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Recording onto a computer.

Kara 28 Jul 06 - 02:32 PM
Tweed 28 Jul 06 - 02:40 PM
harpmolly 28 Jul 06 - 02:41 PM
Rman 28 Jul 06 - 04:14 PM
IvanB 28 Jul 06 - 06:11 PM
Stewart 28 Jul 06 - 07:22 PM
Matt_R 28 Jul 06 - 07:48 PM
Matt_R 28 Jul 06 - 07:52 PM
Kara 29 Jul 06 - 03:16 AM
GUEST 21 Dec 09 - 09:38 PM
Acorn4 22 Dec 09 - 04:09 AM
Will Fly 22 Dec 09 - 04:49 AM
matt milton 22 Dec 09 - 06:10 AM
GUEST,John from Elsie`s Band 22 Dec 09 - 06:12 AM
Bonzo3legs 22 Dec 09 - 06:26 AM
matt milton 22 Dec 09 - 06:28 AM
Will Fly 22 Dec 09 - 06:33 AM
matt milton 22 Dec 09 - 06:34 AM
matt milton 22 Dec 09 - 06:41 AM
GUEST,John from Elsie`s Band 22 Dec 09 - 06:50 AM
johnadams 22 Dec 09 - 07:00 AM
matt milton 22 Dec 09 - 07:02 AM
matt milton 22 Dec 09 - 07:19 AM
matt milton 22 Dec 09 - 07:33 AM
johnadams 22 Dec 09 - 07:46 AM
johnadams 22 Dec 09 - 07:47 AM
matt milton 22 Dec 09 - 08:05 AM
johnadams 22 Dec 09 - 08:11 AM
matt milton 22 Dec 09 - 08:21 AM
GUEST 23 Dec 09 - 05:57 AM
GUEST 23 Dec 09 - 09:04 AM
mattkeen 23 Dec 09 - 09:20 AM
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Subject: Recording onto a computer.
From: Kara
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 02:32 PM

Hello

anyone got any tips on recording mive music onto a computer?

My daughter wants to record some songs she writen and has Adobe Audition on her laptap, but can not find a microphone that gets a good level of guitar and voice.


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: Tweed
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 02:40 PM

I run mine through cassette player that's got a right and left channel mic input (one for voice and one for guitar) and then out the back via RCA plugs x 1/8" phone jack adapter cord and into the microphone input on the computer's back. It's primitive but fairly simple and it works. You can also tape it and then feed it into your computer if you like and I think that way sounds better, but I don't pay much attention to sound quality at all.


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: harpmolly
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 02:41 PM

You'll probably have to get separate microphones for the guitar and the voice; there's not really a good way to have one microphone cover both. You could also comsider getting a pickup installed in the guitar, which will be useful down the road (for gigs, etc.) Of course, there's always the classic multi-track solution: record the guitar, then record the voice over it. Not as spontaneous, but easier with just one mike.

I have a similar problem. I've been goofing around in GarageBand on my computer, and all I have is a headset with microphone. When I try to record the harp, I have to bend my head down to the soundboard to really get the tone, which is extremely ergonomically unfriendly. ;) I do plan to get a harp pickup soon...just haven't got 'round to it yet.

Good luck!

Cheers,

Molly


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: Rman
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 04:14 PM

If you were to obtain a small mixer unit this would solve 99.9 percent of your inputting, balance, eq and level woes.

And yes, a pickup would be preferable when recording a guitar. (outwith a studio)

A decent sound card is a wise investment if you plan to publish your daughters music, as resultant output quality is proportional to the amount of dosh you can spare to buy up-market bits and bobs!

fingers crossed for you.


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: IvanB
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 06:11 PM

Kara, although the above suggestions are all good, the first thing your daughter should do (if she's using a PC)is open the volume control program on her computer (Start/Programs/Acessories/Entertainment/Volume Control on my Windows XP system). When the program is showing on the screen, she should click on the "Advanced" button on the Microphone volume and make sure +20dB Boost is checked in the box that comes up. This can be one reason for very low recording levels on the computer.

That said, I've found that sending my sound through something that acts as a pre-amp is far better than expecting the sound card to provide the necessary sound levels. I once used one mic pointed at my chest to record both guitar and voice, but I've found separate mics or a guitar pickup and a mic to work far better.

FWIW, my "preamp" is the main speaker (control) from a set of Yamaha aplified computer speakers. It has two input jacks and one output, so I plug my guitar and voice mics into the inputs and the output is then sent to the input jack of my sound card. I think these were 5 or 10 watt speakers at the most, but the amplification it provides is more than enough.


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: Stewart
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 07:22 PM

First you need a good set of mics (most important). Marshall Electronics has a good set of condenser mics (vocal and insrumental) for $99 - Marshall Electronics MXL Anniversary Microphone Pack (a very good buy). With these mics you will need a preamp and 48 volt phantom power.
A small mixer board such as Behringer UB802 (about $40) has phantom power and preamps for two mics. Then you will need some cables and mic stands.
So alltogether for under $200 you should be able to make some very high quality recordings. I use a similar setup, but with separate higher quality preamps and a mp3 recorder (20 GB) to store wave files which I later upload to my computer.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: Matt_R
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 07:48 PM

I just use a standard PC microphone in connection with Cakewalk Home Studio. Not a crystalline professional quality, but it sounds pretty damn good for an $8 mic.


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: Matt_R
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 07:52 PM

Try a listen to "Highland"

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=237795


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: Kara
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 03:16 AM

Thanks everyone, I will give this a good read through and see what it all meens.

The album cover
is done now she just neads someting to put in it!!!

Kara


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 09:38 PM

i wrote a song and i want to record it and also adding cords to it and other instrument. how can i do it


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: Acorn4
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 04:09 AM

I can recommend "Guerrilla Home Recording" by Karl Coryat (Hal Leonard Music Pro Guides) as a good starter - you have to read it selectively though.


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: Will Fly
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 04:49 AM

Rather than record directly into a computer, I always prefer to record on a separate medium - such as a Sony Minidisc, a Zoom H2, etc. - then feed the sound file into the computer with a programme such as Audacity, which can also top and tail it.

With practice and experimentation, it's possible to place the recording device between the guitar and voice in such a way that both are captured with a good balance. More fiddly (and expensive) than just using a computer, perhaps, but worth it because of the generally better quality.


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: matt milton
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 06:10 AM

"More fiddly (and expensive) than just using a computer, perhaps, but worth it because of the generally better quality."

Not sure what you mean by your latter sentence there Will - there's no reason why recording to minidisc or a Zoom would inherently give you better quality quality results than recording to a computer.

With the Zoom H2, it would entirely depend on what mic you were using to record to it, and with the minidisc player, well, minidisc as a medium simply doesn't have the same bandwidth extent that you'd get recording to computer at a top-quality audio bitrate.


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: GUEST,John from Elsie`s Band
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 06:12 AM

I agree with Will. I record onto a Sony Minidisc Recorder(MZ-R70), transfer it to MAGIX Audio Lab.10 Deluxe programme on the computer, clean it up and store it as either WAV or MP3 file. I find the reproduction is excellent when I play back from MySpace or Isound.


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 06:26 AM

If you can still get them, the Tandy (Radio Shack) tie clip mic records accoustic guitar very well. It can be temporarily attached to the guitar with masking tape.


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: matt milton
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 06:28 AM

I think the best thing to do with recording music is always to start with what you've got.

I don't know Adobe Audition (I use Logic Express) but it looks like a decent, standard piece of music software. It'll certainly be capable of getting professional results in terms of recording audio, mixing it, EQing it etc. Before you buy anything else, could you let me know:

1. What's the name of the microphone she's using?

2. What's her soundcard? Does it have a pre-amp? And what hole is she plugging the mic into?

Depending on the answers to those questions, I suspect she can probably get good results with what she already has.

In terms of the specifics of recording voice and guitar, you're always best off (from a recording and mixing point of view, that is) recording the guitar and the vocals separately.
It's a pain in the arse of course - it's much more natural and fun to do in one go.

Best thing if you want to do it all in one go is to have more than one mic. I'd probably use two on the guitar and one on the vocals.

But even if you were just using the one mic, you can get a good mix of the guitar and voice by careful mic positioning. A recording engineer would read "she can not find a microphone that gets a good level of guitar and voice" and answer "she hasn't spent long enough experimenting with mic position".
Unfortunately, there's no substitute for the boring process of just moving the mic around, recording a verse, stopping, listening back, moving the mic again, repeat ad infinitum until you've got a good balance.

Start with the mic about a foot in front her mouth. Remember, you want significantly more of the voice than the guitar. (One thing I've only really recently appreciated is just how quiet instrumental backing really is compared to the voice on almost all recordings. 9 times out of 10, when you think the voice is too loud in your mix, it's probably not actually loud enough).

One good, if unusual mic position might be over the left or right shoulder (as if it were a parrot and you were a pirate). It'll pick up the voice more than the guitar (wicg


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: Will Fly
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 06:33 AM

Matt - I've tried using a quality Sony stereo condenser mic with both a Sony Minidisc recorder, and directly into my Mac Book Pro using both Garageband and Audacity. The minidisc recorder quality is excellent - to my ears - but it's all personal taste.

I think it would be hard for the casual listener to distinguish between a WAV file generated by a computer and the compressed minidisc equivalent - on domestic equipment, at any rate. And both the Zoom and the minidisc are very portable which, if you don't have a laptop, can be an advantage.

Just my two-pennorth... :-)


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: matt milton
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 06:34 AM

"I agree with Will. I record onto a Sony Minidisc Recorder(MZ-R70), transfer it to MAGIX Audio Lab.10 Deluxe programme on the computer, clean it up and store it as either WAV or MP3 file. I find the reproduction is excellent when I play back from MySpace or Isound."

If it's only going to end up as an MP3 on a website like Myspace then, sure, a minidisc recording will be fine.

But if you have a good soundcard, a good microphone and a good pre-amp you will get immeasurably better results than recording onto a minidisc player. What mic are you using to record to your Sony minidisc?


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: matt milton
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 06:41 AM

"Matt - I've tried using a quality Sony stereo condenser mic with both a Sony Minidisc recorder, and directly into my Mac Book Pro using both Garageband and Audacity. The minidisc recorder quality is excellent - to my ears - but it's all personal taste.

I think it would be hard for the casual listener to distinguish between a WAV file generated by a computer and the compressed minidisc equivalent - on domestic equipment, at any rate. And both the Zoom and the minidisc are very portable which, if you don't have a laptop, can be an advantage.

Just my two-pennorth... :-)"

Sure - ultimately at the end of the day, all digital recording is pretty much lossless. And actually when I stated that minidisc doens't have the same bandwidth as CD, that's not correct: minidisc recording just uses a different type of compression. I did find that when I used to muck about with a cassette 4-track and a rack minidisc player, the minidisc player did seem to notably compress things, which was quite useful in evening out levels.

But I'm not sure you're comparing like with like there. When you say you compared the same Sony condenser mic going into your minidisc player and going "directly into my Mac Book Pro using both Garageband and Audacity", what do you mean by "directly"? I'd be interested to know what your soundcard is.


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: GUEST,John from Elsie`s Band
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 06:50 AM

Matt,
      The microphone is a SONY Stereo ECM-MS907. It is powered and has 90 degree and 120 degree spread. I have found it satisfactory for my purposes. My sound card is SOUNDBLASTER, I think. It came with the WINDOWS ME package.
John


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: johnadams
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 07:00 AM

Matt: " the minidisc player did seem to notably compress things, which was quite useful in evening out levels."

Yes, that can be true and useful but it might be wise to point out to less technical people that there are two sorts of compression possibly being referred to here. Data compression and audio compression.

Data compression chucks away digital info which isn't required in the sound (eg. the digits storing silence) making the files smaller.

Audio compression adjusts the volume so loud and soft sounds are less extreme.

Data compression can cause original recordings to sound as good as CDs but have less file size. The problems start to arise when the file is transferred later on by another D/A and A/D process.


The original poster seems to be trying to record straight to the computer with a single mic and what Will has described is perfectly viable and takes us back to the early days of recording when people stood in front of a horn and the sound was cut directly to a groove. Louder singers or instruments were placed more distant from the horn, etc.

Once you require two mics, you obviously need a mixer of some sort.


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: matt milton
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 07:02 AM

In that case, your ears are definitely working very well - you'll get better results with the minidisc player than with that card.
It's been a while, but I think Soundblasters are generally geared towards playing music (from MP3s, from computer games) than they are recording it.


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: matt milton
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 07:19 AM

"Yes, that can be true and useful but it might be wise to point out to less technical people that there are two sorts of compression possibly being referred to here. Data compression and audio compression.
Data compression chucks away digital info which isn't required in the sound (eg. the digits storing silence) making the files smaller.
Audio compression adjusts the volume so loud and soft sounds are less extreme.
Data compression can cause original recordings to sound as good as CDs but have less file size. The problems start to arise when the file is transferred later on by another D/A and A/D process."

To further complicate things, with my old minidisc player (this was about 10 years ago) it often sounded as if it was compressing in both senses out of the word. I think this was a quirk of the particular recordings I was making, possibly a fact of transferring slightly boomy, slightly muddy cassette recordings onto a digital format. They still sounded boomy and muddy but ever-so-slightly less so: as if the ATRAC data compression had some kind of audio compression side-effect.


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: matt milton
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 07:33 AM

"Once you require two mics, you obviously need a mixer of some sort"

Not necessarily at all - I've always used 'breakout box' soundcard interfaces. I've never owned a mixer and never intend to. More commonly known as USB soundcards or Firewire soundcards. I now have a Mark Of The Unicorn interface, on which I could be recording 5 instruments at once, and I still wouldn't need a mixer. That's what the software's for (among millions of other things).

There are plenty of affordable ones with two inputs. (More than two inputs and you're looking at upwards of £350)

In fact, I'll be selling my M-Audio Firewire 4010 shortly on eBay. I'd keep it, only I recently bought a new MacBook and hadn't noticed that they've removed Firewire from it. I was mighty pissed off, and bought a USB one instead. That did me proud though - two inputs on the front double as XLR or 1/4inch jack, and a firewire cable goes straight into yr computer. The pre-amps on it are noiseless, which is more than i can say for any hardware pre-amp under £200 that I've ever tried.

To be honest, that's the package I'd recommend to anyone starting out from scratch who wanted to make pro(ish) recordings: a USB or Firewire soundcard; a decent condenser mic.

And eventually a pair of good monitors (but I don't see much point until you're ready to properly release and promote an album).


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: johnadams
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 07:46 AM

Matt: "There are plenty of affordable ones (usb sound cards) with two inputs."

Yes of course. I've even got one here next to my computer - a Digidesign M Box.


On the subject of Macbook Firewire, they have Firewire 800 as opposed to Firewire 400.

I plug in my Digi02 via a Firewire 400 plug in Extresscard or alternatively into a Firewire/800 to 400 converter.

Exresscards and converters


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: johnadams
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 07:47 AM

Express Card!

More haste less s*eed! :-)


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: matt milton
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 08:05 AM

Not the new Macbook (which came out in November this year). No Firewire on it at all.

Firewire is now the preserve of the Macbook Pro.

It never occurred to me to check before I bought. I just assumed that it would because my old one did. Once I noticed, I still figured there'd be some kind of converter plug out there. So I merrily went ahead and migrated all my old files across. But there isn't. So I no longer use a firewire soundcard and had to buy a USB one. Thanks Apple!

I did at least upgrade to a MOTU soundcard with a lot of inputs. So now at least if I ever want to record a full band I can.


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: johnadams
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 08:11 AM

Pooh. That's a retrograde step.

Yes, mine is a MacBook Pro.


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: matt milton
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 08:21 AM

Also, someone mentioned using a pickup for recording a guitar. It's a matter of taste, but I would never, ever, ever record an acoustic guitar via its pickup. I think they sound horrible and plasticy - you can hear it immediately. I think acoustic guitars sound a million times better (even cheap ones) when recorded with a mic in front of them.


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Dec 09 - 05:57 AM

By the way, how intricate is her guitar playing? Is she fingerpicking or is she strumming?

If it's more strummy and not too fingerpicky then she should stop worrying about the sound of the guitar on the first recording - just get a good vocal sound.

Then do a second recording of just guitar (with her first recording of vocals and quiet guitar in her headphones as a guide).

(The reason I asked about her guitar playing is that it's very difficult to cleanly overdub a second guitar part of intricate fingerpicking - you tend to play it differently each time. Whereas it's very easy to overdub a guitar part of strumming)


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Dec 09 - 09:04 AM

Depends what you want it for.

If it is CD the Tape recorder ot the solid state equivalent is the better route.

CD's need bit processing ideally.

Most PC's have 16 bits.


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Subject: RE: Recording onto a computer.
From: mattkeen
Date: 23 Dec 09 - 09:20 AM

Sorry Guest

That is twaddle


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