Firstly, apologies if this belongs somewhere else. There's more to this than wanting crit (although I would love some crit), and it didn't really feel like it belonged in original or cover recordings so apologies if it should've been there.

Now onto the thread. Seeing as the majority of people coming here are focusing on low budget recording, I set myself a little challenge. To record and mix a cover, using nothing but free VSTs, REAPER, and my headset (not mixing headphones, just a normal gaming headset). That is, I have tried to do this spending as little money as possible ($0-$60 depending on whether REAPER is actually purchased or the trial. Mine is purchased).


So lets go through how I went about it. Firstly I picked the song - Caraphernelia by Pierce the Veil - because I had wanted to try doing a vocal cover of it with a friend but I wanted an instrumental backing. Then I started work on the guitars.

Guitars were one of the trickiest parts to get a good sound from, for some reason there just isn't many good guitar VST instruments. So I was tossing up between DSK Steel Guitars and the clean setting on DSK ElectriK Guitar but wasn't really happy with either. So I took a bit of a long shot, and transposed the MIDI track down the octave. Then I loaded up the 4front Bass Module, and ReaPitch. I shifted the full range up 12 semitones (back to guitar pitch) and it was sounding alright, but not quite there so I tried shifting the formants up an octave too. And I got a sound I was happy with. Now, I treated it like I would any other guitar DI track, threw on the Ignite Amps TS-999 tube screamer emulator, the Poulin SoloC (I read somewhere about PTV using soldano in recording), ReaEQ to kill some fuzziness, and LeCab. That was the other tricky bit, finding some free impulses I liked for this tone. Luckily I recently got the last version Alu's Sperimental pack from the Guitar Amp Modelling forums (great impulses that were unfortunately discontinued thanks to Fractal Audio using one without consent) which has some really nice ones. I ended up blending one of the ENGL ones with the Framus one (the one Fractal stole).

Next instrument was bass, I just used the 4front Bass Module again. I did some funny EQing to bring up some of the higher frequencies that were hardly there (and by funny I mean 28dB boost at 3600Hz, honestly the worst EQ curve I've used). Then I ran it through the TSE B.O.D. with the bass and treble down, the presence up a bit, the drive cranked, and the blend at ~9:00. Then I did another round of EQ that was a bit more normal, a high pass at 30Hz, a 1dB boost at 200Hz, a 6dB at 1500Hz, and a low pass at 5000Hz.

Now to the piano and 'choir'. They were both pretty simple, for the piano I just threw on the 4front Piano Module, and for the choir I decided I liked the DSK Strings with a Viola and a Cello Section.

Finally we're on to the other difficult bit of the instruments, the drums. I decided to use Hydrogen, so I opened it up and followed a tutorial on setting it up to receive MIDI from REAPER. Then I followed another for setting it up to send the audio back to REAPER as an input and recorded the kick, snare, and overheads (everything else) by soloing/muting what I wanted/didn't want.
The kick drum I compressed with the Audiocation Compressor, then I duplicated the snare, put the GreenEugene saturation plugin on one set to madness and cranked. I put those two snare tracks under one parent track and put the Audiocation Compressor on that too. Then to the overhead track, again I started with the Audiocation Compressor (geeze, I used that one a bit here didn't I ), then ReaEQ with a high pass at 50Hz, a 2dB boost at 300Hz, and a low pass at 12000Hz. After that it was sounding pretty good except the cowbell was clipping because of the compressors makeup gain so I threw on the Kjaerhus Classic Master Limiter on there with a threshold of 0 to catch those without affecting anything else. I then stuck those under a parent "Drums" track which I also sent across to a track with the Kjaerhus Classic reverb so I could get some room sound to it.

Finally I put a slight EQ (high pass at 30Hz, 1dB high shelf at 5000Hz) on the master then put the Classic Master Limiter on with the threshold at ~3.5dB this time.

Just goes to show what you can do if you are willing to spend the time, although I'm probably going to listen back to this later and realise how bad it is but hey it was a fun challenge.
So, you post this thread about what you acheived but dont give us a link to your recording? I'd like to hear the quality of it.
Quote by marcelaguiar
So, you post this thread about what you acheived but dont give us a link to your recording? I'd like to hear the quality of it.

Quote by chatterbox272
It's right there.
It's an alpha version, but it's been alpha for ages and I've only had it crash once in the 2 years I've used it. It actually is quite a fun challenge to do, if I were to do it again I would spend more time on the drums, find some better banks and pick out the best from each but I was low on downloads so I was stuck with the ones I already had. I'd also spend some time humanizing them (something I completely forgot this time).