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The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentTechnology(Moderator: john sandhagen) Home Recording Studio Discussion
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ddickerson

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« Reply #60 on: Sep 23, 2017, 03:50PM »

Geezer, I did add the reverb after I was done recording.

I wonder if it is the room. Maybe I should record in stereo?

For whatever reason, my ears just don't seem to be as critical as others. Your recordings are very good to me, and I didn't hear anything to complain about. I'm also impressed with your playing, so maybe I end up listening to that more.

I think for your stated purpose of making recordings, to enable students to listen to how certain etudes or studies should be performed,  you got it.

What I fuss over the most in my recordings is the amount of reverb that should be mixed in. Too much or not enough. I'm never satisfied, but then again, I'm using built in reverb that comes with the software (RealBand), and I need to experiment more with it.

Great job though for sure!
 
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Geezerhorn

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« Reply #61 on: Sep 23, 2017, 04:17PM »

For whatever reason, my ears just don't seem to be as critical as others. Your recordings are very good to me, and I didn't hear anything to complain about. I'm also impressed with your playing, so maybe I end up listening to that more.

I think for your stated purpose of making recordings, to enable students to listen to how certain etudes or studies should be performed,  you got it.

What I fuss over the most in my recordings is the amount of reverb that should be mixed in. Too much or not enough. I'm never satisfied, but then again, I'm using built in reverb that comes with the software (RealBand), and I need to experiment more with it.

Great job though for sure!
 

I have to agree with you as far as a demo is concerned. However, I chimed in the way I did b/c I was under the impression that Harrison had two goals:

1) A demo
2) The highest fidelity sound he could achieve in a home recording - for the sake of it.

He knocked down goal #1 cold. Heck, even a recording on an iPhone or Android could do that. Goal #2 needs more work, IMO.

...Geezer
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« Reply #62 on: Sep 23, 2017, 04:35PM »

Really appreciate it fellas. I wish that there was a more objective way to express #2 though. I guess at this point it's like the blind leading the blind. I should get an account at a recording forum.
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« Reply #63 on: Sep 23, 2017, 04:43PM »

Really appreciate it fellas. I wish that there was a more objective way to express #2 though. I guess at this point it's like the blind leading the blind. I should get an account at a recording forum.

Experiment!!!!!!!!!!

Lol. I tried that. They will have as many opinions as we sometimes do on topics. But one take-away I still carry with me is to keep it simple.

...Geezer
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« Reply #64 on: Sep 23, 2017, 04:57PM »

I will !  :-0

I am moving soon and I'm going to set up my home recording studio. I've been dragging my crap into work every time and so it's a major PIA.
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M.R.Tenor

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« Reply #65 on: Sep 23, 2017, 05:37PM »

Keep it simple is really some of the best advice.

Recording in stereo is only going to pick up more of the room sound. If I were you, I'd be more worried about treating the lower frequency resonances in the room, and using a closer mic placement.

You might consider the frequency response of your mic, and how the natural EQ can accentuate or de exaggerate certain aspects. Some mics that have a rolled off lower end response are well suited to closer micing where the bass frequencies from the source are stronger than they would be at natural listening distance. Nobody listening to you live would be standing 8 to 16" from your bell, but the way the ear in combination with the brain hears subtlety in trombone "vowels" and "consonants" as being tone and articulation, is different than how the mic picks it up. Ears have selective listening and can focus in on certain aspects, whereas the mic is more "dumb". This is why the treble is boosted on most vocal mics, that presence and clarity is what the ear hones in on to comprehend speech. If you've ever heard a recording where someone is talking in a really reverberant room kind of far away and it just sounds like mud where you would be able to understand them fairly well in person, it's because of this phenomenon.

You should work on your understanding of your reverb settings to create the sound space with Altiverb. You have to compensate for your mic, at the position you placed it, with your trombone sound in front of the mic. The defaults or presets are a good starting point, but they won't get you all the way there. The handful of studios I've been in were all pretty live rooms, and the natural sound was used when it was useful. But it was worked out with mic placement when it wasn't desired, which is most of the time.

The closer you place the mic, the more detail of articulation and subtlety in nuance you can pick up. Bill Watrous' playing is ALL about nuance, and with the mic right up in the bell, every thing in his playing can be communicated clearly. In one of Mike Lake's videos, he refers to it as more "intimate" closer up. A lot of vocalists and voice artists describe the effect from closer micing with that word as well.

Your recording also has to be approached differently depending on what it's ending up as. You shouldn't mic for solo etudes the same as you would for over an accompaniment or backing track. You have to take into account the rest of the music and the space it occupies and where you want to fit into it.

Any sound source sounds different EQ wise at different distances, and different angles due to the directional nature of most sound sources, and the differential between fall off of low and high frequencies with distance, and the layout of the space. Low frequencies defract more easily than high frequencies, which mostly reflect. This affects how you hear the performer when you're at a concert, and you should take these things into account for determining your desired recording results.

I'm not quite sure what you don't like about your recordings so far, or what you want to change. You have to have a clear idea of what you want before you can place a value on the different changes or suggestions that we can offer. Maybe give us an idea of recordings that you'd like to emulate sonically and we can probably help more.

The only stereo recording style I think would produce usable results on a single source like trombone is something like mid-side processing or different mics and/or mic placements where the blend between the two can be used as an effect to get a more in depth sound or capture different information. I don't think stereo is worth going for in a home studio.
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« Reply #66 on: Sep 23, 2017, 06:12PM »

Keep it simple is really some of the best advice.

Recording in stereo is only going to pick up more of the room sound. If I were you, I'd be more worried about treating the lower frequency resonances in the room, and using a closer mic placement.

You might consider the frequency response of your mic, and how the natural EQ can accentuate or de exaggerate certain aspects. Some mics that have a rolled off lower end response are well suited to closer micing where the bass frequencies from the source are stronger than they would be at natural listening distance. Nobody listening to you live would be standing 8 to 16" from your bell, but the way the ear in combination with the brain hears subtlety in trombone "vowels" and "consonants" as being tone and articulation, is different than how the mic picks it up. Ears have selective listening and can focus in on certain aspects, whereas the mic is more "dumb". This is why the treble is boosted on most vocal mics, that presence and clarity is what the ear hones in on to comprehend speech. If you've ever heard a recording where someone is talking in a really reverberant room kind of far away and it just sounds like mud where you would be able to understand them fairly well in person, it's because of this phenomenon.

You should work on your understanding of your reverb settings to create the sound space with Altiverb. You have to compensate for your mic, at the position you placed it, with your trombone sound in front of the mic. The defaults or presets are a good starting point, but they won't get you all the way there. The handful of studios I've been in were all pretty live rooms, and the natural sound was used when it was useful. But it was worked out with mic placement when it wasn't desired, which is most of the time.

The closer you place the mic, the more detail of articulation and subtlety in nuance you can pick up. Bill Watrous' playing is ALL about nuance, and with the mic right up in the bell, every thing in his playing can be communicated clearly. In one of Mike Lake's videos, he refers to it as more "intimate" closer up. A lot of vocalists and voice artists describe the effect from closer micing with that word as well.

Your recording also has to be approached differently depending on what it's ending up as. You shouldn't mic for solo etudes the same as you would for over an accompaniment or backing track. You have to take into account the rest of the music and the space it occupies and where you want to fit into it.

Any sound source sounds different EQ wise at different distances, and different angles due to the directional nature of most sound sources, and the differential between fall off of low and high frequencies with distance, and the layout of the space. Low frequencies defract more easily than high frequencies, which mostly reflect. This affects how you hear the performer when you're at a concert, and you should take these things into account for determining your desired recording results.

I'm not quite sure what you don't like about your recordings so far, or what you want to change. You have to have a clear idea of what you want before you can place a value on the different changes or suggestions that we can offer. Maybe give us an idea of recordings that you'd like to emulate sonically and we can probably help more.

The only stereo recording style I think would produce usable results on a single source like trombone is something like mid-side processing or different mics and/or mic placements where the blend between the two can be used as an effect to get a more in depth sound or capture different information. I don't think stereo is worth going for in a home studio.


I like the concept of two different mics in a stereo recording. I think I used the term, a second opinion.

I think recording in stereo is useful to me for the above reason and b/c I can hear my solo track connecting better to the stereo backing track when I mix them down. It's subtle, but it's there and I'll take any incremental improvement I can get.

Good info; especially about mic proximity and intimacy, or nuance as you mentioned!   Good! 

OTOH, my experience is that I also have to be much more careful with my dynamic on a close mic placement. That tends to handicap me a little and if I am not careful, I can end up with a mono-dynamic recording, which I think is boring. As soft as I want to play is okay, but as loud as I want can be a problem if I over-do it when the mic is very, very close. Knowing this, I will "cheat" and edit my solo track to add gain in places when I want a louder dynamic. But it isn't quite the same effect as playing louder.

...Geezer
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« Reply #67 on: Sep 23, 2017, 06:23PM »

OTOH, my experience is that I also have to be much more careful with my dynamic on a close mic placement. That tends to handicap me a little and if I am not careful, I can end up with a mono-dynamic recording, which I think is boring. As soft as I want to play is okay, but as loud as I want can be a problem if I over-do it when the mic is very, very close. Knowing this, I will "cheat" and edit my solo track to add gain in places when I want a louder dynamic. But it isn't quite the same effect as playing louder.

With the RE20? That mic is capable of such high levels that they don't even feel the need to rate it.  Pant

But seriously, you won't get distortion from that mic, just adjust the gain on the interface. Before you play, go ahead and blow some loud middle register stuff to set the levels. A little low is fine, we're not battling a high noise floor. There's no harm in having to turn up the gain on the whole solo part a little
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« Reply #68 on: Sep 23, 2017, 06:32PM »

With the RE20? That mic is capable of such high levels that they don't even feel the need to rate it.  Pant

But seriously, you won't get distortion from that mic, just adjust the gain on the interface. Before you play, go ahead and blow some loud middle register stuff to set the levels. A little low is fine, we're not battling a high noise floor. There's no harm in having to turn up the gain on the whole solo part a little

Thanks. I do have the gain on the mic turned down as low as I can. I guess I can be a real Blaster Master when I want to be. lol Perhaps the real problem is that if I play very loudly, distortion from the room enters the party, even though I play pretty much right into the mic.   Don't know  But I do have to use restraint.

I wouldn't mind recording in a totally dead room, but I also have to practice and play for my own entertainment in that room, so I want some liveliness and it is a double-edged sword.

...Geezer
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« Reply #69 on: Sep 24, 2017, 01:59AM »

Learn about "Gain Structure", it's a thing. It's what those little flashing lights are for on your interface, and goes on through you your DAW.
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« Reply #70 on: Sep 24, 2017, 04:17AM »

Learn about "Gain Structure", it's a thing. It's what those little flashing lights are for on your interface, and goes on through you your DAW.

"The goal in setting the preamp gain is simple get as much level as possible without allowing any clipping."

Seems reasonable...

...Geezer
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« Reply #71 on: Sep 24, 2017, 04:42AM »

With the RE20? That mic is capable of such high levels that they don't even feel the need to rate it.  Pant

But seriously, you won't get distortion from that mic, just adjust the gain on the interface. Before you play, go ahead and blow some loud middle register stuff to set the levels. A little low is fine, we're not battling a high noise floor. There's no harm in having to turn up the gain on the whole solo part a little

+1, An application that the RE 20 is commonly used for is for miking up a single instrument like a sax inside very loud bands, behind an equally set of monitors without feeding back. Shouting radio shock jocks also use them for a very "in ya face" sound without any ambient sound being present.
Geezer, I'd be be surprised if you could make it distort, look elsewhere for that, it won't be the room.
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« Reply #72 on: Sep 24, 2017, 05:38AM »

+1, An application that the RE 20 is commonly used for is for miking up a single instrument like a sax inside very loud bands, behind an equally set of monitors without feeding back. Shouting radio shock jocks also use them for a very "in ya face" sound without any ambient sound being present.
Geezer, I'd be be surprised if you could make it distort, look elsewhere for that, it won't be the room.

YUUUUP!   Good!

...Geezer
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« Reply #73 on: Sep 24, 2017, 07:34AM »

Hold the fort!

After carefully listening to the recording I posted, clipping is not an issue. Therefore the mic is not an issue. Check. Neither is the mic input level into my wave editor. Check.

What I hear is some added reverb when I play loud. That's the dynamic of the room bleeding in. I need to deaden the room a little more and continue to play dead straight into the mic, which - as mentioned - is an art in itself.

...Geezer
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« Reply #74 on: Sep 24, 2017, 09:02AM »


I'm not quite sure what you don't like about your recordings so far, or what you want to change. You have to have a clear idea of what you want before you can place a value on the different changes or suggestions that we can offer. Maybe give us an idea of recordings that you'd like to emulate sonically and we can probably help more.

The only stereo recording style I think would produce usable results on a single source like trombone is something like mid-side processing or different mics and/or mic placements where the blend between the two can be used as an effect to get a more in depth sound or capture different information. I don't think stereo is worth going for in a home studio.


I want my recordings to have the same recording quality and accoustics as:

1. BIS "Unaccompanied" C. Lindberg
2. BIS "The Solitary Trombone" C. Lindberg

These are some of the most fantastic efforts in recording and they got a particular sound with just a few things:

1. A guy who knows how to record (Robert von Bahr)
2. A great room (Danderyds Gym)
3. 4 Neumann U89 mics, 2 in a stereo config, and two for the room
4. A great mic preamp



Now, I'm not delusional. I realize that, at most, a home studio can only have a good sound engineer and good equipment -  not a great space. I know I can never get a home studio to sound like those two CDs. But I want to get as close as possible with a combination of recording in a dead room and then adding the best digital space in post production. The closer I can get, the less it will matter once I start adding in premium sound libraries for my piano or string libraries to my tracks.

I actually want to create tracks that are of a professional quality. I have my own music and compositions that I'd love to put out on a CD or digital album. Mike Lake inspired me heavily. It's going to take a lot of time and work though.
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« Reply #75 on: Sep 24, 2017, 09:03AM »

I need to deaden the room a little more and continue to play dead straight into the mic, which - as mentioned - is an art in itself.

...Geezer

Try hang a duvet behind you to reduce the "early reflections" (standard term) bouncing back mixing with the Direct sound (st), causing "comb filtering" (st again). If you're playing on a wooden or non carpeted floor, put a rug under the mic stand. You don't have to overdo sound treatments, it's possible to overdo them and deaden the ER's which which no amount of fiddling with effects can put back.

I used to carry an 6'x8' sheet of plywood heavily varnished on one side and natural on the other, and a circular rug. The wood to liven a dead area, and the rug to tighten an over live one.
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« Reply #76 on: Sep 24, 2017, 09:24AM »


Now, I'm not delusional. I realize that, at most, a home studio can only have a good sound engineer and good equipment -  not a great space. I know I can never get a home studio to sound like those two CDs. But I want to get as close as possible with a combination of recording in a dead room and then adding the best digital space in post production. The closer I can get, the less it will matter once I start adding in premium sound libraries for my piano or string libraries to my tracks.

I actually want to create tracks that are of a professional quality. I have my own music and compositions that I'd love to put out on a CD or digital album. Mike Lake inspired me heavily. It's going to take a lot of time and work though.

Something to bear in mind as well is background noise from distant sounds that you never even knew existed until playback, it's a plague on acoustic music recording. Also .547 horns are made to project into an concert space, check out my comment to Geezerhorn in my last post about over dead rooms. Convolution reverbs can sound gorgeous, but get it wrong and you may end up with a dead tbn in a live space. The 2 elements need to be a good fit.
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« Reply #77 on: Sep 24, 2017, 09:27AM »

I want my recordings to have the same recording quality and accoustics as:

1. BIS "Unaccompanied" C. Lindberg
2. BIS "The Solitary Trombone" C. Lindberg

These are some of the most fantastic efforts in recording and they got a particular sound with just a few things:

1. A guy who knows how to record (Robert von Bahr)
2. A great room (Danderyds Gym)
3. 4 Neumann U89 mics, 2 in a stereo config, and two for the room
4. A great mic preamp



Now, I'm not delusional. I realize that, at most, a home studio can only have a good sound engineer and good equipment -  not a great space. I know I can never get a home studio to sound like those two CDs. But I want to get as close as possible with a combination of recording in a dead room and then adding the best digital space in post production. The closer I can get, the less it will matter once I start adding in premium sound libraries for my piano or string libraries to my tracks.

I actually want to create tracks that are of a professional quality. I have my own music and compositions that I'd love to put out on a CD or digital album. Mike Lake inspired me heavily. It's going to take a lot of time and work though.

I think you have a good concept, which is the best way to start on a project like that.

I have always tried to keep in mind that if I can get my solo track to sound like a million bucks, then with a dy-no-mite backing track, it should sound like 2 million bucks. You are on that path!

Try hang a duvet behind you to reduce the "early reflections" (standard term) bouncing back mixing with the Direct sound (st), causing "comb filtering" (st again). If you're playing on a wooden or non carpeted floor, put a rug under the mic stand. You don't have to overdo sound treatments, it's possible to overdo them and deaden the ER's which which no amount of fiddling with effects can put back.

I used to carry an 6'x8' sheet of plywood heavily varnished on one side and natural on the other, and a circular rug. The wood to liven a dead area, and the rug to tighten an over live one.

I have an indoor/outdoor carpet on my cement floor. I have some of the same carpet hung on some walls. I need to experiment with more. I may have to find a way to treat the unfinished ceiling as well. But I'll take it one step at a time until I am happy.

...Geezer
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« Reply #78 on: Sep 24, 2017, 09:58AM »

I want my recordings to have the same recording quality and accoustics as:

1. BIS "Unaccompanied" C. Lindberg
2. BIS "The Solitary Trombone" C. Lindberg


Great! Having a solid sound concept as your own recording engineer is just as important as having a solid sound concept as a player.  Everything you do from the beginning is going to either get the sound closer to what you want, or farther away. Nothing is neutral, every decision affects the sound. Digging deeper like you did and knowing about how Christian and Robert Von Barh got the sound that they did is a good first step, but as you pointed out, your home studio does not sound like Danderyds Gym and there's no treatment in the world that will get that sound. Presumably your T350 and 1C with your lips buzzing into them doesn't sound the same as Christian did on stage either.

What I'm hearing in those recordings if I was trying to recreate the sound is how specific the reverb needs to sound to emulate the hall. There's definitely a tone to the trail, and it's dynamic. It's not the same tone when he puts more energy into the space as when he's playing softly. I would focus on getting a dry sound that is clean in the low end. Mike does this "in the box" with EQ, though depending on the mic and the filtering options available to you, it could be quite simple.

I'd recommend, not knowing which mic you have, but that it's a condenser, a placement of about 16" to 2 ft in front of the bell, but off to the side, in line with your right shoulder. You still want it aimed at the bell such that the source to room sound is ratio is high, but you don't want to be picking up too much direct fuzz, or air sound in articulations. I'd shelf the low end down a couple db below roughly 200-240hz with a gentle Q setting, and low pass the signal around 12-13k. Tuning the tone of the reverb is going to be the hard part, I'm not familiar with Altiverb sorry. Pre59 brought up gain staging, which is going to be critical every time you have additional processing on the signal. The dynamics of the reverb are going to be affected by how much signal is going into the plugin, and you can compensate with the out levels of the verb to get the signal where you want it. You might have to add some slight compression before the verb to get it to respond how you want to.

I'd use some tape saturation and very subtle EQ after that for mastering, depending on how much is going on in the mix and what you have to deal with relative to the solo track, which is the most important part, you might leave these as a mastering stage on everything, or just apply it to the trombone sound.

Find the settings that work for you, as it'll be slightly different with your mic, your playing, your room etc. Good monitoring is key, and using a reference track from the Lindberg recordings is critical.

I would love for you to follow up when you get your studio set up, and I look forward to other suggestions.
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« Reply #79 on: Sep 24, 2017, 10:27AM »

To get a fantastic professional recording means that you will have to spring for a professional reverb system that the pro's use. There's a lot out there to choose from, but don't settle for less. I'm not aware of the altiverb, and it may be 100% professional. I just don't recognize it, that's all.

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