Home Recording Studio

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Home Recording Studio

Postby nycacappella » Fri May 27, 2011 12:51 pm

I think I'm going to build myself a small home recording studio - utilizing my home office and a small closet in the office that would double perfectly for a recording booth. My intentions are to record my own arrangements (not necessarily in their entirety) so I can get better quality samples online and perhaps one day make parts files for groups that are my voice instead of a piano track.

Any advice on:
- What kind of insulation/soundproofing material I need for the recording booth?
- Any particular kind of glass I need (it's a wood door so I'll have a panel cut out for an opening)
- Basic recording mic (and any filters needed)?
- Recording software: I have Soundtrack Pro, do I need to invest in ProTools

Keep in mind it's just for reference files more than anything and I'll save the big bucks items for when I'm ready to release a worldwide CD. :)

Thanks all and have a great holiday weekend!
Randi
www.nycacappella.com
info@nycacappella.com
nycacappella@gmail.com (temporary)

Treble (www.treblenyc.com): 2002-2006, 2008-2009
Oodles of other groups: other years
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Re: Home Recording Studio

Postby vocalmark » Fri May 27, 2011 6:45 pm

Hi Randi,

I'm going to be in NYC June 24-26, and can stop by your place and take a look if you'd like. We producer folk have gotten pretty good at making spaces work well with little monetary investment :) Email me: mark -at- thevocalcompany -dot- com. Happy to help!

Mark Hines The Vocal Company - www.thevocalcompany.com SoJam, 2011 Executive Producer CASA, 2010 Board of Directors

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Re: Home Recording Studio

Postby nycacappella » Sat May 28, 2011 7:29 am

Mark - if only I still lived in NYC (I moved to FL in December 2009). Thanks anyway for the offer, and have a great time with my favorite former group that weekend in June!!!
Randi
www.nycacappella.com
info@nycacappella.com
nycacappella@gmail.com (temporary)

Treble (www.treblenyc.com): 2002-2006, 2008-2009
Oodles of other groups: other years
nycacappella
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Re: Home Recording Studio

Postby vocalmark » Mon May 30, 2011 9:53 am

Call me Captain Astute! :) The offer would certainly still stand, but I don't have plans to be in Florida anytime soon... If you want to email some pics of the space, and maybe a simple sketch or something, I'd be happy to give you any insights I may have. To be honest, based on what you said the purpose is of this recording space, I'm not sure you need to be looking into anything too fancy. You can actually do more harm than good with soundproofing (whether it be for frequency response or isolation) if you're not careful.

I might also recommend contacting a reputable acoustic treatment company. Here are a few I've worked with in the past:

- Acoustics First
http://acousticsfirst.com/

- RPG
http://www.rpginc.com/

- GK Acoustics
http://www.gkacoustics.com/

Best of luck!

Mark Hines The Vocal Company - www.thevocalcompany.com SoJam, 2011 Executive Producer CASA, 2010 Board of Directors

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Re: Home Recording Studio

Postby Christian » Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:32 am

Hi Randi,

Before doing any construction, I'd go ahead and get a mic and interface and start recording. Since you are recording yourself (having to sing and use the computer), you may find it's easier to have the mic close to the computer. For your demos, workflow is probably more important than absolute silence.

Good luck!
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Re: Home Recording Studio

Postby steelerdaddy » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:54 am

Christian wrote:Hi Randi,

Before doing any construction, I'd go ahead and get a mic and interface and start recording. Since you are recording yourself (having to sing and use the computer), you may find it's easier to have the mic close to the computer. For your demos, workflow is probably more important than absolute silence.

Good luck!


Christian (or anyone else for that matter):

Any recommendations for a mic/interface for this kind of work? I'm a new low when it comes to newbies wanting to dabble in this stuff, so feel free to talk to me as if I were a 5 year old when it comes to this. :)

- Shawn

RARB Reviewer CASA PA Ambassador [url=http://valuevocals.com][b][color=#008040]Value Vo

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Re: Home Recording Studio

Postby mikex » Fri Jun 03, 2011 5:50 am

steelerdaddy wrote:
Christian wrote:Hi Randi,

Before doing any construction, I'd go ahead and get a mic and interface and start recording. Since you are recording yourself (having to sing and use the computer), you may find it's easier to have the mic close to the computer. For your demos, workflow is probably more important than absolute silence.

Good luck!


Christian (or anyone else for that matter):

Any recommendations for a mic/interface for this kind of work? I'm a new low when it comes to newbies wanting to dabble in this stuff, so feel free to talk to me as if I were a 5 year old when it comes to this. :)

- Shawn



Maybe I'm biased.. but I think anyone who is serious about learning to record and produce music should invest in Pro Tools. You can get an Mbox Mini and Studio Projects C1 for under $500 if you look in the right places. This will surely get anyone started... Most of the challenges you will face are not room noise, singing ability, and tuning... but how to record, when to record, and what to record...

Mike Jankowski Head Engineer - A Cappella Productions

http://www.acappellaproductions.net

Owner/Founder - A Cappella Hosting

http://www.acappellahosting.com

Live sound and studio engineer, bass, computer nerd.

President - The Buffalo Chips '06-'09

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Re: Home Recording Studio

Postby vocalmark » Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:15 pm

Agreed with Jankowski here, for the most part. I might not recommend getting the absolute entry level everything of everything you can find for the cheapest price ever, but those that know me will tell you that that's just me. If you want to record things, and you aren't interested in purchasing 12 different configurations before finding your sweet spot, I'd suggest finding a dealer you can talk with and that you trust, and determining your wish list, and then building toward said wish list. I, personally, love the guys at Sweetwater (specifically Paul & Clint). They're not the least expensive in the world, but they're fair, you get lifetime support with Pro Tools systems, and they'll make sure you're not buying mess you don't need.

Of course what goes into the mic is the most important thing, but the mic itself (as well as the shock mount, cables, environment, preamp, D/A, power supply, etc.) does determine what comes out... ;) Once you've got the right setup to sing into, you then have all the time in the world to experiment and figure out the best way to get your music into the system. NOT blending with what you hear in the headphones will be the most challenging thing at first, I'm almost certain. I always tell clients to sing from muscle memory, but it's not always as easy as it sounds...

Mark Hines The Vocal Company - www.thevocalcompany.com SoJam, 2011 Executive Producer CASA, 2010 Board of Directors

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Re: Home Recording Studio

Postby billhare » Sun Jun 05, 2011 7:24 pm

Christian wrote:Before doing any construction, I'd go ahead and get a mic and interface and start recording. Since you are recording yourself (having to sing and use the computer), you may find it's easier to have the mic close to the computer. For your demos, workflow is probably more important than absolute silence.


100% agreed - speaking as someone who has a totally treated, soundproof recording room, I tend to bring my mic into my noisier control room when recording tracks myself. Just getting in close to the mic will take care of most outside influences.

-B

Bill Hare Some dude who records and mixes people who can't play instruments. http://www.dyz.com

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Re: Home Recording Studio

Postby billhare » Sun Jun 05, 2011 7:30 pm

Also, as far as gear goes, I would say to look around at used gear - let someone else take the depreciation. In 1985, I bought some mics that were 10-20 years old THEN, and they are STILL my main mics. Spending a bit more on better vintage gear (meaning mics and preamps, not vintage Pro Tools systems ;-) will also hold or or increase in value if it comes time to re-sell, so you basically got to use it for free while you had it. Can't say that about a new mic.

-B

Bill Hare Some dude who records and mixes people who can't play instruments. http://www.dyz.com

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Re: Home Recording Studio

Postby hyperdel » Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:59 am

vocalmark wrote:Agreed with Jankowski here, for the most part. I might not recommend getting the absolute entry level everything of everything you can find for the cheapest price ever, but those that know me will tell you that that's just me. If you want to record things, and you aren't interested in purchasing 12 different configurations before finding your sweet spot, I'd suggest finding a dealer you can talk with and that you trust, and determining your wish list, and then building toward said wish list. I, personally, love the guys at Sweetwater (specifically Paul & Clint). They're not the least expensive in the world, but they're fair, you get lifetime support with Pro Tools systems, and they'll make sure you're not buying mess you don't need.

Of course what goes into the mic is the most important thing, but the mic itself (as well as the shock mount, cables, environment, preamp, D/A, power supply, etc.) does determine what comes out... ;) Once you've got the right setup to sing into, you then have all the time in the world to experiment and figure out the best way to get your music into the system. NOT blending with what you hear in the headphones will be the most challenging thing at first, I'm almost certain. I always tell clients to sing from muscle memory, but it's not always as easy as it sounds...


Interesting tip at the end there Mark. I've never heard that before about not trying to blend with what your hearing in the headphones. I multi-track for learning tools for groups I'm in and I often times end up with a sound that doesn't reflect what I achieve when singing with a group of people. In other words...it sounds like crap. Any other other tips for us multi-track folks? My VP ALWAYS comes out distorted no matter what I do. Not sure how to fix it. I tried using a compressor inserted at my mixing board before going into the interface I'm using but that didn't help. I'm using a beta 87 to record the tracks, which isn't recommended but it's all I have for now and works pretty well for what I need it for. I'm thinking about replacing my interface but I'm not really looking to jump into the world of pro tools since it seems like way more than what I need for this. I've been using Adobe Audition or Audacity for the most part. It's just simple learning tracks so people have something accurate to sing along with when learning their part. I just need it to be clear, tuned reasonably well and not distorted. I'm having some trouble getting that to happen.

Any advice from anyone would be great. I have a huge amount of arranging and learning track recording coming up so I really need a solution here and SOON.

Thanks in advance for any help or input offered.

Del

PS My setup is:

Beta 87 mic

Mackie 1202vlz mixer

Tascam US-122 usb interface(my guess on the problem with distorting VP)

Audacity or Adobe Audition(The latest version)
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Re: Home Recording Studio

Postby hyperdel » Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:18 pm

hyperdel wrote:
vocalmark wrote:Agreed with Jankowski here, for the most part. I might not recommend getting the absolute entry level everything of everything you can find for the cheapest price ever, but those that know me will tell you that that's just me. If you want to record things, and you aren't interested in purchasing 12 different configurations before finding your sweet spot, I'd suggest finding a dealer you can talk with and that you trust, and determining your wish list, and then building toward said wish list. I, personally, love the guys at Sweetwater (specifically Paul & Clint). They're not the least expensive in the world, but they're fair, you get lifetime support with Pro Tools systems, and they'll make sure you're not buying mess you don't need.

Of course what goes into the mic is the most important thing, but the mic itself (as well as the shock mount, cables, environment, preamp, D/A, power supply, etc.) does determine what comes out... ;) Once you've got the right setup to sing into, you then have all the time in the world to experiment and figure out the best way to get your music into the system. NOT blending with what you hear in the headphones will be the most challenging thing at first, I'm almost certain. I always tell clients to sing from muscle memory, but it's not always as easy as it sounds...


Interesting tip at the end there Mark. I've never heard that before about not trying to blend with what your hearing in the headphones. I multi-track for learning tools for groups I'm in and I often times end up with a sound that doesn't reflect what I achieve when singing with a group of people. In other words...it sounds like crap. Any other other tips for us multi-track folks? My VP ALWAYS comes out distorted no matter what I do. Not sure how to fix it. I tried using a compressor inserted at my mixing board before going into the interface I'm using but that didn't help. I'm using a beta 87 to record the tracks, which isn't recommended but it's all I have for now and works pretty well for what I need it for. I'm thinking about replacing my interface but I'm not really looking to jump into the world of pro tools since it seems like way more than what I need for this. I've been using Adobe Audition or Audacity for the most part. It's just simple learning tracks so people have something accurate to sing along with when learning their part. I just need it to be clear, tuned reasonably well and not distorted. I'm having some trouble getting that to happen.

Any advice from anyone would be great. I have a huge amount of arranging and learning track recording coming up so I really need a solution here and SOON.

Thanks in advance for any help or input offered.

Del

PS My setup is:

Beta 87 mic

Mackie 1202vlz mixer

Tascam US-122 usb interface(my guess on the problem with distorting VP)

Audacity or Adobe Audition(The latest version)



Okay so I was just reading up on this m-box thing and it comes with a stripped down version of Pro Tools. I'm wondering if this might work for what I described. I would have to get an external hard drive though which I need any way. Definitely would get it through Sweetwater since they have always been helpful and have good support. Thoughts?

http://backstage.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/digidesign-mbox-2-mini

PPS You can't get it through Sweetwater.
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Re: Home Recording Studio

Postby vocalmark » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:39 am

I'd look into the new line of MBox interfaces - Avid upgraded the preamps considerably from what I understand, and it looks like it might cost you a little less. Here's a link for Sweetwater:

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PTMboxMini/

I don't have experience with the gear you mentioned, though, so I can't say for certain that this will be an audible upgrade, but my rep at Sweetwater swears the MBox line has come a long way in the last year or so.

As for the performances... well... it'd be pretty tough to do what I do via the forum, but here are a few "mindset" adjustments you can try:

- You won't hurt the microphone
- Muscle memory
- The stupider you feel, typically the better the product
- Move your arms. Loosen up. Shake your butt. Yep - I said it.

Good luck :)

Mark Hines The Vocal Company - www.thevocalcompany.com SoJam, 2011 Executive Producer CASA, 2010 Board of Directors

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Re: Home Recording Studio

Postby maykish » Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:53 am

vocalmark wrote:- The stupider you feel, typically the better the product


It worked for Lady Gaga
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