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surferbeto's Achievements


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  1. So to summarize: Lots of love for the Rode NT1-A Lots of used ones on eBay within OP's stated price range. I'm thinking of picking one up for home recording projects.
  2. What? No love for the Shure Beta 87a? Once you started talking about $250 mics, I figured that would be one of the first mentioned. I got one to sing through with my band. A year later, the other two singers had gone to that one too.
  3. NIck 782, you take-it-apart-and-fix-it-yourself genius, you rock! Thank you so much for the good info. Since I last posted, I went ahead and bought a used Zoom RT-223 for $50 on eBay. Am using that now (but not the kind of cheesy-sounding bass functionality). But I still have the old MRT-3B and I like some of the drum patches on there better than the new one. Maybe I'll take it apart and attempt the mod you describe.
  4. Wow- lots to think about and practice. Roger on the comments about recording the two vocal takes back to back in the same session, WRGKMC. I've done my best work to date in that way. Thanks for sharing the recordings y'all. I'll listen and think.
  5. Thanks guys. I appreciate your thoughtful replies. I understand that there is simply no substitute for exceedingly high quality original signal from the source. It's pretty easy for me to sing a part consistently on successive takes, once I've sung along with demo recordings in my car for a while. Do you ever use video to help a singer duplicate their part? Initially I imagined that I'd mix the two vocals at something close to parity. As I go on, it seems like I get a better effect if one vocal is mixed rather hotter than the other, so that the second one is just reinforcing the first. Is that how you like to do it? I thought the idea was to produce two separate recordings of the singer (me, in this case) singing the parts identically in every respect (at a macro scale). But WRGKMC says "...it is exactly those small variations that make the parts sound fatter." Maybe I'm still missing something here. I thought totally nailing every nuance is what would make the double-tracked vocal sound like one fat vocal instead of two voices singing in unison. Are you saying it would be best to nail all the attacks and releases perfectly, but nevertheless to have some other kinds of "flaws", small but not too big in the vocal stream? I'm trying to imagine what those might be and how to practice them. I've read that it can be good to de-emphasize consonants when singing the second track, because that's where tiny differences in timing will be most noticeable. Kind of makes sense. Singing a song without consonants feels and sounds really weird- like a crazy person singing. But as a blend to reinforce another vocal, maybe it's just the thing. Is this something backup singers practice? I wonder if running a de-essing processor on the second vocal could also possibly yield a good-sounding second vocal track with reduced consonants? Or would that come at a cost of audible processing artifacts best avoided? Will applying autthis process work better or less well by applying any auto-tuning to the vocal parts? I just read that Brian Wilson would often double-track recordings of the Beach Boys singing together, 3-4 voices at a time! I guess that is one way of keeping the mixing simple (and conserving tracks, in the days of 4 or 8 track analog recording) by way of dramatically raising the bar for everyone's consistent performance. Those guys were just so amazingly good at blending their voices in a quiet room around a condenser mic! Do you guys do it that way today? I imagined that with modern tools, infinite tracks, and digital recording, you might want to record all the vocals separately. But singers blend better when they can see each other's lips moving. How might you let a group sing together while also isolating each vocal? Can you get good signal separation recording in one room full of sound-isolating panels with windows? Or do you actually have multiple soundproof booths with windows side by side to put several singers in? A studio friend of mine has sometimes put a singer in another room, on a video monitor with the band. I guess that probably works OK as long as there's no significant latency in the signals. Approximately how many vocal takes might you guys typically record on the projects you produce before concluding "that's as good as it gets"? I saw a YouTube clip of Mike Love saying Brian would make them record vocal tracks many dozens of times trying to perfect qualities only Brian could hear (with his one good ear!). Mike said Brian had "dog ears" that could hear things no one else could perceive. "He'd make us do it over if someone had an impure thought while singing." The results of Brian's perfectionism and their talent speak for themselves: historic benchmark recordings, and (for Brian) a tragic descent into madness. Then no "turd polishing" is necessary. I hope I can achieve some reasonably good results without going crazy or getting too depressed.
  6. I've been listening closely to Beach Boys vocal arrangements as I work on a demo recording of a song that's strongly vocal-driven. I've read about Brian Wilson's use of double-tracking vocals and I'm learning about ways to do that. There are a number of "how to do it" pieces online <http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr09/articles/doubletracking.htm> that describe basic techniques. I wonder if you savvy studio wizards have any general comments about double-tracking for real, and the many and varied ways to simulate double-tracking through digital processing? Are there any nuggets you could share of what experience has taught you? I recognize 1000% the comment that "those guys just really knew how to sing." There is clearly no substitute for those singular skills. The more I practice singing these vocal parts, the tighter they get, and at some point it stops sounding like two guys singing in unison and start to sound like something more seamless. I haven't yet tried listening critically to mixes with doubled vocals panned hard left and right- I read somewhere that is one thing to try.
  7. Thanks for that. A terrific interview. Brian Wilson sounds pretty lucid these days. Good for him! Many have been rooting for him for a long time.
  8. Hey now! Audio-Technica replaced a part called the "unit holder", cleaned up my mic, and sent it back to me in about two weeks. The bill was $5.90 for the part, $40.00 for a half hour labor, and $19.68 shipping = $65.76 I used my mic to record a band practice last night and it all sounded very good. I'm a happy guy. Rock on!
  9. Thanks for all the good info y'all! Even if it's not what I wanted to hear... I used to be able to change the AA batteries without losing my programmed patterns and songs, so I think it must have another source of power for memory. I opened my unit up looking for a small battery of any kind and could not detect one. But maybe I had the wrong search image. I could try again. Zoom's US distributor says: "Sorry you're having trouble, but this product is >6yrs old so sayonara." I can probably keep programming stuff with my memory-challenged drum machine as long as I leave it powered up and never turn it off. That may get me through my very next project need. I'm making simple multitrack demos of original rock songs for my bands. Looks like I need to stop throwing good time and money after bad with these old MRT-3Bs and get a new (used?) drum machine. So let's talk product recommendations! I want a drum machine that is: Battery powered Cheap (say <$300?) Easy for a knucklehead guitar player to figure out. In current production Strong on traditional rock, blues, country sounds. Don't really need the techno/ electronica beats much. Suitable for live use if needed. I'd hate to have to go there, but we are between drummers right now. MIDI in/out might be useful someday? I'm considering: Zoom RT-223 But I'm a little sour on Zoom at the moment. Alesis S18. Phil's recommendation in a 2011 thread on guitar effects forum. Looks pretty good. Are there other products I should consider? I do not have a Mac, so Garageband is not an option. Thanks again for all the good info you guys!
  10. Thanks for the info. I opened up my first unit (the black, made-in-China one) and looked for exactly that, but I could not find anything that looked like a battery. The user's manual makes no reference to a second battery. A capacitor would be tricky. I've poked around the Zoom website some and haven't yet discovered any means of contacting them. I'll have to look harder. The website says some things about "contact the dealers, not us, if you have problems with faulty equipment." But since I bought both of these old, discontinued units second hand, I have no dealer to go to.
  11. I need a bit of very specific advice about the lovely old Zoom MRT-3Bdrum machine. I bought a used Zoom MRT-3B drum machine and used it happily for 2 years. Then one time it went into "initialize" mode when I turned it on. This resets the device to factory settings and deletes all programmed content. I lost all my programmed drum tracks and songs. Now it does that every time I turn it on, which means I can't save anything. How do I make it stop doing that? Page 49 of manual says that "init" mode should only come on when you hold down the record button as you turn power on. But mine comes on without that.It says push STOP to make it stop. But I push that button and it still does it. I eventually concluded that my unit had just become faulty for some reason and was unfixable. So I bought another used MRT-3B on eBay. And this one does the same thing right out of the box! WTF?!?!? Anyone know how to make this bad boy behave? I thought there might be some internal battery that had failed, so I opened it up and looked. There is not, I'm totally at a loss. This drum machine that I once loved is now basically useless. And so is the replacement unit I just bought. There must be some trick I need to learn. If there's a better forum for my question please let me know. Online searches for help have turned up nothing. I can't find an answer in the manual or on the Zoom website.Any help would be- well- helpful.
  12. Here are pictures of some guitars showing strap button location.
  13. HI all, I have an Audiotechnica AT825 stereo condenser microphone. Bought it new circa 1990. It's been many places with me and served me well. Really good for getting a nice stereo recording of folks jamming in a room. But when I pulled it out to use it last night in my band room, it rattled conspicuously and a goodly amount of very dark gray powder shook out through the sound holes in the cover. It's never done that before. I was afraid to plug it in and see if it even worked for fear that might damage it in its current state. I think some rubber windscreen or shockmount or membrane or (whatever- I really don't know what's inside there) has gotten old and turned to dust at last. But I thought I'd ask you all: has this kind of thing happened to you before? Is it likely that this can be repaired for a price I would care to pay? What happened in there? These mics seem to list for about $350 used on ebay these days. I just printed out the repair form from Audiotechnica and am prepared to send it to them for service and repair. It will cost me $30 to get a quote on repair (price waived if I buy it). If I thought this were a hopelessly expensive problem maybe I'd just start saving for a new mic. Any advice or experience you might share?
  14. So I've heard. I keep checking back but haven't seen it yet. I think I missed a few info-rich posts in the latter half of that thread.
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