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 Post subject: Advice on multi-track recording...?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:42 am 
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Location: Vancouver, Canada
Hi People,

I've had my home studio with Pulsar 1 & 2 for many years now, and still enjoying it, but have a new project that is challenging.

A friend who has a huge drum set is getting me to live-record him playing a session.

We plan to set up 8 mic's at various locations to focus on kicks, snares, toms and cymbals, etc. I envisioned a dedicated multi-track recorder, perhaps a Zoom F8 or Roland R88, which could record and store all tracks in real-time, then I transfer to computer and master in scope.

But now people are suggesting some kind of USB interface (specifically the Scarlett 18i20), which I'd route into my laptop and use multitrack software to record in real-time. It looks like a nice unit. Has pretty good reviews.

My question is (1) if I can rent that unit somewhere, would my 2009 MacBook Pro (8 G RAM / SSD) be able to record 8 simultaneous mono tracks, say 48k-24bit, via Reaper?

And (2) any other suggestions for other hardware that might work? I've never done anything like this, so I'm on a big learning curve. We're not looking for broadcast or film resolution here, will be marrying the result to an HD video, likely 48k-24 bit max.

Thanks for any suggestions!

Gary B

(really happy that the Scope/Pulsar community is still happening)


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 Post subject: Re: Advice on multi-track recording...?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:54 am 
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AD 1) It would surprise me a lot if your mac couldn't handle recording 8 mono tracks simultaneously in reaper!

AD 2) Any Analogue-Digital-converter that you can connect to your Scope cards fx through Adat would be a possible solution. You would propably need pre-amps of some kind also between AD-converter and mics.

Good luck :)


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 Post subject: Re: Advice on multi-track recording...?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:19 am 
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You can easily stream 16 tracks through the adat interface using asio. Did that a lot with pulsar on pentium2 450 mhz.

Any daw will manage that.

What is thesound you're looking for. Pop/rock....jazz....
All sorts of combos are possible.

First thing for all recording ways; well tuned kit and a good room. With a carpet under the kit also to dampen reflections from the dloor into the room.

Kick near(in the kick)...kick further away(about 3ft)...
Snare top, snare bottom
Hihat
Tom 1 to 3/4
Overheads
Room mikes(very important for big sound)

If you rent...try also getting good preamps...
Is there budget?

Phase aligment in mikes is also important for punchy sound....

There is also the glyn johns technique you might want to try.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on multi-track recording...?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:47 pm
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Location: Vancouver, Canada
petal wrote:
AD 1) It would surprise me a lot if your mac couldn't handle recording 8 mono tracks simultaneously in reaper!

AD 2) Any Analogue-Digital-converter that you can connect to your Scope cards fx through Adat would be a possible solution. You would propably need pre-amps of some kind also between AD-converter and mics.

Good luck :)


Thanks Petal! It's the last 17" top of the line Macbook Pro from 2009,
likely has the horsepower.

Unfortunately, I can't bring my Scope desktop to the drum house,
just laptop. Have to bring it back home to master.

much appreciated.

gary


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 Post subject: Re: Advice on multi-track recording...?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:39 am 
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Location: Vancouver, Canada
RA wrote:
You can easily stream 16 tracks through the adat interface using asio. Did that a lot with pulsar on pentium2 450 mhz.
Any DAW will manage that.
What is the sound you're looking for. Pop/rock....jazz....
All sorts of combos are possible.
First thing for all recording ways; well tuned kit and a good room. With a carpet under the kit also to dampen reflections from the dloor into the room.
Kick near(in the kick)...kick further away(about 3ft)...
Snare top, snare bottom
Hihat
Tom 1 to 3/4
Overheads
Room mikes(very important for big sound)
If you rent...try also getting good pre-amps...
Is there budget?
Phase alignment in mikes is also important for punchy sound....
There is also the glyn johns technique you might want to try.


THANKS RA...

That Glyn Johns technique looks like excellent info. Will read up on it.
We're overlaying drums on POP/ROCK covers. Would the pre-amp
already be built into the recorder or interface? Looks like the Scarlett
model has that already.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice on multi-track recording...?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:42 am 
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Well, if you rent you have so much options.

A high grade millenia preamp is beatifull but natural sounding. Rack with api preamps is real pop.
If there is less budget a focusrite octopre is a good option. Theres a model with limit/compress options built in...and for the price very good. The focusrite is also with converter(8ch)

I would still stream right into the xite. Maybe even with the dna-super8tracker for eq and limit while recording.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on multi-track recording...?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:40 am 
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Make sure you use the asio2 drivers...hence direct monitoring. And place some countoff before the covers on which he will play for syncing....let him tick with his sticks along. This way you can check for latency issues.

One thing with glynn john....he has to be able to play in balance. The two 'overheads' are not overheads but totals....they mike the total kit. This technique will give a more 60ties 70ties sound. If you mike everything seperate a more modern pop. But every mike introduces phase issues. And this is blurring for your drumsound. Most noticable in the impact of you drums. Transients suffer greatly from this. That is why the glynn technique can sound so good. If you have a good room use fig of 8 mikes instead of the cardioid ones. Cardoid has proximity effect and distorts you freq balance. Good fig of 8 you can eq your lows better. Omni maybe give a bit too much ambience...but again with good room this will be beautifull. Especially if given a fair amount of compression.

Have fun!
Oh yeah...seems maybe stupid but it works. I got this out of a good book....try your floortom and while banging it walk through the room to decide where the room sounds best. Look for a good balanced sound with good lows. If you place that tom in a place where the lows cancel there is no point of recording it there.

A medium room would be the best. Or a warehouse :D

Record the room also...preferably with omnis....really! Use it in your mix
Big drums sound big if it has air around it. Not closemiking it..that is not big sounding.

And really...have fun! Drum recording is a real recording treat

Please do keep us posted on your progress and experiences.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on multi-track recording...?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:07 am 
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Hi I was impressed by using only 2 microphones in a room. On this case you record the drums with the ambience of the room. I did this from big rooms down to quite dead rooms. The sound is very realistic but not modern, and not better than life. That is why I love it. Only usable in a tone studio. Not for life.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on multi-track recording...?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:32 am 
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Yes Anabella, you're right. A well tuned kit with a balanced player in a good room sound fantastic. THAT is how a drumkit actually sounds. And the great advantage that also has is that there are no phase issues introduced(blumlein technique with ribbon mikes is really wow). It could benefit if you'd record the kick from a few feet away as an extra to support the low end for the kick. Omni and figure of 8 characteristics have great low end. Cardoid absolutely not.

One tip again for our topicstarter....a real kit makes 'noise'....you can hear pedals sometimes which you should minimize with just a drop of oil but also the rambling of the snares on the snaredrum....dont try to tune that out...dont tighten the snares too much. That is the charm of the kit....you will hear that if one playes for example just the toms....keep it real...or use an electronuc drum :wink:

How recordings nowadays sound is not how a drumkit sounds. If you keep it real and more dynamic the less fatiguing the recording will end up and thus you will enjoy the recording for a long time.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on multi-track recording...?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:44 pm 
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Haha I love your oil hint! You're right, I got the most incredible realistic sound out of any acoustic instrument, the more you keep it original. The rest is FX, in Germany we say Effekthascherei :x

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on multi-track recording...?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:18 pm 
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I wonder how he's doing ;-)

@Anabella: Effekthascherei :lol: Ich kann das wohl verstehen, das sind ja die Gew├╝rze die den Gesmack machen neh :wink:

Sometimes engineers stumble upon great unexpected effects(flange)...or the talkback mike trick made the Phil Collins sound. Uri geller has a great quote for those things: (spoken with german accent: "It izzz mindblowing" :D :lol:

Enjoy the weekend peeps

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on multi-track recording...?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:47 pm 
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thanks to all for some amazing hints and insights on drum kit recording!

we're gearing up to do the session in about 2 weeks; looks like we're going to be using the Scarlett 18i20 interface into my Mac Powerbook via Reaper for mono drum tracks. We're going to look at possibly hanging a couple of ceiling mic's for ambient room sound.

my drummer is pretty low-tech, and this is my first experience of recording a live "kit", so I'm sure it'll be a learning curve.

one question I have - for any of you who have mastered music for video post - is what bit-depth & sample rate might be best to use?

We're mastering in HD (1080p, AVCHD), and likely porting to both Vimeo and Youtube. Vimeo seems to like 48k, Youtube 44.1. I'm guessing if I choose 48, it'll be easier to down-sample to 44.1 if needed. Seems most pro-sumer camcorders and DSLR's like 48k.

As far as bit-depth goes, it's more like, what can my 2009 Macbook Pro handle, re 8 simultaneous tracks in real-time. Camcorders all seem to do the 32-bit floating point stuff now, but in reality, 16 bit, or at most 24-bit would be fine, if the Macbook can do 8 of those at once.

Any suggestions from people who have worked in video or film-post would be great!

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: Advice on multi-track recording...?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:56 am 
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No need to go to 32db float. Converters are 24bit. Just go 48k 24b. It will run just perfect and you csn go all ways from the master.

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