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lambchop
01-15-2013, 03:45 PM
I love Garageband and I think it has a lot of power, and I have no trouble stepping up to Logic, but home recording does lack the quality, properly treated sound rooms, expertise (at least in my case) and equipment a pro studio has. There is a wonderful studio with a 30-year veteran engineer in my area and his rates are surprisingly reasonable - $65 an hour, but less if you buy time in larger blocks of five or so hours. Mix-down/mastering rates are the same, and he does not mind letting you have the digital source to work on at home in Logic or Pro Tools. The studio has tons of great mics, full digital and analog boards (even runs two-inch tape) and I'm thinking if I am getting ready to do a little project with simple songs that I am well practiced on, maybe 10 hours of recording the basic uke and vocal tracks might be worth the money. Or maybe a couple of hours recording one or two songs just to see the difference in quality might be worth it. Maybe one song on tape, one digital, as I really think a tape master would really add a great vibe.

Any thoughts / experience regarding pro versus home recording? I can already anticipate the caveat that 10 hours is not anywhere near enough, but it'd be a pretty simple set up.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Mike

optofonik
01-15-2013, 04:27 PM
You don't state how much home recording experience you have so here goes...

Don't underestimate the amount of session time required for a single tune. Nor the importance of rehearsing a tune over and over and over until you have the performance down before the big day. The first time can be intimidating for the uninitiated so having your performance down pat will go a long way to increase you comfort level. If you haven't already I would suggest spending some money on a decent mic, nothing extravagant, just competent and a small Mackie mixer for its preamps. Logic might be a good option because it may provide an introduction to a more standard paradigm with regard to workflow, gain structure, and routing. Next, register at Gearslutz.com, and get a copy of this:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0922915601/ref=dp_olp_0?ie=UTF8&condition=all

Then, get a free subscription:

http://www.tapeop.com/subscriptions/

I suggest this so that when the time comes, and I do suggest it come sometime in the future, your experience in the studio will be more than just about recording. Your first time on the studio should be something to remember. Doing some recording at home, really try and perfect your technique and take it as far as you can. If you do that then your first time in the studio will be so much more gratifying. With a little bit of time spent recording at home and reading books and the GS forums you'll be able to better communicate with the engineer, having learned some of the "language", and be able to ask questions based on some basic knowledge of the process, you'll also have a better understanding of what is going on around you so it won't seem so foreign.

Another thing to consider is, tracking at home allows you to bring those files (properly recorded and formatted) into the studio so the engineer has an idea of where you're coming from.

Learning about proper recording techniques, setting up your first session, listening to the first fruits of your labor, it's something to take time with and enjoy... I'm excited for you. Gearslutz can be a particular treat when you discover one of your posts has elicited a response from a world class musician, engineer, or software developer.

lambchop
01-16-2013, 02:34 AM
This is really helpful. Thanks for your time

lambchop
01-16-2013, 02:37 AM
That book looks amazing. Can't wait to get s copy. Again, thanks!

23skidoo
01-16-2013, 03:25 AM
just subscribed to tapeop - looks like a great magazine... thanks for the heads up!

pulelehua
01-16-2013, 03:37 AM
If you've got $650 to spend on studio time, I'd get a good condenser mic (an AKG C214, for instance), if you don't have Logic, get Logic (I wasn't sure whether you did from what you've said). Learn as much as you can. Experiment. Take your time. You will save tons of money, and possibly have more fun, in a less stressful environment.

How complicated are the arrangements you're thinking about?

lambchop
01-16-2013, 03:59 AM
Not very complicated at least for basic tracks. That's why I thought paying for expertise is better than paying for equipment I may not be any good at using.

Dougf
01-16-2013, 04:29 AM
Sounds like fun, Mike. Try to pick the brain of that engineer as much as possible, that may end up being the most valuable part of the experience.

optofonik
01-16-2013, 06:45 AM
That book looks amazing. Can't wait to get s copy. Again, thanks!

Glad I could contribute. There's a second volume I haven't got yet but I probably have most of what's in it; I subscribed right after reading the book around '97. It's the only mag I actually keep.


just subscribed to tapeop - looks like a great magazine... thanks for the heads up!

Don't forget to read the letters section, you'll be surprised at who reads and responds to it. Much like GS, it is read by many people who are actively involved in creating many of the recordings you have heard throughout the years. The Mercury Living Presence article was one of my favorites. Here's a couple of related articles if you're interested:

http://www.kcstudio.com/wilmacozartfine2.html
http://www.soundfountain.com/amb/mercury.html

coolkayaker1
01-16-2013, 06:54 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqpcZvgipqg

Your Michigan native and recording artist, Gerald Ross, describes his recording of CDs at home, and uses pro engineer after it's recorded. See above video, lamb. It's important.

http://geraldross.com/

Then, to see his basement studio, see this video--yes! (starts at 7:15 seconds about recording, but the whole video is so keen!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLIWRfY66A0

Hope that helps (maybe you live close to him?)

pulelehua
01-16-2013, 10:31 AM
I think if you're recording something simple, you're probably better off trying to do it yourself. BUT, only if you think it will be fun. If you are excited about being in a studio, and feel that you want to experience that, then by all means do so.

But a ukulele, as an example, isn't very complicated to record. It simply doesn't resonate all that much, and it's frequency response is very limited. What that means is that your options are limited. I spend more time when recording trying to deal with string/nail noise than getting a good frequency response.

Singing has some tricks to it (assuming you're going to sing), but a lot of that has to do with the technique of the singer.

I guess I enjoy the process of the technical bits and bobs. If that's you, buy the kit. If it's not, pay the expert.

fumanshu
01-16-2013, 04:31 PM
I never did any studio recording but I did a lot of home recording and frankly, I don't think I'll be effective in a studio since I like to take my time and since I do a lot tracks layering I just prefer to record all by myself and take the time I reaaly need and not to be stress by someone who is waiting after you.

Today it is possible to get a nice homestudio and not spending too much money....so it just took that path.

But I'm sure you can learn a lot by going to a pro studio and then get back to your home studio and apply what you learned there...

lambchop
01-16-2013, 05:21 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqpcZvgipqg

Your Michigan native and recording artist, Gerald Ross, describes his recording of CDs at home, and uses pro engineer after it's recorded. See above video, lamb. It's important.

http://geraldross.com/

Then, to see his basement studio, see this video--yes! (starts at 7:15 seconds about recording, but the whole video is so keen!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLIWRfY66A0

Hope that helps (maybe you live close to him?)

I've communicated with Gerald - he's a great guy. Also, he's a great player and a lot of his tone comes from him and would be good with whatever he used. His latest work, from what I understand, was done live to a Zoom H4 up in northern Michigan. There's a video or I think I saw it on his website.

lambchop
01-16-2013, 05:24 PM
I never did any studio recording but I did a lot of home recording and frankly, I don't think I'll be effective in a studio since I like to take my time and since I do a lot tracks layering I just prefer to record all by myself and take the time I reaaly need and not to be stress by someone who is waiting after you.

Today it is possible to get a nice homestudio and not spending too much money....so it just took that path.

But I'm sure you can learn a lot by going to a pro studio and then get back to your home studio and apply what you learned there...

Yeah, it's a toss up. But my Alesis multimix is great but I have to drive it too high and it gets noisy; need a better board? Then get a mic for $400 (I have one I like, already, so that may be okay) but to get Logic or ProTools by that tiem I have spent a good $600 or more and if I still can't pull it togehter I'll still need the studio. But I've not decided yet but all this advice helps a lot. Thanks, Mike

Plainsong
01-16-2013, 07:53 PM
What about a mic that plugs into the ipad? There's the Apogee Mic and Blue Spark digital. The Spark has a headphone out for zero-latency, but a 16-bit dac. The Apogee has quite a high latency, according to its website, but a better 24-bit dac. BUT if you use open monitors, then latency isn't on the table anymore because you're not listening to yourself record.

Both require accessories if you want to use a mic stand for proper positioning. The Blue's accessories are slightly more expensive, unless you already have a shock mount that works. One of the handiest things to get is an ipad holder that works with the mic stand.

But for all that, recording in a studio is an awesome experience and I'd never tell anyone not to go for it!

garyg
01-17-2013, 06:14 AM
Great thread, I'm curious about folks view of whether the Zoom H4n is sufficient for CD quality recording or whether you need a better condenser mic?

konut
01-17-2013, 06:19 AM
Recording in a studio is a valuable learning experience, especially in your case, because it is evident that you are aware of the limitations of your home studio. When recording just a vocal and uke its important to find the right combinations of mic/pre that is the sound YOU are looking for. Run through as many combinations as possible to get a feel for the variables each piece brings to the table. An experienced engineer will most probably have a combination in mind when he/she hears the resonances of your voice and instrument. Every mic and pre will have its own particular "signature". After identifying the the best match you will know if that set of gear is affordable enough to translate to your home studio. Hopefully there is a combination you can buy or rent that will allow you to explore the recording process without incurring the expense of pro studio time. Its also important to have either speakers or cans that can accurately covey the subtleties of different recording techniques.

While tape may seem sexy my view is that plugins can get very close to the effect that tape offers. The affection for tape is mostly nostalgia.

garyg
01-17-2013, 06:38 AM
Just for a note of humor on this thread, when I went to Amazon to buy a copy of Tape Op there was this little offer "When you buy this book now for $37.64 and sell it back later for a $1.30 Amazon.com Gift Card, it could cost you as little as $36.34. Restrictions Apply Learn more "
so if anyone was thinking of doing this, please contact me and I'll beat Amazons offer by a factor of 10.

lambchop
01-17-2013, 09:36 AM
Recording in a studio is a valuable learning experience, especially in your case, because it is evident that you are aware of the limitations of your home studio. When recording just a vocal and uke its important to find the right combinations of mic/pre that is the sound YOU are looking for. Run through as many combinations as possible to get a feel for the variables each piece brings to the table. An experienced engineer will most probably have a combination in mind when he/she hears the resonances of your voice and instrument. Every mic and pre will have its own particular "signature". After identifying the the best match you will know if that set of gear is affordable enough to translate to your home studio. Hopefully there is a combination you can buy or rent that will allow you to explore the recording process without incurring the expense of pro studio time. Its also important to have either speakers or cans that can accurately covey the subtleties of different recording techniques.

While tape may seem sexy my view is that plugins can get very close to the effect that tape offers. The affection for tape is mostly nostalgia.

For cans, got a set of Grado sr60i on the way. Supposed to be very neutral, very high quality for the price. The tape debate is a storied one but I have studied it a good deal and believe the difference tape and vinyl distort harmonics in a more pleasing way than does digital, but digital can capture that vibe from the analog source.

Plainsong
01-17-2013, 10:07 AM
For cans, got a set of Grado sr60i on the way. Supposed to be very neutral, very high quality for the price. The tape debate is a storied one but I have studied it a good deal and believe the difference tape and vinyl distort harmonics in a more pleasing way than does digital, but digital can capture that vibe from the analog source.

If you find the sr60s too bright, you can always sell/return them and get their relative, the ms1i. Grado makes it for Allesandro Audio, and it's a tweaked sr225 with smoother treble, and 100 bucks shipped, one of the great secrets of audio right there. Then there are all the pad mods you can do on Grados...

I happen to like my Audio Technica ep700s more, but with certain Grados you can't go wrong... Anything up to the sr225. Past that, and they get too bright. Of course they'll sound better with a headphone amp too.

But really you don't need mic/pre setups anymore, unless you're still tied to a computer. The internal dacs on ios mics are so much better than previous gen USB mics.

Edit to add - Ok, yes if you want an über-mic, then you're saddled to what should also be an über pre. But since we're talking about simple setups and that absolutely don't suck, and mentioning gear like the Zoom, I thought the new ios big boys on the block should be in the mix too.

I think if I wanted what such a mic setup would get me, I'd rather go into a studio if it was even an option. The guy at the controls is going to know more than I do as to how to get the best out of that setup.

konut
01-17-2013, 11:39 AM
The Grados should give you enough definition to hear minute differences, but not necessarily the frequency response to make definitive judgments about the final sound. Over time you will be able to translate how what you get through the Grados applies to other monitors and phones. Always check mixes through a variety of playback media.

I got the impression from the OP that he did want to take his recording to the next level. While it is absolutely true that inexpensive set ups can give results that don't suck, sometimes astonishingly so, separate components not only give flexibility but ultimately better quality if chosen judiciously. Something I neglected to mention is the inclusion of a good ADC(analog to digital converter). I would defer to the good people at Gearsluts forum as to what constitutes bang for buck with the current landscape of ADCs today. Tons of great info over there.

Plainsong
01-17-2013, 11:49 AM
Yeah Grados are way way too forward for mixing IMO. They're sound is colored, bass-light (that is less depth, but plenty of impact), and the treble is hard-hitting. I remember mids being sweet, but that's since they're so forward anyway. There's also no soundstage to speak of.

But when you get to the sr60 level, which is still considered entry-level audiophile, the source does matter... meaning that plugged into most computer soundcards, the headphones will generally be crap in = crap out. They won't sugarcoat the news, if your soundcard sucks. I'd plug them into some inexpensive headphone amp... or maybe the preamp has a headamp as well. It's not about volume, they're only 32ohms and will have plenty of volume, it's the fullest potential of the sound.

But for all that, you don't have to do any of that... and while I'd not use the Grados for mixing, I'd use them for monitoring. They're open, so leak sound... so be careful about the audio levels if you use them that way. You don't want to hear what was in your headphones bleeding through the recorded audio track. They'd be nice for monitoring in that you can hear what's going on outside the headphone. (Most people don't want this, which is why there are only a handful of open monitors out there, not to confuse open headphones with headphones suitable for monitoring, that are also open.)

For headphone mixing... my personal list would be, in no particular order - Sennheiser HD650, Sennheiser Momentum, Ultrasone HFI-2400. Of these three, I'm using the Momentums ATM since they're a general purpose headphone. The consensus around Head-fi is that these are not reference quality, but that's a bunch of bullpuckey. Tyll over at InnerFidelity has the FR charts to prove that.

PedalFreak
01-17-2013, 11:50 AM
A friend of mine was a studio musician in Nashville, he now is working in Los Angeles. For the longest time he was doing all his recording at home and sending it to the studio for the projects he was working on. He used a M-Audio Fast Track into a MacBook Pro. Can't remember the mic. And he worked on some pretty big albums, and it all sounded great!

With the technology today, people don't really have to go into "the studio" anymore. I've heard some great recordings and albums that were all done at home.

Plainsong
01-17-2013, 03:54 PM
Yeah, when you see reviews of these newest iOs mics, they're being compared to freaking Neumanns. Now the Blue Snowball was a joke and a POS, but get into that 200 USD range, and maybe less, where you start to find the great field mics, it's really a great time to be recording in a studio that consists of: Mic stand, iPad Holder, iPad, Mic, Headphones. :D

But OTOH, studios are awesome - just usually so very pricey. If the OP has a good deal, maybe he should give it a go. I've never recorded my own stuff in a studio, but I've enjoyed my time there.


A friend of mine was a studio musician in Nashville, he now is working in Los Angeles. For the longest time he was doing all his recording at home and sending it to the studio for the projects he was working on. He used a M-Audio Fast Track into a MacBook Pro. Can't remember the mic. And he worked on some pretty big albums, and it all sounded great!

With the technology today, people don't really have to go into "the studio" anymore. I've heard some great recordings and albums that were all done at home.

lambchop
01-17-2013, 04:27 PM
Recording in a studio is a valuable learning experience, especially in your case, because it is evident that you are aware of the limitations of your home studio. When recording just a vocal and uke its important to find the right combinations of mic/pre that is the sound YOU are looking for. Run through as many combinations as possible to get a feel for the variables each piece brings to the table. An experienced engineer will most probably have a combination in mind when he/she hears the resonances of your voice and instrument. Every mic and pre will have its own particular "signature". After identifying the the best match you will know if that set of gear is affordable enough to translate to your home studio. Hopefully there is a combination you can buy or rent that will allow you to explore the recording process without incurring the expense of pro studio time. Its also important to have either speakers or cans that can accurately covey the subtleties of different recording techniques.

While tape may seem sexy my view is that plugins can get very close to the effect that tape offers. The affection for tape is mostly nostalgia.


Yeah Grados are way way too forward for mixing IMO. They're sound is colored, bass-light (that is less depth, but plenty of impact), and the treble is hard-hitting. I remember mids being sweet, but that's since they're so forward anyway. There's also no soundstage to speak of.

But when you get to the sr60 level, which is still considered entry-level audiophile, the source does matter... meaning that plugged into most computer soundcards, the headphones will generally be crap in = crap out. They won't sugarcoat the news, if your soundcard sucks. I'd plug them into some inexpensive headphone amp... or maybe the preamp has a headamp as well. It's not about volume, they're only 32ohms and will have plenty of volume, it's the fullest potential of the sound.

But for all that, you don't have to do any of that... and while I'd not use the Grados for mixing, I'd use them for monitoring. They're open, so leak sound... so be careful about the audio levels if you use them that way. You don't want to hear what was in your headphones bleeding through the recorded audio track. They'd be nice for monitoring in that you can hear what's going on outside the headphone. (Most people don't want this, which is why there are only a handful of open monitors out there, not to confuse open headphones with headphones suitable for monitoring, that are also open.)

For headphone mixing... my personal list would be, in no particular order - Sennheiser HD650, Sennheiser Momentum, Ultrasone HFI-2400. Of these three, I'm using the Momentums ATM since they're a general purpose headphone. The consensus around Head-fi is that these are not reference quality, but that's a bunch of bullpuckey. Tyll over at InnerFidelity has the FR charts to prove that.

I'll be interested to hear the grados. I was under the impression they were very neutral and had a good soundstage. I'll let y'all know as mine are supposed to be here on Monday.

spots
01-17-2013, 07:23 PM
When people start talking about recording at home there is often a great desire to run out and buy gear, but really one of the more important aspects of recording at home is having a quiet location and acoustically treating the space. You can have the greatest gear in the world, but if the room is acoustically bad then the recording will sound bad. Work on learning how to acoustically treat the recording space, then worry about upgrading your gear.

Plainsong
01-17-2013, 10:36 PM
I'll be interested to hear the grados. I was under the impression they were very neutral and had a good soundstage. I'll let y'all know as mine are supposed to be here on Monday.

Well they're neutral compared to Koss Portapros. But Grados are known for being bright and forward and having lots of slam. Senns are more laid back, typically, with a huge soundstage that puts you in the middle of the audience, as opposed to inside the group. That's why so many headphones are put into two schools of sound - Sennheiser and Grado. The sr60s and sr325s are too bright for me, but sr125s, sr225s and ms1s are not. Writing this making me grok a pair of sr225s. :)

You can change the sound with earpad mods. Like cutting quarter-sized hole in the middle will increase bass, but also soundstage. Buying Grado Bowl pads will increase the soundstage, but I don't know if those are popular with sr60s. My favorite pads are the Grado Flats, and the only site in the world that has them is Todd the Vinyl Junkie.

Search head-fi.com for more Grado fun. And sorry about your wallet. :)

Gerald Ross
01-18-2013, 04:14 AM
Earlier in this thread it was stated that my latest CD "Swing Ukulele" was recorded solely on a a Zoom H4N. That is incorrect.

A few years ago I vacationed with my family in N. Michigan. We rented a house on a Lake Michigan beach for a week. During that time I recorded 10-12 solo uke tunes and posted them on my website. Each tune was a first take with no edits. The only thing I added post-production was a bit of reverb and compression and some EQ tweaking. That's the Zoom H4N project the poster referred to. Each tune was recorded on the H4N.

My latest CD "Swing Ukulele" was recorded in my studio using ProTools and either a Rode NT1A - http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/NT1AAnniv/ or plugging in direct to my Mbox Pro interface. I took the raw tracks as I always do to Baseline Audio in Ann Arbor, MI where the engineer mastered the cuts prior to pressing the CD.

Barbablanca
01-18-2013, 06:01 AM
Some good common sense advice there. But the best thing about following that link was discovering Gerald's "Beginning Swing Lessons (http://youtu.be/8YafhDexY6I)" - Just spent a very fruitful 20 mins there. Getting Jazzy is my next challenge to myself and that video is a great basic opener into that world.

PedalFreak
01-18-2013, 06:19 AM
One of my favorite albums is a Bryan Sutton duet album "Not Too Far From the Tree". Bryan made a list of his guitar hero's and then he drove to them and recorded them at their houses. Most all the songs were recorded in the persons living rooms, no acoustically treated rooms, or special studio rooms. He used a Alesis ADAT-XT recording system and 3 mics, each into their own channel. The recordings are great.

So much of what we thought in the past about "correct" recording techniques, and what you need for a good recording has been changed. I've recorded in rooms that were so dead sounding, after recording add a touch of reverb and voila it sounds like I was in a great room :)

Best thing to remember when recording is to not skimp when buying your microphones. If you've got $1000 to spend on a home studio I'd suggest spending at least half of that on microphones. I'm also into coffee big time, the part most people go cheap on when making coffee at home is their coffee grinder, which they should spend more on. The coffee maker, in most cases, is going to be good if you buy a $50 coffee maker or a $500 coffee maker. The grinder makes the coffee. Same with recording. The digital studios that are available today, the recording programs are so good! You can get some great ones for $250 or so, but the mics really make the recordings :)

lambchop
01-18-2013, 06:43 AM
Earlier in this thread it was stated that my latest CD "Swing Ukulele" was recorded solely on a a Zoom H4N. That is incorrect.

A few years ago I vacationed with my family in N. Michigan. We rented a house on a Lake Michigan beach for a week. During that time I recorded 10-12 solo uke tunes and posted them on my website. Each tune was a first take with no edits. The only thing I added post-production was a bit of reverb and compression and some EQ tweaking. That's the Zoom H4N project the poster referred to. Each tune was recorded on the H4N.

My latest CD "Swing Ukulele" was recorded in my studio using ProTools and either a Rode NT1A - http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/NT1AAnniv/ or plugging in direct to my Mbox Pro interface. I took the raw tracks as I always do to Baseline Audio in Ann Arbor, MI where the engineer mastered the cuts prior to pressing the CD.
My sincere apologies for not getting the facts correct. Thanks for the correction. I recall reading about and listening to those zoom tracks and, as with all of your work they are superb.

coolkayaker1
01-18-2013, 07:54 AM
I'm glad you have is underway. I'm looking forward to a lamb chop ukuleles compact disc.

lambchop
01-18-2013, 08:24 AM
I'm glad you have is underway. I'm looking forward to a lamb chop ukuleles compact disc.

This is my favorite reply on the whole forum! Thanks for the compliment and when it is done I'll let you know.

Craig
01-18-2013, 11:47 AM
Mike,

Though I have Garage Band, I HATE being both the performer and engineer. Though the studio rates I pay are a bit higher than yours (I live in L.A.), it's well-worth the money. Moreover our engineer, Bob Wayne, has over 30 years experience and offers sound advice (pun) and ideas.

A trick I've learned is to record yourself, at home, using an iPod, etc. to hear how everything sounds back before going into the studio. This has saved me time, mistakes and money.

Have fun!

Craig

lambchop
01-18-2013, 05:22 PM
Mike,

Though I have Garage Band, I HATE being both the performer and engineer. Though the studio rates I pay are a bit higher than yours (I live in L.A.), it's well-worth the money. Moreover our engineer, Bob Wayne, has over 30 years experience and offers sound advice (pun) and ideas.

A trick I've learned is to record yourself, at home, using an iPod, etc. to hear how everything sounds back before going into the studio. This has saved me time, mistakes and money.

Have fun!

Craig

Thanks Craig. I think I am going to use the Studio for the basic tracks and then track virtual instruments at home - probably use Logic 9 and maybe the TC Electronic Conneckt (spelled it wrong, I am sure) which has some good reviews out there (and I love TC pedals - they are always really well built).

I did a little more experimentation with Garageband this evening and found some good places for my Mikes and found a nice eq curve for my voice. I like working on it at home, but I think that the demand of I must be in the studio for this block of time will be really a good motivator for me to actually do something I've been planing to do. I'm going to visit the studio, but as with yours, the engineer/owner had 30 years experience or so in this business. Can't wait to start. Mike

Plainsong
01-19-2013, 02:33 AM
That's awesome. What keeps me away from places like gearslutz, is that when it comes down to it, the money you spend on the gear and the brand names you have so that the cool kids in the forums will accept you, doesn't matter one bit if the music sucks. Music first, gear a decent second. If the songs are good, people will still listen even if its recorded badly. Look at those blues album. One guy and a recorder, clapping out of meter, and it didn't matter then, and it doesn't now. Just record it the best you can.

pulelehua
01-19-2013, 03:44 AM
That's awesome. What keeps me away from places like gearslutz, is that when it comes down to it, the money you spend on the gear and the brand names you have so that the cool kids in the forums will accept you, doesn't matter one bit if the music sucks. Music first, gear a decent second. If the songs are good, people will still listen even if its recorded badly. Look at those blues album. One guy and a recorder, clapping out of meter, and it didn't matter then, and it doesn't now. Just record it the best you can.

This. Absolutely. We can get so hung up on the bells and whistles, and forget that what happens in FRONT of the microphone is really what matters.

lambchop
01-19-2013, 09:40 AM
This. Absolutely. We can get so hung up on the bells and whistles, and forget that what happens in FRONT of the microphone is really what matters.

Ok, but listen to the handiwork of al Schmitt on early al Jarreau and Dianne Krall recordings and tell me the behind the console doesn't matter. Those singers are great but the work al engineered was their best

Curly Koa
01-19-2013, 09:49 AM
I agree and disagree; while the performance in front of the mic is the most important piece, the right gear and artful usage (settings, mic placement, tasteful effects, mix, mastering) tend to make the difference between a professional sound and a "good enough" sound. That said, an NT-1A in the right place, in the right room, with the right player and uke, sure can sound pretty darn good! ;) It might not come close to the sound of an expensive mic, recording chain, and pro engineer, but 99% of the folks who will buy uke music won't know the difference (and might not care even if they did).

Even though I err on the side of perfectionism when recording, myself, I was drawn to the uke because of the complete lack of pretense in the uke culture and the lack of expectations placed on someone when he/she picks up a uke and starts to jam away, and I hope this would also extend to the home recording of the uke. It's really all about having fun, right?!?

Side note: I recommend buying the studio time AND the Mbox/cheap mic . . . then you can have plenty of fun experimenting and working out your flaws at home, followed by a pro-quality recording that you will be proud of for years to come.

AndrewKuker
01-19-2013, 09:52 AM
That's awesome. What keeps me away from places like gearslutz, is that when it comes down to it, the money you spend on the gear and the brand names you have so that the cool kids in the forums will accept you, doesn't matter one bit if the music sucks. Music first, gear a decent second. If the songs are good, people will still listen even if its recorded badly. Look at those blues album. One guy and a recorder, clapping out of meter, and it didn't matter then, and it doesn't now. Just record it the best you can.

The same can be said about instruments but you still sprung for a Kanile'a.

I am more in search of transparency and the coloring of inexpensive equipment doesn't give the truth. That's why I spend time on that forum, getting ideas. Just like ukes are here. Yes, I agree, just record however you can, or hell, don't even record. Back in the days hardly anyone even bothered. Nowadays everyone is recording and taking a picture for facebook of them recording so they can tweet their soundcloud and write a blog about it. A lot of not playing music for fun.

Curly Koa
01-19-2013, 10:03 AM
By the way, for what it's worth, if you are going to do the Mbox thing and are in search of a great recording, be aware that the preamps on those things suck. I've owned a number of Digidesign (now Avid) interfaces over the years and was never happy with ANY of their preamps, but the Mbox pres are pretty much bottom of the barrel. The preamp will color your mic in subtle ways. The Mbox, then, will impart some subtle suck. ;) It won't ruin your recording, but it won't get you what you're looking for if you plan to release your recordings (unless you only want something to stream on social media, in which case the file compression will impart enough suckiness that the subtle amounts of Mbox suck won't matter).

I guess the word of the day is "suck." I apologize for my lack of synonym power today.

Curly Koa
01-19-2013, 10:10 AM
When people start talking about recording at home there is often a great desire to run out and buy gear, but really one of the more important aspects of recording at home is having a quiet location and acoustically treating the space. You can have the greatest gear in the world, but if the room is acoustically bad then the recording will sound bad. Work on learning how to acoustically treat the recording space, then worry about upgrading your gear.

And . . . what this guy said. You can get Owens Corning 703 and 705, along with some 1x6 pine wood and some burlap, and make acoustic panels that will have a TREMENDOUS impact on the sound of your room. My dad came here for the holidays and we built six of them, then hung two in my listening space to contain some flutter echoes (foam wasn't cutting the mustard in there) and then put "feet" on the other four by screwing in 2x2 wood--about two feet long, two of them per panel. Viola: Instant pseudo-recording booth! Made a huge difference with acoustic instruments . . . feel free to message me if you want any info on specifics for putting them together. I'll be happy to share the way we did it, though I'm sure there are better ways for those with more time on their hands and more experience with woodwork.

geetee
01-19-2013, 12:40 PM
Since you've got a cordoba signed by Jake and you're considering recording in a studio , maybe you've already seen this vid where he talks about recording with Alan Parsons and the mic placement they used.
Discussion starts at the 1:01:30 mark. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gJJ3aDif5A

lambchop
01-21-2013, 06:29 AM
Because the Grado sr60i came up, I just have to note I just got mine and have to say IMHO the treble is not to forward at all. I find them quite neutral, a tad relaxed. You all had me scared there but I guess we all perceive sound differently, but I've been doing high end audio for 45 years and these are as nice as they say they are.

Plainsong
01-21-2013, 06:58 AM
Because the Grado sr60i came up, I just have to note I just got mine and have to say IMHO the treble is not to forward at all. I find them quite neutral, a tad relaxed. You all had me scared there but I guess we all perceive sound differently, but I've been doing high end audio for 45 years and these are as nice as they say they are.

I'm glad you like them. For many of us, Grados are too Grating.. but I don't mind ms1s and sr225s (w/ Grado flats). Also these one-offs they did for Head-fi members called HF1s. But the sr60s are a gateway headphile drug. If you're not careful, you'll find yourself upgradoing, or seeing what Senns and Beyerdynamic and AKG have to offer. :)

lambchop
01-21-2013, 10:08 AM
I'm glad you like them. For many of us, Grados are too Grating.. but I don't mind ms1s and sr225s (w/ Grado flats). Also these one-offs they did for Head-fi members called HF1s. But the sr60s are a gateway headphile drug. If you're not careful, you'll find yourself upgradoing, or seeing what Senns and Beyerdynamic and AKG have to offer. :)

One thing is the foam feels a bit itchy. Any upgrades for that?

Plainsong
01-21-2013, 10:37 AM
One thing is the foam feels a bit itchy. Any upgrades for that?

Yes, either bowl pads (not sure how well they match with the sr60, as they reduce bass and increase soundstage), Grado flat pads are also made of a firmer foam (my faves, but pricey). They have a hole in the middle for better bass and clarity. The Grado flats are only sold through Todd the Vinyl Junkie (http://www.ttvjaudio.com/category_s/1866.htm) (I don't think Jumbos would suit the sound, but ask around because it's one I've never tried). Or cut a quarter shaped hole in the foamies you have, or get some Sennheiser yellow 414 pads (http://www.amazon.com/Replacement-Cushions-Sennheiser-SRI-Series-headphones/dp/B002B4OEZ0) and experiment with those.. Or try a Sock mod (https://www.google.com/search?q=grado+sock+mod&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&client=safari) where you use old socks to make the ear pads. I think searching that one would turn up some links on head-fi (http://www.head-fi.org/).

I'd get Grado goodies either from Todd, whose in good standing both with Grado (how he gets things like those flat pads), and in the community. Also his former employer, The Headroom (http://www.headphone.com/) for the same reason. The guy that founded The Headroom retired and now has a review site over at Innerfidelity (http://www.innerfidelity.com/)...and is a uke player himself. :)

Plainsong
01-21-2013, 11:46 AM
To see some measurements done and some opinions on what the various pads and mods do to set of sr225i's (very similar to sr80s, but with metal grills and more precisely matched drivers), here's a good read over at Innerfidelity. It pretty much confirms about flats being my personal cup of tea, but the quater mod on comfy pads or Senn pads, comes very close.

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/evaluation-grado-stock-and-modified-ear-pads

lambchop
01-21-2013, 01:10 PM
Since you've got a cordoba signed by Jake and you're considering recording in a studio , maybe you've already seen this vid where he talks about recording with Alan Parsons and the mic placement they used.
Discussion starts at the 1:01:30 mark. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gJJ3aDif5A
This is great. Thanks so much! I'll tell the engineer about this and may try it out at home.