#1
Hey guys,

I realize the answer to my question is "it depends" but I'm just looking for ballpark.


Long story short:
A Cover band that are friends of mine want to record 2 or 3 songs on the cheap. What they proposed to me was I bring my tascam US 2000 and my laptop to their place, we set up around 12 microphones and we record them playing and maybe a few overdubs.

Once we do that, we send the tracks to a professionnal guy who will mix them for us. Therefore I will NOT add any VST or virtual instruments or compressor or any of that stuff, simply a clean recording.


So my question is, with these specs:


Reaper software (no vsts or anything)
Windows 7 64 bit
4G ram
i7 quad core 2.10GHz


How many absolutely clean tracks can I simultaneously record without causing lag or distortion or jitter problems or whatever?

Thanks
Last edited by flexiblemile at Jan 20, 2016,
#2
You might run short of some RAM, but i would imagine you would be able to get by. If you have access to 12 mics where you are located, plug them all in and put them in front of a radio or something, and try it out haha. Then you will know for sure if it works.

I would recommend you track everyone individually to minimize bleed on each mic, unless you can isolate each member throughout the house really well. Of course recording tracks individually will take much longer, but it will make for much cleaner tracks for the professional to mix and master. It would also give you more accurate tracks for each member. you wont hear the subtle mistakes as easily by live tracking. Of course that's up to the band, live tracking will give a more raw sound.

Doing everyone by themselves to a click track will most likely take a few days, but you will end up with a much nicer final product. Start by recording each song on the drums and go from there. That will be up to the band and yourself however.
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#3
Lag is latency, and you don't care about it.
Distortion doesn't depend on that - either you can record something properly or you overload a data buffer somewhere, but then you'll get an error.
Jitter depends on the converters and data interface used, so you can't do anything about it unless you switch to a new audio interface.

What HDD does the computer have?
Does it have any USB3/FW/TB ports?
Quote by player o slayer
You might run short of some RAM
Recorded audio doesn't get put in RAM, it basically goes:
audio interface -> data interface -> computer data buffer -> HDD
So if you don't have any plugins and you have enough RAM for the OS and DAW to run smoothly, RAM size will not be a problem.
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#4
Quote by Spambot_2
Lag is latency, and you don't care about it.
Distortion doesn't depend on that - either you can record something properly or you overload a data buffer somewhere, but then you'll get an error.
Jitter depends on the converters and data interface used, so you can't do anything about it unless you switch to a new audio interface.

What HDD does the computer have?
Does it have any USB3/FW/TB ports?
Recorded audio doesn't get put in RAM, it basically goes:
audio interface -> data interface -> computer data buffer -> HDD
So if you don't have any plugins and you have enough RAM for the OS and DAW to run smoothly, RAM size will not be a problem.


Thank you for your answers,

Yes I have USB3 (they're the blue ones, correct?)

No HDD, it's a SSD kingston SV300s37a240G
#5
You should be able to record comfortably all 16 tracks on your interface, just make sure you set up high latency.
For overdubs I think your interface can monitor the input at source thus keeping the latency high.

The Tasscam interface shows 8mic inputs, so not sure how you'll connect the rest.

I think you can comfortably go up to 40 tracks in 24/44.
#6
Quote by diabolical
You should be able to record comfortably all 16 tracks on your interface, just make sure you set up high latency.
For overdubs I think your interface can monitor the input at source thus keeping the latency high.

The Tasscam interface shows 8mic inputs, so not sure how you'll connect the rest.

I think you can comfortably go up to 40 tracks in 24/44.


Thanks for the input. You're right about the 8 mic thing, I was a bit misleading. There are a few stereo inputs in the back. I figured the overhead drum mics and the tom mics can go into a standard mixer and then then mixer would be fed into one of the stereo inputs in the back.

We'd need to make sure those mics are mixed correctly as they wouldn't be adjustable later but I'd still have at the very least the snare and the floor drum on independent mics.

Not sure if that makes sense?

Edit:

here's a pic of the back so you can see the stereo inputs, not sure the pic will show up

Last edited by flexiblemile at Jan 20, 2016,
#8
Quote by player o slayer

I would recommend you track everyone individually to minimize bleed on each mic, unless you can isolate each member throughout the house really well. Of course recording tracks individually will take much longer, but it will make for much cleaner tracks for the professional to mix and master. It would also give you more accurate tracks for each member. you wont hear the subtle mistakes as easily by live tracking. Of course that's up to the band, live tracking will give a more raw sound.

Doing everyone by themselves to a click track will most likely take a few days, but you will end up with a much nicer final product. Start by recording each song on the drums and go from there. That will be up to the band and yourself however.


This is really a creative decision and I would do exactly the opposite. Get as many live musician tracks recorded at the same time to capture the groove. Some mic isolation is needed but absolute isolation is just not important to get a good mix later. Producers Quincy Jones, Rob Hoffman, Steve Cropper often said "Get them in the room together because musicians interact". Others will surely have their own creative ideas.
#9
Quote by diabolical
Yes, I'm aware of the extra 1/4 inputs, just making sure you were

Do a track count for me if you don't mind, maybe I'll be able to help you plan for this better...

As kick=ch1, etc...



Sure,

mic1: electric guitar (because I'm a guitarist, electric guitar gets track #1)
mic2: main voice (will probably be re-recorded on overdubs)
mic3: backing vocals 1 (will probably be re-recorded on overdubs)
mic4: high hat
mic5: snare
mic6: bass drum
inst/mic7:synth line in
inst/mic8:bass line in (there's a line out on the guys bass amp)
stereo 9/10: stereo feed from mixer (toms and overheads)
#10
I'd record it like this:

1. Record the song roughly with everyone playing to click
2. Set up the drum mics and have the drummer listen to the track via headphones and record drums separate
3. Record each instrument/person same as step 2
4. Layer it all together - they should all be in time
5. Now you have a nicely polished record (within the constraints of the project)
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#11
Quote by flexiblemile
Sure,

mic1: electric guitar (because I'm a guitarist, electric guitar gets track #1)
mic2: main voice (will probably be re-recorded on overdubs)
mic3: backing vocals 1 (will probably be re-recorded on overdubs)
mic4: high hat
mic5: snare
mic6: bass drum
inst/mic7:synth line in
inst/mic8:bass line in (there's a line out on the guys bass amp)
stereo 9/10: stereo feed from mixer (toms and overheads)


I think you might be able to get better separation, depending on mixer.
Some have insert points, which you can use to feed direct into your 1/4 inputs on the Tascam.
That is achieved by half plugging a 1/4 mono cable into the insert on each mixer channel.
Alternative to that is to use auxes, which you can do for the vocals, plug vocals, solo and backing into the board, use tgge say aux1 send to stick on mono input on the interface, this way you can submix all vox to 1 mono guide track which you said you'll delete after anyway. That will open 2 mic inputs for drums.
Also - bass di might be able to plug into 1/4 input thus freeing another mic channel.
Synth - you can also feed into a 1/4 in.
Hh usually comes out well in overheads so I'll probably leave it unmiked in this situation.
#12
mic1: electric guitar (because I'm a guitarist, electric guitar gets track #1)
mic2: kick
mic3: snare
mic4: overhead left
mic5: overhead right
mic6: t1
inst/mic7: t2
inst/mic8: t3
Do the rest mono...
Input 9: bass
Input 10: keys
Input 11: submix vox (either aux or mixer stereo out)
That still leaves 3 as your interface, although marketed as 16 inputs, has only 14
analog ones and 2 digital (spdif - the orange rca plugs).
So with 3 left you can possibly use another one for the keys via 1/4 input, also snare under mic, remember you need to flip phase afterwards when mixing in the DAW, and your high hat via an insert.

Sometimes if inserts don't work, I've used stereo outputs, if it has more that one, my mixer has 2, so if you pan hard left and hard right you can still send 4 separate output tracks from your mixer.
If you know the brand - let me know, I'll look it up.

BTW, most kids will tell you that separate click tracked performance is best, but I also beg to differ - if the band is hot, open it up and just play. Look at most great bands, they recorded raw in a room with the drummer being the metronome.
#13
Quote by diabolical
mic1: electric guitar (because I'm a guitarist, electric guitar gets track #1)
mic2: kick
mic3: snare
mic4: overhead left
mic5: overhead right
mic6: t1
inst/mic7: t2
inst/mic8: t3
Do the rest mono...
Input 9: bass
Input 10: keys
Input 11: submix vox (either aux or mixer stereo out)
That still leaves 3 as your interface, although marketed as 16 inputs, has only 14
analog ones and 2 digital (spdif - the orange rca plugs).
So with 3 left you can possibly use another one for the keys via 1/4 input, also snare under mic, remember you need to flip phase afterwards when mixing in the DAW, and your high hat via an insert.

Sometimes if inserts don't work, I've used stereo outputs, if it has more that one, my mixer has 2, so if you pan hard left and hard right you can still send 4 separate output tracks from your mixer.
If you know the brand - let me know, I'll look it up.

BTW, most kids will tell you that separate click tracked performance is best, but I also beg to differ - if the band is hot, open it up and just play. Look at most great bands, they recorded raw in a room with the drummer being the metronome.


Most great bands are capable of that after years of experience playing together, never right away.
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#14
Quote by Anthony1991
Most great bands are capable of that after years of experience playing together, never right away.

Depends on the musicians. Black Light Syndrome (Bozzio, Levin, Stevens) got together for 3 days and came with their masterpiece, no prior work.


OP, here's more info on how to use a mixer insert points to record (article 1) and mixer routing (article 2):

http://ethanwiner.com/mixer2daw.html
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1996_articles/sep96/mixerbusses.html
Last edited by diabolical at Jan 21, 2016,
#15
Quote by diabolical
Depends on the musicians. Black Light Syndrome (Bozzio, Levin, Stevens) got together for 3 days and came with their masterpiece, no prior work.


OP, here's more info on how to use a mixer insert points to record (article 1) and mixer routing (article 2):

http://ethanwiner.com/mixer2daw.html
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1996_articles/sep96/mixerbusses.html


Imo the best way for these guys to get a solid recording worth showing is recording separately
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#17
I've been able to squeeze extra channels on sessions with an extra mixer, until digital mixers started popping up, now I am as confused as ever with the brands I haven't worked with.

I have an older Behringer and Tascam mixers that are used on sessions as submix groups, etc., usually for the scratch tracks.

About the "band as a whole" vs overdub approach - there are different schools of thought on that one, and it really depends on what sounds better. Why not try both? Do a click track tempo map for one song on your DAW and see how the band tracks to that. Then record that same song freestyle, having the drummer move the tempo. Compare...

I prefer a hybrid approach. I prefer for the most part to have one whole take as a band, whether the drummer is on click or not...depends on the drummer. Then maybe overdub the places where there are mistakes on the band member's parts. Then once you have a real rhythm bed, vocals and leads can be overdubbed. This way it sounds more natural. That's how I'll do it for a cover band anyway, as most likely you're used to playing with each other live.

The track by track approach could also work but it'll give you a more robotic performance, which depending on the genre, might be better. The extreme genres in general, record this way. Usually as the drummers flub on the high tempos and can't keep up the double kicks, so you'll have to nudge them in time, etc.

Both approaches work, I prefer the organic, but I come from a 70s background, think Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and even the 80s metal bands like Metallica and Slayer recorded to analog tape so they had to learn to play good together. Check out "Fight fire" for example - the kicks are kinda messy on that opening but who cares? That's what a real band sounds like.
#18
Quote by flexiblemile
Hey guys,

I realize the answer to my question is "it depends" but I'm just looking for ballpark.


Long story short:
A Cover band that are friends of mine want to record 2 or 3 songs on the cheap. What they proposed to me was I bring my tascam US 2000 and my laptop to their place, we set up around 12 microphones and we record them playing and maybe a few overdubs.

Once we do that, we send the tracks to a professionnal guy who will mix them for us. Therefore I will NOT add any VST or virtual instruments or compressor or any of that stuff, simply a clean recording.


So my question is, with these specs:


Reaper software (no vsts or anything)
Windows 7 64 bit
4G ram
i7 quad core 2.10GHz


How many absolutely clean tracks can I simultaneously record without causing lag or distortion or jitter problems or whatever?

Thanks


Just tracking basic audio - you could record way more tracks than you'll ever need. I routinely recorded 8 tracks for hours at a time ( we recorded our entire gigs) on a much less powerful laptop than that using Reaper.

You'll be fine.