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Tech: Home Recording query

GUEST,Cappuccino 15 Feb 17 - 05:21 AM
Joe Offer 15 Feb 17 - 05:43 AM
Stanron 15 Feb 17 - 05:55 AM
Will Fly 15 Feb 17 - 06:21 AM
GUEST,leeneia 15 Feb 17 - 01:06 PM
punkfolkrocker 15 Feb 17 - 01:54 PM
punkfolkrocker 15 Feb 17 - 01:56 PM
GUEST,Cappuccino 16 Feb 17 - 04:54 AM
Big Al Whittle 16 Feb 17 - 07:05 AM
Richard Bridge 16 Feb 17 - 05:19 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 17 Feb 17 - 03:51 PM
Richard Bridge 17 Feb 17 - 03:51 PM
punkfolkrocker 17 Feb 17 - 05:23 PM
punkfolkrocker 17 Feb 17 - 05:29 PM
Will Fly 17 Feb 17 - 05:43 PM
Big Al Whittle 17 Feb 17 - 06:04 PM
Richard Bridge 17 Feb 17 - 07:15 PM
Big Al Whittle 17 Feb 17 - 07:33 PM
punkfolkrocker 17 Feb 17 - 08:57 PM
punkfolkrocker 18 Feb 17 - 12:51 PM
punkfolkrocker 18 Feb 17 - 03:02 PM
Richard Bridge 19 Feb 17 - 12:31 AM
GUEST,Some Mither or other 19 Feb 17 - 04:55 AM
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Subject: Tech: Home Recording query
From: GUEST,Cappuccino
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 05:21 AM

Greetings again from Norfolk, UK.

Here's a puzzle which left me lost for reply.   I record at home on a Zoom R16, a machine which many users like a lot. I do not use the machine as an 'interface' for a computer, as most people do, (because I have always been unable to load the software) but I mix down on the R16 itself and copy to a master CD. That master is used for duplication, either at home or by a professional repro house.

Typical samples of the results, for our blues and ceilidh bands, are here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVKkwqWdU0Bafv42M_Qz_XQ

Our recent Blues from the Broads CD (it refers to the Norfolk Broads, a bayou-like area in the east of the UK) has gone down well and is on the playlist of a local pub. However, the manager says, it plays at a higher volume than any of the rest of his playlist CDs, and he has to turn it down every time a track comes on.

This has puzzled me. I recorded the thing at my usual level (just touching into the red bars on my meter). No one who has played it at home has complained.

The CD repro house has said it's nothing they've done, and commented that 'post mastering' is often used to make things louder, not the other way round. Recording studios I've worked with in the past say that a good, loud, but clear level is exactly what they want.

Is there a 'conventional' volume at which CDs should be recorded, and if so, how do I achieve it?

All the best
-Cappuccino (I think I may come up as a 'guest', because I haven't visited this forum for so long!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Recording query
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 05:43 AM

Hi, Cappuccino -
If you're having login problems, send me an email [joe@mudcat.org] - I tried to email you, but the email bounced.

I use Audacity for editing recordings I've made on my Zoom recorder.
https://sourceforge.net/projects/audacity/

Cheers!

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Recording query
From: Stanron
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 05:55 AM

When I do home recordings I end up with files (.wav files) on a flash card. I load these into my computer, which is in another and usually warmer room, and then edit them with a program called Audacity. This is a free download and works on Windows and Linux.

I usually record at a level low enough to have no fear of distortion because trying to perform and monitor recording levels at the same time is a waste of time. Audacity has a function called 'Normalise' which raises the volume to a 'normal' level. My usual procedure is to trim both ends and then normalise the track.

I read that you 'have always been unable to load the software' but if you could get one of your files onto a computer that had a program like Audacity you could see what the 'Normalise' function makes of your files.

My understanding is that if you are at or below 0 db there should be no distortion and the level should not be louder than most other recordings. The only thing that could make them seem louder is if your recording device automatically and heavily 'compresses' the signal. Can you look through the settings of your recorder to see if compression is switch-able and if it is try a recording with no compression for comparison?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Recording query
From: Will Fly
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 06:21 AM

Good advice from Stanron there. Is there a "Peak" signal on your R16 - i.e. something that shows as a light going from green (safe) to red (peaking/distorted)? Just curious - though, from your YouTube recording, which is nice and clear, it all sounds OK to me.

However, you would certainly have a little more control over the track volumes if you mixed them down on the computer.

When I've used tracks from an R16 (one of our band members has one), he gives me a memory card for me to download the .wav files - one per instrument - into my computer. I then load each instrument's .wav file as a track into Garageband, synch them up, and mix from there. Audacity will also do as a mixer, though I personally prefer Garageband on my Mac.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Recording query
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 01:06 PM

I linked to your YouTube video, and the volume was comfortable. I have sensitive hearing, so I consider that a good test.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Recording query
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 01:54 PM

It's a pub - I'd ask questions about the quality and playback functions of their sound system
before getting too over anxious about your recordings..

You already seem to have a fair idea about what you are doing with your recording gear;
so maybe time for polite questions about the pub music play equipment,
and if it has built in limiters or compressors that someone might have forgot to switch on ...???


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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Recording query
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 01:56 PM

The simplest compromise would be to check the average levels of the other playlist CDs
then burn a one off quieter disc for the pub..


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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Recording query
From: GUEST,Cappuccino
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 04:54 AM

Thanks for your various replies.   Interestingly, the point about compression has come up in the Zoom users' forum, where I have also raised this puzzle. I am also grateful to see that Audacity is downloadable - I didn't know that. I'll try again.

And thanks, punkfolkrocker - I had wondered about cutting a one-off low-level disc for the pub. I have to be tactful with them... the pub manager is the singer on the blues album!!!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Recording query
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 07:05 AM

the audacity or similar system is a good idea.

surely the best guide is your home cd player system

does your recording seem louder than professionally recorded cds.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Recording query
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 05:19 PM

It occurs to me that a "sticky" that dealt with recording issues - preferably one where we can log in anonymously to avoid revealing our ignorance or incompetence - might be useful to many.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Recording query
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 17 Feb 17 - 03:51 PM

Oh vanity of vanities, Richard!.... Try discerning between 'constructive' (and therefore 'instructive') criticism, and ego bashing!
...With some luck you might be able to carry that over to some of your myopic political views, as well!

Now don't get your knickers in a twist, but music is a far higher calling than politics and other related nonsense!!

GfS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Recording query
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 17 Feb 17 - 03:51 PM

Bump. I imagine this will have to be it then.

I have a very old unbalanced desk that will work as 8 into 2 or 4 into 4. High hiss and no clip lights.

I also have an umpteen channel desk that I'm pretty sure will work as an 8 into 8 (or more)

Now what I want is something that will record 4 preferably 8 tracks at once - which I can then re-record to affect frequency compensation and/or add FX, in due course to remix down to 2 tracks.

Once upon a time Amstrad did a sort of home studio putting 8 tracks onto a standard cassette, and I've seen another cassette based tool that did 6 or 8 tracks. 8 track recorders on quarter or half or even inch tape used to be common if very expensive.

But now what is there? 10 years ago there were 8-track soundcards for computers, but they seem to have vanished with XP. As far as I can understand the native input to say an i-pad can do stereo and no more.

I've got a 6-track digital thingy somewhere, but it's everything hidden down multilayered menus, put it on the internal hard drive, then write to (say) a stereo minidisc. Does my brain in!

All I want is something that works like an 8-track tape deck (not an "8-track" as in old fashioned car sound systems.

Open to suggestions!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Recording query
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 17 Feb 17 - 05:23 PM

Richard - in my collection of stuff I have soundcards and audio interfaces
equipped with 8 In/8 Out ADAT S/PDIF Audio Interface...

Behringer used to do the cheapest acceptable quality 8 analog into 8 digital output converter box.. but i never got round to buying one..

..And Emu did the sub 150 quid adat input sound cards..

All this until about 5 ish


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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Recording query
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 17 Feb 17 - 05:29 PM

5 ish years ago..

Since then I've got a bit out of touch with latest gear available..


I'm only half awake at moment, just slept off a massive cottage pie - explains clumsly accidental post of half written answer.. oops..

but heres a brief extract from the first clever looking explanation I could find.
www.homestudiocorner.com

"Optical connections are normally one of two things – S/PDIF or ADAT. While S/PDIF is normally on a coaxial (RCA) connector, it CAN be on an optical connector. It will almost always be labeled.

If the optical connection is an ADAT signal, it can carry not two but eightchannels of audio (at 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz).

If your interface has an ADAT optical input, you can add an additional eight channels of inputs into your system
"


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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Recording query
From: Will Fly
Date: 17 Feb 17 - 05:43 PM

The Zoom R16 that the OP mentioned has the facility to record 8 tracks and more simultaneously. We've occasionally linked it up to our 24-channel mixer - one cable linking each mixer output channel to an input channel on the Zoom - and recorded the band while playing live. The 32Gb card we use can then be extracted, read into a PC/Mac as individual .wav files, and then synched and mixed with Audacity or Garageband or whatever suits you.

I like Garageband (Mac) because the track volume, EQ and pan levels can be easily adjusted mid-track. Audacity, on the other hand, is particularly good at boosting low-level input - so I sometimes use both.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Recording query
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Feb 17 - 06:04 PM

i've got a bid in for a 24 track machine on ebay. if i get it and i will get one soon, i will have a zoom 16 track to get rid of, its very good.

keep in touch Richard


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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Recording query
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 17 Feb 17 - 07:15 PM

Thank you chaps. Remember, all I want is the ability to record n tracks at once. I can pfaff about with them later. Or not.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Recording query
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Feb 17 - 07:33 PM

n tracks?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Recording query
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 17 Feb 17 - 08:57 PM

I'm awake now...

for several years the now discontinued Behringer ADA8000 was popular project studio / cheapskate pro 8 track ADAT analog to digital converter
- dunno how low 2nd hand prices are now...???

Review:
http://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/behringer-ada8000



Behringer Ultragain ADA 8200 is the most recent version at roughly the same retail price

Review:
http://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/behringer-ultragain-ada-8200


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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Recording query
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 18 Feb 17 - 12:51 PM

This is a more up to date round up of available gear... though getting a bit expensive...



How do I add more inputs and outputs to my audio interface?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Recording query
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 18 Feb 17 - 03:02 PM

My memory works in fits and starts... [been too preoccupied with family rather than recording gear, the last 5 years..]

E-MU 1212m PCI and PCI-E cards were the high quality budget price sound cards that were equipped with 8 track ADAT inputs..

E-mu 1616 might still be sold as NOS by some online retailers...??

Should be good low 2nd hand prices, and probably still work with Win 7 [maybe win 8...???]


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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Recording query
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Feb 17 - 12:31 AM

I found the suitcase with the digital recording thing in. It's an Akai DPS12i. I wonder where I put the manual. The internet reveals a manual for a DOS 12 (not 12i) and it's 156 pages long. Oh.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Recording query
From: GUEST,Some Mither or other
Date: 19 Feb 17 - 04:55 AM

Heh heh.

Good old Bridge.

His museum trying to compete with the modern world and claiming superiority with old hat systems that went out with the ark. (Possibly bamboozled by some of the new terms used in recording since his Bakelite phonograph was the mutts nuts. Not often I sit nodding at a Goofus post.

I'm same as Will. I use simple GarageBand although if I didn't have a Mac, I'm sure Audacity or one of the free ones that came with my interfaces would suffice. After all, I rarely mix more than two voices, guitar and fiddle.

I either use iTrack Solo into the computer or if I am youtubing, analogue mixer into my camera (Nikon D5200) and post mix with iMovie, using GarageBand add in.

The VU scale in GarageBand sets the level and if I want to rip to CD, I rip first to iTunes, make the album there and let its auto level make the actual CD burn.


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