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What are you using in 2018, and do you like it?
 Moderated by: Troy33, RainyDayMan, HankTheTank
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 Posted: Thu Feb 15th, 2018 03:10 pm
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MrX
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Over the years (starting with two cassette players next to each other for stone-age multi-tracking) I've gone back and forth between dedicated hardware and computer-based recording.

For the past six years I've been using a Zoom R16 - the workflow is just so "non-intrusive." I'll program drums in Hydrogen (open source drum machine software), render a WAV and transfer it to Zoom on a thumb drive. After that I record bass, guitars and vocals into Zoom.

This process is so fast - I could take a song that I just finished and have serviceable recording in a couple hours.

The only problem is that everything still sounds to me like it's inside a wet cardboard box. In fact, everything I've recorded, regardless of platform, sounds like that, so obviously it's my lack of recording and mixing technique. Any recommendations on where to go to fix that problem?

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 Posted: Thu Feb 15th, 2018 08:55 pm
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RainyDayMan
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So is lack of reverb the issue? Any DAW is going to have that functionality available. It sounds like the Zoom 16 is recording hardware rather than a DAW, is that right? If so, is it worth transferring the individual recorded tracks across to a DAW for final mixing, effects, compression , eq etc?

I'm software based myself, so use a analog-digital interface then everything inside Reaper software including virtual drums. Reverb is a piece of cake.

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 Posted: Tue Feb 20th, 2018 07:02 pm
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MrX
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Zoom R16 is a dedicated hardware unit that can also act as an interface and a DAW control surface.

The issue isn't reverb, and when I try pulling tracks into a DAW for mixing, it almost gets worse - too much of everything - eq, reverb, compression.

I think I have two problems:

1) Not getting enough level when recording, so there just isn't enough headroom, if that's the right phrase.

2) EQ. When I play my mixes in the car, turning up volume, doesn't make song louder, as much it sounds like speakers are going to explode. I suspect every track is loaded with those nasty 60 - 200HZ frequencies that are like a big ball of tar on the speaker.

Recording vocals and acoustic with SM58, probably doesn't help. either...

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 Posted: Tue Feb 20th, 2018 08:41 pm
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RainyDayMan
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The other possibility is that the input levels are too high.
If you're peaking out on the input signal, then that too will amplify if you normalize, compress etc. Do you have db meters on the Zoom R16? Should be aiming for around -12db peaks (yellow lights) according to stuff I have read. That gives the track the headroom for any effects etc you add afterwards. You can certainly eq out high band frequencies later to help with hiss/clicks. But I am not an expert on this stuff!

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 Posted: Tue Feb 20th, 2018 10:07 pm
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MrX
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Yea, it has segmented LEDs for metering - which I am probably using wrong. I set things for a nice playback/overdub level, but there is probably a "right" and "wrong" way to do that.

As I said, whatever my problem is, it's me and not the gear, since I can make any recording system sound the same. I wish I could find the tape, but we did a couple tunes in a "real" studio, years ago - the performances were still bad, but the recording sounded "real."

I guess it would be easier if I posted something. Is linking to soundcloud the preferred method? I've never posted anything of mine, so I'm open to whatever.

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 Posted: Tue Feb 20th, 2018 10:58 pm
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RainyDayMan
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Yes, load up your track to Soundcloud, Soundclick or a site like that, then post a link to it from here.

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 Posted: Wed May 2nd, 2018 12:53 am
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Motorist Sketchbook
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I'm using StudioOne recording software.
It came free with a Presonus Audiobox USB 96 interface. $100 plus shipping.
I did an interview for Geeztown on the subject.

The software is really great.
I did all the demos (18) on my SoundCloud page in a matter of a few months.
Home recording has never been so accessible.
It was hard work, but well worth it.

Here's a link to the YouTube interview.

How To Get Started Recording Your Own Music
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NB7ueBhJgE&t=53s



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Motorist Sketchbook - SoundCloud link:
https://soundcloud.com/user-426611522
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