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GarethRDR

The VT Musicians Thread

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I'd have a play with the Zoom first. Work out what it can and can't do, then take it from there.

 

If the Zoom's editing facilities are adequate for your needs, maybe just consider mastering software. Waveburner is pretty straightforward.

 

Are you recording a band or multi-tracking yourself?

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I'm currently in a band called the Plastic Cardigans. They don't actually play music or indeed exist. I created them so I could blag into VIP areas. I've created a monster. A mate of mine even got pulled out of a club queue in Liverpool and brought straight in to the place because the bouncer recognised him as one of our members.

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I'd have a play with the Zoom first. Work out what it can and can't do, then take it from there.

 

If the Zoom's editing facilities are adequate for your needs, maybe just consider mastering software. Waveburner is pretty straightforward.

 

Are you recording a band or multi-tracking yourself?

 

In the first instance, multi-tracking (although I may involve other musicians later). Yeah, using the Zoom on its own is pretty much what I intend to do, but I fancy getting another laptop anyway, for more general hobby purposes - writing, graphics, web research, etc. - and keep it in my 'studio' so I'm not nicking the family one and annoying the wife. And when I do that I want to make sure I get something that will also be good enough for music editing and mastering as well, hence my question.

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You sing fine, but your backing vocalists don't.

 

And take your hands out of your pockets and look like you care! ;)

 

Aaaaanyway...

 

I want some advice from you home recording experts. As I mentioned upthread, I'm planning to get myself some recording gear. The last time I did any of this stuff was about 30 years ago - tapes!

 

My plan is to use a digital "studio in a box" recorder (almost certainly a Zoom R24), rather than purely DAW on a computer, but I'm guessing it would be a good idea to get a dedicated laptop as well for various 'post production' work. So what laptop would you recommend on a tight budget?

 

Any advice welcome, as I'm starting from scratch here.

I've been down this route myself a few years back when i decided to ditch the hardware and go software.

 

Firstly and its bad news. You cannot get a decent laptop to record audio on a budget. Most musicians who record music using laptops are using Apple laptops due to their spec. You can get other laptops for music production and there's a good review of one here=http://www.soundonsound.cpm/sos/oct1...intel-sp17.htm which also gives you an idea of the pluses and minuses of using laptops for music production. This laptop will of course be much cheaper now as that review is a few years old.

 

There are also companies who build laptops specifically for audio and this is probably the way you should go as it saves you a lot of headaches. They set the computer up to record audio and test it before sending it out to you but be aware that you will also have to factor in purchasing a DAW (sequencer) like Pro Tools, Logic or Cubase and then an interface. The right interface is needed with the right DAW so that everything runs smoothly and this allows you to record your guitars, mics or keyboards to the computer. For the latest edition of Pro Tools or Cubase you will have to pay in the region of between £300-£400 and the same again for a decent interface plus then the cost of the laptop. You can of course purchase older versions of DAWs which is less expensive but most of these dedicated music computer hardware companies won't stock these and you would have to purchase these on Ebay.

 

You might also consider purchasing an windows pc built specifically for audio or what i'm using at the moment an Apple iMac which you can get second hand for around £600-£700 depending on spec. 

 

I see you've suggested purchasing a hardware unit to run into a computer such as the Zoom. If your budget is limited, i'd forget about the computer and look at the Yamaha series of recorders. Before i changed to software, i used the Yamaha AW4416. At the time of release it cost me over £2,000 but the street price now is £500 for one in good condition on Ebay. It has 16 tracks all with automated faders and facilitates recording to CD in one box. It also has decent mic preamps but you would get better quality purchasing a separate mic preamp such as one of the Focusrite models! The audio quality transferred onto disk using the Yamaha AW4416 with a little care can be release quality and would certainly make a very presentable demo to record companies. Even in this day and age you will have to go on a steep learning curve to use it so make sure if you are interested in purchasing a unit like this, it comes with manuals.

 

Hope this helps but unfortunately going down the software route and getting exceptable quality cannot be done on a budget. 

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pc100250.jpg

 

This is my pride and joy a Gibson 335 Curly Maple Sunburst which there are only 200 of this model in existence. Purchased this on Ebay a couple of years ago for £1400 as the guy needed the money and was recently offered £2,500,00 by a collector which i turned down. Just a brilliant versatile guitar.

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Yeah, I know about the mics and all that. The new digital recorders are - I understand - much better than the old ones. And I prefer physical sliders, etc.

 

But I expect I will be working with a combination of SIAB and DAW - what I'm after is advice on laptops, what to prioritise. Like, do I need an external soundcard, given that I'll be using the SIAB for my main recording, etc.

 

 

Be aware of mics needing Phantom power, most Audio interfaces will have it, but some at the lower end don't.

 

Yeah, I know about the mics and all that. The new digital recorders are - I understand - much better than the old ones. And I prefer physical sliders, etc.

 

But I expect I will be working with a combination of SIAB and DAW - what I'm after is advice on laptops, what to prioritise. Like, do I need an external soundcard, given that I'll be using the SIAB for my main recording, etc.

 

The Zoom r24 can be used as an audio interface, and it does have Phantom Power so your choice of mic is pretty open, My son Uses a Rode NT1, which he really likes and a Shure SM58, Unfortunately the acoustics in the room he uses isn't the best, and unfortunately treating the room in the traditional way isn't an option. Currently looking at making some portable sound treatment thats a little better than hanging heavy duvets and sound blankets on the walls when he wants to record some Vocals.

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It's lovely, except for that horrible "Custom Made" label! 

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I'm currently in a band called the Plastic Cardigans. They don't actually play music or indeed exist. I created them so I could blag into VIP areas. I've created a monster. A mate of mine even got pulled out of a club queue in Liverpool and brought straight in to the place because the bouncer recognised him as one of our members.

 

That is...GENIUS! How did I not think of that?

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It's lovely, except for that horrible "Custom Made" label! 

Yeah mate i agree. Spoke to the guitar tech who set the guitar up for me and he said it was put there to cover something else. The other 199 models are the same. Typical Gibson.

Edited by Morpheus

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...16 tracks all with automated faders...

 

I'd be exceedingly cautious if buying a second hand desk with automated or flying faders.

 

Would also consider replacing the HDD fairly quick sharp too.

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You would be cautious buying anything second hand and the ideal scenario would be to try before you buy but the way Ebay is set up with the protection of Paypal you should be ok. Just don't purchase something from someone with less than 100% feedback.

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You sing fine, but your backing vocalists don't.

 

And take your hands out of your pockets and look like you care! ;)

 

Aaaaanyway...

 

I want some advice from you home recording experts. As I mentioned upthread, I'm planning to get myself some recording gear. The last time I did any of this stuff was about 30 years ago - tapes!

 

My plan is to use a digital "studio in a box" recorder (almost certainly a Zoom R24), rather than purely DAW on a computer, but I'm guessing it would be a good idea to get a dedicated laptop as well for various 'post production' work. So what laptop would you recommend on a tight budget?

 

Any advice welcome, as I'm starting from scratch here.

 

 Before i changed to software, i used the Yamaha AW4416. At the time of release it cost me over £2,000 but the street price now is £500 for one in good condition on Ebay. It has 16 tracks all with automated faders and facilitates recording to CD in one box. It also has decent mic preamps but you would get better quality purchasing a separate mic preamp such as one of the Focusrite models! The audio quality transferred onto disk using the Yamaha AW4416 with a little care can be release quality and would certainly make a very presentable demo to record companies. Even in this day and age you will have to go on a steep learning curve to use it so make sure if you are interested in purchasing a unit like this, it comes with manuals.

 

Hope this helps but unfortunately going down the software route and getting exceptable quality cannot be done on a budget. 

 

 

Yeah, I used the AW4416. Still got it stored away somewhere in the shed. Great bit of kit, ruined by the fact that it came out just before USB became the norm. Data transfer was a nightmare - once the CD burner on mine had broke, the machine became pretty much a write off. The interface was SCSI... which had by this time been phased out, and none of the compatible cd burners were available anymore :(

If it'd had a USB port to access the hard drive, I'd still be using it now.

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I'm currently in a band called the Plastic Cardigans. They don't actually play music or indeed exist. I created them so I could blag into VIP areas. I've created a monster. A mate of mine even got pulled out of a club queue in Liverpool and brought straight in to the place because the bouncer recognised him as one of our members.

 

How did you think of the name? 

 

I ask because a few years ago I set up a Google blog - there's no content in it, I just created it because you had to have a blog to read other blogs. Dunno if that's still true, but anyway... I had to think of a unique name. And I remembered a completely random phrase that a friend of mine at school came up with in about - oooh - 1969 or so. It was "Plastic Dog Cardigan". Didn't mean anything, just a silly phrase.

 

Plastic Dog Cardigan. 

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Can I be really self indulgent and post my new toy on here? One way to find out I guess...

 

DhPzm7m.jpg

 

Eastwood EEB-1, basically a copy of an old Ampeg bass with some of the more unusual features missing. Been lusting after these for awhile so glad I was impulsive enough to finally pull the trigger on it.

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That's one **** off pedal board there.

 

Aha, thank you! Our guitarist has one that really takes the biscuit though, I have no idea how half this stuff even works:

 

70PaDYJ.jpg

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I find it fascinating reading about how guitarists like Scott Ian get their sound. Us mere mortals can't come close! Plus I'm sure I read on Sound Of White Noise he'd layer his guitar tracks up to 8 times on some songs! Wall. Of. Sound. Love it

And want in in my bedroom :(

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