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The NoobY says.............HELP!!!!

Discussion in 'Recording' started by XTREEMMAK, Oct 20, 2005.

  1. XTREEMMAK

    XTREEMMAK Active Member

    :-? Hi guys!
    I'm new to this forum. So far I like what I see. Glad to see that theres a forum specifically that focus on recording issues and techniques. Well before I ask my question, here's my setup/equipment (some):

    *Sony MDM X4 Mini Disk Mixer (Only for patching)
    *2 Keyboards: Yamaha S08 and Roland JV 1000
    *Edirol UM 550 Midi Interface
    *SHURE BG 1.0 Microphone
    *Intel P4 Computer: 2.5GB Processor ,512 DDR Ram, 2 Harddrives partitioned from one harddrive with 40 gb on each side, onboard video and sound, inhouse air filters. External 160gb Harddrive (for backups), 2 CD Burners, 1 DVD Burner, and firewire support.
    *MBOX 1.0

    *Software (as far as wave processing goes): Cubase SX, Reasons 3.0, Protools LE 6.7, WaveLab, WAVES Diamond Bunble, Isotope's Ozone 3, a bunch of VST Plugins, Sony Direct X Plugins.

    Thats the basic stuff I have. Here's My question. The process that sound travels to get to my system is Input -> Mixer -> Mbox -> Computer. For some reason, my recording level is really low and I'm not exactly sure how to set my mixer. A mixing tip that I got from someone is to turn down the master, adjust the gain and fader were you want it, then turn up the master. This way you get a clean sound. However unless I'm doing this wrong, the sound still comes in low. I dont want to turn my master too high else that's going to create distortion. What should I do?
     
  2. recording low??

    Can you give an example, what are you recording? and how exactly do you have your system connected?


    gotta know
     
  3. XTREEMMAK

    XTREEMMAK Active Member

    Ok

    Well I have the Protools MBox Audio card which is directly connected to the USB port. The MBOX has 2 channel outputs that are directly plugged into my mixer via 1/4" Jack to RCA. The mixer of course is then connected to the keyboards, the mic, the guitar (failed to mention). On another USB port, I have the Edirol UM 550 hooked to it, and I have a MIDI session going between both keyboards, and the computer.

    What I want to record are all instances that are going to be relayed to the computer stereo (keyboard, vocals, guitar). The question is that the levels on my my recording are low. I dont want to turn the master up too high because that creates an unclean sound + distortion. What should I do?
     
  4. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    Actually you should have the outputs of the board going to the input of the Mbox, then the outputs of the Mbox to your power amp or powered monitors.

    8)
     
  5. XTREEMMAK

    XTREEMMAK Active Member

    eera

    I found out what was wrong with the mixer, so now I'm just looking into other hardware options. I have a few new questions:


    1. My dynamic mic, should I really invest in a new one? I meen with the outgear and ingear eq and effects, I should be able to restore any if not all lost or uncovered frequencies right? Unless for this mic it would be alot of work (if I delved deaper into it?)
    (Plan on using a number of the same tracks and use each track to cover different bands and each have there needed gate and compressor)


    2. I'm beginning to eyeball the 002 Rack which looks like it may help my recording a bit better. Opinion?

    3. What about my monitors?...which I failed to include = 2 EVENT TR 5 Monitor Speakers.
     
  6. Re: eera

    Here's my standard rant:

    DO NOT BUY ANY GEAR


    Until you develop some technique with what you have. Will what you have produce pristine, major label quality recordings? No. Will what you have do just fine given your apparent skill set? Yes. Don't worry about a new mic, don't worry about an 002R. What you should focus on for the next few weeks is getting everything gain staged correctly, learning the shortcuts of your software to speed up your production (which enhances your creativity because you're not searching for a menu option, you're laying down tracks) and learning how to get the cleanest, most usable sounds with what you have right now. Develop a workflow process for yourself. Learn to document your sessions so you can recreate sounds you stumble upon and so you can avoid problems you run into the next time around.

    All these will be infinitely more valuable to you than buying anything new.

    Ignore anybody that advises you to buy ANYTHING.

    As for your question number 1...forget anything you ever thought that led you to ask that question. None of it is valid recording theory. Do NOT EVER start off a recording by thinking of how you're going to EQ and compress a track next week (that's not entirely true, see below) start off by trying to get the absolute best sound you can with what you have available by moving a mic, tweaking an amp, moving to a different spot in the room, whatever. And never ever ASSUME that you will be needing to EQ and compress a source before you hear it. Mix with your ears, not your eyes.

    Below:
    In the interest of completeness I will say that what I have told you is both right and wrong. It is right in that for what I perceive as your skill level, you shouldn't be worried about eq and compression as ways to make up for what you feel is an inadequate mic in the tracking stages of a project. However, general recording theory DOES in fact include having an overall vision for a song and each step of the process should take into account the subsequent steps as a process towards that overall goal. That is, a pro tracking engineer should have in mind what the vision of the song is when he tracks so that he can capture the types of sounds that will be necessary later. However, he still should not do things such as saying "well, I don't need to use a better mic on this because I can just EQ in the missing frequencies in the mix". That is, tracking with the mix in mind is ok, but assuming you can "fix it in the mix" is an all-too-common mistake.

    That said, the short answer to your question is, no, you cannot make up for a bad source with EQ and compression. you can only make an EQ-ed and compressed version of a bad source. So strive in all recordings to start with the best possible source available to you and then do your best not to ^#$% it up along the rest of the way. In your case, however, I still say that you don't need to worry about buying any mics or what have you until you've fooled around enough with what you have to actually say your skills exceed your gear.

    ~S
     
  7. mrgreengenes

    mrgreengenes Guest

    Amen!

    Good lord, this should be a sticky.

    Just to review:

    - when in doubt, you don't need new gear.

    - mix with your ears, play video games with your eyes.
     

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