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R/E/P => R/E/P Archives => Budget? Budget? We Don't Got No Steekin' Budjet => Topic started by: Steve A on May 15, 2009, 02:43:06 am

Title: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: Steve A on May 15, 2009, 02:43:06 am
Hello everyone,

Man, I hope I'm in the right place...

Mods, if I'm not please kindly move me to the correct location or point me in the right direction...

I have been doing the live sound for our church for the last few years. This is a small church so nothing very fancy at all: a small Yamaha board, a Sony CD/minidisk deck, some wireless mics and some old peavey speakers...

Well, recently we have been talking and our praise team wants to record some of their music. Nothing too crazy but they DO want to be able to offer a CD to members of our congregation. All fine and good, but as the audio guy they want me to record this for them. I can probably get it done but I am sorta feeling a bit overwhelmed right now. I hope to find some help here on this forum. I know most if not all folks on this board are professionals. I am not. Just a guy being asked to create a miracle! they just see me as the audio guy... "Recording is audio stuff. Hey Steve..."

We won't be recording on the Yamaha board but may be using some of the mics at church. Wired and Wireless. (Just so we will have enough mics) Well, here is where I am at:

Tascam NEO2488 with internal HD
3 Sennheiser Wireless EW100's
4 OLD Audio Technica DB125's

I will be recording:

1 drum set
1 electric acoustic guitar
1 electric guitar
1 bass guitar
1 keyboard
3 vocals

My thought is to:

1. Track the drums first using all the mics
2. Track the remaining instruments
3. Track the vocals

I guess my question is 3 fold.

1. Can I get a CD ready recording on the Tascam NEO (after all it has a built in CD burner!)  Wink

2. I KNOW this is less than optimum but this is what I have now. What else do I HAVE to have? (There is NO budget for this by the way. I am expected to do it on what I have now.) Sad

3. Can I record this in our church? (wide open space, high ceiling) or should I bring them to my house? (Very small space)

They are not really expecting to do this tomorrow so I have a little time to prepare. I think about 3 months so I have some time to prepare.

I have recorded some of my own stuff on my home pc but not anything put out for consumption so my abilities will be sorely pressed. I am actually excited for the opportunity as I have always wanted to learn studio recording and would like to have my own home studio one day, but so much for the dream... this will be a lesson in harsh reality I'm afraid.

Anyway, any and all help and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Steve
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: Halfway Competent on May 15, 2009, 06:21:04 pm
Hi Steve,

I'm not a professional, but I've done some recordings in less-than-ideal situations so I'll chime in.  That, and nobody more qualified than myself has done so.  Wink

Does the music sound good in the church?  If so, record there.  
If you don't like the sound of it there, then record elsewhere.

I'm not familiar with the AT DB125 mic, so I don't know what it is.  Instrument?  Handheld vocal?  Anyway, your proposed approach sounds reasonable enough to me.  Check with members of your congregation and see if anyone's got a home studio with any decent gear...  At least a couple of condenser mics to put over the drums.  But also try what you have.  The good news is several of your listed instruments (bass and keys, notably) can go directly into the board.  The acoustic w/ pickup could also go direct, but also try blending direct and miked.  I'm not sure what you'd use your wireless lavaliers for, but if you feel creative, you could probably find a use for them somewhere.  I'd avoid putting them on really loud sources like kick or snare, or a really loud guitar amp.  (I blew up a rather nice studio mic by using it inside a kick.  Oops.)

As for what else you HAVE to have...  As long as you've got stands and cables for all of your mics, you'll be able to get something.  The Tascam unit looks like it probably has EQ/comp/effects in it (maybe?) for use in mixing.

To answer your question of whether you can get a CD-ready recording on the NEO...  I'm not familiar with the unit, but it looks like it's probably capable of that.

I would spend some time to learn the full capabilities of your recorder, and how to use it.  A recording session is a bummer of a time to learn a DAW.

Good luck, and have fun!
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: thedoc on May 15, 2009, 10:15:01 pm
I would look into hiring an engineer to help out and look at rental equipment for the gig as well.
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: Nacho on May 16, 2009, 12:50:06 pm
thedoc wrote on Fri, 15 May 2009 21:15

I would look into hiring an engineer to help out and look at rental equipment for the gig as well.

+1
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: Steve A on May 16, 2009, 05:05:42 pm
Halfway Competent wrote on Fri, 15 May 2009 17:21

Hi Steve,

I'm not a professional, but I've done some recordings in less-than-ideal situations so I'll chime in.  That, and nobody more qualified than myself has done so.  Wink

Does the music sound good in the church?  If so, record there.  
If you don't like the sound of it there, then record elsewhere.

I'm not familiar with the AT DB125 mic, so I don't know what it is.  Instrument?  Handheld vocal?  Anyway, your proposed approach sounds reasonable enough to me.  Check with members of your congregation and see if anyone's got a home studio with any decent gear...  At least a couple of condenser mics to put over the drums.  But also try what you have.  The good news is several of your listed instruments (bass and keys, notably) can go directly into the board.  The acoustic w/ pickup could also go direct, but also try blending direct and miked.  I'm not sure what you'd use your wireless lavaliers for, but if you feel creative, you could probably find a use for them somewhere.  I'd avoid putting them on really loud sources like kick or snare, or a really loud guitar amp.  (I blew up a rather nice studio mic by using it inside a kick.  Oops.)

As for what else you HAVE to have...  As long as you've got stands and cables for all of your mics, you'll be able to get something.  The Tascam unit looks like it probably has EQ/comp/effects in it (maybe?) for use in mixing.

To answer your question of whether you can get a CD-ready recording on the NEO...  I'm not familiar with the unit, but it looks like it's probably capable of that.

I would spend some time to learn the full capabilities of your recorder, and how to use it.  A recording session is a bummer of a time to learn a DAW.

Good luck, and have fun!


Thanks Halfway,

The sound at the church sounds ok I guess. I was just worried about reverberation. That brings up a question. I was not going to give the group sound thru the monitors (I normally do during live play at services) on the stage but just have whatever sound they make themselves. Basically trying to kill any of the reverberation I can. What would you guys suggest. headphones for each player/singer?

The DB125's are cheapy vocal handhelds. We got them about 7 or 8 years ago on sale, and they were 3 for $99. Those are the 3 I have listed earlier.

The wireless are handhelds as well... We DO also have 2 lavelier mics that I forgot to mention earlier though...

I'll do my best to get up to speed on this board but it won't be arriving for at least another month and a half and I'm sure they will want to get going as soon as the board arrives. That's what they are mainly waiting for.

I'll just have to try and push it back a little so I can get some training on the board....

Quote:

I would look into hiring an engineer to help out and look at rental equipment for the gig as well.


Thedoc & Nacho...

You may have missed the part where I said there is no budget for this. If any money gets paid out for the recording process it will have to come from my pocket. Now, I wouldn't mind doing as you suggested however I am unemployed myself right now...

It would be great if we had a recording engineer coming to our church. I would be that guy or girls best buddy! I am willing and really do want to learn to do it myself I just am kinda overwhelmed at exactly where to start. For now I will just have to jump in and learn for myself what works and what doesn't...

Can anyone suggest any online places to begin my self teaching classes? that would be a great resource to me. IS there anything here that I have over looked?

Thanks again guys!

Steve
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: Steve A on May 16, 2009, 05:13:20 pm
OOOOPPPSSSS....

My bad guys...

I thought I had said so before but after further review I saw that I had NOT put the tidbit of info on here about there being no budget for the recording process. It is expected to do the recording with what we have.

Sorry about that...


Also, my last post said 3 DB125's and my 1st post said 4 DB125's...

well the reality is:

3 DB125's and an old Radio Shack Mic

so to me they are 4 all the same hence the discrepency...

Again sorry about that
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: hargerst on May 16, 2009, 06:14:32 pm
Where are you located?  Networking might just be your best friend if you can get a few home studio guys involved. (Hint: They have mics and stands, etc.)
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: marcel on May 16, 2009, 07:24:04 pm
Hi Steve:

It may also be worth checking out if any of the technical colleges (etc.) in your area offer recording or engineering courses.  The students in these programs are often hungry for clientele (in order to fulfill course requirements), and often have access to some measure of equipment through the school they attend.

Participation in these programs is by no means a guarantee of competency or professionalism, but it's better than nothing.



Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: Steve A on May 16, 2009, 11:30:16 pm
Hey guys,

I am from Ohio.

I actually remember hearing about a place called Recording Workshop near hear...

I would LOVE to attend that as a student but if I remember correctlt it was near $10,000 to attend an 8 week class. I may be wrong on those figures... I'm just going off memory on that.

Not sure if it is still in existance or not. Guess I need to do some research on that. Maybe getting in on the sessions needed for class credits would be a good option for us.

Yeah, networking is always a good way to go in my opinion. A win-win. If someone can help me then at some point hopefully I would be able to help them as well.

Thanks for the suggestions guys.
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: compasspnt on May 17, 2009, 12:09:34 am
Hi Steve,

A few things...

*Even though the board will arrive later, surely you can get the manual for it online, and thoroughly learn it before the unit even comes.

*Handheld microphones often give a more compressed and/or "pinched" sound, so they are not ideal for recording, when there is an option. I do understand that you may not have that option, however, given your (lack of) budget, and availabilities.

*Surely you are near to someone on this board in Ohio. I would ask our Forum members who might be near to you to make personal live contact, and help you out in any way they can. If I were close, I would be happy to help, but my location and schedule would unfortunately prevent that.

*One thing I think important will be to not push your equipment too hard. Keep levels reasonably conservative, and try to avoid over-driven sound and distortion.

*Use any kind of acoustic treatments you can in the large room to reduce the ambient reverberation. Blankets, pillows, drapes, etc...anything like that an help. Don't worry what it looks like, the sound is important. Be sure to explain to the musicians/singers/church officials what you are doing, and why...and tell them not to worry about how it all looks.  It is amazing how much reverberation can show up on recordings. You will benefit from any reduction you can make.

*Walk around and listen as they rehearse, to find places that microphones could be placed for best effect. If it sounds good in a spot to you, that's a good starting point to place a microphone. Look for photos on the 'net of live sessions...even old big band type things...they often used few microphones in large spaces, and some of those sound great.

*Don't try to get too fancy...just keep it simple.

Best of luck!

Enjoy it.
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: cgc on May 17, 2009, 12:16:45 pm
I would start with recording using the equipment you already have.  Use a computer to record the two channel output of the Yamaha mixer - there are free recording apps like Audacity that will work fine.  Once you listen to that recording you will probably have a better idea of what you need to improve on for the later recording.

Definitely record the group live as trying to do overdubs will complicate the process too much.

There are some YouTube videos that cover the basics of the Tascam unit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cHelqnFNjE&feature=relat ed
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: Steve A on May 17, 2009, 04:01:42 pm
Quote:

I would start with recording using the equipment you already have.


Well, we did this just last night. It wasn't the most opertune set up but we had an open air concert (Not quite outside but was close. Well, let's be honest... It was in a barn. HA! The site has been converted over to host concerts in. The sides have 2 big doors that will open up to allow tractors and stuff in. Well, it's no longer used for that stuff but used for concerts at least once a month...)

Anyway, I sat up a camera and recorded the the concert. The audio I have is from the camera. The total overall sound is ok. I can definantely tell which instruments and vocals were louder or fit within the range of the audio mic for the camera...

I actually like this idea so that with each passing time that I record I can tweak and adjust so that (maybe) by the time we actually record it to put on CD I will have been well versed in the material as well as the intrumentation and vocals.

Next time I will try to record out of the sound system to get a better recording.

At this location we have a Mackie 808 head unit. No outboard equipment. Just the Mackie, the DB125's and a pair of EV Eliminator speakers. Well, and 1 MTX monitor for the stage.

I have recorded from this in the past and used the mixer line out to my laptop using Soundforge. The problem here, is that I mix for the house and when listening back to what goes to the laptop, it is usually blown out (almost full meter showing clipping) I think the next time I try this I may need to adjust the line in on the laptop. I may have just fixed my own problem on that one Smile

Anyway... I will continue to record them everytime they sing so I can get some experience doing it over the next few months. I may even record some of their practices too. I don't know. They may not want me poking around while they try to practice. I'll explain that if they want to sound good on this CD I will need to be around anytime they pick up a mic or instrument. It's pretty easy for me to do that, as I sing with them sometimes. That might make it harder though since I will be pulling double duty at that point...

Guys, I really appreciate all the help you have given me on this issue. I also want you all to know how much I value this forum. It is a great resource.

On a last note... I looked up that Recording Workshop I mentioned earlier and sure enough they are still around and seem to be putting our some great engineers, so I am seriously looking into take their course. It's an 8 week course total. And of course the deciding factor will come down to money as it always does, but if I can get some aid in the financing department I will take the course. That remains to be seen though since I am unemployed right now....

Again, thanks

Steve
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: Jeff Roberts on May 19, 2009, 12:47:56 pm
What Compasspoint and cgc said.

If you can get hooked up with some local PSW professionals they will probably be a much better resource than a $10,000 eight week course.

A few years ago I mentored a lad from my local high school for a semester. He came over twice a week for about five hours total each week.

I taught him soldering, signal flow, system hookup, and had him bring in a band to track and mix so I could show him how to run a session.

After his semester with me his Dad spent $28,000 on a recording course. After the course, my former student said that he learned more from me than the school.

I don't think it was because I'm the best teacher, I think it was just a better learning situation.
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: Steve A on May 19, 2009, 03:30:22 pm
Jeff that kind of situation would be great for me.

I have been think over the recording school classes and have sort of decided to steer clear of this for now.

This is for 1 main reason:

Up to this point, anything I have learned has been either self taught or being around someone who does it for a living and learning from them. And this is in other stuff besides just recording. I mean other careers.

I think I will trudge along and kinda do the self teachin g thing until I find somone with whom I can mentor. Ohio isn't quite Nashville so I can't just walk down the street and pick my choice of 10 different studios to find somone I can learn from. It isn't quite like that around here, however I did a search for recording studios in ohio and was surprised to find more than 30 listed with 20 of them within an hour of me.

Anyone know how to get an internship at a local studio? Is there normally any prerequisites? That would be like on the job training, which for me is a great way to learn.

Back on the main subject, I talked with the drummer over the weekend and he said that he has access to a drum mic kit. Not sure what they are or anything. I figure I can set it up and record to see what they sound like and then record with the mics we have and listen to the difference. Then go with whatever sounds best.
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: Steve A on May 21, 2009, 12:07:20 pm
I was just looking on the sweetwater site and saw that they offer program leasing to startup businesses...

Now, I'm thinking that I could spend $6,000 to $10,000 on the recording school or I can lease some equipment and just do the self learning thing.

Would I be further ahead to invest that same money in something I can readily make money at rather than invest that money in somone else so that I can maybe make money later for what they teach me?

The question I am wondering is if any of you have done this leasing of equipment? If so, how did it work out for you?

Also, if I went this way and got the equipment, I have heard a couple of you say that it would take most of a year to really learn my equipment. What could I do in that year to make money with it while I'm learning? (and I know the simple answer of record someone with it...) But if I am just learning, then why would somone come to me to record something?

I would ask some of the guys who have posted some advice on this thread to maybe chime in again if they would but I am open to anyone suggestions as well.

Thanks,

Steve
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: cgc on May 22, 2009, 11:18:45 am
Steve

I would not make a big investment in gear until you have developed further.  The techniques for recording are pretty much the same with a cheap mic as a $5k one (although the sound is different).  


You might find that this is not really much more of a passing interest, and join the ranks of eBay and craigslist sellers who bought a ton of gear and quickly lot interest or the time to use it.  And recording gear retains value like a used car, so if you do buy take advantage of the second hand values out there.
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: Steve A on May 22, 2009, 12:44:57 pm
Thanks for the response cgc,

While I am new here to recording forum, recording has been an interest of mine for more than 15 years. I have always had to put it on the back burner because of work, other commitments, etc...

Now that I have been laid off and have time on my hands I feel that it's a perfect time that if I am ever going to do something with it, then this is the time.

I agree with the thought of not going in debt for a bunch of equipment. What I have come up with as a list to get started is about $1000. That can get me in the door with what I already  have to be able to make a recording for a profit. That is  I mean, making a recording that is good enough for someone else's specs. I can record all day long using crummy equipment. That's fine cause it's just me and I understand it's for learning purposes. The minute I start recording someone else they will want or expect at least a certain level of quality. (unfortunately our praise band expects studio quality and I'm new to this) but hey... That must mean that I performed above their expectations in the past, so I take it as a compliment that they think I can give them a studio type recording...

Either way, this is all somewhat moot as I have no idea how to let anyone know that I'm available to do some recording anyway.

How does a new guy make money with his home studio? Guess you first have to tap into your pool of friends and associates to find someone who wants to record and then maybe go by word of mouth...

I know the this thread has ran the gambit of thought processes but part of that is because I am a guy who desires to take a hobby/interest in audio and try to make a living at it. Lord knows I have tried the corporate track and I have come to realize that as long as you work for someone else you will always be limited. Being your own boss and owning a business is the only true way to go. For me, that's a recent (last year or so) revelation and I'm just trying to act upon that new information. Plus, when I am thinking of new ideas I always jump around then after I have several thoughts formed then I continue to narrow it down until I have a very focused plan of action, so this thread, for me, is part of that process. I just appreciate everyones input into how to help me come to that focused plan.

Thanks again guys,

Steve
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: Steve A on May 22, 2009, 12:53:12 pm
cgc wrote on Fri, 22 May 2009 10:18

Steve

And recording gear retains value like a used car, so if you do buy take advantage of the second hand values out there.



Also, I'm not so confident in my assesment of used audio gear yet I can't really spot a good deal, Now a computer... or home theater equipment... I can spot those deals a mile away! Just comes with being around the equipment I guess... And the $1000 was priced for new equipment so if I went used for that list it might cut it down to $500...

Thanks for the idea.
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: compasspnt on May 24, 2009, 01:07:04 pm
Steve, what are you considering as equipment purchases?
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: Steve A on May 24, 2009, 02:36:09 pm
Well, let's see...

I will be using the Tascam 2488 NEO for the hard disk recording. That will be arriving within the next month or so.

What I was referring to for the equipment for about $1000 is:

PreSonus DigiMAX D8 - $400 at http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/DigiMaxD8/

2 dbx 266XL Compressors - $500 at http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/266XL/

2 PreSonus HP4 Headphone Amps - $260 at http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/HP4/

4 AKG K 77 Headphones - $200 at http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/K77/


So that comes up to $1360 so it's a little more than $1000

I didn't include mics but as I am looking for stuff on the budget side, I will probably go with 4 of these guys that were talked about in this thread..
http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/t/26609/20208/

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

For better or worse this is what I plan on starting with. I figure this is the minimum to start with. There are more things I could use but I believe this could get me up and running.

Feel free to correct anything I have listed above.
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: compasspnt on May 24, 2009, 03:50:01 pm
Steve, in case you don't know about them, the tiny little Karma mini mics are actually sort-of-decent for things like toms or loud guitars, and you can get them VERY  cheap: 7 mics/clips/travel case for under $80.

http://www.seemics.com/sb7.html
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: Steve A on May 24, 2009, 09:41:16 pm
WOW! Those look pretty cool. And the price is awesome!

So can I mic a drum kit with them? They say SB-7 Drum

I mean like toms, snare & hat? I assume a different mic will be needed for the bass drum...

I will let our drummer know about these...
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: compasspnt on May 24, 2009, 09:59:27 pm
Yes, they are for drums. Don't expect Neumann KM-84's, however...

And probably something else for bass drum.

But for $79, how can you lose?
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: Steve A on May 24, 2009, 11:10:31 pm
Ok, so add those to my list.

I'm now a little over $1400.

Ok. So I am gathering the necessary equipment...

Is there any place on line that I can go to read up on proper techniques?
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: hargerst on May 25, 2009, 09:18:01 pm
Steve A wrote on Sun, 24 May 2009 22:10

Ok, so add those to my list.

I'm now a little over $1400.

Ok. So I am gathering the necessary equipment...

Is there any place on line that I can go to read up on proper techniques?

You might look at the first sticky in this forum.
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: Steve A on May 26, 2009, 12:27:25 am
Wow Harvey,

Thanks ALOT! Lot's of information in there. I just sat and read half of it. I need to digest what I have read and then go back over it.

Sounds like there is alot of trial and error in micing. Your PDF takes alot of that trial and error out and gives me a great place to start. (which it sounds like it was designed to do...)


Thanks again.
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: Steve A on June 03, 2009, 11:49:51 pm
Looks as though contrary to what I previously believed, I will be using a Yamaha n12 for this recording process.

Just found this out yesterday. Now I have to go read the manual on this board, but it does sound like it will be more my speed.
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: hargerst on June 04, 2009, 09:42:33 am
You're gonna do fine, Steve.  

Just watch your levels (keep them on the low side), and don't to too much eqing while you record - save that for mixing.  

(Although, watch out for low end build-up - a little bass cut on tracks during recording is usually safe.)
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: Steve A on June 05, 2009, 12:25:32 am
Thanks for the vote of confidence Harvey!

After reading a little bit about this board, I like that it is firewire to the computer allowing a full 12 channels to be tracked at once. Add to that the fact that it is a control unit so I will be able to use it to mix within Cubase.

I am liking this alot the more that I read about it.

Can't wait to get it in and try it out...
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: Steve A on August 16, 2009, 09:47:36 pm
Well, the n12 came in at the end of the week. Will be getting it installed not this week but the next and will probably start recording the week after.

I'll keep you updated on how that goes...
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: Steve A 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
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: Galil 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
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: Steve A 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...
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: Steve A 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.
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: hargerst 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.
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: DarinK 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
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: Steve A 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
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: compasspnt 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.
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: KB_S1 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.
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: Steve A 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
Title: Re: Elected to be recording engineer... HELP!!!
Post by: Steve A 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...)