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The Daily Studio Updates Thread


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I got a new hard drive for christmas, and so have been able to back up my precarious collection of recordings.

 

Today I tracked three songs with a couple of mates on drums and guitar with me on bass. Man the left handed bas sI had to use had action like a tightrope!

 

Still, we got three songs done - one is a bit rubbish, one is a bit of a rip-off of someone elses' track and the last is a killer we're all really happy with. One good track a session is all I require to keep going and we nailed it!

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I've postponed my paid work and I'm trying to get out my own band's second CD. All the tracking is done, and much of the mixing, now I'm down to the few "problem tunes" I've been putting off working on.

 

I have an uptempo country / rock song titled "Wrecking Ball" that everyone turned in a stellar performance on (especially our expensive, hard to schedule piano player) but as often happens our otherwise excellent drummer showed up with a crappy sounding set that day and the drum sounds aren't up to par with the rest of the track. :facepalm:

 

In addition, our fiddle player apparently thinks it's no trouble for me to cut and paste her various constant noodlings into a fiddle track that doesn't step on everything else. :(

 

So, I'm in edit hell trying to make this otherwise nice, energetic, impromptu recording worthy to sit on the same CD as the other songs which were planned for and recorded more carefully.

 

Soo.... ordinarily in this sort of jam I would use my Roland V-Drum brain or Alesis D4 drum module to mix in some canned samples to the acoustic drum recording and make it sound a little better. Then I'd comp together the various pieces of fiddle tracks from the several takes and put together a fiddle part that sits well with the rest of the instruments.

 

However, now I have Drumagog and Audition 3.0 so I'm gonna try doing it on the computer instead of directly in the recorder. I should be able to get a better result, I think, but it's gonna take a lot more time because I'm learning Drumagog (and to some extent Audition) as I go.

 

Terry D.

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I'm a little sick, so I didn't do too much today. I straightened up some stuff in the studio today, moved some stuff from one side of the room to another, then back again, and filed some stuff...both in folders and the circular file.

 

I did, however, go in the digital darkroom (that'd be the same room as the studio) and work on some photos I took on New Year's Eve at a party at Kona's in Huntington Beach. They came out well, especially considering how dark it was during the festivities.

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I'm trying to learn compression, so I fooled around with a 3rd party VST in Ableton and exported about 6 treated pieces of a vocal sample.

 

All the waveforms were the exact same... either the VST wasn't working (well, one was louder when I adjusted the compressor dB), or something went wrong in the export process. Unusual, really.

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I started out a long day yesterday intending to play a guitar track on our tune entitled "Wrecking Ball," but the day did not go as planned.

 

This is a song we wrote several years ago, and have been playing live since then. Because we live in Austin, where even fantastic players must be in several bands or starve, we use a variety of musicians on our albums who may or may not be sitting in with us on any given live show.

 

This causes our writing and recording processes to be long journeys at times.

 

Wrecking Ball started on my back deck, just Julie and me singing and playing acoustics, the way we write most of our stuff. We kind of thought WB would be a "throwaway" tune since it's pretty simple and off genre to the rest of what we do. But we found that people liked it at the live shows, so we kept it in the set.

 

One night, during a musician party at the "Knobs Ranch" (as my friend and fellow forumite, JiveJust calls it), a motley group of us played WB and just for fun I half-assed recorded it. Our favorite keyboardist wasn't there that night, so it became kind of a silly guitar fest.

 

Recently, we decided to add it to our new CD, given its popularity live.

 

Two problems:

 

(1) The recording sounds like crap, particularly the drums,

 

(2) Our keyboardist eventually came and recorded a piano track on the rough tracks, and now of course my guitar part doesn't quite fit.

 

So, I set about using Drumagog to enhance the drum sounds, painstakingly edited the live tracks, and uploaded the mess to my hard disk recorder for further work. At this point, I thought it was sounding really good - except that I needed to find another guitar part that left room for what the keyboardist did.

 

I set up a Fender Blues Jr. in a iso booth, miked with a Senn E609, and my Bad Cat CubII in a large, reverberant room (high ceilings and tile), miked with a Royer 121 ribbon. The two amps were driven in stereo from my pedalboard, which includes some mild chorusing and a light slap back delay.

 

I was pretty excited about playing! :)

 

Took me about an hour of playing along with the track and tweaking the amps and mikes before I was happy with both the tone and my parts. I recorded several complete passes and then made some minor nips and tucks on less than optimal parts. I was happy. :)

 

Done, right?

 

Well, no. When I tried to render the many guitar passes into one linear track, the recorder said "Parse Error." On my machine, this rarely seen error indicates any number of things, in this case probably that the software had lost track of the various bits and pieces and couldn't figure out how to put them all together into one track. I read on a MX2424 forum that the solution to this is to low level format the drive having the problems. :facepalm:

 

Long story short, I spent the next 5 hours or so loading and reloading files, and, ultimately, replaying my guitar tracks many, many times. By then, I had lost my original energy and I think I can hear that in the tracks. They're honed too smooth from all the repetition, but they've lost their drive. :(

 

Sucks when the gear gets in the way of the inspiration. :idk:

 

Terry D.

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Wow, what a hassle. Sorry to hear that.

 

I have been really sluggish, not feeling super well. I don't know, some sort of cold and congestion, not awful, but just don't have any energy. I've done nothing for the last two days, just laying around stretching, watching football games, and reading. Nature's way of saying "Take a rest!" I suppose.

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I've been approached by a friend of mine who will be producing a local band's next album. He wants me to engineer it. They're signed to a small label, so it should be fun. I'm willing, but we're supposed to get together this week and hash out some of the logistics. It's not a question of interest, unfortunately, but a question of whether or not the scheduling can be worked out. We'd probably rent out a local studio, but mostly use my gear as I have nicer equipment than most of the small studios around here. I just don't have the facilities to handle any sort of recording that I'd feel comfortable charging for, but I do have the gear.

Hopefully the scheduling can be worked out, because I think it would be a great project. :)

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I've ordered a bunch of books (9 in all) from Amazon.ca, and appropriately, five of them are part of the "For Dummies" series. :) I've spent the last 6-8 months surfing the net and gathering info before purchasing the gear for my first home studio, and despite the fact that I've learned quite a bit since my curiousity was first piqued, I feel that I need some structured and cohesive "point A to point B" information. Not only will it be my first attempt at computer-based recording, but also my first experience with a Mac.

"Bass Guitar For Dummies"
Will Lee

"PC Recording Studios For Dummies"
Jeff Strong

"Music Theory For Dummies"
Michael Pilhofer

"Home Recording For Musicians For Dummies"
Jeff Strong

1 "Guitar For Dummies"
Mark Phillips

"Recording and Producing in the Home Studio: A Complete Guide"
David Franz

"Acoustic Design for the Home Studio"
Mitch Gallagher

"Logic Pro 8 Power"
Kevin Anker

"GarageBand '08 Power!: The Comprehensive Recording"
Todd M. Howard

Here's the gear I've acquired so far;

2.4Ghz 20" Aluminum iMac Core2Duo (4GBs 800mhz DDR2 RAM)
Western Digital 500GB/7200rpm quad-interface(eSATA/FW-800/FW-400/USB2.0) external hard-drive
Apogee Duet
Logic Studio
Adams A7's
Sennheiser HD-280pro h/phones

mics so far, (I may add a Gefell M930);

Oktava Mk.012 matched pair with all the capsules
Shure SM-7b
AKG C-414b-XLS
AKG C-451b's (pair)
Shure SM-58
Shure SM-58a Beta
Shure SM-57
Shure SM-87c Beta
Sennheiser MD 402-k
Sennheiser MD 416-u
Various K&M boom mic stands, including the very large/heavy K&M 21430

I'm currently looking at external mic pre's, but that will have to wait 'til the Canadian $ settles a bit (down roughly 22%). I'll stand pat and learn the gear I have before proceeding haphazardly. I'm currently interested in the API 7600, but may settle for a RNP/RNLA for the time being.

Bob

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I started to do a mix on my PC/Pro Tools through a borrowed M Box for monitoring when the guy who is lending me the M Box needs it to do a remote...

Oh... jeez, I've got to gt this project done and be done with the PC.

OK, let's move to the new project on the Mac/003 and get back to comping the rhythm section. Some pocketing of drums and bass. Then...

The guitar on the basic track is pretty cool. Kinda Clapton/Cream like. And... there was another of the same part laid down as a guide. I wonder if...

...whoa! Both guitars sound great together and are locked if a very cool way. They deviate from each other in mostly cool ways. I go about editing some of the bits that are not playing well with each other and... nice. Almost done with the basic s on that tune. Really cool sounding.

And am I mistaken or am I getting better at tracking drums? These tubs sound awesome. Not a wasted night after all. Tonight I get the M Box back and I try and I try to put this puppy to bed.

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I recorded a variety of things with a Roland Bass Cube 30 miced up with a couple of mics yesterday. One mic was set to omni and pushed up against a wall to simulate a PZM, the other, a dynamic, was about 4' away from the Roland amp. I recorded a baritone guitar, two analog synths (a Roland MKS-70 and a Korg MS-20 patchbay synth), and even a Theremin through the amp. Great fun.

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I recorded a variety of things with a Roland Bass Cube 30 miced up with a couple of mics yesterday. One mic was set to omni and pushed up against a wall to simulate a PZM, the other, a dynamic, was about 4' away from the Roland amp. I recorded a baritone guitar, two analog synths (a Roland MKS-70 and a Korg MS-20 patchbay synth), and even a Theremin through the amp. Great fun.

 

 

I've done plenty of reamping but only bass and guitars. How did the synth stuff work out? This does sound like fun.

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I've done plenty of reamping but only bass and guitars. How did the synth stuff work out? This
does
sound like fun.

 

 

Well, just to clarify, I didn't reamp any of this stuff, I was playing it. But I love reamping synths especially, although I try and mic them whenever possible. Talk about giving them life!!!! It was great fun. No, I'm lucky that I own (or never got rid of?) an MKS-70 Roland module and a Korg MS-20. Useful little things.

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How is the bass cube?


I have been considering getting one.

 

 

I absolutely love it, especially for recording. It does something like eight different bass amp emulations, all of which sound good (whether they are accurate or not, I have no idea, but I don't care) and are useful. The thing is small but still sounds really good.

 

I walked into the local music store to purchase guitar strings. I'm really friendly with him. I used to go into the store when I was a kid so we go way back. I asked him, "Hey, you wouldn't happen to know of an amp that is really really small but sounds great recording bass and keyboards?" He pointed at the Roland Bass Cube 30. "That's what you want," he replied, smiling. He fired it up for me, and I played bass and keyboards through it, and it sounded really good.

 

The next week, I had a bassist show up for a session with a big, monstrous Ampeg amp. Said he loved the sound. But he struggled with it, and it sounded kind of flat and lifeless. I said, "Hey, why don't you try this Roland amp I have?" He looked down at the little thing, chuckled slightly, but shrugged his shoulders and said, "Sure, why not?" He was utterly blown away by how much better it sounded, trying the different emulations (which included an Ampeg that sounded much better than his Ampeg). We miced it up and he said that he was thrilled with the sound.

 

I don't recommend the Roland Bass Cube 30 for gigging, although my bassist borrowed it once for a 200-person venue gig, and it did surprisingly well and we had no problems at all, and he heard everything perfectly (it was miced, sure, but he had no problem hearing his bass). I've gigged with it for several keyboard gigs, but it's even worse for keyboard gigs because it just doesn't have enough juice to project well unless it's miced AND it's returned through the stage monitors. You cannot fill a room with it for keyboards. Bass, sometimes; keyboards, no.

 

It costs about $300, and especially for recording, is worth every penny.

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Had band rehearsal last night and made a tragic mistake with my Mackie Big Knob - put all my keys and vocals through the PA, but accidentally routed it into my near field monitors, which are proximal to my Yorkville PA speakers that I didn't notice right away. By our second song, i noticed the vocals and keys were horribly distorting and not as loud as they should be.

I recognized what i was doing and quickly switched over.

I haven't tried my near fields (Audix 1As) yet, mostly out of fear. I overdrove the hell out of them for about 7 minutes.

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I had a client come over and listen to some work I'm doing for his band. Got the thumbs up. That's always a relief. A thumbs up is always preferable to a "Hmmm. Welll, hmmm... we seem to have different visions for the outcome of this project." Know what I mean? I'll take the thumbs up. And...

...a tune of theirs has some pretty weak lyrics. I put myself in cliche detection mode and weeded them out and replaced with "same idea/sans cliche" phrases and tightened the rhymes scheme. I'm producing and this is all within the boundaries. I got a thumbs up on that as well.

I'm sure all the thumbs pointing north are a fleeting thing so I'll enjoy while I can.

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