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Author Topic: What is the weakest link in this recording chain that needs to be replaced?  (Read 4726 times)

bilco

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The room has tile floors, but has enough furniture in it to dampen it some.  I recorded one of our band practices by sticking up the Rode NT1a and the MXL 603S in an X/Y pattern to capture a balance just to help me memorize the arrangements and I think it sounds pretty good.  I had been recording in a large closet and then in our bedroom, but was plagued by strange flutter echoes with the lower ceilings.  The kitchen is actually the best place to sit with my acoustic and just enjoy how it sounds.  It has 12' ceilings and some strange angles in it, not too many parallel surfaces.  I recorded in there once, but forgot to turn the fridge back on..... whoops....

OK,in spite of everyone's wisdom and recommendations, I got a pair of the KRK RP5 monitors today at GC for $255 total.  I know, I know, should have saved up at least $600...... When I lose money selling these to upgrade to something better, you can all say "I told you so!"  I hear weaknesses in them, but they absolutely blow away the micro Roland MA-8 speakers and the cheap headphones I was using.  At least now I can actually hear the differences when I play back my A/B tests of the SM57 vs. the NT1a on my vocal and my Pbass with and without Sansamp.  And more important, when I compare my mixes to CDs by Gillian Welch, Steely Dan, Todd Runtgren, etc., I can at least objectively hear that at this point, the weakest link is my lack of recording experience.  Now I get to work on mic placement.....  At least the Pbass through the Sansamp sounds great and the Martin recorded with the MXL603S sounds pretty good too.  

I guess I'll read some books about acoustics and look at DIY bass traps and a vocal booth and I'll look at getting some better cables too.  The RNC is still on my list.  Building this home studio is like the Johnny Cash "one piece at a time" Cadillac, but its getting there.  I'm not aiming to be a professional; it's more than a hobby..... more like an obsession or an addiction, but since I gave up drugs and drinking, I have to spend money and obsess on something.....  I sure do love tinkering around with this stuff.  Definitely more fun than my day job!

Thanks again for all your suggestions,
Go ahead and let me have it for getting the KRKs....
bilco

   
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rankus

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bilco wrote on Sat, 01 April 2006 15:25




Thanks again for all your suggestions,
Go ahead and let me have it for getting the KRKs....
bilco

   


You did good!  There is no point in recording if you can't hear, and now you can hear better than before.... A step in the right direction.!

But, I would plead with you to try hanging up some blankets on the walls next time you record your band... "just to see"
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Rick Welin - Clark Drive Studios http://www.myspace.com/clarkdrivestudios

Ive done stuff I'm not proud of.. and the stuff I am proud of is disgusting ~ Moe Sizlack

"There is no crisis in energy, the crisis is in imagination" ~ Buckminster Fuller

maxim

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a book shelf with some books and a deep couch can't hurt the acoustics and/or the atmosphere

whatever the quality of your speakers, what's more important is your relationship with them

so go forth and multiply your recordings



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Bob Olhsson

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For songwriter demos I'd spend the money on musicians and singers even if I had to use a cheap cassette machine with a built in mike!

scottoliphant

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you're set for now, you have everything you need to make a fanstastic recording. I just recently got a pair of really nice monitors, and, when i was on a budget, my AKG reference headphones (open, gold color on the earpiece, not even sure what the official name of these guys are) rocked my world and i still use them. listen to lots of music through your new monitors. monitors won't really start working their magic until you listen to lots of records though them, and acclimate to them. So much of a fantastic recording is in the player, not the gear. some of the old elliot smith 4 track stuff kills me, and stuff on the pop charts that cost millions makes me want to drive my car into a retaining wall. good luck!

brett

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There is a product called spinglass made by johns mansville.

 http://www.jm.com/insulation/performance_materials/products/ ci60b_precipitator_sg.pdf

It comes in 9 sheet bundles of 2'x4'x2" pieces. I doubled them up and made 9 panels from the two bundles. They cost $115. I then ordered 25 yards of flame retardant burlap from Rose Brand in NY. I chose a color that matched my room. That cost me $175.

You just double up the panels, and cut the fabric like you are wrapping a christmas present, and use a stapler to staple up the seems on the back. It took only a few hours. I placed them two high in the front floor to ceiling across the corners, one above the mix postion on the top of the front wall, and on the sides. Helped acoustics emensly. I am making more to finish the room. You don't want to cover up all the walls.

Do this first or nothing you listen to is an honest representation of what is there.

I made the mistake of putting up blankets as well and that messed up the highs. I took a good look at the real traps web site for palcement. http://www.realtraps.com/


And any further questions you can go to Ethan's acoustic forum

http://www.musicplayer.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=forum;f=26;hardset=0;start_point=0;DaysPrune=0

You don't need gear, you need to hear what you are doing.


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bilco

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Thanks again for the advice everyone.  I have been reading Ethan's article on bass traps and am looking into finding some 705 fiberglass and something to wrap it in.

My daughter has moved away and my son and I have claimed her bedroom as the control room/studio.  It's 10'8" X 11'4", small and boxy, but I think we can work with it.  The living room sounds pretty good for tracking the way it is, but I will be able to judge that better when I can listen back to the recordings in a room that has some bass traps and something in place to control the flutter echo.



Thanks again,
bilco

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hargerst

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As "King of Cheap", here's a good solution for getting room treatment for nothing.  Over a weekend, cruise the dumpsters behind big office buildings.  Look for acoustic office dividers that companies just throw away.  They're about 4' wide by 6' high, and have 703 panels inside.  It may take a few weeks, but you'll find them.  Add a couple of L brackets and some bolts and you can mount them to a wall easily, and have them swing out or lay flat.
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Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio

bilco

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Thanks Harvey, what a great suggestion!  We have those all over at work and I have even seen them in churches, usually to isolate Sunday school classes in a larger room.  That is worth looking into.

bilco
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rankus

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I got two truckloads of these for a case of beer a few years back...

The source was the local "office furniture auction house".... They auction off repossessed office stuff like computers and desks, chairs etc.  But when they go to clean out the offices they toss the acoustic dividers because the have literally thousands in a warehouse.... So that's when I show up with a truck and case of beer and offer to make a lot of them go away....

Just a tip.
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Rick Welin - Clark Drive Studios http://www.myspace.com/clarkdrivestudios

Ive done stuff I'm not proud of.. and the stuff I am proud of is disgusting ~ Moe Sizlack

"There is no crisis in energy, the crisis is in imagination" ~ Buckminster Fuller

danickstr

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You are the weakest link. Good-bye.

Sorry I couldn't resist.  Diffusion is inexpensively accomplished by wrapping concrete tube cardboard with a burlap-like fabric.  stuff the innards with old socks for bass trapping too.  Cheap and easy.  high freq. diffusion will make a difference in rectangular rooms.
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Nick Dellos - MCPE  

Food for thought for the future:              http://http://www.kurzweilai.net/" target="_blank">http://www.kurzweilai.net/www.physorg.com
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