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complete newbie

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Lonman, Aug 26, 2003.

  1. Lonman

    Lonman Guest

    Hey all,

    I recently bought a Tascam us-428 on ebay, havent recieved it yet, but its on its way. All it will be used for is recording myself and a friend. What is a good way to record accoustic guitars? What kind of mics will sound good on the Tascam? What is a condenserand do I need one? Neither of us play drums. We were thinking of picking up a keyboard with drums on it. Is this a good idea? We would also be able to play the keyboard as something like a backup, right?

    Am i anywhere near ready for this?

    Thanks for listening
  2. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    The best advice I ever got was to remember that it is all very simple, but that there is a lot of simple.

    Don't try to create that million selling album right out of the box. You have quite a bit to learn, and RO is the right place to be to ask your questions.

    What computer and software are you going to be using? What mics do you have or plan to get? Do you have a monitoring system? Give us all the dirty details and the amazing people here at RO will walk you through the ins and outs of getting started.

    No matter what computer and software you will be using, import some loops or even songs from a CD and play around with slicing and dicing audio samples. Learn your software inside and out, don't be afraid to make mistakes. Edison learned 1,067 ways not to make a light bulb; but the results of all those failures led him in new directions with other projects. If you fail "only" 2/3 of the time at the plate in major league baseball you are a candidate for the hall of fame.

    I guess that what I am saying is experiment :) , have fun :( Once you have some idea of where you are we can all give you directions on where to go next.

    Welcome to RO!


    Uncle Bob

  3. Ras Judah

    Ras Judah Guest

    Greetings Lonman,

    Without trying to be funny, it would depend on what 'this' is?

    If you just want to have some fun with your mate and your guitar then just go for it and see what happens.

    If you are trying to record compositions (for whatever reason), i.e. your just a (pair of) songwriter(s) without any particular ambition to perform/release your own songs, again just go for it.

    If, however, you wish to make a demo and/or release your own recordings I'd suggest that you get some books (or at least do some web searches) on acoustics (room acoustics - not guitars ;) ), home/project studio set-up/recording and mastering. Don't worry, you won't need to know everything inside out, but a small amount of the right information will take you a long way (especially at the beginning of your learning curve).

    Once you have the basic info to hand, questions like 'What is a condenser?' will be replaced with questions like 'Are these Chinese imports too good to be true?'

    Personally, I prefer the 'dive in with both feet and see what happens' approach as I tend to learn better from my mistakes than from my successes, but to each their own. If you're the more cautious type, perhaps you could visit a local school/college to see if they can provide you with a course in the basics, or even visit a small local studio and ask to see a session 'in the flesh' as it were.

  4. Lonman

    Lonman Guest

    Hey all,

    Let's see. I don't have any mics, at all. The guy I bought the tascam from is sending me version 5.1 of cubase. I have a Compaq computer witha 2.4 htz processor, 512mb RAM, 80gb hd and a burner. Not sure what a monitoring system is.
    See I told you complete newbie. Hope I'm not being too much trouble. :( I'm not sure what mics to get. Where do I download loops from, and what do I do with them?

    Hope this helps you to help me :D
  5. Lonman

    Lonman Guest

    2.4 Mhtz not htz
    Man that would be no fun!!
  6. ErichS

    ErichS Active Member

    Hi Lonman,

    I'm definately no expert but I/ll try to give you a few basic anwswers.

    One typical way to record acoustic is to place a condenser mic about 8" from the guitar around the vacinity of the 12th fret.

    I cant give you a useful definition of a condenser mic but they are generally more sensitive than a dynamic mic(e.g. Shure SM57). They are good for acoustic instruments as they dont need a lot of volume for recording. Condensers require a power supply (called phantom power). The Tascam has mic style inputs(XLR) but I did not see where it has phantom power. If not you will either need to use a dynamic mic or get a mic preamp with phantom power.
    A Keyboard can be used to play drums but you will probably need to use the MIDI sequencer in Cubase as playing drums manually through a keyboard can become very tedious (at least for me anyways).
    When you say keyboard as a backup I guess you mean backing tracks such as strings. If your keyboard has good sounds they are great for that. A lot of people are using software synths more recently to get those sounds.

    Good luck with your recordings.
  7. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    While you can ask and get answers from guys here as well as spend many hours scouring the archives and the net in general, I would suggest buying a basic recording book. Not only will they have text, pictures and drawings of the basic componets of recording and how to use them, but you will always have this book available and at your side. From this book or books, you will have the background to ask better and more specific questions that can be of much greater help in your recording applications.
  8. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    A monitoring system is the speakers you will be listening to while you are recording and mixing. Self powered monitors (speakers with their own amplifier built in) are the most popular these days. Don't skimp here, lousy monitors will will give you lousy recordings.

    Keep those cards and letters coming....


    Uncle Bob


    A project studio is a hole into which one pours money
  9. Lonman

    Lonman Guest

    Thanks everyone, I think I will get a book. Like Uncle Bob says its all very simple, but there is a lot of simple.

    Thanks for listening

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