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Recording device of choice?

 
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rballister



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 174
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:39 pm    Post subject: Recording device of choice? Reply with quote

What do you guys use? Back when I had a Sony stereo tape deck (sound-on-sound) which I later traded for a Teac 4 track (if 4 tracks were good enough for the Beatles...!). Later had two ADATs synced up. Got rid of all that stuff years ago. For awhile fooled around with Tracktion (Mackie) on my Mac. Just started to mess around with Garageband. It's ridiculous---a million loops, many played better than I can play them (why bother to open a guitar case? But I will anyway). I've never been able to "think" like a drummer, so Garageband will probably be pretty good for that. Have an older copy of Pro Tools LE which I've yet to really explore. The learning curve for Logic seems a little high.
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Murr



Joined: 24 May 2008
Posts: 384
Location: http://www.youtube.com/user/skydogz1

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Analog for me ...multi-track or cassette, as long as its analog. Live though, its usually from someone's digital camera thingy, which is neat.
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Dogbear



Joined: 23 Jun 2007
Posts: 275
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mostly digital although I do have four metal cassette decks and a two track RCA reel to reel that I use once in a while.

Core Studio - Pro Tools with Digi Design interface, MOTU 8 Channel 2408 expansion, Focusrite pre-amps, and a 24 channel Yamaha mixer.

Outside the Studio - Zoom H4N recorder and assorted large and small diaphragm microphones.
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rballister



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 174
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dogbear: When you mix down inside of Pro Tools do you somehow use any kind of external hardware digital mixer? Haven't decided yet whether I like not having actual faders (doing everything with a mouse).
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Brian



Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 1361
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of my recording is done live at rehearsal or gigs with a first generation Zoom H4. That thing works great and we get some really nice recordings out of it under some of the worst conditions. I just use the internal built in stereo mic.
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Dogbear



Joined: 23 Jun 2007
Posts: 275
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, the Pro-tools digital mixer will do everything that an external mixer will do - automation, busing, master faders etc. I only use my external Yamaha mixer for its pre-amps as they are almost noiseless inputs. Pro-tools does have a system with an external board in the LE series. Depends how much you want to spend. Some folks do use separate mastering software.

I have used everything in Pro-tools from version 6.4 to the new version 9 and they work more intuitive to me as the software works just like a external mixing board. So if you can work a board, you can work Pro-tools.
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rballister



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 174
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dogbear: Thanks for the info. What I was getting at was if it was awkward to mixdown the tracks without an external hardware mixer. Even when I had my 4 track I would make adjustments in real time during actual mixdown. (volume, panning, effects sends). As the number of tracks increase do you have to scramble a lot with the mouse or does automation cover this aspect?
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Dogbear



Joined: 23 Jun 2007
Posts: 275
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Comparing the old analog world to the digital world is really difficult. In answer to your basic question, the software is easy to edit and mix on the fly using numerous functions and automations within the program. In addition, one can seamlessly integrate 1000's of different plugins into the mix. The term mix down indicates to me that you are editing to a final track. In Pro-tools you can save each session during this process at incremental steps so that you can go back at any time to a previous mix. At the end of the final saved mix down, I take that 24 bit/96 kHz or 24 bit/48 kHz sound and dither it down (bounce to disk) to CD 16 bit/24 kHz or to a similar quality MP3 or WMA. High quality analog sound from reel to reels starts at almost CD quality, but can decline as it is edited or as tracks are added. That being said, some of the best recorded songs I have ever heard were done on 4 and 8 track analog machines. My advice to you is to find someone who knows what they are doing with Pro-tools and have them walk you through the process. I have done this with quite a few folks and it pretty much blows them away with how much can be done with music data. IMHO, it leaves analog mixing in the dust.

Hope this helps.......
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rballister



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 174
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup, thanks! Still working my through the mixdown process in Garageband. Gonna be a little bit before I open ProTools LE.
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Silverface



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 324
Location: Hermosa Beach CA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Protools has quite a learning curve (they all do), but is the pro studio weapon of choice. The nice thing about version 9 is that you are not locked to their hardware.

But if you've used Garageband and want to step up take a look at Logic. I messed with Protools, Reaper, Cubase, Live and 4 or 5 others, spent (honestly) very little time with Garageband and am finding Logic Express pretty easy and intuitive. Plus if you have used Garageband it uses essentially the same engine as Logic, just in a professional package - and ALL your old loops will work. It keeps you from having to change any plugins as well, as any Garageband-compatible stuff will work. I'd amassed a bunch of stuff (too much, really - I've learned the lesson every home studio user needs to learn - you need ONE good version of something, not 20 mediocre ones that you have to try to remember how to use) and find myself using the plugins wrapped in Logic, the zillions of loops (especially drum loops) I had, a PODxT and POD Farm (haven't gone to version 2 yet), Amplitube, an Oxygen 8 V2 keyboard, Mobile Pre USB (usually) or an Alesis Multitrack 4 USB (if I have friends over and need more input chanels), and a Korg Nano Pro mini MIDI pad.

I have an iPad, and besides a tremendous DAW for it (StudiominiXL, another subject) I use a few apps with Logic:

MIDIPads lite (a great drum trigger)

S1 MIDI trigger (another - they each do different things)

AC7 Pro Control Surface (funny, I wanted to make sure I had the name right, opened it, and it connected to my MacBook Pro!

The M3000HD Mellotron - a dead-on Mellotron emulator made by the guys who MAKE the real ones!

The Animoog Synth by Moog. Don't ask, but if you were ever into prog rock just buy it, get a long blond wig and silver cape and pretend you're Rick Wakeman...

It all sounds complicated, but it's far easier than I thought. I'd shied away from home recording because I was stuck in the 4-track tape mentality. Once I was able to find the similarities AND learn how to use drum loops it started to get easier.

BTW, Logic Studio (the expensive version) really has little you need that Express lacks unless you're doing video.

You can also get Logic Express REAL cheap - version 8 is excellent (I have not upgraded to 9) and can be found for under fifty bucks on Amazon.

With a DAW like Logic or Protools (I'd avoid any version that locks you into MAudio hardware)...or Reaper if you want to try before you buy (although it can get expensive adding on all the options)...and a drum loop creator (I like Hydrogen, which makes realistic loops you can drop straight in), a couple of mics (there's a thing called the "hundred dollar rule" - basically, you don't need to spend more than $100 on any mic for home recording and need exactly 2 - a dynamic and a condenser. Many opt for (what else!) an SM57 and something like an MXL990 condenser (cheap - but many pro studios use them) and you're set.

Another tip - lots of debates about studio monitors and preamps/amps for them - forget that stuff. People don't listen to recordings through studio monitors. I take the output of my MobilePre, plug it into an old but great Hafler preamp...and then a $45, 30-watt power amp (seriously!) and a $80/pair Samson monitors. The same rig I run my iTunes stuff into.

I have tons of stompboxes (and other mics) I can re-amp through and a cheap ART tube MPV3 tube preamp I often use to warm up the signal, but other than those things the Pod, Korg, Oxygen and my iPad I have no other gear. I need almost no room - everything lays out on a 32" x 6' desk.
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unbridled



Joined: 09 May 2009
Posts: 48
Location: Montana

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Silverface wrote:
...Another tip - lots of debates about studio monitors and preamps/amps for them - forget that stuff. People don't listen to recordings through studio monitors. I take the output of my MobilePre, plug it into an old but great Hafler preamp...and then a $45, 30-watt power amp (seriously!) and a $80/pair Samson monitors. The same rig I run my iTunes stuff into...


I think along those same lines. If a track sounds good on my home stereo, in the car, and through the headphones, it's probably alright.

I use a Zoom R8. Love it for what I do. My monitors are cheap Studiophiles.
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Raybob



Joined: 26 Aug 2008
Posts: 98
Location: Kyburz, CA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For live recording, I have Zoom H1, works good with built-in mics but need to set level, not auto-level or the people talking is as loud as the compressed music if recorder is near sound man.

For multi-track recording, I'm using Adobe Audition. It's similar to Protools but has many editing features built in, non-destructive effects can be undone and redone, bussed for certain track combos, etc. Used that before Adobe bought it when it was called CoolEdit Pro. It didn't have pitch correction then. Now, if you have someone sing a word that is out of tune, you can go to that one word, stretch the pitch and not time, or vice versa, to correct pitch of that word or phrase. I recall editing a singer once. On a long held note, he would start note sharp, by end of note he was on key. Auditon allows you to select that note, have beginning of note using pitch shift and gradually have no shift at end of note. Amazingly, that works good, within reason.

I understand 'pitch-shift' is the technology that made Shania Twain sound like a singer.
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