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  #16  
Old 05-10-2019, 06:09 PM
sdelsolray sdelsolray is online now
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A few thoughts:

1) Plan the work and work the plan. Research each part/component of your studio before buying anything. Identify maximum number of simultaneous inputs/ouputs needed. Choose brands and models near the end of your research, keeping your overall budget in mind. But it all at once from one dealer (if possible) to save money.

2) For acoustic and electric guitar, 8" monitors are not needed, and a sub bass module is not relevant because the frequencies generated do not get low enough to need either.

3) Regarding gear, and leaving aside the player and instruments/amps used, the order of importance for decent recordings is:

a) Room and related room treatment;
b) Montiors and headphones;
c) Microphones;
d) Preamps;
e) AD and DA conversion;
f) Computer, DAW and software plugins;
g) Cables

4) A large portion of quality recording involves various recording skills, when tracking and mixing. Expect to spend quite some time to acquire these skills, which involve much experimentation, ear training, bias elimination and objective listening. Be patient here.

There's more, but this is a start.
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:29 PM
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My entire career was, starting in the late 60's, film and video production. The span of technology changes has been breathtaking. I spent a fair amount of time in recording studios and I agree with basically all that has been stated here about setting up your recording space. I'm not trying to create a new topic here but I'm curious about what video editing software you are planning on using because laying the audio tracks (music, narration, natural sound) to the visual can be influenced (dynamics and timing) by those visuals. Timing could (should?) be a creative factor. Also mixing a narration track into the music track can happen in the video edit with more control matching the visuals. It will be a grand experiment.
I also believe in keeping it as simple as possible early on to get a good grounding.

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Last edited by why2; 05-11-2019 at 10:50 AM. Reason: Clarity...
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  #18  
Old 05-10-2019, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdelsolray View Post
A few thoughts:

1) Plan the work and work the plan. Research each part/component of your studio before buying anything. Identify maximum number of simultaneous inputs/ouputs needed. Choose brands and models near the end of your research, keeping your overall budget in mind. But it all at once from one dealer (if possible) to save money.

2) For acoustic and electric guitar, 8" monitors are not needed, and a sub bass module is not relevant because the frequencies generated do not get low enough to need either.

3) Regarding gear, and leaving aside the player and instruments/amps used, the order of importance for decent recordings is:

a) Room and related room treatment;
b) Montiors and headphones;
c) Microphones;
d) Preamps;
e) AD and DA conversion;
f) Computer, DAW and software plugins;
g) Cables

4) A large portion of quality recording involves various recording skills, when tracking and mixing. Expect to spend quite some time to acquire these skills, which involve much experimentation, ear training, bias elimination and objective listening. Be patient here.

There's more, but this is a start.
What a great post. Excellent advice here.
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  #19  
Old 05-10-2019, 08:32 PM
superbitterdave superbitterdave is offline
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For what it’s worth, I’ve been quite happy with iRig interfaces and Cubasis on my iPad. I’m no pro, but it is a cost effective set up and has a fair amount of DAW capabilities including a good amount of effects that you don’t get in garage band. Reverb, chorus, compression just to name a few of the typical effects folks use for acoustic and vocal recording.

It also has a lot of MIDI and sampled instruments and drums.

As for bass traps, I didn’t realize this is a fishing forum . . .

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  #20  
Old 05-11-2019, 08:01 AM
KevWind KevWind is offline
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Originally Posted by FlyWilde View Post
The amount of info involved seems a bit overwhelming to an old fart like me.

Tried to ask questions on another forum and got zippo so figured I would try a different approach.

Here's the background info:

I’m an older guy who plays acoustic and electric guitar. Having just moved into a house, I have a dedicated practice room aka fledgling studio. It is climate controlled and the walls are insulated and the ‘clap in the corner’ test sounds pretty ‘dead’ and non-echo-ey to me. I assume this is a good sign. I’m getting old enough that I’m running out of vices, besides GAS, so I’d rather do it right the 1st time and be done. Cry once makes sense to me.

GOALS: I want to make recordings for my granddaughter. I would like to be able to do the audio stuff for the videos I take with my digital SLR. Nothing fancy, just some basic stuff (I assume it’s basic) like add narration, background music or edit stuff. I would like to make quality recordings.
So based on my ‘vast experience’ of reading stuff on the internet till my eyes bled for the last 2 weeks here are my questions. Feel free to laugh out loud if my ‘instant internet expert’ perspective is way off base.
I have iRig stuff, and iPad and Garage Band. I’ve been told by someone with a week’s more experience than me, that upgrading now will better suit my long term goal of quality and ‘cry once’ on gear since I want to add the video soundtrack factor to the equation.

Current nominees for gear are:
1. Audient Audio Interface iD22
2. Ultimate Support JS-MS70 Jam Stands Series Studio Monitor Stands
3. Studio monitors being considered are:
a. KRK V8 G4 with Kevlar
b. KRK RP8
c. Yamaha HS8S
d. ADAM Audio A7X
The reason I’m going with 8 inch versions is what I read that I won’t need a sub-woofer with 8 inch speakers. Remember the part where I said “based on my vast experience”? Well, feel free to laugh if that’s a silly reason for 8 inch speakers.
Which software to use is a difficult choice. What I read indicated that ProTools was the industry standard and had a steep learning curve. I’m OK with that and the cost is not much, if any, of a factor. I don’t know if that is a smart move or not.

Part of me says "screw it, stick with the iRig and Garage Band" and part of me does want to get a year down the road and starting over on new gear and new software because it's time to upgrade. Maybe trying to get gear to 'grow into' is dumb, or maybe it's a good idea. Obviously this is a question I'd like to discuss.

Feel free to provide recommendations of who you think I should talk with.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Victor
You have already received lots of great advise so I won't reiterate that.

I would offer First try consider realistically " How important to my goals is the sound quality of the recordings " And with that in mind then try to consider a realistic initial budget range (as per sdelsolray) I am like a broken record on this "decide on a budget then plan and shop " , Because as ric-slo stated, you can literally spend from hundreds to tens of thousands and still be in what is considered the "home studio" category of expense.
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  #21  
Old 05-11-2019, 09:08 AM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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I'm gonna pile onto the room-treatment bandwagon.

Nobody wants to treat their room because room treatment isn't fun, and it's considerable money not spent on "toys," and handling fiberglass is itchy.

But I need to add this: in a one-room studio, you can have drastic acoustic problems and not be able to tell. Because you're playing back your audio in the same problematic space you recorded it in. You have to fix this.

I've just spent the last three weeks mixing an album in a client's home studio. I hadn't been there before, and we spent the first day making sure his DAW and computer were behaving like they should, and updating a few things. In terms of acoustic treatment, this room had so little I could play back audio with my eyes closed and not be able to accurately point my finger at the speakers.

On the second day I hauled in 24 2' X 4' acoustic panels and put them everywhere I could that didn't involve making holes in the walls. Those 24 panels were maybe 2/3 of what the room really needed, and we didn't really address bass and low-mid trapping at all. Which is to say, what I did wasn't extreme, it was on the lower fringe of adequate.
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  #22  
Old 05-12-2019, 08:03 AM
FlyWilde FlyWilde is offline
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Much thanks to all who have helped. I spent most of yesterday researching room treatments, calibrated microphones, REW software, early reflections, diffusion and a lot of other info. Seems almost overwhelming but some progress is being made.
Two thoughts before I describe the current status of the home recording set up project.
This is insanely more involved than I ever imagined. My original post demonstrated clearly that I did not fully understand what I was asking. I feel like my post was “I flew a paper airplane yesterday, tell me how to build the space shuttle”. Which brings me to my second point.
The folks on this forum are genuinely kind and extremely gracious. Starting with not laughing out loud at my ridiculously naïve question and going into reaching out and sharing hard earned experience and wisdom. Words can’t come close to expressing how grateful I am.
Based on the advice and guidance so far received here is the current version of the project plan. This is a DRAFT at this point, feel free to get me back on track if I’ve run a wheel off into the ditch. I am asking if this makes sense to you way more than telling ‘this is it’.
1. Pick space: Inside the house (16’ x 16’) or in the extra garage (30’ x 30’) . Both areas are climate controlled and can be dedicated full time to being set up properly. There are no concerns about neighbors hearing noise and such. External noises such as cars, barking dogs, etc. are non-existent for all intents and purposes. Either space can be modified however I wish. Current thought is that a small space for just recording is all that is needed for the one person, one guitar nature of what I want to do. I am no longer looking at my ‘wood shed’ type practice space, hanging out space, and recording space being the same area.
2. Room Treatment: Once the location and dimensions are determined the room treatment is going to addressed with a full blown ‘what ever it takes to do it right’ mentality. Budget for this aspect of the project is ‘what ever it takes’, short of construction a separate building. Currently exploring the idea of portioning off a small area, probably a corner, of a larger area using panels to create a booth type area.
3. Set budget. This is currently a very wild guess for me. Based on the advice I’m being given I’m going to just plant the flag at up to 10K and go from there. This is based on incomplete research and some major ‘Kentucky windage’ type guessing.
4. Gear: The quality of the monitors is the 1st priority. Don’t know enough yet to be more specific about mics. Seems like using an iMac is the way to go.
5. DAW: Current concept is to go with ProTools.

Again, much thanks to all who have helped. I am beginning to understand how hard earned your experience is. Thank you for sharing it.
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  #23  
Old 05-12-2019, 09:46 AM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWilde View Post
1. Pick space: Inside the house (16’ x 16’) or in the extra garage (30’ x 30’) . Both areas are climate controlled and can be dedicated full time to being set up properly. There are no concerns about neighbors hearing noise and such. External noises such as cars, barking dogs, etc. are non-existent for all intents and purposes. Either space can be modified however I wish. Current thought is that a small space for just recording is all that is needed for the one person, one guitar nature of what I want to do. I am no longer looking at my ‘wood shed’ type practice space, hanging out space, and recording space being the same area.
A 16'x16' room will be fine so long as you treat it properly. I'd caution you about one thing ahead of time... you don't want to be too close to a wall. It's good to get your monitors a couple of feet from a wall if you can, and so your desk will be pulled away from the wall as well. When monitors are too close to a wall they can fool your ears by building up bass frequencies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWilde View Post
2. Room Treatment: Once the location and dimensions are determined the room treatment is going to addressed with a full blown ‘what ever it takes to do it right’ mentality. Budget for this aspect of the project is ‘what ever it takes’, short of construction a separate building. Currently exploring the idea of portioning off a small area, probably a corner, of a larger area using panels to create a booth type area.
The booth is probably unnecessary. If you're going to be recording yourself it might actually be a hindrance since you'll need the computer within reach. Rather than a dedicated booth, you might consider some gobos if you really feel like you need to create a smaller space within your room. A company like GIK can help you sort out your room treatment needs. They have a variety of design options that will allow you to create a space that inspires you ...and inspiration is always a good thing where music is concerned. In addition to a bunch of bass traps and absorbers, I own one of their PIBs and used it recently to record a sax track in a smallish room. It did a great job of cutting down unwanted reflections.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWilde View Post
3. Set budget. This is currently a very wild guess for me. Based on the advice I’m being given I’m going to just plant the flag at up to 10K and go from there. This is based on incomplete research and some major ‘Kentucky windage’ type guessing.
That's a healthy budget. You should have no problems creating a fine home studio on that budget.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWilde View Post
4. Gear: The quality of the monitors is the 1st priority. Don’t know enough yet to be more specific about mics. Seems like using an iMac is the way to go.
Wise decision. I think the priority list that sdelsolray gave you was spot on. We can't know how good our recording is unless we hear it well. Monitors provide us with that feedback. You had mentioned the Adam A7x and those would be a great choice for nearfield monitors. A friend of mine has them and he says he can work on them all day without too much ear fatigue. I'm going to add a set of midfields to my setup in the not too distant future and I'm leaning towards the Adam A8x for that very reason. But there are plenty of good options out there. Do your research and get out and hear them if possible. I know it's not always possible and sometimes you just have to roll the dice. That's what I did when I bought my Neumann KH120 pair. Luckily it worked out and I really like them.

As for the iMac, I think that's another solid decision. I'm a PC guy for just about everything except music. I have a 2017 iMac with a 4.2GHz quad core processor and 32gb of ram. It handles everything I throw at it. It's a bit more expensive than a similarly equipped PC but the computer never gives me any trouble nor is it ever the source of a problem. I don't do anything as intensive as music production on my PC and I still find myself troubleshooting issues from time to time, especially with drivers.

A bit of premature advice: Once you have your system up and running, don't be in a hurry to update software. It takes time for the software developers to catch up to OS changes and such. Be patient, let others find the bugs, and update when all the issues have been resolved.

One thing that I don't think has been mentioned is ad/da convertors often come with preamps. The quality of those preamps can differ tremendously. I think the best interface combination of quality conversion and quality preamps is probably the Apogee Symphony I/O Mk II 2x6 SE. I own a UAD Apollo 8Xp which I upgraded to recently and is also very good but I'd likely have gone with the Apogee if I didn't have so much money invested in UAD plugins.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWilde View Post
5. DAW: Current concept is to go with ProTools.
As I said previously, Pro Tools is all I've used so I can't offer comparisons. That said, I like Pro Tools and I have no desire to move on from it.

Something to think about... the initial setting up of everything and getting it to all work together is a chore. When I bought my first system, I purchased my computer and my gear through Sweetwater. For a couple of hundred dollars (this was back in the early 2000s) they loaded all the software, tweaked the computer, and had everything setup for me so that all I had to do was make the manual connections at home and I was up and running. They also have really great customer support. That little extra I paid was worth every cent back then.

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Again, much thanks to all who have helped. I am beginning to understand how hard earned your experience is. Thank you for sharing it.
You'll be flying that rocket before you know it.
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  #24  
Old 05-12-2019, 10:19 AM
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Gear: The quality of the monitors is the 1st priority
That would be pretty far down on my list if at all (I prefer good headphones).
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  #25  
Old 05-12-2019, 10:43 AM
sdelsolray sdelsolray is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWilde View Post
...
1. Pick space: Inside the house (16’ x 16’) or in the extra garage (30’ x 30’) . Both areas are climate controlled and can be dedicated full time to being set up properly. There are no concerns about neighbors hearing noise and such. External noises such as cars, barking dogs, etc. are non-existent for all intents and purposes. Either space can be modified however I wish. Current thought is that a small space for just recording is all that is needed for the one person, one guitar nature of what I want to do. I am no longer looking at my ‘wood shed’ type practice space, hanging out space, and recording space being the same area.
2. Room Treatment: Once the location and dimensions are determined the room treatment is going to addressed with a full blown ‘what ever it takes to do it right’ mentality. Budget for this aspect of the project is ‘what ever it takes’, short of construction a separate building. Currently exploring the idea of portioning off a small area, probably a corner, of a larger area using panels to create a booth type area.
...
The 16' x 16' space is likely more than adequate.

Recording acoustic guitar and electric guitar are quite different animals. For acoustic guitar it is fairly simple...place a couple of mics out front, set levels and hit record. In addition, the bass energy from an acoustic dissipates rather quickly over distance and, other than some first reflections, the returned amplitude is much lower than the level the mics are receiving directly from the source. This is particularly true for mics with cardioid or hypercardioid poler patterns. Omni or figure-8 patterns will be different.

For electric guitar, much will depend on the volume you set for the amp, as high volumes will generate more room sound. If you get into reamping, there are other considerations.

You will be using your room for live recording and for mixing. You will have two places (perhaps more) from which "hearing" will occur.

The first "hearing" location is the monitoring location, involving an equilateral triangle among the location of each monitor and your head (i.e., ears). That location will be static. Don't place it in the corner of a room. That's the worse place to put it. Usually the best place is centered with respect to the short wall (you won't have any short walls as both of your rooms are square), and moved into the room a bit, perhaps as much as 20% to 30% from that wall. Your room treatment needs to address this location.

The second "hearing" location is where the mics are located with respect to the source being recorded. Obviously, this location can change. Generally, it should not be near the center of the room. There are more factors involved here, but again your room treatment also needs to address this (these) location(s).

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWilde View Post
...
3. Set budget. This is currently a very wild guess for me. Based on the advice I’m being given I’m going to just plant the flag at up to 10K and go from there. This is based on incomplete research and some major ‘Kentucky windage’ type guessing.
...
That's a healthy budget. You will have many choices available, perhaps too many. That being said, that amount can easily be spent getting all you need. Be assured that you can populate your entire studio with quality gear with that budget.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWilde View Post
...
4. Gear: The quality of the monitors is the 1st priority. Don’t know enough yet to be more specific about mics. Seems like using an iMac is the way to go.
...
Yes, monitor quality is a high priority. Still, given what you are going to record, and considering your budget, you don't need to go overboard here. A balance of quality among all parts of your tracking and mixing/monitoring signal chains is a worthy goal. Thus, you needn't spend your entire budget on a pair of soffit mounted Quested speakers. Consider something in the price range and quality of the Neumann KH 120, or equivalent.

You will also need (or should have) headphones. They come in two basic types, (i) open-bak and (ii) closed back. The former is used for mixing and the later is used for overdubbing or if you want to listen to yourself while you are recording. Spend more on the open-back ones as they will involve more critical listening.

As to mics, I would suggest looking into a pair of small diaphragm condensers (for acoustic guitar), a robbon mic (for your electric guitar amp) and a large diaphragm voice over mic (for your voice overs). Again, you don't need to go overboard here, as there are dozens and dozens of good choices.

Yes, an iMac is a great choice, but so is a quality built PC. ProTools runs on either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWilde View Post
...
5. DAW: Current concept is to go with ProTools.
...
I've used ProTools for about 20 years, since version 4.xx. I just upgraded to version 2019.5. For what you will be doing, it is rather easy to learn. Put another way, there will be about 500+- features in ProTools that you will never use or care about. You can use it to sync your videos and your recordings, although I have little experience with that.

Hope that helps.
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  #26  
Old 05-12-2019, 11:08 AM
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Google “recording in square rooms” and also check out “recording audio and standing waves”

Some suggestions towards the end of the below vid but the whole thing is informative
Since you are recording just acoustic it will not be as bad but square rooms suck
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3_BaSgHTOZo

Many high end studios bring in a person who specializes in room design
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  #27  
Old 05-16-2019, 01:07 PM
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Hi Victor:

Chiming in with a few observations as a 70 year old amateur writer/recorder.
I record in an untreated room and mix using headphones or computer speakers. Although these mixes may sound good in my “studio”, and to my biased ears, they sound different if played in other rooms, on other speakers etc. So there’s no doubt that room treatment is very important.

However (and this is a big however) the mixes don’t sound all that bad.

Admittedly, any unsophisticated listeners (and that’s pretty much all my listeners) know that I don’t have a pro studio and are no doubt tolerant of my less-than-outstanding work.

On your other choices: I’ve used an iMac for years, and love it. It’s all I need for large multitracked projects. I use Logic for recording & mixing. If I’m recording away from home (on the rare occasions when I can persuade friends to contribute to the recordings) I use Garageband on a laptop & import the recording into Logic. I use an AKG condenser mic & a Focusrite Scarlett interface.

Enjoy the journey!
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Old 05-16-2019, 01:22 PM
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Hi!

A few hints:

If you find that it is too dead, put in a tall bookcase on the wall behind you and fill it with good books of different sizes, inserted so that they touch the back wall and the spines are at the naturally resulting distance from the back wall. That will be a diffuser and a great distraction from those long sessions.

Be ready to switch off the air handler during takes to keep the noise down.

Start with whatever DAW software you are comfortable with and move up if you wish after you start getting a good sound. That way you only have to learn one thing at a time.

Make it comfortable, please. I sit in a $200k studio as I type this. What most pro studios struggle to create is hominess. Surround yourself with things that make you smile and feel comfortable. You can't beat the pros at the money game but you can make them wish they were in your home.

Bob
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  #29  
Old 06-02-2019, 12:28 PM
FlyWilde FlyWilde is offline
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Update:

I remain deeply grateful to the gracious and wonderful folks on this forum. Several reached out to me via email and have been overwhelming patient, helpful and just plain fun to talk with.

Here's the current status. Gear is either on hand or awaiting delivery in the coming week.

MacBook Pro, external hard drive. Got a fire breather so I don't have to worry about having enough horsepower down the road.

Universal Audio x8 and 4-710D.

Reference mic to help set the room up. Also have 1 AKG mic on hand.

Settled on Pro Tools. Currently researching in-person or on-line learning options.

Physical setup of the 'pieces parts' should finish up this week. Getting the desk assembled will speed things up considerably.

The only 2 major items yet to be purchased are Pro Tools and I still need to pick monitors. Pro Tools looks like 'click and order' so I'm waiting until the MacBook actually gets here. I have a set of good headphones so I'm able to proceed. The slow down is that I am trying to be careful and make sure of the quality of speakers I get. I also had to unexpectedly go to Texas this past week so that slowed things down a bit.

Thanks again, for the help. I'm closing in on getting started.
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