Getting back into (hobby) music recording


infection

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In high school I did some solo music recording. I had a digital 8 track. Not as common then, but now seems like with computers a lot of people are doing this thing (or at least things like youtube and social media expand the networks to see people who are doing this). My biggest struggle was that I always wanted to play my live acoustic drums but to record drums is just really difficult to get a decent sound, so often times I'd end up having to just record drum parts in real-time by playing them on a Yamaha keyboard I had, which I wasn't a huge fan of. I had always wanted electric drums for that purpose. Well things have advanced quite a bit. It's been 20 years or so and I've decided to make a few purchases to start writing some music again and seeing if I can actually put something together. We'll see if I have time.

Anyone else do any recording?
 


colton

All Around Nice Guy
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In high school I did some solo music recording. I had a digital 8 track. Not as common then, but now seems like with computers a lot of people are doing this thing (or at least things like youtube and social media expand the networks to see people who are doing this). My biggest struggle was that I always wanted to play my live acoustic drums but to record drums is just really difficult to get a decent sound, so often times I'd end up having to just record drum parts in real-time by playing them on a Yamaha keyboard I had, which I wasn't a huge fan of. I had always wanted electric drums for that purpose. Well things have advanced quite a bit. It's been 20 years or so and I've decided to make a few purchases to start writing some music again and seeing if I can actually put something together. We'll see if I have time.

Anyone else do any recording?

Not the recording itself, but I've done editing and mixing for a couple of albums.
 

leftyjace

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Here's my setup:

Digital Audio Workstation Setup:
MacBook Pro 2017
Ableton Live 10 Suite
Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 Audio/MIDI In/Out

MIDI Controllers:
M-Audio Keystation Pro 88
Akai MPK 225 (on desk in front of mouse)
Exploring adding a Komplete Kontroller S61 (need something with aftertouch)

Mics:
Shure SM7B Mic (main VOX mic)
Cloudlifter CL-1 (for cleaner signal)
Shure Beta 87A
Shure Beta 58A
AKG TPS D3800

Instruments:
Yamaha Motif-ES Rack
Onboard Synths/Samples/Sounds with Ableton Live
Warwick P-5 Thumb Corvette Bass Guitar

I, too, enjoy playing digital drums. I just don't have the space for a kit in my office right now - too crowded. We are planning on moving this summer, though, with the intent for me to have larger office that I can get a Roland TD-50K(VK? VKX?) set up in my office.
Between the onboard stuff with Ableton (include a TON of good kits) and my Yamaha Motif, I'm covered for everything from classical to synthwave to new age to rock, really (except I don't play guitar - I have a great guitarist that I work with).
 

FAILED STATE

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I’m in the early phases of recording my first collection of solo guitar compositions. I have a couple Sennheiser mics and a couple other random mics that are better at capturing ambient sounds. It’s all powered by a zoom H6 field recorder because I’m recording everything outside, in places where I like the incidental, ambient sounds.

I’m writing songs that are rooted in ol time fingerpicking styles, so I’m going for pretty raw and ‘personal’ recordings. Each recording will be done in a single take, and then I’ll mix the signals from each mic afterward. I’m also planning to layer in some additional field recordings and additional instrumentation if/when/where inspiration strikes.

I had plans to do a bunch of this stuff earlier this year....... but then everything started changing so much.... and then my family lost a couple members tragically.... so it just felt weird to work on old ideas. I kept writing, though, so now I have gobs of material to work on.
 

infection

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So back in the day I had a Boss BR-8 digital 8 track. When I got it I was in a band so it was frustrating that you only really had one input rather than having 8 inputs and a mixer. But in any case, most all the recording I did was solo, so I guess it doesn't matter. Anyway, I had all my old recordings on it (it ran of zip disk), and sometime circa 2013 I had dug it out of storage and recorded one song... then I left it plugged in all night and I guess I used the wrong power source and it fried it. Anyway, it's since 2003 that I actually had been really recording anything. I had borrowed a friends Korg MS-2000 for a few things I did and really liked that. I also had a Roland GR-30 guitar synthesizer, but ended up selling that (forget why) back in 2003. I've kept everything else I have between my drum set, a couple guitars, and a bass.

I typically don't ever spend money solely on myself. I don't have issues spending money on things that everyone else would get enjoyment out of or vacations and such, but I can't think back to anything I've spent more than $100 for myself alone since I was single. But over time as I eventually had more money than I did when I was into this stuff, I've perused discussions regarding equipment online or watched youtube videos. I guess you could say I was, like Tobias Funke, buy-curious. I would periodically look at the MS-2000 or the MicroKorg. The one thing I've played most regularly over time has been drums. I've occasionally flirted with the idea of getting an electric kit simply for recording. Then I'd think, nah, I wouldn't get too into recording, then think maybe I should just get a better acoustic kit (current kit is a piece of garbage that I've had since 8th grade). Then like 3-4 weeks ago I saw an ad on facebook for a Jamstik, which is a legit guitar that functions as a midi-controller. I watched some demos on youtube and got more curious, then started looking at MS2000 rack modules. Fast forward to last week and I decided I'd finally cave and buy a Roland TD-1K. It gets here tomorrow. I spent a lot of time looking at different kits. The biggest thing for me was a natural sound (ideal would be playing a real acoustic kit, but a natural sound would suffice). I couldn't find any with decent acoustic sounds unless you spent a lot of money. TD-1K is really compact and a cheap kit, but the sounds are the same as the more expensive kits and a lot of the features of the nicer kits I don't really care about, and they won't necessarily sound any better. Anyway, then I decided I'd buy an old rack module for the MS2000. I figured I'd pair that with the guitar midi-controller, and I just got that today. Haven't looked at it too much, but wondering if that's one I'll regret.
 

Gameface

1-20-21 The End of an Error
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You gonna do some songs about how wrong your Trump predictions were? Asking for a friend.
 

infection

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You gonna do some songs about how wrong your Trump predictions were? Asking for a friend.
You're welcome to go revisit my Trump predictions. I said it'd be close but I favored Trump winning, and that it would come down to PA, WI, MI. I was wrong about GA and AZ. I mentioned that he'd pick up ground with minorities. His support expanded among every demographic group (blacks, hispanics, females, Muslims, gays, etc.) by a pretty decent-sized margin. The only demographic group he lost ground with were white males. The polls weren't close. I called a tight game where Trump won, and laid out the specifics. So if we're talking about being wrong on the dichotomous outcome, sure.
 

infection

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So... the Roland TD1k has a 1/8 output jack. What the hell?
 

infection

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It’s their entry level kit. I believe it’s the only one in their line like that.
Pretty incredible. I’d imagine anything in the ballpark of $500 wouldn’t be treated like a Walkman.
 

infection

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So playing around with the Roland, I think it should work. Initially I had to use headphones and the only ones I have are earphones that have been chewed up by a dog. Eventually I found a 1/8 cable and was able to run it into my bass amp. I still hate the way the cymbals sound and I’ll have to work a bit with the kick to get it to preform how I was, but I figure I’ll probably end up running it was a MIDI controller and using something like Steven Slate Drums. Anyone familiar with that?

Anyway, I wish I had more of my recordings from early 2000s preserved. Influences then (and now) things like The Cure, Type O Negative, others. This recording was a little long and a little repetitive (didn’t have vocals recorded — I don’t sing). I hated the way the drums sounded because I had to play them off a keyboard and they sounded flat and the cymbals bleed through everything. Anyway, I recorded this on the 8 track and without YouTube back then to really learn things, I was clueless. I simply ran the audio out on the 8 track straight into the mic jack on the computer and hit record, so quality lost. I used a Yamaha for the drums and the voice sound at the end. Used a Korg MS2000 for the intro effects and chorus lead. Would be a lot more creative with the drums now, especially being able to actually play them, and would mix things up a bit different with the guitar parts. Guitars have too much distortion. But hey, this was high school me 20 years ago.

 

infection

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So I actually really like the drum set. It sounds worlds different on proper headphones and not on the bass amp. I got the MS2000R a couple days ago but haven't had time to play with it much other than going through the presets. It will take quite a while to learn about synthesis. Finally got the audio interface up and (sort of) running. It's amazing how back in the 90s I used to be on the cutting edge of technology, and now I feel like an old man who's resistant to change and gets confused with all the garbage. I think the biggest things that perhaps maybe I thought I'd use more than I would was that midi guitar. May just use an actual controller instead of that most of the time. But the good news is that I discovered that with proper power adapter, that I can still run the BR-8, so I can pull my original recordings off that.
 

Wes Mantooth

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Just listened to the first few minutes. Felt like that one Steve Miller song at first...then I felt like Sonny Crockett driving along in a sweaty night in Miami. Then, idk. It lost me.
 
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leftyjace

Well-Known Member
Here’s some past life stuff. Not what I’m recording now, but shows you what my voice is like as well as my songwriting (for the original songs - there are some covers in there as well).


A few notes:
The Pop Jockeys stuff was when we were doing a cover band... those were just fun covers we recorded for the heckuvit, and to send to club owners to show that we could actually play.
The Mean Phoenix song was a country song that I wrote that I wanted to record and did for fun as part of a trio that I’ve played with for a long time (was called Mean Phoenix for a while, and most recently we were playing as Dirty Old Men before I started to focus on DJing my 80’s & 90’s parties).
The Humbled Man track by me (now you know my real name) I wrote and recorded waaaaaay back in 1990.
 

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