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BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO HOME RECORDING


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#31 timmo

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 07:23 PM

Got my laptop, so need to buy an interface. I guess the Focusrite would be a decent enough one?
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#32 Skol303

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 08:48 PM

View Posttimmo, on 16 January 2015 - 07:23 PM, said:

Got my laptop, so need to buy an interface. I guess the Focusrite would be a decent enough one?

Yep! :)

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and 2i4 are very good quality 'budget' interfaces. I use a 2i4 myself, as it has the additional output sockets I need.

Dead easy to use. No latency (on my system) and the recording quality is good for the money.

There will always be better, more expensive options if you want to spend money. But for £100-£150 the Focusrite Scarlett products are great.

#33 51m0n

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 04:21 PM

A cheap and cheerful condenser is cool, but how do you use it?

Microphone placement is really important because it changes the sound drastically.

Most cheap mics have a cardioid pattern. That is they are more sensitive in front than to the side and the back, at least above 1KHz.

This is great as long as you point the Mic at your target, and you can use this to get a mellower tone by deliberately pointing off target.

However the side effect of a polar pattern that is not omni is a tendency to get bass heavy as you get very close to the source. This is called proximity effect. Think late night radio DJs - although they will be using a large diaphragm dynamic Mic the effect is the same. This can be really good on some sources not so good on others.

Crucially use your ears with closed back headphones when setting up mics.

For vocals and other sources that move a lot of air, you will need a pop shield, a wire coat hanger bent into a one inch deep six inch across spiral with a 10 to 20 denier stocking over it will work perfectly in a pinch.

Micing bigger instruments requires a bit more care, a rule of them is that you want to Mic no closer than the longest dimension of the sound board of the instrument if you care trying to capture the sound of the entire thing in one Mic.

This is a long way with dbs or pianos.

It's made even worse by the effect of room reflections, with a dynamic Mic you want to be no more than half the critical distance from the instrument in the room, or the result will be awash with reverbiness and sound very distant.

This critical distance is the distance from the instrument where the volumes of reflections off the wall nearest the Mic is as loud as the sound directly from the source.

In many rooms that makes close micing your only option, so with just one Mic 've sure to spend time listening as you change its position around the source, leave it where it sounds best in the mix as far as you've got at that point. This shouldn't take more than five minutes but it can save hours at mix down later.

Edited by 51m0n, 24 January 2015 - 04:23 PM.

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#34 Skol303

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 05:09 PM

^ Cheers Si! Good advice, as usual :)

#35 timmo

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Posted 15 February 2015 - 08:23 PM

I have just bought a Focusrite 2i2. I am having difficulty getting it to record. I will have to get the manual printed. I hate it when you don`t get a basic manual. Is the Ableton Live 9 Lite that comes with a free trial any good, or should i look at getting a better programme?
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#36 lurksalot

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Posted 15 February 2015 - 09:44 PM

What Recording software are you using ? I dont know much about the Ableton stuff if you are going down that path . but I guess it is a task of telling the software to use the 2i2 as the input to the track to record from.
When I said lower the frequency , I didn't mean only on christmas and birthdays, blue moons Preston Guilds


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#37 Dad3353

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Posted 15 February 2015 - 09:51 PM

View Posttimmo, on 15 February 2015 - 08:23 PM, said:

I have just bought a Focusrite 2i2. I am having difficulty getting it to record. I will have to get the manual printed. I hate it when you don`t get a basic manual. Is the Ableton Live 9 Lite that comes with a free trial any good, or should i look at getting a better programme?

Start by surfing from here..?



There are tons of tutorials for many softs and interfaces. Keep on asking questions here, though.
As for which DAW to use, all I can say is that Reaper does all I'm ever likely to need. Try with the DAW you have for a while, until either it requires payment, or your needs go beyond its functionality.
Hope this helps.
Have a nice day
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#38 Drax

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Posted 15 February 2015 - 10:02 PM

View Posttimmo, on 15 February 2015 - 08:23 PM, said:

I have just bought a Focusrite 2i2. I am having difficulty getting it to record. I will have to get the manual printed. I hate it when you don`t get a basic manual. Is the Ableton Live 9 Lite that comes with a free trial any good, or should i look at getting a better programme?

Try this;

Go to the Audio track, select 'Audio From' drop down

Click Configure

Posted Image

This will take you to the Preferences screen

Audio Input device - assuming you've got the driver loaded (or sometimes it will just recognise it anyway) - you should be able to select your Focusrite on this drop down >

Posted Image

Red X top left to save and close, takes you back to the audio channel, and select Channel 1 from the drop down.

Posted Image

Hit the 'record' button at base of that channel, and you should be able to hear whatever you've plugged in, your bass etc.

(These shots are from Live8 but almost identical).

Edited by Drax, 15 February 2015 - 10:03 PM.


#39 timmo

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 03:11 PM

View Postlurksalot, on 15 February 2015 - 09:44 PM, said:

What Recording software are you using ? I dont know much about the Ableton stuff if you are going down that path . but I guess it is a task of telling the software to use the 2i2 as the input to the track to record from.
I have no recording software bar the Ableton which came with the unit.
Thanks all. I will give it a good bash this evening. I wouldn`t worry about the recording competition just yet
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#40 PaulWarning

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 04:04 PM

I do a bit of home recording, just demos for the band really and being a tight arse I do it on the cheap, I use audacity and record one thing at a time, start with the drum track, I use Hydrogen,then just by pluging the mic/bass/guitar into the mic socket on my computer just record one track at a time, the only cost is a lead to convert a 6.3mm jack to a mini jack, if you get one with two 6.3mm jacks into one mini jack you can record 2 tracks at once, one track to the left channel and one to the right, like I said a super cheap option but good enough for demos

Edited by PaulWarning, 16 February 2015 - 04:05 PM.


#41 Skol303

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 07:51 PM

View PostPaulWarning, on 16 February 2015 - 04:04 PM, said:

I do a bit of home recording, just demos for the band really and being a tight arse I do it on the cheap, I use audacity and record one thing at a time...

^ I like it :) A bit like using an old 4-track, which is precisely where I got the bug for this recording and mixing lark.

In fact there's a lot to be said for going about things in a 'low tech' way. It can be a real boost to creativity and quite liberating. I might try a similar approach one month for the Composition Challenge...

Edited by Skol303, 16 February 2015 - 07:52 PM.


#42 RAY AGAINST THE MACHINE

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 10:41 AM

Are those boss micro recorders any good?
I just wanna plug bass/app / looper into it and off I go, saying bye bye to glitchy GarageBand .
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The cull has started; aiming to be totally headless;)

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I'm losing my head. Looking for headless basses. Miss the '80s ;)

#43 DaveFry

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 09:53 PM

Just like to flag up some open-source possibilities . :)

There are various free DAWs available for free operating systems . :o
Linux can be installed alongside an existing O/S as a dual boot . Some Linux O/Ss ( known as distributions or distros ) are preconfigured for audio , such as ;

Ubuntu Studio https://ubuntustudio.org/
KXStudio http://kxstudio.sourceforge.net/
AVLinux http://www.bandshed.net/AVLinux.html

Introduction to music creation in Linux http://wiki.linuxaud...ki/introduction

Just one guide on how to set up an open source digital audio workstation http://www.lyndondan...SDAW/index.html

Just one modular DAW built by one man and made available to the rest of the world for free http://non.tuxfamily.org/wiki/About

Forum for Linux musicians http://linuxmusicians.com/

Some learning involved , but the Value For Money can't be beaten . ;)
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#44 Skol303

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 10:49 PM

^ Thanks Dave! :)

I'm a big supporter of free / open source software at work, so good to see some options suggested here.

#45 skej21

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Posted 14 March 2015 - 01:52 PM

This thread is great. Some great advice and contributions from members. Whilst I studied most of the technical side as part of my degree, the advice about plug-ins etc is a great angle.

Bit of a 'heads up' from a recent purchase. I've just picked up an Audient iD22 interface while the Ä conversion is good. At £300 with some Thomann vouchers thrown in, it's probably the best purchase I've made in terms of studio gear. British designed, includes two VERY high quality audient preamps, intuitive hands-on controls with assignable function buttons and pristine AD/DA convertors.

If anyone is thinking about upgrading from something like a Scarlett and want high level quality without spending stupid money, the iD22 would be ideal!

Edited by skej21, 14 March 2015 - 01:54 PM.

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#46 DaveFry

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 10:46 AM

A guide to latency . ( Made in Norfolk B) )



A church organist might be comfortable with 500 milliseconds of latency .
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#47 51m0n

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Posted 20 March 2015 - 10:00 AM

If you're running with 10ms of latency you are really going to notice it IME!
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#48 lurksalot

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Posted 23 March 2015 - 09:52 PM

Just a quick note to those who have contributed here with regards computer specs for home recording, I have taken the post to form a new thread so that the details become more visible and will hopefully prove to be a useful resource in itself.

you will find it here http://basschat.co.u...home-recording/

many thanks .

Edited by lurksalot, 23 March 2015 - 10:54 PM.

When I said lower the frequency , I didn't mean only on christmas and birthdays, blue moons Preston Guilds


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#49 lowdown

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 08:11 AM

If you like using the iPad for getting stuff together,
this is worth checking out (£3.99).
I am surprised at the amount of functions available,
and there are plenty of in app purchase sounds for grabs.
It's also very easy to export stems and midi files into your DAW,
if you want to go the extra mile with production.

http://www.uvi.net/beathawk

Edited by lowdown, 31 March 2015 - 08:14 AM.

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#50 xgsjx

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Posted 09 May 2015 - 12:46 PM

Looking at DAWs for my new mac. I've downloaded Reaper & some free VSTis, but I've noticed with Adobe CC I can get Adobe Audition.
Anyone used it? Can it host VST instruments or is it strictly for audio?

#51 lurksalot

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 09:39 AM

In my quest to preserve my hearing I am looking for a new outboard compressor, for my sweet vocal tones ;) , not specifically for the sound quality , but because the one I have is a touch big and, well, ugly and SWMBO is giving my ears grief over it , so ....

I have come across the FNC RNC 1773 and it gets plenty of love , so it seems a must have , but, it comes just as a compressor, and the big ugly one I have is a focusrite tool with a preamp/gain adjustment/phantom power malarky.
Does this mean I will need to source a pretty mic preamp as well as the pretty compressor, as I might just have to resort to putting the big ugly one in a cupboard when I am not using it , but I am then less likely to use it if I have to set it up each time and I can't expect lurksalittle to bother , she is a proper lardy arsed teenager now :o .
Thanks in advance
When I said lower the frequency , I didn't mean only on christmas and birthdays, blue moons Preston Guilds


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#52 Dad3353

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 09:58 AM

View Postlurksalot, on 23 May 2015 - 09:39 AM, said:

...
Does this mean I will need to source a pretty mic preamp as well as the pretty compressor...

Lurks...

Where are you presently plugging in your mic..? You can't plug a mic into that compressor; it's for use in conjunction with a preamp or console with 'insert' facilities, so 'Yes', you'd need a preamp, but it must have 'insert' as a feature.
Why do you need a hardware compressor..? Can you not use a vst plug-in..? I'm assuming that you are recording directly into your PC; maybe that's not the case..?
As for protecting your ears: a closed headset can keep out extraneous noises such as nagging quite well. There are models which are comfortable enough to be worn permanently. Teenagers, on the other hand, cannot be tamed, so don't waste any effort on trying. Condoleance. :mellow:
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#53 MacDaddy

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 10:29 AM

View PostPaulWarning, on 16 February 2015 - 04:04 PM, said:

I do a bit of home recording, just demos for the band really and being a tight arse I do it on the cheap, I use audacity and record one thing at a time, start with the drum track, I use Hydrogen,then just by pluging the mic/bass/guitar into the mic socket on my computer just record one track at a time, the only cost is a lead to convert a 6.3mm jack to a mini jack, if you get one with two 6.3mm jacks into one mini jack you can record 2 tracks at once, one track to the left channel and one to the right, like I said a super cheap option but good enough for demos

Super cheap option has MacDaddy written all over it!

Do I actually need an interface, or will a Jack to USB cable do?

I have powered monitors connected to the speaker out on my computer, most interfaces seem to want speakers connected to the interface?
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#54 lowdown

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 10:41 AM

View Postlurksalot, on 23 May 2015 - 09:39 AM, said:

SWMBO is giving my ears grief over it ,

Ah...I get it and nice try.
The Compressor, is in fact, not for your voice.

I might get one and position it over the door for when my lady comes in.
On the other hand, a brickwall limiter might be a better bet in my (our/her) house.

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#55 Dad3353

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 11:32 AM

View Postlowdown, on 23 May 2015 - 10:41 AM, said:

...
I might get one and position it over the door for when my lady comes in.
On the other hand, a brickwall limiter might be a better bet in my (our/her) house.

:lol: :lol: :lol: And there was I, trying to give sensible advice for once..! :rolleyes:
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#56 lurksalot

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 12:11 PM

:lol: , so many options now , I was just under the impression that real life compression was a better option really , rather than relying on the software but I don't want to keep buying stuff. Some how it seems to sound different if I put a bit of compression on the signal before it gets to reaper , I may be imagining it but it does feel more real :huh: , if that makes the slightest bit of sense :D
When I said lower the frequency , I didn't mean only on christmas and birthdays, blue moons Preston Guilds


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#57 DaveFry

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 07:07 PM

View PostMacDaddy, on 23 May 2015 - 10:29 AM, said:

Super cheap option has MacDaddy written all over it!

Do I actually need an interface, or will a Jack to USB cable do?

I have powered monitors connected to the speaker out on my computer, most interfaces seem to want speakers connected to the interface?

It depends on ;
Your computer specs
Your operating system
The recording software
Your computer's soundcard
and
The driver for your soundcard.

An audio interface is just a soundcard , usually external , but with drivers ( software instructions for the operating system ) specifically written for it to prioritise audio with minimal lag ( known as latency ).

You may get acceptable results with your existing internal soundcard and it's existing driver .
If not , try again with the free driver ASIO4ALL .
After installation it will show all the available audio inputs and outputs on your system on a graphical set up screen . Simply select your jack-to-usb as the input and your souncard's outputs where your monitor speakers are as the outputs .
Next configure the buffer size in the set up ;
test by recording , then ,if the sound is ok ( no breakup or crackles ) but has a delay when you play :- lower the buffer size .
If you start getting breakups ,dropouts or crackles :- increase the buffer size .
You have to test to find the best buffer size setting for your system .

The better quality.a soundcard-and-it's-driver is the less latency you get . Your existing set-up may be adequate for your needs , but you have to test/configure to suit .

Hope that helps .
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Posted 23 May 2015 - 07:53 PM

Thanks!
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#59 Dad3353

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 08:10 PM

View PostMacDaddy, on 23 May 2015 - 10:29 AM, said:

Super cheap option has MacDaddy written all over it!

Do I actually need an interface, or will a Jack to USB cable do?

I have powered monitors connected to the speaker out on my computer, most interfaces seem to want speakers connected to the interface?

I started off using just such a cable (from Alesis...), connecting to a very modest XP PC. It works well, but has its limitations, in that it can't be used for a mic, nor could I adjust the sensitivity. It's simple and rustic, very economical, but limited. I quite quickly chose to upgrade to a dedicated external interface, bought second-hand from a forum member (thanks again, Skol..!).
You can leave your speakers as they are; in fact I don't have speakers at all, I just use a headset.
Hope this helps.
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#60 such

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 01:13 PM

I'm buying an interface (most probably a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 or 2i4) and there's one little piece of info I couldn't find anywhere. When I'm recording bass to an existing project, can I use the direct headphones monitoring (for no latency) and still hear the demo that I record to? Or do I just hear my bass then and I need to use the non-direct monitoring fed back from the computer to hear both? Sorry if the question is stupid :)





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