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thebrig

Total Newbie to Recording Here!

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Under Dad's orders, I have finally plucked up the courage to post on the Recording forum, so please be gentle with me. ;)

To put you all in the picture, I am totally new to recording, I know how to get instruments/sounds into a DAW but thats about it, I have no idea how to mix etc, half the time I can't even find where things are, and when I do, I don't really know how they work or how to apply them.

I'm not looking to become an engineer or producer, but I do want to learn enough to be able to have some fun at home making music, and also be able to record my own band occasionally so we can add music content to our website and Facebook page, and maybe make a few demo CD's for anybody who asks for them, and surprisingly, we do get asked quite a lot. :)

I've listed below what gear I have at the moment, until now I have messed around with Reaper but I've just splashed out and purchased Logic Pro X, and that's the DAW I want to get to know properly, I use my Zoom R16 as an interface, I bought it originally to use as a stand alone recorder because it allows me mic up the whole band individually with it's eight inputs, but one day I tried it as an interface, and it worked brilliantly without any problems, and because it is so simple to use, I will stick with it for now, unless anyone can tell me why I should think about getting something that will give me better results, all advice is welcome.

Can I use my hi-fi by running it through my Yamaha amp, and then into my Tannoy speakers which are stand-mounted, or should I purchase some dedicated studio monitors? my hi-fi is made up of high quality separates.

[i][u]Computer:[/u][/i]
[color=#282828][font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display[/font][/color]
[color=#333333][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]2.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i7[/font][/font][/color]
[color=#333333][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Turbo Boost up to 3.7GHz[/font][/font][/color]
[color=#333333][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]16GB 1600MHz memory[/font][/font][/color]
[color=#333333][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]512GB PCIe-based flash storage[/font][/font][/color]
[color=#333333][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Intel Iris Pro Graphics AMD Radeon R9 M370X with 2GB GDDR5 memory[/font][/font][/color]

[i][u][color=#333333][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Interfaces:[/font][/font][/color][/u][/i]
[b][color=#333333][font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Zoom R16 Digital Recorder, USB Audio Interface and DAW Controller[/font][/color][/b]
[color=#333333][font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]8 Mic inputs/2 Outputs (8 x 2)[/font][/color]
[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][color=#333333]8 balanced combination XLR 1/4" inputs[/color][/font][/size]
[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][color=#333333]High-definition 24-bit/ 96kHz recording capability using digital audio software[/color][/font][/size]
[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][color=#333333]Built-in effects on R16 can be used as outboard effects as well[/color][/font][/size]
[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][color=#333333]1 Hi-Z input for direct connection of guitar or bass[/color][/font][/size]
[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][color=#333333]48V phantom power on 2 channels[/color][/font][/size]

[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][b][color=#333333]Alesis IO4 Channel USB Audio Interface[/color][/b][/font][/size]
[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Four-channel computer audio-recording interface[/font][/size]
[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Record up to 24-bit, 48 kHz audio into virtually any software[/font][/size]
[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Monitor sessions with balanced studio monitor and headphone outputs[/font][/size]
[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Inputs for microphones with 48V phantom power, line-level sources, and instruments including guitars[/font][/size]
[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Tricolor stereo level meter and lighted status indicators for visual monitoring[/font][/size]
[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]MIDI Input and Output jacks for playing and controlling software with instruments[/font][/size]
[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Mac and PC compatible[/font][/size]

[u][i]Software:[/i][/u]
Logic Pro X
Reaper
Audacity

[i][u]Headphones:[/u][/i]
Sennheiser HD 595 Headphones

Edited by thebrig

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Wow , if you've got that lot and know how to get the sounds on to a DAW , I reckon you've cracked it :lol:


It took me months to get that far with just an interface and Reaper :D

I am sure if you ask specifics you'll get answers but as I recall you tube have a fantastic array of tutorials to get you past those sticky moments when you just want to throw the lot in the nearest skip and crack open that bottle to cry into :blush:

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[quote name='lurksalot' timestamp='1475865418' post='3149414']
Wow , if you've got that lot and know how to get the sounds on to a DAW , I reckon you've cracked it :lol:


It took me months to get that far with just an interface and Reaper :D

I am sure if you ask specifics you'll get answers but as I recall you tube have a fantastic array of tutorials to get you past those sticky moments when you just want to throw the lot in the nearest skip and crack open that bottle to cry into :blush:
[/quote]I've downloaded a lot of Logic tutorials from YouTube and I'm working my way through them slowly, the problem is I don't absorb information very easily these days. :mellow:

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Get a good large external hard drive for your audio files. Probably Thunderbolt for your Mac (or FireWire) but definitely not USB.

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[quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1475874707' post='3149511']
Get a good large external hard drive for your audio files. Probably Thunderbolt for your Mac (or FireWire) but definitely not USB.
[/quote]I have a couple of very large USB external hard drives, I got them mainly for video storage, but the thought did cross my mind that I could use one of them for music production as well., so what are the benefits of using Thunderbolt?
BTW, thanks for the advice, I do appreciate it, and I would rather start off with the right equipment than splash the cash on gear that isn't really suitable.

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Good to see you here, old bean. I can't help at all with the usage of Logic (I use Reaper on a PC...), but an easy entry into recording/mixing is to just do a bit for a while, just to get your feet into the slippers, so to speak.
Do you already have a set of multi-track 'stems' to play around with..? A good start might be a drum kit, one track per instrument. Play the kit in a loop, and Solo the bass drum, for instance, and try out the EQ that you have. Choose a frequency and sweep up and down, listening to the effect on the drum sound. Same for the snare, the toms, hi-hat... you get the picture.
Add a bass guitar, same exercise. Use a compression fx, and play around, firstly with its presets, then by tweaking the Attack, Threshold etc yourself, listen to what happens.
Solo the bass drum and the bass, together, and try to find a 'sweet spot', where they sound best together, both in volume terms and in 'sonic space'. See what happens if you separate them slightly by 'panning'. Try 'hard panning'; does it sound good or not..?
Two or three evenings messing around in this way will bring to the fore the keyboard shortcuts that'll make life easier, and make you hunt around (at first...) for the basic tools you'll be using mostly in the future. Read the manual, do things slowly and deliberately, so that the Good Habits get a chance to develop. Use either your own band's material, or any set of stems you can find.
Another, more general, piece of advice... Keep your monitoring levels low. Use a headset for just messing about, but beware of Soloing an instrument which comes through at full blast. Force yourself to 'listen', rather than 'hear'. Once you're happy with something, then switch to monitors and listen again. When happy with that (there may be some retouching to do...), then turn up to a more 'normal' listening level.
One last thing... When mixing stuff in stereo, use Mono to get the balance right between the instruments, then separate 'em with stereo. A Mono mix will give a better judgement of the total mix, in general.
Does this help..?

Edited by Dad3353

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[quote name='thebrig' timestamp='1475867988' post='3149444']
I've downloaded a lot of Logic tutorials from YouTube and I'm working my way through them slowly, the problem is I don't absorb information very easily these days. :mellow:
[/quote]
That's not the best way to go about. I've found the easiest way to learn is to start messing around. Once you hit a problem... then you go to YouTube etc and find a solution. If you are as bad as me you'll find you are on YouTube more than the daw but soon you acquire a set of skills and really start to get something from it. Good luck.

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Logic's pretty easy to use. It's similar to Reaper, but a lot easier to set up.

First thing to do with Logic is open a project (new one) & click "File > Save As" & change "Organise my project as a" from package to folder. This way when you record, every thing will be put into folders within the song folder (like audio files, making them easier to locate).

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[quote name='Dad3353' timestamp='1475880753' post='3149562']
Good to see you here, old bean. I can't help at all with the usage of Logic (I use Reaper on a PC...), but an easy entry into recording/mixing is to just do a bit for a while, just to get your feet into the slippers, so to speak.
Do you already have a set of multi-track 'stems' to play around with..? A good start might be a drum kit, one track per instrument. Play the kit in a loop, and Solo the bass drum, for instance, and try out the EQ that you have. Choose a frequency and sweep up and down, listening to the effect on the drum sound. Same for the snare, the toms, hi-hat... you get the picture.
Add a bass guitar, same exercise. Use a compression fx, and play around, firstly with its presets, then by tweaking the Attack, Threshold etc yourself, listen to what happens.
Solo the bass drum and the bass, together, and try to find a 'sweet spot', where they sound best together, both in volume terms and in 'sonic space'. See what happens if you separate them slightly by 'panning'. Try 'hard panning'; does it sound good or not..?
Two or three evenings messing around in this way will bring to the fore the keyboard shortcuts that'll make life easier, and make you hunt around (at first...) for the basic tools you'll be using mostly in the future. Read the manual, do things slowly and deliberately, so that the Good Habits get a chance to develop. Use either your own band's material, or any set of stems you can find.
Another, more general, piece of advice... Keep your monitoring levels low. Use a headset for just messing about, but beware of Soloing an instrument which comes through at full blast. Force yourself to 'listen', rather than 'hear'. Once you're happy with something, then switch to monitors and listen again. When happy with that (there may be some retouching to do...), then turn up to a more 'normal' listening level.
One last thing... When mixing stuff in stereo, use Mono to get the balance right between the instruments, then separate 'em with stereo. A Mono mix will give a better judgement of the total mix, in general.
Does this help..?
[/quote]Thanks Dad, I will take all your advice on board, I know it will be a long hard process to get anywhere near good enough to produce a decent enough mix for mastering, but I'm determined to give it a go.

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[quote name='the boy' timestamp='1475883560' post='3149580']
That's not the best way to go about. I've found the easiest way to learn is to start messing around. Once you hit a problem... then you go to YouTube etc and find a solution. If you are as bad as me you'll find you are on YouTube more than the daw but soon you acquire a set of skills and really start to get something from it. Good luck.
[/quote]I know what you mean, its so easy to spend all day just searching and watching videos without actually putting any work into what you are trying to learn. :unsure:

I've called myself a complete beginner because I don't have any knowledge of mixing etc, but I have worked out how to set up my interface and assign tracks etc, and I know how to record various instruments, I've miced up a whole drum kit, I've also recorded the whole band by micing everything up, but that's where it stops, I end up with seven or eight individual tracks which are all played quite well, in tune, and no mistakes, but I don't know what to do next to make them sound great, I have tried messing around in Reaper and Audacity but they still sound terrible, which is why I have decided to put the time and effort into learning the art of recording properly, with Logic Pro X being my main DAW.

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[quote name='xgsjx' timestamp='1475917984' post='3149696']
Logic's pretty easy to use. It's similar to Reaper, but a lot easier to set up.

First thing to do with Logic is open a project (new one) & click "File > Save As" & change "Organise my project as a" from package to folder. This way when you record, every thing will be put into folders within the song folder (like audio files, making them easier to locate).
[/quote]Thanks, I will do this with every new project.

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This chap's FB page might be of interest for getting your head round mixing, especially in LPX.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/electramusic/

Has a lot of good tips & questions from other members too.


Edit - Just realised it's actually a closed group, so you'd need to ask to join.

His Youtube channel has a lot of good videos too.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUtwq6jMFYQj2ASOj95TGw

Edited by xgsjx

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[quote name='xgsjx' timestamp='1475931293' post='3149855']
This chap's FB page might be of interest for getting your head round mixing, especially in LPX.

[url="https://www.facebook.com/groups/electramusic/"]https://www.facebook...s/electramusic/[/url]

Has a lot of good tips & questions from other members too.


Edit - Just realised it's actually a closed group, so you'd need to ask to join.

His Youtube channel has a lot of good videos too.

[url="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUtwq6jMFYQj2ASOj95TGw"]https://www.youtube....MFYQj2ASOj95TGw[/url]
[/quote]Thanks for pointing me in the right direction, I've just had a quick look at his Logic Pro beginners tutorial video, it looks like its just what I need, I've just downloaded it so I can watch on my TV and follow what he's doing in Logic on my laptop at the same time.

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I've decided to get a decent pair of studio monitors and I'm thinking about getting a pair of KRK Rokit RP5 G3's, any good?

I'm also thinking of getting a dedicated thunderbolt interface as well, as I've said before, I'm getting sounds into my daw at the moment using my Zoom R16, and all seems to be ok, but does it have limitations that I'm not aware of, and if I do get a new interface, should I get one with plenty of inputs so I can record multiple tracks at once?

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The KRKs are what you typically see in a lot of home studios and they're generally highly regarded.

Welcome to the home recording club by the way. :) There's a few of us in here who can help spread some knowledge your way so ask away with any questions.

I've found this website a good place for some good practical advice: http://therecordingrevolution.com/

Also, make sure you grab the free payers from Native Instruments as they come with a bunch of useful instruments: https://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/free/ and some really good free instruments over at VSTBuzz: http://vstbuzz.com/freebies/ - Shortnoise is surprisingly good for cinematic stuff.

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