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Home recording, and the starting thereof.
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arcadedave
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Joined: 26 Dec 2006
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Location: Goldheart Mountaintop

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 6:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Home recording, and the starting thereof. Reply with quote

Looks dandy James, how much are you after for it?

Doog wrote:
Wtf? You don't have a soundcard??


Chip on the motherboard. Works fine, probably should upgrade.
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Reece
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Joined: 14 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been wanting to go 4 track cassette for a while, useful for demos and my short attention span. How much did you pay for that? I'm looking at some tascam ones on the 'bay at the moment.
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James
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I got it I was looking at the tascam ones. They seemed alright and I was going to go for um.. perhaps a mkIII of something? 4224 or something like that seems to ring a bell. I saw the marantz and it looked like great quality and went for it. I got it in my first year of uni, so probably late 2003 and honestly don't remember the price I paid. At a guess I'd say it was around 130 or something. I got a SansAmp Classic at pretty much the same time and the prices were similar so I forgot what I actually paid for each. I'd previously spent like 100 on a shite fostex four track (X-12 perhaps?) and the difference was unbelievable.

arcadedave - PM'd about the price.
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Reece
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just won a Tascam MF-P01 for 26 quid. If it turns out to be dodgy, not a big loss. Lo-fi HAR I COEM.
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Ian
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Joined: 03 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a general overview of a recording studio. This is how mine is set up anyway.

Microphones - Duh, its a microphone. These go into the pre-amps.

Pre-amps - Not like a guitar pre-amp at all. Simple pre-amps have a small amount of settings like 48 volt power, gain, and volume. Channel strips (like the pre-amps on a big board) have more features like EQ and Compression, Phase invert and other fun stuff. Any of this stuff happens before the sound hits the converters. You can't plug a microphone directly into a converter, maybe you can, but you shouldn't. If you get super funky with your setup, you can run your pre-amp into a separate compressor or EQ or both, before hitting the converter.

Converters - The converter will take your analog signal and convert it into a digital signal. 16 bit or 24 bit. And various Sample Rates.

Interface - Your converters can go straight to an expensive ass sound card, or an interface which then routes the signal to your computer via firewire or usb.

Monitors - The best kind of monitors will not make things sound very flattering. The thought is, if you can make it sound good on these ugly sounding speakers, it will sound great in good sounding systems (and by ugly I don't mean shitty computer speakers, if you ever get to hear Yamaha NS-10's you will understand what ugly means). It is a good idea to have a subwoofer when recording at home. Otherwise you could end up with too little bass or way too much bass. Make sure you set your subwoofer to a comfortable level with a well mixed CD and you should be okay to go with your sub frequencies.

Now for some shit thats hard to understand.

Patchbay - If you have enough shit, you should get a patchbay or two. Let's say you had a patchbay with 16 inputs on the top, 16 on the bottom, front and back. Most patchbays use stereo 1/4th inch inputs. You could plug all of your microphones into the top row of inputs on the back of the patchbay. And then plug all of your pre-amps into the bottom row on the back of the patchbay. Now a term called normaling comes into play. This means that the microphone plugged into the back of your patchbay will automatically be connected to the preamp plugged in directly below it. Lets just say the microphone and preamp in question were plugged into channel 1 (out of the 16 in this imaginary patchbay). If you wanted to plug that microphone into a different preamp than the one below it, you could use a patch cable. On the front of the patchbay, (which is much easier to reach than the back at this point!) you would plug the patch cable into the top of channel 1, and then into the bottom input of whichever channel you want out of the 16. Now the mic is no longer normalled to preamp #1 but instead routed to whichever preamp you want.

There are some other things you can do with patchbays, but I don't understand those things yet.

haha.


Anyway, it is a lot to get into... so good luck with it. A multitrack is basically a pre-amp and converter and sometimes an interface too all in the same box. A bit easier to use than all this other shit. And some people can get great results using them.
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Ninja Mike 808
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Joined: 14 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ian wrote:
Here is a general overview of a recording studio. This is how mine is set up anyway.

Microphones - Duh, its a microphone. These go into the pre-amps.

Pre-amps - Not like a guitar pre-amp at all. Simple pre-amps have a small amount of settings like 48 volt power, gain, and volume. Channel strips (like the pre-amps on a big board) have more features like EQ and Compression, Phase invert and other fun stuff. Any of this stuff happens before the sound hits the converters. You can't plug a microphone directly into a converter, maybe you can, but you shouldn't. If you get super funky with your setup, you can run your pre-amp into a separate compressor or EQ or both, before hitting the converter.

Converters - The converter will take your analog signal and convert it into a digital signal. 16 bit or 24 bit. And various Sample Rates.

Interface - Your converters can go straight to an expensive ass sound card, or an interface which then routes the signal to your computer via firewire or usb.

Monitors - The best kind of monitors will not make things sound very flattering. The thought is, if you can make it sound good on these ugly sounding speakers, it will sound great in good sounding systems (and by ugly I don't mean shitty computer speakers, if you ever get to hear Yamaha NS-10's you will understand what ugly means). It is a good idea to have a subwoofer when recording at home. Otherwise you could end up with too little bass or way too much bass. Make sure you set your subwoofer to a comfortable level with a well mixed CD and you should be okay to go with your sub frequencies.

Now for some shit thats hard to understand.

Patchbay - If you have enough shit, you should get a patchbay or two. Let's say you had a patchbay with 16 inputs on the top, 16 on the bottom, front and back. Most patchbays use stereo 1/4th inch inputs. You could plug all of your microphones into the top row of inputs on the back of the patchbay. And then plug all of your pre-amps into the bottom row on the back of the patchbay. Now a term called normaling comes into play. This means that the microphone plugged into the back of your patchbay will automatically be connected to the preamp plugged in directly below it. Lets just say the microphone and preamp in question were plugged into channel 1 (out of the 16 in this imaginary patchbay). If you wanted to plug that microphone into a different preamp than the one below it, you could use a patch cable. On the front of the patchbay, (which is much easier to reach than the back at this point!) you would plug the patch cable into the top of channel 1, and then into the bottom input of whichever channel you want out of the 16. Now the mic is no longer normalled to preamp #1 but instead routed to whichever preamp you want.

There are some other things you can do with patchbays, but I don't understand those things yet.

haha.


Anyway, it is a lot to get into... so good luck with it. A multitrack is basically a pre-amp and converter and sometimes an interface too all in the same box. A bit easier to use than all this other shit. And some people can get great results using them.


So what converters do you have? Since you're not using the ones on the interface.
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Ian
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Joined: 03 Feb 2007
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Location: What do?

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The interface I use is an M-Audio profire lightbridge which doesn't have any converters in it.

I am using an Apogee Rosetta for 8 channels of ADA conversion. I run optical cables from it, to the profire. It worked out pretty great.
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Mike
I like EL34s


Joined: 20 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just get an Audio interface with converters in it.

Only people will more money than sense would split them out into two units. You're building a home studio.
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Chorlton
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:46 am    Post subject: Re: Home recording, and the starting thereof. Reply with quote

arcadedave wrote:
Up until now if ever I've wanted to record a riff or melody or any other idea not more than 10 seconds long, I've used the mic on my webcam and Audacity. This has been fine, but I want to start recording demos and such, with some decent tone, and havent much idea of how to get started.

The sage at my local guitar emporium recommended I look at USB mixers, and I have, narrowing it down
to these three.

I would follow this up with an SM57 or somesuch from the bay, and be done. But before I do this, I want to hear any recommendations you folks might have. Something like this perhaps? anything to avoid? Am I barking up completley the wrong tree?

Do tell.


Im also a total numpty when it comes to recording. But i also wanted something which 1) i can just get ideas down and 2) make it sound halfway decent with a bit of practice.
As i'm just doing it for a bit of fun, i wanted to do it on the cheap. So this is what i ended up with. Caution, i use some technical language form here on but stay with it.
I got a Line6 Toneport thing which is a box you plug your axe into and it goes into the pooter. It comes with software called gearbox which is amp/effects modelling. You get quite a few amps and although its obviously has limitations in its sound, it's actually not that bad.
Then i downloaded Reaper. I already had Audacity but Reaper is a lot better. It's a bit complicated at first but i've managed to bend my head around it and ive actually found it to be quite intuitive.
Some drum software is a good thing to have. It gives you editable drum sounds, pre existing loops and the ability to edit/ beatsmake them up within the midi editor in reaper. Even i worked out how to do this and although its fiddly, its quite satisfying. Then add a bass and you are away.
The Line6 has a microphone input but i haven't managed to get that to work yet. Either the sm57 is bust or more likely, im doing something wrong.

All in all that comes to:
Line6 ux1 (?): ebay 50
sm 57: Amazon 50
Reaper: Free first month then something like 25
Seinhaussen headphones: Amazon 20
ezDrums: ebay 80
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Ninja Mike 808
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're buying programs, check out iDrum. It's pretty simple,imo, plus you can sample a drum sound and load it in. I'm just throwing suggestions.

I agree with Mike, though, having an interface and a converter is odd.
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Ian
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am using Pro-Tools M-powered thats why.
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Ninja Mike 808
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ian wrote:
I am using Pro-Tools M-powered thats why.


Ah. Pro Tools is kinda cool, but I find it tiresome, ya know? having to upgrade all the fucking time to get the better plugs, and buying more plugs. The basic plugs (EQ 3 and BF76) are dope, though, but mono Beat Detective blows.
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More Cowbell
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Upgrade all the time? Maybe on a Windows version. I don't think I've ever been asked to update anything on protools. I've heard too many good albums recorded with minor league shit, that staying on top of the latest updated audio game isn't worth it.
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Ian
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hardly updated and just used basic plugins.

annnnd you can fix drums without beat detective.

Just group them. Select tab to transient and cut beat by beat. And then customize your quantize settings however you want and quantize the cut up drums. It may not be as fast as beat detective but you can make sure every single beat is in the right spot.
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Doog
can i get uhhh


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or just get a better drummer.
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Mike
I like EL34s


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Play to a click you fucking newbie.
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Jesse
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That reminds me of a story that my instructor told me once. He was talking to an older, producer friend of his and this is what was said:

"So, Shawn, I found it. I found one button on the console that can fix anything!"

"Really? My god, what is it?" (Thinking that it's a new invention, some kind of auto-edit switch of some sort.)

"It's called a talk-back button. I press it and say, 'Not good enough, try it again.'"
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Sloan
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

awesomze.

I just sold my Blue Voodoo on eBay so I think I'm gonna get a PreSonus Studiofire Project. It's got some cool real-time monitoring shit that would be useful.
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Ian
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beat detective is common practice these days unless you are going for a more natural sound. I don't think it makes anyone a newbie.
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Mike
I like EL34s


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kill me if I ever post something like that.
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