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Home recording: digital player?

Phil Edwards 17 Nov 11 - 04:17 PM
Will Fly 17 Nov 11 - 04:30 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 17 Nov 11 - 04:31 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 17 Nov 11 - 04:38 PM
Tootler 17 Nov 11 - 07:32 PM
Guy Wolff 17 Nov 11 - 07:46 PM
GUEST 17 Nov 11 - 08:19 PM
GUEST,hg 17 Nov 11 - 11:59 PM
GUEST,hg 18 Nov 11 - 12:01 AM
Phil Edwards 18 Nov 11 - 03:21 AM
Geoff the Duck 18 Nov 11 - 03:42 AM
Lester 18 Nov 11 - 03:45 AM
Geoff the Duck 18 Nov 11 - 03:53 AM
Phil Edwards 18 Nov 11 - 04:29 AM
Silas 18 Nov 11 - 04:40 AM
Geoff the Duck 18 Nov 11 - 04:42 AM
Bonzo3legs 18 Nov 11 - 04:59 AM
AKS 18 Nov 11 - 05:37 AM
Phil Edwards 18 Nov 11 - 05:51 AM
GUEST,matt milton 18 Nov 11 - 06:31 AM
GUEST,Ted Crum (Steamchicken) 18 Nov 11 - 11:32 AM
Tattie Bogle 18 Nov 11 - 11:59 AM
Crowhugger 18 Nov 11 - 12:28 PM
Don Firth 18 Nov 11 - 02:54 PM
Tootler 18 Nov 11 - 05:59 PM
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Subject: Home recording: digital player?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 04:17 PM

I've been doing a lot of home recording lately, thanks to Fifty-Two Folk Songs. I'm using a Zoom H2 digital recorder and transferring tracks to Audacity for editing.

Lately I've been getting into multi-tracking, putting down instrumental accompaniments and layering vocal tracks (a couple of recent examples). I've very rapidly run into a problem with timing: my internal metronome is pretty good, but it's not accurate down to tenths of a second, particularly not between verses! I can get mismatched tracks lined up by wielding a virtual razor-blade in Audacity, but it's an awful lot of work; it would be a lot simpler just to keep in time by singing/playing along to what I've recorded already.

But how? The Zoom records onto an SD card (I'm using a 512 MB card at the moment, which is workable as I don't need to keep very much on the card at any one time). So I need a device that (a) takes an SD card and (b) has a headphone socket, and preferably (c) is cheap. I've got one such device already, but it's called a PC - which seems like overkill, as well as (more importantly) carrying the risk of unpredictable fan and disk noise. My phone is one of those primitive ones that let you make calls and send texts, and I haven't got an iPod (even if that would even work - iThings aren't renowned for their openness).

Any ideas?


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Subject: RE: Home recording: digital player?
From: Will Fly
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 04:30 PM

It sounds to me as thought, at some stage, you'll need at least some minimal form of multi-track recorder. Here's a 4-track model for £122 - incredibly cheap from when such things first came on to the market.

Tascam


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Subject: RE: Home recording: digital player?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 04:31 PM

takes us back to dark ages of rigging up multi-overdubbed home recording
with 2 cassette decks...

21 Cent equivalent could possibly be a cheapish stand alone media player
with SD card reading functions
used to playback through closed back 'studio' headphones whilst recording on the zoom...???

[ google variations on "media player sd card" ]

eg


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Subject: RE: Home recording: digital player?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 04:38 PM

bugger that 'Enter' button...

I was in the process of making a link to a cheap example..

but there appear to be loads of different inexpensive players starting from around a fiver..

Some only plug into a TV via HDMI, others have their own headphone outputs;

just a matter of finding the least expensive one that reads your particular zoom SD cards...


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Subject: RE: Home recording: digital player?
From: Tootler
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 07:32 PM

It's not essential that your playback device takes SD cards as long as you can transfer tracks to it from the SD card. You may have to copy to the PC first then transfer to the player. You might also have to convert to mp3 but that should not be a problem and you don't need to lose your original in the process.


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Subject: RE: Home recording: digital player?
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 07:46 PM

I just finished my fourth cd without a proffesional recording studio this time ! Steve Jobs put GarageBand on my mac Book Pro . I have good mikes and a translation box and really its a ton more stuff then most folk records need . The trick is getting the finished recording out of the computer in large format .. DIcsMAkers finished the thing for me . Really 1000 units for $1000.00   . With extra tom foolery the project came in under $2000.00 .. HEre is a link to a Youtube vedio of one of the tunes so you can hear how cleanly this can go . All the best Guy


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxb29SzvRN4


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Subject: RE: Home recording: digital player?
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 08:19 PM

It is all in the cache.

Save, close file, shut-down, and restart.

You are asking miracles that were never present in even the best of recording studios.

Layer, by layer....like a masterworks painter....be patient.


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Subject: RE: Home recording: digital player?
From: GUEST,hg
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 11:59 PM

I like this gadget...
Boss 532 / alternate


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Subject: RE: Home recording: digital player?
From: GUEST,hg
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 12:01 AM

Hi Garg.....


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Subject: RE: Home recording: digital player?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 03:21 AM

Tootler - I know that would be doable with the most basic MP3 player, but it sounds like a lot of hassle. I really want something that will play WAV files and read them off an SD card, or via USB.

I'm surprised this isn't a problem other people have tackled, other than by going up to actual multi-track recording.


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Subject: RE: Home recording: digital player?
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 03:42 AM

Don't see what is too much hassle about what Tootler suggests!

1) Buy cheap MP3 player (£12 from Currys for the last one I bought - works on a size A battery so doesn't need to be charged for hours) most recent ones play .wav files so no conversion to MP3 needed.

2) Plug SD card into computer.

3) Plug MP3 player into USB slot on computer.

4) Use a file manager to copy your files directlty from SD card to Music Player.

I use FreeCommander Portable, as it costs nothing, does much more than Windows Explorer and works with 2 panes so you can see both source files and destination for move or copy in the same view.

5) Listen to music file through headphones.
Personally I can't think of ANY alternative that would be quicker, easier or less hassle.

Quack!
Geoff the Duck.


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Subject: RE: Home recording: digital player?
From: Lester
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 03:45 AM

Or use the Zoom as a USB mic on your PC and then sue Audacity to multitrack. Audacity will play back tracks whilst recording others


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Subject: RE: Home recording: digital player?
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 03:53 AM

Couple of mis-typings in point 4), including losing the Blicky link...

4) Use a file manager to copy your files directly from SD card to Music Player.

I use FreeCommander Portable, as it costs nothing, does much more than Windows Explorer and works with 2 panes so you can see both source files and destination for move or copy in the same view.


Plus you need transfer your SD card files to the PC for Audacity as well as to the music player, so kill two birds with one stone and do them at the same time.


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Subject: RE: Home recording: digital player?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 04:29 AM

Geoff/Tootler - OK, point taken; it doesn't sound a massive amount of hassle done that way. I was thinking in terms of iPods & managing everything through iTunes, which would be tedious - but of course iPods are not the only digital music devices (Apples are not the only fruit...).


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Subject: RE: Home recording: digital player?
From: Silas
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 04:40 AM

I have the Tascam 8 track version - if only I could find enough time to learn to use it.....


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Subject: RE: Home recording: digital player?
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 04:42 AM

I'm a great believer in keeping things simple. It is very tempting to over complicate things when cheap and cheerful will do the job.
I once had an iPod (won it in a free draw at supermarket) and it was an excellent piece of gear, much better than the sort of cheap player I can actually afford to buy. That said, it is way beyond what you would need to just have the original track in your ear for the purpose of playing/singing in time.
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Home recording: digital player?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 04:59 AM

Better still, buy a second hand Fostex V80 - 8 track digital and a second hand Roland R5 digital drum machine which can be run via midi for timing.


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Subject: RE: Home recording: digital player?
From: AKS
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 05:37 AM

Lester (18 Nov 11 - 03:45 AM) said it – you don't need any other gadgetry to make things more complicated!

AKS


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Subject: RE: Home recording: digital player?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 05:51 AM

Lester - that may just be the answer! I'll have to tweak my recording setup - I record vocal tracks in a different room from the Mac, as this room's acoustics tend to be dull and 'boxy'. On the other hand, some of the relative brightness of the other room is probably down to the fact that I'm singing at a wall (I record standing up, with the Zoom sitting on the mantlepiece)... hmmm. I want to keep the Zoom well away from the Mac, just in case a backup kicks off or the fans start up, so I might need a longer USB lead...

[Later]

Forgot I hadn't finished this comment!

Multi-track recording straight into Audacity works wonderfully, EXCEPT that it crashes every ten minutes or so. It's obviously something about the playback-while-recording/USB mike setup that it can't handle, because I very rarely get crashes otherwise. Very annoying, particularly when it happens just after you've recorded a four-minute keyboard part for the fifth time (the first three takes weren't that good, and the fourth got lost the *last* time it crashed).

But it works, kind of.


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Subject: RE: Home recording: digital player?
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 06:31 AM

Read up on the Zoom H4 . I don't know what it's capabilities are, but it is a 4 track version of the H2, so I would imagine it would have some kind of monitoring/synching function (ie overdubbing a track while listening on headphones to the previous one). Have a look at its manual.

If it can do that, then the logical thing to do would be to flog the H2 on eBay and upgrade to the H4.


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Subject: RE: Home recording: digital player?
From: GUEST,Ted Crum (Steamchicken)
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 11:32 AM

If you like Zoom and are ambitious in your recording, have a look at the R16. It can record up to eight tracks at once (16 in all if necessary), allows all sorts of input variations and will even work on batteries if you want. I record onto it, then download the WAV files into Adobe Audition to mix and master. Super bit of kit and well worth the money. We've just finished a demo to promote our Jazz Roots Roadshow, and Andy (our usual recording engineer) was knocked out by the quality.


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Subject: RE: Home recording: digital player?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 11:59 AM

I have a Zoom H4, but haven't yet got into multi-tracking of which it certainly is capable. I connect it via USB to my Macbook Pro, copy into Garageband for editing/tweaking and then copy to iTunes if I want to burn to CD. Great results!
Just wish the Zooms had a better/bigger screen: not easy to see what's going on!


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Subject: Click track
From: Crowhugger
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 12:28 PM

When recording tracks separately, first I use Audacity to make a click track and play that on any old mp3 player through an ear bud to keep the same groove for each track. A click track can be manually customized to include slowing down towards the ending, or any variable tempo spots like that.

Yes, to do so means a bit of time invested to figure out the number of measures from start to where the ritard starts and deciding how many measures I'll count before the start of the first sound. I find that preferable to tweaking every layer to align them. I've also found that I feel much more confident knowing the over all architecture of the song, and it shows in better singing.

I make sure to practise with the click track several times before trying to record; working with one is a skill that gets better with more doing. But this tool is not the best option for those with major issues with authority, lol. For a CT to make track alignment quick and painless it has to rule during recording.


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Subject: RE: Home recording: digital player?
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 02:54 PM

If you're going to get a Zoom H4, be sure you get the H4n (n for "new.").

It's a major improvement over the earlier H4. Larger screen, more intelligible menu, better controls.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Home recording: digital player?
From: Tootler
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 05:59 PM

What I was going to add has already been said by GtD, but I will just add that it is just a matter of drag and drop so no real hassle.

I use an Edirol R09 to record with but the same principle as the Zoom H2. I always transfer the recordings to the hard disk before working on them anyway so what I was suggesting is not that much extra hassle. In fact, I have an external hard disk exclusively devoted to the originals so they so I always have them if I need to start again. I copy to my PC hard disk to work on the recordings and then back up to a separate external drive so the PC hard disk does not get full up. (I do the same with video and pictures from my camera). If the mp3 player will read WAV files, fine but, if not, it only takes a few seconds to convert from WAV to mp3 and you can discard the mp3 later. I use ffmpeg in linux to do the conversion. As long as you have all the necessary libraries installed it will convert almost anything (audio or video) to just about anything else. It's basically a command line tool but there is a GUI called WinFF which is pretty intuitive.


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