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Tips for home recording

jbtsax

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Since I have recently taken the plunge and made a few amateur recordings of myself, I quickly discovered that I know very little about the process. I am hoping there are others on Cafe Sax with experience in this area who can share some general guidelines for getting the best results possible in a less than professional setting.

Some things I am wondering about are mike placement, live or dead room, bell orientation to the mike, how to record the sax separate from the backing track so it can be mixed later, etc. Suggestions for microphones, recording software, mixing software, etc. would also be great.

To the moderators: l wasn't sure where to post this thread. Feel free to move it if it would be better placed elsewhere.
 

jimmylh

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Well, I'm certainly no expert but here is what I've been doing. You can hear my recordings here and see if they sound worth a crap. https://soundcloud.com/jimmylh I use an Apogee One for the mic, and Garage Band on a Mac book Pro. You can record the sax track separate and mix it with your backing track. I bought a stand for the Apogee and I record in front of my open clothes closet for my studio. I'm really pleased with the Apogee and bought it after reading a review on Pete's website. I have the newer model that they came out with. I bought a nice pair of studio type headphones so I can hear the back track and my sax at the same time through them.
 

Jonesy

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I am also venturing into home recording, so I'd be very interested in any tips that anyone has.

My nephew is a part-time sound man with a band called Izengard, and he has worked in the past with UB40, Hot Chocolate and Helen Shapiro. He is helping me set up for recording and trying to explain microphone specs, various strange boxes with knobs, and mixing software.
I will pass on any good tips he comes up with (if I can understand what the hell strange language he speaks).
 

Nick Wyver

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I use a Zoom R8 with whatever mic I have to hand positioned about 1m away about half-way up the sax and at an angle of about 45 degrees to the front (IYSWIM). The room is quite small and dead (cluttered) and I fiddle about with the resulting recording with Ardour (on Ubuntu Studio). The Zoom comes with a useful version of Cubase which, of course, doesn't work with a Linux based OS. I'm not very picky about mic choice - if it sounds like a sax then that's fine.
 

aldevis

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JBT, what is your current gear?
Each person can have a different favourite system.

About mic placement (et al) start wit it pointing at you G# cup and start experimenting with distances and room areas.

Looking forward to know your findings.
 

DREX

New Member
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27
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Hampshire,UK
Hi
I'm very much a novice at both playing and recording ,but I have what I think is quite a neat Ipad solution for home recording
I use a Focusrite iTrack Studio iPad, Mac and PC Recording Package .It's basically a focusrite pr-amp, a focuscrite Itrack condensor mic and Itrack headphones. Its not quite a budget solution ,but if you already have an Ipad/Mac at £200 it is a quick and easy way to get started using Garageband as the recording software and Audio Mastering iPad app for post recording tweaking. For a total novice like myself was easy to setup and I think produce a half decent sound.. Although you can't make a silk purse from a sows ear, it is a significant improvement on a direct recording into the ipad mic with Garageband. I have uploaded a few tunes on Soundcloud :https://soundcloud.com/drex111/crazy. If you ignore the quality of the playing it will give you an idea of the quality of the recording from a complete novice.
Cheers
David
 
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jafo50

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New York
Since I have recently taken the plunge and made a few amateur recordings of myself, I quickly discovered that I know very little about the process. I am hoping there are others on Cafe Sax with experience in this area who can share some general guidelines for getting the best results possible in a less than professional setting.

Some things I am wondering about are mike placement, live or dead room, bell orientation to the mike, how to record the sax separate from the backing track so it can be mixed later, etc. Suggestions for microphones, recording software, mixing software, etc. would also be great.

To the moderators: l wasn't sure where to post this thread. Feel free to move it if it would be better placed elsewhere.

I can't speak to microphone placement but here is a youtube video explaining how to record the sax on a separate track from the backing track. I think it's a very useful video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgnY5aw-Qmk&index=3&list=LLmGHvXF9Gr-MIeVp-LddF0w


Here's a similar video for comparison https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPHqJ28KyYY&index=3&list=FLmGHvXF9Gr-MIeVp-LddF0w

Jafo50
 

jbtsax

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JBT, what is your current gear?
Each person can have a different favourite system. About mic placement (et al) start wit it pointing at you G# cup and start experimenting with distances and room areas. Looking forward to know your findings.

The mic is an Audio-Technica AT2035 Cardioid Capacitor (whatever that means)

I also have a Mackie Onyx Satellite firewire interface connected to my computer.

The recording/mixing/editing software is Cool Edit 2000. This was made before Syntrillium was bought out by Adobe. The current program is called Audition and has a monthly fee if I am not mistaken.
 

aldevis

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You pretty much have everything you need.
It is just a matter of experimenting, now
 

ellinas

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The condenser microphone will give you a harder time in case there noise in the room coming from inside or outside the house. The sound will be fuller and with clearer treble frequencies. I have many mics. Dynamic ribboons condensers you name it. I use condensers only in treated rooms. For hobby recordings with a backing track, a dynamic mic like good old shure sm57/58 is the way to go. Cheap. It will never break. And it has a million uses. Sure the recording as an isolated wont be as full, but the track will be a lot more clear without noise, and mixing with the backing track will be a breeze. Shures are jaw dropping when it comes to the mix. A boring single track sound marvellous when mixed.

Your AT mic is a great mic for the money. It will give you a hard time though, for hobby recordings. unless you have a treated space to record try borrowing an sm57/58 and tell me how easier it is.

If the room is quiet, the AT2035 will capture all those sweet nuances like breath pad noise etc and the recording will be really alive.

Also you need closed type headphones to record. Condensers will pick up noise a lot easier from your headphones. Dynamics wont.

in your mix try not to put your track way too louder than the backing track. Also try to EQ it a bit to blend with the other instruments. A tiny amount of a mid room reverb will make it sound better.

And boy i cant wait to hear your recordings mr jbtsax. :)

If my kids let me i ll try to record some tunes from the BOTM or IOTM :)
 

Taz

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I've just done my first recording for ages. My setup is a Windows laptop running Cubase LE5, which came free with my Alesis Multimix 8 FX. I'm using a Sure SM 57 thats set between 30 cm and 45 cm above the bell but in a direct line with it. As Pete pointed out, I did a photo tutorial using Audacity but its very similar in principle to most recording software.
Here's todays recording
 

Jonesy

Old Fart At Play
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Birmingham, UK
Very nice Taz.

I now have an AT2020 with a Presonus Audiobox and Studio One 2 software on an Asus.
I'm still trying to blunder my way round working it all out, and I'm a long way from being a good enough player to inflict my efforts on the general public.
 

Guenne

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Austria
Hey,

if you don't have a good room to record, a dynamic mic might be better, although a condenser's resolution will be better. (EV RE20, 320 or Shure SM7B etc.)
I have a tested a Neumann TLM 102 condenser, which is a good microphone, but sold it for a Shure SM7B.
My equipment:
iMac, Presonus Studio One, Apogee Duet Interface, Shure SM7B or
iPad Air, Auria, Apogee One, Internal Mic.
Planning to test a Royer 121 ribbon mic :)
When returning from the holidays I am right now I will test effectivity of this:
http://www.friendlyhouse.at/nowsonic_umbrella.html

Cheers,
Guenne
 
Last edited:

aldevis

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I actually did some decent jobs in the past with a condenser in my bedroom.
If you check some of my clips around here, I usually use a nohype ribbon (very reasonably priced) a line6 small diaphragm condenser or a more expensive Sennheiser dynamic (441)

Planning to test a Royer 121 ribbon mic :)

If you are in that price range, also consider a Coles 4038.
With some luck I will review a couple of Se Electronics ribbons for the forum.
 

Guenne

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If you are in that price range, also consider a Coles 4038.
With some luck I will review a couple of Se Electronics ribbons for the forum.

Hi,

Well, that one might be too... ehh... British :)

Cheers, Günter
 

DavidUK

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Pete Thomas

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Pete mentions the Blue Yeti mic here: http://tamingthesaxophone.com/saxophone-recording

I see there are different versions, silver, platinum, etc as here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=blue yeti usb mic&tag=googhydr-21&index=aps&hvadid=26265424131&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=10864431728315528246&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_664azzkwhm_e

Which of these is the one to go for, or is it just down to budget/quality required?

Looks like the quailty would be the same, just a few extra featuures on the Pro:

http://www.bluemic.com/yeti/#/compare/
 

ellinas

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Athens, Greece
it's quite normal to have GB in your mac. Most macs are shipped with iLife suite which contains GB.
It's a great piece of software until you touch Logic Pro :)
 

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