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  #16  
Old 04-24-2012, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by SeamusORiley View Post
This is great! You've got a real nice singing voice; great range and reach for the high notes. The lead guitar was nice. Does it come with drum?

This is pretty much what I am wanting to do. I don't sing as well as you, but can do some instrumentals.

What a nice job you did! Your version of "Morning Has Broken" is beautiful.
Thanks for your kind words Seamus.

Well the lead guitar doesn't come with the drum. I recorded just drum first on 1 channel (track) and then recorded vocal and guitar chord together on top of that channel by another channel, and then recorded lead guitar on top of those 2 channels (tracks) by the third channel.

This is the first time ever that I did these 3 layers with Tascam DP-02. But I'm pretty sure I can do it even easier with the cheaper Tascam DP-008.

I'm glad that you can see how technically easy to do it. I'm sure if I can do it anybody else can do it BETTER.

About "Morning....", I did that by straight recording through Mackie 802-VLZ3 and 3 condenser mics through Zoom Q3HD, and no Tascam involved, just one layer no dubbing at all. I just wanted to hear how it's going to come out.

Let's get going now Seamus
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Old 04-25-2012, 05:31 AM
SeamusORiley SeamusORiley is offline
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I was reading the reviews on the Tascam dp 004 yesterday, which is cheaper than the 8 track, but it seems that a lot of people feel strongly about having a reverb, which I know little about. I have been searching online to learn the difference between the 4 and the 8. It is interesting that the little 4 track is based upon the old cassette model that I used so many years ago!

I admire a 62 year old who is tech savvy! I hope to get there, one day, and know my way around my son's iPad but feel pressed by time. I have gotten back to dedicating one hour a day to guitar practice.

My H-1 is still with the company. I had the battery drain problem which they fix for free, so I am not able to record my practicing right now.
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  #18  
Old 04-25-2012, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by SeamusORiley View Post
Are other old guys, like myself, trying to put down some tracks on their own?



I am now thinking about the 6 string banjo!


I am glad I am not alone in fear of new tech. Fran's website is a huge help.

I'd like to put together a CD of acoustic music for my wife and kids, and eventually, for my grandchildren. I am only a hobbyist and this is something I have to do alone.
You are not alone in doing this! I'm an Old Guy too, and even bought a 5-string banjo a couple of years ago to include in the instrument mix of the songs I record.

I use a small Boss BR864, which is an 8-track digital recorder that allows me to record two tracks at a time. If I need more than 8 tracks, I can mix the 8 tracks and bounce them to another two tracks, leaving 6 tracks again open for recording. I can do this up to 64 tracks. This is how I used to record on an old Tascam Porta 02 4 track cassette recorder, but I could only bounce tracks one or two times because the quality would degrade with each bounce. With digital recordings there is very little to no detectable loss when bouncing tracks!

The Boss has an internal mic, but I don't use it. Instead, I use a couple of dynamic mics (EV n/d767a) I had for live gigging already. It doesn't result in "pro" sounding recordings, but it's fun to do and I have created an archive of songs for my friends and family. The BR models have several built in effects such as reverb, chorus, and amp simulators. They also include algorithms for mastering. They are a little more complex than the old simple Tascam Porta studios, but basically operate the same way. I found it very intuitive and easy to use.

The BR-864 is no longer made and sold, but you can find them cheap on E-bay and Craigs List. The BR-900 was the next generation, and I think there is a smaller model that was produced also. I don't know how good the new models are, but if they are based on the previous units they should produce decent quality and be easy to use.
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  #19  
Old 04-25-2012, 09:52 AM
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I started with a Zoom H2. I migrated to a Zoom R16. Not very portable but perfect for what I do. I use the H2 to capture "moments of inspiration" and the occasional demo.
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  #20  
Old 04-25-2012, 12:50 PM
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Hi Seamus et al:

I’m 63, and I began hobby recording in the 80s using Fostex and Tascam 4-track cassette recorders. In the late 90s my wife bought an Apple computer and revolutionized my multitracking. Apples include the program Garageband (GB) as part of their OS package. I started using GB and have never looked back. My wife soon got fed up with me filling up her hard drive with recordings, so I bought my own iMac.

Computer recording, whether on a Mac or Windows platform, allows almost unlimited multitracking, as well as adding effects, overdubbing, easy repair of mistakes, etc etc.

I guess that this is a vote for using a computer, rather than a stand-alone recorder. I don’t know what stand-alones cost, but for computer recording you’ll need an interface (a box that transforms microphone input to digital signal). There are many low-priced interfaces out there – I have a simple M-Audio box that has served me well for 10 years.

As I said, GB comes on Macs at no cost. For Windows, there are some good programs available, such as Audacity (free) and Reaper (very cheap). You can also collaborate with other musicians online by using an internet drop box (I use www.box.net)

As others have said here, computer recording has a fairly steep learning curve, but the rewards are worth it.
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  #21  
Old 04-25-2012, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by rdm321 View Post
As others have said here, computer recording has a fairly steep learning curve, but the rewards are worth it.
One thing to keep in mind is that the "learning curve" is mostly figuring out all the buttons to ignore until you need them. Computer DAWs look intimidating because they offer so many features. But the basics of recording on most of them are just about identical to something like a portastudio:

1. Create a track (the portastudio creates 4 and only 4 for you - on a computer, you'll probably have to find the "new track" button, or start up with a template that pre-creates them.)

2. Arm the track you want to record on (same as a portastudio) and set levels (same as a portastudio)

3. Hit record (Same as a portastudio)

4. Rewind and play back (same as a portastudio)

5. Arm an other track and overdub (same as a portastudio)

That's about it, and you're now doing everything you can do on a simple hardware recorder, and doing it pretty much the exact same way. Most even have a mixer panel and transport panel that looks amazingly like the hardware. All the complexity and learning curve tends to come when you start asking "what are all those other buttons?"

The other aspect of computer recording is getting the audio interface configured. But that can be as easy these days as buying a USB mic and plugging into the USB port, again not that different from plugging a mic into a hardware portastudio.

Just don't let all the extra buttons overwhelm you. Ignore them and start recording. The computer offers so much more flexibility once you're ready to explore further that it makes little sense to me to use any hardware multi-tracker in most situations (tho they do have their uses). At a minimum, just get something like the portastudio app on an ipad!
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  #22  
Old 04-25-2012, 02:35 PM
SeamusORiley SeamusORiley is offline
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This is going to be fun.

I found a like new Tascam 4 track for little money on ebay and will start. I think the learning curve will be survived, as described by others, using only what I need first.

I am glad to hear of someone else loving an Apple before they were super-popular!

I can't even imagine using 8 tracks or more, but it sounds like fun.

Has anyone tried using a 6 string banjo for background sound? (for those not in a band, who were just alone trying to make a sound).

I do have a Macbook pro, so as I progress, I can learn to edit, and should have the Zoom h1 back in two weeks. (I used to record on an H2, which had AMAZING sound...until I accidentally plugged in the wrong AC and fried it!).

In terms of variety and loving country blues, along with some of the usual Dylan, Beatles, type material, would home recording old guys recommend my next purchase to be:

a. acoustic bass
b. 6 string banjo

If I go the route of bass, I'll pick up a Homespun DVD on how to play bass and learn some of the basics. I appreciate any recommendations!
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  #23  
Old 04-25-2012, 04:30 PM
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This is going to be fun.

a. acoustic bass

If I go the route of bass, I'll pick up a Homespun DVD on how to play bass and learn some of the basics. I appreciate any recommendations!
Hi again,

Yeah, I'm sure it's gonna be lots of fun.
May I have some recommendations about bass? I happened to be a bass player (electric bass) when I was in my teen and permanently stopped playing in the band in 1978.
As you may know, 4 string electric bass strings are simply the EADG open string just like the 4 strings of 6 string guitar (minus B and E). So essentially you just play 4 strings of guitar (mostly 1 note at a time, until you get so fancy and want to play more than 1 note at a time on bass later on!)
So you don't REALLY need to buy DVD, you can REAllY learn how to play electric bass free from YouTube's free bass lessons.
I used to glanced at those acoustic basses and they're not cheap considering how/what you are going to use it for. I still have my Fender P and Fender J and I just record it by LINE recording. I believe the bass tone will be cleaner and easier to work with than acoustic bass via mic.
I'd suggest look for cheap electric bass at Ebay or even your local Craigslist. Japanese basses are OK for what you intend to use it for. I don't think you should pay more than $100 and I wouldn't be surprise if you can find an OK one for $50!!!

Something like this;
http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lgb...970100175.html

Or this;
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dr-Tech-Clas...item3a730dfbb8
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Last edited by napman; 04-25-2012 at 04:40 PM.
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  #24  
Old 04-26-2012, 07:25 AM
rdm321 rdm321 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
One thing to keep in mind is that the "learning curve" is mostly figuring out all the buttons to ignore until you need them. Computer DAWs look intimidating because they offer so many features. But the basics of recording on most of them are just about identical to something like a portastudio:

1. Create a track (the portastudio creates 4 and only 4 for you - on a computer, you'll probably have to find the "new track" button, or start up with a template that pre-creates them.)

2. Arm the track you want to record on (same as a portastudio) and set levels (same as a portastudio)

3. Hit record (Same as a portastudio)

4. Rewind and play back (same as a portastudio)

5. Arm an other track and overdub (same as a portastudio)

That's about it, and you're now doing everything you can do on a simple hardware recorder, and doing it pretty much the exact same way. Most even have a mixer panel and transport panel that looks amazingly like the hardware. All the complexity and learning curve tends to come when you start asking "what are all those other buttons?"

The other aspect of computer recording is getting the audio interface configured. But that can be as easy these days as buying a USB mic and plugging into the USB port, again not that different from plugging a mic into a hardware portastudio.

Just don't let all the extra buttons overwhelm you. Ignore them and start recording. The computer offers so much more flexibility once you're ready to explore further that it makes little sense to me to use any hardware multi-tracker in most situations (tho they do have their uses). At a minimum, just get something like the portastudio app on an ipad!
Good points, Doug

Seamus, that Macbook will be very useful indeed for editing & mixing, and for adding effects like a bit of reverb, panning instruments left/right, and so on.

A couple of recommendations: first get a book on GarageBand. I have “for Dummies” and I refer to it regularly, even after using the program for years. Second, get an external hard drive to back up your “in progress” recordings and to store finished tracks. Better yet, get 2 external HDs and back up onto both, because one will eventually fail.

I second Napman’s bass recommendation. Acoustic basses are relatively pricey, they can be finicky to record via microphone, and they usually have to be amplified when jamming with other acoustic instruments. I have a mid 80s Ibanez Roadstar (copy of a Fender P). I plug it in directly and it fills all of my bass needs. I also take it to a monthly acoustic jam and play it through a small Crate amp (that fits on the rear carrier of my bicycle).

As for banjo, I have the use of a relative’s tenor banjo that I’ve used a few times to add a bit of colour to a chorus or bridge. I tune it like a guitar. I’ve seen those 6-string banjos (banjitars?), and they sound OK. But also consider a used tenor or 5-string – you can tune them any way you like! Ukuleles can be fun as well.

Home recording is a fun journey – enjoy!
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  #25  
Old 04-26-2012, 10:08 AM
SeamusORiley SeamusORiley is offline
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Napman, and other old guys who are into home recording:

did you use electric bass or did anyone go to acoustic bass?

Since this is likely the 2nd step for me, I am thinking acoustic bass so I don't have the need to buy an amp, and can continue to enjoy the acoustic sound.

2 years ago I played at a blue grass jam (they were great) and someone played a huge stand up bass...it was beautifully sounding.
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  #26  
Old 04-26-2012, 10:39 AM
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A stand-up bass (bass fiddle) is a whole different animal than an acoustic bass guitar and has much more volume than you will ever get from an acoustic bass guitar. I use an electric Fender Squier P bass on my recordings. I plug directly into the recorder and can obtain a variety of good bass sounds (including acoustic) using the preset bass and amp simulators provided by my recorder. BTW, I picked up the bass used for only $75 about 5 few years ago. I do not own an amp...never saw the need for one with what I do.
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  #27  
Old 04-26-2012, 10:40 AM
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Hi Seamus:

I’ve only ever used an electric bass. Acoustic bass guitars (ABG) don’t have the body volume to properly amplify low notes. Stand-up basses sound good because they are large enough to do the job. If you are playing an ABG with a single acoustic guitar, it should hold its own, but in a larger group jam, an ABG can’t keep up. And since they tend to be more expensive than electrics……..

Another note on adding bass to a recording: GarageBand has a library of digital instrument sounds. Many of these are rather artificial-sounding, but some of the basses (eg upright jazz bass & Liverpool bass) aren’t bad. GB allows the user to choose a digital instrument, then to input notes using the computer keyboard – select Control – Musical Typing. These notes can later be edited to change pitch, location and duration of the notes. Several of my projects have “bass” played in this way – no instrument required.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:14 AM
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There's a great upright bass from Native Instruments for their free Kontakt player. I use it a lot
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  #29  
Old 04-26-2012, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by SeamusORiley View Post
Napman, and other old guys who are into home recording:

did you use electric bass or did anyone go to acoustic bass?

..... and someone played a huge stand up bass...it was beautifully sounding.
Hi Seamus,

I just finished recording this following raw dry-run for you so you can hear the electric Fender Precision bass that I played. But be aware that the bass strings are so old (at least 20 years or even longer!!!!). I plugged directly in my Tascam DP-02 among the other drum machine, lead guitar, second guitar (chord) and my vocal. So this audio clip is actually a 4 tracks dubbing in 1 take.

And speaking about huge stand up bass, I used to play that a little bit when I was in college, we called it Doubled bass for whatever the reasons. If you love acoustic guitar sound then this DB is a true music to your ears and absolutely no electric sound involved not even metal frets to be touched with :-))

http://soundcloud.com/napman9/bass-t...ing-for-seamus
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Last edited by napman; 04-26-2012 at 06:22 PM.
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  #30  
Old 04-27-2012, 05:40 AM
SeamusORiley SeamusORiley is offline
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Originally Posted by napman View Post
Hi Seamus,

I just finished recording this following raw dry-run for you so you can hear the electric Fender Precision bass that I played. But be aware that the bass strings are so old (at least 20 years or even longer!!!!). I plugged directly in my Tascam DP-02 among the other drum machine, lead guitar, second guitar (chord) and my vocal. So this audio clip is actually a 4 tracks dubbing in 1 take.

And speaking about huge stand up bass, I used to play that a little bit when I was in college, we called it Doubled bass for whatever the reasons. If you love acoustic guitar sound then this DB is a true music to your ears and absolutely no electric sound involved not even metal frets to be touched with :-))

http://soundcloud.com/napman9/bass-t...ing-for-seamus

beautiful. This is a sound I'm hoping to get! Thank you!

update; i had time this afternoon to listen again, and love it. It is a captured sound that I'd like to capture!

Another question:

is there any draw back to a 6 string banjo sound? Is it cheesy or 'cheating' on a real banjo sound? For me, it would allow to add in a new instrument earlier than later; same thing with adding bass.
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Last edited by SeamusORiley; 04-27-2012 at 12:46 PM.
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