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im a newbie dont say i didnt warn you! :P

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Wformato, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. Wformato

    Wformato Active Member

    hello all, my name is William im a newbie hands down i wont deny it i've recorded on my setup and have never really used any program but fl (i know its kinda kiddy stuff) and it kinda leaves me wanting more. i have loved music since i can remember and constantly thinking of music. over the past 3 years ive been producing hip hop beats and recording friends with a bunch of different shonky setups i put together for me and my friends to record (had a Shure SM58 plugged into the mic jack on the computer straight into fl kinda deal witch is terrible i know, but keep in mind im only 17 and have progressed from that) and i feel its time to step the whole thing up a few notches.

    right now my studio is in my bedroom, a very small square room. I use an M audio Fast Track connected to fruity loops and a berhinger C1 condenser mic but the recording quality is lacking so im looking to progress my setup to a kinda semi professional level, ive done a cert I in general construction and designed my shed it into a 3 room studio with a drum room and vocal booth on Google sketch up but have heard a tin shed is terrible for acoustics so im having second thoughts on going through with it

    another thing that confuses me is the full picture of what plugs into what and how the whole thing is connected i know will be able to get my head around it but until then im pretty clueless (not clueless about the price and time it will take to do this im well aware but determined, this IS my life goal).

    basically my perception of how a studio works is the big mixing table everyone associates a recording studio with connects to the computer by an interface of some sort witch would have a monitor output and all that and lines up each track with a mixer on the DAW program the mic plugs into the back of the mixing desk?? (this is how clueless i am, i just cant seem to piece together how it would go) i know there's A LOT more too it and i look at all of the hardware and read all about how great it is and what it does but its all a bunch of mumbo jumbo to me as to how it would chain together in the studio and even what its for, if someone could lay it on the table, the necessity of recording equipment wise, i would greatly appreciate it, acoustics is another hill to climb but all in good time. im a lover of the old school so my ideal setup would be this kinda hybrid thing everyone seems to be doing, witch is seemingly even more complicated when i look at it. id love to record not just hip hop music but have a versatile studio that is at a recording quality id feel comfortable paying a small recording fee for. like i said this is my life goal and im determined to work at it and build it up over time to the standard im looking for

    this is the quality im working with at the moment, i can record a decent sounding track but i feel i can do better

    thank you for your time, hopefully someone can help me out.
  2. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    Tweak's Guide to the Home and Project Studio
  3. Wformato

    Wformato Active Member

    thanks heaps gdoubleyou, im kinda new to this whole forum thing, i read a post about 5 mins after posting this and realized i could have just searched it! Many thanks regardless!!
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    You don't need to go to other sites to learn about recording, there is far more information here than the link posted above. Just start reading and following your interests and you will learn.
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Your recording rig is 100% professional. It might be entry-level but that really doesn't make any difference in obtaining a quality professional product from what you already have. You may find that that SM58 will sound far better than your condenser thingy? I know I prefer that we over any inexpensive condenser microphones to achieve a certain tonal quality we all know and love. If you can believe that your $100 US SM58 can perform on a par of quality with the + $3000 US Neumann U87 and you are condenser microphone can't compare to that at all. It's a poor imitation to those other two microphones. But then you also have to understand about lowering the low frequency response of that microphone in order to obtain a clean and clear and present sound. That will also require an additional large foam or nylon stocking lollipop, pop filter on that 58. Right into that Fast Track and you'll be cooking with gas! In fact that 58 is one of the worlds most popular and great sounding vocal recording microphones of all times. But the proper use and understanding of what needs to be corrected in the frequency response in software is the make or break difference. And that means rolling off the low frequencies below 80 Hz/100 Hz. And maybe +2 DB boost at 10-12 kHz and that's it. Then you add some compression. Then you might add some more equalization to further enhance that vocal recording? It's no trick, it's simple and straightforward. You certainly don't have to be a genius to be a recording engineer who is quite competent. Look at me. Well maybe you shouldn't?

    When I mix I put a brown paper bag over my head to become the unknown mixer.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  6. Wformato

    Wformato Active Member

    thanks audiokid that is true, of all the websites i have visited this has given me alot of food for thought, and thanks for the advice, will do
  7. Wformato

    Wformato Active Member

    thanks heaps remy thats very informative, i never would have thought.
    I guess its one of those things where its not necessarily the equiptment, its the person behind the computer. i reckon my mate still has the one we used laying around his house to be honest, i might get him to find it and put it back into use.
    when i record i allays Eq each vocal track with a plugin that lay on its own individual channel on the fl mixer with a plugin and i have a nylon pop filter but haven't really used the compressor plugin on a vocal track because i assumed it would distort it for some reason, ill have to tinker with it and try.
    I have a bit of money saved up as well, i had my heart set on a new Rode NTK. do you think this is a better option then the sm or just overkill?

    thanks for the info Remy, i appreciate you taking the time to lay it on me.
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    One of the best things to do for rock 'n roll vocals is to utilize plenty of compression and/or limiting. The only way it's going to distort it is if you have adjusted it incorrectly. Nothing about compressors or limiters should cause distortion in and buy themselves, hardware or software. This comes from gain staging. Vocals are one of the most dynamic instruments you can record. When people want natural dynamics they only think they want natural dynamics. Natural dynamics on vocals can be pretty ghastly sounding. Good compression and some limiting not only smooths it out, it really allows you to place it within the mix in a much more accurate and controlled manner. Because you get folks that sings softly and then scream. No way I want to hear that with natural dynamics. Ouch! That's why God invented the LA 2 A and all of the rest after it. If those compressor and limiters weren't so important to our work, we wouldn't bother with them. But it's an integral part of everything we do. At least for rock 'n roll and other pop genres. Certainly not in the orchestral area. That's where you want to hear the dynamics. Rock 'n roll is really not a dynamic medium. It's a loud medium. And for most high-energy stuff, you want everything pumped up a bit. Why wait for the mastering engineer to do it? He can't do everything to the mix that you can do. If your mix sounds great, you really don't need much mastering or mastering engineer once you normalize to -.4, -.6, somewhere around there. But if you feel your mix is lackluster and you cannot obtain what you are after, the Mastering Engineer might be able to make a big difference. Never forget though, garbage in garbage out. So if you've already slammed your levels and optimized everything, there is nothing there for a Mastering Engineer to work with.

    Here's one of the things I do. I come up with the best mix I possibly can. Then if I want to get a little more creative with it, I may do some of my own Mastering? In a sense, what I'm really doing is just applying some dynamics processing and additional equalization to a stereo mix. One can also accomplish this while mixing by putting a stereo compressor/limiter & an additional equalizer on the stereo mixing bus. Then you're mixing through all of that processing and you can hear what it's doing. Lots of folks prefer to mix with an inserted Bus compressor. I only do that when a client requests it. Otherwise I just leave that for after the mix, mastering. So it can be accomplished in real time or after the fact. One of the many tools I'll use when it comes to software is IK multimedia, T-Racks to stand alone or the VST plug-ins. I started with the standalone which I loved but it could be a little awkward when one wanted to use it as a processor for a single track within a multitrack production. Then those Italian guys finally got wise and released the VST plug-in. I have some issues with that VST plug-in because no metering is included with it. The standalone had metering. Both are great but both will set you back about $500. Which is the cost of a reasonable hardware compressor but nothing like an 1176 which will generally set you back about $1500 per channel. And that LA 2 A, well, that's a little more but that's more of an average compressor than a peak sensing compressor like the 1176. Way different. Chris (audiokid) Loves his new LA 2's, with its lovely soft overloading tubes. Me, I just have to be happy with my transistorized LA 3 A's. Same compression. Different animal. But hey, I love the consistency of transistors. There is no consistency with tubes anymore. I wouldn't have said that 20 years ago. But without my Telefunken tubes, I don't want any others! Certainly not Chinese ones but hey, you use what you can get. It's like the tubes in my Neumann U-67, the EF 86's. I haven't found a better sounding one than the 30-year-old Telefunken ones currently in the microphones which take over one half hour to warm up. And they're getting a little noisy. But everything else I've put in their makes me want to vomit. And that includes some Sylvania & GE's. Can't remember if I tried a Raytheon? All sucked. So it's Telefunken EF 86's that are old and noisy and beat the pants off of all the rest with its sound. I don't want to even try a Russian or Chinese Pentode. Because of the lack of quality tubes made today, I'm even considering selling these pressures gems off? I shouldn't have much trouble getting 3500-$4000 each? Especially since the modern transistorized one is well over $2500 and the 87 is over 3000. I also think that price variance between the new 67 and a new 87 is totally screwed up? I've been told that's because the 87 still has a couple of transformers in it & the new 67 is like those other TLM series transformer less mothers. Not sure what to think about that or those?

    I'm a little confused here about your description? You EQ each vocal, that's good. You stick a plug-in of an EQ, that's good. Pop filter, right, check, good. And then... you insert the plug-in compressor. You can arbitrarily set a compression ratio starting at 4:1. Attack between 2-10 ms. Release time between 150-350 ms. Then you adjust your input threshold level to obtain around 6-10 DB of indicated " gain reduction " on their loudest screaming passages. Then you simply adjust the output level for a proper and not overblown distorted level. Eh voilĂ ! Instant goodness and a vocal that sits exactly where you put it in the mix. Because of the way voices and instruments modulate, from soft to loud and back, you will hear that tonality change as you should. You'll notice however that the level seems to be quite consistent. And that's what you're going for. You'll perceive the loud and soft without it being loud and soft in total volume level. Just think what Steve Tyler would sound like without a compressor/limiter? You'd never want to listen to him. I sure as heck wouldn't want to. But he sounds so cool on that SM58 that he records with when they use the proper compression & equalization on him. And how great does that sound? Fabulous that's how. You can do the same. Thankfully, not many of us are rocket scientists. I'd be afraid to stick my hand with my lighter under those solid rocket boosters. No way, I won't do it. You can't make me. I like my hands the way they are. Whole.

    I used to fly model rockets until one went up and never came down. Not that I could see it? So I decided to be an audio engineer instead.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Keep eating, drinking or doing what you are doing REMY, wonderful posts coming from you.
  10. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Thanks Chris. I've actually kind of had a down day and coming here always brightens my spirits. It also makes me look to the future. So many wonderful people here making so much good music. I feel just plan honored. Always fun helping people get better recordings. I'm currently sort of in limbo contemplating this Nashville move? I've never been there. Unbelievable eh? Waiting for my 30 foot RV to get out of the shop. So hopefully I'll make it there to check it out for a couple of weeks somewhere around April-May? Not sure if I'm going to take some gear with me and try some barnstorming? I used to do that do occasionally check out and/or have fun with some new equipment 30 years ago. I used to drop into this lovely jazz bar in Georgetown, DC with a couple of 3124's, PCM 60, DAT, couple of microphones, couple of DI's, 200 feet of microphone cords, all on my Honda Motorcycle. I even showed up for church jobs in and around downtown DC with an additional pair of 14 foot collapsible microphone stands. It's amazing what you can do on your lunch breaks from NBC.

    1982 Honda GL 500 Silver Wing, now with antique plates. I bought it new.
    Mx. Remy Ann David

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