I. The First Steps // JAN 11th

Welcome fellow tonebase academists! 🎧

This is the place where we will talk about the first lesson of our recording course. Please use this thread if you have any questions concerning the workbook or general questions concerning the first steps!

 

Click here to access Session 1: The First Steps // Jan 11th (Live!)

Find the other sessions here: Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5


Make sure to download our DAW of choice using the link below:

http://reaper.fm/

The DAW is free to use for 60 days. After that, you can still always prolong the evaluation period. Though a little bit daunting at first, the routing is pretty straight forward once we get accustomed to follow the signal flow!

 

Download the first workbook here


I will post the answers to the questionnaire on Jan 17th! 

After the livestream, submit your assignments by replying to this thread!

 


Answers to the questionnaire:

 

What is a DAW?

  • digital audio workstation like Reaper, a place where you can record, listen, and edit audio that is either being recorded or imported. Items in the arranger window reference files on your hard drive, so working within the DAW is (generally) non-destructive. 

What is the difference between a USB-Microphone compared to a microphone that is connected to an audio interface?

  • An audio interface converts analog voltage into discrete digital values for recording and vice versa for monitoring and playback. While an audio interface requires a microphone to record changes in air pressure, an USB-Mic usually comes already equippmed with some kind of AD/DA converter (aka audio interface). Since a computer usually can handle only one interface at a time, professionals use audio interfaces that have a multitude of digital and analog input and output channels.

What describes the Polar Pattern of a Microphone?

  • A microphone's polar pattern describes its sensitivity for sounds arriving from different angles. The most popular polar patterns for music are cardioid, omnidirectional and figure of eight, though every polar pattern or directionality is being heavily used in professional productions in order to to achieve either spaciousness and enveleopment or speration and directivity.

 

See you tomorrow for "The Edit"! 🧙‍♂️

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  • Hi  martin ,

     

    I've bought a H4N Pro for my first steps in recording (fairly budget friendly). Getting it available in Reaper was as simple as plugging in the USB-cable and selecting some options and it just simply works (I'm on Mac BTW). One thing I'm struggling with is the volume of the recording. I recall you saying it should range in the -6dB and -12dB range. If I try playing extremely loud it ends up somewhere in that range but that doesn't leave a whole lot of room for dynamics :) How far should I place the mic from my guitar (it's at 30cm or so ATM)? What other options are available?

    Like 1
      • MartinTeam
      • LIVE
      • martin.3
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Barry van de Graaf You probably need to boost the GAIN settings on your H4N.  I think you can adjust the mic settings on the right side of the unit, where it says "Rec Level". Then you want to adjust your settings that your peaks land between -6db to -12db.

      Like 1
    • martin Ah yes, hadn't found those buttons yet. Turned it up and it's way better now. Thanks!

      Like 1
      • MartinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 1 yr ago
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      Barry van de Graaf awesome!

      Like 1
  • Hello Martin, 

    I have two questions:

    1) how do you quickly delete a take? 
    2) What brand of microphone stand are you using? Specifically, the boom that holds the pair of microphones. I have one but it is too wide. The minimum span is 48 cm. I have a pair of Rode NT-5’s but I didn’t record because the distance between the mics would be too far away. Maybe I should just record anyway in order to do the assignment but I didn’t want to work with a crappy sound. Sad face.

    Thanks!

    Debbie

    Like 1
      • MartinTeam
      • LIVE
      • martin.3
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Debbie Hi Debbie! The "delete" key works for me (next to enter), but I'm assuming that you've already tried that, so I'll show you how to assign a keyboard shortcut for that:

      You go to "Action -> show Action List" and search for "Remove Items/tracks/envelope points (depending on focus)"

       On the right side of the window you can assign a new shortcut via the button "Add".

       

      2) I use exclusively "König & Meyer", they are great and reasonably priced. No bigger horror than a mic stand that doesn't properly tighten or unfold when you are on production! I actually own all the different stereo bars that they offer and just use what I would just need in that moment.

      Anyway, just record, you will only get better and train your ears for what you actually want to hear. If you don't have a sound ideal in your head, you cannot aim for that goal. But in order to shape that picture, you need to record, listen and repeat, over and over again 🧙‍♂️

      Like 2
    • martin Thanks Martin! I just ordered a K&M Stereo bar online from Thomann.de

      hopefully it won’t take too long to ship to Bulgaria!

      Like 2
  • Answers to the questionnaire:

     

    What is a DAW?

    • digital audio workstation like Reaper, a place where you can record, listen, and edit audio that is either being recorded or imported. Items in the arranger window reference files on your hard drive, so working within the DAW is (generally) non-destructive. 

    What is the difference between a USB-Microphone compared to a microphone that is connected to an audio interface?

    • An audio interface converts analog voltage into discrete digital values for recording and vice versa for monitoring and playback. While an audio interface requires a microphone to record changes in air pressure, an USB-Mic usually comes already equippmed with some kind of AD/DA converter (aka audio interface). Since a computer usually can handle only one interface at a time, professionals use audio interfaces that have a multitude of digital and analog input and output channels.

    What describes the Polar Pattern of a Microphone?

    • A microphone's polar pattern describes its sensitivity for sounds arriving from different angles. The most popular polar patterns for music are cardioid, omnidirectional and figure of eight, though every polar pattern or directionality is being heavily used in professional productions in order to to achieve either spaciousness and enveleopment or speration and directivity.

     

    See you tomorrow for "The Edit"! 🧙‍♂️

    Like 1
  • Hello martin ,

    for portable recording what would you suggest between Zoom H6, Zoom F6 or Sound Devices MixPre-6 II? I'm gearing towards the MixPre-6 but I'm interested in knowing what you would buy yourself?

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      • MartinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 1 yr ago
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      Blaise Laflamme I have only worked with the Zoom H6 so far, so I have not really an opinion on the other two devices. The H6 tends to have a higher noise level, so I guess the F6 might suffer from the same issue (but I think that we use the F6 at the tonebase HQ, so far I haven't noticed a higher noise output there). But looking at your choice of gear you are looking for something that works without a laptop?

      Like
    • martin right, I want something that works standalone, easily movable and gets the best results with cleanest audio. I already have a computer and an Apollo Twin X and prefer not to invest in a laptop in the short term. For what I can see the MixPre has the least noise-level and seems to be built rock-solid.

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      • MartinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Blaise Laflamme Oh yes, the MixPre are definitely premium, we used them from time to time at the WDR (a big German-wide public broadcast company). The rest of your setup looks great as well!

      Like
    • martin thank you, I'll go with the MixPre and will share you some feedback or even better a few recordings 😲.

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      • MartinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Blaise Laflamme I look forward to that! 🧙‍♂️        

      Like
  • Like
  • Hi everyone.

     

    Please enjoy this version of a Beatles classic by Pat Metheny.

     

    https://youtu.be/MYcZ6s3z1jg

     

    Martin Could you tell me what are the 3 microphones used in this recording?

     

    Thanks

    Like
      • MartinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Phil Meissner That looks like a condenser mic (the small one), probably a Neumann 184 or a Schoeps CM4, then the one that looks like a dynamic mic is probably a Sennheiser MD 441 and the big grey one is most definitely another dynamic mic, the Electro Voice RE 20 (Stevie Wonder used that one a lot as well as Elvis, it still gets produced the same way as back then)!

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      • MartinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 2 mths ago
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      Phil Meissner Personally, I think that's a weird choice of microphones and I doubt that these have been used to create that sound. The mics are all pointed towards the sound hole and the Electro Voice is usually a mic that gets used for broadcast and voice (and records a lot from the sides as well).

      Whenever there's a video with a lot of cuts to different positions and movements, I get very skeptical!

      Like
    • Thank you Martin! I need to check that Electro voice RE 20, if Elvis and Stevie used it and they're still making it the same way, it must have something good. 

      Haha.....Interesting, so from the sound quality you think they are there only as video props?

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      • MartinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Phil Meissner I think so! I wouldn't point the three mics directly to the sound hole as well, that usually sounds super bass heavy!

      Like
  • Thank you - very informative.

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