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Oh, this recording thing is difficult...but fun... Learning to use my new gear

#1 User is offline   Lars68 

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 03:08 AM

As I posted about recently, I got some new recording toys, an Apogee One soundcard (for iPad) and an Aston Origin condensor mic.
I have being learning to use the new gear now for a while, and have come to the realization that making good sounding recordings is HARD!

I have only recorded two tracks, one voice and one guitar, and then tried to the best of my ability to get the recordings to sound as good as possible together.
I've come to the conclusion that doing this is an endless compromise. When pleased with the results,one one pair of speakers/headphones, it sounds horrible in another playback system... [biggrin]

Here is what I have done to the tracks:
- Applied bas-cut, both to vocals and guitar to remove sub-bas rumble and noice.
- De-essed the vocals to tame the sibliants (semi successfully...)
- Panned vocals 25% to one side, and guitar 25% to the other side to create some sense of space.
- Added a touch of compression and reverb to both tracks.
- Volume adjusted each track seperately to sound good together.

End results:
Track 1: https://soundcloud.c...ashville-tuning (Martin guitar)
Track 2: https://soundcloud.c...-up-on-a-hill-1 (Gibson guitar)

How does it sound to you? Natural? Any other mixing tricks I can use to improve the results? All input welcome.

Lars
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#2 User is online   blindboygrunt 

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 04:38 AM

Going through similar manoeuvres Lars

Iíd leave out the de esser as I think they colour things too much
Get a pop filter

Eq tracks before any effects are added , I found that a great tip

And very little is needed
Especially for a man with an acoustic guitar

But youíre doing what Iím doing , it is an ocean of a thing to comprehend

I EQ , reverb , delay on the guitar

Then compress in the master mix

My Tom Petty track on sals thread was as above

Keep posting any tips you discover Lars 👍🏻
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#3 User is offline   Lars68 

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 04:57 AM

View Postblindboygrunt, on 12 October 2017 - 04:38 AM, said:

Going through similar manoeuvres Lars

Iíd leave out the de esser as I think they colour things too much
Get a pop filter

Eq tracks before any effects are added , I found that a great tip

And very little is needed
Especially for a man with an acoustic guitar

But youíre doing what Iím doing , it is an ocean of a thing to comprehend

I EQ , reverb , delay on the guitar

Then compress in the master mix

My Tom Petty track on sals thread was as above

Keep posting any tips you discover Lars 👍🏻


This is a whole new world within this already great hobby opening up for me. Recording is fun. I'm just now on on iPad with Garageband so my options are limited, but I can live with that. The upside is convinience. I do have a pop filter, but the ess-sounds are still killing me, so the de-esser was a must. I need to look into how to position the mic, distances etc, to avoid as much of it as possible going into the raw recording.

I'll check out your recording!

Lars
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#4 User is online   blindboygrunt 

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 05:05 AM

 Lars68, on 12 October 2017 - 04:57 AM, said:

This is a whole new world within this already great hobby opening up for me. Recording is fun. I'm just now on on iPad with Garageband so my options are limited, but I can live with that. The upside is convinience. I do have a pop filter, but the ess-sounds are still killing me, so the de-esser was a must. I need to look into how to position the mic, distances etc, to avoid as much of it as possible going into the raw recording.

I'll check out your recording!

Lars


You can tilt the mic so youíre not singing straight into it
Almost sing over the top of it , like a flute if you will although of course not with your bottom lip on it
That will take some of the wind and pops away also while still being close enough to not lose intimacy

And hey mines not great
Was the second afternoon after setting up and am still thinking about the computer screen and mic too much which doesnít help with any performance


Funny enough all tutorials agree on just one thing , the performance is the most important part
Canít make a silk purse from a sows ear and all that crap
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#5 User is online   blindboygrunt 

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:03 AM

Your singing has fairly come along Lars

Youíre let down by your being European and not having English as a first language has an impact on your timing and scansion of the lyrics
Too many words sometimes and too little sometimes ...

That aside the recording is great quality with the exception of the panning
It helps with space but when you stop singing and the guitar is playing in one ear and not the other I find off putting
Thatís my opinion and it may be wrong but Iíd reduce from 25 to maybe 10 or less in the settings

Iím not George martin ya know , so take it with a pinch 👍🏻

Good work mister
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#6 User is offline   kwalker201 

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:16 AM

I think you are both on the right track. Lars vocals have improved greatly. I sometimes thinks your song are more on pitch when you sing in your native language, even though I have no clue what your saying lol.

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#7 User is offline   AnneS 

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:36 AM

Agree with what's been said.
For panning, try duplicating the guitar track (after you have added any effects) and then pan one left and one right, --maybe 40%, but experiment--keeping the vocal track dead center.
That's an easy, usually pleasant, trick.
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#8 User is offline   Lars68 

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 12:19 PM

Thanks for the tips, folks. Anne, I applied your panning approach, and it sounds better indeed. Still space, but a more focused sound.
I'm also glad you all think the singing is better. I think the approach of singing seperately helps me focus.

Here are the tracks again, mixed Anne's way:

https://soundcloud.c...ashville-tuning
https://soundcloud.c...-up-on-a-hill-1

Lars
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#9 User is offline   Lars68 

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 01:07 AM

I'd like to share a cool trick I discovered when duplicating the acoustic guitar track to a second track. I gradually reduced the bass on one track and panned it to one side, then I gradually reduced the the treble on the other track and panned it to the opposite side. This gave the effect of the bass coming from one side and the treble from the other side. I didn't use this approach on the tracks above, because I don't think it is suited for a one voice, one guitar type of sound. However, I would definetely try it in a song with more instruments in the mix.

Just a tip..

Lars
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#10 User is offline   Lars68 

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 05:12 PM

View Postblindboygrunt, on 12 October 2017 - 05:05 AM, said:

You can tilt the mic so you’re not singing straight into it
Almost sing over the top of it , like a flute if you will although of course not with your bottom lip on it
That will take some of the wind and pops away also while still being close enough to not lose intimacy


Thanks so much for this tip!! I just did another song of mine, singing slightly "down" in to the mic (ever so slightly). No more shrill ess-sounds!! The sound is great from this Aston mic. Here is what it sounds like using this technique. Now I'm the only one to blame for any and all bad sounds [biggrin]

https://soundcloud.c...-jag-beho-ver-1

Lars
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#11 User is offline   livemusic 

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 10:41 PM

View PostLars68, on 14 October 2017 - 05:12 PM, said:

Thanks so much for this tip!! I just did another song of mine, singing slightly "down" in to the mic (ever so slightly). No more shrill ess-sounds!! The sound is great from this Aston mic. Here is what it sounds like using this technique. Now I'm the only one to blame for any and all bad sounds [biggrin]

https://soundcloud.c...lt-jag-beho-ver

Lars


Lars, that is cool! Your guitar sounds great and even though I have no idea what you are singing (I don't speak your language), I like the sound of your voice. Keep it up! You are a better picker than me!
~~~
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#12 User is offline   Lars68 

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Posted 15 October 2017 - 02:55 AM

View Postlivemusic, on 14 October 2017 - 10:41 PM, said:

Lars, that is cool! Your guitar sounds great and even though I have no idea what you are singing (I don't speak your language), I like the sound of your voice. Keep it up! You are a better picker than me!



Thanks a lot! Swedish is my native language, and as pointed out above, I do sing better on pitch in Swedish. I do songs in English too, but getting the vocal chords to form the words is not as instinctive when it's not your native language.

That mic tip was really helpful. I also played around with positioning when recording the guitar track. In the end, there is no EQ whatsoever. I like the sound of the two tracks just as they came out.

Lars
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#13 User is offline   drathbun 

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Posted 15 October 2017 - 02:56 PM

View PostAnneS, on 12 October 2017 - 09:36 AM, said:

Agree with what's been said.
For panning, try duplicating the guitar track (after you have added any effects) and then pan one left and one right, --maybe 40%, but experiment--keeping the vocal track dead center.
That's an easy, usually pleasant, trick.


+1 on keeping the vocal dead centre. On some vocals I will duplicate the vocal three times; each duplicate is EQ'd using the Abbey Road EQ trick (HPF 600Hz, LPF 10KHz, notch -3db at 2 KHz) and slight compression. One vocal is dead centre, the other two are panned hard right and left with reverb added to more than you would for a single track and the volume backed off so it is in the background.
Doug

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