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> Recording With Poor Equipment
BM
post Feb 19 2010, 05:32 PM
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Greetings all,

I am trying to record a bunch of tracks for my band's upcoming album and sadly all I have is a laptop computer with the REAPER program on it. I do not have the money to access a recording studio so it will have to do. However, I would like some opinions on how I should go about recording.

1-For my rythm tracks should I play the rythm once and then duplicate the track? That is what I have been doing. I would then split the one track to the left speaker and the other to the right to make it sound fuller. Or should I just record the two tracks seperately?

2-What order should I record in? I have been doing: Rythm, Vocals, Lead, Drums. Any thoughts on how to do it differently?

3-How loud should I let the guitar be? It seems the quality (although decent on other songs I have recorded) could be better and louder.

Any thoughts, hints or tricks you all can offer are greatly appreciated and I will post my next song on here for you all to hear!

Connor


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Staffy
post Feb 19 2010, 07:08 PM
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Hmmm... Are You supposed to record some demo's for the band or what? Are You using "real" drums?

Anyway, I will suggest the following routine:

1. Record drums & bass. If You have to do in two steps, the drums should be done first.
2) Put the rhytm guitar(s) on.
3) The last step would be the vocals/lead guitars.

You can acchieve great results with the gear You have and by checking out some free VST-plugs out there. (they are compatible with Reaper as well)
Some tricks can however be applied here:

- If You running low on computer memory - do two-channel sub-mixes of the drums (or other instruments) for instance, with effects applied. Then You can use the DSP-power for final-mixing issues.

- Overdubbing is great - BUT - kinda same effect can be acchieved by using a doubler (delay, slightly detuned) and then pan the channels left/right. This will "fatten" up the sound but still it sounds like one player. But that is really a matter of taste.

- Do not EVER accept any signals over 0 db. In the digital domain this will ruin the whole recording since digital distorsion sounds terrible.

- Get some good mics. Or borrow some. Maybe You have the opportunity to mix it somewhere else?? Anyway, good mics is by the most important when making any recording.

- If lining instruments, make sure that the impedance on the sound-card matches the instrument - eg. there is a "instrument" -input on the soundcard. Otherwise, a pre-amp or whatever device that changes the impedance must be used in front of the soundcard.

I could probably go on and write some 1000's of more words on the topic, but this is what I think is most crucial. Good Luck!

//Staffay


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MickeM
post Feb 19 2010, 08:49 PM
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QUOTE (BM @ Feb 19 2010, 05:32 PM) *
Greetings all,

I am trying to record a bunch of tracks for my band's upcoming album and sadly all I have is a laptop computer with the REAPER program on it. I do not have the money to access a recording studio so it will have to do. However, I would like some opinions on how I should go about recording.

1-For my rythm tracks should I play the rythm once and then duplicate the track? That is what I have been doing. I would then split the one track to the left speaker and the other to the right to make it sound fuller. Or should I just record the two tracks seperately?

Drums, I'd keep the kick (and the bass) in the mid and then pan the left half of the drum kit a tad to the left and the right half to the right.
Rhytm guitar... you can record how many times you like huh.gif
But only if you can get it real real REAAL tight, if not it wont sound good.

QUOTE
2-What order should I record in? I have been doing: Rythm, Vocals, Lead, Drums. Any thoughts on how to do it differently?

Drums first and vocals last. smile.gif
But of course, it's up to you, what feels better and easier.

QUOTE
3-How loud should I let the guitar be? It seems the quality (although decent on other songs I have recorded) could be better and louder.

As loud as it gets, before it self-distorts. Watch the input meters.

QUOTE
Any thoughts, hints or tricks you all can offer are greatly appreciated and I will post my next song on here for you all to hear!

Connor

Get a descent sound card or it will be difficult to make it sound good. Try to record things as dry as possible, add effects in the mix.
For live recordings I can reccomend the Zoom R-16. Doesn't cost a fortune and is as professional it gets for us amatures. wink.gif

Just suggestions. Everyone has his own approach and isn't that a good thing smile.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Feb 24 2010, 01:46 AM
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QUOTE
1-For my rythm tracks should I play the rythm once and then duplicate the track? That is what I have been doing. I would then split the one track to the left speaker and the other to the right to make it sound fuller. Or should I just record the two tracks seperately?

It's better to record them separately and then pan them as needed for the mix.

QUOTE
2-What order should I record in? I have been doing: Rythm, Vocals, Lead, Drums. Any thoughts on how to do it differently?

Usually you start with rhythm section and progress to vocals. With mixing, the main accent should be on drums and focal point instrument, like vocal or lead guitar.

QUOTE
3-How loud should I let the guitar be? It seems the quality (although decent on other songs I have recorded) could be better and louder.

Not too loud, not too quiet, gotta find the middle yourself, you know... Try to shape the guitar tone so it cuts well trough the mix, rather then moving the fader too much.





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Bogdan Radovic
post Feb 24 2010, 11:21 PM
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QUOTE (BM @ Feb 19 2010, 05:32 PM) *
Greetings all,

I am trying to record a bunch of tracks for my band's upcoming album and sadly all I have is a laptop computer with the REAPER program on it. I do not have the money to access a recording studio so it will have to do. However, I would like some opinions on how I should go about recording.

1-For my rythm tracks should I play the rythm once and then duplicate the track? That is what I have been doing. I would then split the one track to the left speaker and the other to the right to make it sound fuller. Or should I just record the two tracks seperately?

2-What order should I record in? I have been doing: Rythm, Vocals, Lead, Drums. Any thoughts on how to do it differently?

3-How loud should I let the guitar be? It seems the quality (although decent on other songs I have recorded) could be better and louder.

Any thoughts, hints or tricks you all can offer are greatly appreciated and I will post my next song on here for you all to hear!

Connor


1 - You should record two different tracks (separate). Small nuances and inperfections resulting will give you better sound when you mix the two tracks.

2 - When recording you usually start with drums, bass then guitars, keyboards, leads and then vocals and backing vocals.

3 - You should capture the best and with enough gain signal as you can. It shouldn't be too loud (clipping) nor too quiet (when you make the guitar louder in the mix, noise level raises), try to find a balace and capture lound enough and good quality guitar tone.

Cheers,
Bogdan smile.gif


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Marcus Siepen
post Mar 6 2010, 06:53 PM
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I also recommend to start with the drums, they should be the foundation for your beat and timing. Next I would go for the bass, after that the rhythm guitars. Definitely record two individual rhythm guitar tracks, just copying your first take is no good, the result will still sound mono and add nothing to your sound, you HAVE to record doubled tracks individually (the same goes for leads or vocals too of course). After that I would do the rest, meaning lead guitars and vocals.


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Adrian Figallo
post Mar 8 2010, 01:53 AM
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QUOTE (Marcus Siepen @ Mar 6 2010, 12:53 PM) *
I also recommend to start with the drums, they should be the foundation for your beat and timing. Next I would go for the bass, after that the rhythm guitars. Definitely record two individual rhythm guitar tracks, just copying your first take is no good, the result will still sound mono and add nothing to your sound, you HAVE to record doubled tracks individually (the same goes for leads or vocals too of course). After that I would do the rest, meaning lead guitars and vocals.


exactly, drums, bass, guitars, keyboards, voices & backing.
and for the guitar, yeah, do NOT duplicate any takes, first it wont give punch to your mix, second they will cancel some phase to each other and most prob make some unwanted chorus effect.


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