self recording using a PC

Creating a home studio for recording the classical guitar. Equipment, software and recording techniques. Amplification for live performance.
Trev
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self recording using a PC

Post by Trev » Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:42 pm

I just need some help on using a PC for recording purposes please. The picture is good but the sound is poor, I use a Blue Yeti usb mic for input.
I have an all in one PC which is the main family computer which I've used for recording and the reproduction isn't too bad. However, I'm trying to set up in another part of the house and sourced a desktop tower and monitor, the monitor has inbuilt speakers but they are poor, much more so than the main pc it would appear. I'm really not good with this sort of thing but if I sourced a couple of external speakers to plug into a USB connection on the tower would this be a solution ? Any advice and suggestions regarding type of speaker would be very much appreciated.
Thanks
Trev
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Bernhard Heimann
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Re: self recording using a PC

Post by Bernhard Heimann » Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:03 am

External speakers can be a good solution, but they are usually active speakers (with an amplifier built in) and connected
to the LINE OUT jack, which provides an analog signal needed. I'm using the BOSE Computer Music Monitor - not cheap, but
with a very good quality. Another possibility, which I use for the family computer: connect it to the HiFi equipment in the living room,
also via the LINE OUT of the computer and the AUX input of the amplifier.
One more solution (I had some years ago): a dedicated small amplifier with 2 small loudspeakers.

Bernhard

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tormodg
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Re: self recording using a PC

Post by tormodg » Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:03 am

You will be much better off with a set of active monitors and a dedicated USB audio card. Hifi equipment is meant for audio reproduction but not really for recording situations where you need to hear more pure/unprocessed audio. PC speakers are generally not suitable for music production, but might work fine for listening to music and movies etc.

I don’t know your bugdet, but here are some ideas - google these to see what they can offer.

Monitors: KRK Rokit 5 G3 Two-Way Active Studio Monitor (Pair)

USB audio interface: Roland Rubix 22 USB Audio Interface

You would hook the monitors to the interface via audio cables, and the interface to your PC via USB. You can keep using your USB microphone, but you could also connect a standard microphone via XLR cable to the interface.

Stuff like this can also be found for quite reasonable prices at fex e - b a y.
I see a lot of online retailes with good offers for Christmas.
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Trev
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Re: self recording using a PC

Post by Trev » Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:10 pm

Bernhard Heimann wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:03 am
External speakers can be a good solution, but they are usually active speakers (with an amplifier built in) and connected
to the LINE OUT jack, which provides an analog signal needed. I'm using the BOSE Computer Music Monitor - not cheap, but
with a very good quality. Another possibility, which I use for the family computer: connect it to the HiFi equipment in the living room,
also via the LINE OUT of the computer and the AUX input of the amplifier.
One more solution (I had some years ago): a dedicated small amplifier with 2 small loudspeakers.

Bernhard
thanks Bernhard, I've been doing some digging today and there seems to be a consensus re' audio interface/ monitors and feel that's the way to go. thanks again for the info.
Trev
Jose Antonio Lagunar 2017
Alvarez Yairi 1981
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Trev
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Re: self recording using a PC

Post by Trev » Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:20 pm

tormodg wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:03 am
You will be much better off with a set of active monitors and a dedicated USB audio card. Hifi equipment is meant for audio reproduction but not really for recording situations where you need to hear more pure/unprocessed audio. PC speakers are generally not suitable for music production, but might work fine for listening to music and movies etc.

I don’t know your bugdet, but here are some ideas - google these to see what they can offer.

Monitors: KRK Rokit 5 G3 Two-Way Active Studio Monitor (Pair)

USB audio interface: Roland Rubix 22 USB Audio Interface

You would hook the monitors to the interface via audio cables, and the interface to your PC via USB. You can keep using your USB microphone, but you could also connect a standard microphone via XLR cable to the interface.

Stuff like this can also be found for quite reasonable prices at fex e - b a y.
I see a lot of online retailes with good offers for Christmas.
that's a lot of helpful advice tormodg, thankyou. I'm sold on the USB Audio interface and monitors, the KRK & Rubix look quality kit. Would it be possible to connect my Yeti usb mic to the interface ? I see the line in connection for a mic but not for usb, is there an adapter to enable a usb connection there?
thanks
Trev
Jose Antonio Lagunar 2017
Alvarez Yairi 1981
Takamine Hirade H20

LipeB
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Re: self recording using a PC

Post by LipeB » Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:17 am

You can do just fine with the Blue Yeti if you just want to record yourself for leisure or learning purposes. Since this is an USB mic, you won’t need an interface. It is like it has its own interface inside.

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tormodg
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Re: self recording using a PC

Post by tormodg » Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:50 am

Trev wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:20 pm
that's a lot of helpful advice tormodg, thankyou. I'm sold on the USB Audio interface and monitors, the KRK & Rubix look quality kit. Would it be possible to connect my Yeti usb mic to the interface ? I see the line in connection for a mic but not for usb, is there an adapter to enable a usb connection there?
thanks
Trev
Your USB mic will still connect to your PC via regular USB. The main purpose of the new USB interface is to drive the monitors and provide much better audio processing thin built-in chips can. You get much better results for a pretty small cost.

If you should want to use more microphones later, then you can plug them into the external interface and use them together with the Yeti. For example, to record your guitar from both a close perspective and from a room/ambient perspective.
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tormodg
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Re: self recording using a PC

Post by tormodg » Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:34 am

Just wanted to add that I bought my KRK V4 Series 2 monitors about 15 years ago for approx $600 (which at the time was a bargain due to very favorable currency rates). They still are my only pair of monitors. It is really a worthwhile investment to get a good pair of monitors, and these days you can get high quality for not much money. The V series is a step up from the Rokit series, but to be honest I don’t think I’d notice any difference personally. I think the Rokit series is perfect for anyone wanting to dabble in home audio recording.

I have no affiliation with KRK of course. There are tons of good monitor brands out there like M-Audio, Yamaha etc.
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rojarosguitar
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Re: self recording using a PC

Post by rojarosguitar » Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:35 am

If you are set to record yourself on a PC and that's what you want to do, than that is what you do.

But generally I would rather advise that for recording oneself without anybody else operating the machines a standalone mobile recorder like Zoom or Tascam, you name it, do much better job of not diverting your concentration from music. They have a foolproof dedicated operating system, and after having done basic setup the only thing you do is to push the record button and hopefully forget them.

One would have to invest quite serious money over their price to obtain any really significant improvement in recording quality.

Of course for critical listening of an audio production, especially if it is going to be published either as demo or even comercially you would need a good sounding interface and a pair of decent neutrally sounding studio monitors which tend to be active near field monitors these days.

But just for reviewing one's own playing halfways good sounding computer loudspeaker or headphone might be enough. It really depands on what your final aim is.

My two cents after recording for 30 years.
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Trev
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Re: self recording using a PC

Post by Trev » Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:23 pm

thankyou for all the contributions, it's given me a lot of good advice to think about.
thanks
Trev
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Tonit
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Re: self recording using a PC

Post by Tonit » Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:00 pm

rojarosguitar wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:35 am
If you are set to record yourself on a PC and that's what you want to do, than that is what you do.

One would have to invest quite serious money over their price to obtain any really significant improvement in recording quality.

But just for reviewing one's own playing halfways good sounding computer loudspeaker or headphone might be enough. It really depands on what your final aim is.
I agree. The "serious money" has been cut off drastically over the last 2-3 decades, and Blue Yeti USB mic is on the decent side of the spectrum today.
I also read between the lines, that is fairly interpreted as you prioritize the convenience or handiness of the recording task to some extent.

What I think you can do to improve is, trying different mic settings, with an option to add another Yeti to enable more mic setting options, and find a desired acoustics to get your performance recorded.

Out of those suggestions, what you can do with no additional investment is to try different mic positions. This will drastically change the sound. As a basic rule of thumb, you will pick up more reflections (echos) of the room as you get farther from the sounding part (i.e. mainly the body) of the guitar. And you often find the professional guitarists behind a microphone aiming at about 12th fret of the guitar. I would say this aiming at somewhere from 12th fret to possibly the sound hole, and optionally to the bridge, 30-40 cm away from the guitar is a good start. Anything closer would give you too boomy sounding results impo. Also, you have to expect less low freq from farther microphones, and thus have to adjust with an EQ accordingly. It's about striking a balance, so if you are OK with the ambient sound picked up by a certain distance that gives you the best balanced frequency response, then you can adjust the mic position rather than post EQ processing.

Upon adding one more Yeti, I have no previous experience as to how they would be recognized by your DAW on the PC. I can only guess it would be something like Bule Yeti (1) and Blue Yeti (2), but you could also expect some device recognition issues. To skip all these worrisome things, you can go for a tried and true 2ch+ audio interface and some XLR mics.

With 2+ mics you have many options including parallel, x-y, etc. that I cannot discuss in brief.

As an additional note, if you expect anything close to a studio recording using U87 or else, you need one or more 1-in diaphragm microphone. It is not because their response is superb, but because it has a particular characteristics. In fact, today's smaller diaphragms may well have better freq-responses than 1-in. But our ears are so much accustomed to the 1-in mic sound, anything else really does not sound as good.

You can further read about the foregoing at Neumann site:
https://www.neumann.com/homestudio/en/d ... icrophones

However, this also means that if you use a reasonably decent 1-in diaphragm microphone, it will sound reasonably closer to the studio quality top notch microphone, just because they share the same 1-in diaphragm characteristics, more or less. So and so this information would hopefully help you if you don't have 7k budget handy for a microphone.

Nonetheless, I have to note that, good microphones are good and offer you the added quality for the additional price, such as super low noise signal and durability and so on and so forth.

I hope this helps you.

bauersachs82
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Re: self recording using a PC

Post by bauersachs82 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:54 pm

The Bose Companion 2 computer speakers sound decent for casual listening and they aren't that expensive. You should be able to get decent sounds with the Yeti but if your speakers aren't good, you could have the most expensive mic in the world and it will still sound bad.

Trev
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Re: self recording using a PC

Post by Trev » Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:21 pm

with my present set-up all levels are turned up on the pc but volume and quality is low coming out of the monitor. If I turn the gain up on the Yeti, even above a third, the sound becomes very distorted. I will try with the headphones and see if that's better.
Tonit, I have tried with the positioning of the yeti and my teacher had said about the proximity to the 12th fret, but thanks for that. An adjustable boom for the mic probably would be a sound investment. There's such a lot of good information in this thread and I'm slowly getting my head around it. :)
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Tonit
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Re: self recording using a PC

Post by Tonit » Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:21 am

Hi Trev,
Trev wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:21 pm
with my present set-up all levels are turned up on the pc but volume and quality is low coming out of the monitor. If I turn the gain up on the Yeti, even above a third, the sound becomes very distorted. I will try with the headphones and see if that's better.
Tonit, I have tried with the positioning of the yeti and my teacher had said about the proximity to the 12th fret, but thanks for that. An adjustable boom for the mic probably would be a sound investment. There's such a lot of good information in this thread and I'm slowly getting my head around it. :)
The monitors are important. However, apparently mics are more important if you have to select one out of two (mic or monitor).
I have been using several monitor speakers (near-field monitors) in my life starting from Yamaha NS10m and current m-audio 30w pairs. However, I have been only using Sony MDR 7506 for nearly 3 decades when it comes to a pair of headphones. It is a good solid studio standard headphones that I recommend. You need about .5 to 1 yr breaking-in though, depending on how often you use it. Mine is a second replacement over the last 2 decades, so a pair last about 10yrs.

As for microphone (and I/O), I have long owned an AKG C3000 and Behringer c-2 or something (paired 1/2 diaphragm mics), with Tascam US series Audio I/O. The current 366 is quite old but covers 96khz. Also I have owned a Zoom H3n for a while.

However, I am currently seeking to find more handier and affordable ways to get my guitars recorded. So far I have come up with Olympus WS811 with Polarloid PLMICDS Mic. I am browsing to replace the recorder with Philips DVT 2000.

I am seeking this direction, because any of the mainstream methods takes too much time and efforts for setting up. Besides, I am also taking care of video, so that costs double the trouble before finally start recording myself. With a by far lighter microphone with integrated shockmount, you can even use a wire music stand that can be toted in a guitar gig case. We can also hold our phone on the wire stand. So I can go and get myself recorded just carrying around a guitar gig bag.

Here is an example of Olympus WS811 with Polarloid PLMICDS Mic. (+ Reverb efx)



Here is another one (vocal is recorded with Polarloid PLMICDS Mic. while guitar is recorded with iRig Acoustic as for flamenco guitars)



Good monitors are helpful, especially when you need to mix (an ensemble performance). But if you really don't mix parts or add reverb etc., you can also go with any decent 2.0 channel audio speakers with relatively wider frequency response that are abundantly available. Just play your favorite music for a while on the pair before you start working on your own recordings to let your ears adjust to the system. Use panning to see how clearly the speakers define the L-R sound image. There are, however, poorly designed speakers so it is highly recommended to try it before buying.

DCGillrich
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Re: self recording using a PC

Post by DCGillrich » Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:21 am

Hi Trev

This topic of self recording has been covered before, and some of the advice offered may be relevant. For example, here is my post on recording microphones: https://www.classicalguitardelcamp.com/ ... 4#p1235814. There are other ideas in the same thread if you read forwards and backwards. I use a pair of Rode NT5 stereo microphones, which are at the lower end of the cost spectrum (although, still good quality with a flat response over a wide frequency range), but you do need a pre-amplifier to convert the signal from analogue to digital before connecting into your PC. Several colleagues of mine do use the Blue Yeti USB mics (mentioned earlier) so the PC accepts the signal directly. My own experience is that USB mics can add some noise, but admittedly, that is based on limited experience of using webcam mics. I just use good quality headphones for listening.

Cheers... Richard
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