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Author Topic:  Home recording
Jean-Sebastien Gauthier


From:
Quebec, Canada
Post Posted 23 Feb 2016 6:04 am     Reply with quote

Hi, I have to some track for an album and would like to do them at home. I have a MacBook Pro and will record with Garage Band using an USB interface and a mike.

I currently have this interface http://tascam.com/product/us-100/ and an Sure SM-57 mike.

I think I will put the mike about 12" in front of the speaker.

Do you think I should invest in a mike or a better USB interface?

Any advice is welcome!
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Dale Rottacker


From:
Tacoma Washington, USA
Post Posted 23 Feb 2016 7:12 am     Reply with quote

Jean-Sebastien Gauthier... I’ve been using a PreSonus FireStudio Project
as my Interface, and though I’ve started doing more recording just
going direct... this is I think the last one I did with a mic... I used an
SM-57 right up to a Session 500... from things I’ve read lately, I maybe
should have had the mic a little further away from the amp... I also
was using GarageBand in a Macbook Air... I’ve gone away from using
GarageBand in favor of PreSonus Studio One v3 Professional, but GarageBand is a very functional DAW...

This is Nameless Shuffle...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pknuzY0bVB0
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Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post Posted 23 Feb 2016 7:34 am     Reply with quote

JSG, I think 12" is too far away from the speaker to get the best sound from a SM-57. It is a dynamic mic and it also has a proximity effect, which means that as you get closer to the source, the richness of the low end increases. I would suggest 2-3" (4" the most), and put your ear near the speaker to find the sweetest spot. Just don't play too loud.

I've had good results recording my demos with a 57, but ultimately better mics, pres and interface will be beneficial. It's also good to have at least a small variety of mics. I have a Royer 121, an AKG 414 and an SM-57, among others, and I have been using them all and trying to find a good balance.

I have heard many good things about the Apogee Duet interface.
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Ken Byng


From:
Southampton, England
Post Posted 23 Feb 2016 9:28 am     Reply with quote

Perhaps this thread should be in the Recording section of Other Topics. I have to agree with Mike Neer. I have found that a dynamic mike is better closer to the speaker, just off axis. I used to use a Shure SM57 after Tommy White said that he used one on his instruction DVD. From the SM57, I went to the SM57 Beta, and then on to my current mike, an AKG C1000S. Works well in my studio in front of my Telonics combo amp or my Webb. Being a dinosaur, I prefer miking the amp to DI. Very Happy
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Jean-Sebastien Gauthier


From:
Quebec, Canada
Post Posted 23 Feb 2016 11:10 am     Reply with quote

I didnt see the Recording section! Wow another section to read!

I tried something today, I guess lot of people do that I didnt invent anything but I record direct in Garageband and then play the track in my twin! I work very well! and I can try different setting to find the sweet spot easier!
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Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post Posted 23 Feb 2016 11:13 am     Reply with quote

Jean-Sebastien Gauthier wrote:

I tried something today, I guess lot of people do that I didnt invent anything but I record direct in Garageband and then play the track in my twin! I work very well! and I can try different setting to find the sweet spot easier!


That is called "re-amping" or "reamping".
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Karen Sarkisian


From:
Boston, MA, USA
Post Posted 24 Feb 2016 3:40 pm     Reply with quote

I have the Apogee Duet and I love it. I've had success both with mic'ing my Steelaire with an SM57 and also going direct thru a black box. I use Digital Performer as I am most familiar with it, and it comes with some nice plugins as well. I highly recommend the Duet !
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Jean-Sebastien Gauthier


From:
Quebec, Canada
Post Posted 24 Feb 2016 7:32 pm     Reply with quote

An Apogee Duet is 600$!!!!! What make it so great? My Tascam cost me 100$ and work fine.

My Fender Twin cost me 800$, I have a hard time figuring out why I should spend almost the same for a usb device!

On the other hand I would like to have a very simple but professional home studio, just for my steel, a one task studio.
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Scott Duckworth


From:
Etowah, TN Western Foothills of the Smokies
Post Posted 25 Feb 2016 4:08 am     Reply with quote

I use a Tascam DP-008EX multi track record, then import the individual tracks into Audacity for the final mix.
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Karen Sarkisian


From:
Boston, MA, USA
Post Posted 25 Feb 2016 4:59 am     Reply with quote

I bought the Duet used for $300. I wanted the ability to make professional tracks at home that I could send to clients for mixing and mastering. The majority of the recording I do is direct, so having the best interface was more important to me than having an expensive mic. Before the duet, I had an M-Audio interface, I forget the model, but the Duet is FAR superior in sound quality.
For professional level recordings, I would get the best interface you can afford and record direct, the result will be better than a mediocre interface and a mediocre mic'ed amp. Just my 2 cents, I'm no expert, but this has been my experience.
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Dale Rottacker


From:
Tacoma Washington, USA
Post Posted 25 Feb 2016 6:41 am     Reply with quote

I settled on this one J-S... 400 bucks... The FireStudio Project is a premium computer recording interface combining 8 Class A XMAX mic preamps, 24-bit/96kHz audio resolution, a zero-latency

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/presonus-firestudio-project-recording-interface?rNtt=Firestudio&index=1

I’ve been really happy with this... If you go straight to PreSonus, I believe you even get Studio One Artist DAW with it.
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*1990 Jim Lindsey Special, Quad Original Bill Lawrence 705 PUP’s, 8x8 Gary Hogue Clone
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Rick Schacter


From:
Portland, Or.
Post Posted 25 Feb 2016 6:40 pm     Reply with quote

Jean-Sebastien Gauthier wrote:
An Apogee Duet is 600$!!!!! What make it so great? My Tascam cost me 100$ and work fine.

My Fender Twin cost me 800$, I have a hard time figuring out why I should spend almost the same for a usb device!

On the other hand I would like to have a very simple but professional home studio, just for my steel, a one task studio.


JSB,

The Apogee interfaces cost more money because they have better A/D, D/A converters.
Whether or not you think it's worth the price or if you can even hear the difference is up to you.

The Tascam that you were thinking about getting will work just fine,

Right now, I'm using a Focusrite Saffire Pro 14.
It uses firewire instead of USB and has two mic/instrument inputs on the front.

My personal preference is to have at least two mic inputs because sometimes using two mic's is a nice thing to be able to do.
For instance, I like using two mic's to record guitar.

Place the SM 57 right at the edge of the speaker about 2"-3" back, and place the ribbon mic about 2 feet back from the amp. Record each mic to a separate track.

The Cascade Fathead is a good ribbon mic, IMO, at a very reasonable price.

http://cascademicrophones.com/cascade_fathead-be.html#fhbe

Sometimes going direct with the use of amp modeling software is handy too.
Especially if you're up late, practicing.
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Michael Hummel


From:
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 3 Mar 2016 11:02 am     Reply with quote

I tried a number of mics on my Nashville 112 (SM57, AT4050, AKG Solidtube) but was not able to capture the sound I was imagining in my head.

Then I tried my CAD Trion 7000 ribbon mic and it was perfect. Nothing fancy, just 4 inches back from the middle of the cone. I was quite surprised but you never know what will work until you try it.

I don't know if they still make the Trion 7000 but as far as ribbons go it was very affordable (around $250)

Mike
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Daryl Thisdelle


From:
New Brunswick, Canada
Post Posted 11 Sep 2016 4:41 pm     Apogee i/o Reply with quote

I use the Apogee i/o and it is one hell of a box....Apogee is famous for there converters. If you are going from digital to analogue and analogue back to digital best get the best converts you can afford. Ya want great sound right from the start go Apogee.. Yup it costs but then so does anything else that is rated very good.
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Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post Posted 11 Sep 2016 10:08 pm     Reply with quote

Daryl,
From what I understand Apogee does not use the same converters in its consumer level products as it does in its professional interfaces. They are still great but there are other smaller companies that don't do that. I went with RME and have been hearing good things about a new unit from SPL.
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Asa Brosius


From:
Nova Scotia
Post Posted 15 Sep 2016 7:55 pm     Reply with quote

My advice is use what you have, experiment, and see if you're satisfied with the results. I got hung up on gear for awhile with varied results, and at this point, I record direct a few times a month at home because that's what engineers seem to prefer. If your VP has two outs, send one direct and one through your amp/effects so you can stand what you're hearing. Long & Mcquade has reasonable rental rates for great mics and pres to try before you buy- I'd suggest a royer 121 along with your 57 for your amp through great river pres. All pricey, but very good, and they hold their resale value well should you want to sell. Also remember, if it sounds good it is good.
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Greg Townsend


From:
Victoria, Australia
Post Posted 23 Sep 2016 10:27 pm     Recording Reply with quote

Hey Steelers, just added steel guitar to 2 tracks I've recorded. NV 400, with a SM57 then with AKG414B. Pity I'm in AUS, as I bet anyone of you blokes play better steel than me! I'm mainly a songwriter, and make demos so other artists might wanna' cover one my tunes. Here's my link: https://soundcloud.com/rushtown.
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Godfrey Arthur


From:
Philippines
Post Posted 5 Oct 2016 9:15 am     Reply with quote

Jean-Sebastien Gauthier wrote:
An Apogee Duet is 600$!!!!! What make it so great? My Tascam cost me 100$ and work fine.
I have a hard time figuring out why I should spend almost the same for a usb device!



The converters are more discreet and better sounding in the Duet as Apogee converters, the pro converters, are even used in pro studios with Pro Tools many times in place of Pro Tools hardware.

Since this is all digital recording, the better you can convert analog to digital, you will have a better sonic file to work with all the way out to bouncing to a two track stereo file. Every phase of the recording will be better.
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Les Cargill


From:
Oklahoma City, Ok, USA
Post Posted 6 Oct 2016 12:13 pm     Reply with quote

Godfrey Arthur wrote:
Jean-Sebastien Gauthier wrote:
An Apogee Duet is 600$!!!!! What make it so great? My Tascam cost me 100$ and work fine.
I have a hard time figuring out why I should spend almost the same for a usb device!



The converters are more discreet and better sounding in the Duet as Apogee converters, the pro converters, are even used in pro studios with Pro Tools many times in place of Pro Tools hardware.

Since this is all digital recording, the better you can convert analog to digital, you will have a better sonic file to work with all the way out to bouncing to a two track stereo file. Every phase of the recording will be better.


This is sort of a broken measurement, but I looped a 1/4" TS ( guitar ) cable from an output to an input on a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 and ran a 1 KHz sine wave to be recorded, trying to get the levels the same.

In the result, everything - harmonic distortion and noise - were well below 100 dB. Most were below 120 dB ( if you can believe that for a 24 bit device ).


I've not done an IM distortion test - perhaps I should.

Since the Scarlett is a pretty modest interface, presumably with the standard four-op-amp[1] preamp everybody uses, it's sort of hard for me to say anything more expensive is "better" objectively.
I'd probably have to spend time with a setup to even form a "subjectively better" opinion.

[1] Mackie, Behringer, et al...

We live in a period in which performance of the gear is of little consequence - it's all pretty dern good.
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Godfrey Arthur


From:
Philippines
Post Posted 6 Oct 2016 1:24 pm     Reply with quote

Les Cargill wrote:


We live in a period in which performance of the gear is of little consequence - it's all pretty dern good.



Les, the Duet is many years old and definitely there are newer devices with better dynamic range etc., more features and a lower cost.

I like to hear things through a reference system especially one that I'm familiar with rather than using test equipment. It is the only way I can tell if something is sonically viable or not for my purposes.

I find that listening to pro mixes, especially movies through headphones and speakers keeps my ears trained. Engineers who mix for movies have really good ears and their equipment is above and beyond.

I just read a Pdf on 3D mixing for virtual environment systems. Just wait till that gets going... Razz

But on all these digital recorders, I wonder if there will be a vintage look back at some of these units that have a certain sound quality that will become the "collector" thing to have in the future in one's arsenal or is digital all just throw-away technology..

Sort of the way the Ampex ATR tape systems are still used in mastering..



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Bill Terry


From:
Bastrop, TX
Post Posted 7 Oct 2016 9:44 am     Reply with quote

Quote:
I wonder if there will be a vintage look back at some of these units that have a certain sound quality that will become the "collector" thing to have in the future in one's arsenal...


I'd likely still be using PARIS if it hadn't died an untimely death..

Edited: Apparently, it's still around .. sorta. Smile

http://www.ensoniq.ca/catalog/
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Godfrey Arthur


From:
Philippines
Post Posted 8 Oct 2016 2:35 am     Reply with quote

Bill Terry wrote:
Quote:
I wonder if there will be a vintage look back at some of these units that have a certain sound quality that will become the "collector" thing to have in the future in one's arsenal...


I'd likely still be using PARIS if it hadn't died an untimely death..

Edited: Apparently, it's still around .. sorta. Smile

http://www.ensoniq.ca/catalog/


Yes there are many that agree that Ensoniq made some good product. Even though the computer makers have a different agenda and supporting 3rd party music ware isn't one of them.

Thanks for the article Bill!

A dedicated PC not connected to the internet that won't, like the Eye of Sauron, check on your computer and try and take over, easing out anything not made by Windows, until you can't use it for your personal use is one approach to make sure your older OS is not rendered useless by Windows who is herding everyone into a monthly bill of renting the latest Windows OS even if in 64 bit.

Good there are those like Mr.'s Galloway, Duffy and Thoman that are looking out for their music software. XP is the better OS.

A recorder PC survives best without internet connection. If you want to send files, do it on another PC that is your dedicated internet slave.
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Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post Posted 8 Oct 2016 5:33 am     Reply with quote

A lot of the higher end recording interfaces, along with better mic preamps (in some) also have better written drivers. RME is known for their drivers. I recently upgraded my recording interface unit from a Roland Octa-Capture to an MOTU 896mk3 Hybrid. Both have 8 analog preamps. The MOTU preamps can be bypassed (by using the TRS jacks) if you want to use external preamps, the preamps in the Octa-Capture couldn't be bypassed. However, with the Octa-Capture I got much better vocals by using an external preamp. With the MOTU, I find I don't need the external preamps. With the Octa-Capture best I could do reliably was 128 samples. With the MOTU I can use 64 samples which translates to lower latency. With the MOTU and USB 2.0 I can use 64 samples with Firewire interface 96 samples is the lowest I can go reliably.

As far as What Windows OS is best? Very subjective, however I got lower latency on Win 10 with the Octa-Capture than I did on Win 7/8/8.1. Also Win 10 has improved MIDI implementation, and Sonar (my DAW software) has taken advantage of the improvements as noted by Microsoft in a recent "white paper".
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Godfrey Arthur


From:
Philippines
Post Posted 8 Oct 2016 6:14 am     Reply with quote

Jack Stoner wrote:


As far as What Windows OS is best? Very subjective, however I got lower latency on Win 10 with the Octa-Capture than I did on Win 7/8/8.1. Also Win 10 has improved MIDI implementation, and Sonar (my DAW software) has taken advantage of the improvements as noted by Microsoft in a recent "white paper".


Motu is good stuff. The plugins are cheaper as well(native).

What we have to concern ourselves with is if the OS will be supported long enough for us to open our session files in the future long after the OS is not supported. It is known that PC's connected to the internet are being fed 'bugs' to destroy the older Windows OS so you're forced to upgrade.

Notice there is no Windows 9. They wanted consumers to forget the single digit versions like 8 and the associated flaws.

Maybe your computer to run Windows 10 is a faster cpu?

Others that I know of, Hollywood computer graphics guys with name blockbusters under their belts are complaining about Windows 10 kicking off other software that is not Windows and resetting defaults without authorization, moving files.

When Pro Tools first started, they were only available on Macs as Digidesign (now Avid) back then saw that a Mac was more reliable building their own proprietary parts as well as the software. That has changed of course as Pro Tools will do Windows now. But many are having problems with this working with that complaints as the upgrades have progressed on cpu/OS/DAW software and plugins.

Have we noticed that even if you turn off the updater on your Windows pc, that it still nags you to update everything?

The thing about a DAW is after you spend for the computer, the software, the plugins, the iLok licenses; since the software and the computer/OS makers are not working under the same roof, the format maker (computer) is never beholden to the recording/plugin software guys and these guys have to play catch up. Many times not fast enough to make stable versions to play on the latest cpu/OS. And it's not a given that all your plugins will work along with the others doing an upgrade as each company making your fave plugins has to play catch up as well.

You spend $10K on a DAW recorder, the way the computer peripherals change, you would have to buy a new cpu in order to upgrade your recording/plugin software and all the accompanied upgrade fees for each.

It's easier that once you get a system that works, don't upgrade.

Otherwise you'll get stuck on the upgrade carousel.
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Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post Posted 8 Oct 2016 6:35 am     Reply with quote

Your bias on Windows 7 is showing. I have no problem if you think Win 7 is better. I have no problem if someone thinks XP is better. Personal preference, just like what brand of strings we like. There are many threads on the forum about string brands. There are those that swear by a certain brand and others that hate the same brand.

I have NO problems with Windows 10, either the OS, Windows Defender, updating, etc. None of that interferes with my recording program (Sonar Platinum). As noted only thing I do is disable the NIC (internet) when recording or mixing to avoid potential problems. However, on occasion I forgot to disable the NIC when tracking or mixing and never had a problem. A lot of what I see on computer forums of people with Win 10 problems is because the hardware wasn't really compatible or marginally compatible with Win 10 and/or trying to use incompatible software. Applications software companies are starting to stop supporting older OS'. Firefox is dropping support for XP and Vista with version 53.

I have no problems with future Sonar updates either. I purchased a "lifetime" upgrade ($99) and whatever Windows does, my Sonar will be compatible. Melodyne is included with Sonar Platinum version so that should keep up to date. I have Izotope Ozone (V5) which I will have to update at some point.

Some of what I see is leaning toward MAC's. That's fine if you want to pay 3 times as much for equivalent hardware. I have an iPhone 6 plus, but would never consider a MAC. Sonar, which has been Windows Only, now has a MAC (beta) version available. MOTU was MAC only at one time.
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