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Logic Pro 9 Users Group

A group for any users of Logic Pro 9...or any other versions of Logic and GarageBand!

Members: 25
Latest Activity: Dec 11

Discussion Forum

Recording at home...using available spaces! 3 Replies

Learn Recording | Rock the HouseAug 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Gino Robair YOU MIGHT BE READING THIS IN THE PERFECT ECHO CHAMBER…Continue

Started by Edward Sparks. Last reply by Yuri Polchenko Oct 14, 2012.

Anyone know GarageBand well? 5 Replies

I've been using GB for quite a while for simple tweaking of songs I record. Nothing heavy handed just a little reverb, etc.Yesterday I brought a song from my Zoom H2 into GB, started playing it back…Continue

Tags: GarageBand

Started by Terry Angelli. Last reply by Edward Sparks Dec 30, 2011.

Pro Tools to Logic Pro 9 5 Replies

I need to get two songs from a pro tools enviroment to my Logic Pro 9. Can anyone tell me what the easiest way to do this is? All I realy want is the individual tracks, not effects. I want them to be…Continue

Started by Rick Lally. Last reply by Alex Commins Sep 1, 2011.

Your Studio...show us a picture! 7 Replies

Show us a picture of your setup!  mine is in my old 12' by 12' Guestroom (thanks to my wife Teri).  I just released my first CD recorded there and called it, what else, "Music From the Guestroom!"  …Continue

Started by Edward Sparks. Last reply by Edward Sparks Jul 14, 2011.

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Comment by Edward Sparks on January 13, 2012 at 6:48am

Hey, a new book on recording at home...anybody seen this yet?

Backbeat Books Publishes 'The Home Recording Handbook'

imgBackbeat Books, publisher of books for performers and fans who are passionate about music, has published The Home Recording Handbook ($29.99) by Dave Hunter, and is now shipping to retailers and customers.  

Gone are the days when home recording was limited to four tracks of tape hiss on a cassette porta-studio. Now, limitless digital multitrack recording and a vast array of outboard effects and processors are available to anyone with a computer. Add a few other essentials such as a microphone, some headphones and monitors, and anyone can have a home studio capable of making professional recordings worthy of airplay and release. What one might not have is the know-how to harness all that vast potential, which is where The Home Recording Handbook comes in.
 
In this latest entry in Backbeat's best-selling handbook series, author Dave Hunter shows readers how to make pro-sounding recordings without pro budgets and expensive studios, and get great results with the gear they have. He takes readers through tracking, mixing, and mastering, showing how to make each effective with minimal gear. He includes tips for drums, bass, guitar, keyboard, vocals and more.  

Packed with tips and techniques, The Home Recording Handbook is designed to open flat for use as an easy reference guide and is supported by specially recorded audio tracks on the accompanying CD. This is an essential volume for the working musician.

About the Author:
Dave Hunter is a musician, writer, and editor. He has contributed to numerous publications and TV and radio documentaries, and is a leading reviewer of guitar amplification. His bestselling books include the Interactive Fender Bible, Guitar Rigs, Star Guitars, The Guitar Amp Handbook, Guitar Effects, The Guitar Pickup Handbook, Play Acoustic, and the Totally Interactive Guitar Bible. Dave records and gigs with the Molenes. He lives in Portsmouth, N.H.  

The Home Recording Handbook
Backbeat Books
December 2011
256 pages
Paperback with CD
$29.99, ISBN: 9780879309589
www.halleonardbooks.com
Comment by Edward Sparks on January 10, 2012 at 2:38pm

Here is a link to a very interesting booklet in PDF form on building your own home studio...it's really great!  Edward

http://www.discmakers.com/pdf/home-studio-series.pdf

Comment by Terry Angelli on December 30, 2011 at 3:59pm

I uploaded an original song that I would be interested in getting feedback on the recording, not the tune. I recorded it on a Zoom H2 and edited it in GarageBand and would be interested in any input about how to improve my recordings.

Thanks!

Comment by Edward Sparks on December 9, 2011 at 12:57pm

And another from this site:

High-Quality/Low-Cost Recording

If you've always wanted own a recording system but thought you couldn't afford it, we're here to tell you that your time has come. With the onset of Digital Audio Workstations, also known as DAWs, the cost of owning a high quality home recording system has dropped about 5-10x every 4 years. All together that's a total 100,000x less over the past 20 years. In fact today's basic home recording studio package, which cost less than $250 is more powerful and sophisticated than the recording studio where I first recorded back in 1986, which cost about $150,000.

As time marched on, the difference between who recorded and who did not has become more about knowing how to use the equipment, which these days is mostly software, than who could afford it. And if you know how to use a basic Word Processor and move files around on your computer, then you're 80% the way there. While we won't dive into the details of how to use a specific DAW, we will point you in the direction of some very inexpensive solutions that sound fantastic.

The first thing to know is that there are three parts to a typical DAW. First is the microphone or instrument, second is the hardware interface, and third is the computer with software installed on it. When putting these together the microphone converts an acoustic signal to an electronic signal, which is sent via a microphone cable to the hardware interface. Then the hardware interface conditions the electronic signal so that it can be converted into a digital signal and sent to the computer using a USB or Firewire cable. Once inside the computer, the digital signal is written onto the hard drive for playback, editing and mixing in the software. It's that simple.

Although learning how to connect hardware interface may take a little time, it only needs to be done once and then you're ready record. The software is where you'll spend the most time learning how to record, edit and mix. However the learning curve is really not that steep as moderate use of most software can be learned in a weekend. Furthermore, learning the software is most easily done using video tutorials. Time and time again, I've tried to read DAW manuals without getting brainstrain and a subsequent perplexed look on my face to no avail. I've always found that the best method to learning DAW software is to find and view the video tutorials for that software. The best part is that these video tutorials are just a quick Google search away.

Now with the basic concepts under our belt, let's look at some great quality recording systems that you can truly afford...

Custom Selected - Super Inexpensive

The first one is based around the availability of a relatively new, but extremely stable and well-designed software package by the name of Reaper. Reaper is available for free and instant download at the Reaper website. While the download is free and the software is not crippled or time-limited, they do ask that you honor their request for a $40 license if you decide to use it for personal use. They also have professional licenses available for $150, which shows that this is serious software with full support for professional plugins and such. The next part of the system is the MXL-V63M microphone, a solid member of a new class of ultra low cost large diaphragm condenser microphones, which are used to capture crystal clear and silky smooth vocals. Then to tie it all together we suggest an MXL USB Mic Mate, which is a simple inline hardware interface to get the audio signal into your computer. While this hardware interface does not accommodate large variations of signal, with the careful and correct gain adjustments you can get a great sound. As a final note, this gear is just a starting place. As you continue to record you will likely upgrade each piece of gear and the great part is that the connection and interface between each piece is standard and can be interchanged and upgraded with new additions as you grow into your new hobby.

Hardware Interface: M-Audio Fast Track MKII USB Audio Interface - Includes Pro Tools So...

M-Audio Fast Track MKII USB Audio Interface

Microphone: MXL V63M Condenser Studio Microphone ($69)

MXL V63M Condenser Studio Microphone

Microphone Cable and Stand ($20) - ask Musician's Friend when ordering

Total = $208

M-Audio System

Next we'll look at a bundled system where the hardware interface and software are sold as a package. M-Audio has been around for over 12 years making high quality and affordable gear. In fact they do this so well, that their main competitor Digidesign (now Avid) purchased and owns them. This system comes with the Pro Tools software package, which is the industry standard for most professional recording studios. However, don't let this make this the deciding factor as having a compatible system with pro studios only matters if you have the same plugins as the studio (software extension for mixing and mastering), which cost thousands of dollars. Keep in mind that anything you record on any system at home can be exported out of your software and into another software package using standard file formats, while maintain perfect sound quality. One of the great features of the M-Audio system over the previously mentioned system is the audio interface has a higher dynamic range, meaning that it will sound cleaner. As you can see we've mated the same mic to this system.

PreSonus System

PreSonus is one of my favorite brands in that they focus on the quality of the hardware interface and balance it with features and price. I'm hard pressed to find a better value than these guys and the 1Box proves this in spades. This is truly a bundled system in that it includes software, hardware interface, microphone and even a set of headphones, as you will need something other than your built in computer speakers to monitor your recordings.

As a last note, all of the above systems are for recording 1 or 2 channels simultaneously; as most home recordings capture one channel at a time, also know as overdubbing.

If you have a little more to spend, you should definitely check out their FP10 hardware interface ($399)...

The FP10 has 8 audio inputs for those who want or need to record a drumset or full band per "take."

We hope this gives you the information you need to take the dive and start recording your own music at home.

Comment by Edward Sparks on December 7, 2011 at 4:23am

And another from the same site:

Three Guidelines to Create Better Recordings

With any process it's best to adopt a set of guidelines that you can follow to keep you on track and fall back on when things aren't working. The funny thing about guidelines is that they can be applied about 95% of the time, so you have to know when to make exceptions. Also, guidelines are not absolute and universal, in fact they're relative and quite personal, so over time you'll develop, adopt and adapt the ones that work best for you.

Over the past 15 years, I've developed three guidelines that have helped me produce some great recordings///, and figure that a few of our members might find these interesting and maybe even useful.

1. Fix it in the mic - Not in the mix

When recording, your number one job is to capture it like you hear it. All to often sound engineers and musicians randomly place the mic in the room, and then EQ, gate, and compress the hell out of the track in an effort to "polish" the sound. When a mic is placed properly the track stands on its own and actually sounds worse when processed. To find the proper placement of a mic you need to hear the way it sounds in the recording system while moving it into different positions. In pro studios an intern moves the mic around until the sound engineer, who was located behind the glass in the isolated control room, gives him the thumbs up. While this technique isn't possible when recording at home, using a pair of Extreme 29 ($99)headphones allows you hear the recorded sound while moving the mic around. Placing the mic in the right spot will improve your recordings, save you tons of time, and save you money, trying to fix bad sounding tracks with expensive plugins.

2. All great recordings start with the right musicians playing well written songs

There's a long time saying in the recoding industry "You can't polish a turd." Just as a great movie is based on an interesting story, creating something worth listening to starts with the solid composition. So create or find a song that you feel really good about before you invest the time, energy and money to record it. Once you have a great song in-hand, then find musicians that are capable, fit the part and are are inspired by the song.

3. Use skilled musicians instead of virtual performances

There are some truly amazing music creation tools available today. In fact some of them, such as canned drum loops, arpeggiators, chord constructors, and yes even quantization, automatically play parts the for you. While these tools are easy to use and sound good at first blush, nothing sounds like a real musician. A person who knows how to express themselves through their instrument will bring fresh ideas to the table and inject true emotion into the performance. Using real people in your recordings breathes life into your music. And make no mistake about it, your audience knows and appreciates the difference.

Again these are my guidelines and of course your welcome to adopt or adapt them as you see fit. More importantly, I encourage you think about, develop, and then write down your guidelines. The best part is that they are a constant work in progress and you can, and should change them as you learn new things.

Jeremy Korn
CEO/Founder, GrooveZoo

 

Comment by Edward Sparks on December 7, 2011 at 4:22am

Interesting article from Groovezoo...

Let it Breathe!
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 02:15
Recording Tips - Let it Breathe! 

Many new and even seasoned producers stack up tracks thinking that more layers and processing are the secret to creating a professional recording. However as with many things in life the truth is often hidden down a less-traveled, counter-intuitive path. While everyone knows that less is more, it's difficult to refrain from adding just one more track (again, and again, and again) or stacking up plugins on every channel until your computer says it's enough by choking, halting and spitting out an arcane error message. With this in mind, here are a few suggestions that may help…

 

1. Try creating a minified, three part version of your song. Start with the drums, one instrument and a melody or vocal track. If the recording seems to lack something, then focus on the song by improving the melody, changing/adding a bridge, or creating a new arrangement. Chances are you'll pay special attention to and correct the timing and tuning of each element in the three-track version. Then listen and get used to hearing this minified version of the song. After getting accustomed to this version, you're less likely to add tracks that cover up the nuances of the initial three tracks.

2. Create a mix using only channel-EQs, a single reverb bus, and fader automation. Yes, that's right no compression! Compression is best done during mastering. On the other hand, equalizers are the most powerful tool you have in your belt, but use them wisely. Three general rules 1) try not use more than two parametric bands per channel, 2) avoid using Q's higher than "1", and 3) use subtractive equalization (use dips, not bumps). Proper per channel EQ starts with soloing a channel, setting an EQ band to -20 dB (Q=1) and sweeping it until you find the most offending frequency. Then lower the attenuation between 5 and 12 dB, widen the Q until it takes out a bit too much of the meat and back off a notch or two. The second per-channel EQ band should be used to reduce competing frequencies, e.g between the sub lows of the bass guitar and mid-lows of the bass drum (or vice versa).

3. Compress to impress. Compression is the proverbial icing on the cake. While there are times that artful compression is useful on vocals, e.g. Sara Bareilles' Love Song this should be considered the exception and not the rule. As for the guitar and bass, the compression is part of the instrument chain and should take place directly on either side of the gain stage and set by the musician to optimize and enhance their touch and feel. Using compression for auto-leveling is a huge "no-no" and is not a substation for fader automation.

Of all the elements Mastering is the trickiest part of the process. A quick shot temporary mastering can be done by implementing a compressor on the master bus and selecting a Mastering preset. I suggest backing off the Compressor Threshold about 5 dB db from most presets and ensuring that the gain is set to avoid red light clipping. Also there are some great tools such as the Waves LiMB Linear Multi-band Compressor, that splits the mixed signal into 5 compression bands using linear EQ. We'll be posting some video tutorials on these soon.
Comment by Edward Sparks on December 2, 2011 at 4:29pm

Interesting comment from Peter Thorn, pro guitarist...he uses LP too!

I'd like some insight into your solo CD—your writing habits, workflow, how you did the production, recording, engineering, mastering, etc. . – Scott Petersen

Thanks for asking about my record, Scott! It really started out with me wanting to be able to record very basic stuff at home. Around 2004 I got a Mac laptop, Logic Pro, and a small Presonus interface. I then invested in a UA 6176 mic pre/compressor and a few mics. I quickly discovered I could get some great recorded guitar tones at home. I started writing and recording songs just for fun, when I wasn’t on tour. Maybe I’d have a riff, or I’d pull up a simple drumbeat and start jamming and that’d lead to a riff or two. I’m very haphazard about the way I record. For instance, on the song “10th Street,” that track existed as a verse and B section for about five years—I could never figure out where to go with it. Eventually I opened up the session one day and sort of wrote another section and tacked it on to what I did five years earlier! It worked, and I finished the tune. But I had to play a last verse, and I had to try and match the tone I’d recorded five years earlier on the first verse, and of course I hadn’t documented what I’d done... you get the idea.

So I’d say my writing habits and workflow were incredibly inconsistent. I went through spurts where I’d get a track or two done in a few days, then I’d have to leave on tour for a few months and nothing would get done. But in the end, I finished, so I guess that’s what matters! I did all the engineering, and I mixed seven songs as well. Bob Clearmountain mixed the other three (thanks Bob!) and Ross Nyberg mastered the album up in Seattle.

Make sure to leave your questions below and watch next month for more answers!


Pete Thorn is a Los Angeles-based guitarist, currently touring with Melissa Etheridge. His solo album Guitar Nerd will be out in early 2011.You can read more about his career and music at peterthorn.com.

Comment by Edward Sparks on September 23, 2011 at 7:32am
I would be interested!  I saw that first video where they did just that, even though I know you are not talking video.  It doesn't even have to be a complicated song just one that each can contribute to!  How do you want to get it started...do you have something to send out now?  If we are all working in Logic it will be easy but of course there are ways around that.
Comment by Jonah Lake on September 21, 2011 at 3:53pm
Anyone interested in working on an acoustic project over seas? Someone plays guitar and sends it to a drummer who sends it to a bass player etc?
Comment by Edward Sparks on September 12, 2011 at 8:27pm
 

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