completely new to recording, need some tips

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Gimmpy666, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. Gimmpy666

    Gimmpy666 Guest

    I'm not sure if this is in the right place and I am terribly sorry if it is not.

    I want to be a musician... plain and simple. I'm into all kinds of music ranging from classical to hardcore punk. But what I truely love to play is acoustic.

    I will be mainly recording acoustic guitars, and possibly electric overtop at times, and eventually adding in piano and ukelele and harmonica once i play, I also want to try and use virtual drums.. so record then add in the drums using a program but I'm not exactly sure how to do that...

    anyways, I know this is a lot to ask and theres probably so much you can tell me, I'll descrive the room I am recording in first.

    It's a small bedroom, where one partial wall is a double glass sliding door, and the opposite wall is a closet and beside it an open doorway which used to connect to the living room but is now blocked by my dresser so It can be used as a room. It also has tile flooring. (i know, it sucks.)

    I went out on a limb and already purchases equipment because I am a very impatient person when it comes to purchasing things, but I am patient with music, and like things sounding the way I want them. I bought a normal mic stand, a pop blocker for the mic, a presonus 24-bit/96k firewire firebox. (6 imputs, 10 outputs, midi, s/pdif), umm and the AT2041SP Mic bundle ( audio technica. It comes with 2 different mics, a AT2020 Side-adress Cardioid Condenser Mic, and a AT2021 Small-diaphragm Condesner Mic).

    I've attempted to use it and have recorded one full song, but sounds very raw which isnt necessarily a bad thing. But i recorded it piece by piece, first the guitar with the small diaphragm mic i believe, then the vocals with the other mic.

    I'm not sure how I should record acoustically... I want to be able to record the guitar and vocals at the same time but on different tracks, or at least have the option too.. I'm not sure how i should set up or anythign like that. I have a desktop PC with Windows Vista, it is a good computer not exactly sure the specs but hardly a year old (it's an HP), and I also have a mid 2008 Apple Macbook with 3G of RAM. I'd prefer to use my Mac, but it really doesn't matter. for programs/software, I ahev Cubase LE, and I'm more familiar with that but just basic, and I have Logic on my mac but have never used it and have no idea how too.

    I know this is a ton of information to take in and I'm sorry, possibly there is other threads you can direct me to that would help me also, instead of just explaining it all here again probably for the millionth time. If there is anything else you need to know, just let me know.

    and thanks again

  2. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Nov 30, 2008
    Lake Ki-Chi-Saga, Minnesota USA
    Hello Gimpy666,
    You would like to be able to record your voice along with your acoustic guitar. Hmmm, not such an easy thing to do, especially if you are looking for isolating the two.

    If you are not willing to make multiple takes your way better off just recording both on one track. Do you see, when you put a mic up to your face and one down by your guitar you end up with an issue of phase cancelations, which makes everything sound thin.

    There is also the option of using an acoustic electric pickup on the guitar and mic your voice. There is no way you will be able to keep that guitar from bleeding into the voice track. Sometimes it can sound good, your going to have to spend some quality time with it.

    Its harder to get the two tracks down one after the other but it sounds way better this way. I always sing silently to the song while recording the guitar, that way I can do both.

    Then you have the problem with your room. Can you get some rugs to throw down on the floor? You could put some blankets on the walls and ceiling too.

  3. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Home Page:
    I started doing "real" (not in a bar) recording with this exact source (someone else, not me).

    If you insist on recording both at once, separate tracks, try this:
    Get the 2020 in your face w/ the pop screen. I mean eat it.
    Look for some kind of iso stuff - Auralex makes a nice little kit w/ a variety of foam isolators for mics:

    I'd also suggest getting another 2021 - use both on the acoustic, and find a placement that gives each mic a pleasing, yet different sound (12th fret and between neck and soundhole works well for me).
    Pan these L/R and now you've got stereo, as well!s

    Otherwise, do it all at once on one track w/ the 2020 out in front a couple of feet - this also worked for me. Also try adding the 2021 a little further back as a room mic - it will add some space.

    Finally, if you get that Auralex kit, you can do the 2020 on your voice and the 2021 on the guitar at the same time - it will help keep the sources separate and cut back on phasing issues.

    I've tried all of these techniques to varying degrees of success - try them yourself and see what gives the sound you want.
    Jammster's ideas are all on point, especially singing silently - it will definitely help you do them separately.
  4. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    All I seem to remember is what George Thorogood told anyone who would listen. "Get a haircut and get a REAL job" :)

    I'll be here all week!
  5. Gimmpy666

    Gimmpy666 Guest

    I have an electric acoustic that I could jsut plug into the firebox with a patch chord, but i don't like the sound that comes out of it.

    But thank you for your suggestions I will definetly take them in. If I use the 2021 as a room mic, how far back from me should i have it? and should it be infront of me or behind me?
  6. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Home Page:
    Try anywhere from 3-15 ft.
    Go with what adds enough room ambience AND doesn't sound weird when combined with the other mic (phasing)
    Typically, I'd put it in front of you.
    You could also try putting it above and slightly behind you.

    Or, just for fun, set it up in random places and see what kind of reflections you get.
    Yet another idea is to have someone else play the guitar & sing in the spot you usually do, and walk around the room until you find a spot that sounds good. Put the mic there.
    Or, change your position as a player/singer in the room.

    You've got the (advantage) of having a relatively small room and two mics - less variables for an experiment, and as you can see, there are already plenty.
    Try some of the suggestions you've gotten, and experiment on your own.
    Do whatever gets you the sound you want.
  7. Gimmpy666

    Gimmpy666 Guest

    okay great thanks so much, but one more thing.

    If I'm going to be recording the vocals and guitar on one track, I have my 2020 upside down (with the top of the mic facing the floor) and my pop blocker infront of it. so when i set down it picks up the guitar? I'm not sure if this is the correct way to record both the guitar and vocals at the same time, or is there somehting else I should be doing?

    Also, does anyone know of any good programs I can use for using a virtual drum so I can add drums to my songs?
  8. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Home Page:
    You have to remember the acoustic projects not in a straight line forward, but more of an amorphous blob/orb.
    Short of wearing a piece of plywood around your neck that extends out well beyond the guitar, there's nothing you can do to keep the guitar from getting in the "vocal mic". Even then, you'll still get some.
    The closer you get to your mouth, the more vox vs. guitar you'll get. The further out, the more blended it will be.

    Do you want to do one mic or two mic recording?
    If one, just put the mic at face level and move it backwards and forwards until you get the right blend of vox/guitar. Even better, try adding the 21 about 5-10in from the guitar, and add it as needed to supplement what the 20 is picking up.

    Just try using both mics in a variety of ways, you'll stumble on one that you like.
    You'll find the closer you get to a source, the more presence and low end it has. Each mic reacts differently. Experiment!
  9. Why does my electric guitar sound like crap

    My electric guitar sounds like crap when plugged into my M-audio fast track interface. I keep hearing all of these amazing results of how good it works for how cheap it is........but mine sounds like $*^t!!!!!!! I am looking for an interface that is actually going to sound like the guitar effect i am using and not just crap. I have an M-audio producer mike which sounds great. Also i am recording with an E machines computer. 1 gig of ram.....which i know is not nearly enough, AMD 64 bit processor, windows vista 32 bit operating system. Any help would be appreciated!!!!!!


    P.S. What is the best interface/software combination out there without spending a billion dollars? Deka Records is looking to sign me and i need something that is going to deliver performance.......such as a good sounding guitar/ mic/ mixed with a good software package.

    also if you want to hear some of the recording to get a better idea check out.
  10. basilbowman

    basilbowman Guest

    The best interface/software combination out there is a good Engineer in his home studio with whatever he (or she) prefers - if you've got label interest, it's worth taking the time and money to go in and do it right. Go book yourself some studio time, and spend the other 99% of the time you would have spent trying to figure out which button to push practicing. Good luck,


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