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what have you been up to?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by vinniesrs, Jul 4, 2003.

  1. vinniesrs

    vinniesrs Active Member

    May 12, 2003
    I thought it would be interesting to conduct a little survey about the music that makes you do what you do. What sort of projects are we working on, what style of music?
    Has anyone encountered any problems? Did you find a solution, or could one of us help?
    How about some funny stories, like a month ago a drummer showed up for a session twenty minutes early so he'd have time to put his new skins on!!! :D
    I asked him if he wanted me to tweak them, he said sure but dont take too long! I spent about 20 minutes on them, and they sounded better, but man was it a crummy sounding kit!

    The snare ended up being total mush, and I fixed it up with a little boost around 2K, and a ton of compression with a slow attack time. In the end they were happy with their demo.

    So come on! Lets hear about what all of you have been up to! :tu:
  2. Ras Judah

    Ras Judah Guest

    Greetings Steve,

    I'm still very new to all this and so far (at home) have only recorded vocals. To be honest, my set up is (very) far from complete in terms of acoustic treatment and outboard equipment, so I'm not (yet) really in a position to record much of anything (I only have one, old and relatively poor quality mic too :( ).

    The type of music I'm attempting to make is mainly Hip Hop ('though I've dabbled with D'n'B and UK Garage too) but I'm not a musician and frankly am a bit long in the tooth to start now. I'm more interested in the tracking/mixing/producing side of things. Of course, it's a bit difficult to practice/learn engineering without some material to work on, hence my (generally pretty poor) attempts at making my own music.

    I use a PC running WinXP (home), Acid Pro 4 (my mainstay due to ease of learning and use), Sound Forge 6, Cubase VST (can't stand it :mad: ) and Cubase SX (still learning it, so far so good) alongside various freeware VSTis. My PC (AMD Duron 1.3GHz, 224(?) SDRAM, SIS Chipset, 1 x 40GB 5400rpm HDD) isn't exactly top notch and had I known then what I know now I wouldn't have touched it with a barge pole.

    Still, I've learned a lot (mostly the hard way) since I started down this rocky road (Oct. 2002) and am determined to continue (and continue to have fun) even if I don't get to realize my ambition to become a respected (if not sought-after) engineer/producer.

    In case anyone's interested you can hear what I've done so far here: http://www.acidplanet.com/artist.asp?songs=140502&T=2918
  3. vinniesrs

    vinniesrs Active Member

    May 12, 2003
    That's great spy! I don't have time to listen to your work right now, but I'll give it a listen in the next couple of days.
    I take it you are from london england right?

    I have a friend who is into hip hop and such, I'll toss him your link.

    You say you are interested in the trackingmixingproduction of music. Is there anything you'd like to discuss? There are a lot of vets here.
  4. TACurtis

    TACurtis Guest

    Hey guys. Becasue our band seems to have de facto fallen apart before we could start our CD, I was driven in desperation to devise a home recording setup (just gotta get those internal creative ya-yas out y'know?).

    It's extremely basic. I have a PC dedicated to sequencing (MT Pro) that I use to create the drum as well as string and/or horn tracks. (And keyboards if I write something that's beyond my limited ability to play.) My keyboards are an Alesis QS6 and a Yamaha CS1x. The Alesis acts as my sound module for the sequenced tracks. I record direct via a Tascam US428 into my Mac G4 Cube running Cubase VST Score 5.0 (which I like a lot, BTW). I record my bass direct with a Sans Amp Bass Driver and my guitarist records direct with a Pod 2.0. The only thing that is REALLY a thorn in my side is that I have no way to record vocals, and I just can't justify the expense of acoustic insulation. . . yet. :)

    All in all, for what it is, I'm content with the sound. As I posted in the mixing forum, I'm running into philosophical problems: What exactly is the placement in the mix of a single rhythm guitar? Right now it's so directional it seems to have lost its role as both a fill and a rhythmic timekeeper. I tried duplicating and bouncing the track hard right with delay but it still doesn't sound "full," for want of a better word. (Right now I'm leaning towards recording a second rhythm guitar using an acoustic with different voicing.)

    But I digress. I just bought "The Mixing Engineer's Handbook" and Bob Katz's "Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science" so I'm looking forward to delving into those.

    PS: I have available web space but not a clue how to post an mp3 to it.
  5. sagreene

    sagreene Guest


    I just joined today. Lot's of good stuff here. I've been recording for about 5 years now....since I was 20. I graduated college 2 years ago and have been able to pick up some decent equiptment.

    RME Multiface
    Presonus digimax
    Sennheiser e602 kick mic
    rode nt5's
    Logic Control Surface
    Event 20/20bas

    Well....I've been putting together a compilation CD of local bands here in Las CRuces, NM. I record them for free and they play a concert to finance the pressing of the CD. I've got about 8 bands done and am looking for 2 more.

    Most of the bands are pretty appreciative. You'd be amazed how hard it is to get some bands into record for free though! I've had two missed sessions with one band...one day they had to bail a buddy out of jail in oklahoma, the other....I don't know, they just didn't show.

    And then to get them to tune up is even harder. "We're going for that raw sound" as they try to tune by ear in headphones. I had to twist a couple of arms for that.

    Most bands here are pretty receptive to most suggestions i make, and if not at the beginning of the session, then definitely after they hear it.

    Another funny thing....
    Yesterday I get a call from the other home/project studio in town that is teamed up with a promotion type outfit (they do some duplication for me) .... and they say "I heard you're doing a compilation, we think thats cool - this town is big enough for it" WELL THANKS! I needed the approval :)

  6. Marching Ant

    Marching Ant Active Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    I got a funny story.

    I finished recording/mixing this album for a really tallented band. The lead singer was a huge control freak. He insisted on being their for every second. He was hunched over my back while I was mixing, and I usually try to mix without the band there. I find I can work faster and get it to sound better, then the band comes in to listen to the final mix, and make fixes and such. anyway, this guy was there for the whole thing. If I solo'd something, he'd be all over me, telling me how it should sound. It was frightening. So, I was near the end of mixing the first song. I had automation on every track (pro tools) and I just couldn't get this bass part in the bridge to fit the way he was telling me he wanted it to fit. So, I take a break for a minute, and I can hear him listening to the part over and over in the control room, so I walk in, and he's got this frusterated look on his face. He has taken it upon himself to fix the part, without a bit of pro tools knowledge. He was basically trying to push faders up and down. He turns to me and says "everytime I move a fader (I think he called it a button) it just snaps right back to where it was. what's going on?"
    Instead of telling him that it is because of automation, I respond with:
    "Pro Tools is smart. It knows what works and what doesn't. If you try to do something that doesn't work, it will undo it for you."

    He totally bought it, and it got him off my back. I think he finally realised that he couldn't do everything by himself.
  7. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Well-Known Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    :D :D :D :D :p :cool: :p:
    VERY funny...and so true.
  8. Transit,
    Laughed out loud-
    if I ever get a chance I'm going to use it.
    I read somewhere that Dave Jerden used to keep a pistol sitting on the desk beside him when he was working with Megadeth...
    My buddy Shane is a fun guy. We were talking over the fact that the neighborhood our studio is located in is filled with hookers. I started thinking that having a bunch of hookers hanging around the building wouldn't exactly give the place a swanky vibe if we had Movie People coming through for a tour. So I said to Shane, "Hey, what do you think we should do about the hookers if we have Movie People coming by?"
    "Under no circumstances," Shane replied, gravely, "are Movie People allowed to bring hookers into the premises."
  9. Davedog

    Davedog Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    I once built a 'Producers Desk' and installed next to the main console. It consisted of three large knobs from somewhere, a 12 light led ladder array and a pot with a 9 volt battery.The mooks would sit there during a mix and ask for this and that.I am somehow able to avoid being caught up in this rabble(thankyoulord!!!) so I would get a mix in order and then 'switch on' the Special Producer Desk for the final run through....they'd turn the knobs and the ladder would light in sequence and I'd point to the Uries animatedly and shout "MAN DOESNT THAT SOUND SO MUCH BETTER!!!" they would all agree and leave me hell alone to actually work on things.....
  10. sagreene

    sagreene Guest

    Well, It's nice to have members of the band that show up and care about the recording, but if they are there when mixing, I try to set some ground rules.

    1. Wait 15 seconds before you make a suggestion. Lets me get to it.

    2. One suggestion at a time. You get 3 guys all focusing on their instrument and things can get hectic....and I get grumpy.

    3. If you are sitting in the back of the room, no commenting on the bass levels. :)
  11. muttley

    muttley Guest

    :c: Davedog's producer's desk rules!! :c:
  12. vinniesrs

    vinniesrs Active Member

    May 12, 2003
    Posted by Sam:

    I find I can work faster and get it to sound better, then the band comes in to listen to the final mix, and make fixes and such.

    Well, It's nice to have members of the band that show up and care about the recording, but if they are there when mixing, I try to set some ground rules.

    1. Wait 15 seconds before you make a suggestion. Lets me get to it.

    2. One suggestion at a time. You get 3 guys all focusing on their instrument and things can get hectic....and I get grumpy.

    3. If you are sitting in the back of the room, no commenting on the bass levels.

    What I find works best for me is to charge a flat rate to prep a mix without the band, and an hourly charge if the band wishes to be present. If there are objections I have a few responses. First is the fact that they hired me for a job that has taken a great deal of time to learn and that I work best and faster on my own. I tell them I am always happy to have the band there but it does take longer and therefore will cost them more. Usually this will suffice.

    The last band beat me at my own game though, the bassist asked if he could be there, if he promised to be quiet! I said no prob, and he was quite helpful because I could ask him what he thought was best, and I had the time to focus on what I needed when mixing.
    Maybe groud rules are a better, perhaps I should try that again, but I have had problems with that approach in the past. This seems to be the best solution to me.
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