Recording Noob Seeking Wisdom From The The Recording Wizards

Discussion in 'Windows Recording' started by Flatline, Jan 5, 2020.

  1. Flatline

    Flatline Well-Known Member

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    I picked up a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface yesterday. Initially, my plan is to record myself playing with backing tracks in order to hear how terrible I really am in order to improve. I also have a bad habit of learning a song and promptly forgetting it, so I'd like record and archive them as well.

    I installed several amp sims (Bias FX demo, Guitar Rig 5, Amplitube, Tonelib GFX), and a few other free VST plugins.

    I'm using Reaper rather than the lite versions of Pro Tools included with the interface. I've figured out how to add a backing track and create a track and pull up the amp vst plugins to play with. Should I stick with Reaper or try something else?

    Currently, I have my PC speakers hooked up to the headphone out of the 2i2, but I'm planning on order a pair of Presonus Eris E3.5 monitors.

    Knowing this can be a very expensive rabbit hole to head down are there any essential free tools or plugins I should grab? Other suggestions or tips?
     
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  2. Flatline

    Flatline Well-Known Member

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    front page bump
     
  3. jtcnj

    jtcnj Well-Known Member

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    I'm new too and recorded into a used Focusrite by mic'ing my cab, into Audacity.
    I didnt get the Pro Tools or Abelton.
    I may try Reaper.

    i havent the faintest idea how to really use this; sounds like you are way ahead of me.
    I dont think you can play live into the Focusrite > DAW and out of the PC to speakers due to latency.
    My son tried it and thats what he said.

    I will be following this thread, thanks for starting it.
     
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  4. sabasgr68

    sabasgr68 Well-Known Member

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    @Flatline @jtcnj I´m not a recording wizard by any means, just want to share some of my limited experience.

    I have a Fender Mustang amplifier that also can be used as an interface.

    Asio drivers are needed in order to deal with latency. I can actually play/record live; you just have to properly adjust latency parameters (it took me some time to find the sweet point, but the thing is that I´m kind of slow for some things; it should not take you much time:)).

    I have the amp and PC set up this way:

    Amp USB cable connected to one of the PC USB ports.
    Amp´s headphone outline connected to input 1 on the PC speakers.

    When playing, I can hear me through the speakers, or I can connect the headphones to the headphone output in the speaker itself.

    I use Audacity (DAW) for recording.


    It is actually very useful to record ourselves so we can "see" how good or bad we are doing. And it´s amusing too.


    I´m sure I´ll learn more once the wizards chime in...
     
  5. dearlpitts

    dearlpitts Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I'm still a cassette player recorder. Lol
    And a looper pedal, buy have great people around me who are pros, so csn just work on playing
     
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  6. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    My non wizardly advice (just ignore the beard):

    Regardless of what interface or DAW you're using, if at all possible put a mic in front of a real amp.

    Treat the DAW like it's a tape machine. Sure, we all know it can do a lot more. But approaching it like that forces you to maintain a "garbage in, garbage out" mentality. Clean, inspired performances with good timing and excellent tone are what matters most. You can sprinkle pixie dust on it latter as needed, but the goods have got to be there to begin with.
     
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  7. sabasgr68

    sabasgr68 Well-Known Member

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    You always emphasize this, John, and seeing it like you´ve just said it makes all sense. Maybe there´s the difference I haven´t found in my recordings.

    There´s no way I can do that now, but will keep it in mind (I´m working on the goods - still a long road ahead-; the mic will take a little longer).

    :thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
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  8. big daddy

    big daddy Well-Known Member

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    Regarding the OP's questions... If Reaper is working for you then I'd say stick with it. Many folks like it just fine.

    As for essential plugs and the like... best advice I can give you is to learn your way around your DAW of choice first. Once you establish a smooth workflow and can do what you need to do without thinking too hard, then start digging deep into the included plugs. Find something lacking? Now begins the hunt for the goodies.
     
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  9. doc-knapp

    doc-knapp Well-Known Member

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    One word: Youtube
    There are many tutorial videos to get you started.
     
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  10. andrewsrea

    andrewsrea Well-Known Member

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    PM me if your Focusrite stops working. My Scarlett 214 gets wonky when it and Windows updates, which sometimes requires a kabuki dance to get it back.
     
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  11. OpenG

    OpenG Active Member

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    Just keep making recordings and you'll get better at it.
     
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  12. RockYoWorld

    RockYoWorld Well-Known Member

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    I'd definitely stick with Reaper. That's what I use. It's cheap and the sky is the limit. Many people say that it isn't as user friendly as other DAWs, but aside from limited DAWs such as Garage Band or Audacity, I don't think it's any harder to learn. The only difference I'd see is the more expensive DAWs such as Cubase or Pro Tools might come with more/better plug-ins. Reaper's built in EQ works great, though, and that's the first (if only) plug-in you should learn how to use anyways.

    I also mostly agree with TMC on the mic-in-front-of-an-amp mentality. I'm an Axe FX guy, so I technically go direct, but I use hardwire monitoring, meaning that I don't hear what's going through the DAW's input while I'm playing. Now, I know that you can get great tones out of BIAS and other plug-ins, so if that's what you want to work on, go for it. However, if you're looking to record your current playing habits, you're best off micing your usual amp. You'll spend less time futzing and more time PLAYING!
     
  13. golem

    golem Well-Known Member

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    I don't record as I literally just play to keep me happy and my mind healthy, but the people I do know who record mostly use Reaper as @RockYoWorld suggests. Bonus points for being made by the same people who created WinAmp and the first decentralized P2P software. I reckon they've changed the music industry more than any single band.

    edit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin_Frankel is the person who worked with Tom Pepper on the Gnutella and WinAmp and other project with Justin. He wasn't involved with Reaper. So Justin gets the full 3/3 for I'm referring too although Tom is also someone I'd love to meet.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020
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  14. Flatline

    Flatline Well-Known Member

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    @RockYoWorld @toomanycats

    I don't currently own any mics at the moment and not opposed to mic'ing my amp. Is there an inexpensive mic and cables that are recommended?
     
  15. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    What is arguably the best mic for a guitar amp also happens to be dirt cheap. Of course I mean the SM57. You can also try ribbon mics, condensers, and so on, though you can't go wrong with a SM57. As far a cables, I'm not cork sniffy when it come not them. I mean, for critical recording I won't use the cable I got for free in the box with my Harley Benton, though I don't run out and buy the most expensive thing either. Most of my cables are middle shelf stuff from Guitar Center.
     
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  16. MichaelR

    MichaelR Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I use Reaper myself for recording. Like Toomanycats said it really helps to hear yourself, it forced me to work much harder on my timing as I tend to get ahead of myself. One of these days I'll actually get one to the point that I feel its worth posting here.
     
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  17. jtcnj

    jtcnj Well-Known Member

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  18. jhull54

    jhull54 Well-Known Member

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    Reaper
    An SM57 (or clone). I use the Pyle knock-off as noted above, and it's great.
    Work on getting good levels with the best tone you can, and the best take you can.

    Doll it up in the DAW, but it's easier for me if I just work on getting the best sound/tone/signal I can into the PC--and that's hard enough for me as it is!

    The rest is literally gravy.
     
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  19. OMB

    OMB Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

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    I love cheap stuff and have several cheap mics so no dumping on them from me but Shure recently dropped the price of their SM57 to $89...just get one. It will probably still be working when they bury you.
     
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  20. stevebway

    stevebway Metaphysician & Ham

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    No suggestions except to record actual music once in a while
     
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