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Topics - triksterb

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Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Questions about field recording
« on: April 26, 2010, 06:47:19 PM »
I suppose these questions are about field recording techniques using hand held recorders.

I've got a Tascam DR 1 which I've had for about 3 years that I've never really used due to not really needing it.  Lately I've began trying to use it again and I remember why I never played with it much.  I tried to record a thunderstorm recently, and while the rain was at an acceptable quality, the thunder, well, you can hear a small sample here from an hour long recording: (just click download) 

I don't get why it sounds terrible like that when the rain was fine; it completely drowns out the rain and pans back and forth in a unpleasing way.  The thing is that the gain is ridiculously low; looking at a waveform of it shows that it is extremely quiet and is far (far) from clipping, yet it sounds like the thunder is just overloading it and the DR 1 is freaking out about it.  I'm pretty sure it's not wind because then it would happen all over the recording; it only happens when the thunder hits.  I messed with settings like a low cut filter on the DR 1 for different recordings and it still persisted.

If I record something, I'll usually just set it on a chair and leave it for a bit.  It seems to happen with anything I record with it; I'll have a recording of something quiet, and then as soon as something slightly louder comes in, it just covers up everything and sounds terrible.  Maybe I'm wrong and this is how it's actually supposed to be.

Every recording of a thunderstorm I've heard sounded really good; you could hear the thunder against the rain.  Any field recording I've heard have sounded pretty good as well.  So I guess my question is how do you do field recordings with small hand held recorders that have mics built in?  I just use the Tascam DR 1's built in mics, and I'm sure that they are actually not great and that is my problem.  Am I expecting too much out of this thing and all hand held recorders?

Everything and Nothing / Questions for artists and labels re: Piracy
« on: February 18, 2010, 07:20:33 PM »
So I'm writing a 1500 word essay for my class in the style of cause and effect; the cause is the rise of music piracy in the mid 90's and the effect it's had on the music industry.  I'm going to have a section in my essay focused on the smaller labels and artists.  I know there are quite a few artists here that make money with their music, and I know there are a few people here with labels.  So I will ask the following questions for labels and 2 kinds of artists (those that have their music for sale and those that give away music under Creative Commons)

1.  Artists that sell their music:  How does piracy affect you?  What is your reaction when you hear that your music is pirated?

2.  Artists that give away their music:  What is your feeling on piracy?  Why do you distribute music under a Creative Commons license or any other license I'm not aware of?

3.  Labels:  How does piracy affect your business?  What do you do to counter piracy?  Do you ask people to report copyright violations?

I hope that this topic is allowed here, as I think it would be interesting to get a direct perspective from the type of people I'm going to write about in my essay.  Thanks for reading!

I've been reading some mixing articles lately, and they all offer the same information about how to make a mix where all of the instruments stand out and it forms a clear piece where you can hear every instrument clearly.  It's all very good information, but these articles focus mainly on rock and electronic music; genres where melodies and rhythm are very important to be able to hear clearly.

Clearly ambient music is much different than those genres.  It focuses on atmosphere and textures, and usually uses a lot of reverb and delay.  Instead of having bass guitar and drums which can be easily EQed to fit, ambient uses drones and textures which have to complement each other a little bit without sounding like mud.  So I guess my question is, are the principles of mixing genres such as rock and electronic music the same for ambient or are they wildly different?  What are some great mixing tips for ambient?

One mixing tip I learned a while back was from Robert Rich on his website.  I don't remember exactly, but he wrote that when doing a mixdown, he would have 2 reverb tracks, and he would pan them behind and detune both of them a little, and this would create a fuller sound.  If you know any other cool tricks like this, please share them.

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