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Old 12-12-2012, 11:04 PM   #1
.30over
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Advice on editing live practice recordings.

I am utilizing a Zoom H2n to record some of our ideas and covers for saving or playback to point out areas of improvement. But when thrown on the computer to clean up and make a bit more CD like in playback, there are varying levels of success. Mainly cause I have tried so many different ways of editing them. High pass filters, low pass filters, mid cuts, tad bit of reverb and compression to bring up to as close to CD volume as possible. But the last one I did was a complete disaster that sounded great on the computer but sounded like a speaker emanating from within someones stomach when played thru a stereo.

Disclaimer- I am NOT attempting to improve musicianship thru editing here before someone goes there. I simply want to touch up and level off our sessions. And bring the volume up to level without ridiculous clipping.

for compression specifically: what threshhold, noisefloor, ratio, attack time, decay time would be best for that purpose.

...from what I have read before I am recording us at -12 to prevent clipping in the source file. But am sure I could raise that a bit if it would help. And I am using Audacity BTW
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:45 AM   #2
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I think you're trying to make a $179 handheld recorder do something it's incapable of doing. Two inexpensive mics on an inexpensive recorder just won't do the same job that you'd get with a decent DAW and some good mics. In other words, this is the silk purse/sow's ear scenario.

I'd say, experiment with the positioning of the H2N a bit and leave it at that. The results are going to be a compromise at best. Problem is, with any of the editing you're doing, it's being applied to the overall result, which just won't cut it. The other thing to consider, is that your computer speakers aren't giving you a good "picture" of what's happening, so you end up with the "stomach" issue on good stereo speakers. Lot's of different issues happening here to ruin the results of what you're trying to obtain.
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:40 AM   #3
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Some improvement can be had by a fine tuning of instrument levels and listening for the best sounding spot in the room. You'd need to do some sonic surgery, I find multitrack compressor and eq best suited for keeping levels in check.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:13 AM   #4
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Yeah the only thing I can think of doing would be in the recording process like everyone else has said. You're not gonna get CD quality out of something like this.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:31 AM   #5
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Even the best live recordings (that aren't by bands who have a huge film crew recording one of their sold-out stadium shows) I've heard have limitations to their quality, and that's with recordings where the channel outputs from the mixer were used to mix the song as you would a typical digitally-recorded song, and the biggest limitation is time constraints when setting the mics up and having a lot of bleed from other on-stage noises and instruments which cannot be helped when recording a live performance without adding tons of gobo dividers onstage, which would be impractical.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:23 PM   #6
.30over
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diabolical
Some improvement can be had by a fine tuning of instrument levels and listening for the best sounding spot in the room. You'd need to do some sonic surgery, I find multitrack compressor and eq best suited for keeping levels in check.



had a few other people on a different forum advise on multi band instead of using the general comp on audacity...will have to look it up
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:26 PM   #7
.30over
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KG6_Steven
I think you're trying to make a $179 handheld recorder do something it's incapable of doing. Two inexpensive mics on an inexpensive recorder just won't do the same job that you'd get with a decent DAW and some good mics. In other words, this is the silk purse/sow's ear scenario.

I'd say, experiment with the positioning of the H2N a bit and leave it at that. The results are going to be a compromise at best. Problem is, with any of the editing you're doing, it's being applied to the overall result, which just won't cut it. The other thing to consider, is that your computer speakers aren't giving you a good "picture" of what's happening, so you end up with the "stomach" issue on good stereo speakers. Lot's of different issues happening here to ruin the results of what you're trying to obtain.


just looking for the best with what I have...im not making masterpieces here. Not recording a million tracks for youtube viewers. Just need to be able to hear what we are recording (which actually sound better than you might think.) while Im driving semi around....they are loud...if my recording is at zoom level you cant hear a thing. So all I need to do is manipulate the file to bring the volume up without clipping, remove as much hiss as possible and Im good.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:38 PM   #8
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Here's a list on free multiband compressors, the vst ones can work within Audacity which can load vst effects, so you can do your editing there.

http://bedroomproducersblog.com/201...or-vst-plugins/

I've used MJM and it's not bad although a bit counterintuitive compared to my paid multiband in Sound Forge and Sonar.


As far as removing noise and such - I haven't been able to find good free solution. If you can get a copy of Adobe Audition, for the price it has the best tools for that.

I think your main issue would be when recording you need to take care of producing as optimal sound quality as possible, taking in mind the whole sound stage around you.

If you look back at recorded music you'd realize that a lot of the early stuff, like the Beatles, Doors, Elvis, etc. were recorded with a setup pretty close to yours. The music was a bit different with musicians actually mixing themselves. For example, in Elvis' band they knew how to work with each other and "pre-mix" their sound in such a way that even while they were tracking with one stereo microphone the whole band, you can hear most of what is happening on each instrument. The musicians took care of their sound levels. So try and apply that approach, think of your band as playing and mixing as you go along. Most musicians nowadays go "balls to the wall Marshall stack at 11" and expect someone else to create the dynamics in post production.

Go around the room and clap, listen to the sound of your claps, the place where they are best defined, sound cleared and "crisper" will probably be your optimal mic positioning spot. Experiment with the band volume levels, record snippets of a song, see how that turns out and adjust volume accordingly.

Usually if you're recording metal/rock you can make sure the distorted guitars are a bit drier as fuzz ruins the tone of the guitars, as well as the projection and takes over a big sonic spectrum. Record with as few effects on the instruments as possible, especially some reverb can really create a mess on the whole sonic picture. Pre-eq the band in such a way that the guitarists are not stepping on each others' toes sonically speaking, i.e. if one plays a midrangey tone, tune the other guitar around him to fill in the gap with say a smiley face eq curve, listen to bass and kick together and tune the kick in such a way to punch through even with the bass on. If you have a PA you might be able to run a kick drum mic through speakers to even it out as that usually gets lost in the mix.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:56 PM   #9
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yes.....i know

drummer feels he needs to be mic'd off regardless of room size. Isn't happy unless hes blasting a kick-drum out of the PA at such a level that there's no room for vocals. So since im the one that runs the mixer I always just turn his slider down till hes pretty much off and tell him it sounds great. That whole "guitars fighting each other for the most mid range" always seems to be a problem for me as well. But we have been working on the whole levels ordeal for awhile now...getting better. Thanks for the links I will check them out for sure.

Two things I have learned since I began playing bass it is that music comes naturally if you block out the wife's voice clogging everything up. And dealing with guitar players is a lesson in ******edness.

Last edited by .30over : 12-13-2012 at 11:00 PM.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .30over

Two things I have learned since I began playing bass it is that music comes naturally if you block out the wife's voice clogging everything up. And dealing with guitar players is a lesson in ******edness.


Hahaha, well said man!

You mentioned you have a mixer, can't you in that case run the band through the mixer and record via Line-In on the Zoom recorder? I looked up specs and according to these guys you have a 1 x 3.5mm mic/line stereo input, so maybe that kind of cable will get you connected i you can plug the whole band to the mixer:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...s=REG&A=details

You can even do commando "sound on sound" multitracking by recording part of the performance and tracking the rest on a second pass, old school style. Say mic the drums and bass and perform with the rest of the band but only recording these 2 instruments, dump to the recorder, then transfer that to PC, connect PC to mixer, connect your recorder to the output on the mixer, run the already recorded material in real time and play one of the missing instruments on the second pass. I used to do that when I was poor by punching in vox and leads so I'd record the band in 1 pass, then mix in the vocals/leads on a second pass or maybe even do it at home via the PC, by using it as a mic/audio interface in the PC.

Did you see this video?


Looks like you do M/S and can record in raw and do adjustments that way as well after the recording. So looks like you have to have it pointing towards drums as mid and then line up band around it, I'd go guitars on each side and bass somewhere close to drums in the middle.

There seems to also be the 4 channel mode, maybe you can line the band in such a way that there is a band per mic side so you can submix later in software?

Looks like lots of options with this product man.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:47 PM   #11
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Looks like you have complex options to select from, XY being the easiest to deal with and then several others, probably would need to read up a bit more in the different methods of sound pickup.

If you installed Wavelab you should look at their multicompressor as they have one built in the software, you also have a normalizer/limiter in there I believe so you should be able to bump up your volume levels with these.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:02 AM   #12
.30over
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i loaded the Reaper VST package off that link you posted and already tried the multi comp.....hell of a lot better results comping shelves than the whole file for sure. And that was just a quick test.
At the moment we only have two vocal mics in the mixer cause the places we have done dont need a big PA our amps are sufficient for a hell of alot larger than we are doing......hell im trying to turn em down.......who the hell came up with the idea of creating guitar amps so damn loud that +2 can kill random strangers walking down the street!

I have considered running the Zoom thru the mixer once just to see how well it works on atleast the vocals...even than I could 2 part a cover disc together by cleaning up the band recordings and the vocal tacks and blending.....................theres alot of ways to go about im sure.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:12 AM   #13
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I'd say put the vocal mics to the guitars, do bass direct in the board, mic drums, record that on first pass direct from the board, and record your vox on the second pass using the Zoom for a mic on the PC. Easier to deal with and you don't have vocal bleed on the rest of the instruments so easier to apply the broad eq sweeps and multiband compressing that you'd probably need to better the mix balance on the band.
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