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Thread: TASCAM 414 MKII - How to get good vocal recording without using reverb or compression

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    TASCAM 414 MKII - How to get good vocal recording without using reverb or compression

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    I'm recording vocals , using hanger with stockings as pop filter, and $20cdn uni mic. My question- Do you really need to compress and add reverb to vocals when recording and mixing down and all that?

    I'm also recording acoustic guitar by using 2 20$cdn uni-directional mics- 1 mic at sound hole, 1 mic at fretting hand.

    More questions- Using the MKii 414, has anyone recording their keyboard? we have a yamaha?

    -Couldn't we get a good sound with a good room. What about outdoors on a calm day?

    - Has anyone tried placing portable walls close to mic or hanging a blanket to make something like a circular shower curtain?

    Thanks for your time.

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    If you want reverberation but don't want to/can't afford to use digital reverberation processors, the only way to achieve it is by carefully setting up your microphones to record the direct dry sound of the vocalist with a close mic'ing technique and using a second or third mic to pick up the ambiance of the room you are recording in and carefully blending the summation of the multiple mics to achieve the desired blend of wet to dry going into tape.

    If you had more then 4 channels to play with, you could send each mics signal to a separate track and blend afterward but you don't really have that luxury.

    As for going without compression, the time honored way is to hire vocalists who knows how to control their own dynamics in their voice and by training them to step away from the mic when they are going to be louder and come closer to it when they are singing more quietly. A well trained engineer would also be riding the gain fader for their channel when tracking to even things out on the fly. This can be done successfully with some rehearsal and both engineer and talent knowing what is around the corner.

    Cheers!

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    Simple help!

    I have a yamaha dx type keyboard, on the back there is a right and left output. Use a stereo patchcord from the outputs to the nmbr 5-6 or 7-8 Tascam input. Play keyboard, adjust levels and record as stereo signal. For the voice, have the singer put on a headphone, take the microphone into your home bathroom or stairwell, adjust level and sing his vocal track while he listens to the previously recorded keyboard track. Hard surfaces such as your shower stall give life to vocals as opposed to maybe bedroom or living rooms where there are soft, carpeted acoustically dead spots. Progress is the name of home recording. Trial and Error are the only methods of progress.

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    Also see if you can borrow a Shure sm 57 or 58 type mic from someone. Compare the $20 mic with the shure sm58 for vocals. They really make a huge difference, and should be the next acquisition. Singers have to have a good mic anyway to use thru a PA system.

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    Thanks for the feedback!
    More questions- How can i connect my speakers to the 414 MKII? Can i go direct to, does Ohm rating matter, they are 4 ohms.

    TGOFM- so could i mic a certain room or space and just record air? Could i do that after recording

    The machine is on it's way from e-bay. I'll be recording my wife- she's made a CD and another's coming out next year. So , we are using this more as a sketchpad and mp3 maker before the big recording session.

    About recording to the computer. I go into computer-LINE IN from WHERE on the 414?

    What is the best shareware or free mixing, recording software?

    Should i amp the acoustic guitar before going into 414? Do i have to?

    Any recording tips would be appreciated.
    Thanks again for the feedback.

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    TGOFM- so could i Mic a certain room or space and just record air? Could i do that after recording
    Well, no.

    Your ambiance microphone should be set up a few feet away from the talent in the same room and recorded at the same time. It should also be aimed off axis to the singer to pick up more of the room's signature.

    Doing it that way, picks up the room's acoustic signature and by mixing the close Mic and the distant Mic together by ear, you will attain a natural room reverberation on your recording.

    It's best to experiment with different spaces in your house or elsewhere for the desired effect.

    I would also give credence to the advice you were offered to invest in a better quality vocal microphone like the Shure, SM58 which has a built in pop filter and a more favorable sound quality then the Mic's you mentioned.

    Cheers!

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    Here's my take on acoustic guitar...record it with good mics aimed at the right spots. If you amplify an acoustic guitar thru say some Fender amp, it will not sound like an acoustic guitar, nor will it sound like an electric guitar...it sounds off. An acoustic guitar sounds acoustic, an electric guitar with pickups thru a quality amp sounds electric. You cannot fool the ear. The only thing about the 414 mk iii is that eventually you will want a mic pre amp to boost the signal from the mics to get a level that is "clean and hot" enough from the voice or acoustic guitar to lay down on tape. The level controls on the 414mkiii leave a little to be desired. But remember to start simple and progress by trial and error. Just try for the cleanest sound without any spurious noise signals for starters.

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    Alright- play with mic's and get pre-amps if levels too low

    I found out that a the used 8track/tape recorder/record player/stereo ($20 at goodwill) can be my mixdown unit.It has a right and left mic inputs.
    Do i take from the L and R on tascam?
    Should the connectors be mono or stereo if i have both L and R for mixdown?

    I'll be back. And thanks again for the helpful advice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peacepiper
    I found out that a used 8track/tape recorder/record player/stereo ($20 at goodwill) can be my mixdown unit..
    An 8 track cartridge player/recorder?

    Great Cesar's Ghost! Don't do it man!

    8 track cart machines at this stage of the game are not a viable option for a couple of reasons.

    1 - It's dang near impossible to find new blank tapes to record on.

    2 - Even if you miraculously found fresh tape to use, 8 tracks can introduce a massive CLICK sound into the middle of your song when the loop changes over which will destroy your song.

    3 - Bonus reason - Most 8 track decks did not offer manual recording level controls or Dolby noise reduction.

    You would be better off using a hi-fi VCR as those at least would offer a full frequency response and little to no tape hiss. Computers with line input equipped sound cards also can make recordings too with the appropriate software.

    Cheers!

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    has regular cassette too

    anyway, those mic inputs are dead and the machine is solid like a fort. So i'll try computer lineIN or a HIFI VCR.

    My computer doesn't want to run N-tracks. is there any other software out there for Windows 98/ 192MB ram/196MB free/ Pentium that works? Trying power tracks now.

    Can headphones be used for mixdown? I'm feeling the dollars slip away..

    I also have a Yahmaha Keyboard going into the 414- how do i get those virtual tracks on the MKII414?

    thanks

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