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» The VS-Planet BBS   » V-Studio Discussion   » VS-840 / EX / GX Forum   » Tips On Recording With 840 (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Tips On Recording With 840
TONYK
Planeteer
Member # 707

posted 01-23-2002 07:02 PM      Profile for TONYK   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There have been a lot of new 840 users visiting the Planet lately. I’ve had my 840EX now for a few years and I wanted to share some things that I’ve learned the hard way to help you avoid some of the pitfalls.

I think it’s very possible to get really good recordings on your 840. It’s also really easy to get very bad recordings on just about any multi-track. I continue to be somewhat disappointed in the sonic quality of some of the songs on the Planet Comp CDs especially when the tunes are produced by guys with better equipment than me! No offense boys and girls. Rather than do a review of Comp 3 I thought I’d share some of my 840 experiences with you all.

By the way, I’ve been either writing songs, playing in bands or recording for nearly 25 years so I have a bit of history behind this lengthy post.

When I first got my 840 I thought that it would be a fairly simple thing to get pristine recordings. I soon learned that this is not the case.

The 840 uses RDAC data compression. I’ve come to really hate data compression and someday I’m going to buy a multi track that offers compression free recording. The 840’s converters are 20 bit although it says in the manual the mixer section is 24 bit. Now, I’m not technical enough to debate the whole 16, 20, 24 bit thing - there’s plenty of talk about that in the 1680/1880 forum. What I do know is that there is a limit sonically to what you can put into and get out of this particular machine. Salesmen and the 840 manual suggest that since the 840 is a digital unit you can add as many parts as you like and bounce tracks ‘til the cows come home. So, the newbie is tempted to bring home this great new toy, add a zillion guitars, keyboards, a bunch of vocals, bouncing many times along the way and then is left wondering why he can’t get a decent mix.

HUGE TIP #1: Conserve Sonic Space
I think this is true of any recording but it’s really important on these machines. If you have a basic rock/pop tune avoid quadrupling those rhythm guitars even though it’s really tempting. If you can get by with a couple rhythm guitars, a solo, bass, drums and a few vocal parts your recordings will sound better. The more sparse your recording, the less data compression will be evident.

Another way to gain more sonic space is to record in MT1 mode. The drawback with MT1 is you can only use up to six tracks at a time. Some folks here claim to be able to get 8. I myself have been stuck with the six track limit. Occasionally I'll be able to add a guitar solo on a 7th track and not run into Drive Busy errors but it’s a dicey proposition. The tech 840 guys who’ve replaced their zip drives with hard drives can get 8 tracks because hard drives have faster disk access but I won’t be taking my machine apart any time soon. And really, if you think about it, the whole point of this tip is we’re trying to conserve sonic space so 6 tracks with a couple bounces can be plenty if you are careful with your tracking.

For some examples of this check out my site at www.mp3.com/tonyk. Listen to You Do Your Thing I’ll Do Mine - it’s an MT1, 6-track recording and compare that to, The Fire, which is an MT2 8-track recording. There’s a difference.


HUGE TIP #2: Don’t stop using your outboard gear!!!
Some digital purists think that it’s important to remain in the digital domain. I say B.S. There is some outboard gear that will really help you. First and foremost, you need a decent compressor. I use the Presonus Bluemax and it’s really cool. It has presets for different instruments and a manual override plus I think you can get one for less than $150 U.S.

The next thing you’re going to want is a decent large diaphragm condenser mic for recording vocals. There are lots of choices out there for less than $350. I use an AKG C3000B and it works great for me.

Along with your condenser mic you’ll need a preamp or mixer with phantom power. I use the Art Tube MP but a lot of Planeteers use lrelatively cheap Maki mixers. I’m not overly thrilled with the Art but for $100 it serves its purpose. Honestly though I definitely want a better preamp someday soon.

I’ve recently started using the mixer in my old Fostex 260 4-track again. The preamps in that thing are about a thousand times sweeter than those in the 840(Plus it has knobs to turn - I really miss knobs.)

I’ve also started to use my Alesis Midiverb II again. The effects in the Roland are good but the verbs are not as nice as those in my Alesis. I use it mostly for tracking. Although there is a way to connect an outboard effect to your 840, well, it’s a pain in the ass, you have to use a couple track faders and quite frankly I can’t be bothered with that type of thing(Ha!).


HUGE TIP #3: Monitoring, Tracking and Mixing
Dudes, you need decent near-field studio monitors. Those consumer quality stereo speakers just ain’t gwine to cut it because they add too much color to your sounds. Monitoring affects everything from the first track you lay down to the final mix. Now you don’t need to spend a gazillion dollars. Most pro studios have Yamaha NS-10’s as a standard. They’re not the greatest or most expensive monitors but all the pro’s are used to them.

I use KRK Rokits - again not the best but if I tune my ears by listening to a song or two off of a favorite CD prior to tracking or mixing it helps me gain a frame of reference.

You’re going to need decent headphones for recording your vocals because you can’t listen to your monitors while vocal tracking. I’ve had a pair of Fostex T-20’s in my studio for like 15 years!

Now, make sure you use your good studio monitors as much possible during tracking especially for bass. Sometimes it’s a pain because most of us only have time late at night when the kiddies are sleeping. What I’ve started doing is to try and steal an hour here or there, maybe after dinner or on a Saturday to get my instrument sound where I want it using my monitors. Then I shut everything down and go back later that night to do my tracking using headphones. Hey that’s another tip!
Rule of thumb is, if you’re not using a mic, use your monitors!

Another thing about tracking - don’t let the 840’s Track Cue monitors fool you. To put it bluntly, they sound like shit. Someone here said they may even be 8-bit. Not sure about that but what my ears tell me, especially when I’m recording vocals, is the Track Cues distort pretty easily. Try turning down the volume on your Track Cues and if the distortion goes away you were probably just overloading the Track Cue.

You really can’t expect to record a vocal part and monitor the full band in the background with Track Cues. You won’t be able to hear well and your performance will suffer. My preference is to only monitor a bit of drums and just enough guitar to get the key right when tracking vocals. So another rule of thumb, if you’re hearing distortion thru the Track Cues, especially on your vocals, try turning those Track Cues down. You can always crank the volume a bit on your reference monitor.

The only thing I want to say here about mixing is, adding some compression will help get louder, more even mixes. Fellow Planeteer Clem uses a Behringer on his mixes and in fact, helped me out with my comp 3 submission. Try to listen to your mix on different speaker systems. Usually, once my mix sounds good in my van it sounds great on anything else. To be honest though, sometimes it takes me many, many tries to get it right.

HUGE TIP #4: Performance and V-Tracks
Guys and gals, there’s no substitute for a well-played part or a well-sung vocal. I approach my recordings with the thought that this may be the one that gets slapped on some A&R guy’s desk. Slow down and make sure you get it right. If you think the guitar solo you just laid down is close, save it and switch to a new v-track. Once the pressure is off you may just do something else to amaze yourself. I’ve even comp’d two decent solos together into one freakin’ amazing solo. Really though, especially with vocals you have to learn to be hypercritical of each performance. After a take, listen back and ask yourself if you’ll be happy listening to that take for the rest of your life. If you can’t say “HELL YEAH”, do it again.

The best use of the 840’s v-tracks for me is vocal comping. When I do vocals I reserve an entire two-hour evening session just for the lead vocal track. I’m pretty much always recording new songs so when I track the vocal it’s really the first time I’ve seriously sung it, although I’d thought about it a lot during instrument tracking. After I set my levels I always, always sing through the entire lead vocal at least 2, 3 or 3 times(whatever it takes) without recording to get the vibe going and to warm up my vocal chords. This is really important. When I’m feeling good about things I will record three or 4 takes on separate v-tracks. The session ends and I go to bed. The next time in I listen to each line of each take and I keep track on a sheet of paper(+ is good, - is no way, x is maybe if there‘s nothing else). Hopefully I’ll have lots of pluses to choose from. Then I get into edit mode and copy the best bits from the various takes to a fresh v-track. This works really, amazingly well. Nothing adds professionalism and sheen to a recording than a perfect vocal!

Editing is by far my favorite thing about digital recording. Oh, by the way, if you want to comp your vocals you have to record dry! Can’t comp if there’s all kinds of gnarly reverb on ‘em.

HUGE TIP #5: Avoiding drive busy problems.
You can find all kinds of posts here talking about this. Since I record in MT1 mode I’m pretty susceptible to this but here’s a really important tip that will help.

SLOW DOWN!!!!

On my last tune a was trying to eek out a 7th track in MT1 mode. Track 7 had a guitar solo on the intro and in the middle of the song. When I first started mixing I’d go to my beginning cue point and press play. BOOM - Drive Busy. Now, here’s the trick. During a mix, if you wait for the zip drive head to stop seeking, you may be able to get past the Drive Busy. Just wait for all those funny clicks and pops to stop and chances are you’ll be OK.

I also found that if you are in the process of getting your mix together and are cueing at a certain point in the tune and get a drive busy, back that cue point up a few seconds, wait for the drive to quiet down and try again.


LAST HUGE TIP: Really work on your songs.
This probably should have been the first thing I talked about but face it, it’s the most important part of your recording. Unfortunately, its getting late and this topic could probably fill up another couple pages so I’ll hold off on this discussion for another thread!

I also didn’t cover a lot of other important stuff like drum programming, EQ, etc. but that’ll have to wait ‘til next time.

Hope you find some of this useful and it helps you on your journeys.

TonyK


Posts: 765 | From: Erie, PA USA | Registered: Aug  |  IP: Logged
Flatdog
Planeteer
Member # 1407

posted 01-23-2002 08:05 PM      Profile for Flatdog   Author's Homepage   Email Flatdog   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Tony this is great stuff.

Thanks for posting this. You covered all my weaknesses!

--------------------

Words from a 3rdParty Piehole.


Posts: 1048 | From: Bellevue, WA. USA | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged
Flatdog
Planeteer
Member # 1407

posted 01-23-2002 08:16 PM      Profile for Flatdog   Author's Homepage   Email Flatdog   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I have a million questions.. but will spare you and ask just one for now.... When you lay down your electric tracks, do you go direct or do you mic an amp?

--------------------

Words from a 3rdParty Piehole.


Posts: 1048 | From: Bellevue, WA. USA | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged
srv
Space Cadet
Member # 5414

posted 01-23-2002 09:57 PM      Profile for srv        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
great shit man thankes alot to find the time to expaned our knolage i am one of the new users and the thing that scare me the most is the prosses of learing this machine any good advice there thankes peace
Posts: 19 | From: chicago | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
TONYK
Planeteer
Member # 707

posted 01-24-2002 04:40 AM      Profile for TONYK   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Flatdog:
I record all my guitar and bass parts direct. Don't own an amp that works. I take a winding path to the 840 though. Usually thru my art, presonus and into the 840 or thru my fostex, presonus and then in.
TonyK

Posts: 765 | From: Erie, PA USA | Registered: Aug  |  IP: Logged
flatcat
Planeteer
Member # 4124

posted 01-24-2002 04:48 AM      Profile for flatcat   Author's Homepage   Email flatcat   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Tony - right on. Everything you talk about shows in your work. If you folks that are new haven't given Tony's stuff a listen, definately do so. You'll learn something. I know I did, and I've been recording and playing for as long as he has.

One more thought about the V-tracks and vocals - I find it helpful to use a V-track for a scratch vocal. Personally, it helps me while I'm tracking stuff like guitar solos to have at least something there. You can always delete it later. Mine usually aren't pretty, or sung at full throttle - but they help me to keep myself organized in the song and fire me up for other important elements (like a solo).

Great advice, TK. Thanks.

--------------------

--------------

My songs


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johndavidstuts
Planeteer
Member # 4383

posted 01-24-2002 07:49 AM      Profile for johndavidstuts   Email johndavidstuts   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hats off to Tonyk. Take note new guys (I'm fairly new myself) this is why the Planet is so valuable. There is no better advice on home recording than from someone who has experience on the same machine that you own.
I just wanted to voice my appreciation for the countless times I have received tips and solutions from guys around here like Tonyk.

Long live the Planet!

--------------------

"Another day to face up. Another day to wake up on the Feed Kill Chain............"
my mp3's


Posts: 420 | From: So. IL. (There is lots more Illinois south of South Chicago) | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Flatdog
Planeteer
Member # 1407

posted 01-24-2002 07:55 AM      Profile for Flatdog   Author's Homepage   Email Flatdog   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
yeah... TonyK's on an 840, and his work is great. Shows you that it's not the machine.... it's the technique!

--------------------

Words from a 3rdParty Piehole.


Posts: 1048 | From: Bellevue, WA. USA | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged
Clem
Planeteer
Member # 467

posted 01-24-2002 09:43 AM      Profile for Clem     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The guy knows what he's talking about.

Funny, I use the same system for vocal comps... each phrase on each v-track gets a plus, minus, or circle (for usable, shitty, and maybe's). Unfortunately, I end up with a lot of minus signs.

Thanks Mr. K. Good info from a guy who can back it up with results.

-Clem


Posts: 1661 | From: West Chester, PA USA | Registered: Jun 99  |  IP: Logged
MarkS
Planeteer
Member # 1075

posted 01-24-2002 10:35 AM      Profile for MarkS     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
TonyK - you are right on target. There are so many tips in his post that will save us many weeks of frustration. A few months ago I "discovered" how to edit the tracks, and I was able to cut and past together a single vocal track from four v-track takes. THAT was a great day!
Thanks, Tony!!!

Posts: 167 | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged
grachus
Planeteer
Member # 1583

posted 01-24-2002 03:40 PM      Profile for grachus   Email grachus   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
heh great post there tonyk i cant believe i let my brother have my 260 fostex and now i need a mixer preamp for my mics and effects, had it got a get it again.thanks for the words of vice ah ad..
Posts: 397 | From: burlington ont, canada | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
Blockdog
Planeteer
Member # 3089

posted 01-24-2002 04:01 PM      Profile for Blockdog   Author's Homepage   Email Blockdog   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
OUTSTANDING post. Thanks we appreciate it more than you know.

I'd love to hear more on drum programing and eq and such.

Thanks again TONYK

--------------------

Blockdog


Posts: 445 | From: Mo. USA | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged
Mustafa
Planeteer
Member # 2390

posted 01-24-2002 07:28 PM      Profile for Mustafa   Email Mustafa   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Excellent. I remember when I first purchased
my unit it provided me with so many possibilities
but now since I am working with 2 great singers
I need to have more than six tracks for lead, background vocals and ablib. Now I use the 840EX
to record instruments and Logic Audio for vocals only. This could be a great alternative.

Posts: 71 | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged
mighty
Space Cadet
Member # 5378

posted 01-25-2002 12:07 AM      Profile for mighty        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Cool stuff Tony. Good experience to learn and also see some items confirmed the way I'm dealing with it. Would love to hear some of your tips on panning.
Posts: 8 | From: Holland | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
wawazzat
SIR ZINGER
Member # 1887

posted 01-25-2002 06:51 AM      Profile for wawazzat   Author's Homepage   Email wawazzat   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks TonyK-*

Great job of explaining the real deal.

I look forward to some eq and mixing tips as well.
___________
wawazzat?
Really...good advice!

*

[ 01-25-2002: Message edited by: wawazzat ]


Posts: 5822 | From: WV, it's in America | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged
manicsyndrome
Space Cadet
Member # 5602

posted 01-29-2002 08:16 PM      Profile for manicsyndrome   Email manicsyndrome   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
you really sound like you know a lot about home recording, thank you for the tips.

i was hoping you may be able to help me.

i have a 840 GX and i've been plagued with a barely audible hum for some time now. it seems like i've tried everything.

the odd thing is i get the hum even when my 840 is unplugged. as long as the 840 is connected to my sound card, even through rca monsters, i get a hum.

i ordered a hum eliminator, but i don't know if it'll work as i get the hum even when the 840 has no power.

i am losing hair and sleep over here in washington aboout this. i'd would be grateful if you could lend some of your experience.

also i should mention that i have done all of the troubleshooting neccassary to narrow it sdown to the 840 GX being at the heart of this problem.

thank you for your time manicsyndrome@aol.com


Posts: 1 | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
IntoWishin
Planeteer
Member # 3216

posted 01-29-2002 08:44 PM      Profile for IntoWishin   Author's Homepage   Email IntoWishin   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Tony, your post was excellent. Some of the things, like getting real monitors and outboard gear, I know I am holding off on for monetary reasons.

But something else you wrote has been bugging me: "I approach my recordings with the thought that this may be the one that gets slapped on some A&R guy’s desk. Slow down and make sure you get it right." I have been recording a new instrumental composition over the last week or two, and my basic lazy instinct says to leave it as is. However, I am unable to silence that little voice in my head which keeps reminding me that, in this case, I can certainly do it better, but I will have to start the recording process again from scratch... argh!

So thanks (I think) for encouraging me and the rest of us to set our standards a little higher than we might otherwise.

[ 01-29-2002: Message edited by: IntoWishin ]

--------------------

C M - Javamusic mp3.com Besonic IUMA mp3.com.au ClearChannel AudioCandy 1sound


Posts: 552 | From: NJ | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged
TONYK
Planeteer
Member # 707

posted 01-30-2002 04:39 AM      Profile for TONYK   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
manic:
Not sure what could be causing your hum but the 840 is very susceptible to picking up noise from anything it's attached to or anything to it. Guitars are the biggest culprit. I just layed down a bass track for a new tune and I had to sit arund 15 feet away. I had to also sit in a certain position relative to the 840 to eliminate most(not all) of the noise. There was a definite sweet spot there. Maybe you should try moving the 840 farther away from your PC or just changing its position.

IntoWishin:
If you think about it, wouldn't you rather listen to that nagging voice in your head now then later have to listen to a song that you'd wished you would have fixed when you tracked it? It's hard sometimes because we get excited about recording a new song and all the ideas floating around our brains but it's best to slow down and take it one step at a time. I know it's hard to start over but maybe if you take a week or so off you'll come back with a refreshed perspective.

TonyK


Posts: 765 | From: Erie, PA USA | Registered: Aug  |  IP: Logged
Scoobie Doo
Planeteer
Member # 3349

posted 01-30-2002 07:00 AM      Profile for Scoobie Doo   Author's Homepage   Email Scoobie Doo   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Great topic Tonyk! Your intentions are well recieved by everybody! But on another subject, Manicsyndrome, maybe you could try taking your machine over to a friends house to try it there. I have experienced that grownd coming through but I got rid of it by making sure the VS recorder and what I'm plugging into it are all on the same circuit. It could be also your house wiring. Maybe your receptacles are on a circuit feeding other appliances etc...I have a fairly new Mini home and I know that there are two circuits feeding my living room which is where I have my recording setup. I can't plug, say my amplifier, etc...into one receptacle from one circuit and then plug into my VS recorder which is plugged into the other circuit. That will give you grownd noises through your cords. I'm an electrician by trade so I've seen a lot of wierd and not so wonderful things, when it comes to electricity, especially in older homes.

--------------------

May Gods Peace Be with you!


Posts: 312 | From: Miramichi, N.B. Canada | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged
Scoobie Doo
Planeteer
Member # 3349

posted 01-30-2002 06:45 PM      Profile for Scoobie Doo   Author's Homepage   Email Scoobie Doo   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Just a tip that I know sounds obvious but maybe overlooked, is that when you bounce your guitar, vocals etc... to tracks 5/6 or 7/8, if after the bounce you may notice that the tracks are not quite balanced,lets say one guitar a little louder on one side then the other then simply adjust your pan control on tracks 5/6 or 7/8 which ever the case may be. It's sounds obvious but it didn't occur to me til lately while working on my latest project after first trying to rebounce some tracks then the light came on which happens once in a long while!

--------------------

May Gods Peace Be with you!


Posts: 312 | From: Miramichi, N.B. Canada | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged
C Williams
Planeteer
Member # 370

posted 02-01-2002 01:28 PM      Profile for C Williams   Author's Homepage   Email C Williams   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
TONYK,

Great, great post. I haven't listened to your tunes in about 2 years (!!!!) but I remember yours as being some great music from a point of view I could respect. You helped more people than you know with this post, sir.

It occurs to me that we have similar setups (still use the original 840, 100MB version!!!) and methods (in the past year I started using outboard effects: a JoeMeek VC3, a J-Station, etc.). I really need to get a home Internet connection and catch up on my listening.

--------------------

chriswilliams.com


Posts: 985 | From: Tampa, FL, USA | Registered: Jun 99  |  IP: Logged
E
Planeteer
Member # 753

posted 02-01-2002 02:03 PM      Profile for E   Author's Homepage   Email E   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hey Tony K.!

I FINALLY got a chnace to read your quite lengthy post. I actually had to print the thing out and move away from my computer to read it!
I appreciate your advice and the great tips you gave. The whole section on "vocal comping" was extremely informative. That's a procedure that I regularly do as well, so I think there are alot of planeteers that can benefit from it.

Great words of wisdom!

--------------------

--Eric G.
www.mp3.com/ericg

www.mizmor.com/ericg


www.ericgwin.com


Posts: 37 | From: Montgomery, Al , U.S.A. | Registered: Aug 1999  |  IP: Logged
BillyKid
Space Cadet
Member # 5641

posted 02-02-2002 01:34 PM      Profile for BillyKid   Email BillyKid   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Helpful post. thanks. I bought an 840 when they first came out and have never been able to get recordings I am happy with. I have found the internal effect to be largely useless. The presets are just hideous. Do I understand correctly that you do not use the internal effects?
Posts: 1 | From: New York | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
TONYK
Planeteer
Member # 707

posted 02-04-2002 04:42 AM      Profile for TONYK   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Glad my post is helpful.

CW - 2 years??? Come on, how am I supposed to become rich and famous? I've posted several new tues in the past year or so that are worth checking out. You should consider upgrading that original 840. The 250mb zips are key to being able to record in MT1 mode plus there are some groovy new effects. Actually I was considering offering my CD to Planeteers for a real cheap price like $5 just to cover my costs. I asked Dan B for permission to do a post but he never got back to me. I'd even donate a buck back to the Planet for every purchase. I think they have something in the works here to be able to sell CDs - we'll see. If you can't wait send me an e-mail and we can work something out.

BillyKid: I use the internal effects but judiciously. I don't own an amp or anything so all my sounds are generated from the 840. I recently started using my Alesis MV II again when tracking certain things like drums.

TonyK


Posts: 765 | From: Erie, PA USA | Registered: Aug  |  IP: Logged
guitarwildcat
Planeteer
Member # 5382

posted 02-04-2002 02:18 PM      Profile for guitarwildcat   Author's Homepage   Email guitarwildcat   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Tony, thanks for your insightful post. I've listened to a few of your songs. Clearly, you're getting maximum mileage out of your gear.

on the recording side...
Are you uploading dry tracks (two at a time hard panned) to a PC for editing and mixing enrichment there?
I need a good, but budget-priced, two channel I/O PC to VS interface, any suggestions?
I'm currently piping the VS840's optical/out to a SBLive add-on card's Digi/i/o. It's sucks.

in the creative arena...
I admire the completeness of your work. I use my VS more like an artist's sketchpad. Nothing I do, could ever be perfect enough to qualify, in my mind, as a completed work. Ever!
I'm curious how you and other fellow VS-ers here go through your mental processes to arrive at your decision to christen a song "complete" and move on.

When I try for perfection, I'll invariably overwork the piece til the rawness of life in it slips completely away and I find myself working with worthless, artistically empty, shit. Then I have to kill it. Silly as all this sounds, it really hurts when I have to kill off something I have put so much into.
It's been safer for me to settle for a rough draft approach. My recordings sound so much move alive! But, alas, there are far too many warts. They'll never have the credability I feel they deserve as a consequence.


Posts: 64 | From: Mchenry IL | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
TONYK
Planeteer
Member # 707

posted 02-05-2002 04:47 AM      Profile for TONYK   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Guitarwildcat:

The only thing I use the PC for is to burn CDs. All editing is done on the 840. I have a TEAC CD burner that I use for mastering.

Not sure how to answer your second question. I only record new songs so there's an inherent 'freshness' there. When I start a tune I have a sketch of it in my head. Usually during the writing process I've recorded an acoustic/vocal version on cassette so I can remember what I want arrangement wise so I can program drums. Once the drums are done I lay everything down one piece at a time. I never really know what I'm going to do with guitars, bass or vocals until I track them. And then I just let my muse guide me. Usually as I'm tracking one idea leads to another. I get mixing ideas etc.

So far it's been pretty dependable. As far as what level of perfection is acceptable, my philosophy is to ask "will I be happy listening to that take for the rest of my life"?

TonyK


Posts: 765 | From: Erie, PA USA | Registered: Aug  |  IP: Logged
Jackasse
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posted 02-05-2002 06:51 PM      Profile for Jackasse   Email Jackasse   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
tony k checked out your mp3 site quite impressive
you got the 840 down to a science I'll be opening an mp3 account as soon as i can figure out how to get my songs into my computer,a little help please? thanks jk.

--------------------

KANE


Posts: 165 | From: location,somkation...jezuz!!! | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged
TONYK
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Member # 707

posted 02-06-2002 07:57 AM      Profile for TONYK   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks James:
Setting up an mp3.com site is a piece of cake. It's been a while since I set mine up but
it's just a matter of following directions.
As far as getting your tunes to your PC that depends on how you're mastering your tunes.
Let us know and we'll help.

TK

Vocal Recording Tip

Here's another one I've just started using. For vocals I use an AKG C3000B and an Art Tube
MP pre-amp, into a Presonus Bluemax, then into my Fostex 260 to add whatever it is that it
adds, then into the 840.

Tip #1: Dealing with your Art
I've struggled with the proper settings on the Art, trying to get a happy balance between
noise, signal and distortion. There was a recent post on the BR-8 forum about this and it
was stated that it's better to set the ins and outs really low on the Art and then boost the
signal on your other outbard gear. I tried this last night, turning on the Art's 20db boost, setting the in to 9 o'clock, out to 12:00 then cranked the signal in my compressor and Fostex - it made a huge difference, the vocal sounding really clear.

Tip #2: Relative positioning of the vocalist.
You have to be careful how close you get to a large diaphram condenser because of this
goofy proximity effect where lows get boosted and all other weird stuff happens. That's
why, in real studios they use those spit screens to both protect the mic and keep the singer
a consistent distance from the mic. I don't have one of those and considered making one out
of an old pair of pantyhose(my wife's not mine) but I instead did this groovy trick. I
spent twenty years playing in live bands and I'm used to singing right up on a mic and also
moving closer or farther away depending on how loud I'm singing. I guess it's an inherent
'fader riding' thing without the fader. For my last couple of tunes I set up my condenser,
then set up a junky old dynamic mic on a stand next to it. The dynamic isn't plugged in or
anything but I sing into that one instead of the condenser. Helps me get that live mojo
going and also to maintain whatever distance I want from my condenser. That distance
depends on the song . For my new one I'm probably 5 to 6 inches away. I still move farther away if I really belt out a note but that's an essential ingrediant to distortion free vocal recording.

TonyK


Posts: 765 | From: Erie, PA USA | Registered: Aug  |  IP: Logged
Jackasse
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Member # 5099

posted 02-06-2002 10:35 AM      Profile for Jackasse   Email Jackasse   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
tony I have 8 tunes mastered to cd,I have a cd rom drive but not a burner tray,I wasn't sure if I needed some sort of software to transfer my music from cd to mp3 or not.On another note I too
have an akg c300b and an art mp tube studio I'm planning on doing vocals this afternoon I'm going
to check out those settings an see if they work
for me,I have a pop screen they run between $25-35
dollars or like you said a pair of hose and a wire hanger with some duct tape for mounting to the mic stand I did that for years then I finally
broke down and bought one.

--------------------

KANE


Posts: 165 | From: location,somkation...jezuz!!! | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged
Jackasse
Planeteer
Member # 5099

posted 02-06-2002 10:39 AM      Profile for Jackasse   Email Jackasse   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
p.s. hows life in penn state thinking about moving out that way probably work in allentown
and live 30 someodd miles north of their?

--------------------

KANE


Posts: 165 | From: location,somkation...jezuz!!! | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged
TONYK
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Member # 707

posted 02-06-2002 12:03 PM      Profile for TONYK   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
James
Go here: http://www.surf.to/cdex - I think this will do what you want.

I suppose a pop screen would do it but I'd have to spend 25 bucks plus it wouldn't satisfy my mojo for screaming into a mic.

Things here in Erie are pretty dang good for me but the same can't be said for a lot of the population. We've lost thousands of manufacturing jobs in the past year or so. The city is kind of going thru a transformation from an aging rust belt kind of place to a Great Lakes tourist thing. Unforunately for most people, the manufacturing jobs are disappearing faster than the revitilization is occuring. Fortunately for me I work for a big ol' insurance company with lots of money!

Actually, I think you'll be closer to Clem than me - he's in West Chester.

TK


Posts: 765 | From: Erie, PA USA | Registered: Aug  |  IP: Logged
Clem
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Member # 467

posted 02-07-2002 04:01 AM      Profile for Clem     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Come on down, James. I'll leave a light on for you. I'm about an hour south of Allentown. That's pretty country where you're talking about. Right in the Pocono mountains. What's bringing you down that way?

Yo, Tonyk... check your email, Bud.

-Clem


Posts: 1661 | From: West Chester, PA USA | Registered: Jun 99  |  IP: Logged
Jackasse
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Member # 5099

posted 02-07-2002 07:56 AM      Profile for Jackasse   Email Jackasse   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
life in ny is to damned expensive,I work in the commercial plumbing supply industry and I make decent money but why kill myself paying a $1000
a month rent when I can make basically the same money out there and own a home and still be 2-3 hours from my family if you guys want to e me
my mailbox is riseandbeyond@yahoo.com peace out.
tony thanks for the post.jk

--------------------

KANE


Posts: 165 | From: location,somkation...jezuz!!! | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged
flatcat
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Member # 4124

posted 02-07-2002 08:07 AM      Profile for flatcat   Author's Homepage   Email flatcat   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
TonyK - more great stuff.

For vocal positioning, I use tape on the floor to mark my spot.

I also read recently that it can be helpful to have the mic positioned a bit above the singer's head, with the mic tilted down at an angle so the singer can sing into it - the difference being that if the singer's head is tilted back slightly, it opens the throat and allows the singer to breathe and sing easier and with more body.

Depending on the tune and how it's recorded, if the vocalist is singing only (that is, not recording a vocal and playing an instrument at the same time), the vocalist should stand, not sit. Sitting compresses the diaphragm.

--------------------

--------------

My songs


Posts: 2188 | From: Westborough, MA, USA | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
TONYK
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Member # 707

posted 02-07-2002 08:49 AM      Profile for TONYK   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Flatcat:

With regard to positioning the reason I like the alternate mic approach as opposed to the
tape approach is I think it's more important where my face is as rather than my feet. With
my AKG, a couple inches or a minor change in direction came make a huge difference.

And yeah positioning of the mic is important. I try to position my mic at a height so I get
more throat and mouth as opposed to nose to avoid any kind of nasalness in the recording. I
guess I never thought about it or understood why but I ALWAYS stand when doing vocals. I
really project when I sing and my mic distance changes depending on the dynamic of the song.
Can't do that stuff iof you're sitting on your ass.

I also tend look upward when I sing. I ALWAYS hold the lyric sheet in my hand as opposed to
placing it on a music stand and my hand is probably at forehead level. This is also
somethig I just always did. Now I know the reasoning behind it. Cool!

BTW did my lead vocal session last night using all these techniques and it came out great. You would not believe how hot the vocal recording turned out when running thru my Fostex! I have some more insights into comping that I've just come to realize over the last few session but don't have time to share just yet.

TonyK


Posts: 765 | From: Erie, PA USA | Registered: Aug  |  IP: Logged

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