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Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/23/20 9:25 a.m.

In reply to barefootskater (Shaun) :

Well Audacity is free, but pretty basic. It may be plenty though depending on what you need. 

BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter)
BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
12/23/20 9:37 a.m.

Tracktion is good and easy to use. If I recall you can usually get the next-to-current version free. I feel like the “workspace” is simpler and less clunky than Audacity.

barefootskater (Shaun)
barefootskater (Shaun) UberDork
12/23/20 8:15 p.m.

Thanks guys. I've dabbled with audacity and I'm not a fan. The only thing I can really compare it to is garage band, which I know isn't exactly top of the line but I'm my estimation there really isn't any comparison. 
 

I'll look at Tracktion. If there's an outdated or lite version I can try for free that's a great way to get a feel before I shell out any money. 
 

*edit. Tracktion seems to be well reviewed and well equipped. And they have a free 90 day trial. I'll give it a shot. 

infinitenexus
infinitenexus HalfDork
12/23/20 8:36 p.m.

I put together a portable/travel recording rig earlier in the year and since I just moved I ended up pulling it out and messing with it a bit.  It's very simple and straightforward - my old laptop with some upgraded RAM, a small audio interface (Focusrite Scarlett Solo v3) and some small usb powered speakers plugged into the headphone jack of the interface.  My laptop is running Reaper and I have a pile of free guitar amp VSTs on there for amp simulation, and I'm using Steven Slate Drums 5.5, which is pretty awesome but a bit resource heavy for an 8 year old Windows laptop.  It works really nicely though, I can just plug a guitar or bass into it and jam and record.  I've been spending a few minutes on it in the evenings before I go to bed and I've recorded two songs that have been floating in my head for months.

barefootskater (Shaun)
barefootskater (Shaun) UberDork
12/23/20 9:04 p.m.

In reply to infinitenexus :

I do all my recording on a little 8 track tascam. It works well for what it is, and even has some production tools built in, including a set of stereo condenser mics. The tools available today for hobbyist musicians are amazing. 
Id love a laptop that I could commit to recording but it's just not in the cards and living conditions dictate that my music area and the computer are in different parts of the house. So I'll record on the tascam and edit on the pc. 

barefootskater (Shaun)
barefootskater (Shaun) UberDork
12/24/20 5:32 p.m.

In reply to infinitenexus :

I installed Reaper and I'm pretty impressed so far. It gave me a pop up window that basically said "this isn't free software but we'd rather give what amounts to an indefinite free trial than offer a crippled version"  and while I'm not sure I'd do business that way I really like the message and I'll be buying a license. $60 isn't bad at all. Once the new computer is at home on the top floor I think I can record straight to it through my little mixing board for guitar and vocal stuff. Drums are electric so that's easy too. 
I really need a good set of over-the-ear studio headphones. Three toddlers makes for a not quiet house. 

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
12/24/20 5:47 p.m.

I used audacity for remixing the Interstellar Sledgehammer stuff I posted. It seems basic enough that I was able to use it easily, which is good because I suck at technology so badly I almost brought Sydney's train system to a halt when I visited

barefootskater (Shaun)
barefootskater (Shaun) PowerDork
3/18/21 1:47 p.m.

Game plan:

Guitar/vocals/electric drums------> mixer----->pc.
 

Should I be running a preamp? Converter? The computer has a 1/8 stereo input that I plan to utilize. 

barefootcyborg5000
barefootcyborg5000 PowerDork
1/12/23 1:11 p.m.

Gonna necro this thread. 
 

Had a few changes. I got rid of the tascam and bought a mackie ProFX6v3 mixer which handles the digital conversion as well. USB into Reaper, very low latency, high end preamps, seems to be good. I bought a license for Reaper. And I just ordered a MXL 990 condenser mic. 
I also sold the electric drums and got a real kit, along with ongoing lessons. 
My biggest limitation is budget, which currently means I don't have proper drum mics, nor would my little mixer be able to do drums because it only has 2 XLR inputs. I've seen a couple drum mic kits with 4 channel (level control only) mixers, but I'll have to save up for a bit. Or I may hunt down an analog mixer and run that into my mackie... less than ideal, but likely cheaper. 
Anyway, planning to do some more recording now I have a somewhat regular jamming partner. 

VolvoHeretic
VolvoHeretic GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
1/13/23 12:36 a.m.

Great thread, I also want to do some recording. I have been practicing the piano for 60 years including 13 years of private classical lessons (you'd think that I would be better). I now can't stand classical... zzzz and my musical style interests are Fusion Jazz and Progressive Rock. The last 50 years I have been making up what I play as a rambling strung out string of different stuff that some might call Improvisation but my brother calls the On and On song. I can put people into a coma in 45 minutes, less if they're drunk.smiley

Anyway, before my fingers lock up I want to record this for prosperity. Several years ago I bought a rack mountable Radio Shack 4 channel mixer at a Black Friday morning trip to a pawn shop with my son's father in law for $40 (I was forced to go along at 6:00am). I haven't hooked it up yet but it does power on and looks unused. It isn't near me to take a photo of and I can't find one on the internet.

To hook it up to the computer I have a cheap Behringer UCA222 USB DAC and I have downloaded the Audacity digital mixer and will have to go back and check out the other suggestions that have been mentioned. I was planning on buying two Shure SM57 mics to record my 7' Baldwin grand piano either in stereo on top of the strings or maybe in mono with one mic on top and the other one under the piano sound board. I also have a stereo 15 band/octive passive equalizer that I can use to boost the bottom and top frequencies before the DAC. 

And then get the piano tuned... and then practice because I am a little out of shape. It always sounds better after a couple of shots of rum. smiley

barefootcyborg5000
barefootcyborg5000 PowerDork
1/13/23 1:11 a.m.

In reply to VolvoHeretic :

Recording is fun, if frustrating. I've never tried to record piano, so I can't offer any tips there. I'm sure there are plenty of tutorials and such on YouTube. You may want a condenser mic? Idk. I just ordered a mxr 990 brand new for $49 on reverb. You'll want some decent headphones? Good monitor headphones can be had under $100. 
For me, I do mostly heavy rock/metal, so practice and recording always involves a metronome, and I have to think about guitar and bass and vocals and drums and and and and... but that's me. Slowly collecting mics, next purchases will be a small diaphragm condenser and an audix  D6. And a spare sm58/57. But I'll need a bigger mixer first. Then there's stands and cables and all the other accoutrements. Once I have that all gathered up it'll likely sit in a drawer for a couple years, at the end of which I'll decide to get it all out and set up only to get frustrated by the practicing/writing I'll have neglected... kidding, but seriously. 
It's all fun though. 

VolvoHeretic
VolvoHeretic GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
1/13/23 1:52 a.m.

In reply to barefootcyborg5000 :

Thanks, after all of that practice, I'm still not ready to actually play with other musicians.

barefootcyborg5000
barefootcyborg5000 UltimaDork
7/24/23 5:09 p.m.

Slow updates. I sold the little Mackie board because not enough inputs, and bought a Peavey unit second hand that looked good but there's an issue. Peavey does not offer any driver software, and the universal ones the internet said to use didn't work properly either. So that's todays lesson. Make sure your hardware/software is compatible. So, today I shipped out the Peavey to a new owner via reverb, and once the funds clear I'll be buying the bigger version of the Mackie that I had. I'm tempted to buy bigger than I really need in an effort to future proof this setup a bit, but I need to do some more research first and make sure it's even feasible. 
Drum lessons continue, getting comfortable to be able to play/write things that have actual musical value. 
And lastly, just been listening to a bunch of stuff and getting motivated and building ideas. 
 

barefootcyborg5000
barefootcyborg5000 UltimaDork
8/9/23 12:48 a.m.

I declare this adequate for a small drum kit. Not sure I'll use the large condenser, but the two small ones are Audiotechnica PRO 37s and will do great for overheads, SM58 for the kick, and the AKG d8000m for the snare. Everything has a super high SPL, like 140dB and up (except the 58, but let's be honest, it'll be just fine) so I can play loud and get the mics close. Hopefully setting up to track a project here in the next week or two. Last couple pieces are inbound, getting my old tascam DP32 back, and waiting for UPS to bring a couple more mic stands and cables.
 

It isn't my project, but I'll see if he minds me posting a link here. Hope is to have the recording done this month, and the overall goal is pretty raw so mix/master shouldn't take long. I'm so stoked to get going again. I forgot how much I love the process. 

barefootcyborg5000
barefootcyborg5000 UltimaDork
8/12/23 9:02 p.m.

Despite sitting for 7 years, untouched, it seems to still work fine. 

it's like riding a bike, hopefully. I'll put together a quick cover this weekend just to getting the juices flowing and post it up on yt. 
 

Funny thing, my guy ships it out and then informs me I'll have to buy a 12v supply since the original is MIA. So when it landed I scoured my stuff to see if I had anything usable and I found the original one here in UT. The machine left for GA in 2015. Hadn't even been powered on. Even came with an SD full of our old projects. The machine said error when I tried to load them, but I'll keep trying to recover the files. 

barefootcyborg5000
barefootcyborg5000 UltimaDork
8/20/23 1:26 a.m.

Actual tracking happened. 

just some acoustic guitar and bass. This machine is super handy, but I remember now some of its shortcomings. For what it is, it's usable. I think I'll watch for a good deal on another proper board, but I'm having fun and able to get my chops back a bit. 
 

The little Rumble 15 does great. That's a SM58 and a PRO37. The 37 actually kills. Played at super low volume, but it sounds great.
 

I'll try to finish tracking tomorrow and see about getting it posted up. I think the more practice I get the easier it'll be to churn things out. Not trying to produce a great masterpiece, more wanting to get some quality journal entries. Snapshots of my journey, so to speak. 

barefootcyborg5000
barefootcyborg5000 UltimaDork
8/22/23 1:07 a.m.

So, I may have a purchasing problem. I picked up a Yamaha analog mixer w/ USB. Specifically model MG16XU. Local classifieds, and I've been watching the ad for a couple months. He dropped the price and I jumped. 
 

it has better input controls and preamps than the tascam. The downside is in using it as an interface, I have to bus all the recording tracks together into one or two tracks. This isn't really a big issue for anything but drums. It'll work, but what it means is that I won't be able to isolate any of the drums in the mix. Any leveling within the kit, or panning, needs to happen at tracking, on the input. Afterwards the drum track will be one whole unit. Eh. It'll be fine. 
 

For everything but drums, it's a better solution. Better preamps, front end compression, more resolution, and BETTER EQ!

The tascam is a great tool, and we may keep using it on this project, but moving forward I think I'll prefer running Reaper as it just gives me more control options, and the visual interface is important. 
 

So, there goes the last of the money I'd squirreled away for fixing my bike and truck. 

barefootcyborg5000
barefootcyborg5000 UltimaDork
9/3/23 1:38 a.m.

After experimenting a bit with mic choice and placement and different techniques, I think it's ready to track. I'm still not 100% on the snare and kick, but in the rough mix they sound pretty good. I'd like a little more crispness from the kick, and a little more body in the snare. Gonna try a different mic on the snare and try to fine tune the bass drum. I have to make sure I have it as good as I can on the front since the drums will be all on one track for mixing and post. Still, progress is fun. Hopefully Monday sees the drums finished for this song. 
 

I also am Shocked at the resonance and sheer sustain from the little Pearl kit. I finally got a positive ID on it. Late 90s, maple/mahogany hybrids. They sing. I love it. Maybe not ideal for metal, but I can work with it. 

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