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Thread: Recording a long instrumental piece by breaking it up into sections Zoom r24

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    Recording a long instrumental piece by breaking it up into sections Zoom r24

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    I am new here so please be gentle! What a great source of knowledge this forum is. I don't know if this question has been already answered because I'm not sure how to ask it.
    Here goes.
    I would like to record a fairly long instrumental piece that I would like to have it as perfect as possible. I would like to piece together sections and then combine them all on one track. I know this must be done all the time to get perfect recordings. By the way this is just a solo instrument that would use one track.

    What is the best way to record a section till you are satisfied and then add to that the next section by recording till you are happy with it? Repeating this method till you have one long completed recording. Can you start the recording on one track, put the headphones on and listen and record the next section on another track ETC, ETC. then bounce? swap? so the completed piece ends up on one track? I hope I am explaining this so it is somewhat understandable. My recorder is a Zoom R24.
    Any help would be very much appreciated.
    Cheers, Yosemiteman

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    Quote Originally Posted by yosemiteman View Post
    I am new here so please be gentle! What a great source of knowledge this forum is. I don't know if this question has been already answered because I'm not sure how to ask it.
    Here goes.
    I would like to record a fairly long instrumental piece that I would like to have it as perfect as possible. I would like to piece together sections and then combine them all on one track. I know this must be done all the time to get perfect recordings. By the way this is just a solo instrument that would use one track.

    What is the best way to record a section till you are satisfied and then add to that the next section by recording till you are happy with it? Repeating this method till you have one long completed recording. Can you start the recording on one track, put the headphones on and listen and record the next section on another track ETC, ETC. then bounce? swap? so the completed piece ends up on one track? I hope I am explaining this so it is somewhat understandable. My recorder is a Zoom R24.
    Any help would be very much appreciated.
    Cheers, Yosemiteman
    Record each take separately into one file per take.
    Then pick the one you want to use.
    Not good then rerecord that short piece.

    Use a DAW to edit and then combine the takes you want.

    Or if you have to then edit and splice two takes if you must because you cant play it all the way through well enough in one take.

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    Probably totally different genre but a similar problem. We produce what some people would refer to as backing tracks, but they're for really advanced musicians who are preparing for exams. To take them they MUST use a real pianist, but for rehearsal that's very expensive, so we produce tracks. One at the performance tempo and one for rehearsal. They are horribly nasty pieces to play and at first we tried to record them in one take, which failed miserably as just one mistake meant starting again, and the pianist would get tired and make more mistakes. What we now do is break them into sections. Not always musical ones, but pick a stop position where a stop feels like a 'breath in' point. Then we start again from this point, and repeat to the end. Mistakes are less tiring and it's quite simple to blend them together. At first, the pianist hated the idea as being somehow a cheat, and not right, but the benefits are huge and nobody actually knows a ten minute piece is actually four or five bits joined together. There's a bit of a mental block on the artistic acceptance of this fiddle, but once they realise that the real question is simply could they have played it? And of course yeas they could. In truth, there are also of course a few arty edits the player isn't aware of, where I blended a couple of takes because I could improve it. I usually just mention I've done it after they have revealed their happiness with the edit. So far, nobody has asked to go back to a slightly less good take.

    I'm not sure you can do this within your zoom with the level of precision needed, unless you do it live and just repeat and repeat. We frequently have to slip and slide tracks in time very slightly, and that's not possible in a hardware machine, is it? You can do what your doing quite simply, and this leapfrog technique has been used since they invented tape multitrack. Being able to slip and slide, copy and paste is really essential to me so we would not be able to just replay, and play on. Your music might be perfectly suitable for it? If it works for you it's great.

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    Rob, I am assured this happens all the time on even the most highbrow classical recordings! The fact is, we can forgive, even miss the odd bum note in a Prom's broadcast but once noticed in a recording it would drive you mad!

    This was the domain of the highly skilled tape editor.

    Dave.

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    More than one way to do it, but if doing it standalone on the Zoom that limits the choices to basically two:
    1) record the sections on separate tracks, simply start recording a new section on a new track at the time where the previous one left off
    2) record it all one one track using auto-punch to protect the previous work

    Getting the auto-punch timing *just* right is finicky and error-prone, 1) is much easier in practise and safer too. In the Zoom R* you'd typically swap the newly recorded track to a free slot to avoid having to swap cables around.
    Once all sections are done, bounce it all into a new track and that's it. Of course you'll want to clean up any noises before and after the takes before bouncing and that's easier and faster to do on a DAW if you have access to one.

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    This is how all professional recordings are made. The only advice I'd give you is to split your sections at logical points where you can cleanly play each part. Also make sure you add a few notes at the beginning and ending of each section that leads or follows it... so you can splice together the parts more easily and realistically. i.e. if you have to slide from fret 1 to fret 12 don't just end section one on fret 1 then pickup on section two on fret 12... hope that makes sense.

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    Thanks to all for your knowledge and ideas. I will experiment with them!
    Cheers, Yosemiteman

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    Quote Originally Posted by yosemiteman View Post
    Thanks to all for your knowledge and ideas. I will experiment with them!
    Cheers, Yosemiteman
    Also, record 20 seconds or so of "silence". Dropping in a -100dB fs noise floor is jarring and unnatural!

    (din't much matter with tape, noisy, bstd stuff!)

    Dave.

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