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> Recording: Tips And Tricks
korblitz
post Sep 1 2012, 02:35 PM
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I have found this useful site that has some tips and tricks in regards to home audio recording on the Personal Computer.

1. Don’t let your computer’s boot drive get too full.
2. Get more RAM.
3. Record to a second hard disk.
4. Use the best ports on your computer for recording devices.
5. Optimize Windows, Mac or Linux
6. Know what latency is and how it affects recording

Do you guys any cool sites, pieces of information that have helped you understand how to record at home?
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The Uncreator
post Sep 1 2012, 03:39 PM
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Experiment, a lot of the stuff that makes my music sounds as good as it does (not thats its pro-studio quality) is learning how to work with what I have. A lot of tips and tricks are from people with access to more equipment than you might have, and while its necessary that the best quality possible will require higher end equipment, you can still make amazing productions by learning how to utilize your tools available.

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korblitz
post Sep 1 2012, 03:54 PM
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Tip: The human ear cannot distinguish delays lower than 20-30ms


So set latency to 25 ms and get a less buffer size?
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The Uncreator
post Sep 1 2012, 10:07 PM
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Actually, its not that hard to get delays as low as 3-7ms. 20-30ms will actually be perceivable in the sense that the tracks recorded with that delay in them will sit oddly in the mix compared to aspects that aren't. Anyways smile.gif

All aimed at metal/ hard rock/ distorted guitars

Guitars:

80hz - 120hz: The average range a guitar is hi-passed. For lower tunings, seven and eight string guitars, this can go higher, maybe up to 170hz in extremes

450hz - 650hz : A good range to cut to clear up some muddiness and add some clarity

1,000hz - 3,000hz: Any boosting I've done, and its always better to cut than to boost is done here. Maybe just add a little presence, if it gets boosted too much its best to adjust the actual tone itself.

4,000hz - 6,000hz: Cutting this range eliminates a lot of fuzz and harshness, almost nothing good in this range for distorted guitars. Depending on how much highs/ mids are in your tone already will affect how deep into, or close to 6,000hz you'll get. I do it at exactly 4,000hz and use a wide bell on my EQ.

8,000hz - 9,000hz: Slight boosts can increase the pick attacks articulation, a little crunch when you hit those big palm muted chords. Too much and your gonna hit some hissing noise.

9,500hz - 15,000hz: Depending on your tonal characteristics, this is the range a lo-pass will usually sit. Mine is at 12,500hz and brickwalled.
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Sep 2 2012, 12:20 AM
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Those tips aren't the first that come to mind when I think on recording but they are also important. Thanks for sharing! wink.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Sep 2 2012, 05:38 AM
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THIS IS A GREAT POST! Please please FRAN PUT THIS IN THE WIKI!

QUOTE (The Uncreator @ Sep 1 2012, 05:07 PM) *
Actually, its not that hard to get delays as low as 3-7ms. 20-30ms will actually be perceivable in the sense that the tracks recorded with that delay in them will sit oddly in the mix compared to aspects that aren't. Anyways smile.gif

All aimed at metal/ hard rock/ distorted guitars

Guitars:

80hz - 120hz: The average range a guitar is hi-passed. For lower tunings, seven and eight string guitars, this can go higher, maybe up to 170hz in extremes

450hz - 650hz : A good range to cut to clear up some muddiness and add some clarity

1,000hz - 3,000hz: Any boosting I've done, and its always better to cut than to boost is done here. Maybe just add a little presence, if it gets boosted too much its best to adjust the actual tone itself.

4,000hz - 6,000hz: Cutting this range eliminates a lot of fuzz and harshness, almost nothing good in this range for distorted guitars. Depending on how much highs/ mids are in your tone already will affect how deep into, or close to 6,000hz you'll get. I do it at exactly 4,000hz and use a wide bell on my EQ.

8,000hz - 9,000hz: Slight boosts can increase the pick attacks articulation, a little crunch when you hit those big palm muted chords. Too much and your gonna hit some hissing noise.

9,500hz - 15,000hz: Depending on your tonal characteristics, this is the range a lo-pass will usually sit. Mine is at 12,500hz and brickwalled.



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Saoirse O'Shea
post Sep 2 2012, 11:11 AM
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QUOTE (korblitz @ Sep 1 2012, 02:35 PM) *
I have found this useful site that has some tips and tricks in regards to home audio recording on the Personal Computer.

1. Don’t let your computer’s boot drive get too full.
2. Get more RAM.
3. Record to a second hard disk.
4. Use the best ports on your computer for recording devices.
5. Optimize Windows, Mac or Linux
6. Know what latency is and how it affects recording

Do you guys any cool sites, pieces of information that have helped you understand how to record at home?


Just to add/expand:

1/ And preferably leave the boot dirve for the OS and a few program files only. Samples, vsts/vstis, recording path etc should be on a different drive.
2/ Not necessarily. Most people with a newish pc have plenty of ram. Most people could use less ram and use their daws more efficintly by freezing tracks and bouncing.
3/ Yes and set your DAW to autosave audio projects every few minutes or so.
4/ Yes and preferably ports that don't share resources with other devices.
5/ Yes - and optimise the OS for audio, which usually means turning off all the unnecesary graphics flashy stuff.
6/ And that people mean different thngs when they talk about latency.

and a few extra ones:

7/ If you can use a diedicated music daw and have your games, office software, internet etc on a different pc.
8/ Keep your pc clean of viruses, trojans and so on.
9/ Be careful with updates, particularly OS updates as they may cause incompatability issues.
10/ Choose the OS that you want and like and which can host the software and hardware you want use. Apple is not better/worse than Microsoft/Linux.

As for recording/mixing tips:

a/ Listen before you decide to do anything. Your audio is unique and some general preset may not be suitable.
b/ Try to get tone at recording rather than assume you can perfect it at mixing.
c/ The point of mixing is not about the best guitar tone but the best mix. Tracks have to sit properly and not get in each others way and not mask each other and the tracks have to be balanced properly.
d/ Leave sufficient headroom. Most people record and mix too close to digital zero and often inadvertaintly clip the 2 bus as they add tracks to the stereo mix. Volume should be set at mastering, not mixing or recording. For recording you want a good clean signal rather than a loud clipped one.
e/ Gainstage properly. Too many people don't know how to gainstage properly and far too often boost signals down the chain rather than at the head so all they do is increase noise.
f/ EQ attentuation is generally preferable to EQ gain. That means you need to understand complimentary EQ - for any band you want to add EQ gain there is an alternatie region that could be attenuated.
g/ Processors should be on the 2 bus if you mix into them to get a specific feel rather than just add gain.
h/ Many project studios over egg the cake: they use high levels of EQ gain etc. If you have to boost the EQ a lot it is often an indication of problems with your monitors and/or room.
i/ When you finish a session, walk away and do something else for a few hours/days then come back and listen to it again with a fresh pair of ears.
j/ Recording is not mixing; mixing is not mastering. The three have specific skill sets and require different equipment and room acoustics so if you intend to do all or a combination of them be aware of what each is and what skills etc need to be applied.
k/ Fix recording issues at recording not mixing. Fix mix issues at mixing.not mastering. Don't pass mistakes/issues along the chain!
l/ Be objective. Got your perfect mix and you're ready to master it? Read point h/. If you still think your mix is perfect get others to listen to it and listen to it in a different studio on different monitors.

I'd also agree with Uncreator's point about learn to use what you have. Far too many people think that their mixing will improve if they swop to a different DAW rather than spending time to learn how to use the DAW that they have. Far too many people use lots of different vsts without knowing much about how they function. For instance, do you know what type of compressor your vst is - is it mimicing a VCA or an opto or a vari mu or some thing else? Do you know the difference between threshold and input gain? What is the attentuation on your HPF/LPF: -6dB/octave or -24dB/Octave or somewhere in between; does it add a boost at the corner or is it clean? ...



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The Uncreator
post Sep 2 2012, 12:39 PM
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QUOTE (tonymiro @ Sep 2 2012, 06:11 AM) *
f/ EQ attentuation is generally preferable to EQ gain. That means you need to understand complimentary EQ - for any band you want to add EQ gain there is an alternatie region that could be attenuated.

j/ Recording is not mixing; mixing is not mastering. The three have specific skill sets and require different equipment and room acoustics so if you intend to do all or a combination of them be aware of what each is and what skills etc need to be applied.



These two 1,000 times over. I dont think this sunk into my skull for the longest time. I used to try and mix while recording, it was just horribly inefficient. In the last year I have spent some time on just optimizing workflow and separating the stages of work clearly. Big help.

Also, the first one is a lot more eloquent than how I put it laugh.gif
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vonhotch
post Sep 2 2012, 05:25 PM
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QUOTE (The Uncreator @ Sep 1 2012, 09:07 PM) *
Actually, its not that hard to get delays as low as 3-7ms. 20-30ms will actually be perceivable in the sense that the tracks recorded with that delay in them will sit oddly in the mix compared to aspects that aren't. Anyways smile.gif

All aimed at metal/ hard rock/ distorted guitars

Guitars:

80hz - 120hz: The average range a guitar is hi-passed. For lower tunings, seven and eight string guitars, this can go higher, maybe up to 170hz in extremes

450hz - 650hz : A good range to cut to clear up some muddiness and add some clarity

1,000hz - 3,000hz: Any boosting I've done, and its always better to cut than to boost is done here. Maybe just add a little presence, if it gets boosted too much its best to adjust the actual tone itself.

4,000hz - 6,000hz: Cutting this range eliminates a lot of fuzz and harshness, almost nothing good in this range for distorted guitars. Depending on how much highs/ mids are in your tone already will affect how deep into, or close to 6,000hz you'll get. I do it at exactly 4,000hz and use a wide bell on my EQ.

8,000hz - 9,000hz: Slight boosts can increase the pick attacks articulation, a little crunch when you hit those big palm muted chords. Too much and your gonna hit some hissing noise.

9,500hz - 15,000hz: Depending on your tonal characteristics, this is the range a lo-pass will usually sit. Mine is at 12,500hz and brickwalled.


This is great to know. Now I can try to use an eq without just moving buttons around to see what does what smile.gif . This whole thread is really helpful as I'm just begining to try to learn this stuff. Please keep the tips coming. One thing I have noticed is the Importance of a good pair of speakers. I don't have monitors and am just using a laptop with AWFUL stock speakers with no bass so when I try to "mix?" something or adjust my sound I switch between just the computer speakers a pair of headphones with too much bass and not much treble, and a pair of ear buds that seem to be somewhere in the middle, and try to make something sound good on all three.


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guitarguy93
post Sep 2 2012, 06:36 PM
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All of these posts were so helpful to me! Much thanks to everyone who posted tips!

I own a Sure SM58. I understand that this is a vocal mic and NOT an instrument/recording mic. How can I set this mic up so that it doesn't give any extra "mud" in my recordings? This seems to happen in my vocals and my instrumentals. I assume I should place the mic further away?


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The Uncreator
post Sep 2 2012, 09:00 PM
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Pre EQ If your going into a mixer, cut some from the 60hz range that a lot of mixers have. Boost the 12khz range if it has that as well to accent the highs and overpower the muddy areas.
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Saoirse O'Shea
post Sep 3 2012, 11:15 AM
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QUOTE (guitarguy93 @ Sep 2 2012, 06:36 PM) *
All of these posts were so helpful to me! Much thanks to everyone who posted tips!

I own a Sure SM58. I understand that this is a vocal mic and NOT an instrument/recording mic. How can I set this mic up so that it doesn't give any extra "mud" in my recordings? This seems to happen in my vocals and my instrumentals. I assume I should place the mic further away?


Spend time getting the position right before you do anything else.

You can use a 58 as an instrument mic but you need to experiment with positioning. That means distance from the source, whether the mic is on or off axis horizontal and vertical and, angled.

As a vocal mic the 58 makes use of proximity so you do need to move it back from the source, which will help reduce the low end bloom from the proximity. Also, the 58 has a cardioid pattern so try experimenting with the angle of the mic relative to the source as this can again help. For a guitar amp moving the mic horizontally from the cone of the speaker to the edge affects tone; acoustic guitar bridge to neck; vocals above or below or directly at the mouth. I think the 58 has a heavy roll off over about 12k so don't expect much high end.

With a guitar amp it can also help to tilt the amp and get it off the floor as these will again reduce proximity if it's causing a problem.




QUOTE (The Uncreator @ Sep 2 2012, 12:39 PM) *
...I used to try and mix while recording, it was just horribly inefficient. In the last year I have spent some time on just optimizing workflow and separating the stages of work clearly. Big help.

...


Think that's probably true of most people with a daw who haven't worked in a big studio to be honest. People nowadays multi-task, particularly in home/small project studios and its easy to let one taks blur in to the next. Problem is that you then have problems seeing the 'wood for the trees' and start 'mixing' when you should be recording and so on.

A little off topic - when I started way back all the processes were separate and had their own dedicated engineer (and assistant engineer, and trainee, and studio cat...)
Anyway, we were told to refer to 'mixing' as 'balancing' as that is actually what that stage really involves: getting the right balance between the different tracks so that they sit in the mix and stereo field properly. Theoretically it is possible to deconstruct a 'mix' down to the orginal vocal/drum/bass/etc parts. (There is actually software that does this though it's not particularly good. You can also use MSD to get at different parts of the 'mix'.) Mixing rather differently implies that you are blending things together to make a different product and where the orignal 'ingredients' are changed. You can't deconstruct a mix to get the original bits back. You mix a cake but balance recorded tracks. Might be a subtle difference
but one that I've always remembered.

Just to add - I've lost count of the number of times I've sent a 'final mix' back because of balance issues only for the engineer to then mess about with EQ or whatever rather than rebalance the mix properly. So the remix gets sent back and they're like 'What?' So I have to tell them 'Sort the track balances out BEFORE you touch the tonality!'. It's kind of weird when you end up explaining to a fellow professional a basic fundamental of their own skill set.

This post has been edited by tonymiro: Sep 3 2012, 11:29 AM


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Get your music professionally mastered by anl AES registered Mastering Engineer. Contact me for Audio Mastering Services and Advice and visit our website www.miromastering.com

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We use professional, mastering grade hardware in our mastering studo. Our hardware includes:
Cranesong Avocet II Monitor Controller, Dangerous Music Liasion Insert Hardware Router, ATC SCM Pro Monitors, Lavry Black DA11, Prism Orpheus ADC/DAC, Gyratec Gyraf XIV Parallel Passive Mastering EQ, Great River MAQ 2NV Mastering EQ, Kush Clariphonic Parallel EQ Shelf, Maselec MLA-2 Mastering Compressor, API 2500 Mastering Compressor, Eventide Eclipse Reverb/Echo.
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