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Thread: How to record for first-timers?

  1. #1

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    How to record for first-timers?

    Hi guys i have absolutely no gear yet, but am planning to just hook up a few eqpt when im free and attempt to do some recording if i could get started with it soon. hope to understand and get a rough idea of how things work before im actually free to do so!

    1a) would first-timers normally go for paid-DAWs on top of AIs to ensure better quality recordings? or is it more than enough if we were to just use normal free third-party DAW softwares?

    1b) ..and would condenser mics definitely be bang for bucks if you were to use em rather than dynamic mics?

    2) if you were to do it like how youtubers have it done (video + audio synchronized), how are you supposed to do it? will it be so much more different from if you had only done the audio recording? (i.e. guitar/instruments >mic >preamp >PC/soundcard >DAW)

    Hope to hear from you guys, thanks for your attention!

  2. #2

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    welcome to soft

    to answer your questions

    1a) first timers who have daddy's money to splurge will go for top end gear thinking you can outdrive anyone on the road by getting a ferrari after you attain your P plate. (in my opinion, the most skilled drivers are class 5 container/crane drivers.cos they're usually the guys who have all class 2,3,4,5) but probably never earn enough for a ferrari as well as see no point in driving one. So what happens if you spent $15K-$50K on gear but outdone by a guy who only spent $1.5K but $9.5K worth of effort in learning/experience and get to earn back+profit on what he invested? Wouldn't that be more de-moralising than training yourself with basic necessities first while having a fat wallet? I always say this "train&improve yourself with basic necessities for you have no reason to suck when you upgrade your equipment." 2nd part of your question is ,once you start, you'll find that it is NEVER ENOUGH. heh.

    1b) you'll find this answer on the DIY Recording FAQ. but for an updated answer, if you were to gauge what you can do with a Shure SM57 dynamic mic (about $130) and Audio Technica AT2020 condensor mic (about $160) more definitely can be achieved with the AT2020 as you can use it for acoustic guitars/vocals/drums overheads/guitar,bass cabs as well (but lacking in the "beef") and everything sounds clearer. SM57 is excellent for snaredrums/kick attacks/bass cabs/screaming,growling vocals. but the rest kinda stands on the "muffled" side in my opinion.

    Zoom Q3HD and a good light source. if you got an iphone 4 + your audio recording setup works too, then just step over to to find freewares that that sync your audio to your video.

    apart from your questions here's my starter tip :

    1) don't procrastinate. make time, save money, and start doing. decisive is key attitude to recording/mixing. believe in your own instinct and ears over someone else's (unless that someone else's ears are better represented to most consumer hearing)
    4) read everything on soft under sound/computers to learn more, or just post and ask nicely. but remember if you're musician, just learn to record and write songs thats it. don't let audio engineering affect your creativity. the brain frequency is different I tell you. that's why most musicians are not IT inclined (and vice versa).
    5) gain mixing experience here :

    some of the links are broken or can be re-searched on soft because james (soft owner) has updated his forum causing some of the review links to be broken.

    gd luck and have fun.
    [Check out the stuff I put up for sale starting from Free/$1 !]
    [BluePrintStudios.Org] Freelance Services : [A]udio / [V]ideo / [P]hoto / [C]omputer

  3. #3

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    hi blueprint thanks for all the information
    needed to know what i need before handling and planning to cope with whatever budget available
    will look up and read up before i eventually buy the products!
    hope to clarify many doubts along the way (i really hate familiarizing myself with all these 'puzzles' yet necessary to know jargons!)

  4. #4

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    Delirium90: you're welcome however the bad news is whatever "jargon" I've stated on the FAQ are simple layman terms it gets worse from here. Gd luck
    [Check out the stuff I put up for sale starting from Free/$1 !]
    [BluePrintStudios.Org] Freelance Services : [A]udio / [V]ideo / [P]hoto / [C]omputer

  5. #5

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    yeah i saw a few others like balanced or unbalanced... TRS or TS... need to make sense of them or i'll sink along the way definitely...

  6. #6

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    anything you don't understand , just google 1st. TRS = Tip Ring Sleeve , TS = Tip Sleeve. also covered in the DIY Recording FAQ.

    anyway regarding your PM (I don't entertain questions in private as I'm not a consultant. people should read and learn about it in public)

    >the Q3HD product for video/audio record.. hmm i was wondering if u had recorded instruments such as guitar before with the product and was the recorded sound quality satisfactory? (product info provided on website: high-quality sound with resolution of up to 24-bit/96 kHz can also be recorded. In addition to being able to switch between “Low” and “High” gain levels, the “Auto” setting allows for automatic level adjustments.)

    I use the Q3HD (and formerly Zoom H2) for the quality is good for its price and it has good reviews everywhere. sometimes you can use the search function of and these will pop up :

    although really, 16bit 44.1khz will do. anymore than that is just extra cpu + extra hdd space for quality that's insignificant difference.

    >is it possible to save on the mic and use Q3HD to output the audio to an AI rather than the conventional XLR o/p from mic and i/p to an AI? or is it impossible to even setup such a chain since the Q3HD only has a standard o/p jack and a dc5v o/p jack (no idea wads this for anyway)?

    you can set the Q3HD to just record .wav but it is not an audio interface. then import the .wav into your DAW.
    the dc5v is the power adaptor jack to power up without batteries. and the standard output jack is the 1/8 (earphone stereo jack) line out/in

    you can go down to citymusic to try out their staff is friendly and helpful.
    [Check out the stuff I put up for sale starting from Free/$1 !]
    [BluePrintStudios.Org] Freelance Services : [A]udio / [V]ideo / [P]hoto / [C]omputer

  7. #7

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    For balance or unbalanced, someone will say just theory. You will be bless with this balance connection knowledge if you need to work your own audio gear with other professional gear that transmit lot of noise.

  8. #8

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    delirium90 : no need to repeat chorus, all perspectives are here.

    [Check out the stuff I put up for sale starting from Free/$1 !]
    [BluePrintStudios.Org] Freelance Services : [A]udio / [V]ideo / [P]hoto / [C]omputer

  9. #9

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    heyya bro, haven't seen you mention your budget so i'll just take a stab in the dark.

    for your application of doing polished youtube videos, it'll be better to separate your video and audio capturing devices.

    getting a H4n and a basic powerful DAW like reaper ( should be a good start. the H4n has a built in stereo condenser and can back up as an audio interface with 2 inputs if you want to expand in the future.

    only complain about it is the ever slightly higher noise floor as compared to other specialised AI products from presonus and m-audio. not a deal breaker if you generate silence during silent parts of the song.

    reason to separate audio and video capturing devices is because, usually, the best angle to record yourself doesn't coincide with the best place to position the mic. realised this from past experience with some gig videography.

    the h4n should meet your requirements. recording quality with stock stereo condenser mics are good. you can check out some of the more recent videos on my channel for reference.

    here's one with Q3HD audio, which is good too, but the video quality is not half as good as my panasonic compact in low lighting scenes, so i took the audio from there and merged it with the video from my compact.

    a video of a dude recording with stereo mics as well as an input from this acoustic guitar for quiter acoustic sets. also shows why video and audio capturing devices should be separate.
    Last edited by MadWerewolfBoy; 16-04-12 at 06:32 AM.

  10. #10

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    okay does it mean i cant have it preamped since im going to directly output the recorded audio(track) from the q3hd to the DAW/processing?
    thanks for highlighting how much of the audio quality would be sufficient ("16bit 44.1khz will do..etc") and all other info

    hi thanks for advice, I understand wad u mean. but would it be unrecommended for me to record the video with the for instance q3hd and then followed by recording the audio and finally merging them together with some video/audio merging/editting software(although i have no experience/knowledge on this)? i mean this is if i want to lower my budget and forcefully record video + audio with the same device.. would it be advisable?

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