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  #16  
Old 03-26-2017, 11:00 PM
DWKitt DWKitt is offline
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Originally Posted by DavidE View Post
If you have an iOS device (iPhone, iPad), you can download the free app Music Memos. Extremely easy.
Sorry to piggyback on someone else's thread but I just downloaded this and did some simple recordings and editing. Cool little app. Thanks for this suggestion.
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  #17  
Old 03-27-2017, 03:18 AM
N+1 N+1 is offline
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Just adding a little extra feedback about the Focusrite system.

I'd been using a Tascam DP-008EX 8-track recorder for a couple of years. It was pretty straightforward to use, and quick to set up. I wasn't altogether impressed with the results I was getting though, so thought I'd try moving up a gear.

I bought a Focusrite Scarlett interface pack - including interface, microphone, and software, and set about trying to download and install the software on a laptop. It took me two days of intense frustraton, wrestling with the near-impossible-to-follow instructions, to do that.

But never mind, eventually it was there. Time to make a recording.... Hmmm. Well, long story short, I never did succeed in making a multitrack recording with it, and now the hardware sits in a cupboard, unused, and hated with a deep loathing. I felt that the software could hardly have been designed to be more user-unfriendly than it is. I thought those guys must have really worked hard at being impenetrable.

Now OK, I know what you're thinking. Just call me dim. I know hordes of people use this stuff to make 50 recordings before breakfast, and here am I almost unable to even open the box. There's something wrong with me, clearly. I admit it. But my point here is just to raise a note of caution: not all people can use a Scarlett Interface Audiotorture Thingumabob. Something like a Tascam multitrack recorder, on the other hand, despite its limitations, is so simple that even I can use it.
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  #18  
Old 03-27-2017, 07:13 AM
KevWind KevWind is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N+1 View Post
Just adding a little extra feedback about the Focusrite system.

I'd been using a Tascam DP-008EX 8-track recorder for a couple of years. It was pretty straightforward to use, and quick to set up. I wasn't altogether impressed with the results I was getting though, so thought I'd try moving up a gear.

I bought a Focusrite Scarlett interface pack - including interface, microphone, and software, and set about trying to download and install the software on a laptop. It took me two days of intense frustraton, wrestling with the near-impossible-to-follow instructions, to do that.

But never mind, eventually it was there. Time to make a recording.... Hmmm. Well, long story short, I never did succeed in making a multitrack recording with it, and now the hardware sits in a cupboard, unused, and hated with a deep loathing. I felt that the software could hardly have been designed to be more user-unfriendly than it is. I thought those guys must have really worked hard at being impenetrable.

Now OK, I know what you're thinking. Just call me dim. I know hordes of people use this stuff to make 50 recordings before breakfast, and here am I almost unable to even open the box. There's something wrong with me, clearly. I admit it. But my point here is just to raise a note of caution: not all people can use a Scarlett Interface Audiotorture Thingumabob. Something like a Tascam multitrack recorder, on the other hand, despite its limitations, is so simple that even I can use it.
The above post highlights something that can be a somewhat problematic aspect to digital recording ( particularly for beginners and those unfamiliar with basics of both analog and digital audio and the jargon used )And sometimes even those with experience when switching to different software (DAW).

One problem is of course that different people can have very different learning curves. Another problem with DAW software is that even though the concepts involved are the same, different software designers will use different proprietary terms for these concepts and associated workflow descriptors.

So for example even though the functions and basic workflow is the same between what is actually happening in the Tascam and Focusrite, it is the terminology that causing the problem .
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Last edited by KevWind; 03-27-2017 at 11:05 AM.
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  #19  
Old 03-27-2017, 08:06 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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Very true - every DAW has a learning curve and trying to learn the DAW while also trying to learn the basics of recording can frustrate a lot of people.
I first tried Cakewalk (this was WAY BACK) and after fiddling with it for weeks, gave up, thinking my computer was not good enough because I couldn't get past the latency problem - I had no idea that the real issue was because I wasn't using a proper audio interface (they were expensive back then) and was plugging into a gaming soundcard.
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  #20  
Old 03-27-2017, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N+1 View Post
I'd been using a Tascam DP-008EX 8-track recorder for a couple of years. It was pretty straightforward to use, and quick to set up. I wasn't altogether impressed with the results I was getting though, so thought I'd try moving up a gear
Going from an analog set up to a computer based one is a pretty major switch. Not surprised you had trouble. The goals are the same, but you're required to know a lot more to be able to operate and make it happen.
Since you have some recording experience already, I'd encourage you to not give up, but it will take a lot of patience. Nothing will substitute for your own trial and error and it definitely won't happen overnight. But that's how you learn. I spent years wrestling with OMS/MIDI and the early DAWs learning how it all works. Today things are designed to be much simpler, are cheaper, faster, plug-and-play etc., but that can be deceiving. No matter, you need to learn the basics first. But it will take time.
So much great info is online. Check out vids of people who have similar set ups (or use the same gear) as you. Perhaps you can take a class or hire someone to come over and set you up, get you running and show you some stuff. Ask tons of questions. Don't be overwhelmed, take it one step at a time and you'll see progress.
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  #21  
Old 03-27-2017, 10:16 AM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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A small stereo recorder like the Zoom mentioned above is the simplest solution to just record your playing. You may or may not want to edit much of what this produces, depending on how neat you want the results to be.

You can set minimal goals for this editing, and pick and learn enough to use a computer editing tool to accomplish them. Examples of minimal editing would be cutting off the sections before and after your playing starts or "Normalizing" the audio levels so different songs have more or less the same loudness. Audacity (a free program) can do this. Some of this minimal editing may be available within the handheld recorder too, but personally I have trouble with their small screens and the "dance of the buttons" when doing this.

I'm struck by the responses remarking how difficult it is to learn digital recording/editing applications, and even the thought that old folks in particular will have problems using them. I too remember the learning "hump" of getting over the basics and the unfamiliar terminology. Focusing on the basics you need to know to do what you need to do first is the key in my mind. It would be as if you wanted to learn guitar and someone started you out with a discussion of plectrums, hide glue, complex fingerpicking patterns, the necessity of proper tonewoods and different bracing patterns, and then suggested that you learn all the scales and modes in all the positions on the neck as a starter. That's all interesting knowledge, it all has it's uses, but more folks are more likely to get over the hump of starting guitar if they learn those three chords and start playing, and learning to use recording or editing software is the same in my mind.

Once you get over the initial hump, the other side of recording/editing software is that so much becomes possible and often easier with software.
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  #22  
Old 03-27-2017, 10:30 AM
Fairlight Fairlight is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankHudson View Post
I'm struck by the responses remarking how difficult it is to learn digital recording/editing applications, and even the thought that old folks in particular will have problems using them. I too remember the learning "hump" of getting over the basics and the unfamiliar terminology. Focusing on the basics you need to know to do what you need to do first is the key in my mind. It would be as if you wanted to learn guitar and someone started you out with a discussion of plectrums, hide glue, complex fingerpicking patterns, the necessity of proper tonewoods and different bracing patterns, and then suggested that you learn all the scales and modes in all the positions on the neck as a starter. That's all interesting knowledge, it all has it's uses, but more folks are more likely to get over the hump of starting guitar if they learn those three chords and start playing, and learning to use recording or editing software is the same in my mind.
Yes, picking up the guitar and just playing is good and always encouraged, but you can't just turn on a computer, hit some buttons and expect a good recording. Just as guitar playing is an art form, so is recording, done right. Both take time, patience and practice.
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  #23  
Old 03-27-2017, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairlight View Post
Going from an analog set up to a computer based one is a pretty major switch. Not surprised you had trouble. The goals are the same, but you're required to know a lot more to be able to operate and make it happen.
Since you have some recording experience already, I'd encourage you to not give up, but it will take a lot of patience. Nothing will substitute for your own trial and error and it definitely won't happen overnight. But that's how you learn. I spent years wrestling with OMS/MIDI and the early DAWs learning how it all works. Today things are designed to be much simpler, are cheaper, faster, plug-and-play etc., but that can be deceiving. No matter, you need to learn the basics first. But it will take time.
So much great info is online. Check out vids of people who have similar set ups (or use the same gear) as you. Perhaps you can take a class or hire someone to come over and set you up, get you running and show you some stuff. Ask tons of questions. Don't be overwhelmed, take it one step at a time and you'll see progress.
I am absolutely sure you're right on this, and that eventually, persistence and good advice would have brought some results. But what finally got to me was this: one day, some weeks after setting out on the Focusrite journey, I realised that what I was doing was making me thoroughly miserable. I didn't want to become a recording engineer. In fact I hated the learning process that was clearly necessary. I wanted to play guitar and sometimes record - but I was doing neither - I was just fiddling with the computer all the time. I knew that with the Tascam (and a bit of help from Audacity), I could get a result of sorts, and using that enabled me to spent my time doing the thing I really wanted to do, namely play guitar!

So for me it was a question of recognition: of realising that I'd taken a wrong turning and was at risk of losing the whole point behind what I was doing. Of course it won't be the same for everyone.
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  #24  
Old 03-27-2017, 10:12 PM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairlight View Post
Yes, picking up the guitar and just playing is good and always encouraged, but you can't just turn on a computer, hit some buttons and expect a good recording. Just as guitar playing is an art form, so is recording, done right. Both take time, patience and practice.
I doubt we disagree. My point applied to your example is that if I hand a new person a guitar, they can no more make any music on it than they can record on a computer. If I tell them they can make music, but it'll take a lot of practice and a world of knowledge to do it, many/most will be discouraged. Learning the basics of how to record and do basic editing with software, the DAW equivalent of playing "Home on the Range" or "500 Miles", doesn't take forever, and can be rewarding. You don't even need to develop calluses. Some people will then progress from there to various levels of proficiency.

Most of us here aren't new to the guitar. If a true newby who just got a guitar at Target or Wallmart wondered in here we might scare them off from guitar with our sometimes esoteric focus. But some/many here are new to computer recording/editing.

I remember what it was like. I spent a few years with a Portastudio telling myself that using the computer was just going to get in my way of making music and recordings. I felt just like some of the folks in this thread then. I tell myself computer recording was tougher back then. It sure was more expensive!

Nothing wrong with handhelds or even the current decedents of the Portastudio. They're useful tools for many folks. The OP may well be best served with a modern simple hand-held digital recorder.

Folks with abacuses, calculators, and adding machines did and can still do lots of things I do in Excel, and a word processor won't guarantee my novel is better than multitudes that were typed on a typewriter. But If I know how to use some of the features of a spreadsheet or a word processor, those features that solve problems for me, I find it easier to do that work with a computer.
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  #25  
Old 03-28-2017, 11:33 PM
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JeffreyAK JeffreyAK is offline
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I still have and am starting to get back into using my old Tascam Porta 07 4-track tape recorder, for similar reasons. I'm hardly a technophobe, but when it comes to tools I like simple functional tools that are fairly transparent to use, with knobs and settings that are obvious at a glance. Stop and go buttons, turning wheels to tell me something is happening, etc. But I still use 35 mm film cameras, even old mechanical ones, so perhaps I'm an outlier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by N+1 View Post
Just adding a little extra feedback about the Focusrite system.

I'd been using a Tascam DP-008EX 8-track recorder for a couple of years. It was pretty straightforward to use, and quick to set up. I wasn't altogether impressed with the results I was getting though, so thought I'd try moving up a gear.

I bought a Focusrite Scarlett interface pack - including interface, microphone, and software, and set about trying to download and install the software on a laptop. It took me two days of intense frustraton, wrestling with the near-impossible-to-follow instructions, to do that.

But never mind, eventually it was there. Time to make a recording.... Hmmm. Well, long story short, I never did succeed in making a multitrack recording with it, and now the hardware sits in a cupboard, unused, and hated with a deep loathing. I felt that the software could hardly have been designed to be more user-unfriendly than it is. I thought those guys must have really worked hard at being impenetrable.

Now OK, I know what you're thinking. Just call me dim. I know hordes of people use this stuff to make 50 recordings before breakfast, and here am I almost unable to even open the box. There's something wrong with me, clearly. I admit it. But my point here is just to raise a note of caution: not all people can use a Scarlett Interface Audiotorture Thingumabob. Something like a Tascam multitrack recorder, on the other hand, despite its limitations, is so simple that even I can use it.
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  #26  
Old 03-29-2017, 10:37 AM
N+1 N+1 is offline
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But I still use 35 mm film cameras, even old mechanical ones, so perhaps I'm an outlier.
Well, my Tascam 8-track recorder is one of the old steam-driven ones. It's hard to get the coal for the boiler these days.
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Old 03-29-2017, 05:22 PM
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Well, my Tascam 8-track recorder is one of the old steam-driven ones. It's hard to get the coal for the boiler these days.
I have a lifetime supply stockpiled in the shed next to my film and audio cassette tapes, you can borrow some of mine.
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  #28  
Old 03-30-2017, 02:30 PM
Trevor B. Trevor B. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randers View Post
Apologies in advance if this thread should have been posted in a different discussion.

Simple question, but probably a much more complicated answer... I have:

1. My guitar
2. A MacBook Pro
3. Time

All I would like is to be able to record my instrumental songs so that they can be distributed to friends, family, social media etc. I understand I need a microphone, but do I need any sort of software? Which type of microphone is best if I stick 95% to finger-style?

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  #29  
Old 03-31-2017, 10:06 AM
JakeStone JakeStone is offline
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Wondering what the OP decided...
Haven't seen reply.
Hope all is well Randers
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