is to have your own music on cds, then you will need recording software and an interface no matter what. Unless you know somebody else with a setup that can transfer your tapes onto cd.

    But, I would just get the tape 4-track for now, and find a decent tape deck/headphones to play it on. then when you get good and want to move on, you can upgrade to something different.

    To me, the problem with computer-based recording is that I sit on a computer for 12 hours a day at work, so when i come home, the last thing i want to do is associate my music and instruments with the darned computer. I need to go sit in a quiet room away from everything else. My computer is an anti-muse.
     
  20. Belzeebub

    Belzeebub V.I.P. Member

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    thanks! yes, it cleared up questions I had. :thumb:
     

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