#1
I searchbarred and I didn't see anything that answered my question so please bear with me.

I have no money to buy mic's or any other recording gear but I do have an iPod. I've tried recording with it before but because I have no experience in recording I have found it difficult to get good sound, especially with vocals. I just watched a video where a professional band recorded a song with an iPhone and it sounded WAY better than anything I have been able to do. Can you give me suggestions, advice, ideas or anything at all that can help a poor, inexperienced musician? I really appreciate it.

Here is the video I was talking about
http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2009/07/02/use-your-iphone-to-record-your-next-single/

Edit: I forgot to mention that most of the songs I would like to record at the moment are just acoustic guitar and vocals. But I would also appreciate tips for recording other instruments.
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Last edited by heavyairship at May 30, 2013,
#2
Well if we're talking literally zero dollars to invest in an iOS mic, then you don't have too many options.

I think the first thing to try would be to put the ipod further away from your voice/guitar. Getting too close will definitely mess things up quickly. Try to do this in a room that isn't big and echo-ey, or the bathroom (even though you've heard the stories, I guarantee it'll sound like crap...literally).

Are you just using the voice recorder and doing vocals/guitar at the same time, or are you multi-tracking in Garageband? I would highly recommend buying and using the garageband app if you haven't already. It's $5, and that's not much more than zero haha

If/when you can multi-track, maintain distance from the mic and then pan the two tracks a little bit apart, noting drastic though. Just move vocals a bit to the left, and guitar to the right (or vice versa, doesn't matter) and that will help reduce the pile of mush.

Make sure you listen back (monitor) through headphones of some sort, the tiny mono speaker is just going to make things sound terrible, no matter how good it may actually be.

ps the band you linked to bounced everything to Pro Tools to mix it, and they also recorded lead vocals with a real mic and interface. But you can see them keeping distance from the ipod mic, and doing their best not to overload it, like I mentioned earlier (I watched the video after commenting haha).

pps. Prepare yourself for an influx of 'get some money and buy some real equipment' replies. People here mean well, but they're not so good at answering a question like this one within the parameters that you've set (aka no money to be spent).
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Last edited by Sid McCall at May 30, 2013,
#3
I've tried recording guitar and vocals separately but since I'm not used to singing without a guitar it ends up sounding pretty bad. When I record them together, even when I have the iPod right in front of my face, the guitar overpowers my voice.

One of the reasons I don't want to spend money is because I want to one day record an album with nothing but free apps and distribute it for free via a website like bandcamp. I think if music becomes free to learn, create, record, produce, and distribute then more people would be making music and blah blah blah the world will be saved.

edit: yeah, I actually wasn't able to watch the whole video until after I posted (slow internet) so I was kind of bummed to see that.

I forgot to mention that I have a multi-track app called overdub but I usually just record stuff in my voice memos one track at a time and then email it to myself and edit it in audacity.
Emerse your soul in love


You used to be alright What happened?


Yellow tigers crouched in jungles in her Dark Eyes .
Last edited by heavyairship at May 30, 2013,
#4
The major problem with recording with an iPhone is that there's a big old limiter on its mic all the time, which is probably why your guitar overpowers your vocals (to some extent)

I think some apps bypass the in-built limiter, but i couldn't give you a clue as to which. Maybe Rhode's app that's meant for use with the iXY? Have a look around, do some research.

Aside from that, just make sure you're in a nice room with not too much noise (fans, dimmers etc). Or, if your neighbourhood is quiet outside can work when there's no wind.
#5
Quote by heavyairship
I've tried recording guitar and vocals separately but since I'm not used to singing without a guitar it ends up sounding pretty bad. When I record them together, even when I have the iPod right in front of my face, the guitar overpowers my voice.

One of the reasons I don't want to spend money is because I want to one day record an album with nothing but free apps and distribute it for free via a website like bandcamp. I think if music becomes free to learn, create, record, produce, and distribute then more people would be making music and blah blah blah the world will be saved.

edit: yeah, I actually wasn't able to watch the whole video until after I posted (slow internet) so I was kind of bummed to see that.

I forgot to mention that I have a multi-track app called overdub but I usually just record stuff in my voice memos one track at a time and then email it to myself and edit it in audacity.


1. You should practice your songs, and get your playing/singing to a consistent balance. If you're singing properly, you should be projecting at a similar volume to a moderately-strummed guitar. Try to work on that a bit, and then place the mic at an equal distance from both sources.

2. Just an FYI, when you distribute for free on bandcamp you have to personally pay bandcamp for every unit over 200 per month, so it's free for listeners but not you. I've run into that problem recently, so I figured I'd share my experience with you so you know what to expect.

3. You should seriously consider saving up for a mic (I know this goes against the end of my previous post). Nobody is gonna buy the 'I used free apps and didn't pay for equipment' when you clearly have the iPod in the first place, which costs 3x what a good mic would cost you. Not knocking your idea, just giving you some perspective.

I hope I didn't come off harsh, but I feel like I have enough experience with this stuff, so I want to help you achieve the best you can here!


edited for formatting...
Telecaster - SG - Jaguar
Princeton Reverb, Extra Reverb
P-Bass - Mustang Bass
Apogee Duet 2 - Ableton Suite
Last edited by Sid McCall at May 30, 2013,
#6
I'm completely "down" with the doing it for free ethic and it should be perfectly possible given the amount of good quality Open Source software available.

What I don't quite get is why you're hell-bent on recording with an iPod, if you have some sort of workstation with Audacity that you're mixing on anyway. Even a cheap dynamic mic should give you better options than trying to work with an iPod.
#7
Quote by von Layzonfon
I'm completely "down" with the doing it for free ethic and it should be perfectly possible given the amount of good quality Open Source software available.

What I don't quite get is why you're hell-bent on recording with an iPod, if you have some sort of workstation with Audacity that you're mixing on anyway. Even a cheap dynamic mic should give you better options than trying to work with an iPod.



I'm not hell-bent on recording with an iPod. It's just something I already owned that happens to have a better mic than my computer. I am currently in debt and I'm expecting more expenses in the near future so I'm trying not to spend above the bare minimum right now. I don't know when I'll have extra cash to spend on a proper mic so I'm trying to make due with what I have.
Emerse your soul in love


You used to be alright What happened?


Yellow tigers crouched in jungles in her Dark Eyes .