View Full Version : Recording Tips?


Defjon
07-20-2011, 11:27 PM
Today, a friend came over and the two of us put together all of our music equipment and attempted to write some jams for our short we are working on..

to make things short... It was terrible. The creative juices were flowing, but we had little to no experience with recording. He knew how to EQ fairly well, and I knew how to press the record button.

We are working with
2 Guitars: Acoustic Ibanez, and a Squire
Line 6 POD x3 Live (as our interface)
Yamaha Keyboard
A couple amps
Adobe Audition 4

basically, any tips and techniques on how to get good quality and what not would greatly be appreciated. I'd post something we finished... but honestly i'm embarrassed at how terrible it is :blush:

so yeah, that seems to be it!
:P

Michael Allen
07-21-2011, 05:52 AM
Is it purely a sound quality problem you're talking about?

You need a good pre-amp. You need a good soundcard. You need good monitoring speakers. If you are putting a mic in front of those amps you need a decent mic. For acoustic guitars you need a more than decent mic and careful mic placement. If you have little to no experience recording then as with anything you need to practice practice practice. Recording with good quality gear is very important in getting a good sound as well as learning mixing techniques like use of eq, reverb and compression.

My tip would be to google on home recording. There will be an insane amount of info for you to read.
Also Sound On Sound mag http://www.soundonsound.com/ will have heaps of recording tips.

I don't know anything about Adobe Audition 4 so I can't comment on it but a good recording program will be beneficial too. Have a look at Reaper which has a free 30 day trail and a $40 licence after that.

Hope that helped.

JoshL
07-21-2011, 08:44 AM
Ah, Audition used to be Cool Edit Pro! That takes me back...

Anyway, just looking at it, it should be fine for your basic multi-track recording needs. Supports VST and DXi, so plugins shouldn't be a problem. I see the Pod X3 has multi-channel USB (I assume 2 channels), but I don't see specs on that. I assume 44.1/16-bit? A good interface would be a wise investment (I usually record 48/24...you can go higher, but that'll get you reasonable quality), though you could probably get passable direct guitar/keys sound out of that. I know the Pod has mic inputs, but no phantom power, so a decent condenser mic for the acoustic is out of the question.

As Michael said, practice practice practice! If you want some more specific tips, send me the recording, tell me what you did and (most importantly) what you were trying to do, I'd be happy to give a listen and see if I can give you more specific tips. I understand working with what you have and really great recordings are still a work in progress for me too!

Alcove Audio
07-21-2011, 10:54 AM
As Josh and Michael have pointed out it's about talent, quality gear and technique - it always is, isn't it?

A well balanced room with some quality speakers is essential. You also need a great set of ears. You can train yourself; play a few tracks that have great acoustic guitar, then emulate the sound. Do the same with other instruments. Then you build a mix, sonically combining all of the sounds in a cohesive way. There's too much to go into in a couple of posts. You want to acquire our years of experience in a few words, and that's just not going to happen.

A few other resources:

http://www.recordingmag.com/

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/

http://www.amazon.com/Recording-Engineers-Handbook-Bobby-Owsinski/dp/159863867X/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1311262477&sr=1-6

http://www.amazon.com/Mixing-Engineers-Handbook-Second/dp/1598632515/ref=sr_1_11?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1311262477&sr=1-11

http://www.amazon.com/Home-Recording-Musicians-Dummies-Strong/dp/0470385421/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1311262642&sr=1-1



The best education, however, is to spend some time with a professional. I spent quite a few years as a touring and studio musician, and kibitzed with a lot recording engineers, and later in my career flew second chair to a few great engineers. That's when the light bulb goes off. The same applied when I transitioned to audio post; just a few sessions with a seasoned pro opened up a whole new world.

Defjon
07-22-2011, 02:35 PM
Thanks for all the info guys!

Defjon
07-22-2011, 04:07 PM
anyone have suggestions on a good preamp and interface for beginners??

Alcove Audio
07-22-2011, 05:25 PM
Budget?

Defjon
07-22-2011, 10:03 PM
Budget?

100-200?

Alcove Audio
07-22-2011, 10:15 PM
I haven't used anything that inexpensive in many years, so I can only recommend by reputation.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SaffirePro14/

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/AudioExpress/

I've used and been very happy with gear from both of these vendors. A bit more than you want to spend, but that's where I would start.

Defjon
07-23-2011, 12:46 AM
Thanks alcove! I'll be sure to look into these.

JoshL
07-23-2011, 07:57 AM
One of the questions you'll have to ask is "how many tracks do I want to record at once"

For a very beginning starter box, I know a few people who were happy with this:
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Alpha/ which will get you 24/48 and save some money for a good mic. If you need more channels, Alocve's recommendations are (as always) good. Stepping up the money a bit more from the first will get you:
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SaffPro24DSP/
Which I've heard really good things about the Virtual Room Monitoring, particularly if you don't have an array of speakers to test your mixes on.

Whatever you get, I'll suggest dropping the extra $40 on:
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/TubeMP/
Any of the preamps in an interface are going to be designed for maximum transparency rather than "color" preamps. This is a good inexpensive way to start your arsenal. Particularly with keys (and I often use this on vocals), adding just a little tube grit can liven up the track.

You'll also (particularly if doing acoustic guitar) want to start building your mic collection ASAP. I don't know what you have, but for low budget, I've gotten a lot of mileage out of:
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/B1Mic/
I've also had good results with some Behringer budget mics (and gear in general). There are some dirt cheap mics from MXL which are a step up from a basic dynamic mic, but it's worth it to save a little more for a better starter.

Defjon
07-24-2011, 05:23 PM
One of the questions you'll have to ask is "how many tracks do I want to record at once"

For a very beginning starter box, I know a few people who were happy with this:
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Alpha/ which will get you 24/48 and save some money for a good mic. If you need more channels, Alocve's recommendations are (as always) good. Stepping up the money a bit more from the first will get you:
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SaffPro24DSP/
Which I've heard really good things about the Virtual Room Monitoring, particularly if you don't have an array of speakers to test your mixes on.

Whatever you get, I'll suggest dropping the extra $40 on:
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/TubeMP/
Any of the preamps in an interface are going to be designed for maximum transparency rather than "color" preamps. This is a good inexpensive way to start your arsenal. Particularly with keys (and I often use this on vocals), adding just a little tube grit can liven up the track.

You'll also (particularly if doing acoustic guitar) want to start building your mic collection ASAP. I don't know what you have, but for low budget, I've gotten a lot of mileage out of:
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/B1Mic/
I've also had good results with some Behringer budget mics (and gear in general). There are some dirt cheap mics from MXL which are a step up from a basic dynamic mic, but it's worth it to save a little more for a better starter.

Thankyou for all these links. I might start off with the first link, and get the preamp. Get a feel for it, then invest once i have an idea of what I am doing :yes:

Pepsiblast08
07-27-2011, 07:30 PM
A cheap, good quality mic to use is the Playstation Eye. Turn off anything that makes even the slightest sound. The mic is amazingly clear. The biggest issue I have had with it is it picks up so much detail that you need an absolutely silent room.

Alcove Audio
07-27-2011, 08:44 PM
A cheap, good quality mic to use is the Playstation Eye.

This isn't even a decent toy if you are doing any even remotely serious work.

rocksure
08-22-2011, 05:02 AM
Oh man there is just so much to recording music or any audio well. It's not something you can learn in 5 minutes. Essential ingredients are
a) talented musicians with quality instruments
b) good mics
c) good preamps
d) a suitable room.....which usually means some sound treatment
e) a good interface with decent AD converters.
f) good quality monitor speakers
g) a good recording software program


And that's just the start for recording. Then you have to learn how to position mics, set gains etc. Followed by learning how to mix well.
But you have to start somewhere. If possible try to get some time experience with someone who has gotten good results and has a few helpful suggestions for you in a"hands on" situation.