Author Topic: recording for beginners  (Read 1033 times)

spunknik

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recording for beginners
« on: May 14, 2016, 04:56:21 PM »
I have always wanted to record some soundscapes from my room but I am technically challenged.Could someone point me in the right direction to get started.I have a Dell computer,a Korg ARP Odyssey and several unique percussion instruments.I love ambient and experimental music.Any help would be gladly appreciated.

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: recording for beginners
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2016, 05:59:19 AM »
Hi Spunknik,

Its quite simply yet can seem complexed.  Heres the most common signal chain used to record music:

Instrument - Microphone (if needed) - audio interface which is the bridge between the outside world and your computer and contains mic pre amps, instrument inserts, analog to digital converters - computer - digital audio workstation, such as Live, Logic or Pro tools, which is like a recording studio inside your computer.  This is the recording signal chain...heres the playback signal chain once you have actually got music recorded into the computer.

Digital audio workstation - computer - audio interface where the digital signal is converted back to audio - studio monitors / headphones to hear your creation.

The audio interface as a bridge between the analog world and the digital one inside the computer is very important, the computer you use is not so important just that the operating system specs are able to communicate with your audio interface.

There is just so much info out there in the www......with lots of helpful videos.

Lastly consider your budget.....entry into the recording world is very affordable but its important to have an idea of the necessary equipment that you need and what you dont need....this usually requires experience but as I said there are plenty of places out there to help with these specifics and naturally encourage you to purchase from them ;)

Good luck....its an amazing journey!
"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley

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chris23

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Re: recording for beginners
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2016, 06:48:55 AM »
May I chime in with a noob question, Julio?  ;D

Can you say a bit more about the link between the mic or line-in and the computer? I've read that one wouldn't want to simply plug a device straight into the computer without what you called the "audio interface." What exactly is that? Is that akin to a nice sound card? Is it a separate piece of equipment? Is an "analog to digital converter" something that doesn't natively exist in most computers?



APK

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Re: recording for beginners
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2016, 08:12:42 AM »
Chris. Yes it is essentially a nice sound card, which is an analog to digital converter, and vice versa. Considerably better than the default one in the computer itself. The more you pay the better the converters and the more (and varied) ins and outs and other features it has. And yes, these days it is a separate box that connects to the computer by USB (Windows) or a Mac equivalent.

Even relatively inexpensive audio interfaces are damn good these days ... compared to 15 years ago.

Here is a neat Focusrite box that I currently use


« Last Edit: May 15, 2016, 08:20:58 AM by APK »
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chris23

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Re: recording for beginners
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2016, 10:48:37 AM »
Thanks for the info. Would something like this also be helpful for listening to music from a PC vs. exclusively recording?

APK

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Re: recording for beginners
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2016, 10:57:34 AM »
Yep, these things work both ways ... recording into and listening from a computer. You will get a better quality signal from it than using the built in audio output.

Of course, it depends how fussy you are about pristine sound quality.
And you won't notice any difference unless you have a good set of phones or speakers connected to it.

Looking at my Focusrite, you will see two Monitor Outputs on the back to connect to your amp or powered speakers. And you see two heaphone outputs on the front, with individual volume knobs.

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Scott M2

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Re: recording for beginners
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2016, 11:58:51 AM »
Good quality reverb is important. I'd recommend Valhalla verbs as a quality affordable option. I use their Room a lot but they're all good.

APK

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Re: recording for beginners
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2016, 03:10:34 PM »
Yep, I'd second the Valhalla reverbs. Excellent.
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spunknik

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Re: recording for beginners
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2016, 04:17:26 PM »
thanks so much for the help guys.I thought you were going to tell me to get a 4-track or something.I'm still learning to make sounds with the Odyssey.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2016, 04:19:09 PM by spunknik »

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: recording for beginners
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2016, 05:54:06 AM »
May I chime in with a noob question, Julio?  ;D

Can you say a bit more about the link between the mic or line-in and the computer? I've read that one wouldn't want to simply plug a device straight into the computer without what you called the "audio interface." What exactly is that? Is that akin to a nice sound card? Is it a separate piece of equipment? Is an "analog to digital converter" something that doesn't natively exist in most computers?

Hi Chris...... Anthony covered it well so no need for me to elaborate, unusual for such a gear head as myself who loves to talk about his gear or anyone else's  ;D

Still heres a picture of my audio interface.

"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley

http://digitalvoices.bandcamp.com/
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Seren

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Re: recording for beginners
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2016, 07:03:53 AM »
...and there is no reason why you can't go outside the box and get a dedicated recording set up - just check your budget and ebay etc.....(I don't use my computer for recording...)

if you want to stay in the computer you would need to consider what recording software to purchase.

I'm not vastly experienced with the different ones out there. I was using sonar cakewalk for working on sounds after recording but am waiting for internet installation in a new house before I can download Sonar Artist - the up to date version (and 79)

ffcal

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Re: recording for beginners
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2016, 08:10:13 AM »
I like Native Instrument's Komplete audio interface--pretty reasonable price and relatively quiet:

http://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/audio-interfaces/komplete-audio-6/

Forrest

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Re: recording for beginners
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2016, 08:33:12 PM »
Good quality reverb is important. I'd recommend Valhalla verbs as a quality affordable option. I use their Room a lot but they're all good.

Getting ValhallaRoom was a big turning point for me. Toraverb is another nice one.

I got the Blackhole when it was on sale in March and wow, that's an amazing reverb plugin.

jkn

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Re: recording for beginners
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2016, 06:38:53 AM »
There are a lot of recording software apps out there...  tinker with something with a free trial - or try Reaper maybe.  Everyone kind of finds the DAW that works best for them over time.  I run Logic 8 on an iMac - I'm still tempted to try Studio One from Presonus.  Some love Ableton, some love Reason, or ...
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Altus

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Re: recording for beginners
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2016, 05:56:09 AM »
I'm still tempted to try Studio One from Presonus.

Adobe Audition was pissing me off too often, so I recently switched to Studio One. At the moment, I'm using it only for mixing/mastering, but it's working out beautifully. In the future I'll be exploring the possibility of using it exclusively (for composing).
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stargazer

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Re: recording for beginners
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2016, 07:30:28 AM »
While Adobe Audition is the perfect programm for audio cut, editing, analyzing, converting and batching, I would not use it for recording.
Try Logic X - imo the best DAW, audio-engine: https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/logic-pro-x/id634148309?mt=12
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