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Thread: First recordings with new DP-03SD

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    First recordings with new DP-03SD

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    So far, I've recorded twelve songs on my new DP-03SD. One acoustic and one vocal per song - all using the built-in mic B. On several songs I cloned one or two guitar tracks and extra vocal tracks so I could play around with separation for stereo.

    I picked up some rumble noise using the built-in mics - the EQ got rid of about 80% of it. The rest almost disappears in the mix. I have noticed the meters peaking but there is no noticeable distortion or clipping of audio on playback.

    I have the built-in mic about 18-inches in front of my guitar's soundhole when I record. This sounds ok, so far. I'm going to try placing it more towards the center of the neck and see how that works. That will probably get rid of some of the sounds of my pick hitting the pick-guard and I expect the overall volume to drop.

    Something I really appreciate is all the EQ and Reverb settings are saved as part of the song file. I don't have a DAW yet, so I use .txt files on my PC to keep a record of each songs settings, along with lyrics and chords.

    Just a couple of vocal tracks and maybe redo a guitar track and I'll be ready for mixdown.
    Last edited by spantini; 07-13-2016 at 16:26.

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    I have a question for anyone who has used the Mixdown and Mastering features of the Tascam DP-03SD, or similar mini-studio.

    I do not use EQ or Reverb when I record my tracks - I like to add them in the mixdown. I have been using the DP-03's EQ and Reverb on playback preparing for mixdown.

    I haven't entered into the Mixdown mode yet, so I don't know what the user's manual means when the Mixdown section says to set the EQ using Input A and Input B. I know HOW to do that, but using the EQ to record or playback doesn't require setting the EQ this way - I just open EQ and hit the record button for whatever track, then adjust. I don't know yet what using Input A and Input B is supposed to do as far as assigning EQ in Mixdown mode. The manual says nothing - only to do it.

    Is this another instance of poor translation with respect to the manual?

    I could just clone every song for back-up and go through the motions to see for myself - but thought someone might save me the trouble..

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    Quote Originally Posted by spantini View Post
    So far, I've recorded twelve songs on my new DP-03SD. One acoustic and one vocal per song - all using the built-in mic B. On several songs I cloned one or two guitar tracks and extra vocal tracks so I could play around with separation for stereo.

    ...

    I have the built-in mic about 18-inches in front of my guitar's soundhole when I record. This sounds ok, so far. I'm going to try placing it more towards the center of the neck and see how that works. That will probably get rid of some of the sounds of my pick hitting the pick-guard and I expect the overall volume to drop.
    ....
    I re-recorded one guitar track situating my acoustic so that the internal mic B was nearer the center of the neck, not the soundhole as before. Results were pretty good. This eliminated 99% of the sound from my pick hitting and scraping the pick guard - also reduced some of the attack on the strumming. I was able to raise the input level for internal mic B to the last mark, just before MAX, without triggering the overload light.

    Those internal mics are extremely sensitive when you set the input level near the last mark. They pick up every noise in the room, including air conditioning blowing from vents. I found a cool trick to help with this.. the foam envelope the mini-studio comes wrapped in makes a great pop-filter and ambient noise filter. I start the recording and lay it over the DP-03SD, making sure some of it overlaps the mics. I let the track record run silent for 10 seconds - then I don't touch the foam until 10 seconds after the track(s) have recorded, when I remove it and hit the Stop button.

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    On playback, I felt one of the songs I recorded was at a slower tempo than I wanted - so I erased it and will begin anew. I did that one around 10:00 PM and, evidently, was too tired to keep up. I'll do the next session at 10:00 AM ,which should make a big difference.

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    I got all of my songs recorded, mixed down and mastered onto the SD card which came with my mini-studio. This is a 2GB card which ran out of space after 10 of my 12 songs were mastered.

    Those 10 songs were only about 40 minutes of real-time music, but mixing down and mastering more than doubles the size of the song in storage.

    After mastering 10 songs, I had to export them to my PC, then erase them from the SD to free up space for the last 2 songs.

    I thought about getting a 4GB SD card, but I probably won't be working with this many songs at one time anytime soon.

    I really like the mastering tools in this unit. There aren't many, but they definitely produce a professional end result. Considering I haven't bought my new mic yet, and that I used the built-in internal mics on the front, this unit did an excellent job.

    I use a Fender thin pick and I couldn't get around the noise it makes as it slaps the strings - like a baseball card on the spokes of a bicycle wheel.

    Using the foam envelope the unit was wrapped in from the factory, I placed that over the top of the mini-studio making sure to cover the mics - this worked terrific for stopping the popping noises in my vocals... I sang with my mouth about 8-inches from the mic and had the mic input gain turned up to the last notch before MAX - very sensitive there. As my singing would increase in force and volume, I would lean back and raise my head up to maintain recording levels - this worked well.

    I know I can do much better with a decent external mic. I haven't decided which one to buy yet. I've got phantom power so a good XLR will suit me fine.

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    In redoing some vocals, I cloned them for two songs - this gave me two vocal tracks for each song.

    The vocals were recorded dry with no EQ. In mixdown, for one vocal track in each song I boosted the EQ to around + 6.0 to + 7.0 @ 1.7kH. I then cut the non-EQ'd track off at the beginning from 00:00:00 to 00:00:01 - this created a doubling effect when both tracks were blended.

    The doubling effect was a nice surprise - when both vocal tracks are at the same level, it's very noticable.. too much.. but when the delayed track's level is added just enough to sweeten the vocals it comes off great - nice and smooth.

    I thought about retracking the vocals for the other 10 songs but I knew if I started with that I would get lost in trying to change a whole bunch of stuff I didn't intend to get into in the first place. This is just supposed to be a basic recording for copyright purposes.. no big production.

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