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Rustyy
01-16-2018, 11:10 PM
Hi all.
I have posted many times on the Seasons, but all my posts have simply been recorded live on my ipad or more recently, my samsung phone.
I stand in front of it, sing and play, send it to the PC thru Movie Maker, and that's pretty much it.
I was wanting to take it a bit of a step further, and have no idea what I am doing. I have purchased a Focusrite Scarlett Solo USB Audio Interface, and i can plug in a condenser microphone and my Uke .

Before even getting to the editing stage I can see a problem here, in that when I sing and play I will get the Uke recording OK in one track (I guess that's what it is called), but if I am recording live I will get my vocals AND the live Uke on the other track via the microphone.

Is this correct? Is this what everybody else does?

Croaky Keith
01-16-2018, 11:31 PM
Booli has a massive amount of info about recording set ups & equipment on the forum, but personally, I just use a USB mic, (Samson Meteor), about halfway between me & my uke, plugged into the computer, & record using Audacity.

I transfer that into a video editor, add a picture or two, save it to disk, then post it to Youtube, for inclusion on the forum.

Edit: Booli's thread - http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?120478-I-d-like-to-buy-a-mic

Rustyy
01-17-2018, 01:22 AM
Thanks Keith, I have looked at that thread in the past, but not when I was requiring help. Booli sure is knowledgeable, been at it a long time obviously.
It seems obvious now that I am overthinking it. I don’t need to plug my uke into the Focusrite solo, but just record a single track with uke and vocals as I did on the phone. This way I can also plug the uke into my new amplifier for effects if desired.

cyber3d
01-17-2018, 06:20 PM
I think you are fine. If you go a more pro route. You would record your uke on one track with your uke plugged in. No vocals. Then, you would play back the uke track through headphones and using your condenser mic record your vocals. Preferably in a super quiet and sound dampened room (if not a sound booth). That gives you two tracks that you can mix and adjust relative volumes and tonal qualities. Then output as a file. From my point of view, you have 3 levels of recording. 1. Use a single mic to record uke and vocals, 2. Use a mic for your vocals and a pickup for your uke (where you can adjust the input levels of each as you record - sounds like you now have that setup), and 3. Record vocal separate from the uke and mix them later with full control of audio levels and qualities.

Rustyy
01-17-2018, 09:51 PM
I think you are fine. If you go a more pro route. You would record your uke on one track with your uke plugged in. No vocals. Then, you would play back the uke track through headphones and using your condenser mic record your vocals. Preferably in a super quiet and sound dampened room (if not a sound booth). That gives you two tracks that you can mix and adjust relative volumes and tonal qualities. Then output as a file. From my point of view, you have 3 levels of recording. 1. Use a single mic to record uke and vocals, 2. Use a mic for your vocals and a pickup for your uke (where you can adjust the input levels of each as you record - sounds like you now have that setup), and 3. Record vocal separate from the uke and mix them later with full control of audio levels and qualities.

Thanks cyber3d, I agree that no 1 is Ok as it stands. No 2 I thought I had covered, but I go back to my original post, and unless I record them separately, which I don't want to do, then the uke comes in live over the top of the vocals as well as being recorded as a separate track. I'm happy with No 1 though.
Thanks for the response.

Rustyy
01-17-2018, 09:57 PM
Something else that is happening that I don't really understand is that the the playback from the recording software (I'm trying a couple of them - Ableton and NCH Wavepad) playback OK because I have the audio output set to Focusrite. When I then go to pay a youtube clip I have to change the speaker icon in the lower rh corner of the PC to "Speakers", which means I may be doing a fair bit of toggling between the two. Is this normal behaviour, or can I get it to change automatically

Croaky Keith
01-18-2018, 12:09 AM
When you record, you should be able to select your input source, then you ought to be able to play back through your computer.

Maybe try recording using Audacity, its free, its what I, & several others, use.
https://www.audacityteam.org/download/

Rustyy
01-18-2018, 12:48 AM
When you record, you should be able to select your input source, then you ought to be able to play back through your computer.

Maybe try recording using Audacity, its free, its what I, & several others, use.
https://www.audacityteam.org/download/

Thanks Keith, but I donít think the software is the problem. Itís more of a system thing, I think
I have my output in those software packages set to Focusrite, which works fine when I playback what is recorded. And in the speaker icon in the bottom rh corner the output shows it is set to Focusrite.
Now when I go to play a YouTube clip, I have to change the speaker icon in the bottom rh corner from Focusrite to Speakers to get any sound out. I am just wondering if this is normal or is there something I am missing.
I guess I am hoping that someone with a Focusrite or similar unit will read this and tell me if this is what they have to do also.

lfoo6952
01-18-2018, 06:41 AM
I think you are fine. If you go a more pro route. You would record your uke on one track with your uke plugged in. No vocals. Then, you would play back the uke track through headphones and using your condenser mic record your vocals. Preferably in a super quiet and sound dampened room (if not a sound booth). That gives you two tracks that you can mix and adjust relative volumes and tonal qualities. Then output as a file. From my point of view, you have 3 levels of recording. 1. Use a single mic to record uke and vocals, 2. Use a mic for your vocals and a pickup for your uke (where you can adjust the input levels of each as you record - sounds like you now have that setup), and 3. Record vocal separate from the uke and mix them later with full control of audio levels and qualities.

Cyber: how do you feel about using an audio interface, such as the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2? Would that give you pro level quality results as well? I'm the type of guy that prefers to sing and play at the same time, rather than laying down two separate tracks.

UkingViking
01-20-2018, 01:16 AM
Something else that is happening that I don't really understand is that the the playback from the recording software (I'm trying a couple of them - Ableton and NCH Wavepad) playback OK because I have the audio output set to Focusrite. When I then go to pay a youtube clip I have to change the speaker icon in the lower rh corner of the PC to "Speakers", which means I may be doing a fair bit of toggling between the two. Is this normal behaviour, or can I get it to change automatically

I don't have an audio interface, but my PC doesn't have a problem detecting the headphones connected to my USB microphone and using the, automatically when they are plugged in.
I assume that you have tried setting up the focusrite as output in the PC control panel? This would of course be tedious if you don't have it plugged in permanently.

Rustyy
01-20-2018, 01:45 AM
I don't have an audio interface, but my PC doesn't have a problem detecting the headphones connected to my USB microphone and using the, automatically when they are plugged in.
I assume that you have tried setting up the focusrite as output in the PC control panel? This would of course be tedious if you don't have it plugged in permanently.

Thanks for the reply.
I have set up the Focusrite as input and output, and if I can't solve this, it will be tedious just toggling between Speakers and Focusrite. With my lack of knowledge about this stuff, I didn't realise I may have to have the Focusrite permanently connected, and in fact, maybe I don't, but until I get it working correctly, I won't know.
I have sent Focusrite a query and they tell me it youtube should work OK with Focusrite, which is as I thought. They are now investigating whether I have the correct drivers etc. but it is a long time between replies, especially with the weekend upon us. I wait patiently,...sort of.

UkingViking
01-20-2018, 01:51 AM
With regard to recording the ukulele on a separate track, while recording it plugged in, I think that is a debatable subject.

As it has been discussed in previous threads, a majority of those who record prefers the sound of an acoustic instrument when recorded with microphone rather than through the pickup. If you record vocal and ukulele separately, you have the option to place the microphone very close during both recordings, and you might like the sound of that better.

If you record both simultaniously, I guess that the advantage of plugging in the ukulele is that you can sing more directly into the microphone, while still having a stable soundlevel of the ukulele.

While recording tracks separately and mixing them together can give a more professional result, it also requires a more professional effort. I tried it for one song once, and I really realized how much timing, practice and effort it required. Timing is very important to get right anyway of course, but it can be discouraging to face your own incompetence when trying to record before you learned it. And i hate the sound of metronome click-tracks, which are needed for that stuff.
And for recording in an almost sound-dead room, I think it is better if you know how to add reverberance afterwards. I sometimes think the sound of my basement is too dull, and I can't get the Audacity reverberence to sound right :-/. So I prefer to record in my more reverberent livingroom.

Rustyy
01-20-2018, 02:13 AM
With regard to recording the ukulele on a separate track, while recording it plugged in, I think that is a debatable subject.

As it has been discussed in previous threads, a majority of those who record prefers the sound of an acoustic instrument when recorded with microphone rather than through the pickup. If you record vocal and ukulele separately, you have the option to place the microphone very close during both recordings, and you might like the sound of that better.

If you record both simultaniously, I guess that the advantage of plugging in the ukulele is that you can sing more directly into the microphone, while still having a stable soundlevel of the ukulele.

While recording tracks separately and mixing them together can give a more professional result, it also requires a more professional effort. I tried it for one song once, and I really realized how much timing, practice and effort it required. Timing is very important to get right anyway of course, but it can be discouraging to face your own incompetence when trying to record before you learned it. And i hate the sound of metronome click-tracks, which are needed for that stuff.
And for recording in an almost sound-dead room, I think it is better if you know how to add reverberance afterwards. I sometimes think the sound of my basement is too dull, and I can't get the Audacity reverberence to sound right :-/. So I prefer to record in my more reverberent livingroom.

I am getting that feeling that I am spending too much time messing with this stuff, and not enough actually playing., so I understand what you are saying here. At the moment I have a single voice and uke track recorded, and a video recorded on my phone. When I put them together in some video editing software, mute the sound on the phone video, I cannot hear the other track at all. I am sure it is a system thing, but I have spent hours on it so far for no result. i have been trying to get away from Windows Movie Maker, to try to learn something different, but it's the only one that seems to work.

Joe King
01-20-2018, 03:24 AM
Rustyy/Russel -

Sorry I cannot help as I only record with my iPhone, but I noticed that someone mentioned Booli. I spoke with him yesterday and he is still down and out with the flu, and likely will not be checking UU any time soon, and therefore not on this thread.

I would suggest that you search on YouTube which has lots of tutorials for audio recording, and with the Focusrite hardware, and especially in Windows (sounds like you are on Windows, yes?).

Everything has a learning curve and if your expectations were to instantly have a one-click solution, may I offer that you reset your expectations a bit and spend some time to understand how it all works.

I know that Booli has been doing audio stuff for over 30 years, and he has told me back then when he was learning, there was a lot of time spent fiddling and trying things, because the people with knowledge wanted to remain elite and on their pedestal and were happy to keep us normies under their feet.

Now the internet has democratized knowledge and this elitist regime has no power.

if Focusrite does not offer a good answer by email, and you cannot find an answer on YouTube, maybe you should call Focusrite on the the phone number listed on their web site. I recall that they offer tech support, and this is how you get one of their engineers on the phone with you, to hold you hand while you are at the computer and help troubleshoot this with you until it is resolved.

You could be on the telephone a few hours, but if you relinquish this quest, you will not get anywhere towards solving the problems.

I hope you can figure it out one way or another.

UkingViking
01-20-2018, 03:39 AM
I am getting that feeling that I am spending too much time messing with this stuff, and not enough actually playing., so I understand what you are saying here. At the moment I have a single voice and uke track recorded, and a video recorded on my phone. When I put them together in some video editing software, mute the sound on the phone video, I cannot hear the other track at all. I am sure it is a system thing, but I have spent hours on it so far for no result. i have been trying to get away from Windows Movie Maker, to try to learn something different, but it's the only one that seems to work.

I have tried to use other editors than Movie Maker, but I also went back - it is just so stable and easy, as long as you don't try do the fancy stuff that I though I wanted to do. Decided it is better to focus on playing and recording than video editing, until I get better.
I have not experienced that problem with the audio not being audible in Movie Maker. I assume that you have mixed down your uke and vocal tracks to one WAW file in your recording software, and checked that the volume on this track is OK before putting it in movie maker? I always do that to make sure. I record in Audacity on PC or Audio Evolution on Android. To use an interface or USB microphone with Audio Evolution you need to pay extra, as they use a 3rd party driver for that. Both softwares allow me to mix it down to one file. Make sure that volume is decent, as you cant turn it up in Movie Maker.

4Jesus
01-26-2018, 01:16 PM
Hi Rusty, I haven't heard mention of the audio software being used here. Often called DAW software. I've been recording music ever since I got out of high school and I'm 31 now. I use Logic Pro X that is specifically made for the Mac. I also use Ableton Live. These softwares have tons of features and things that one doesn't need if recording only Ukulele and vocals.
Having an Audio interface that has 2 inputs is what you need. If you record into something like Logic Pro X or other DAW softwares, even if you record 2 inputs such as Ukulele and voice at the same time, you can still go in and change the effects of each track individually. So for instance, you can add reverb to the Ukulele and Chorus to the vocals each to their own track. You can do this even if you record both at the same time.
God bless with your recordings :)

Rustyy
01-26-2018, 06:53 PM
Hi Rusty, I haven't heard mention of the audio software being used here. Often called DAW software. I've been recording music ever since I got out of high school and I'm 31 now. I use Logic Pro X that is specifically made for the Mac. I also use Ableton Live. These softwares have tons of features and things that one doesn't need if recording only Ukulele and vocals.
Having an Audio interface that has 2 inputs is what you need. If you record into something like Logic Pro X or other DAW softwares, even if you record 2 inputs such as Ukulele and voice at the same time, you can still go in and change the effects of each track individually. So for instance, you can add reverb to the Ukulele and Chorus to the vocals each to their own track. You can do this even if you record both at the same time.
God bless with your recordings :)


Thanks for the response 4J, I think the Ableton software is probably OK, but way more powerful than I need. It was free with the Focusrite Scarlett, that's why I mentioned it. I see the logic in what you say and I hope to go into this a bit more later. In the meantime I have an issue with the Scarlett that Focusrite are attempting to fix for me, but no result so far.
Thanks again

Joe King
01-27-2018, 07:35 AM
I should update my info since I no longer am recording with my iPhone. I picked up a Zoom H1n just two days ago as per recommendations from a previous conversation with Booli a few months back.

I have not tried to use it with the computer yet, but like the fact that it does not need a computer to make audio recordings.

I noticed that Zoom has a tiny video recorder called the Q4n that is supposed to make great audio and video recordings, and simplify the process greatly. I have no need to make videos now, but for $159 for a tiny device that records HD video and hi-fi stereo, it seems like a great way to avoid all the driver and software issues that comes with using your webcam and an external mic.

4Jesus
01-27-2018, 08:17 AM
Hi, Rusty. What's the issue with the focusrite scarlett?
I'll break it down what I have for recording Ukulele and Vocals. ( Just to say, I'm not very skilled in singing and playing at the same time...so don't ask for any samples! )
I have a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 . A Shure SM57 dynamic mic. (this is a non condenser mic that doesn't require phantom power.) Then I have a Audio Technica at2020. This is a condenser mic that needs the phantom power that is supplied on most audio interfaces. Both of these mics can be had for $100 or less each.