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Jay Funk Dawg
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What up Crewe!

I've just set up a new little music studio for myself. One room with a computer, Korg Keyboard, KRK monitors, Presonus outboard soundcard, Roland SP-808EX drum machine, some electric & acoustic guitars & hand percussion and a couple of microphones. This place is too small for anything too elaborate - but I've also got a hard disk field recorder (Edirol R4) that I'm trying to use to collect either wav files or project files to piece together with home recorded guitars & vocals, maybe more.

I'm set this up to do two things - editing live recordings that I have been collecting at my live shows and two to learn about recording my own projects and songs. I'm literally surrounded with so many talent people that I'm excited at the possibilities of learning from the pros.

Now that I've set myself up with some good speakers and microphones, I'm learning the rope of the available computer recording softwares (Cubase /Abelton) and some plug ins (Guitar Rig). I'm toying with the idea of recording my own radio pod cast. Still just getting comfortable with all the possibilities to manipulate sounds, record interviews and create songs.

In the other room I've got a partial video editing suite I'm getting together to splice together all the footage from the various events that Nufunk is involved in and that promote musicians and djs we are connected to and interested in.

As you can see it's a bit overwhelming, exciting and possibly ambitious. I'm wondering if there are people out here in Jam land with insights and experience to share in their own home recording projects? I am very interested in sharing ideas and know-how. here's a picture I took of it so far. Thanks to Photobucket for make it look sexy.

Photo04.jpg

p.s.

I hope that someone can also connect me to the guy who made that video recordings of the recent Can jam and 10 year Anniversary shows. Or any of the peopld recording video at Hypnotic Brass Ensemble & Herbaliser.

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www.myspace.com/houseofdavidgang

www.myspace.com/highplainsdrifter

The live tracks only.

The one gospel track "House of David" on House of David site was recorded at Tuff Gong Studio Kingston but was never released in 2003. This great song has barely been heard - the artist did not have the means to print the music after all the sessions in Toronto and Kingston.

The High Plains Drifter material that's live that is on the site has my editing/playing.

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what kind of advice are you looking for?

Pretty vague request, Jay.

What kind of things are you getting hung up on?

What are you looking to improve upon?

What do you want to be able to do that you're not.

I bet there are a bunch of people here with some great advice but they probably need a little direction for their direction.

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Jay, I heartily recommend the book Home Recording For Musicians, by Craig Anderton. It's got 22 chapters, including tons of different topics: "Nature of Sound", microphones, "Preparing for the Session", troubleshooting tips, "Relating the dB to Voltage and Power Ratios", and on and on.

Aloha,

Brad

Is there an audiobook version of this?

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signal chain is the thing....from source to 'tape' - whats your path? whats your weak link? it starts with the musician, then flows through the mike, then through the preamp/channel strip then to the A/D convertor and finally to the capture device. (outboard effects like compression/ limiting need to be squeezed in there too sometimes)

Presonus is a pretty good name, so your A/D conversion is probably OK...maybe your next move should be a couple of decent mikes..for vocal work you need a good large diaphram condenser...a couple of small diaphram condensers for accoustic instruments and overheads...after your mike collection is in order a good tube preamp might be a consideration for warming up your signal before commiting it to the digital world...i'm just starting to scratch the surface myself, and believe me it can be an expensiv hobby,

back to my first point, decide what the weakest link in your signal chain is, and attack that first

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+1 for Signal path.

321052.jpg

Here's a nice set of Nadys (small diaphragm and ribbon)

466823.jpg

Versatile and cheap

245777.jpg

Who wouldn't want one of these?

244958.jpg

This is my favourite microphone ever.

I think that I'd have a really cool and useful mic library when it'd come down to it.

Someday...Nothing right now.

536541.jpg

Here's the interface that's on my Wish List.

But it's FireWire only...so I'm looking at getting a Mac when it's all said and done.

Simple, easy, versatile, and streamlined.

I guess if there's any advice I could give is to Keep it Simple. take as much as you can away and then smooth out what's too rough and scratchy before adding anything new.

Plugins and processing can work as a bandaid solution when you need it, but if yu can get around it with smart editing and little fixes then you'll save your computer a lot of grief, and you'll save yourself from hiding the mistakes you'd otherwise be able to fix...and never get it quite right while your tracks could be entirely usable.

Why rerecord when you don't really need to, eh?

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My mic collection right now is only a Shure SM58 and two Audio Technical pencil condensers.

245346.jpg

my next mic would probably be something like this - a large RØDE Condenser.

My next moves are probably a good set of headphones and more instruction on Abelton / Logic. Aaron Collier from the Jimmy Swift Band is offering some recording courses at Cherry Beach on Jan. 17th... but I'm probably more interested in the beginner Abelton classes offered by Moog Audio.

I love the review of the Apogee.

536541.jpg

This interface would be the greatest fuzz pedal if only it was $50. I'm not kidding, killer fuzz. Only one problem though... It's not a fuzz pedal its an interface. I can't believe I wasted money on this piece of junk. I've been using it with Logic now for about 3 months and as soon as things are getting good in my session, here it comes.. "MR FUZZ FACE". Everything is fuzzy, even iTunes and internet and all sound. Sure, its an easy fix.. let me just turn switch it back to built in and then back right??? WRONG. This will cause computer to Crash and Burn. Again this would be cool except for the fact that every minute counts and when it comes to getting your work done.. Apogee sure knows how to suck your time away. It'll take at least 15 minutes to figure out why its not responding, then Hold down your power button so your computer can shut off and reboot, then you can uninstall the VIRAL Maestro Crapware and then it will prompt you to reboot again and then once that has rebooted for a second time, you can reinstall and then it will ask you to reboot for a third time. If you're looking for an interface that works and sounds good, I would go back to PreSonus Firebox. I never should have sold that. It worked great and I was over taken by hype of the CRAPOGEE.

Matt Shockley

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Gisto was Wassabi Collective was in Toronto this summer teaching me what he knew about recording and he was eyeing the Apogee. I've got 8 inputs on the Presonus so I don't really need (an interface something like that yet.

01%20Firepod%20alone.jpg

my chain right now is pretty tight - my roomate's advice was to get gold tipped 1/4 connectors for my monitors - does anyone know if this is really a benefit?

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my roomate's advice was to get gold tipped 1/4 connectors for my monitors - does anyone know if this is really a benefit?

It ha$ a profound benefit to the maker$ and $eller$ of gold-tipped connector$. As far as benefitting the purchasers and users of connectors, there's no benefit whatsoever. They don't sound better, and while gold doesn't corrode, the gold-plating that's used is often so thin (because gold is expensive) that normal use wears it away easily.

Aloha,

Brad

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Hey Brad,

I've been using the Edirol R4 for a couple of years - and earlier this summer I picked one up as I had previously been renting it.

r4.jpg

http://www.edirol.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=56&Itemid=390

I'm then using two AudioTechnica pencil mics to

record if I'm doing a live recording (mostly of shows I'm promoting) or a board mix (if I'm performing)

MICAUTAT3031.gif

At this point I need to know more about mic placement... to get the best recording mix. I was wondering what you've been doing and what has worked best for you.

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At this point I need to know more about mic placement... to get the best recording mix. I was wondering what you've been doing and what has worked best for you.

There are two aspects to microphone placement: where in the room they're set up, and how they're arranged relative to each other.

When it comes to where in the room to put the mics, I try to aim for the "sweet spot", the place in the room where the sound is the best. In a big venue, like an arena or even something like the Phoenix, this will alost certainly be where the main mixing board is, because you want the sound guy to get the best sound. In smaller venues like clubs and bars, the sound board is often placed in weird locations (off to one side, for example), so what I often do is imagine a triangle whose base is a line drawn across/between the right and left side PA stacks; complete the triangle with two other sides of the same length, and put the mics at the apex of it. This can give a good balance between the sound coming off the stage and the sound coming through the PA. If the apex won't work, try to get close to it. You also need to take into account what's going on around where you want to put the mics. At The Silver Dollar Room, for example, the dead-centre-in-front-of-the-stage spot happens to be right up against the bar, which is both inconvenient (for the taper and for people ordering and serving drinks) and likely to give a lot of crowd noise. (For some bands, especially instrumental bands, placing the mics either on the stage or at the lip of the stage can also give really good sound, especially the stereo image, which is often lost on the floor as most venues don't run a stereo mix through the main PA, but it's a bit tricky to pull off, so I wouldn't worry about this technique.)

Once you know where in the room the mics are going to go, you need to set them up relative to each other. There are several standard ways to arrange the mics, including ORTF, and NOS; I often use NOS (or nearly NOS; see below), largely because the mic clamp and hardware I have won't accommodate ORTF.

In small clubs, one of the ways I often arrange the mics is to simply point them at the left and right side PA stacks, aiming more for the strength/coverage of the sound as opposed to a good stereo image. (If you're off to one side, for example, using ORTF or NOS can end up with one mic pointing at a wall, which isn't the best source of sound. This happened to me at Phoenix for Drive-By Truckers / The Hold Steady: I was off to the right side of the sound booth, so pointed one mic directly forward at the right-side PA stack, and the other mic at an angle towards the left-side PA stack.)

A good source for this kind of info is

http://www.taperssection.com

which has lots of FAQs and tons of newbie-friendly people to answer questions.

Aloha,

Brad

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Thanks Brad...

I have be placing the mics almost opposite to OFTF & NOS - place both mics tips pointed at each other in a 90 degree angle - I was told this would help cancel out phase. I'll have to dig further into this to hear the differences.

Also I know that most live shows rarely use Stereo mixes - so the left and right sides of the sound system are pumping the same sound. Of course in a live setting - the actually instruments are going to have their own stereo effect - like if the lead guitarist's speakers are on one side of the stage.

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no worries on the mono PA - the microphone placements are to replicate the sense of space/environment in a given room - in really small clubs the onstage placements of amps will be detectable.

...and given you have a R4 - experiment a little! you've got a room set up for post-production, use it for that -

Do a simple matrix mix of a stereo board feed and a stereo mic mix. Dump both in the computer, compress and eq all different ways to get a feel for how they interact. At the gig, measure the distance between the microphones and the PA, then google how to determine how much that means you slide the soundboard track in time vs. the mic track...the info is out there.

Great boards:

messageboard.tapeop.com

recording.org

recforums.prosoundweb.com

and taperssection as mentioned above -

Another fun one:

Record a 2 stereo mic/1 mono board feed/1 mic on stage show on the 4 tracks, dump it into software, and start manipulating it. Try radical eq'ing, like cutting all the high end from the board feed and cutting all the low end from the mono board mix and finding where they blend together for a cohesive mix, then bring up the stereo mics for a sense of 'being there' Play with compressors and eq's while balancing volumes. Draw in envelopes, don't be afraid to smash some things sonically and mix it in somewhere...unlimited tracks and unlimited undoes facilitate learning through experimenting.

Just remember - if it works, write it down, save the preset, snapshot the screen, videotape the session...whatever it takes so you can replicate it.

The R4 is versatile to record a multitrack show - grab a mono vocal, kick/overhead drums, bass, gtr/keys if there are subgroups on the mixer - experiment with mixing that, lots of neat tricks to make it sound stereo...if it's an instrumental band, even better: kick, oh, gtr, bass would make a tidy little album i'm sure.

The mic pre's on the R4 leave lots to be desired - don't buy that horrible ART thing - find a decent 4 channel mic pre to interface with your R4 - once you are recording 8 tracks through your presonus, no doubt a couple tracks will be DI's or line level keys or something...spend the money on 4 decent pre's first.

On a semi-related but not really note- i'm selling most of my studio in the buy/sell/trade section...

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RE:

Another fun one:

Record a 2 stereo mic/1 mono board feed/1 mic on stage show on the 4 tracks, dump it into software, and start manipulating it. Try radical eq'ing, like cutting all the high end from the board feed and cutting all the low end from the mono board mix and finding where they blend together for a cohesive mix, then bring up the stereo mics for a sense of 'being there' Play with compressors and eq's while balancing volumes. Draw in envelopes, don't be afraid to smash some things sonically and mix it in somewhere...unlimited tracks and unlimited undoes facilitate learning through experimenting.

We're going to record our show this weekend in Maynooth. Probably a board feed plus 3 mics... 2 pencil mics placed in the middle of the room, a SM58 to record a more bottom end track.

Question:

is there any free wav editors like Cool Edit Pro that are available online? Recomendations anyone?

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Thanks for that Brad. I just edited a live track down to mp3 with Audacity and Lame.

Here's a soundcheck exerpt that I was able to trim from a live recording.

http://www.nufunk.ca/test.mp3

Johnny B Goode (Peter Tosh Version)

House of David Gang live at Touche in Hamilton

Personnel:

Collin Edwards - drums

Jay Cleary - guitar

James Gray - keys

Selah - vocals

Uncledropsi - bass

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