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Thread: Recording software

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    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    Recording software

    After numerous people asking me if my son's band has a CD recording, I am finally going to try to make this happen.

    I am positive that there are many recording software suites out there where we could run an out from a mixing board where we could either produce something in my studio at home or take a laptop to a soundproofed studio. Does anyone know anything about this and a SW package that is recommended?

    Most likely we'd be doing recording live, so the one thing I don't quite understand is how you get 8 inputs into a laptop to isolate tracks to adjust levels. Because if you simply used a mixer out, you'd only have 2 channels. Admittedly I don't know the first thing about this, so any help would be appreciated.

    dB

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    Axetastic doublewah's Avatar
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    You might want to look into finding a local recording studio and asking what $150 (or whatever budget you are comfortable with) would get you. I mean small, independent studio - so long as they have a room large enough for your gang.
    Tell them what you are looking for, and ask if they can do it in an afternoon. They should be able to mike the group with two mikes and do just a couple takes of each song.

    The advantage of getting your own software setup is that you can do more in the future. The disadvantage is that you might be months tweaking and learning stuff before you are happy with the result.

    Alternatively, I would suggest getting one of the little recorders that Zoom makes. Buy one from your local music store (about $200) and record a session. You will know pretty quick if this is giving you what you want. If not, return it. But it is going to be pretty much what a computer with software is going to get, with less hassle.

    https://www.google.com/search?site=i....0.BG076aL6Vbc
    I bought a relic'd guitar because I liked the way it sounded. Then I refinished it because I didn't like the way it looked.

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    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    Lots of good info out there.
    When I decided to get some recording stuff I bought a Tascam DP-008--although I would have preferred a DP-03, but the extra cost was prohibitive at the time.
    I went that route as it felt more intuitive than using software--and I could still use software after the fact.
    And I would have also had to buy a new computer if I went the software route--so that was a bigger expense.

    Check out Recording Magazine to see if they have any useful info--they have newsletters & free articles.

    DoubleWah's suggestions are also good too--depending on how you want to go, budget, etc.
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

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    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comments.

    The option of simply going to a studio is certainly there. I'm a little concerned about the expense but I will call around.

    I have a Zoom (but can't find it!!!) and I am certain that is not adequate. We really need to be able to adjust the volume for each of the horns, otherwise the trombone will be too loud and the balance will not be good.

    I called Sweetwater and they suggested buying a digital mixer with recording capability. That's a $1500 outlay and as you pointed out DW there would be a huge learning curve. However I could simply sell my analogue mixer and use the digital one. But yes I could use it over and over.

    The other option is a USB audio interface to allow me to plug 16 channels into the laptop. This is a much cheaper option at $300 but Sweetwater told me this would not give me satisfactory results.

    Sounds like this will be a journey, not a slam dunk.

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    Axetastic doublewah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by die Bullen View Post
    ...We really need to be able to adjust the volume for each of the horns...
    So regardless of whether you go to a studio or do it at home, you are going to want to use several mics. Do you have several mics? If not, you are going to have to rent or buy them.

    The Zoom R24 might be worth looking at. It is a decent A/D converter, and it is also a portable recorder:
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/R24

    Quote Originally Posted by die Bullen View Post
    ...Sounds like this will be a journey, not a slam dunk.
    Hence, the disadvantage (in doing this yourself) I mentioned below.

    Also, consider this (and I think I may have said this before, either here or in person)...
    The world of music is not just about performing anymore. Most of the young musicians out there are learning to record as well as to play.
    The star of your show is a bright kid. He could have lots of fun digging into whatever home recording gear you bring home, and will likely need those skills for the rest of his musical career.
    I bought a relic'd guitar because I liked the way it sounded. Then I refinished it because I didn't like the way it looked.

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    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    I have 5 or 6 mics but I have friends that I can get more from. One of my friends has at least 10-12 high quality mics. So we are covered there.

    I will look at the Zoom r24. It looks pretty neat although I am not 100% sure that 8xXLR inputs are enough (that would only leave 4 for all the drums). I'll bet Sam Ash has these so I can run down there one night this week. If I buy, it is going to be a question of quality vs. price. There's probably lots of functionality I can pass on but if the sound quality isn't good, the whole thing isn't worth it.

    You have a point that my son might very well be interested in learning how to do the recording/ engineering aspect of this, probably tipping the scales to buying rather than going into a studio.

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    Axetastic doublewah's Avatar
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    You can use an extra mixer to mix the drums down to stereo.

    Really (and especially when you are starting out), the less tracks you record and then have to mix, the better. A lot of everyone's favourite music from the 50s and early 60s was recorded on 4 tracks or less.

    I have an R24. I think very highly of it (although I do not record much these days). A drummer friend of mine has one. He uses it to record tracks for friends' projects. He and his friends are very happy with it.

    The R24 has built in stereo mics. These are pretty good for recording rehearsals or even a show. Or for song-writing, when the muse strikes. You can also bring the R24 to gigs and ask the soundman (when willing) to send sub-mixes to it and hit record at the beginning of the set. It runs on batteries or wall-wart. And it weighs under 3 lbs!
    I bought a relic'd guitar because I liked the way it sounded. Then I refinished it because I didn't like the way it looked.

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    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doublewah View Post
    You can use an extra mixer to mix the drums down to stereo.
    I NEVER thought of this. Use the mixer to consolidate 8 tracks to 2. What a great idea. I don't think onboard mics would be sufficient to mic horns however!

    I am going to run over to Sam Ash tonight- I will look at the R24 (and other things).

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    Axetastic doublewah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by die Bullen View Post
    ...I don't think onboard mics would be sufficient to mic horns however!.
    I didn't mean for a sell-able product, or even for promo. I just mean for recording to listen to the group for critiquing purposes. Also, the more often you use it, the more comfortable you will be using it.

    With the horns, you would have to keep the R24 far enough away that the horns don't clip.
    I bought a relic'd guitar because I liked the way it sounded. Then I refinished it because I didn't like the way it looked.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    Update- Sam Ash doesn't carry Zoom but they do have the Tascam DP24. My buddy over there said that he has one of these and has used it for hundreds of recordings and that the quality is very good. It looks very similar to the Zoom R24. He said it is very easy to use. I will have to check online for some head to head reviews comparing the two.

    You don't think the quality from either one of these would be good enough for a demo, DW?

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