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Computer Recording 4 Replies

Started by Randy Harvey. Last reply by Kirsten Ray Dec 15.

Logic Pro X 2 Replies

Started by Marty. Last reply by Marty Jul 27.

Recordings going south... 5 Replies

Started by Al Spohn. Last reply by Phil Manuel May 25.

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Comment by Edward Sparks on December 11, 2014 at 12:44pm

This is Elliott the studio cat!!!

Comment by Edward Sparks on December 11, 2014 at 12:44pm

My latest CD is just finished in time and ready for sale at the Coffeehouse gig I have tomorrow night!  

Comment by Edward Sparks on December 11, 2014 at 12:39pm

part two:

Ultimately, musical innovation and artistry doesn't come from the manufacturing and development side, but from the artists: It's all about how you approach the potential of your gear and find ways to express your own ideas, not necessarily the ones imposed by the developer. 

Challenge = Growth
What I find fascinating is that it's not necessarily a product's feature set that can inspire us most but, rather, its limitations. 

I was lucky enough to learn this lesson early. One of my first assignments in the Intro to Electronic Music course at the University of Redlands was to create a work for tape using the available tools of the studio at the time: two 4-track reel-to-reel decks and three synths—an EML ElectroComp Model 200, a Serge modular, and an EMS VCS3 "Putney." (I know, right!) The limitation? You weren’t allowed to use the DKI Cricklewood keyboard. (It didn't work well, anyway.) This was a brilliant learning experience as it forced me to explore studio techniques I wouldn't have otherwise tried, forever changing how I work—even in the modern, digital studio.

Such self-imposed limitations remain a fruitful way to bolster creativity no matter what you're doing. But many times, the most important limitation is keeping your instrument or recording system as is until you know it intimately.

For example, a colleague of mine has a studio configured around a 1/2" multitrack tape machine and a Mac running an, admittedly, outdated DAW. Yet he makes a great living recording high-quality music. How can he do that on technology from the previous century? To begin with, he has a decent mic collection and analog mixer, a few outboard preamps and processors—none of which is collectable or high-end—and a great-sounding tracking room and tuned control room for mixing. Instead of constantly chasing updates, he puts his time and money into maintenance and upkeep, not to mention a well-built, well-maintained set of basic instruments for his clients to use—guitars and basses, amps and cabinets, classic keyboards, and drums and cymbals. What he doesn't have, he rents.

Most importantly, he relies on tried-and-true miking and mixing techniques to get killer sounds. Sure, he can't ReWire a Reason session into the mix or run the latest plug-in emulations of vintage compressors, but his clients don't come to him for that. They want to make a great-sounding record quickly and without hassle, and at a reasonable price, in a real tracking room. They don't look under the desk to see which OS he's running or which interface he's using.

If you consider the studio an instrument, he is a virtuoso on his. But that's not to say he's a luddite or ignores modern trends; he has an iPad and enjoys using it to make music. It's just that he has prioritized his work over his toolkit in order to maximize the amount of high-level work he can do. And although it may seem a little extreme, it's a lesson worth considering when we find ourselves spending more time updating our systems than using them to make music. 

Comment by Edward Sparks on December 11, 2014 at 12:39pm

It's not what you do or don't have in your studio, but what you do with what you have! Interesting article!

Talent over tools—that's my mantra. 

While we spend a lot of ink in Electronic Musician highlighting new products and the latest technologies for making and recording music, it's not because we think the tools are more important than the work itself: It's one thing to know that there is new gear available to accomplish specific things you may want to do, but it's another to put in the work and fully realize your ideas.

Yet, many musicians and budding recording engineers focus solely on the "new" and "updated," usually to their creative peril; the thrill of having the latest features is a great source of procrastination. As we fill our iPads and computers with new apps and instruments, or our Euroracks with new modules, how many of us can say that we put in the time to become virtuosic on any one of them?

One reason for this distraction is that we have an embarrassment of riches. It's remarkable that, while hardware and software instruments have gotten much more complex over the past four decades, prices have fallen, giving us the opportunity to explore a wider variety of products. Unfortunately, that also has led us into permanent "demo mode," where we merely learn a product's top level, easy-access features until the next update or new release comes along. Some people move on to the next hot item before they even touch the exotic features that attracted them to the product in the first place. 

This is a complaint I've often heard from instrument designers and manufacturers over the years: Many musically useful functions can now be implemented, in terms of gestural input and parameter control, thanks to modern materials and powerful, small microcontrollers. But how many users take the time to learn them, let alone master them? Often these forward-looking design elements aren't cheap to build, and it only makes sense to include them if you can charge enough to justify it. The difficulty is that today's consumer expects things to be low-cost or free.  

part one

 

Comment by Jeremy Richmann on March 27, 2014 at 10:02am

Great advise! Be advised that if your going to use these delay affects and ambience etc. a CPU with a GHz value closer to 2 and a memory greater then 1 GB is a must have for these layered sounds. Anything close or less then these values you will may end up with a broken sound or pieces of missing audio information. A similar CPU and Memory simply can't keep up. I learned the hard way.

Comment by Edward Sparks on March 27, 2014 at 9:47am

Quick article of interest!  From Electronic Musician magazine...

TECHNIQUES FOR CREATING A BIGGER SOUND

February 26, 2014

I know about panning to place sounds in a stereo field, but I’d like my mixes to have more depth and a bigger soundstage. I keep reading that analog consoles can provide a more open soundstage, and wonder if my problem is from doing in-the-box mixes. Will adding an analog console really make that much difference? If so, can you recommend a model?

Matt Soderquist Philadelphia, PA via email

Applying this string of processors in Ableton Live 9 to a percussive shaker track places it more in the soundstage background.
Many techniques can help you create a bigger soundstage, whether you are working in the box or mixing on analog console. Begin by visualizing the space you want to create. If you want a “live” sound, then the drums will probably be further back, and you’ll want to add some room ambience to them. If the drums were recorded without room mics, short delays or a reverb set to simulate a small space can help.

Trimming high frequencies ever so slightly will also place sounds more in the “back” of the mix. For example, if the mix includes background singers and a lead singer, make the lead singer a little brighter; in addition, using less reverb on a lead vocal brings it more “up front” in relation to other sounds. As another example, trimming a tiny bit of highs from rhythmguitar parts and adding some subtle ambience will place them “behind” the lead guitar part. Centered, dry parts will be the closest to the listener.

Try a combination of panning, EQ, and ambience, and you should be able to create a more convincing soundstage no matter how you’re mixing!
The Editors

- See more at: http://www.emusician.com/techniques/0768/techniques-for-creating-a-...

Comment by Robert Williamson on January 30, 2014 at 5:57pm

Anyone using PreSonus AudioBox usb equipment?

This article on Latency got me interested in the brand.  I presently use a Yamaha AudioGram6

Comment by Jeremy Richmann on January 11, 2014 at 8:30am

Track down the book, Home Recording for Dummies. I discovered it at my local library. It will give you about a two headstart. The learning curve for recording is huge. I even considered enrolling in some courses in recording at an area community college before I read this book. Its made that much of an impact for me!

Comment by Ruben Saragosa on January 6, 2014 at 4:54pm

Nice Nick g pretty cool looking stuff.

Comment by nick g on January 6, 2014 at 12:51pm

Here's a few of the instruments I use on a regular basis when I record. I have a few different amps, as well as a Line6 Pod that I like to use in a pinch for decent and quick tones. 

I need to "decorate" my current space a bit more. My last house had a great den for recording that was like a club, with a bar and the lighting. Soon. 

 

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