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Thread: Recording

  1. #1
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Default Recording

    Okay, so I have a decent mic, a Zoom H2 recorder (which can also double as a mic), Cubase software (basic package) and a Yamaha CP5 keyboard. I would like to do a recording that would have piano, guitar, fiddle and vocals in it. However, as I'm the only one playing those instruments, I would have to probably do it in several tracks. I know nothing about this stuff, but it would thrill my folks no end if I could get a few songs together on CD for them. I also would like to learn how to so that I can lay down some basic accompaniment/instructional tracks for violin students.

    What software should I be using? Do I need any other equipment? Halla, I know is the king of this kind of stuff, but any and all input is most welcome.

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    Senior Member Abstract Thinker's Avatar
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    You're basically covered. Cubase is a fine piece of software, and that's a very nice keyboard!

    The only thing you might want to consider is a USB audio interface. This will act as an audio input/output for your computer. You need one with a mic preamp, a line-level input (for your keyboard), and an instrument input (for any electric guitar or bass you might want to record).

    You could always do it with the built-in audio inputs on your computer, but an interface will give you much better control and sound quality. It will also let you connect to external speakers and headphones at the same time and give you an easy-to-reach physical volume knob, which is always nice to have while recording.

    I've always had good luck with M-Audio equipment. There are plenty to choose from, but here's a good entry level interface at Guitar Center: M-Audio MobilePre USB Portable Audio Interface and more Audio Interfaces & Convertors at GuitarCenter.com.

    Here's an article about choosing an audio interface. I haven't read it, but about.com is usually pretty good: Home Recording: Choose a Recording Interface

    Also, you might want a good pair of headphones so you can hear yourself better when you sing, especially if you're singing to backing tracks.

    Good luck, and have fun!

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    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Thanks so much! I wondered if I needed to get an interface, but didn't know where to start. I have decent headphones, so that part's alright.

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    Senior Member Abstract Thinker's Avatar
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    My pleasure.

    Remember to turn your speakers off and use the headphones whenever you're recording with the microphone, or you'll run the risk of getting feedback, and that's no fun at all.

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    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Okay, so I have a decent mic, a Zoom H2 recorder (which can also double as a mic), Cubase software (basic package) and a Yamaha CP5 keyboard.
    Awesome, you have a good start on your equipment!

    Do you have a home stereo (Hi-Fi) with a receiver AND a decent pair of speakers (8" woofers + tweeter/driver)? If so you can use that as your nearfield monitor speakers. If not you can use your laptop speakers to check your recordings, but will have to test your tracks on a car stereo or other rig to see how the playback differs...

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I would like to do a recording that would have piano, guitar, fiddle and vocals in it. However, as I'm the only one playing those instruments, I would have to probably do it in several tracks.
    (A) I'd try your Zoom H2 for vocal recordings first. It's an all in one solution, so why not use it?

    (B) For guitar you want to have two microphones: (1) Mic1 = a condenser microphone pointed directly at the sound hole, not too far from it, but not so it is hitting your hand while you play; (2) Mic2 = a condenser or a dynamic mic that is pointed directly at the fretboard, around fret 5.

    You can use the Zoom H2 for the fretboard mic, and the condenser for the main track. Mixing the two gives a nice effect, as you can emphasize the strings or the fret action according to how you want the track to resonate those sonic qualities.

    (C) I've never recorded a fiddle, but I imagine it's like recording a realy small guitar! Same strategy, but different kit needed. A microphone stand would come in really handy, as would a dedicated human volunteer.

    (D) The piano/synth is the easiest to record, just plug the main outs of the synth (usually 1/4" TRS/TS jacks) into channel 1 and channel 2 of your audio interface. VOILA! Instant perfect sound!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I know nothing about this stuff, but it would thrill my folks no end if I could get a few songs together on CD for them.
    You will be an expert soon enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I also would like to learn how to so that I can lay down some basic accompaniment/instructional tracks for violin students.
    Good idea!

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    What software should I be using?
    You have the main component, an audio/MIDI sequencer (Cubase). You can add a myriad of VSTi's (Virtual Studio Technology instruments) at any time, Cubase will support playback of them all. Then your piano is a MIDI controller that can sound like anything you want it to be... I will PM you a list of options to check out.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Do I need any other equipment? Halla, I know is the king of this kind of stuff, but any and all input is most welcome.
    All in all you need two microphones, one of which can be the Zoom H2 for awhile, and the other your main microphone. What is the mic model you have? Just curious? Bang for your buck, it is hard to beat the Shure SM57 (about $100) as it records anything pretty damn well. It is the microphone that has been on the U.S. President's podium since 1957, I think...

    Quote Originally Posted by Abstract Thinker View Post
    You're basically covered. Cubase is a fine piece of software, and that's a very nice keyboard!
    +1!!!

    [QUOTE=Abstract Thinker;1245565]The only thing you might want to consider is a USB audio interface. This will act as an audio input/output for your computer. You need one with a mic preamp, a line-level input (for your keyboard), and an instrument input (for any electric guitar or bass you might want to record).

    Quote Originally Posted by Abstract Thinker View Post
    You could always do it with the built-in audio inputs on your computer, but an interface will give you much better control and sound quality. It will also let you connect to external speakers and headphones at the same time and give you an easy-to-reach physical volume knob, which is always nice to have while recording.
    Quote Originally Posted by Abstract Thinker View Post
    I've always had good luck with M-Audio equipment. There are plenty to choose from, but here's a good entry level interface at Guitar Center: M-Audio MobilePre USB Portable Audio Interface and more Audio Interfaces & Convertors at GuitarCenter.com.
    Yes! A great choice!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Abstract Thinker View Post
    Here's an article about choosing an audio interface. I haven't read it, but about.com is usually pretty good: Home Recording: Choose a Recording Interface
    Quote Originally Posted by Abstract Thinker View Post
    Also, you might want a good pair of headphones so you can hear yourself better when you sing, especially if you're singing to backing tracks.

    Good luck, and have fun!
    Good stuff, Bro!

    Also, checkout TweakHeadz Lab Electronic Musician's Hangout as Tweak's Guide has some great recording articles on gear, software, and technique, all for free.
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    Senior Member Abstract Thinker's Avatar
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    Thanks, Halla74.

    I just saw your rig on the "Battle Stations" thread.

    Nord Lead, Mackie Monitors, Ibanez Bass(?), and is that a PA Speaker on the wall?

    Sweet!

    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    but will have to test your tracks on a car stereo or other rig to see how the playback differs...
    The car test! A tried and true method...

  7. #7
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Thanks so much! I wondered if I needed to get an interface, but didn't know where to start. I have decent headphones, so that part's alright.
    what headphones you got? some people tend to think that porta pros or some crap like that are good
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
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  8. #8
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abstract Thinker View Post
    Thanks, Halla74.

    I just saw your rig on the "Battle Stations" thread.

    Nord Lead, Mackie Monitors, Ibanez Bass(?), and is that a PA Speaker on the wall?

    Sweet!
    You are welcome, Sir.

    I am a gear whore, I am a victim, I have no choice...

    Here is my Virus KC in front of my Line 6 Flex Tone II guitar amplifier...


    Here's an older shot of both PA speakers on the wall, and both guitars. The PA speakers are Carvin PM15As. I like them alot, but one of them has developed a "Hummmm" and even an EbTech Hum Eliminator doesn't get rid of it, so it's not a ground loop, it's a fault on one of the speaker/amp components. They are out of warranty, so I will most likely hock them and get some Mackie active PA speakers, as they are zero maintenance, and sound damn good for the money.


    Must have turntables, Virtual DJ is a software application that allows you to mix your MP3s with timecode vinyl and a 4X4 audio interface. I bought a Maya 44 mkii PCI card and run it on an old PIV (2.4 GHz w/ 2GB RAM / XPSP3) system, then drop the audio line out from the DJ mixer into my DAW's soundcard, an M-Audio Delta 1010-LT, great bang for the buck! Screw Serato, it's expensive and over rated...


    My 6-string is an Ibanez RG2550EX. I had an original RG550 in 1994, but sold it in 1997 (dumbass!) Thankfully the 2550EX is the same body + neck + fretboard, just newer components...


    The bass is indeed an Ibanez, a SRX350, an entry level model, but a damn good bass for the money. I have a crappy little Crate BT50 amp for it, most of the time when I record I just plug it into a DI and go... My acoustic is a pawn shop Fender model unknown, but it has survived HELL, and I am emotionally attached to it.


    If I could go really retro, I'd go for this:




    Quote Originally Posted by Abstract Thinker View Post
    The car test! A tried and true method...
    Muhahaaa...

    Quote Originally Posted by INTP View Post
    what headphones you got? some people tend to think that porta pros or some crap like that are good
    For $120, it is hard to beat the Sennheiser HD280's


    Buy Sennheiser HD 280 Silver Headphones | Studio Headphones | Musician's Friend

    Of course you can spend more, but why not wait until after the first record deal to do that, right?
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    BIG 5 -> Extroversion 77% ; Accommodation 60% ; Orderliness 62% ; Emotional Stability 64% ; Open Mindedness 74%

    Quotes:
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    "Enneagram is psychological underpinnings. Cognitive Functions are mental reasoning and perceptional processes. -Sanjuro

  9. #9
    Senior Member Abstract Thinker's Avatar
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    @ Halla74:

    Wow... just, wow!

    I would never leave the house if I lived there!

    I could comment (favorably) on every single photo you posted,, but I need to eat this sandwich and open this bottle of wine so I'll keep it short...

    - Fender acoustic guitar: hold on to it! There's something about guitars that gets into your heart. Me? A pawn shop Tele copy that's seen me through the worst of times.

    - Serato expensive and over-rated: agreed! That DJ rig must offer you infinite sound design and beat-making possibilities. Smart!

    - Virus:

    - Sennheiser headphones: you are so right! $120? A steal.

    - RG550: Ouch. We've all sold a few gems and regretted it later. Mine was a Juno-106. :steam: and...

    Thanks for posting those. Very very nice.

  10. #10
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    For $120, it is hard to beat the Sennheiser HD280's


    Buy Sennheiser HD 280 Silver Headphones | Studio Headphones | Musician's Friend

    Of course you can spend more, but why not wait until after the first record deal to do that, right?
    arent open headphones usually better for monitoring than closed?
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung

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