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  #1  
Old 06-14-2022, 08:04 AM
zplay zplay is offline
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Default Set-up for Recording Practice

The current thread about uses of a ZOOM F3 reminded me that I need advise as to a basic set-up for at home recording mainly for aiding my practice. I have an old ZOOM H4 which I am again trying to learn to use, but i do find it a bit awkward to work with mounted on a camera tripod and having to strain with the very small buttons and small read out, etc. Is there an easier basic set-up for mic recording ..... or modes it make more sense to have a pick-up installed in my acoustic?
Thanks for any suggestions
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  #2  
Old 06-14-2022, 08:23 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Here's my current "play pen". A single power strip button turns on overhead Bistro lights, looper, and amps. It's very relaxing and enjoyable place to pass an hour or two in the evening. For pure enjoyment in working out songs and general fun, I use the looper with amp and separate bass guitar and amp.

I can record a backing track of rhythm guitar and bass in only a couple of minutes using the looper, or select one of the other 20 "backing tracks" that I have previously recorded if I simply want to sit down and play.

The other stuff is for more serious recording, transferring recorded files to a separate DAW located elsewhere for editing.


Last edited by Rudy4; 06-14-2022 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 06-14-2022, 11:21 AM
zplay zplay is offline
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Thanks for your response, Rudy!
Yeah that look like a nice space to play and record in.
It sounds like you like a looper for the basic recording and playing along with a rhythm or bass track. Is the input getting to the looper by way of a mic for your acoustics or do you plug into a pickup? Does the looper work as a recorder or do you need a separate device? - Thanks for answering these basic questions; I am a total novice at recording.
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Old 06-14-2022, 02:55 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zplay View Post
Thanks for your response, Rudy!
Yeah that look like a nice space to play and record in.
It sounds like you like a looper for the basic recording and playing along with a rhythm or bass track. Is the input getting to the looper by way of a mic for your acoustics or do you plug into a pickup? Does the looper work as a recorder or do you need a separate device? - Thanks for answering these basic questions; I am a total novice at recording.
I plug directly in from a guitar. Everything I use pretty much has a pickup in it. My acoustic guitars have K&K Pure Minis in them.

The looper can be used to "record" the entire tune or song, and I do use it that way occasionally. Normally I record a structure such as verse / verse / chorus and just loop it to practice over.

I have some detailed information on the exact process I use in the "How Do YOU Use A Looper?" topic. Do read that one and watch the videos to see how I use my looper. There are some others who have also contributed to that topic.
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Old 06-14-2022, 04:01 PM
zplay zplay is offline
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OK, i will check out the looper topic. Much obliged.
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Old 06-14-2022, 08:53 PM
Chipotle Chipotle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zplay View Post
The current thread about uses of a ZOOM F3 reminded me that I need advise as to a basic set-up for at home recording mainly for aiding my practice. I have an old ZOOM H4 which I am again trying to learn to use, but i do find it a bit awkward to work with mounted on a camera tripod and having to strain with the very small buttons and small read out, etc. Is there an easier basic set-up for mic recording ..... or modes it make more sense to have a pick-up installed in my acoustic?
Thanks for any suggestions
Other than just using a recording app on your phone, there probably isn't a much easier way than a Zoom. The newer models appear to have a larger display than the old H4 (tho I'm just going by pics on the internet) so maybe that's all you need?

Even if you have a pickup in your guitar, you still have to plug that pickup into something to record... like a Zoom. I think what Rudy means by "record" with the looper is that loopers capture a bit of performance and play it over and over in a loop which is usually meant to be temporary. You can hear back what you just played, so a looper can be used as a rudimentary recording devices, but most aren't meant to save the recording and transfer it anywhere else. Depending on what you want to do with your captured recording, a looper might not be any easier--and may be more difficult--to use than a Zoom or the like.

You'll see in the "Looper" thread, Rudy is still using a Tascam DR-05 to actually capture/record the final audio.

What do you want to do with the finished audio? Just hear it back right then, save it to listen to later, get it onto a computer so you can share it with others? That will guide your solution.
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Old 06-15-2022, 06:31 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipotle View Post
Other than just using a recording app on your phone, there probably isn't a much easier way than a Zoom. The newer models appear to have a larger display than the old H4 (tho I'm just going by pics on the internet) so maybe that's all you need?

Even if you have a pickup in your guitar, you still have to plug that pickup into something to record... like a Zoom. I think what Rudy means by "record" with the looper is that loopers capture a bit of performance and play it over and over in a loop which is usually meant to be temporary. You can hear back what you just played, so a looper can be used as a rudimentary recording devices, but most aren't meant to save the recording and transfer it anywhere else. Depending on what you want to do with your captured recording, a looper might not be any easier--and may be more difficult--to use than a Zoom or the like.

You'll see in the "Looper" thread, Rudy is still using a Tascam DR-05 to actually capture/record the final audio.

What do you want to do with the finished audio? Just hear it back right then, save it to listen to later, get it onto a computer so you can share it with others? That will guide your solution.
All true, but there are many directions you can go while working out the best combination of equipment and technique to accomplish your goal.

I normally record the form of the material I'm working with, such as AAB, or verse / verse / chorus, directly with the looper but I also record entire songs with more complex forms or song structures with the looper. I use these as "backing tracks" but have also recorded the looper outputs directly into a stand alone recorder or computer setup using an audio interface and DAW program.

Many loopers have USB ports and/or removable SD cards to easily transport recorded files to your computer for editing. Most loopers (all?) with memory slots store the loop files as 44.1 khz. 16 or 24 bit standard broadcast wav files.

Some loopers require you take an extra step to assign your loop to a storage location and save it. Other loopers, like the Electroharmonix 720 and 1440 automatically store your loop, no need to bend over to scroll to a storage location or manually "save" your work in progress.

Last edited by Rudy4; 06-16-2022 at 06:54 AM.
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Old 06-15-2022, 07:53 PM
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TBman TBman is offline
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When I'm doing a practice recording, most of the time I'm sitting on my desk with the Zoom H5 just sitting on a folded towel, as I'm using the built in mics.

When I'm recording "for real" I have the Zoom mounted on a bar that is attached to a mic boom and I use two external mics to record then.

Here's the boom arm attachment. I have a tripod mount thing that screws onto the end that has a smaller male attachment that the H5 screws into:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...ide-mount-boom
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Last edited by TBman; 06-15-2022 at 07:59 PM.
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  #9  
Old 06-23-2022, 02:58 PM
zplay zplay is offline
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Thanks for all of the responses and good ideas. This has been real helpful.

For now i've just decided to use my old ZOOM H4 mounted to a cheap camera tripod to record single guitar tracks with no vocals. As i am old with failing near vision, i do find it to be a challenge to see the controls and to make out the screen display at times. Possible I might spring for a new ZOOM model if i keep at it. As i am also learning to develop leads to recorded rhythm/song tracks , I thought a looper might be the best for this purpose, but i will probably not go this direction yet, as I would need additional equipment such as a speaker and cable.
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Old 06-24-2022, 02:27 PM
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keith.rogers keith.rogers is offline
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I have a mic on a boom stand next to the desk, and it's usually plugged into the interface, so if I want to just grab a scratch guitar/mando/vocal direct into my DAW, I just slide the boom out and play/sing into the mic.

Or, I have my Zoom F8n on a small camera tripod, like the one in the pic, and plug stuff into that, if I want to do it that way. (Or, if I need to go downstairs to play with someone else, I can grab the Zoom and some mics, because it gets too friggin' hot for two people to be in this room with the door closed and the fan off for any length of time right now.)

I've found that having something set up all the time so I can pretty much just "push the red button" gets more stuff recorded.
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  #11  
Old 06-24-2022, 02:52 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keith.rogers View Post
I have a mic on a boom stand next to the desk, and it's usually plugged into the interface, so if I want to just grab a scratch guitar/mando/vocal direct into my DAW, I just slide the boom out and play/sing into the mic.

Or, I have my Zoom F8n on a small camera tripod, like the one in the pic, and plug stuff into that, if I want to do it that way. (Or, if I need to go downstairs to play with someone else, I can grab the Zoom and some mics, because it gets too friggin' hot for two people to be in this room with the door closed and the fan off for any length of time right now.)

I've found that having something set up all the time so I can pretty much just "push the red button" gets more stuff recorded.
Excellent setup. I'm with you on the idea of being ready to record as soon as the inspiration strikes.

I have a bunch of mics, but I keep the Roswell Mini K-47 on a stand and ready to deploy. I can sit down and use the looper immediately or use the Zoom R-20 recorder in less than a minute.

The recorder takes all that extra time to load a new project and boot up the phantom power for the mic.

Although I don't own one, anybody who is interested in setting up a similar computer-less practice area might want to think about a Zoom R8 multi-track recorder, a set of headphones, and a small pair of powered monitors. That would get you a very usable setup for making backup tracks or working out songs, tunes, and ideas. The Zoom R8 is only slightly more complicated than one of the old cassette recorders. After the first couple days of figuring out how to operate it you'll be composing your own radio-ready hits.
(Well, a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea!)

Last edited by Rudy4; 06-24-2022 at 03:02 PM.
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  #12  
Old 06-25-2022, 09:10 AM
CASD57 CASD57 is offline
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Microphone on a boom into a Mackie Pro FX6v3 mixer (wished I had gone to the next one up)
The Mackie is a USB interface also.
This goes into my computer
and the Main out goes into a Kustom PB50 so I can play louder if I want

The Microphone picks up the guitar and vocal just fine without plugging in
But if I use my Strat or ES335 I run it into a Zoom G1-Four that goes into the mixer
Basic setup but gets the job for my amateur recordings that I use for improving my playing and singing
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Old 06-29-2022, 07:29 PM
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Here's a picture of my basement recording area for tunes I post up here. Pretty basic. My F3 or H5 would be attached to the mic stand on the right. The guitar is a McIlroy A20 I just purchased.
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