how to record an mp3

Creating a home studio for recording the classical guitar. Equipment, software and recording techniques. Amplification for live performance.
roygenewatsonjr

Re: how to record an mp3

Post by roygenewatsonjr » Wed Oct 01, 2008 1:58 pm

I think the best solution at this point would be to get one of those Tascam 122L audio interfaces, as it is USB powered and has 24 bit/96 Khz recording capability. A good choice for microphones are the R0DE NT5 matched pair of condensers. I'd get two boom stands and the best 12' or 15' cables you can. This stuff will run you around $650 or so for the whole bit, but the microphones you use are absolutely critical for sound. You can use the boom stands to position the microphones in various arrangements, a good starting point would be a 90 degree angle between them with one pointed directly at the 12th fret and one at the saddle. If you move/aim a microphone further down the neck the sound will get brighter. The Tascam interface comes with cubase LE which is not without problems, but is fine for most purposes. Try to set the levels of the microphone in so they're recording a signal in no danger of coming anywhere close to the max level, as a matter of fact the lower levels are fine because the file can be amplified digitally with very little loss, but a clipped signal cannot be fixed. Record with nothing squeaking in you pockets or a squeaky chair, etc... I use a laptop from Lenovo with this same setup for recording on location and I can get maybe four hours or so on that battery and the laptop is very quiet with the fan.

The crappy thing about recording is that it takes some substantial initial investment just to get a good enough recording, then some more initial invenstment to mix the recording (with a serious learning curve) and then some more investment to master the recording. Good places to start is the Mixing Engineer's Handbook and comparing your recordings to the good ones and trying to emulate them. Eventually you'll develop a style and become good at compression, effects, etc... You can get off a little cheaper getting one of those studio-in-a-box things like the Korg d1600 and the like (that's how I started) but you'll eventually find it easier to get the recording into your DAW software (Cubase, Protools, Sonar, whatever) as quickly as possible. A good cheap piece of software is Tracktion by Mackie. The learning curve on that one is about as shallow as you can get as far as DAW goes, and it does really pro style stuff (side-chain compression) with relative ease...

Nuclearfishin

Re: how to record an mp3

Post by Nuclearfishin » Tue Oct 07, 2008 1:50 am

Does anybody here use a usb mixer to record direct to the harddrive? Most laptops and computers don't have a very good soundcard for recording. Sound quality can be greatly increased with a couple good condensor mics (around $100 each) and recording direct to the harddrive. My problem has been that I seem to be getting white noise through my Alesis mixer that I can't figure out what's causing it. Does anybody else here record via usb have similar issues?

Lincoln

Re: how to record an mp3

Post by Lincoln » Tue Oct 14, 2008 4:08 am

Nuclear...

I came across the LightSnake guitar cable at Guitar Center which converts analog to digital within the cable . I can plug my guitar directly into my laptop (1/4" to USB). I haven't had much time to work with it, but so far I'm very impressed. I'm still trying some different things with it, like recording my acoustic classical with a microphone and using adapters on the cable.

It works very well with Audacity and my Travel Guitar, (which is basically an electric guitar). Audacity was way too noisy on my laptop soundcard. The cable doesn't require any additional interface, and has improved the quality of sound. The audio is crisp and clear with very low noise. It's ideal for me to use for practice and playback. Once I get the mic setup so that I'm not recording the ambient noise from my laptop, I think it will work quite nicely for acoustic recordings, too. Shouldn't be a problem, the cable is 3.5 meters long.

Heres a link to check it out. http://www.soundtech.com/products/home-recording

Good luck!

cn90

Re: how to record an mp3

Post by cn90 » Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:03 am

This thread was started in 2005.
Alot of new technologies have emrged.
I just bought a "Zoom H4", amazing little 'mean' machine.

Just Google "Zoom H2 vs H4" and you will see that both Zoom H2 and H4 are excellent candidates.

This forum has athread on Zoom H2 vs H4:
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=29900

krjames

Re: how to record an mp3

Post by krjames » Thu Nov 06, 2008 2:50 am

Amazing what I am finding on this site.
Never thought about recording myself but now I find out that I will have to upgrade to Debian Lenny as soon as it comes out for another reason. :shock: Currently running Sarge which doesn't have the youtube-dl package.

Just ouot of interest, has anyone recorded the student peices from the Charles Duncan 'Modern approach to CG'? My copy is so old it came with a vinyl pressing. Who has a record player now??

Cheers and thanks alot to everyone who contributed their bit to this topic. :merci:

Tubbers
Posts: 2822
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2006 10:17 pm
Location: Enumclaw, WA

Re: how to record an mp3

Post by Tubbers » Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:47 pm

I have Audacity downloaded and know how to record but I get totally lost trying to burn to a CD. Can anyone here make a list of the steps to take? I'm not very computer savvy. I have blank CD-RW discs and am using my friends new laptop with Vista.
Thanks y'all. :)
Help!

C Rosita

Re: how to record an mp3

Post by C Rosita » Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:04 pm

I have tried the cheap $10 microphone with Audacity, but I get so much background fuzz and such poor quality that it hardly seems worth it. Same problem on my laptop and desktop. I have tried adjusting the mike volume and have tried with/without mike boost but can't get anything decent. Would a slightly better microphone make a significant difference?

cn90

Re: how to record an mp3

Post by cn90 » Fri Nov 14, 2008 2:07 pm

C Rosita wrote:I have tried the cheap $10 microphone with Audacity, but I get so much background fuzz and such poor quality that it hardly seems worth it. Same problem on my laptop and desktop. I have tried adjusting the mike volume and have tried with/without mike boost but can't get anything decent. Would a slightly better microphone make a significant difference?
Rosita,

You may want to visit this thread "Microphones", pay attention to comments by DonM, who has alot of recording experience:
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=31459&st=0&sk=t&sd ... microphone

The bottom line with recording is analogous to cars: stay away from Yugo (does that car still exist?); also stay away from Porsche, Ferrari! Most people find happiness along the line of: "Toyota Camry" or "Honda Accord" for that matter, i.e., the 'right' amount of money spent for satisfaction.

Back to recording, it is like a soccer team, every member of the team has to be good for excellent outcome. So, there is no point buying a $1,000 microphone, but using the cheaper mixer, cable, computer etc.

Having said that a cheap webcam of $10 will not take you very far, perhaps good enough for utube and that is about it. You need to spend more money to get better products.

I go for the "middle ground" equipment:
1. Zoom H4: $230
2. A pair of CAD Equitek E70: I got lucky and bought them for $89 each.
Very happy with this setup.

C Rosita

Re: how to record an mp3

Post by C Rosita » Fri Nov 14, 2008 4:17 pm

cn90 wrote:
Having said that a cheap webcam of $10 will not take you very far, perhaps good enough for utube and that is about it. You need to spend more money to get better products.
Thanks - I suspected as much - you get what you pay for (up to a point). Mostly I just want to record for my own benefit to get a better idea of where I need work, and to make an archive to see if I'm really getting any better. I'm self taught so I need to be my own critic.

cn90

Re: how to record an mp3

Post by cn90 » Fri Nov 14, 2008 4:27 pm

C Rosita wrote:Thanks - I suspected as much - you get what you pay for (up to a point). Mostly I just want to record for my own benefit to get a better idea of where I need work, and to make an archive to see if I'm really getting any better. I'm self taught so I need to be my own critic.
I don't know your budget, but since you are self-taught and want to be your own critic, I strongly recommend a "Zoom H2" Digital Recorder, "It is a mean machine" so to speak. You can buy it online for about $150. Or search for a used one in your local area if you are short of budget.

Here are some useful links for you:

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=29900&

http://www.premierguitar.com/Magazine/I ... rders.aspx

BTW, the best VISUAL feedback is practise in front of mirror. For SOUND feedback, use digital recorder as mentioned above.

Have fun.

C Rosita

Re: how to record an mp3

Post by C Rosita » Sat Nov 15, 2008 12:47 am

cn90 wrote: I strongly recommend a "Zoom H2" Digital Recorder
cn90,

Thanks for the info - does the Zoom H2 produce better sound quality than you would get from a decent mic and Audacity, or is the convenience the big plus?

cn90

Re: how to record an mp3

Post by cn90 » Sat Nov 15, 2008 2:23 am

C Rosita wrote:
cn90 wrote: I strongly recommend a "Zoom H2" Digital Recorder
cn90,

Thanks for the info - does the Zoom H2 produce better sound quality than you would get from a decent mic and Audacity, or is the convenience the big plus?
Read this review on Zoom H4 carefully:
http://www.transom.org/tools/recording_ ... 3_zoom_h4/

The built-in mic function of Zoom H4 is identical to built-in mic function of Zoom H2, so if you want to know what Zoom H2 sounds like, listen to the sound clip in the Zoom H4 link w/o external mics.
H2 has built-in mics and CANNOT accept external mics.
H4 can do both: built-in mics and external mics.

The beauty of Zoom H2 or H4 is that you can take it anywhere. In contrast a home-based system with decent mic + Audacity, you are stuck with a computer/laptop, which are cumbersome to carry around.
Last edited by cn90 on Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cerato

Re: how to record an mp3

Post by cerato » Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:15 am

Thanks for Audacity software, It very useful to me. I combine Audacity software + Microphone $7 I have some sound sample for my improve the guitar playing skills. I had recorded some sound sampler with my new guitar and shared in Luthier page with item: I am waiting my pride from Vietnam, please check: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=33388

cn90

Re: how to record an mp3

Post by cn90 » Sun Nov 30, 2008 8:13 pm

jimc9452 wrote:Newbie question:.....Whan I try to open Lame, I get an error message telling me I need a .dll file.
Is there an easy solution to this? Whan I open the web solutions tab, I get a bunch of companies who want to sell me computer utility stuff....Thanks.....Jim
Jim,

I just saw your post and had the exact question one month ago, now I figure it out!

1. Download Audacity as usual:
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/windows

2. Download LAME (I do not know what LAME stands for!). You need LAME to "Export" the file as MP3, otherwise it will be saved as Audacity File (*.aup):
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/windows
Here is the trick: after downloading LAME, find the file lame_enc.dll.

Copy lame_enc.dll and Paste it into an easier location such as:
C:/Jim(or Your name)/MusicClips

3. Now work on your MP3 file. After you are done with Editing, you need to Export as MP3.
The Audacity software will ask you about the lame_enc.dll file (only once though, and after that do NOT move this lame_enc.dll to other locations of your computer)
Then Audacity will ask you where you want the file to be saved. You can save it as:
C:/Jim(or Your name)/MusicClips
Give the File a Name (such as "Bach-Prelude-No1").
Click OK.

That is it, simple (as long as you know how to do the trick with lame_enc.dll as I mentioned!!!

Grahamb

Re: how to record an mp3

Post by Grahamb » Mon Dec 01, 2008 11:24 am

To cn90

You wrote:
H2 has built-in mics and CANNOT accept external mics.
I'm looking at mine now and it has an external mic input :wink: I haven't tested it with a mic (don't have one)but I'm very happy with the sound quality from the built-in mics.

Graham

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