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Tech: Beginning a home recording

matai 25 Apr 05 - 08:14 AM
The Fooles Troupe 25 Apr 05 - 08:39 AM
matai 25 Apr 05 - 08:55 AM
The Fooles Troupe 25 Apr 05 - 09:06 AM
GUEST,jeffp 25 Apr 05 - 09:13 AM
Amos 25 Apr 05 - 09:18 AM
matai 25 Apr 05 - 09:35 AM
Amos 25 Apr 05 - 09:48 AM
GUEST,jeffp 25 Apr 05 - 09:57 AM
GUEST,leeneia 25 Apr 05 - 11:12 AM
matai 25 Apr 05 - 10:56 PM
Amos 25 Apr 05 - 11:16 PM
Kudzuman 25 Apr 05 - 11:34 PM
harpgirl 25 Apr 05 - 11:39 PM
GUEST,Al 26 Apr 05 - 12:03 AM
chris nightbird childs 26 Apr 05 - 12:06 AM
Stilly River Sage 26 Apr 05 - 12:29 AM
treewind 26 Apr 05 - 06:14 AM
Amos 26 Apr 05 - 09:11 AM
treewind 26 Apr 05 - 09:53 AM
Amos 26 Apr 05 - 10:13 AM
GUEST,Jim 26 Apr 05 - 12:01 PM
GUEST,Jim 26 Apr 05 - 12:07 PM
M.Ted 26 Apr 05 - 04:24 PM
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Subject: Tech: Beginning a home recording
From: matai
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 08:14 AM

I have downloaded a programme, Goldwave. I have a stereo microphone that is all. Now I plan to take out my guitar and sing some songs I've written. Do I set up the programme first? ie the volume, eq and various other effects or afterwards?
I have tried a couple of sound bites so far one vocal and one guitar they sound really quiet.
I know it would be better if I had a pre-amp or a mixer but I don't. I figure it should be as easy as singing into a tape-recorder. Is it?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Beginning a home recording
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 08:39 AM

Nothing is a simple as those with no experience believe.

For those with experience, everything was always more complex than they first thought.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Beginning a home recording
From: matai
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 08:55 AM

Yeah


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Subject: RE: Tech: Beginning a home recording
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 09:06 AM

There are many previous relevant threads with all the relevant beginners explanations of terms here which will help you start understanding - try some mudcat searches - once you hit one, you should find lots of relevant threads cross-linked. You've a steep learning curve ahead matai! :-)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Beginning a home recording
From: GUEST,jeffp
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 09:13 AM

You should have some way to adjust your input levels. I'm not familiar with Goldwave, but those controls must be somewhere. You want to adjust your level to just below the overload point. No other effects should be applied when you are recording. You want a dry sound to start with. You can then experiment with various effects alone and in combination on your "blank" canvas.

Look at the documentation. It should have all the info you need somewhere within it.

jeffp


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Subject: RE: Tech: Beginning a home recording
From: Amos
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 09:18 AM

It is not a whole lot more complicated, and it is a lot more functional. With digital files you can open them up afterwards and edit them -- change filters and re-do the point where you banged into the mike by mistake, and so on.

You start the software recording, perform into the mike, hot the stop button and open the file in the editor. You take out the dead space in the front where you were picking up your guitar and any dead space at the back end.

Then you experiment with filters -- you can filter to emphasize treble or bass or any particular frequency (depending on the software), add a little reverb and a lot of other things, potentially -- different programs have different feature sets.

Then you save it off to AIFF or WAV or MP3 and send it to your girl!


A


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Subject: RE: Tech: Beginning a home recording
From: matai
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 09:35 AM

Hey thanks a lot so far. The input volume prob was what most concerned me. So it is okay to crank it up? Great!
I have tried all the effects/filters on several takes and managed to crash the programme a few times by sending the graph off the map but hey you are right I'm learning.
I suppose it is best to record each song individually but...
I tried the search options and came up with nothing on Mudcat. It surprised me.
And the documentation(help file)sometimes sounds like a whole lot of gobbledygook until I've read it for the hundredth time...although for some reason I'm really nervous, like really nervous and the words aren't sinking in.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Beginning a home recording
From: Amos
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 09:48 AM

That's because they are undefined, and don't make sense without either a clear definition or an experiential referent. As a beginner you have no experiential data, and the tech writers are sloppy enough to fail to provide definitions.

You can find definitions for terms somehow; one way is to put an entry into Google's search box of the form "define:xxx" where xxx is the term in doubt.

Bear in mind there is a LOT more tech in a decent recording/editing program than you will ever need. You can make anything sound pretty good just by using a 10-frequency graphic equalizer, a little reverb or echo, and volume controls. You can tweak volume after you've recorded, which is especially useful if you have miked your guitar and voice separately and played too loudly or softly for your voice, as often happens.


A


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Subject: RE: Tech: Beginning a home recording
From: GUEST,jeffp
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 09:57 AM

I just took a look at the Goldwave site, www.goldwave.com. It appears to me that if you want to do multitrack recording, you would be better served by Multiquence rather than Goldwave. Goldwave seems to be aimed at editing files for remastering and copying rather than multitrack recording. Multiquence handles video too. I may investigate this for some of my projects. I'm currently slogging my way through learning Cubase for my CD efforts.

jeffp


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Subject: RE: Tech: Beginning a home recording
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 11:12 AM

I've done a little recording using my tape deck. Here's a hint I got from the guy at Radio Shack. Turn off all the appliances in the house, everything that hums, blows or ticks. Turn the fridge to its warmest setting, the furnace to low or the a/c to high. All these environmental sounds are what create a hum on your recording.

Once I made a long tape of dulcimer music. By the end of it, my poor cat was huddled on top of the tape deck, the only warm thing left in the house. When she started to mew piteously, I declared the project done.

You are right about the bad writing in the directions for your software. Bad writing seems to be the industry standard.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Beginning a home recording
From: matai
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 10:56 PM

My computer hum was the one that worried me but it doesn't seem to have affected what I've recorded so far. Someone suggested wrapping the thing in foam making sure the fan was not blocked but it didn't make any difference when I tried that. The stereo mic seem to pick up only what is in front of it. I could use it to record a band in one take I'm told. Dont think I could fit a band into my study but I might give it a go one day when I've had more recording experience.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Beginning a home recording
From: Amos
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 11:16 PM

Mics are often built to be unidirectional (only hear where they are pointing); others are omnidirectional (360). It's one of the things you check in the specs of a mic before you buy it.

Start with yourself and an instrument, just the way you sound live; then try moving up to separate mics for the instrument and voice.


A


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Subject: RE: Tech: Beginning a home recording
From: Kudzuman
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 11:34 PM

Try Audacity.com I believe it is a multitrack recording software that is free. If your recording is at low levels and you can punch them up, but depending on the amount of gain, you lose tonality and just get volume and or distortion and something known as a digital footprint. Kinda sounds like ghosts in the machine so to speak. It's probably worth your time to invest in a small 2 or 4 channel mixer to give you gain and some EQ before recording. I use a Mackie mixer for my pre-amp and it works beatifully, but there are many cheaper well made mixers out there as well. Good Luck!

Kudzuman


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Subject: RE: Tech: Beginning a home recording
From: harpgirl
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 11:39 PM

what about compression? shouldn't he record his song then apply compression before everything else? why or why not?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Beginning a home recording
From: GUEST,Al
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 12:03 AM

homerecording.com


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Subject: RE: Tech: Beginning a home recording
From: chris nightbird childs
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 12:06 AM

Their is a vast amount of recording knowledge at Audiominds.com. They show you how to record, mix, and master. They helped me a great deal. You should check them out.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Beginning a home recording
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 12:29 AM

Kevin McGrath (McGrath of Harlow) has a web page on which he has outlined how to do some of this. He'll spot this thread soon enough and hopefully post that link. I found it quite helpful.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Beginning a home recording
From: treewind
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 06:14 AM

Compression should usually be used if needed after recording, unless the singer or player is liable to wild and unpredictable changes in level, in which case compresison during recording may prevent it going over the top. Disadvantage of compression during recording: you can't undo it.

But I don't think our novice recording engineer want to even think about compression yet - learn to walk before you can run etc.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tech: Beginning a home recording
From: Amos
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 09:11 AM

Anahata, can you explain what compression does? I have never quite gotten it.

A


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Subject: RE: Tech: Beginning a home recording
From: treewind
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 09:53 AM

It's like a magic volume control that turns itself down when the sound gets louder than a certain point. Exactly how much it turns the volume down, how fast it responds and how quickly it turns the volume up again after the sound gets quieter again are adjustable and require skill and experience to make the effects of compression as inaudible as possible while still having it do something useful.

And the reasons for using it include:
- easier to keep the sounds balanced when mixing
- compensating for vocalists with bad mic technique (especially in live sound)
- adding more sustain to instruments that naturally decay like plucked   stringed instruments
- by reducing the peaks you can afford to raise the overall level so everything's louder (this is universally overdone on the radio)

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tech: Beginning a home recording
From: Amos
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 10:13 AM

Thanks!! You ever think of writing user manuals for a living?? I bet you'd be brill at it.


A


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Subject: RE: Tech: Beginning a home recording
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 12:01 PM

Save yourself all the heartache and start bidding on Ebay for a portable digital recording studio (eg Roland 880). As technology moves on quickly, and people trade up faster than they change their mobile phones, you get a great piece of kit for the price of a decent minidisc recorder (and there the similarity ends).

Recoring on minidisk is OK to pick up the odd song, tune, lyrics in a pub setting, but seriously limited for serious recording.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Beginning a home recording
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 12:07 PM

Sorry - mixing up mi' threads somewhat! Mind you - I'm not too enthusiastic about PC's for recording either!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Beginning a home recording
From: M.Ted
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 04:24 PM

There are a few things that have nothing to do with recording technology per se, that will make a lot of difference in the sound quality that you get.

The business about the ambient noises, AC, fridge, etc is important.

The first thing that you must do, however, is plan out exactly what you want, in terms of verses, refrains, measure for measure, counting intro, outro, breaks, and vocals, figuring tempos and dynamics--Then you have to play it through til you have you basic track down so that you can play it, exactly like you want, every time you want, with no mistakes. Then, and only then will you be ready to record it.

If you are multitracking, you need to have a click track(which is a metronome track), and you need to learn to play to the click track. You also will need to learn to perform each of the separate parts as I mentioned above--

Planning, rehearsing, and performance are more important than the sophstication of the technology that you use--when you get it down right, you can use technology to enhance and refine it, but if you don't get it down right, all the technology in the world won't help you.


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