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Recording yourself - how?

drrob7

Member
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46
Locality
Wellington, New Zealand
Hi ...on a lot of the YouTube clips the video shows a sax player at home with headphones on, and the audio the sax as well as a backing track.

Can anyone explain how this is done at home? What basic sort of equipment/software is needed and what's the process to integrate so cleanly with the backing track? What's with the headphones? I have GarageBand but need someone to explain how to use it for this. I'm not too interested in the video side of things - just would like to be able to capture a clean sound clip with a playalong.

Thanks in advance.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Lookup Crazydaisydoo (Matthew Stone) on youtube. He explains the lot in a couple of his videos. May even be the guy you're seeing...
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
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Rugby UK
Basically when you record at home you need to create tracks. One (or two stereo) with your backing music on and one for the sax. What you do is import your backing music into a recording program such as Audacity (free download) or Cubase (Bloomin expensive and more complex) and then play that into your headphones so that you only record the sound of the sax. This is what the finished product looks like in Cubase. The top two tracks are the backing and the bottom one is the sax. The box to the right is the slide control for each individual track so that you can alter the volumes of each track separately.

 

Colin the Bear

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Burnley bb9 9dn
Audacity works like an old fashioned cassette recorder. Down load the free software. If the backing track is write protected you can't upload it into audacity so Hit play on your backing track and hit record on audacity. Like recording off the radio with a radio cassette player. This works for backing tracks on you tube too. Then stick a mic in the end of your sax and hit record again. Audacity will play the backing track and record a parallel track which you can play about with , add effects, adjust the volume etc

Using headphones means the mic doesn't pick up the backing track through the mic. I don't bother with head phones. I'm not releasing a single or anything lol
 

drrob7

Member
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46
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Wellington, New Zealand
Thanks for the info - it's really helped. I managed to get a test clip recorded in two tracks on my iPad using just the inbuilt iPad mic to capture my sax. The quality is actually better than I expected although saying that if GAS flares up I might have to get a condenser mic and pre amp next.

Top priority is to work on my playing though, with a goal to record a clip that I'm happy enough with to inflict on you here.

Thanks again.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
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No need to go mad on a mic if it's just for fun.

I use a £1.59 skpe mic attached to the sax via a 3.5mm extension cable (both available on amazon) and a clothes peg.
 

gregerhillman

Member
Messages
52
Locality
Sweden
Hi ...on a lot of the YouTube clips the video shows a sax player at home with headphones on, and the audio the sax as well as a backing track.

Can anyone explain how this is done at home? What basic sort of equipment/software is needed and what's the process to integrate so cleanly with the backing track? What's with the headphones? I have GarageBand but need someone to explain how to use it for this. I'm not too interested in the video side of things - just would like to be able to capture a clean sound clip with a playalong.

Thanks in advance.

Hi Rob!

I think I can help you get an overview of what you are asking.

How it's done

Well, as you are using GarageBand the getting started process is really simple.
You just open a new project and drag an drop your backtrack to the field below the existing tracks.
That will create a new track with the backtrack on it. (Most likely stereo)
If you bought it from iTunes you can drag it straight from there over to GarageBand.

You record you sax on a separate track to be able to do mixing and post production.
The headphones will make it possible for you to hear the backtrack, while recording your sax.
You want to use headphones and not speakers, so that you get a clean saxophone signal.

That's the basics to it.
You can also mix your recording mic into what you hear in your headphones by turning on the monitor option.

Pay attention to your recording level (not volume knob) and make sure you do not hit the reds.
That will make your recording distort.

Regarding the mic, you can get an alright USB mic pretty cheap or you could buy a external sound card which plug into your computer. You'd then plug in your mic using an XLR cable into the sound card.

If you use your iPad I do believe there is an hardware tat goes with "guitar rig" that you old use.

I hope that helps.

Play On!
//Greger

P.S

Here's a link to one of my videos where I'm using In-ears, which basically is earbuds designed for musicians. You cannot really see them, but they sound great! Also, I placed the mic just out of frame, above the shot. I use an AKG 414 mic, which works really well. Now, the video is educational and that's why I didn't want the mic in the picture. When I do "real" recordings however, I would place the mic differently. If you check out my YouTube Channel you'll find both kinds there.
Anyway, here's that link: http://youtu.be/0XlRx4Hpw6A
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
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not wishing to throw the spanner in the works, it's not quite that easy with GarageBand on iPad.

You need to use you PC to import your backing track into GarageBand (if you've ripped it from a CD, say) and then sync that to the iPad before you can then select it as a backing track. I have done it...eventually...but actually finding useful info on how to do it was challenging.

the inbuilt microphone on the iPad is not too bad for recording, but I found it tended to over-deviate on the sax signal, so I finished up having to bury the microphone in a T-shirt or similar to try to reduce the signal peak, as you can't adjust the input signal with the built-in microphone.

If you are going to use an external mic, you'll need the USB to iPad camera adapter, then a USB mic, but check it will work with iPad before buying as not all USB mics will work through the camera adapter - they need too much power.
I have a BLUE Snowball ICE which works brilliantly (and looks good IMHO), and then you can adjust the input signal.
You can add ever more tracks to your project, muting all previous recordings as you go, so you could record yourself several times, and eventually just keep the one you like best.
 

gregerhillman

Member
Messages
52
Locality
Sweden
not wishing to throw the spanner in the works, it's not quite that easy with GarageBand on iPad.

You need to use you PC to import your backing track into GarageBand (if you've ripped it from a CD, say) and then sync that to the iPad before you can then select it as a backing track. I have done it...eventually...but actually finding useful info on how to do it was challenging.

the inbuilt microphone on the iPad is not too bad for recording, but I found it tended to over-deviate on the sax signal, so I finished up having to bury the microphone in a T-shirt or similar to try to reduce the signal peak, as you can't adjust the input signal with the built-in microphone.

If you are going to use an external mic, you'll need the USB to iPad camera adapter, then a USB mic, but check it will work with iPad before buying as not all USB mics will work through the camera adapter - they need too much power.
I have a BLUE Snowball ICE which works brilliantly (and looks good IMHO), and then you can adjust the input signal.
You can add ever more tracks to your project, muting all previous recordings as you go, so you could record yourself several times, and eventually just keep the one you like best.


Not, at all. That's good information.
I've never used garageband on the iPad so my walkthrough applies to using Garageband on your Mac computer.
Sorry if I confused anyone there.

PLAY ON!
//Greger
 

AndyWhiteford

Senior Member
Messages
481
Locality
Glasgow
for a quick & nasty results, I play the backing track from Garageband through speakers *behind* the microphone , the microphone's pickup pattern rejects most of the backing as it records onto a separate audio track.
Mic is a AKG gooseneck, about 10 or 12" from the bell, just out of shot to my right
[NB the camera records both audio & video , but i mix a better audio track from Garageband and synchronise/re-dub it onto the video before upload]


For a better quality & isolation, i'd use headphones, but I don't like the dangling cables,
and these vids were just to show that the saxes i was selling were playing ok.

 
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MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
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The Malverns, Worcs
Not, at all. That's good information.
I've never used garageband on the iPad so my walkthrough applies to using Garageband on your Mac computer.
Sorry if I confused anyone there.

PLAY ON!
//Greger
Actually I've just been back to check, and I think there may have been an upgrade (either that or I failed before) as now you can drag tracks from iTunes (music) straight into Garage Band....but I'm pretty sure you couldn't before, as I recall swearing at the damned thing!!
You need to select the tracks view, and then the "loop" icon (up on the top right tool bar) then "Music" from the drop down window.
I'm sure the options used to be "Apple Loops" and "Audio Files" only, which is why I had to transfer the backing tracks that I wanted into audio files on the PC first.
Still it works pretty easily now :)
 

gregerhillman

Member
Messages
52
Locality
Sweden
So, I had a few minutes to spare and decided to do a GarageBand video tutorial on this.

If you are looking for a guide to setup GarageBand for recording saxophone, this is a good starting point.


Play On!
// Greger
 
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Guenne

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,225
Locality
Austria
Hi,
if you are using and iPad up to "The new iPad" ("3") you might consider buying a Tascam Mic.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGZMIH_I2Ng
It is the same as in some Tascam field recorders.
It is working with all iPad and 3rd party apps.
And it sounds damn great!
I bought mine for about €70,-

Greetings,
Guenne
 

drrob7

Member
Messages
46
Locality
Wellington, New Zealand
This has been so helpful - you guys are great! MandyH, I've just ordered a Blue Snowball Ice and it should arrive in a couple of weeks. Agree it looks very styley and in the meantime I've bought the iPad camera converter kit.

With this mic setup plugged in, and using headphones, will I hear myself play along with the backing track when recording (on GarageBand for iPad)? When I used the iPad internal mic all I could hear through the headphones was just the backing - not me playing. I might have pressed a wrong button though. Any ideas?
 

Humbardi

New Member
Messages
20
Locality
Venezuela South America
Hi all :
Today I found a webpage named " tweakheadz.com/posts/guides " where you can find, in a very easy to understand way how-to everything related with recording,mixing, how to select microphones, how to build a home recording studio for beginners, ....
I find this guides very useful and easy to follow and understand.
With my best wishes
Humbardi
 

visionari1

Senior Member
Messages
1,580
Locality
Out in the Countryside of Nelson NZ
Thanks Humbardi,

Looks like a good find, I'm looking to set up my own little studio so this is perfect timing

Cheers From New Zealand
 

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