Recording - September 2014 - 8

Note to faithful writers: When sending your letters by email,
please remember to include your name and where you hail from.
Hope for the not-so-rich and not-so-famous
I am new to home recording at the ripe age of 55. I have read many
articles on how it used to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to build a
recording studio prior to home recording. But I now look at the cost of
home studio equipment, programs, plug-ins, etc., and realize it still costs
that much. Just look at the gear that you review. Come on now, $5000 for
a mic? I know that you would say this is high end, but what home studio
can afford this?
I feel I am at a disadvantage if I do not have the top-of-the-line gear others have. Your magazine makes me feel if I do not have this gear my
recordings, mixes, and masters would be crap-otherwise, why would you
write about this gear?
Where has affordable and great recording gone? I feel a CD recorder
could produce a better mix than the gear of old. It seems home recording
is seeking perfection in gear, programs, and songs... or it can just be a
money thing.
Rob Krucek
Highland, IN

Special Projects Editor Lorenz Rychner replied:
Rob, thanks for writing. Please consider this: Just like the automotive pages of your newspaper cover cars costing anywhere from $1k
to-occasionally-$150k, we cover the affordable end of gear, the
midrange, and-occasionally-items that would be at the high end.
Rest assured, you can make excellent recordings for a small investment of maybe a thousand bucks or two, tops. I could point you to many
articles we have run where we show how. But since hearing will be of
more value to you than reading, I encourage you to learn from what other
readers did, by listening to the songs they submitted to our Readers
Tapes column. Go to http://is.gd/readerstapes to read and hear them.
Every piece of equipment that was used is listed with every submission you can hear, so you'll soon realize what can be done with
often modest expenditure. After that, it's talent and perseverance in
gaining experience that matter, more so than the price tags of your
gear. Happy recording!-LzR
Rob responded:
Thanks so much. There is so much gear out there, it is driving me crazy.
Most of the stuff, especially DAWs and plug-ins, are so confusing. I have
purchased a home recording program with DVDs in hopes that it assists
in explaining the terms; simplicity seems to have been bypassed.-RK
And Lorenz had an answer for this as well:
Rob-Remember my car analogy? There are way more makes and
models of cars out there than there are recording solutions, but you're
driving one, aren't you? It's called "Pick one wisely then forget about all
the others and learn how to use yours really really well." Keep it simple.
Either: Use the entry-level version of whichever DAW appeals to
you, and a simple audio interface. No need for things like plug-ins at
this stage.
Or: Spend a few hundred dollars on a free-standing digital recorder
that records two tracks at once, plays back 8 tracks, and has two mic
preamps. Get one decent mic and a stand, and learn how to place it
properly. Learn about things like mic level and instrument level and
line level etc. Connect monitor speakers, and start recording.

At any time that you wish to take the recorded tracks from a freestanding recorder to a
computer, you can do so. Audacity is just one of
several free computer audio programs that can
be a good start.
Just as everybody falls over when learning to
skate, you will make mistakes, you'll have to
learn from them and get better, and it will be
a long while before you have reached the limits of quality that your equipment will provide-even the "cheap" stuff is really that
good these days, as long as you know how to
use it right.
Meanwhile, if you go to recordingmag.com
and click on the "Resources & Videos" tab,
you'll find a huge variety of articles on the
basics you're trying to learn, a full Beginner
Series of articles, and a set of excellent HowTo videos on miking technique. We're happy
to help you learn this stuff, and it doesn't have
to be expensive.-LzR
Some totally outrageous advice about dealing
with vocal tuning problems
In the August 2014 Talkback column, Norman
Beberman wrote in to ask about technical solutions for fixing vocals with fundamental problems, and Joe Albano provides a fair number.
Let me suggest another solution that is remarkably cheap considering the end results: get a
vocal coach.
I used to meet a songwriter on the folk festival circuit who would try and sing his own
material, but who had absolutely zero control
over his voice. It was painful to listen to, which
was bad because he was a very good writer and
his material deserved better. He took vocal
lessons for a couple of months from a good
coach who put him on the correct path. Not a
lot of lessons, but it didn't take a lot. After a
few months of practicing, the improvement
was amazing. He'll never be Jussi Bjorling, but
all of a sudden he can sing and he can present
his material in a natural and pleasant way.
A lot of people don't sing well, not because
they don't have the physical ability, but because
nobody really taught them how. Students spend
years just learning how to get a consistent tone
out of a violin, and yet they expect they can use
their voice without any training. This simply
isn't true, and it's also untrue that you are either
born with a good voice or you're not.
Try it! It's better than Auto-Tune!-Scott
Dorsey

Write to us at: Talkback, Recording Magazine, 5408 Idylwild Trail, Boulder, CO 80301
Or save stamps and send email to talkback@recordingmag.com
8

RECORDING September 2014


http://www.recordingmag.com http://is.gd/readerstapes

Recording - September 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - September 2014

Contents
Recording - September 2014 - Cover1
Recording - September 2014 - Cover2
Recording - September 2014 - 1
Recording - September 2014 - 2
Recording - September 2014 - 3
Recording - September 2014 - 4
Recording - September 2014 - 5
Recording - September 2014 - Contents
Recording - September 2014 - 7
Recording - September 2014 - 8
Recording - September 2014 - 9
Recording - September 2014 - 10
Recording - September 2014 - 11
Recording - September 2014 - 12
Recording - September 2014 - 13
Recording - September 2014 - 14
Recording - September 2014 - 15
Recording - September 2014 - 16
Recording - September 2014 - 17
Recording - September 2014 - 18
Recording - September 2014 - 19
Recording - September 2014 - 20
Recording - September 2014 - 21
Recording - September 2014 - 22
Recording - September 2014 - 23
Recording - September 2014 - 24
Recording - September 2014 - 25
Recording - September 2014 - 26
Recording - September 2014 - 27
Recording - September 2014 - 28
Recording - September 2014 - 29
Recording - September 2014 - 30
Recording - September 2014 - 31
Recording - September 2014 - 32
Recording - September 2014 - 33
Recording - September 2014 - 34
Recording - September 2014 - 35
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Recording - September 2014 - Cover3
Recording - September 2014 - Cover4
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