Let's talk recording

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by MIDNIGHT, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. toneguy86

    toneguy86 V.I.P. Member

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    I just did sort of a little test run with my Lexicon Alpha and Cubase LE. It's the last song (It's a Minor Thang) on my myspace page: The bass part wasn't perfect, but I just wanted to see what everything sounded like before I actually did some band tracks. I plan on recording bass, drums and rhythm guitar live and then adding vocals and solos later. For the little project I have here I ran the bass direct and then miced up my Mesa Lonestar with an SM57. Really not much else other then that. I used my LP project guitar with a no name piece O' junk neck PU and a Rio Grande Texas bucker in the bridge. It's pretty simple, but I got what I wanted.

    You can hear it at: MySpace.com - Mark Zanoni - BOULDER JUNCTION, Wisconsin - Blues / Rock / Christian - www.myspace.com/markzanoni

    Oh, BTW, as Loki suggested, I downloaded Razor and RazorLame to convert my WAV files to MP3s. Pretty sweet and simple actually :) Only minor cursing in the beginning.

    Mark
     
  2. ReverendJWblues

    ReverendJWblues MLP Chaplain V.I.P. Member

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    Yeah we did that too what Loki said...................tonite tho I sat here 2 hrs and couldnt get a damned thing I wanted out of it. I'm about ready to just give up, hell I'm not any good anyways. :)
     
  3. 180gROC

    180gROC Senior Member

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    I've been using windows media player to convert wav to mp3 with zero hassle. I just right click on the file or group of files, choose 'convert audio format' and choose the quality.

    Applet is called Windows Audio Converter. I think it comes with the latest version of MP...
     
  4. drewbertca

    drewbertca V.I.P. Member

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    I have the following

    Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
    2 GB Ram
    Windows XP Pro
    Cubase SX3 (SX 4 is a resourse hog)
    A Presonus Inspire 1394 Interface
    An Apex Condenser Mic
    A Decent Radio Shack dynamic
    some crappy radio shack dynamics (you'd be surprised how often crappy mics can come in handy)
    a Behringer Eurorack mixer (602 I think)
    Amplitube, Amplitube SVT and a bunch of awesome free plugins i found online....
     
  5. toneguy86

    toneguy86 V.I.P. Member

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    It took me awhile too. I needed to download both programs and mess around until I got the files in the right place and programs able to recognize where they were. The next challenge was my limited understanding of my recording program. I went to mix down and never had the read/record buttons on any of the channels. Once I did that and got my levels set it did everything real smooth. What problems are you having?

    Mark
     
  6. mmcquain

    mmcquain V.I.P. Member

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    My home setup includes both a digital recorder (Korg D8) and using the PC via the M-Audio input
    module. I also have a rack of outboard effects, etc. that I can patch into when recording.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Kølabrennern

    Kølabrennern Senior Member

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    For all of you interested in buying as few outboard things as possible, here's a little software guide for you:
    Cubase SX 3: The learning curve can seem steep at first, but as soon as you get into the basic ideas, you'll find yourself having it all in your fingertips in no-time. Must-learn stuff:
    - Effect sends. Why use up all your CPU power with inserting for example a reverb plugin in the effect chain for each and every track? Using sends you can let a couple of plugins to do all the work you need.
    - Group tracks: Works much in the same way as effect sends, just that it goes for things like EQ, compression and the likes.
    - Put things in the right order in the signal chain! For example compression > EQ > delay > reverb.
    - Crossfading: Whenever you split something into more than one take, the transition between two parts can give you some ugly clipping sound. By crossfading you can easily avoid this.
    IK Multimedia Amplitube 2:
    As mentioned earlier, this is such an amazing plugin which can give you almost whatever sound you're looking for. It's quite a CPU-hog, so be careful. Particularly the Marshall-simulations are top notch.
    IK Multimedia Ampeg SVX: Looking for great bass sound without micing anything up? Look no futher. This one's authorized by Ampeg and can bring you very close to what the real deal sounds like.
    Waves Mercury Bundle: You need EQs, compressors, reverb, delay and all of these things. Waves more or less invented the VST plugin, and they're still in the lead to this day. Personal favourites include the SSL 4000 channel strip, API 550B, VEQ4, V-Comp, Renaissance EQ, L3 Ultramaximizer among others.
    Toontrack EZDrummer: My guess is you need drums. In this package you get good sound and nicely pre-programmed beats to help you get started. New products in this line are coming, be on the lookout for them, as they'll probably rip!
    Røde K2: This is a magnificent microphone at an affordable price. I use it for more or less everything, and it especially does wonders for vocals. Rich and full in the whole sonic spectrum.
    Little Labs Redeye/DI: We all need a good DI, and the Little Labs box is legendaric for its qualities. No further comments.
    A good soundcard: You basically have a couple of choices here. Either you get a soundcard without built-in preamps; these are usually quite noiseless, but you'll have to invest in preamps later on. So my choice was to get hold of one with built-in preamps. You run the risk of buying something with noisy, low-quality ones, but most companies today make them both affordable and with okey quality, so you shouldn't fear that too much. M-audio, Presonus and Focusrite all have great products at an affordable price.
    Active studio monitors: Without dedicated studio monitors, you will have to run the risk of that your ears and regular speakers will trick you into hearing something else than what you should. They don't have to be expensive, as long as they have a more or less linear frequency response. Behringer, Samson or some of these should get you started.

    That's it for now. I'll come back if I found that I forgot something. You can get product demos for more or less all of the software things I listed, you can also get them for free, illegally, but I wouldn't recommend you that.
     
  8. toneguy86

    toneguy86 V.I.P. Member

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    I'm not finding a decent drum machine and I do have drum loops, but they don't load right (something must be screwed up somewhere). They sound fine initially and then they get corrupted or...something. It sounds like crap after I past in a couple of loops. I'm using Cubase so maybe you can't help, but any suggestions would be great. As far as drum machines, is there a free one that works decently and isn't just a glorified hip hop beat box?

    Mark
     
  9. Shawn Fate

    Shawn Fate Senior Member

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    Read up on this...and you other guys might like this site as well..Lots of good info to the left hand side of the page.

    How to Configure a Recording Studio Rig

    I am mainly using pro tools at the moment, although I also have nuendo and a couple of VS machines, mainly for studio swapping.
     
  10. AndyC

    AndyC Senior Member

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    I'm using Cubase 4 now. Love it. I've been with Cubase for several iterations and it keeps getting better. I also use a Presonus Firepod (now call the FP10). 10 inputs, and you can daisy chain them up to 3 or 4 units. I'm on the hunt for another one so that I can have up to 20 simultaneous inputs live, and get rid of the analog mixing board altogether.
     
  11. toneguy86

    toneguy86 V.I.P. Member

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    What do you do for drum tracks? I eventually will have one of my drummers in to record basic tracks, but for demos, etc. I want to use some kind of MIDI drums. I tried using drum loops, but for some reason, it won't work. It is fine initially when I paste in the first loop as an audio file, buthen things must get corrupted as every other loop I paste sounds muddled and distorted. No other volumes are up and it all worked initially. Everything else works fine. I was trying to see if there was some way I could use one of the plug ins in Cubase to add drum tracks. It appears that is possible, but only if you have MIDI controller, but maybe I am just missing something.

    Mark
     
  12. AndyC

    AndyC Senior Member

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    Get EZ Drummer by Toontracks. No MIDI controller needed, no hardware. Just runs as a VSTi inside Cubase.

    I've tried everything. I've used drum machines, Jamstix (cool!), DrumSite (okay). I bought DFHS - GREAT drum sounds. Needs lots of drive space, and CPU horsepower - and doesn't come with patterns or grooves. It's just the drum samples and an interface. So if you have MIDI drum tracks DFHS works great. Or if you love programming drums one hit at a time (I don't). Then I got EZ Drummer. Lots of patterns, more available aftermarket. Couple of cool kits. Great sounds. Very simple and easy.

    The next stage I'm moving to is an actual drummer :rofl:. I'm building a home studio with enough space for a drum kit. I'll get virtual drums, so I don't have to mic an acoustic kit, and so I can record the drums as MIDI. I'll use DFHS as the samples.

    Anyway, try EZ Drummer in Cubase. It'll have you up and making tunes quickly.
     
  13. toneguy86

    toneguy86 V.I.P. Member

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    Ya I looked at that, but it's not the cheapest program out there. That may have to wait.

    Mark
     
  14. AndyC

    AndyC Senior Member

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    Yeah, it's $ 150. The good stuff isn't cheap I guess. Amazon has a copy used for $ 112.

    Hey is that a Marauder in your avatar photo? I got a Marauder, new, in 1976. My first Gibson. Mine is wine red. Still have it. :applause:
     
  15. toneguy86

    toneguy86 V.I.P. Member

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    So true...I have gigs coming up though so a good chance I will be able to buy soon.

    It is a Marauder...Sunburst w/ the binding on the neck. I got mine in 74 or 75. It's all torn apart right now. A couple of years ago I routed the pickguard and put in a humbucker (Rio Grande). I never used the original single coil so I wanted something that would give me a bit more versatility. I recently pulled that pickup out and put in my LP. I like it better there. I used it on a couple of the clips I have posted here. I still have the original neck pickup though. I have always liked that Bill Lawrence tone from that one. Used it for a lot of recording and it sounds great. I have have some other humbuckers laying around so I may have the big M up and running soon again :) I actually really like the guitar.

    Mark
     
  16. st.bede

    st.bede V.I.P. Member

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    mic Sennheiser 421 (and maybe a 57 at the same time)

    quote from above..."The first mic you should get is the venerable SM57. You can use it to record with, and it doubles as a hammer in a pinch"

    DO NOT HIT YOUR MIC.....I have mishandeled a 57 and loss some of the high end, sure it kept on working but still it was damaged and I got rid of it

    REAPER is a free (more or less) DAW and it kicks a**....take a look at the sound on sound review
     
  17. goldencd

    goldencd Senior Member

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    Hey, figured I would chime in on what i use.

    Mac G5 dual 2.0 PowerPC 4gigs ram and 2 TB of HD
    Protools HD 1
    Apogee Rosetta 200 AD/DA converter
    Event Monitor
    Rockit Sub
    Mackie Big Knob monitoring system
    Neumann TLM149 Large Diaphram Condenser Mic
    API lunchbox with 2 Great River Pre-amps a
    1 sm58
    1 sm57
    Beta 87
    Mogami Cables
    Akai MPC1000 with jj0s 2
    remote 49 midi controller
    Yamaha motif es6
    Abelton Live
    Reason 3.0
    Waves Gold Bundle
    Sonnox eq
    Soundtoys
    Melodyne
    and a ton of other plugins
    Linndrum
    tech 1200 record player and a gangpile of records
    Marhsall dsl401 w/di
    Epiphone elitist Les Paul

    I mainly record hiphop and pop music, produce beats and track vocals.
    In addition I do a lot of mixing for local Twin Cities artists. There is a reason why protools is an industry standard, so my suggestion to anyone thinking about getting into recording DAW is to get Protools.

    Anyway, here is a quick pic of some of stuff[​IMG]
     
  18. shal1234

    shal1234 Senior Member

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    I always start my songs by developing the main riffs with a unplugged acoustic or a electric going into a practice amp like roland's microcube, while simultaneously creating the drum track in fruity loops and Drumkit From Hell 2 samples. I can even add bass and ambience with fruity loops, however it's quite limited. By doing guitars and drums simultaneaously i can get somewhat of a "groove" going. I usually just start off with something that i've been working on and expand on that.

    I spend many hours working on song structure, ie. intro, verse, chorus, bridge, outro. After i have a decent rough draft, I save the fruityloops file and open up Pro Tools LE and the Digi 002 rack.

    Import the drum track into pro tools and now i'm ready to lay down guitars and vocals. I like the sound of an amp miked, so if it's too late to use the amp then i won't even bother. I have a POD XT live but it don't cut it for me. Make me an offer and ti's yours.

    So i mic the amp with a Shure KSM27 condenser and usually get a pretty good sound. As a rule i always pan my first rhythm track to the mid-left and then record a second rhythm track and pan it mid-right. I just like the thicker sound that way. then i do any ambience panned in the center with my Korg Triton Extreme (make me an offer and it's yours), or lead guitar also goes in the center usually. Same with vocals and bass.

    I always use a little delay and some reverb on the vocals, as well as some eq, where i always roll off a little low end to make my voice fit in the mix better. Sometimes i double up on the vocals for power, or for harmony. Just like guitar harnomization.

    Once i'm done i export the file out of pro tools and into adobe audition so i can change it into a mp3. Then i listen to it with windows media player (that's the litmus test).

    In conclusion: For every 5 songs i create, usually only 1 of them is a keeper. To get something really good i have to produce TONS of material. You get what you put in is my motto. Work hard and you will see the results. Everytime i record a new song i learn a few things, sometimes minor things, other times pricless.

    some tips (my opinion):

    I never need as much gain as i think i do, nor reverb. alway use one of your recording channels for guitar, another for vocals, and so on, so you don't have to constanly make adjustments to the gain and other controls of that channel.

    I would recommend getting some monitors to listen to your song as you are creating it, as opposed to headphones. there's no substitute for hearing sound pass through the air.

    I use a pop filter with vocals, it is extremely usefull because it really does a good job of smoothing out the mix if i accidentally say a "P" too loud or something. I rarely sing directly into the mic, most of the time i sing at an angle to it. i think it's because it's a sensitive mic and if i speak directly at it the monitor will immediately peak into the red.

    For song structures, I take notes from my favorite bands. If you like the way a particular song goes, then steal the structure and replace it with your own riffs. after a while you will figure out what sounds best to you and develop your own style, and no longer need to bite off other songs.

    To me the strength of a song usually (not always) lies in the transitions. A sweet riff is cool, but the next transition can make or break it. spend time working on transitions, and ask yourself if it keeps the feet tapping, or does it murder the groove? Anybody can write a riff, but it takes time and dedication to master transition, and it will show. people will be impresed. Thanks for reading my rant. Peace!
     
  19. hate90

    hate90 Junior Member

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    Hello all,, I Hope this thread is still alive.. hehe

    i'm kind of new to this Home studio stuff but is my real passion,, the thing is that i requested for a M-audio midi controller 49key, line6 toneport x2 interface. to start with my recording stuff,, i already have some software (fruity lopps, cakewalk sonar and plan to get in the future waves mercury)

    im not very good with the software yet, but as soon as i get the gear i will improve on them,,, so i want to get some monitors and condenser microfones, is there any advice you guys wanna tell me??' im running on a low budget at the moment.. maybe any other gear i will need?
     
  20. racerratt

    racerratt Senior Member

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    Great topic.

    I've been doing the home PC recording thing for awhile and I love it.

    What my goal was to see how far I could go recording with a DAW (digital audio workstation) and no mic's. What a journey its been.

    I use Sonar Producer and it is one of the best. For drums I use FXpansion BFD. Killer sampled drums and for bass I use Broomstick Bass along with IK Multimedia AmpegSVX software. Waves makes some of the best effects software out there and I went overboard and got the Mercury bundle.

    For mixing down and mastering I use Soundforge and Harbal.

    Little did I know when I started doing this, how addicted to it I would get. I've done numerous commercials for radio and TV as well as fixing bad mixes for some local bands.

    This stuff goes deep as you want to go. There is lots to learn in PC recording and I can't tell you how many times I was pulling my hair out in frustration at learning this (I can trouble shoot just about anything) but it has been well worth it.

    For the audio card I use M-Audio Delta 10/10LT
     

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