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Thread: Recording options???

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    Recording options???

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    If one is playing backing tracks / accompaniment tracks where the music is originating from a PC into a PA system... and the vocals are going thru the PA system (not the PC)... what options are there for doing some decent recording of both the music source and the vocals where both can flow together at the same level or at least at a level where both sound good together?

    Obviously I don't want to provide a blank check for the project but I don't mind spending a few hundred bucks for some decent results.

    Any ideas on products, or where to look for products to accomplish this would be appreciated.
    Thank you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockrz View Post
    If one is playing backing tracks / accompaniment tracks where the music is originating from a PC into a PA system... and the vocals are going thru the PA system (not the PC)... what options are there for doing some decent recording of both the music source and the vocals where both can flow together at the same level or at least at a level where both sound good together?

    Obviously I don't want to provide a blank check for the project but I don't mind spending a few hundred bucks for some decent results.

    Any ideas on products, or where to look for products to accomplish this would be appreciated.
    Thank you!
    Just to kind of put a perimeter around this, just a couple questions.
    • How are you getting the music from the PC to the PA? (E.g., Is it using the headphone out? Something else?)
    • Is this all your own rig, i.e., you can pretty much plug anything in wherever you want? The backing tracks are on your own PC, etc?
    • If it is your own PA, what mixer is it? If it has any separately controllable sends, busses, FX out, etc.
    • Do you already own a digital recorder, and if you do, does it have XLR input or stereo line-level inputs?

    The reason I'm asking is because different solutions, and pieces you'd have to acquire change depending on what is already in place, and what might change from time to time.

    With all that, some DIs (or one stereo one) and a mic splitter and a digital recorder that can take all the inputs will definitely work - it's what I've been using for years, but you might get away with a less, especially if you're willing to sync up just a vocal recording with backing tracks you already have on your PC afterwards. Or, just take a tape/ctrl/heapphone output from the mixer to a basic digital recorder like a Zoom H2n, Tascam DR-03, et al. My buddy does this all the time. It's mono, but it gives you exactly what's going out of the PA.
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

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    The music is MP3 coming from a laptop ear plug (If USB is better, please let me know how) into a Lexicon Alpha unit which is supposed to make MP3 sound richer and fuller

    From there it's going in to a 2000 watt Behringer Europort PPA2000BT pa system

    I'm just trying to figure out how to blend the music and the vocals and capture it in a digital format in WAV so it can be mixed after the fact

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockrz View Post
    The music is MP3 coming from a laptop ear plug (If USB is better, please let me know how) into a Lexicon Alpha unit which is supposed to make MP3 sound richer and fuller

    From there it's going in to a 2000 watt Behringer Europort PPA2000BT pa system

    I'm just trying to figure out how to blend the music and the vocals and capture it in a digital format in WAV so it can be mixed after the fact
    Well, you've already got the backing track so there's really no reason to capture it again, right?

    Maybe this falls in the "all you have is a hammer" category, since I use these kinds of devices, here's what I suggest... Just put a splitter on the mic and capture it on a digital recorder, then mix the two in a DAW like Reaper. You can apply FX like compression and EQ to the tracks there, doing the same thing the Lexicon is doing I'm sure, to create a finished sound. (You might even figure out a way to improve the MP3s so you can skip the Lexicon in the future.)

    Here are couple of links to products that would work - you can spend more, of course, or choose other brands.
    ART ProSplit | Sweetwater

    Zoom H4N Pro Handy Recorder | Sweetwater
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

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    you've already got the backing track so there's really no reason to capture it again, right?
    Well, yes... I'd like to capture it along with the vocals so I'm capturing both at the same time so they are being blended together.

    It would be more complicated to capture vocals only and then have to learn how to do mixing to mix it all together.

    I've seen people capture vocal and music together and tinker with the output volume of each until both sound like the are flowing together and it sounds pretty decent

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockrz View Post
    Well, yes... I'd like to capture it along with the vocals so I'm capturing both at the same time so they are being blended together.

    It would be more complicated to capture vocals only and then have to learn how to do mixing to mix it all together.

    I've seen people capture vocal and music together and tinker with the output volume of each until both sound like the are flowing together and it sounds pretty decent
    They aren't captured together if the volumes can be adjusted afterwards, i.e, they have to be on separately recorded tracks.

    If you don't need to keep the stereo in the backing track, you can just add a stereo->mono (1/4") cable from the PC into a passive DI, cable the thru/parallel jack to the PA, and XLR to the other channel of the digital recorder. (What I suggested in my first reply.) If you want to keep the backing track stereo, you'd need a 4 track capable recorder, or a different kind of setup.
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

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    They aren't captured together if the volumes can be adjusted afterwards
    No, they are adjusting the incoming volume levels as it happens not after the fact.

    I saw one guy who had experimented with this and he could get the vocals at the right volume level where it flowed right along with the music and sounded pretty good.

    Yes, I'd like to keep the stereo and all audio at the highest quality possible

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockrz View Post
    No, they are adjusting the incoming volume levels as it happens not after the fact.

    I saw one guy who had experimented with this and he could get the vocals at the right volume level where it flowed right along with the music and sounded pretty good.

    Yes, I'd like to keep the stereo and all audio at the highest quality possible
    Why not just record from the PA then? Or ask them what they are doing?
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

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    The guy I knew that was doing this is no longer around.

    Not sure how to tap in to the Behringer Europort PPA2000BT pa system to capture music and vocal together.

    What device would I need to plug in to the pa?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockrz View Post
    The guy I knew that was doing this is no longer around.

    Not sure how to tap in to the Behringer Europort PPA2000BT pa system to capture music and vocal together.

    What device would I need to plug in to the pa?
    You could use anything that has a line-level input. My friend uses a Tascam DR-05, going in the EXT-IN (stereo 1/8") jack. You'd need a cable for RCA to stereo 1/8" to run from the Recording Out jacks on the Behri, and have to configure the Tascam appropriately. You'd have to test to make sure the Behri output is a consumer line-out, but it probably is. My friend discovered that his recorder worked fine with his small Yamaha board he uses when doing his solo gigs, but couldn't handle the level from his large Mackie (? IIRC).

    That's about $100 plus the cost of a cable. Then you'd hear what you're sending to the audience.
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

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