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Recording tricks for private fun

posted on #1
Posts: 254
Joined: 19.08.13
I hope nobody minds if I post some tricks I have used once. Maybe they are not useful for your setup!

Trick "Doubling the signal path for the drumcomputer":
Short signalpath: drums to A/D-device (e.g. US-122). Regular: Drums L/R line-out to Channel 7/8 of Mixerconsole; Mixer to A/D.
New: Double signal via Patchbay, drums to Ch1/2, too. Insert analog compressor there. Add reverb via mixer. Get rid of build-in reverb and comp. Mix 4 channels by taste, change stereo-pan of new channels. Use mixer-Eq to get rid of awful Hihats.

Trick "Adding a little cheap EQ in Reaper" for midi-samples:
Record track. Apply very radical EQ to elimate awful boring Hihat-sounds. This equed signal sounds awful thin if soloed. Now reduce percentage of wet signal by taste to 10 to 30 until you get a very slight reduce of artificial Hihat-sounds. Same trick added as above: use digital compressor but mix wet and dry signal by taste. Get rid of internal effects in the device.

If you like to share your trick...
Edited by Neronick on 05-03-2016 14:32
posted on #2
Posts: 254
Joined: 19.08.13
This could be a funny trick, too. But I never used it!
Trick "Singing in a bucket". Use a small condenser mic close to your mouth. Wear a big bucket as a big helmet and sing underneath this bucket! Of course you could build a little "vocal corner" if you are able to fix the big bucket in the room where you are standing. Try some foam in the bucket. Try to sing with little earphones under the helmet and play back the melody if you have fun.
If it gets too hot inside the bucket do a rest for some minutes.
posted on #3
Posts: 254
Joined: 19.08.13
Another trick: "Use ducking for vocals on overcompressed backings".
Sometimes there is not enough free room for the vocals because the instruments are heavy compressed. Solution: compresse it more but use ducking.
In Reaper: place vocal-track over backing-track. Open Compressorwindow for backing. Click I/O-buttom of vocaltrack and drag into compressorwindow. Now compressor works in overducking mode. Apply little compression for backing when there is a vocalsignal. If no vocal appears the backingtrack stays unchanged.
Edited by Neronick on 05-03-2016 12:29
posted on #4
Posts: 254
Joined: 19.08.13
Trick "Some tricks for old versions of Band-in-a box".
Don't use computersoundcard, never GM, not virtual synth. Use external sound modul. De-activate "send patches". Adjust sounds on modul itself. Mute at least one track of five. Get rid of musical overload in each style. Edit style, e.g. select one instrument in the 4-beat-patterns and kill all variations in the b-part by putting "9" (means play always) in the pattern options. Leave others unchanged. What and how to reduce depends on the leadsheet you write, e.g. "A" or "A A" or "AAAA", these are four beats but they trigger different patterns. The basic rule is almost the same: less is more because your instrument needs room. :)
posted on #5
Posts: 254
Joined: 19.08.13
This is a very secret trick: "Play your arranger-keyboard without your fingers but with a written leadsheet". You need band-in-a-box and a keyboard. Put the keyboard in a remote mode and define channel to receive the triggernotes for the arranger. Now Band-in-a-box sends no information but clockimpulses and the notes which define the chords, e.g. "c-e-g-bb". The trick: the velocities for these notes on the remote-channel are only "1". They trigger the arranger of the keyboard but you can't hear them sounding! Mute other channels of Biabox. You can switch the styles with the keyboard and you can try out some melodies etc. Use the mixer of the keyboard to mute parts etc.
posted on #6
Posts: 484
Joined: 07.01.13
why not play a nice cd and enjoy real musicians instead of the plastic lifeless band in a box ? listen to great masters and sharpen your ear ... try to make out what they play this is your best bet to improve your own musical vocabulary !
clusters Clusters CLUSTERS !!!!!!
posted on #7
Posts: 254
Joined: 19.08.13
Trick: "Use a signal path with some dirt". Maybe you have never listened to an old Casio keyboard. You got 1000 sounds but every instrument voice sounds as "Casio". Add another device in the signal path, e.g. take a bass-sound, run it through an amplifier and record the speaker with a mic.

Split a submix of 3 instruments of one soundmodule into two takes and use 2 tracks, e.g. one stereo submix and a mono track. Insert a pedal in the signalpath to override the manufacture's timbre of all samples.

Some dirt can sound nice in a clean mix.
Edited by Neronick on 06-03-2016 13:02
posted on #8
Posts: 48
Joined: 18.01.16
Hi This is a very interisting thread to follow ^^
Some tricks you are explaining here are not that easy to understand for me as far it's partly based on software abilities.
I use a digital multitracks recorder and mainly record guitars and vocals...
Keys and midi, technical work on sound etc... are out of my skills.

I make it basic: Plug, find your sound, play, record...
That kind of guitar player ;-)

However, I try to imagine and understand how your tricks work.
In any case it is a creative work, and it's great to share this...
In some way it remains me the creative attempts to get to a sound as far as my only hardware was a 4 tracks tape multitracks recorder, a guitar amp, and headphone, a poor mic and that's it...
No reverb, no good mic., no proper amplification stuff, no effects, etc...
Not even a way to control or modify the sound when recorded...

I was smiling when reading your post around the bucket...
I've done many things with an old big metal bucket...
So, I don't want to comment on technical stuff I could hardly bring something on, but, I guess sometimes we still can use some "old fashion" technics:

- Acoustic guitar takes, mic. positionned at the neck jonction with a bucket behind can create a particular sort of reverb.
- Same with the voices takes mainly if used as back vocals.
Everybody knows the bathroom reverb, etc...
- Special microphonic sounding when using an headphone as a microphone.
Just plug an headphone in an amp, sing and check it out...


This is also creative a kind of creative work which doesn't need a dime and can provide fun and a unique souding "when it works out" ^^

I don't know if my post is in this thread spirit, but seems like it's "recording tricks for private fun" too, and I've plenty of these ^^

I'll follow the thread^^
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