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Working Out What You Need For Your Home Recording Studio
The important thing to consider when setting up a “home recording studio” is how you will use it. You need to calculate how many things you want to write or call at any given time, otherwise you may end up with unnecessary or insufficient equipment!
Let’s look at the typical example of “Vinnie”, a guitarist who wants to show how to play his “band”.
No matter how many times he tries to explain, they never get it right, so the only way to get there is to write it all “correctly” himself.
What does Vinny need?
He needs to write a basic drum pattern – nothing fancy – he wants to write two electric guitars and an acoustic guitar, he wants to write a bass guitar, lead vocals and two backing harmonies.
Vinny obviously won’t do it all at once, so he needs to write 9 things, but does he need 9 channels?
All it really “needs” is a maximum of 4 inputs – two with preamps. He’ll also need a microphone to sing and record his acoustic guitar. We’ll assume he has a guitar amp simulator for recording electric guitars and basses, and that he has a physical drum machine or one on his computer or a standalone hard drive. recorder.
Vinny can easily walk into his music store or go online to find what he needs to get the job done. He can view a computer recording package with the appropriate software and special sound card. Some companies provide all of these in one package, such as Lexicon, M-Audio, Pro-Tools and Presonus are good brands to consider as a starting point, but keep in mind that recording on a computer can be frustrating if you’re not a computer person. smart.
Another version of Winnie is a stand-alone hard disk recorder with a mixing section. Any of the offerings from Fostex, Yamaha or Boss/Roland will meet his needs, at this point Vinny wants to get his ideas into reality as quickly as possible for others to hear, so unless his car can connect to a computer, he’s thrown a CD burner into the equation – now many of them can do it.
Now let’s look at another example of Barabra playing in a four piece folk/rock band. They want to record some songs for a CD release. All the instruments his band uses are acoustic; Double bass, violin, guitar, banjo.
Three of the band also sing. Now, Barabara is lucky enough to have a large garage where the band can practice, and they want to keep the band “whole” and create the best possible atmosphere so they don’t annoy the neighbors with too much noise. will he be useful?
4 X Instrument Mic or DI [direct injection] boxes
3 X audio microphone
8 inputs with built-in microphone
Capable of recording on 8 channels at once.
Individual recorders have some limitations, some of which allow you to record on 2 channels at once, and another consideration is the “quality” of the recording.
During the “compression algorithm” wars a few years ago, clever boffins discovered that our ears could “make up” for the missing information, just as they could see the encrypted letters of a word, but decipher what it was. The boffins kept chipping away at bits and pieces of what our ears heard until they came up with a formula [algorythm] It often fooled our ears. These are called “compressed” formats because they “compress” the sound in a subtle way that we don’t notice.
Almost all commercial and home recording computer programs will record “linearly”.[non-compressed] files to the computer’s hard drive. Pro-tools, Logic Audio, Cubase, Sonar all do this. Then, when you “mix” your tracks, you can load them as mp3 files into your podcast or portable digital music player. Adobe Audition and Steinberg’s Wavelab are two programs that record direct mp3 files, but they are not “full-featured” multitrack programs.
When working with compressed formats such as mp2 mp3, “unnecessary” information is removed and the file size is reduced. [and hence downloads faster]- So these are “compressing” files. The advantage of home recorders is that they require less hard disk space.
One thing to keep in mind when looking at a stand-alone recorder is to ask the question, do I want compressed or uncompressed audio? If you intend to convert these recordings into something for release, the uncompressed format is best – you’ll lose quality by using the compressed format, but your ideas will be saved quickly for later work. Also, keep in mind that some hard disk recorders can transfer data to a computer software system for more detailed processing, so if you use a non-compressed recording format, you’ll preserve the quality of your recording.
When Barabara came down from the music store to express her needs, she told the salesperson, “She wants to record her band in high quality, but I don’t know anything about computers,” so the salesperson recommended an eight-input stand-alone unit. data is in uncompressed format. He didn’t have a huge budget, so he chose to hire most of the microphones for this recording session. The shop guy suggests he use a condenser mic for the instruments and a dynamic Shure sm58 for the vocals.
An important quality issue at this point is the pre-amp. What does it do and why is it so important you ask?
After your microphone has done its wonderful job of extracting the sound pressure waves and converting them into an electrical signal, they come through the microphone cable to the “pre-amp” – which is short for pre-amplifier. For years I struggled to really “get” what the preamp did, so I realized this:
When it comes to the microphone signal, it is very small. I now call it “mouse level”. After passing through the preamplifier, it becomes an “elephant level” that can easily be used by our mixing consoles and digital recorders.
Listen to this:
Depending on the quality of the components used, this amplification process can make or break the quality of the recorded sound. A bad preamp will add hum and noise to your recordings
Most stand-alone recorders and computer sound card interfaces have “adequate” built-in microphones. It is recommended to take it “outside” to make your post “shine”.[separate component] pre-amp, but that said, high-end Yamaha console pre-amps are gaining an excellent reputation. Focusrite/Joe Meek/Avalon/Tc Electronics are great brands. Currently I’m using a Focusrite Twin-Trak pro unit for home recording enthusiasts.
In conclusion, our friend Vinnie will be happy with a hard disk recorder with more than 4 slots that writes “compressed” files, because he is only trying to show his bandmates a “rough” idea of how it sounds. things.
Barbara, who is not computer literate, is looking for a more polished end product and wants to record her band in the best possible quality for the band’s CD release, so she needs to record “linearly”. [non-compressed] data and will look for a unit with the best quality preamplifier he can afford.
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