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Author Topic: Recording equipment  (Read 3405 times)
Denis
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« on: July 24, 2011, 12:41:48 PM »

Well, for the last year or so, I've been using one mic for my recordings.  My signal chain was an Audio Technica AT2035 condenser mic going through a Shure x2U signal adapter right into Garageband.  This allowed for some good, clean recordings but they were mono.  It's easy enough to take one track, cut and paste it into a second then pan on either side for stereo but it's very mechanical.  I decided it was time to expand a bit and buy some new toys.  Last Friday, I bought a second mic and a new interface.  The mic is another Audio Technica, an AT2050.  It's very similar to the 2035 but the difference is that the 2050 has a switch to change the polar patterns.  It has cardioid, figure 8 and omni-directional.  The interface is an M-Audio Fast Track Pro 4x4.  This little unit has phantom power for the mics and lets me record two separate tracks simultaneously in Garageband, true stereo. 

I'm just testing it now, working out the placement for each.  I'm using the 2035 above the 12th fret, about 12 inches away(basically the same way I was using it before) and the 2050 is set closer to the lower bout, up higher, at shoulder level and set to omni directional so it captures the ambient sound of the room as well as the guitar.  I need to fool around some more with that.  It's hot here so the AC is on all the time which isn't very conducive to recording unfortunately.  Still, I'm hearing a fuller, more dynamic sound in the little test bits.  It will be easier to record guitar and vocals together now too...if only I could write some lyrics. 
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Michael T
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« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2011, 12:50:08 PM »

You're gonna like the M-Audio Fast Track Pro 4x4. The preamps are soooo clean and quiet, very professional, very easy.
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hadden
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« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2011, 12:58:01 PM »

I listened to a few of your older recordings and thought they sounded very good. Showed off the Larrivee sound well.
Looking forward to hearing the new set up.
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Denis
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« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2011, 01:01:09 PM »

You're gonna like the M-Audio Fast Track Pro 4x4. The preamps are soooo clean and quiet, very professional, very easy.

I find I have to turn the levels up a lot to be able to hear it.  Everything is turned way up.  Is that normal?
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2011, 01:19:35 PM »

You might also want to look into a decent condenser mic, especially if you're going to do vocals. Even those cheap MXLs they sell at MF are, maybe surprisingly, pretty good if you just want to try one.
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Michael T
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« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2011, 01:40:19 PM »

You might also want to look into a decent condenser mic, especially if you're going to do vocals. Even those cheap MXLs they sell at MF are, maybe surprisingly, pretty good if you just want to try one.

A wide range figure 8 and a pencil matched set of condensors will help, I have some of the MXL's and they are surprisingly good with a great interface like the Fast Track, and they are inexpensive at that too.. Turning the pre's up is a good thing, they pick up even those fading overtones and add dimension to the recording. Easy to crank them up.
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Denis
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« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2011, 01:59:49 PM »

You might also want to look into a decent condenser mic, especially if you're going to do vocals. Even those cheap MXLs they sell at MF are, maybe surprisingly, pretty good if you just want to try one.

Both the AT2035 and 2050 are condenser mics Tom.  Both are cheap (under $250, the 2035 can be bought for under $200), made in China but like you said, surprisingly good.  Today's market is full of decent/cheap condensers of all kinds whether is large, medium or small diaphragm, ribbon or tube mics.  The M-Audio has phantom power, without it, no sound at all.  I was going to get Logic Pro but I haven't got time to sit and learn how to use it which I'm fairly certain would be a daunting task.  I'm still getting used to Garageband which does a good job regardless.  Amazing what one can accomplish with such a simple set up.  Not like the old days of home recording, limited to 4 tracks and recording on cassette tapes...anyone remember cassettes?? 
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ST
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« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2011, 02:19:18 PM »

Hi Denis,

Now that you have the second microphone and it is capable of doing a figure-8 polar pattern you could consider doing the mid-side recording technique.
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2011, 02:29:18 PM »

Both the AT2035 and 2050 are condenser mics Tom.  Both are cheap (under $250, the 2035 can be bought for under $200), made in China but like you said, surprisingly good.  Today's market is full of decent/cheap condensers of all kinds whether is large, medium or small diaphragm, ribbon or tube mics.  The M-Audio has phantom power, without it, no sound at all.  I was going to get Logic Pro but I haven't got time to sit and learn how to use it which I'm fairly certain would be a daunting task.  I'm still getting used to Garageband which does a good job regardless.  Amazing what one can accomplish with such a simple set up.  Not like the old days of home recording, limited to 4 tracks and recording on cassette tapes...anyone remember cassettes?? 

I misread but then ... good.   blush
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Denis
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« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2011, 02:47:19 PM »

Hi Denis,

Now that you have the second microphone and it is capable of doing a figure-8 polar pattern you could consider doing the mid-side recording technique.

OOOOhhh, I'll be giving that a try today!!!!

I remember recording my cd and That Face in a studio and this is how my friend Bruce set up the mics.  He was using a pair of Rode mics.  Wow this recording stuff is cool!
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Denis
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« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2011, 03:08:06 PM »

I listened to a few of your older recordings and thought they sounded very good. Showed off the Larrivee sound well.
Looking forward to hearing the new set up.

Anything from my self titled CD(Samuel, After the Battle, Firstborn, Havre-aux-maisons...etc) or the tune That Face was recorded in a local pro studio.  All the others, Squish, Rambling Rumble, Rumbling Ramble, Dimples, lullaby, Pining...were done at home in the studio (spare room) using the AT2035. 
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Denis
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« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2011, 08:43:54 PM »

OK, first try with the new mic and interface

http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_9519499
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« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2011, 10:59:39 PM »

Hi Denis,

Your recording sound very good. And it is a very nice piece.

Just a small comment, you can put the microphone a littre more near the instrument or put less reverb on the mix to reveal more details of the instrument. My 2¢ as the sound is already good.

About MS recording, I don't thing that Garageband is able to do MS decoding. Logic Pro can do that. It is a good technique only if the room have a good acoustic.

Claude
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« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2011, 11:27:38 PM »

Hi Denis,

Your recording sound very good. And it is a very nice piece.

Just a small comment, you can put the microphone a littre more near the instrument or put less reverb on the mix to reveal more details of the instrument. My 2¢ as the sound is already good.

About MS recording, I don't thing that Garageband is able to do MS decoding. Logic Pro can do that. It is a good technique only if the room have a good acoustic.

Claude

You can do the MS recording if you have an interface that allows you to record 2 separate tracks.  I know, I have to spend more time mixing! 
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ronmac
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« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2011, 10:49:12 AM »

The m/s technique can be very useful, and it's always good to have a few different methods to try for different situations.

Once recorded the M/S signal needs to be "decoded". Three tracks are required for playback: a) the original "Mid" signal (panned to center); the original "Side" signal (panned hard left); and an in inverted copy of the original "Side"signal (panned hard right). The relative level of the M and two S tracks can then be adjusted to taste. The panning of the two S signals can also be adjusted to create the stereo spread desired.

Here is an article that goes into a bit more depth on the subject: http://emusician.com/mag/emusic_front_center/

Denis, for a completely different method, that often yields very good results in a less than perfect room, Google "Jecklin Disk".
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Ron

Denis
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« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2011, 12:03:03 PM »

The m/s technique can be very useful, and it's always good to have a few different methods to try for different situations.

Once recorded the M/S signal needs to be "decoded". Three tracks are required for playback: a) the original "Mid" signal (panned to center); the original "Side" signal (panned hard left); and an in inverted copy of the original "Side"signal (panned hard right). The relative level of the M and two S tracks can then be adjusted to taste. The panning of the two S signals can also be adjusted to create the stereo spread desired.

Here is an article that goes into a bit more depth on the subject: http://emusician.com/mag/emusic_front_center/

Denis, for a completely different method, that often yields very good results in a less than perfect room, Google "Jecklin Disk".

Thanks Ron.  I guess I can't do the decoding thing.  A less than perfect room is definitely what I've got.  Might shift things into another room but everywhere, sound just bounces.  I guess I might have to put up some blankets or start recording in our walk in closet full of clothes?  My kids' room might be a bit better.  Should I be able to find one of those disks at a Long & McQuade?
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« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2011, 12:41:11 PM »

1. Jecklin disk method requires 2 mics of the same type - one for each side of the disk.  Jecklin disk method is a flavor of binaural recording where the intent is to mimic how sound enters the human hearing system.  If you use two different models of mic for each side, you are not going to get a good stereo signal.  You can make your own disk BTW .  Here's one article on how one author made theirs  http://www.studiy.tv/?p=22     This article also mentions that one should use omnidirectional mics.  I forgot that detail.  You could get away with cardioid condensers with the dead side of the pattern aimed at the disk on each side.

2.  Don't give up on M/S yet if you've purchased a figure 8 pattern mic.  You should be able to do some signal routing in Garageband or invert the phase of the one track.  If you don't have this ability to invert the phase of a track, as a last resort, you should be able to do it in an external audio editing program then bring the inverted audio back in.

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Denis
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« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2011, 01:15:20 PM »

Thanks guys.  I'm still learning obviously.  I was starting to get used to using one mic through a simple signal adapter.  Now I have to learn new mic'ing techniques, stereo...etc.  Is it any wonder I don't want to start having to figure out Logic at the same time?   

I'm going to try playintg around with different mic placements and maybe try some different rooms in the house.  It's pretty easy when all there is to move are a couple of mic stands and the interface. 
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hadden
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« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2011, 01:22:09 PM »

I can't get it to play for me.
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« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2011, 01:56:59 PM »

Hi Denis,

Do you have a version of this without reverb?
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