Topic: Recording Questions

I'm extremely lazy when it comes to recording. I generally hit record on the computer using little more than a Blue Snowball. When I get really fancy I break out my SONY PCM, put it on the couch next to me, and start singing.

Now that I have a fancy new PA (thanks again to Russell for the suggestion), I would like to leverage the enhanced recording capabilities now at my disposal.

Any tips are appreciated. Specific questions:
1. Is there a reason for me to record to my Sony PCM-M10 and then dump it all to my computer later, or should I just run a line out from the PA in to the computer and record direct to my hard drive? (My computer will handle the task just fine.)
2. Do you all use any effects on your instruments or record using a dry signal and add effects later?
3. With that cheapo Dean Markley acoustic pup that mounts in my sound hole, will I need some kind of preamp to boost my guitar's signal or does that sucker drive adequately?
4. Anything else?

Re: Recording Questions

You have a different approach to recording than me so I am not sure what advice to give you,  I have a nice DP-24 track Tascam and a 8 Track Boss so my setup lets me pre- and post mix the recording which is in a WAV format  and it saves it to a 32 GB card that is easily loaded into my card reader so when I open Audacity it can find it and render it with no mixing needed. I think even a 4 track would work well for you if it has a card storage sure cuts out a lot of extra work and produces a better recording. I cannot comment on your setup as I do not know it's capabilities.

"Growing old is not for sissies"

Re: Recording Questions

I dont really have a setup..just like the idea of being able to record using these lines out rather than just putting a mic in a room...

Re: Recording Questions

hi BGD,

i just looked up the sony pcm, and it looks good, but i believe it's a single track recorder? so....if you want to make multi track recordings, you know add a lead guitar, bass or harmony vocal, i would lay down a guitar/vocal track on your pcm, down-load that to your computer program, you don't say which program you have so i'll take it as audacity? there are multi track options on most DAWS so you'll be able to put your extra instruments/vocals on there and mix down later.
as for FX, you can also add those on most DAWS during or after recording. if you're going to use your PA as a pre-amp for the guitar i would use some reverb and chorus. vocals always sound better with plenty of reverb.

Ask not what Chordie can do for you, but what you can do for Chordie.

Re: Recording Questions

with my singing and playing ability, I could use a hand held cassette tape recorder or a Nashville sound studio - sound pretty bad either way !  smile 
When I record I pretty much just use computer microphone.

Good luck with all your equipment.

"Use the talents you possess, for the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except only the the best." - Henry Van Dyke

6 (edited by Baldguitardude 2017-06-27 21:45:36)

Re: Recording Questions

Phill Williams wrote:

hi BGD,

i just looked up the sony pcm, and it looks good, but i believe it's a single track recorder? so....if you want to make multi track recordings, you know add a lead guitar, bass or harmony vocal, i would lay down a guitar/vocal track on your pcm, down-load that to your computer program, you don't say which program you have so i'll take it as audacity? there are multi track options on most DAWS so you'll be able to put your extra instruments/vocals on there and mix down later.
as for FX, you can also add those on most DAWS during or after recording. if you're going to use your PA as a pre-amp for the guitar i would use some reverb and chorus. vocals always sound better with plenty of reverb.

yup it's just a single track. I don't intend to add drums or other instruments, just me and an acoustic.

Re your software question, yes audacity. I also have Garage Band but think I prefer Audacity.

Finally what do you suggest for vocal reverb? I have plenty of stomp boxes for the guitar but no fx for voice.

EDIT: Just read that my new PA has a variable digital delay...perhaps there's a way to dial that down to reverb-sounding?

Re: Recording Questions

yes, you should be able to fully adjust the reverb, echo might also sound good on some tracks

Ask not what Chordie can do for you, but what you can do for Chordie.

8 (edited by Doug_Smith 2017-06-27 22:00:21)

Re: Recording Questions

I can answer your #3 question I think.... the DM Pup is kind of wimpy in the output department, but likely enough to drive well through the Mic In on your sound card.  I have no problems recording via the Aux In with my Ovation A/E, but it does have an integral preamp so I can tweak the level a bit if needed.  Most times I go through the Aux In through a small preamp (AX12 Art) if for no other reason than it has an Output Limiter to prevent overdriving the card and can provide phantom power to larger mics that require it.  My Snowball  does just fine on USB for most recordings and has plenty of sensitivity for instrument and vocal on a mono-track dry.  I'm with Phill on the split track recording thoughts that each track goes down individually and clean with effects added after the fact.  Otherwise if you have something not to your liking, you don't have to do the whole thing over again.

Your mileage may vary.  wink

ETA:  Audacity will allow you to add reverb to any track (including voice) with the VST Plugins that pack with the basic version.

"what is this quintessence of dust?"  - Shakespeare

Re: Recording Questions

Baldguitardude wrote:

1. Is there a reason for me to record to my Sony PCM-M10 and then dump it all to my computer later, or should I just run a line out from the PA in to the computer and record direct to my hard drive? (My computer will handle the task just fine.)

If you want to up your recording game, the space you are in is going to matter more than any other aspect of your setup.  The finest mic driving the finest pre-amps on earth, when stuck into a crappy space will give you a super delux high fidelity recording of a crappy space.   So treat your room.  Get a copy of RoomEQWizard or something similar and measure the heck out of wherever it is you're going to be making recordings.   Then treat for what you find.    That alone will make a noticeable difference.

Once that's done, then you can look at kit.   And as far as is there a reason to not use the Sony... yes.  Two I can think of right off the top of my head. 

1.  Tracks.  It's a fine field recorder, but the best results for recording a guy on an acoustic guitar is to close mic the guitar (in stereo if you can) and close mic the vocals.  And if you have a nice space, mic the room with an LDC.   Then you mix that down to a nice representative stereo track.   The Sony gives you a coincidental pair of mics, which is great for a broad stereo image (think drum overheads or choral groups), but not so great if I need to mic defensively or close mic specifically.   So if you're sorta serious about better recordings,  you are going to be limited in what you can do with it when you mix.

2.  Mic options.  As I said, the Sony has a pair of SDCs in a coincidental pair configuration.  That's great, but also limited.  Vocals often sound better when recorded with an LDC or ribbon mic.  Same with a room mic for ambiance.   The SDC are fantastic for close micing the guitar, and while you can do that with a coincident pair, I prefer to mic the neck and the tone hole or resonator board individually.   Using an external interface allows you flexibility with mic selection that you won't get with the Sony.

Good audio interfaces are cheap, and readily available.  Focusrite, Behringer, Tascam, Zoom...  They all do the job at an affordable price point.

2. Do you all use any effects on your instruments or record using a dry signal and add effects later?

My general philosophy is to record the sound I want, and I'm kind of rude about it when it comes to amp tones.   If you want "LP through a Marshal" tone, then bring an LP and a Marshal, and we'll record that.  Don't bring me your ES-335 and your Fender Delux and expect to sound like Slash because magic plugin X says you will.  I'm less finicky about it when it comes to things like EQ and compression.   

I've also never met a digital reverb I liked.  The ones that have come closest to tolerable have all been convolution reverbs.  I've essentially given up on algorithmic verbs altogether.

3. With that cheapo Dean Markley acoustic pup that mounts in my sound hole, will I need some kind of preamp to boost my guitar's signal or does that sucker drive adequately?

Drive what adequately?  smile   That depends on your pre-amp.   Most modern interfaces will let you switch between mic/instrument levels, and line levels.   If you're concerned, spend $20 on one of those ART single tube pre-amps.  I've got two of them.  They're great.

4. Anything else?

Start with the room.  Seriously.  smile

Someday we'll win this thing...

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10 (edited by TIGLJK 2017-06-30 19:18:46)

Re: Recording Questions

Jerome

I believe you left out wear comfortable clothing and take bathroom breaks!
Chordie is fortunate to have such a knowledgeable resource!

Great post sir!
Jim

"Use the talents you possess, for the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except only the the best." - Henry Van Dyke

Re: Recording Questions

TIGLJK wrote:

Jerome

I believe you left out wear comfortable clothing and take bathroom breaks!
Chordie is fortunate to have such a knowledgeable resource!

Great post sir!
Jim


big_smile

Comfort is king!

Someday we'll win this thing...

[url=http://www.aclosesecond.com]www.aclosesecond.com[/url]

Re: Recording Questions

Outstanding post Jerome !!  Almost a mini-course in itself, great information !

One point I forgot to include in my post, is that old Geezers like me HAVE to record separate tracks for instrument and voice, or we'll wind up with a whole stack of trash tracks.
Multi-tasking and doing both things (playing & singing) well, past a certain age becomes..... let's say "less certain".  big_smile

"what is this quintessence of dust?"  - Shakespeare

Re: Recording Questions

Doug_Smith wrote:

Outstanding post Jerome !!  Almost a mini-course in itself, great information !

One point I forgot to include in my post, is that old Geezers like me HAVE to record separate tracks for instrument and voice, or we'll wind up with a whole stack of trash tracks.
Multi-tasking and doing both things (playing & singing) well, past a certain age becomes..... let's say "less certain".  big_smile

I am fortunate that I can record a vocal and guitar track at the same time on separate tracks then delete them later if needed to eliminate mistakes and rerecord that track or tracks. I'm lucky to have 24 tracks to play with. Also by the time I get to the end I might have rewritten part of all of the words so the more available tracks the better. I've never used all the tracks on one song but it's nice to know they're there are

Ask not what Chordie can do for you, but what you can do for Chordie.

Re: Recording Questions

Doug_Smith wrote:

Outstanding post Jerome !!  Almost a mini-course in itself, great information !

One point I forgot to include in my post, is that old Geezers like me HAVE to record separate tracks for instrument and voice, or we'll wind up with a whole stack of trash tracks.
Multi-tasking and doing both things (playing & singing) well, past a certain age becomes..... let's say "less certain".  big_smile

This is a great point Doug, and I should mention (if it helps shape the advice provided) that I have zero interest in multitracking...what i'm trying to do is capture live performance. I like the live sound, don't mind mistakes, and have no patience for recording scratch tracks, going back and re-recording vox, etc.

Thx

Joe

Re: Recording Questions

Gotta love stereo recording !!  Two channels, record two tracks at the same time and adjust the balance and volume after the fact..... easy through a small mixer or something like a Presonus interface (both of which I have and have used).  You still might want one of those ART pre-amps for the DM (I like mine too!) as Jerome mentioned.
The KISS principal still is viable. smile
Let us know what works best for you.
Thanks !

"what is this quintessence of dust?"  - Shakespeare

Re: Recording Questions

this the one?
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail … gJ9PvD_BwE

Re: Recording Questions

Very similar.... I have the Audio Box iTwo (even though I don't own any Apple stuff presently).  Nice gear and lots of free software available from Presonus (occasionally) to get the most out of it.

"what is this quintessence of dust?"  - Shakespeare

Re: Recording Questions

Baldguitardude wrote:

This is a great point Doug, and I should mention (if it helps shape the advice provided) that I have zero interest in multitracking...what i'm trying to do is capture live performance.

Can you simply record the mains off of your mixer?   That would be the easiest thing to do.

Someday we'll win this thing...

[url=http://www.aclosesecond.com]www.aclosesecond.com[/url]

Re: Recording Questions

It's a pretty simple mixer.  Only has one out, not one out per Channel.

20 (edited by beamer 2017-07-07 16:45:38)

Re: Recording Questions

To chime  in on Jerome's  book, mic  the amp and get the sound you want.  All I ever add in with audacity is usually compression, and reverb and lately playing with the delay,  then hit the render button and export as Mp3 make sure you have downloaded the LAME program  you can get it from http://lame.sourceforge.net/  or from audacity

http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/faq_ … g_ins.html
How do I download and install the LAME MP3 encoder?

Because of software patents, Audacity cannot include MP3 encoding software or distribute such software from its own websites. Instead, use the following instructions to download and install the free and recommended LAME third-party encoder to export MP3 files with Audacity. See the LAME Legal Issues page for more details.
Windows: See the LAME installation section on Installing and updating Audacity on Windows.
Mac: See the LAME installation section on Installing and updating Audacity on Mac.
Linux/Unix: See the LAME installation section on Installing and updating Audacity on Linux.
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Re: Recording Questions

Good news!  Patents on MP3 began to expire in April of this year, so encoders like LAME should be showing up more and more as part of standard audio distributions.   I imagine it will probably be rolled into your operating system soon enough.  Native encoding would rock.

Edit:  The latest Reaper now ships with an MP3 encoder, for example.

Someday we'll win this thing...

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Re: Recording Questions

jerome.oneil wrote:

Good news!  Patents on MP3 began to expire in April of this year, so encoders like LAME should be showing up more and more as part of standard audio distributions.   I imagine it will probably be rolled into your operating system soon enough.  Native encoding would rock.

Edit:  The latest Reaper now ships with an MP3 encoder, for example.

No idea what any of this means but I'll remind you that this is a family website. No cussing!

Just in case anything you said translates to profanity. smile

Joking aside, after reviewing my nifty new PA I have discovered that my options are quite limited. Still sticking a mic in a room, but now that room contains a PA that I'm singing through, which is quite helpful for rehearsal.

Re: Recording Questions

Two words..... Feedback Control.  I'm visualizing a room with a PA and microphone in it (of average size) and trying to record the output of that to your DAW, with a pair of monitors clamped over your noggin and the pain that ensues from the annoying squeal of a feedback loop..... not pretty !!   big_smile

"what is this quintessence of dust?"  - Shakespeare

Re: Recording Questions

Yup already learned that!

Re: Recording Questions

The hard way.