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Author Topic: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!  (Read 13607 times)

Steve A

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Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
« Reply #30 on: August 31, 2009, 12:36:24 am »

Ok well here we are...

We have yet to install the new equipment as the building has to go thru final inspections. Once that is done we will move everything in official.

However I have been working with the n12. To say that there was a little bit of a curve in learning how to use this board with a DAW would be an understatement. actually it would be better to say that the reason were my own not anything about the board.

The set up and use as an analog board are exremely simple. we had that done in less than 5 minutes. The sound on this board is really great! Everything is in it's logical location and again it's very easy to run this board.

The steep hill came when I decided it was time to see what the recording side was like. The board comes with a DVD of Cubase AI4 along with Tools for n. these were installed fairly easily. Once Cubase was opened and I was trying to get sound into the software I encountered my first problem.

The sound was very distorted. Not distortedd by over amplification but everything had a very strong metalic sound. To the point that some that heard the music recorded didn't even know that it was music...

So after checking and double checking that all the settings and connections were correct, off I went to the internet for some information. Anyone who has an n12 or is thinking of getting one should bookmark this page...

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much-gear-so-little-time/1 33358-yamaha-n-series.html

This thread was extremely helpful in getting the issues fixed.

It was here that I found out that the n12 is known for not working with Dell laptops which is what I have, and the main reason being is the firewire hardware they use in their laptops. This was disheartening news for sure. But I plowed forward. I found updates were available for all software and hardware I had and set about updating.

The metalic sounding music was fixed and I was able to record nice pristine clear audio on a single track with very little effort. I then tried to record multitracks out of the n12 and started getting drops. Sad

I went in and killed all non essential apps and disabled my network connections (both wired and wireless) as the firewire uses the same IRQ's as these and once there was nothing else running I was able to get multitrack recording into Cubase.

Now here is the real kicker! I love this....

With the n12 and Cubase I am able to record multitracks into Cubase while having plugins inserted and activated on the inividual tracks then monitor them back thru the n12 in realtime with zero latency!!

Anyone who has used software plugins in this manner knows that there are usually drops but with the n12 there are none. This is because of the andvanced integration available with Cubase. (Yamaha owns Steinburg I found out...)

Either way this is really neat.

Now with all that out of the way I do have some questions that will move us along to the actual recording of which this thread was started for...

But first I do want to say that I have decided to use the SP-1's. they are really good for my budget and several on here have given them high marks.

http://www.pssl.com/Search?q=sp1&x=0&y=0&by=s

Currently I have (0) zero, ziltch mics for recording so these will do ok. Yes? no? What do you guys think?

Also I curenttly have no headphone distribution system. We will need 4 headphone outputs. Do you all know of any really cheap but good headphone boxes?

I would even consider making one myself. I mean I need to to be as cheap as we can get so ANY info in this regard is greatly appreciated.

Other than that I will continue to practice doing some test recording so I can further learn how to make this the best I can.

We are now looking at the middle to end of September for a recording date.

Thanks for all your help guys!

Steve
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Galil

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Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
« Reply #31 on: August 31, 2009, 11:26:05 am »

Regarding your need for a headphone amplifier/distribution system:

I have found the Rane HC 6 and MH 4 to do a good job in a small studio situation. Often these can be found used for less than $150 (US)on ebay. Presonus also makes a four headphone distribution box/amp which is $129 new but I personally would prefer the Rane.

Congrats on how far you are getting on your project.

Galil
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Steve A

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Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
« Reply #32 on: August 31, 2009, 07:41:44 pm »

I see the ART HeadAmp4 on sweetwater for $66 and free shipping so I guess I couldn't build one for that cheap so looks like that's the one I'll go with.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/HeadAmp4/

so now it's on to the mics...
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Steve A

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Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
« Reply #33 on: September 15, 2009, 11:18:01 pm »

Ok...

So last week we did just a test recording.

I have to say, I really have ALOT to learn. Sad

We were able to do the recording fairly easy. The actual process of recording the tracks will be very simple. It's the before and the after that will give me the headaches...

I think the mics we are using are not that good. I had to really eq the recorded tracks before I could get them out of the mud.

We recorded with everything flat and dry. (by the way all we recorded were vocals)

I will need to do some studying on how to properly eq. The test sounded ok I guess but I was just shooting in the dark really and tried to get it to sound decent. Not anything I would really want on a cd or project if I were paying for it.

Basically just wanted to put an update in to let you rknow where we were and what we had done so far.
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hargerst

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Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
« Reply #34 on: September 16, 2009, 12:08:16 pm »

Be very careful when applying eq to every track to make soloed instruments sound good.  You're recording a song, not soloed instruments.  How everything fits together is more important than how each instrument sounds by itself.
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Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio

DarinK

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Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
« Reply #35 on: September 16, 2009, 02:34:05 pm »

Ideally you want to get the sound as good as possible before you even touch an EQ.  This means changing mics & mic position.  I realize you don't have a lot of mic options, but do what you can. If all you did are vocals & all the vocals are muddy, that's probably proximity effect. To put it simply, cardioid microphones sound bassier when very close to the sound source.  If you're using a cardioid mic on something & it sounds too bassy/muddy, back the mic up a bit (even an inch or two really helps).  For live vocals, having the mic output as loud as possible is important for avoiding feedback, but when recording vocals there's no need to be right up on the mic.
One more tip:  if you have to use EQ, try cutting instead of boosting whenever possible.  If the vocals sound muddy, cut lows out before adding any highs or mids.
Good luck & have fun with it.
-Darin
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Steve A

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Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
« Reply #36 on: September 18, 2009, 03:46:28 pm »

Thanks for the info guys.

Right, while trying to get the vocals to sound right (not muddy) I was thinking to myself, "there has to be a better way..." so now I know...

Back off the mics for starters. The vocalists usually get very close to the mics during live performance, so I will explain to them that they need to be about 4 - 6 inches away. Plus when we do the actual recording, we will be using some pop filters so that will help keep them away some as well.

The fact that cardoid mics sound bassy when in close proximity should have made a bell go off in my head. I really shoul dhave thought of that.

Once question I have is with the vocalists off the mic say 4 - 6 inches, what can I do to help from getting bleedover into each mic? We only have one room with basically no isolation to record... wrap each vocalist and mic in bubblewrap??

Smile
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compasspnt

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Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
« Reply #37 on: September 23, 2009, 05:33:55 pm »

Naturally, the closer a singer is to the mic, given a fixed volume of vocal, the less relative ambient noise there will be.  Every thing is a tradeoff...and as stated, when closer, the proximity effect is creating a bass boost.

You could:

Use mics for vocals made for live use, such as many dynimics (58, etc), or better a Heil 35, or some new condenser ones...Rode have the S1, Neumann make one (105?), Telefunken USA now make one, I think.

Use normal condensers, but hopefully ones with a bass rolloff switch.

Keep the singers back some, but suffer more bleed.

As you say, a pop filter will help keep them back, but be aware that some of the nylon and esp perf/metal ones also can add unnatural sibilance to the vocal sound...and don't use a pop filter on mics with "built-in" ones (58, S1, etc) just by default...only if you need it.

Again, everything in recording (and life) is a tradeoff.
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KB_S1

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Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
« Reply #38 on: September 24, 2009, 05:57:53 am »

Also remember to take into account the pickup pattern of your microphones.

If they are cardiod you can get incredible seperation between performers by facing each performer at the null point of the other microphone.

I have had great success with 4 singers working in a cross formation.

Pay as much attention to what is behind the singers as to what is in front of them.

I was amazed recently when recording guide vocals in a control room at how little bleed there was from the large monitors (up loud). The singers were in front of a large absorber/diffusor panel and facing the speakers. Nothing was between them and the speakers.

You mentioned that you were not getting results that you would want on a CD you bought. Just remember that you need to be aware of your limitations. The biggest releases have the biggest budgets (generally). It is unlikely you will get something sounding like it was recorded by a top team in a top studio. You can however achieve something unique and brilliant. Aim for something special and work to get it.
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<a href="http://www.parklanerecordingstudios.com/" class="link3">Park Lane Studio</a> Where to find me most of the time<br /><br />

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Steve A

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Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
« Reply #39 on: October 01, 2009, 06:45:09 pm »

compasspnt wrote on Wed, 23 September 2009 16:33

Use mics for vocals made for live use, such as many dynimics (58, etc)


Yeah, we are using the dynamics listed earlier in the topic. Very basic (3 for $99) mics for live performance..


Quote:

Use normal condensers, but hopefully ones with a bass rolloff switch.


Well, we have no condensers... just the live performance "cheapy" mics.

Keep the singers back some, but suffer more bleed.

Quote:

be aware that some of the nylon and esp perf/metal ones also can add unnatural sibilance to the vocal sound...and don't use a pop filter on mics with "built-in" ones (58, S1, etc) just by default...only if you need it.


Thanks for the info
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Steve A

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Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
« Reply #40 on: October 01, 2009, 06:54:17 pm »

KB_S1 wrote on Thu, 24 September 2009 04:57

Also remember to take into account the pickup pattern of your microphones.

If they are cardiod you can get incredible seperation between performers by facing each performer at the null point of the other microphone.

I have had great success with 4 singers working in a cross formation.


Ah great point here. I hadn't thought of the positions and during our little test run, had them every which way. I will try this...


Quote:

You mentioned that you were not getting results that you would want on a CD you bought. Just remember that you need to be aware of your limitations. The biggest releases have the biggest budgets (generally). It is unlikely you will get something sounding like it was recorded by a top team in a top studio. You can however achieve something unique and brilliant. Aim for something special and work to get it.


Right, I understand this. What I meant by this is that the final recording (when we actually do the real thing) sounds at least like a competant recording engineer did the work. I would like to use whatever we end up with as a step toward doing another recording and eventually get paid (even just a little bit) and maybe use that to upgrade equipment and as a side income. I really enjoy the process and though I have not went to school for this I would like to have my own project studio when it's all said and done. From what I have read, it sounds like most recording studios only look to hire younger folks (which I'm not) so it's up to me to learn it on my own. (Along with all you folks help as well of course...)
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