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Some Simple Help

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by BennisHahn, Sep 9, 2003.

  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

  1. BennisHahn

    BennisHahn Guest

    Hello all, I am new here.

    I am sort-of-very-little into home recording and want to expand. Gong the pc route doesn't seem viable to me (I have researched it and the prices to no end, trust me) and so I am looking at satnd-alone DAWs.

    I have in mind the Korg D1200CD althoug may be able to find a cheep D1600CD on Ebay. Eaither way i was wondering what, if anything else, I would need to get started. I have a pair of good headphones for monitering and would use those until I get a set of moniters.

    i was thinking about buying a compresser and a Shure sm57 mic for recording mainly my guitar and vocals (until i get something better for vocals). I will proly go strait in with a bass and use FL for drums. I am asuming that importing the track as a .wav file keeps the settings (panning, FX, ect...)? Anyway, does this sound like a plan?

    I have a very small budget and play mainly Rock type music. Thanks!

  2. TACurtis

    TACurtis Guest

    Sounds like you're on the right path.

    My only comment is. . .

    I'm not sure what you mean, there. Import a track? From where? If you import a .wav file, it is what it is, period -- your audio settings won't matter. If you are saving or exporting a track or .wav file, it will faithfully save or reflect your settings.
  3. launchpad67a

    launchpad67a Guest

    Hi Bennis,
    I own a Korg D1600 and LOVE it. It's a great machine and does everything you need it to do. The only two extra pieces of gear you really need to have with it are and external mic preamp and a great condenser mic. The mic pre's in the Korg aren't very good. Everything else is in there.

    Here's a link to "KorgBoards",(just for the digital recorders) a great forum with a lot of smart people! Check it out

    Hope this helps,

  4. TedB

    TedB Guest

    I own the Korg D1200 w/out CD and use the USB feature. While I haven't imported loops for anything, the Korg supports it, and some folks at korgboards (now korgstudios.com) use it quite a bit with success.

    I think any brand "tabletop" recording device solution is a great buy for anyone starting out... you will learn a lot about recording and you won't have to go through the headaches of a PC or Mac based DAW. I strongly recommend to anyone who asks who is new to recording that the tabletop route is probably the quickest way to get to the music.

    I also agree an external pre is necessary for a more pro sound. you can do ok recordings without it, but the trim knobs on both korg models are touchy and are easy to get clipping when you're trying to get a hot signal. But you should not get a crap preamp, so if you only have $300 or so to spend after the Korg, an FMR RNC compressor and an SM57 will get you going just fine. The compressor will help you deal with getting hot signals into the Korg at 16 bits without clipping.

    Sometimes I wish I had the D1600 for it's greater track count, so you may want to know in advance... 6 mono channels and 3 stereo paired channels may not be enough for a larger rock arrangement...

    I've done pc based recording for almost 10 years. Now that I have the Korg, I use it exclusively for acoustic recording and small arrangements. I use the pc for mixing. There is nothing like just turning it on, hitting record and getting on with the music...
  5. BennisHahn

    BennisHahn Guest

    Thanks for the replies.

    One more question: How precise are you able to get in your editing. As in, how easy is it to set mark points up in songs and cut/copy/past stuff?

  6. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member

    Jun 8, 2003
    Central Village, CT
    Home Page:

    I agree with everyone here,

    I own a D1600CD and have never regretted the purchase....... the built in effects work well and the quality is pretty decent.

    Editing is very easy and very prescise.... importing/exporting wave files is just as easy...

    I love the ease of use and mixing and the ability to add (basically) as many tracks as i want without any problems down the road. It is also excellent for taking on the road to record my band at gigs.......

    I am a bit confused as to the reccomendation of using a pre-amp to take the signal in through.................. :confused:

    Unless i'm crazy (which is always a possibility of course) no matter what the signal is that you take in - you are still ultimately running it through the Korg pre's....... I don't know how you would avoid that.

    So it seems to me that a clean pre would be no better than purchasing an excellent quality mic......

    Would someone please take a moment to explain to me what i am missing here ?

  7. TedB

    TedB Guest

    There is one way to bypass the pres on the korg, and one way only: the digital in.

    Otherwise you're right, you go through their pres all the time, even if the trim pot is pegged all the way left.

    But since this setting means that the pres are doing no gain change, coloration from the korg pres should be fairly minimal. I certainly heard a difference in these two scenarios:

    NT1000->Mackie 1202 pres->Korg trims at 10 oclock. did not like it.
    NT1000->Mackie 1202 pres->Korg trims pegged left. Liked it .

    Anytime I use the Korg pres other than at unity gain, I don't like what it does to the sound.

    So personally, since I have access to other pres, I use them through the Korg's pres out of personal preference.

    Most folks who can afford it at korgboards agree: an external pre of any quality makes a difference. Some even use combo a/d/ pre units (like presonus makes).

    I hope that answers your question.

    BennisHahn, you will do A-OK with the Korg Pres and one good mic, or an RNC with a good mic.

    I really love the D1200. Enough so I'm thinking of moving up to the 16 track version.

    I wish it had been around when I was starting out. It helps me get right to the music so I'm banging my head more on ideas for bridges and key changes than I am with IRQ conflicts and twiddling the infinite number of vst plugins.
  8. launchpad67a

    launchpad67a Guest

    Hi Rod,
    The Preamp question is valid. Yes you have to run through the Korgs pre's, But you don't have to turn them up past 0 (all the way down). By using an external preamp you never have to turn up the trims on the Korg, just leave them all the way down and adjust the gain with the external pre.

    The only way to really bypass them is to use the "optical/digital" in.

    Although it is possible to get great recordings with just the Korg, a small amount of "outboard" gear is really necessary to get the "pro" sound!

    Also, I will add that recording in 24 bit is so much better than 16 bit. Many people don't seem to hear the difference. It's very obvious to me.
    So using the Korg in 24 bit mode, although your tracks get cut to 8, is well worth it!

    *****Please click the link at the bottom of this post to hear some songs done on the Korg D1600. I think everyone will be suprised this cd was done at my house, in a 15'x 15' room!

  9. BennisHahn

    BennisHahn Guest

    I thought when you recorded at 24bit it just cut down on how many trackes you could record at once while playing them back too. I didn't think it reduced it to an 8 track?!? Or am I reading your reply wrong?

  10. TedB

    TedB Guest

    D1200 goes down to 6 tracks in 24 bit mode
    d1600 to 8 tracks

    recording and playback.

    I bet they'll soon have similar units that keep the full track count at either bitrate...
  11. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member

    Jun 8, 2003
    Central Village, CT
    Home Page:
    This is correct about the number of tracks being cut in 1/2 in 24 bit recording mode.

    I generally record in 24 bit as well........ and make things work........ losing the extra tracks doesn't matter to me all that much seeing as they are not available for a live recording any way - although i believe on the new 1600 they have an add on so you can do 16 at once.......

    I went the route of the D1600 from jump street - and although i don't use that for recording in my studio any more - i still love the machine.

    By the way - thanks to you guys for explaining the preamp situation to me - I do appreaciate the info. :tu:

  12. TedB

    TedB Guest

    Since we've embarked on a Korg subthread within this thread, let me post something I discovered that is useful to me, and may be for anyone else out there who can afford a Korg and PC combo.

    I have a midiman audiophile sound card. I a/b'd the converters between the audiophile and the korg using this chain:

    1 earthworks SRO->Mackie->midiman
    1 earthworks SRO->Mackie->Korg
    1 NT1000 SRO->Mackie->midiman
    1 NT1000 SRO->Mackie->Korg

    Doing my best to keep the gain staging and average RMS of the recorded acoustic guitar and vocal tracks the same.

    It was like night and day. The korg's converters, while probably not up to Apogee or Lucid standards, was SO much better than the audiophile... it was like pulling socks out of the speakers. Before, my NT1000's signature 12Khz boost always sounded grainy and rough... on the Korg it had sheen.

    So my next question was: can I use the Korg as an A/D D/A box to record onto my pc, bypassing the converters on the midiman with the midiman's spdif in and outs? Why would I want to do this you ask? Anytime I want to quickly overdub once my project was already on the PC. Or unlimited track count!

    And it turns out that using the CUE feature on the Korg, you can basically audition the digital in without having it loopback to the digital out. Instant A/D D/A box!

    While you may certainly question the limited value of this feature, it shows the Korg may at least has better converters than the midiman (and perhaps other lower cost pc sound cards), and that it can be a swiss army knife for those of us with older DAW's and soundcards... the ability to extend the track count is a big one for me...

    I haven't done it yet, so I've yet to see what latency or sync issues exist, if any. But I sleep warm and safe at night knowing I can do this. :D

  13. launchpad67a

    launchpad67a Guest

    To answer your question in short...Yes you can!

    I use a Terratec 24 bit soundcard and I use the Optical outs from the Korg right to the Optical ins on the soundcard. Works like a dream, perfect 24 bit recording.
    Forget using the Midiman, unless of course your using midi..??

    ***My Method***
    I will import .Wav files right from the Korg into Sonar/Cakewalk/Wavelab or any program, through the soundcard. Although I must say I still prefer mixing with my hands on a fader and knobs!! Thats why I will do all my tracking and mixing on the Korg and then transfer it, still in 24 bit, to the PC. Then use Wavelab to master it.
    This is the cleanest method I have found.

  14. launchpad67a

    launchpad67a Guest

    In 24 bit you can only record 8 tracks total. And only 4 at once!
    In 16 bit you can record 16 tracks and only 8 at once!

    This is not saying you can't "bounce" everything, over and over to gain more tracks. I don't do that though.

    *** Oh, and for your "editing" question. It's perfect, times are easy to set and the edits are spot on! You can even use the "wave form" screen to zoom in on a target, for exact edits! Very cool!

  15. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member

    Jun 8, 2003
    Central Village, CT
    Home Page:
    Never mind......... :d:


    [ September 12, 2003, 08:14 PM: Message edited by: Rod Gervais ]
  16. vinniesrs

    vinniesrs Active Member

    May 12, 2003
    I am a little hesitant about telling someone to buy a "good" pre when they are already on a budget. In my opinion the korg pre's are fine for what you want to do. They are not remarkable, what i mean is when you hear a suond through it, or any one of these stand alone units, you don't say "wow". I do maintain that a good microphone, and some acoustic correction for the recording space will serve a better value than a pre would.
    Electronic design is far superior now than it was 20 years ago, and even cheap pre's are sonically accurate, for the most part. When you buy an expensive pre, you'll find there is an enormous difference from a manley to an avalon, etc. Does it mean that one of them is bad? Not so, these highly sought after pre's are desired because of the pleasing sounds you get from using tham. Kind of the same thing as why a good room is sought after.
    Acoustics are very, very, important as is a good microphone. As a beginner recordist, I think it's much more important to spend money here in stead of on outboard stuff.

    My advice to you bennis, is to use your cash wisely and buy only "good" stuff. Start where it's most important in the microphone, and in your acoustics.

    Just an opinion.

  17. BennisHahn

    BennisHahn Guest

    So how can I make the room sound better?

    It's a 10'x10' bedroom (that's in use by me) So I can't really dedicate it to recording alone. There isn't another room in the house that I can use as they are all in use atm.

    I have a loft bed (about 5 1/2' clearance underneath) that takes up most on the room but I was going to assemble my little studio underneath it on a desk. I have a pretty thick shag-type carpet in the room and pictures on the walls, dresser, TV, so I shouldn't think the sound would bounce around too much. I also use this space for recording. Is there a huge loss of quality when recording in this environment? (taking into consideration the equipment I am going to use and not some $3k condenser mic)If so, what is a cheep, effective way to fix it?


  18. TedB

    TedB Guest

    check out the Studio and Control Room Acoustics section on this board, and read the faq.

    I took the cheapest route, which is also "portable" in a way: 4" thick 2X4' rigid fiberglass wrapped in muslin. Slapped these panels all over my shoebox recording office space. Room treatment can be much more affordable with rigid fiberglass and other creative methods for diffusion. The pretty Foam route (auralex) is pretty expensive.

    It may never be a great room, but for close micing you can get by pretty cheaply.

    Start the acoustics oddessy here: http://www.recording.org/users/acoustics

    It's a blast to learn about and fun to do and hear the improvements. Your ears are in for a ride. Have fun!
  19. Richard Monroe

    Richard Monroe Active Member

    Jun 24, 2003
    Framingham, Mass.
    Home Page:
    I agree with those who use outboard pres into a standalone. Being perverse, and because it's the only 24 bit 96khz hard disc recorder I've got, I've been recording a full blown studio album on a Roland VS1824CD, using a pretty respectable front end. As an empitical observation, I can state that if you never turn the channel gain on the Roland up at all, and you feed it with high quality outboard pres, the result is vastly improved sound quality.
    One of the best options for this is DBX386, now being blown out at Guitar Center for $300. It has a better A-d converter than the Roland, and bypasses the Roland's pres completely, just like on the KORG. However, I have also been feeding the Roland analog signals from an Avalon AD2022 and a Joemeek twinQcs. All you have to do to hear the difference is crank the gain on the Roland, and listen to it SUCK.-Richie
  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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