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Recording for dummies

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Recording for dummies

Post  Some freaky guy on Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:19 am

Can someone PLEASE throw together a step-by-step tutorial? I have an amp, my bass, a PC with a pretty decent sound card, cables and adaptors for pretty much everything and no idea about how I'm supposed to make it work.
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Re: Recording for dummies

Post  maxf13 on Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:03 pm

ok

first get a recording program
ideally u would have cubase studio but that costs £500 so probably not
Free options are Audacity and Reaper http://www.reaper.fm/

Reaper says that it is not free but u can ignore that because it works even without the licence.

1.You want to have your amp/bass set up as normal however, i recommend cuting bass eq slightly as to reduce mudiness in the recording.

2.Connect the Line-out/Effects-send/Headphone out (preferably one of the first 2) to the line in/mic in of your sound card.
For that you will either need a standard 1/4" jack-jack cable and a 1/4" jack to mini jack adapter OR a mini jack-1/4" jack cable OR a mini jack-mini jack cable and a mini jack-1/4" jack adapter.

3.Make a new recording track ou your recording software.

4.Arm the track.(makes it record to this track) The arm button is usually a circular red button with a small black circle in the middle. (In reaper it is a button that says arm)

5.When you play the bass you should see a noise indicator move up and down next to the track. You need to set the level of the track so that when you play really loud it still doesnt go into the red.(Otherwise it starts clipping which sounds shite)

6.Press the record button (This will be in different places depending on the software but usually at the bottom)

7. Record whatever you want to record (Obviously)

8. If you did a cover where the rest of the song should play also, then import an MP3 file of that song. In Reaper you can just drag and drop it in bit others you will have to go to File>Import>Audio File. Make sure this goes on a seperate track.

9. Synchronise the two tracks. You have to move them until they are in time with each other. This can take like 20 mins so be patient

10. Now you have to set the levels so each track is at the correct volume. You'll want the bass a bit louder then usual so people can hear what you are playing XD.

11. now you have to export as a WAV file. I will explain using Reaper, if you are using a different program then u have to figure it out yourself.
Go to File>Render
Leave the Sample Rate as is (u can change it but there is no real point)
If you have change the Sample Rate then change the resampling method to 192pt Sinc or higher
Check the Render entire project box (or manually enter start and end time)
Select your output folder.
Uncheck "Render multi channel tracks to multi channel files"
Check "Render master mix"
Uncheck "Dither" and "Noise shaping" (i have no ideas what they do and it works without them so meh)
Select ouput format (i recommen .WAV but .MP3/.AIFF also works. I havent tried any others)
Leave all the other settings alone (they change depending on what ouput format is used and Reaper knows better then u.)

12.And thats your recording done. If you recorded your own stuff or dont want the backing track then ignore steps 8-10.

13. If you recorded the visual stuff as well then you can put a video together on windows movie maker/imovie
those programms are pretty self explanatory so im not gonna go into any detail.

I hope this helps
I can do sum screenshots if you have no clue what the hell im talking about.

Reaper download: http://www.reaper.fm/
Audacidty download: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

I used both and i definatly recommend reaper. It's alot nicer to use. It also has quite alot of effects and amp models so you can add delay/rever/distortion etc etc.


This is alot longer than i was expecting lol

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Re: Recording for dummies

Post  Some freaky guy on Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:37 pm

I already have Audacity, tried what you wrote, and it's NOT working. =/

Will try Reaper now.
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Re: Recording for dummies

Post  maxf13 on Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:48 pm

make sure that you have the right input selected (for me its ATI rear input)

also u need to have the correct drive

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Re: Recording for dummies

Post  SuperMaximo93 on Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:53 pm

Also you will need to play around with your sound settings in Control Panel. And don't put the output of a 'line out' into a microphone socket because it can screw it up as the signal voltage might be a bit too much for the mic input. Happened to my PC Sad If it's a headphone out it should be fine though

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Re: Recording for dummies

Post  maxf13 on Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:42 pm

headphone out has a lot more output than a line out
the line out is designed for bi amping so it has the same ouput as the preamp where as the mic out has to produce enough power to be heard through the headphones (which typically have a 32 ohm resistance.)

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Re: Recording for dummies

Post  maxf13 on Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:00 pm


that is a differenct kind of guide
thats more about producing the recorded track afterwards rather than recording

the problem SFG has is that he can get the sound on to the computer

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Re: Recording for dummies

Post  DubHertz on Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:15 pm

oops its late and i'm stoned lol!

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Re: Recording for dummies

Post  maxf13 on Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:20 pm

its all good

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Re: Recording for dummies

Post  SuperMaximo93 on Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:45 pm

maxf13 wrote:headphone out has a lot more output than a line out
the line out is designed for bi amping so it has the same ouput as the preamp where as the mic out has to produce enough power to be heard through the headphones (which typically have a 32 ohm resistance.)

Good point.

And lol! I used to love that song

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Re: Recording for dummies

Post  DubHertz on Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:27 am

BTW MaxF....very nice tutorial, very easy to read and understand. I probably would have ended up writing a 15 page essay and told everyone to build a hackintosh and use Logic Pro 9 and buy a £1000 audio interface lol! maybe it should be a sticky.

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Re: Recording for dummies

Post  maxf13 on Mon Apr 12, 2010 2:40 pm

XD ty

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Re: Recording for dummies

Post  Some freaky guy on Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:05 pm

After messing around with the input device settings I discovered the mic in on my way too expensive sound card is not working. I set it to the old, standard one, and it worked in both Reaper and Audacity.

Thanks!
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Re: Recording for dummies

Post  kakariko-tramp on Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:56 pm

i did all the stuffs but the recordings are coming out fuzzy as hell man. could it be that my soundcard sn't up to scratch? maybe the amp head i'm using? if anybody had the same problem i'd appreciate the help. Hug

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Re: Recording for dummies

Post  maxf13 on Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:21 pm

turn down volume
turn down bass a bit
use bridge pickup if u have one
use a compressor in the signal chain before your sound card
turn down the input gain in you recording software

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Re: Recording for dummies

Post  kakariko-tramp on Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:19 pm

thanks man i'll give it a try and see how it goes.

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Re: Recording for dummies

Post  willba on Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:37 pm

Couple of questions here...

Firstly, how do you increase the volume of your bass when recording, my input level is already full and its really quiet.

Secondly if I do record it and turn the volume of the media track down and the bass recording up, I can never sync it properly, how do you adjust it a very small amount?

First problem is with audacity and second it with reaper but both problems overlap.
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Re: Recording for dummies

Post  DubHertz on Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:04 pm

Could you tell us a bit more about your equipment, whats the bass plugged into...what soundcard etc etc

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Re: Recording for dummies

Post  willba on Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:42 pm

Sure, silly of me. Anyways so:

Ive got an adaptor with 2, 1/4" inputs and one 3.5mm output, similar to the pic, but the two inputs are for 1/4" jacks.

The setup is like this:

Bass>1/4" cable #1. Then amp>1/4" cable #2. This is all plugged into either the headphone socket or mic socket (whichever is better, I was alternating to see). Soundcard is ACPI x86 I think.

Im using an Ibanez GSR with a 50W peavey amp. I was using Ableton live as well as Reaper and Audacity but I didnt mention that one because I didnt think many people would be familiar with using it.

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Re: Recording for dummies

Post  DubHertz on Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:22 pm

Firstly make sure you set the input (recording) channel to mono because if you are only using one of the input sockets on your adapter cable you will only be sending signal to either the left or the right channel input on your soundcard. Have you tried swapping between the two 1/4" sockets on the adapter cable? Most recording equipment uses the left channel if set to mono so if the cable from the amp to the adapter is plugged into the right channel then you could get low output. Try to avoid plugging in to the MIC socket on your soundcard as you could overload the input stage circuitry and cause damage.

The trouble with many onboard soundcards is that they are good for playback but not so good at recording.

Secondly which output on your amp are you using - headphone, line out or DI output?

Line out can be quite low especially if you are trying to keep the output from the speaker quiet.
Headphone this obviously mutes the speaker in most amps but doesnt always sound good for recording.
DI output is a low impedance output designed to plug into a microphone input on a mixing desk or audio interface.

I normally use a DI Box into a channel of my mixing desk and come back out of that channel into my audio interface. Although sometimes I record a second channel simultaneously with a microphone in front of the speaker on my amp - that way you can mix the true clear sound of the bass through the DI box and also get the natural filtering and compression and "live sound" of the amplifier.

And yes I have heard of Ableton Live - its not bad but I prefer Logic Audio 9

Also regarding your soundcard if you are using the line input bring up the audio mixer in Windows and check the level of the "Line In" make sure it is turned up.

Last but not least your timing/sync issus are probably due to oyur audio drivers and chipset. Try to search for "ASIO4ALL" drivers and install them. Then in your DAW software go into the options/properties window and change the sound driver to ASIO.

Sorry for the long essay but hope it helps you a bit.

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Re: Recording for dummies

Post  maxf13 on Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:16 pm

willba wrote:Couple of questions here...

Firstly, how do you increase the volume of your bass when recording, my input level is already full and its really quiet.

Secondly if I do record it and turn the volume of the media track down and the bass recording up, I can never sync it properly, how do you adjust it a very small amount?

First problem is with audacity and second it with reaper but both problems overlap.

Firstly, in reaper, Right click on audio track>Item Properties>Normalize.
This sets the volume of the track to standard +- 0 db volume.

Secondly Options>Uncheck "Enable Snapping"
This allows you to move the audio tracks continoously rather than in small increments

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