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Do you record at home?
Do you mic up your amp?
55%
 55%  [ 32 ]
Do you use plug ins?
44%
 44%  [ 26 ]
Total Votes : 58

Author Topic:  Do you record at home? A poll for the steel recording group
John Macy


From:
Denver, CO/Rockport, TX
Post Posted 6 Dec 2015 8:07 am     Reply with quote

Bob, putting the preamp after the xlr out seems to really make the V8 sing...
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Phillip Broste


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 21 Dec 2015 9:21 pm     Reply with quote

When I can, I like to go direct and mic the amp. If I had to chose one it would be the amp though, so that is where my vote was cast!

My setup looks something like this:

Pedal Steel > Freeloader > ABY box which splits the signal

From there I have one dedicated signal for the amp:
Pigtronix philosopher's tone Gold > Stereo volume pedal > Hardwire Reverb > Amp

And a dedicated signal for direct:
Stereo volume pedal > DI box

I use an Ampeg Reverberocket with a spring reverb and typically mic it with a Sure KSM32 condenser, which is a very flat, smooth mic. I like the sound of getting a simulated plate reverb from the pedal and then washing over that signal with the spring. I leave both of them at pretty modest levels and they play off of each other. I feel like it adds a complexity and smoothness to the decay that each one alone doesn't quite nail.

In the DAW I will often put some gentle compression on the direct signal. I might also use a transient designer to soften things up a little and some EQ. And of course it goes to a reverb buss, usually with a nice warm plate reverb sound. I have never used an amp simulator for my direct signal. (That is what the amp is for!)

I find that I will usually get a lot of my lows and low mids from the amp and just bleed the direct in a bit to give the highs above 2K a little more of a Hi-Fi sound. But of course, it really depends on what the song wants. I mostly like having the extra tonal options when mixing the steel.

My ideal rig would swap out my ernie ball stereo vol. pedal for a telonics stereo vol. pedal. I'm not crazy about the taper on the ernie ball. I would also love to have a milkman sideman amp. Finally, I currently don't have an overdrive that I'm in love with and am desperate to try/purchase an Earth Drive.
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Dennis Montgomery


From:
Western Washington
Post Posted 7 Jul 2016 1:44 pm     Reply with quote

b0b wrote:
I run through a Pod XT into a Roland VS-1880 recorder. No mic, no PC.


Holy Moly b0b...I record pedal steel with the same gear!

Straight into the Pod XT Live and into the VS-1880...no mic, no PC. I bought my VS-1880 back in 2000 and it's still going strong Winking
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 7 Jul 2016 10:21 pm     Reply with quote

Yeah, it's a pretty clean sound and the Roland's built-in effects are decent. It's a hard system to learn, though. I don't recommend it for that reason.
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Dennis Montgomery


From:
Western Washington
Post Posted 8 Jul 2016 7:28 am     Reply with quote

The VS-1880 is definitely a complex system. I spent about a year away from recording and when I dove back in a month ago I had to break out the manuals and relearn almost everything. And oh, getting through those Roland manuals is as much fun as learning calculus!

I normally record with a wet signal so the main VS effect I use is the limiter on the Master bus to keep the levels in check.

As for the PodXT, I've always found their factory presets to be awful regardless of what instrument I run through it. The best success I've had is to start from a completely straight, unaffected signal and add effects in one at a time. Took a couple frustrating weeks but I built some chord and solo patches that work well with my Fender 400 Winking
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Alan Brookes


From:
Brummy living in the San Francisco Bay Area
Post Posted 8 Jul 2016 10:25 am     Reply with quote

Nobody has mentioned the problem, when using a microphone in front of an amplifier, of picking up the amplifier hum. It's not so bad with modern amplifiers, but, back in the 60s, when I was using tube/valve amps, they put out a lot of unwanted noise.
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Greg Cutshaw


From:
Corry, PA, USA
Post Posted 8 Jul 2016 11:43 am     Reply with quote

Recording is an art. You just crank up the volume level on the amp to get the guitar loud enough to overcome the hum this ensuring a good signal to noise ratio. This also overcomes any ambient noise. Where there are gaps in playing in the recorded track it's easy to edit out the hum parts.

Here's my home recording setup:

http://www.gregcutshaw.com/Zoom%20R24%20Home%20Studio/Zoom%20R24%20Home%20Studio.html

I've found it easiest to capture the tracks on a Zoom R24 and edit the mix on a computer with Reaper.
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post Posted 8 Jul 2016 2:17 pm     Reply with quote

Greg Cutshaw wrote:
Recording is an art. You just crank up the volume level on the amp to get the guitar loud enough to overcome the hum this ensuring a good signal to noise ratio. This also overcomes any ambient noise. Where there are gaps in playing in the recorded track it's easy to edit out the hum parts.



Not arguing, but maybe...

While in some cases this is true, in other cases it is not, such as quiet passages of sustain, especially with a Steel guitar or an electric guitar with soft passages mixed with louder passages. It's not cut and dry. We do not want to disturb the natural track in these cases if we do not have to.

If we have noise, hum or other "audible" issues before we record, we should fix them . We may learn that we cannot fix them later on and even if we can and do, we may not like the way the fix sounds on the track.

Start good and you wont have to fix it , even if you have a full featured production DAW such as Sonar or Pro Tools etc which have the ability and feature set to edit (fix) pretty much anything.

Record a clean track and you end up with a clean track.

Highlighting an area and deleting is always one way to edit a section, another method (non destructive) is to highlight and LOWER THE GAIN. Sometimes you may only need to LOWER the gain to achieve satisfactory results. This is not to be confused with cleaning a track in between recorded signal , thats a delete process.

Know your DAW and know what POST recording processing tools it offers.
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Last edited by Tony Prior on 9 Jul 2016 11:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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Michael Douchette


From:
Gallatin, TN
Post Posted 9 Jul 2016 10:23 am     Reply with quote

Alan Brookes wrote:
Nobody has mentioned the problem, when using a microphone in front of an amplifier, of picking up the amplifier hum. It's not so bad with modern amplifiers, but, back in the 60s, when I was using tube/valve amps, they put out a lot of unwanted noise.


My amps are as quiet as can be. Even plugged in and on. Laughing

Perhaps you need to go amp shopping?
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Alan Brookes


From:
Brummy living in the San Francisco Bay Area
Post Posted 9 Jul 2016 10:27 am     Reply with quote

Another thing to remember is that effects can be added later, but never removed. For instance, if you record with a lot of echo then it's there for good, and you cannot remove it, but if you record with no effects at all, the echo, and anything else, can be added during the mixdown process.

The same goes for recording levels. Record each track at its maximum volume that you can without getting distortion, then adjust the various levels of the instruments at mixdown. You can always quieten an instrument down, but increasing the volume of an instrument recorded quiet will bring up any background noises from the recording process. I was going to mention tape hiss, but most people are no longer using open reel tapes.
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post Posted 9 Jul 2016 11:55 am     Reply with quote

speaking to what Alan mentions, we should never actually record with a "time" processor, being reverb's or delays. they should always be POST.

Now, with regard to EQ's or perhaps a very subtle compression, I record with BOTH printed to the track. There are many now in this camp, much like in the early days who now do this, again. It's an amazing amount of time saved on the back end at mixing. IF you like the sound you have PRE tracking then it is NOT an issue. We should strive for the proper sound before we track and not rely on fixing it later.

Post tracking EQ can still be modified should you desire a boost or CUT here or there and if you are really using a subtle compression,To tame peaks slightly) you won't even be able to hear it on the track.

Some recent articles and discussions with studio engineers I have had are pointing me to doing more work up front which means we should be doing less work at the back end. IF we are struggling with EQ's and such POST tracking and spending all sorts of time trying to dial in guitar tones etc, or even vocalist tones, we may want to consider spending more time with the TONES we are recording up front. Just because DAWS allow us to fix stuff later doesn't mean we should .

We have heard for so many years, if it's recorded on the track we can't change it.

well, isn't that the point , get it on the track in the first place ? Question

NOT "Time" processors/effects though unless it can't be avoided due to limitation of gear.

When I first started recording way back then on a mono 7" reel to reel, I plugged in my guitar ,set the tone and hit the record button. I used to record whole songs in 15 min. Now a whole song takes 4 hours or more ! Thank god for progress ! Smile
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Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post Posted 9 Jul 2016 8:59 pm     Reply with quote

I record with delay and reverb. I have whatever sound I want recorded coming out of my amp. Even for other people's recordings. For specific projects I will record dry but that is pretty rare. Why would an engineer want to spend time on my sound if they didn't need to ?
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 9 Jul 2016 9:38 pm     Reply with quote

Well, this topic is at recording at home, where one presumably has as much time as one needs to play with effects after tracking.
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post Posted 10 Jul 2016 3:51 am     Reply with quote

Bob Hoffnar wrote:
I record with delay and reverb. I have whatever sound I want recorded coming out of my amp. Even for other people's recordings. For specific projects I will record dry but that is pretty rare. Why would an engineer want to spend time on my sound if they didn't need to ?


My only point to that end is "TIME processors" is a strange thing and can conflict with other things , Reverb perhaps not as much but Delays ( time) can cause a conflict if one is not paying attention .

Again, not a wrong or right, just a heads up. Knowing the process is the important part.
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Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post Posted 10 Jul 2016 4:34 am     Reply with quote

I generally record my steel with some very slight reverb and nothing else. In the final mix, most of the time nothing else is added (needed) to the steel, seems just right to me. Most of the time I use a POD XT with a preamp program I have set up for recording that has a slight amount of "spring" reverb. I have a couple of preamps (one tube) that I've used on occasion but I'm not too fond of them for steel. Even live I only use a slight amount of Reverb and Delay.

Lead guitar is recorded dry. through an amp or SansAmp, and I add reverb and or delay to it as needed. There is a tape delay model in POD Farm (VST) that seems to work good for me.
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Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post Posted 10 Jul 2016 6:39 am     Reply with quote

b0b wrote:
Well, this topic is at recording at home, where one presumably has as much time as one needs to play with effects after tracking.


When I record at home it is generally for remote sessions. I turn in a final product whenever possible. Also I have found that the less I mess with a track after the fact the better for everyone.

I don't have the time to work on my track after recording . I need to finish and get on to the next thing.

The less work my track is for the guys mixing the more I get hired.

Btw: in my experience the more players mess with there part in personal use home recording projects the more screwed up it sounds. A part that sounds a little rough and musical sounds better to me then a part that has been obviously struggled over.
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John Macy


From:
Denver, CO/Rockport, TX
Post Posted 10 Jul 2016 11:00 am     Reply with quote

I always print with the delay that is an integral part of the tone I get (around 200ms, from a Benado Steel Dream). I have a second tap tempo delay for effects that I don't hesitate to print if the track calls for it. I do tons of remote sessions and generally the client asks me to send them what I like. I don't print reverb very often, unless it seems to call for it or they ask for it...
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post Posted 27 Jul 2016 1:13 am     Reply with quote

although many of us do it differently we may want to keep in mind that it's the end result that matters. If we have a vision of what we want and we can use the tools in front of us to the best of our ability we can indeed end up with something that is "not so bad " ! Smile


When I say I am tracking without DELAY, I am referring to each track, all instruments, all vocals. I am not talking about just the Steel guitar.
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Michael Douchette


From:
Gallatin, TN
Post Posted 28 Jul 2016 11:13 am     Reply with quote

I always record and send back what I believe should be the "finished sound" for the performance. I have heard some pretty horrible final mixes of me when I've been asked to send dry and "we'll take care of what we want." (One disaster with a band in Italy comes immediately to mind. Whoa! ) I believe there aren't many out there that really know what they want, or know how to get it. People hire ME because they know what they will get, they know it will fit, and all they have to do is import it and it's good to go.
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Bill Terry


From:
Bastrop, TX
Post Posted 28 Jul 2016 2:05 pm     Reply with quote

Quote:
I have heard some pretty horrible final mixes of me when I've been asked to send dry and "we'll take care of what we want."


I usually send dry tracks, and more often than not I don't like what ends up on the final mix. I sometimes wonder if the engineer has ever mixed a steel guitar, it's so far from what most of 'us' like to hear.

The money spends the same I guess..
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Michael Butler


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 22 Aug 2016 2:32 pm     Reply with quote

both, but i was only able to vote for one so i chose mic.

play music!
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post Posted 24 Sep 2016 1:42 am     Reply with quote

just keep in mind, should we have the opportunity to "TRACK" for someone, our idea as a musician of a finished product may not be the same as the one at the other end. We are wearing the session player hat, not the session producer hat.

The poll needed another option;


"DIRECT"
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Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post Posted 25 Sep 2016 8:45 pm     Reply with quote

Tony Prior wrote:
just keep in mind, should we have the opportunity to "TRACK" for someone, our idea as a musician of a finished product may not be the same as the one at the other end. We are wearing the session player hat, not the session producer hat.



In my experience and the experience of other guys I know who record for a job this is incorrect. I get hired because of my musical sound and ideas. At least in my world that is much more the norm.
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Brett Lanier


From:
Vermont
Post Posted 2 Oct 2016 6:21 pm     Reply with quote

I don't use any plug-ins or EQ for fly in stuff. Just gear that I think sounds good with the right mic placement. Not saying my way is the best way, it's just the way I like to do it.

For fly in tracks I take the reigns a little more than I would in an in studio overdub session. I try my best to give them something that sounds done and clearly enhances the song. Self producing can be tough though.
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