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The EvO:R-Pedia Musicians Tips Section
Welcome to the EvO:R Tips Section. We call this section EvO:R-Pedia because it is like a complete
reference library for Indie musicians...Just about every tip has been used so you won't find false
promises and a series of books to buy after reading each tip. This section was put here by musicians
so that people that followed can take this knowledge and use it's power.
Audio Recording Tips!
By Johnny Chandler
Hello my name is Johnny C! I started recording about 9 years ago and it has been one of
the greatest Journey's of my life. I have recorded right at 40 people and have recorded
for NPR and a few other various programs also. I wish I would have written all the people
down along the way! It is crazy how time flies! Read my tips below and it will save you
a lot of trouble. It took me about 4 moves and many years of matching gear. Pre production can be a very powerful in the whole process! I like to lay my drum
tracks and then rehearse with them for a few days! It is a really good way to tweak and work out all the tweaks!
It all started back in 1999 when I started investing my ex-tra cash into recording gear.
I got started using a friend's computer back in the days where you had to go into bios
and optimize your PC for recording. I spent much of my time researching how to build the
perfect recording machine. After a few artists I decided to sink some cash into a faster
and more specked out machine. So I drove to Atlanta and found a really cool computer shop.
I got an Asus Tech motherboard with 512 of Kingston and 1.74 p4 processor. Remember this
was about 6 years ago and that is a slow computer now. Let me tell you. I have been nothing
but happy with the performance of the Asus machine!
For the most part I really never had any problems until one day it just shut down right in
the middle of a session. Come to find I smoked the power supply and had to update it. So
I moved from that smoked 250 to a constant power 500-watt power supply. I will tell you what;
it has run like a dream through 25 artists with 4 full cds.
For many years I ran my buddy Josh's Gadget Labs Pres with windows 98 and had to optimize it.
I loved the output features and it sounded great! But a few years after Gadget labs went
under XP came out and they didn't have drivers for it. I hear that someone wrote the drivers
for xp. I am sure it will be used for years to com. So I had to get a new sound card and
decided to get a Tascam 1804.
I was a little hesitant about the size of 1804 and things don't always perform by their looks.
I went out and bought Xp and installed it. Then I loaded the drivers for the Tascam tweaked a
few settings opened up Cubase and hit record! Oh yeah I forget to mention that the Tascam is a
Fire wire device. Then I decided to move from 8 pres to 16. So I ordered the Focusrite 8 and I
connected them via optical. The Tascam is the main card with the Focusright set up in the Tascam
on the Adat channels 9-16. I have recorded several full bands and it has proved to be a workhorse DAW.
A few years ago I read an article about Ray Charles recording with Sonar. Well I had to check it
out! So I grabbed me a copy of Sonar 7 and I totally loved the features and workflow. The verbs
and effects were way more adjustable than Cubase. Then I noticed that Cubase was a lot faster
and easier for tracking so I went back to it. Then I decided to change my whole game plan.
I ordered a Mac Duo 2ghz with a 1000 ram running logic Express 7. This is where it is. The days
of windows are over for me! Well for audio recording, I do like the Mac book a great deal. You
can really add some crazy tripped effects as well as lay some really groovy loops. It is a win
win. I have been thinking about updating my ram and put windows on here for some web work, maybe
one day. IT really only takes me about 10 minutes to set-up the project folder and set the tempo
and then find the right loop.
Once I find a cool loop I will loop it out and record my tracks to it. Then I will go back and
start adding and tweaking tracks. It really is a cool program! I am waiting to get some more
apple loops so I can build a nice library. In good time.
I have owned many mics throughout the years and have found a liking to AKG c-2000's as well 57's.
I have owned an Re-20, several MXL"S, Beyer Dynamics (killer mics by the way), AKG c-1000's, 58's,
and Marshall's. The proper mic really depends on the style and the voicing and dynamic of what you
want to record. For example, if you have a wispy voice then you would want a condenser and if you
have more aggressive loud voice you may want to use a 57 or 58 or even a larger diaphragm mic like a 421.
Here are some great tips I have thrown together that will get you started in the right path! Just
remember that recording is a craft an it takes many years to tweak out your style! It does take
awhile to learn so be patient! I have been mixing live for 12 years and had worked for some of
greats! I really do believe that you can use live technique in the studio vice versa!
1. Be prepared!
2. Once you have found the sound and feel that you are looking for it, it is time to lay some
tracks! What I do in Logic! I set up 16 tracks and I will keep the first 8 for drum tracks and
I will arm 9 and 10! I usually will put my vocal on 9 and acoustic on 10! Be sure set you're
in and out points! If you are recording many tracks you will want to increase the amount of ram
that your program uses! This really comes in handy later if you add loops and instruments to
the mix! IF you don't enough ram to run your program then it may crash while recording!
3. How to find that perfect sound! I love to mic my acoustic and run direct also! This is where
I used to mess up all the time! I would always get strange pops on my acoustic track and realized
what was causing it! Every time the acoustic and plug would lose a little connection it be recorded!
Guess what I found that works great! Use some WD-40 on your tips! All I can figure is that the
corrosion cause a break in connected! Smoke will cause a film on electronics also!
4. Check your batteries and make sure they are good! Don't use those cheap they really don't work
well! I love the Pro cells for the reliability and they last forever!
5. Make sure your power source is grounded properly! I recommend a battery back up also! I would
also make sure you have a good quite power supply on you pc!
6. Always restart your pc or Mac before you so any recording. It reboots your system and frees up
the resources that are needed to process all the information. It is always a good idea to not run
any other programs while you record. Never, I repeat never have another audio program running
unless you are using it for your recording purposes. I use word to read lyrics and haven't had
any problems! It is not as a big of an issue as it used to be though. Back in earlier windows it
was a big issue! Just remember a lot of computers (or macs) don't like to share audio drivers with
different programs at the same time.
7. Updating isn't as important as you think. I ran the same 98 and cubase happily together for 4
years. That is success! I attribute it to not ever putting it on-line; I bought a laptop just for
8. File Handling. I have found that moved files could give you a headache. I have found out the
hard way! Always save your audio folder in the file folder as your project. Always make a folder
per new project. That way when you move your files they will all be nice in tidy all in one place.
Other wise you may waist a few days of your life trying to figure out where those new audio tracks
went, plus it makes you look like a chump.
9. Always!! Save Save Save your song. Be sure before you checking out that new verb plug-in that
you save your track. I have had Logic crash while mixing before a save. Logic is a cool back-up
feature that will save your butt in this situation. But be aware that if you delete a track, it
is gone! I wish they had a step-back feature like a lot of other programs.
10. Mac or Pc? It really depends what you want to do. I love them both and have had great success
with each one, using all the tips listed up above. I do think Mac has caught me for now. I do
think the learning curve in tougher with a Mac. After you get the hang of it. You will be recording
like a Pro Engineer.
11. Keep your levels clean! If you peg into the red you are just square waving the recording. Use
a compressor to catch vocal peaks. Always use a pop filter on a vocal! Unless you are using a
dynamic or the mic has a built in Pop filter. The Filter will catch the air before it hits the
diaphragm. Sometimes causing a popping sound.
12. I like to set my recording at 44 and 24bit. I do dither down to 16 bit for CD. It always
sounds great. Find what works for you! It really depends on how much disk space that you want
to you use.
13. Monitors? Use what sounds great to you! For a few years I used some decent passive near
fields that were hot that year. Gear changes so fast and there really are some great sounding
speakers out there. I have used all kinds of monitors! I love headphones, cause you can use
them anywhere and have your privacy. I suggest the Sony MDR-7506 they have awesome response
and a nice full range. There are a great deal of powered monitors out there and do some research
and find out what you need for your purpose! Don't forget that Shielded ones are the way to go!.
Now start you have some great tips to help you get started! Pick out that hit tune and lay it
down and start tweaking away. There are many ways to mix and many styles! Go find your own thing!
Before you know it you will highly demanded audio engineer.
There are many new site that are popping up all over the web that are making a lot of Banks and
people happy. So cash in on the web while it is open and enjoy the liberty that you have. You are
the worst person that a Record Company Hates, you know the one; that keeps all the money in his
own account! Go for it!
Hey I am Johnny C! I am new to the net and have been building some really cool sites that will
keep you busy for awhile! Alabama Rock Company has rocks, geodes, gold prospecting gear and
outdoor gear. Plus I have a list of Alabama sites and outdoor Info. I have mountain Dream Rentals.
It has a list of cabin rentals around the United state. It is getting bigger check it out!
Thanks Johnny C
Alabama Rock Company
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