Recording Guitar and Band Help.

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Redhouse-Blues, Sep 1, 2006.

  1. Redhouse-Blues

    Redhouse-Blues Member

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    Hello, this is my first post, looks like a great forum.

    I'm the guitar player for a Blues/Rock band and I have been looking for a way to record myself and gig's. I have been looking for a recorder that will record what I'm playing or what we're playing. I really don't need all the effects and amp models. I just really want a easy, but quality way to record what's being played. I was looking at a Fostex package from Guitar Center, the MR8MKII for $299 that comes with a mic for vocals and one for guitar.

    I'm new to recording, so I'm looking for advice and ideas.

    Thank you.
     
  2. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    After years of cassette multitrack and a go at a digital stand alone record that I never could make heads or tails of, my MAC and GarageBand sold me on computer recording. Simply because you have such good visual control as well as great quality. I now use Logic for even more quality and control. If you are not using a Mac, there's still plenty of good DAWs out there for both platforms. The only drawback I have is portability. I cannot pack up my tower and go to a jam session. But sooner or later I'll get a laptop and will then be able to do that, too.
     
  3. Redhouse-Blues

    Redhouse-Blues Member

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    Thanks for the reply,
    I use a PC and I have Guitar Tracks Pro 3, but for the life of me I can't make heads or tails of it and it's not portable for gig's. Guitar Track's has one other thing I don't like. While I'm playing, it echo's and drives me nuts. I heard it's called latency (spelling) and it's my sound card. I have a higher end Creative card, the Audigy 2 ZS.

    So I'm really looking for something easy and portable I guess.
     
  4. Redhouse-Blues

    Redhouse-Blues Member

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    Anybody???????

    Can you guy's tell me other ways you record your guitar and gig's?
     
  5. VSpaceBoy

    VSpaceBoy Member

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    How many instruments? Is there a sound guys? Can you just tape it off the board?


    As for "multi track recording", that fostex unit would work.
     
  6. Redhouse-Blues

    Redhouse-Blues Member

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    No sound guys most of the time. We're a 4 peice, Guitar, Bass, Drums, B3/keys and sometimes a harp player. Most of the places we play have no sound. A few places have a nice setup and have been able to record set's for us, We're looking for something we can use.

    Have you used the Fostex?
    I really know nothing about recording.

    Thanks!
     
  7. SarasotaSlim

    SarasotaSlim Member

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    I used ADATs for a long time and just got a new toy - the Alesis HD24. (If you wanna buy my old ADATs with tons of used tape and compressor/limiters they're for sale CHEAP)
    [​IMG]

    I have some new live stuff from our last 2 gigs at the Ringside and Smoking Dog - same instrument line up you describe.
    http://www.sarasotaslim.com/music.html
     
  8. Mayor McCheese

    Mayor McCheese Member

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    If you have a laptop, you could pick up a Line 6 Toneport and go stereo out of your PA into it. You can also use it to record your guitar and mess around with other stuff. It comes with a version of Abelton Live that has quite a few cool features. $125.
     
  9. Redhouse-Blues

    Redhouse-Blues Member

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    SarasotaSlim, thanks! I really enjoyed the sound clips on your site, really good stuff! I'm looking to go digital and burn to CD.

    Mayor McCheese, I do have a laptop, can you tell me a little more about how that works.
     
  10. SarasotaSlim

    SarasotaSlim Member

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    Keep in mind that when record stereo off the board you're stuck with that mix. If you multi-track you can tweak things to match and correct levels.
     
  11. 1Way

    1Way Member

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    If you already have a laptop, I'd examine DAW software for it. I'm searching for something similar myself.

    But first, what is the laptop's specs? Is it a recent up to date XP machine, or??? I hear that you want a good XP laptop, anything with issues or not up to date can spell problems with multimedia/sound applications.

    If you can't afford to buy the best/expensive software, you might do it the garage sale way, maybe download some demo versions, buy from ebay, and then pay for newer versions that you know you prefer once you get the money saved up. I'd try out a few software programs BEFORE buying, as it can get quite expensive and disappointing doing the old marketers way...

    For a great shareware recording software program, try out Audacity. It's a free download and works surprisingly clean and is easy to use right thru a standard sound card input jack.

    If you want improved inputs via preamp'ed mics into a quality firewire unit, you might want to check out PreSonus Firebox. They have several units which I've heard say they do well for the latency issue. Firebox is a top seller for around $300 and includes some recording software, although I believe you can use different software (that is Cubase compatible).

    If I had a laptop already, and you want separate tracks for each player, I'd go with a FirePod 10 channel which has 8 (preamp'ed) mic inputs and 8 outputs, and claims "zero latency" monitoring for about $500 and also comes with Cubase LE...

    Since I'm not in a band yet, I lean toward the $300 Firebox... But with a $300 Line6 PodXT w/USB connection, I can do most things I need and not necessarily need a laptop just yet... But I wonder about the latency with that unit and whether or not a Firebox w/Cubase LE will end up replacing the PodXT...

    There's also another Line6 Toneport product that's a bit nicer than the guitar port mentioned earlier... Here's a link. http://www.musiciansfriend.com/rec/navigation?q=toneport
    While your there, check out the Presonus stuff. Also Harmony Central has reviews of this sort of thing, so researching some there can offer some help too.
     
  12. Redhouse-Blues

    Redhouse-Blues Member

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    Thanks 1way, the laptop is a new Gateway with XP Pro, 512 on the Ram and 100 gig HD and nice graphics and a CD/DVD Burner. I'm going to download Audacity and check it out. I'm going to go check out the Line6 stuff this weekend at GC. What about Guitar Tracks Pro 3? If I don't want to use my laptop, what other route could I go? Is there something portable that will just record what being played, something stand alone?
     
  13. Tweeker

    Tweeker Supporting Member

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    You haven't said if you want to multitrack your live recordings. If you want to "just record what's being played", then maybe a live to stereo set up is all you need. If that's the case, then a Mini Disc, flash recorder or CD recorder will get you a convenient and clean digital recording. The choice of recorder is WAAAAAAY less important than how you use it.
    The choices you have when recording live to two track are:
    1) Micing the room
    2) Direct from board / mono or stereo
    3) A mix of live micing in the room and direct from board

    All of these choices have their advantages and disadvantages.
    1) Micing the room and/or PA speakers will basically capture the same sound that the audience is hearing. Unless the band is mixed perfectly in a great sounding room, don't expect thrilling results. If nothing else, itÂ’s a great learning tool.
    2) Direct from the board. If the band goes through the board, this can give you a clean (if somewhat one dimensional) representation of the band. You can use post fader aux outs for a recording mix that is separate from the house mix. It can take some trial and error, but if the band is consistent, you can get some very good results this way. If your mixer is stereo, you can pan players to match their stage positions. Recording vocals-Left and band-Right will allow for a bit of re-balancing later on.
    3) You need a separate mixer to pull this off, but a there are cheap portable units with a mic pre that will do the job. This gives you the room sound and board sound as discreet recordings - making for more possibilities later.

    I hope this info is helpful.
     
  14. 1Way

    1Way Member

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    Putting on my salesman cap for a minuet. With a laptop, you already have so much processing power available. I find it very hard to imagine a better rig for a musician/band. All you need is the right PC interface and software and your good to go.

    You can do so many cool things when you have a PC involved. But if all you want to do is record, I'd listen to tweeker. Also, you can buy into a stand alone recorder, some have numerous inputs and such. Check out MusiciansFriend etc.

    SAVE $200+ hardware tuner
    However, if you stick with your laptop, which sounds like a great machine, you can download a FREE tuner (G-tune 2.5) and save yourself $200 clams on a 30 times more accurate tuner than the affordable hardware tuners and it will seriously help you intonate your guitars better.

    SAVE $800+ Quality Hardware Lick Learner
    You can download lick learner type programs that allow you to independently change the tempo or the pitch or both, which can be a God send for learning new tough parts, or for changing the song pitch so that you don't have to change the tuning for the entire band! Your backing track pitch is too high, then just lower it to your instruments pitch.

    The singer wishes the song was 1 step lower, well then, click click, OK, now a step lower! I have a Tascam guitar trainer, it's ok, but you can only use it on CD's, and when you get to half speed, it's sounds like digital bumpy crap. PC software does a much better job, perhaps twice as good and may rival expensive hardware units! Some are that good for free or maybe 30 bucks! Plenty to choose from.

    S/W sequencing, amp modeling, effects $0.40 on the h/w dollar
    You meet with just your singer and bassist and you get this great synergy for a new song composition, but there's no drummer around,,, click click, and you have an sequenced back beat set to any tempo you choose, and away you record without the hassle of wishing you had more accompaniment!

    PC interface w/studio S/W $.70 on the h/w dollar
    A PC helps from practice, to spontaneous composition, to initial recording tracks, to mixdown, to burning DVD's and CD's. They make cell phone cards so you can call your club manager and tell him your on your way, or check the internet for email or web browsing. Make videos, print flyers, and order pizza and beer for goodness sake!!! How can you loose?

    It's an open and highly portable platform. Just add sufficient connectivity and software and the sky is the limit.

    Hey, I would have tried soft sell, but I like to go for it and see what happens...

    :dude

    :roll
     
  15. Redhouse-Blues

    Redhouse-Blues Member

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    Thanks everybody, you guys rock!

    I'm going to try the laptop route, I downloaded Audacity and now I have to decide on a interface, so I will look into the Line6 and Fire Pod products this weekend or Musicians Friend, I just got a great discount flyer in the mail.

    What about Guitar Tracks Pro 3? I can score a copy for free.

    Thanks again.
     
  16. DaveDaveDave

    DaveDaveDave Member

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    Glad to hear you're going the laptop route - I totally agree with 1way.


    RE: Guitar Tracks Pro - Hey, free software is free software... can't beat that. These days for newbies I've been recommending Mackie's "Traction 2". Although I'm a Cubase SX user, and I have tried a
    lot of different software, the simplicity and ease of use of Traktion is just awesome. Just about everything is on the screen at the same time, so the machine becomes less encumbering - one of the major complaints amongst fans of the standalone all-in-one studios. Anyway, I highly recommend checking out the free demo:
    http://www.mackie.com/products/tracktion/tracktion.html

    It's $150, but it also comes bundles with Mackie interfaces (not my faves, but better than most stuff) like the Onyx gear (which I've never tried).

    I've heard good things about the Lexicon Omega and Lambda boxes.. they come with Cubase LE, which is a good start. Anything bundled with LE is upgradable to Cubase SE, SL or SX (actually, Cubase is being repackaged as Cubase 4 and Cubase Studio 4)... so it's like $100 off of upgrade down the road if you stick with Cubase.

    Anyway, there's a slew of USB and Firewire interfaces out there now, from Tascam, Alesis, Digidesign, M-Audio, Edirol/Roland, Yamaha, Terratec, RME - you name it. It's going to be hard to make a choice, given the choices!
     
  17. Redhouse-Blues

    Redhouse-Blues Member

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    I went and check out a few things at the music store today, Woodwind & Brasswind in Southbend IN. Their recording guy suggested the Korg D888 for what I need. It's 8 in and 8 out, so it should be perfect for a 5 piece band. It has a 40 gig HD and in stereo you should get 60 hours of music recorded. Then I can dump it in the computer and edit it. I didn't get to try any interfaces today, they didn't have any on hand.

    What do you guys think of the D888?
     
  18. 1Way

    1Way Member

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    I don't know. So I'm going to respond tangently to your more recent question. Most people tell me that if you already have a decent pc, it's both better and cheaper to record with your pc. If you have a secret reason for not wanting to go that route, then it's hard for us to respond to such a thing. You get more functionality, controls and options and less hassles than you are likely to encounter with dedicated/proprietary hardware and firmware like you get with a stand alone unit. And typically the cost is lower to achieve this improved working environment. Or you can spend some of that savings and have an even better recording rig.

    Also, with a dedicated (read proprietary) recorder, if you discover some drawback, like a lack of file format/sound resolution choices, or you'd like more control or better anything, then 9 out of 10 times your stuck without. But if you want to expand the abilities of a more open architecture like a laptop DAW, most of the time you can do it.

    How did you like WW&BW? I live just 45 mins east of there. They have an amp room to envy unless there's a bunch in there already! Also, Gibson recently put in a custom shop section so I sometimes drool over there. It's gotta be the coolest music store I've been in, although Elderly for example have more savvy sales and tech people. I think they are in Battle CreekMI, another great music store in this area.

    One last word to the wise that I have not touched on yet. Recording is NOT just pushing that little special button to start and the other button to stop. When you are in a band, especially if more than one person is intimately involved, recording may more likely mean lots of changes, which means lots of interaction with the recorder's interface. On the PC, you'd have a (what?) 10,000% larger screen to deal with, which is a huge issue, and you'd have a much larger and more capable keyboard and mouse to quickly make changes. Plus the software will be designed to take advantage of this much more open and functional interface.

    Conversely, on the little stand alone unit, you'll be spending much more time scrolling between options that necessarily will have less functionality on a tiny little readout. I mean lets face it, if you added more functionality, you'd have to scroll thru even more little screens to finally get to that extra functionality, and that is a hassle. Every time you go to interface with the recorder, it may take you longer and you will wish it was a bigger screen and had more intuitive options like they always have on a PC rig.

    Then again, if it's what you want, and your happy with a stand alone machine, more power to ya! :BEER Best of luck with your search and let us know how things work out for ya.
     
  19. Redhouse-Blues

    Redhouse-Blues Member

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    When I went yesterday their recording guy wasn't there so the guy that helped had little knowledge, so I didn't get to check out a PC stuff because the guy just didn't know. I going back to see the right guy, they have PC's and Mac's setup to Demo the software and interfaces's, which is what I want to see. I'm going to go the PC route, it has more advantages and cheaper to start with, but the D888 looks easy to work with.

    WW&BW is an awesome store, with great people. It's always worth the 45 mile drive from St. Joe for me. The guitar guy Dave really knows has stuff and is a good player. The Custom Shop guys really know their stuff, these guys know guitars and are great players. The guitars are always setup and in great playing condition, which I would except since their tech is from the Guitar Hospital. I spent two hours yesterday playing the custom shop acoustics, looking for one with a almost C shape neck. Not only are they Gibson, but also Fender custom shop, they have great custom shop Strat's and one of only four dealers to get the new Thin Skin's, which I just brought a few months back. They also just started taking in gear for trade in.

    Elderly's is in Lansing MI. and also a very good store and very well known, always worth the 100 mile drive.
     
  20. 1Way

    1Way Member

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    Wow, that sounds cool, didn't know about the Fender Custom Shop stuff, nor did I know that they started taking in trades, that is so cool! Thanks for the correction about the right city for Elderly (chuckles, at least I was in the right state) :rolleyes: . I visited "one" time but called there numerous times. Great bunch there. Played a sweet old Gibson hollow body I think it was, with P90's, and wow, I found they sounded really great.

    I didn't know WWBW had pc's setup for checking out different pc recording and studio stuff, that is seriously cool. I'll have to give a look see! Thanks!!! As for some of the big name PC recording software, I gather they can be a bit intimidating at first, but like many things worth while, getting over the learning curve pays off in the long run. I think I've only been to BH like once or twice to make a pickup while truck driving. Hope the city is going well. Are there lots of places to play for bands around there? I mostly go to Kalamazoo for blues, although I hear there's more up in Grand Rapids too.
     

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