Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18

Thread: What Other Equipment Do I Need?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    3
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    What Other Equipment Do I Need?

    Sign in to disable this ad
    Hey everyone! I'm new to recording and need some advice on equipment. Right now, I have an MXL V67G going into a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface and then into Sony Acid Music Studio 9. My monitors are the Presonus Eris E5 active monitors. I mainly record vocals and piano, and I have a horrible time trying to get the vocals to sound anywhere near professional or at least somewhat good. No matter what effects, compressors, or EQ I add to the vocals, they still sound flat and unnatural. When I record, the signal I get is very patchy and is either extremely quiet or too soft. When I see vocal tracks on professional setups, the waveforms they have look very full and have very little spikes in the signal. I was thinking if I used a microphone preamp with the 2i2, I could get a more even signal going into and coming out of the interface with less spikes and distortion. Would the preamp help me in this regard? Maybe I could get some more clarity with the preamp as well? Also, I was wondering how much difference in sound quality the DAW makes? In mine, it seems like it can't take much sound level at all before it starts to peak. The effect plug-ins aren't that great either. Would a better DAW be a good investment? Any answers and suggestions you guys can make for me would be greatly appreciated. I want to get my recordings sounding great! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Derby, England
    Age
    41
    Posts
    2,927
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 149 Times in 128 Posts
    Rep Power
    19385261
    Quote Originally Posted by jmusser218 View Post
    Hey everyone! I'm new to recording and need some advice on equipment. Right now, I have an MXL V67G going into a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface and then into Sony Acid Music Studio 9. My monitors are the Presonus Eris E5 active monitors. I mainly record vocals and piano, and I have a horrible time trying to get the vocals to sound anywhere near professional or at least somewhat good. No matter what effects, compressors, or EQ I add to the vocals, they still sound flat and unnatural.
    The key part of this is that you say you are new to recording so you have a lot to learn.

    An example recording of your vocals would help determine if they are good, bad, acceptable or better. Can you post something somewhere? Soundcloud?

    Quote Originally Posted by jmusser218 View Post
    When I record, the signal I get is very patchy and is either extremely quiet or too soft. When I see vocal tracks on professional setups, the waveforms they have look very full and have very little spikes in the signal.
    What is patchy? Jumpy, bits missing from the recorded audio?

    Forget what waveforms look like for other people. That is neither here nor there. If your recorded audio is quiet you may just need to do something simple like turn your monitors up.<~~This is usually a requirement at this stage in the recording process. When tracking (recording the different tracks) it is a good practice to aim for anything between -18dbfs and -12dbfs in your DAW. If you're hitting around there with the peak somewhere in the middle, you're getting good levels. You don't need to shoot for the red. Stay out of the RED.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmusser218 View Post
    I was thinking if I used a microphone preamp with the 2i2, I could get a more even signal going into and coming out of the interface with less spikes and distortion. Would the preamp help me in this regard? Maybe I could get some more clarity with the preamp as well?
    Hold fire there. You have 2 preamps in the 2i2 that are more than adequate in this early stage of your learning. Don't piss money up the wall on something you neither need nor understand. Learn with what you have and enjoy the process. To run another preamp you need a Line In function which, from a quick google, the 2i2 doesn't have. If you put a preamp through an existing preamp you'll make a noise/mess.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmusser218 View Post
    Also, I was wondering how much difference in sound quality the DAW makes?
    None at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmusser218 View Post
    In mine, it seems like it can't take much sound level at all before it starts to peak. The effect plug-ins aren't that great either. Would a better DAW be a good investment?
    Read above, you don't want it to peak. If you're recording that hot (in the red) it will just sound bad. If you require volume, turn your monitors up. Volume comes after the Mixing stage in the Mastering <~~That's further on down the road. You don't need another DAW. They all do the same thing but the workflow is different in them all. FX wise, pretty much the same thing in this early stage of the game for yourself. All the plugins in the world won't make a bad recording (capture) sound better. You have to address the source which will include your voice, room acoustics, mic positioning, delivery of performance, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmusser218 View Post
    Any answers and suggestions you guys can make for me would be greatly appreciated. I want to get my recordings sounding great! Thanks!
    Patience, time, reading, reading, reading, practice, more reading. It's a long rocky journey you're starting out on and you'll have much fun.

    You came to the right place for info.
    Cheap Gear - In A Square Room! Getting the job done! - TheMrClean.co.uk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    ArizonaMaybe
    Age
    69
    Posts
    9,552
    Thanks
    219
    Thanked 173 Times in 161 Posts
    Rep Power
    9581210
    Just add a raw vocal track has those peaks and the lower sustain parts. Typically the only way they wouldn't would be if they were through a compressor on the way to the recorder.

    Then the other half of it (or maybe the first half actually!) is us needing to learn how to sing or play more consistently- i.e. settling into good techniques.
    I'm no great singer, let's say slowly getting better. But when I listen back to my live mic technique I see it still needs leveling -(well more than it seemed it should have needed at the time.
    It's a work in progress
    Placebo stomps 96k ....... Recent projects
    Ray Catfish Copeland 'Got Love Jim Goodman 'Southern Steel

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Lowell Street Studio, New England
    Posts
    12,173
    Thanks
    19
    Thanked 573 Times in 545 Posts
    Rep Power
    18632360
    Good advice above^^^^^ What most people new to homerecording have yet to learn is the neccessity of acoustic treatment in the tracking and mixing rooms. Go to the Studio Building section of these forums and read about bass traps.
    Mike B My new album on CD Baby: Fact and Fiction
    My Bandcamp site: http://mikebirchmusic.bandcamp.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    SC
    Posts
    8
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    0
    I spent hours and hours of time making sure my studio monitors were set correctly. This has been key.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    100
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 9 Times in 4 Posts
    Rep Power
    288310
    Quote Originally Posted by jmusser218 View Post
    When I record, the signal I get is very patchy and is either extremely quiet or too soft. When I see vocal tracks on professional setups, the waveforms they have look very full and have very little spikes in the signal.

    How is your mic technique?
    Do you move a lot? (Film yourself!)
    Keep more distance to the mic to begin with, small movements matter more the closer to the mic you are.
    You get what you pay for.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    ArizonaMaybe
    Age
    69
    Posts
    9,552
    Thanks
    219
    Thanked 173 Times in 161 Posts
    Rep Power
    9581210
    Quote Originally Posted by b00n View Post
    .. small movements matter more the closer to the mic you are.
    This one can be a huge point. I.e. as in 'live vocal mic ranges -0-to-an inch or two, in a mix. Can mean alternating from there' and 'gone', or there' and jumping way out (depending on where 'there' starts..
    Placebo stomps 96k ....... Recent projects
    Ray Catfish Copeland 'Got Love Jim Goodman 'Southern Steel

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    3
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0
    I could have sworn my reply went through awhile ago, but apparently not. Sorry about that. Thank you for all the advice. I am going to put some time into treating my room and tuning my monitors. It'll be hard because my room is such an odd shape and is full of furniture, but I will read around here and do my best. The patchy signal was fixed when I stopped using Acid Music Studio and downloaded Reaper 64 bit. The different in sound quality was night and day between the two. I guess Music Studio is just a really poorly performing software. I also downloaded a trial version of Presonus Studio one and loved the quality of the plug-ins. Now I'm just trying to decide whether its more worth it to get Reaper for $65 or go with a more expensive software. My budget for software would be at most $300, so any advice on that would be great as well!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Lowell Street Studio, New England
    Posts
    12,173
    Thanks
    19
    Thanked 573 Times in 545 Posts
    Rep Power
    18632360
    reaper for $60 is your best bargain for a full-featured DAW. You can use any VST plug-ins you want with it - there's plenty of them including, lots of free ones avaialble on the net, and plenty more to buy.
    Mike B My new album on CD Baby: Fact and Fiction
    My Bandcamp site: http://mikebirchmusic.bandcamp.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    10
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0
    Dude, gear isn't the answer. Getting better is the answer. Keep recording. Keep mixing. Do as much as you can. Get as much info as you can. There are some really great blogs out there that have helped me immensely. Find some of those and learn and practice as much as you can.

    This is good news! You don't need to spend a ton of money on all the best gear in order to get professional sounding recordings. You can do it with the gear you have. Granted, you're not going to be churning out professional mixes tomorrow, but if you are committed to working at it, practicing, and learning, you'll get there!

    Edit - I originally had some links in here for some blogs that are very helpful for me, but I've removed them because it looked like I was trying to sell something. Just to be clear, I am not associated or affiliated with any of them, but I can understand how it may have looked that way. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
    Last edited by Alex Sanford; 11-28-2014 at 05:34.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Why do I need all this equipment?
    By Berbo in forum Newbies
    Replies: 47
    Last Post: 08-04-2011, 15:30
  2. Equipment Help
    By M.Jagger in forum Newbies
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 07-23-2010, 10:07
  3. How is this equipment?
    By Jeaurod in forum Newbies
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 07-23-2010, 08:56
  4. I Need Help With Equipment....
    By Mr_ToPo in forum Mixing Techniques
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 05-25-2005, 11:15
  5. how can you tell if your equipment is +4/-10?
    By Surefire99 in forum The Rack
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 05-13-2005, 10:36

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •