Caine419
Thread Starter
#1
29th April 2010
Old 29th April 2010
  #1
Gear nut
 

Thread Starter
Where Do I Start?

First off, I'm not a professional and I don't pretend to be. I've asked a lot of basic questions that most pro's here would frown at but just about everybody has been nice enough to take time and help me so hopefully I can get some help here.

I'm 17 and I'm experienced with actual music but not the technical side of things. The money it takes to buy beats, record and mix a song is really high, and I would rather spend some time and money investing in myself and be able to do this on my own.

I've never really thought about actually studying this stuff before. My problem is I don't know when a track needs eq or how to do it just as the track needs, when or how to use compression, stuff like that. And I have no idea how to figure it out. I read constantly about this stuff but everything seems to assume that you already know that stuff. I read TweakHeadz articles over and over and while a lot is helpful, it still doesn't help with basic stuff.

Another thing is equipment... now I know that nobody can say 'this is the best mic' or 'this is the best preamp' but I don't really know how to go about finding out the best things for me. I don't know what to look at when buying that stuff. I'm 17 and have a job so now is the time to buy this stuff while I don't have any other obligations, but I don't know how to go about it.

Also, I know I'm not gonna get up to the level of a pro engineer for many years. But everybody starts somewhere. As long as I can make good quality recordings that can be on an official retail release, that's all I'm going for right now.

So if anyone can give me some information on how to go about this stuff or a good place to get started, I would really appreciate it.

I'm talking about recording vocals only.
#2
29th April 2010
Old 29th April 2010
  #2
I'd ask this question in a non-genre-specific forum. Get a grasp on the art and technique of recording as a whole, then you can begin to specialize.

That goes double if you have any aspirations to someday make a living as a professional engineer.
#3
29th April 2010
Old 29th April 2010
  #3
Lives for gear
 
E.rOk.stA's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caine419 View Post
First off, I'm not a professional and I don't pretend to be. I've asked a lot of basic questions that most pro's here would frown at but just about everybody has been nice enough to take time and help me so hopefully I can get some help here.

I'm 17 and I'm experienced with actual music but not the technical side of things. The money it takes to buy beats, record and mix a song is really high, and I would rather spend some time and money investing in myself and be able to do this on my own.

I've never really thought about actually studying this stuff before. My problem is I don't know when a track needs eq or how to do it just as the track needs, when or how to use compression, stuff like that. And I have no idea how to figure it out. I read constantly about this stuff but everything seems to assume that you already know that stuff. I read TweakHeadz articles over and over and while a lot is helpful, it still doesn't help with basic stuff.

Another thing is equipment... now I know that nobody can say 'this is the best mic' or 'this is the best preamp' but I don't really know how to go about finding out the best things for me. I don't know what to look at when buying that stuff. I'm 17 and have a job so now is the time to buy this stuff while I don't have any other obligations, but I don't know how to go about it.

Also, I know I'm not gonna get up to the level of a pro engineer for many years. But everybody starts somewhere. As long as I can make good quality recordings that can be on an official retail release, that's all I'm going for right now.

So if anyone can give me some information on how to go about this stuff or a good place to get started, I would really appreciate it.
Just answer some questions first and I'll try to help. (with what little I know)

What kind of music do you wanna make?

Give some examples of artists you wanna sound like (soundwise).

Are you trying to record just yourself and what does your voice sound like?

I guess that's a good starting point.

Do you have any instruments, computer, workstations, etc.?
#4
29th April 2010
Old 29th April 2010
  #4
Gear maniac
Some things for yourself being a beginner... start off with something simple. If you have an apple computer, check out garageband. If you have a PC... use fruityloops or something.

Just learn the basics. Read up on the beginning stages... they do have videos or mags out there. Just learn your way through the program and it's interface. Don't worry too much about how to use compression and eqs and getting all technical just yet. Know your software & equipment.

A simple setup would be your computer with a basic DAW (fruityloops, garageband, etc.) & a small midi controller like a m-audio, and some headphones and a cheap mic... MXL mics are affordable ones.

I can tell for sure though... you want a CD with good enough quality to print... it'll take A LOT of time to learn these tricks.
Caine419
Thread Starter
#5
29th April 2010
Old 29th April 2010
  #5
Gear nut
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by the Set Surgeon View Post
Just answer some questions first and I'll try to help. (with what little I know)

What kind of music do you wanna make?

Give some examples of artists you wanna sound like (soundwise).

Are you trying to record just yourself and what does your voice sound like?

I guess that's a good starting point.

Do you have any instruments, computer, workstations, etc.?
I rap. I go to a studio now but I want to record vocals at home.

I'm also getting more serious with 'making beats', I'm already pretty advanced with that so all I'm talking about is vocals.
#6
29th April 2010
Old 29th April 2010
  #6
Lives for gear
 
CRACKPIPE's Avatar
 

Trial and error, buddy. It's what we all used. You are at a serious advantage in the internet age, you can actually research. Also software make it possible to do what took major equipment 15 years ago.

Best teacher is experience. Best of luck.
#7
29th April 2010
Old 29th April 2010
  #7
Gear addict
 

Start with making a whole bunch of mistakes. I'm not even kidding. Sure, you can read a lot and all that but nothing beats doing it wrong a few times.
#8
29th April 2010
Old 29th April 2010
  #8
Gear nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CRACKPIPE View Post

Best teacher is experience. Best of luck.
+10
#9
29th April 2010
Old 29th April 2010
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Realziment's Avatar
 

If your only talking about vocals, my advice is to find a vocal sound you like, and record, re-record and record again until you get it close. Theres so much that goes into just a vocal sound, its not all about eq and compression, even mics or pres sometimes, its about the performer. The mic is an instrument all in itself and good singers/rappers/performers know how to use it as such.

First off get the best mic you can afford thats right for you (nobody can really tell you this) theres a few good all round mics that maybe recommended such as the at 4040, on a lower budget scale, or you may want a tube mic. Its hard to tell you.

Secondly get the best pre you can afford, just review pres that are used on vocals a lot of the time, and see what takes your fancy and affordability.

As for eq, and compression sometimes these are not even needed if the the performance is right trough a good mic/pre. But most often than not a little compression is always need and some eq, along with fader rides. And im no expert in them areas, but these are things that take a long time to understand what they do and when and how to apply them. Compression is one of the most advanced tools when engineering, while only having 5 or so knobs sometimes not even, its a very hard tool to master, at least in my case.

So trial and error, start with something small, figure it out from there. another way is to record some stuff, share with some experienced people and let them tell you it needs some compression here, it needs an eq boost/cut there, and then you will be like "oh yea, now i get it" . Or in some cases be like i cant even hear what I just did, but i did something haha. Its all very daunting but in time it will come to you. thumbsup
#10
29th April 2010
Old 29th April 2010
  #10
Gear nut
 

everything every1 else said, and especially start critical listening...my best advice on the hardware recommendation is find a music company you can trust...this is just an example and in no way an advertisement, my favorite has always been Sweetwater...u get a personal rep who you always deal with and so far, have given me great advice ,once i did the research of what was in my price range...hell, my rep called about a month ago to see how my purchase from a year ago was going(that he recommended and am extremely satisfied with and in case your wondering, was actually less than what i wouldve spent)...x...
#11
29th April 2010
Old 29th April 2010
  #11
Lives for gear
 
E.rOk.stA's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caine419 View Post
I rap. I go to a studio now but I want to record vocals at home.

I'm also getting more serious with 'making beats', I'm already pretty advanced with that so all I'm talking about is vocals.
Ok so you need a way to record your vocals. Do you have a favorite DAW that you already use for making beats? What kind of computer do you have or do you use a multitrack recorder?

You'll need a mic. I wouldn't even think about a condenser at this point. Just get a SM57 or 58 and a mic stand. Do you have a specific room you're gonna use?

You go to a studio already so just make your first goal to have a home setup where you can lay practice tracks so you don't waste your money and time when you're "on the clock". This is exactly how I started out.

Once you answer these questions, I'll make more suggestions.
Caine419
Thread Starter
#12
29th April 2010
Old 29th April 2010
  #12
Gear nut
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by the Set Surgeon View Post
Ok so you need a way to record your vocals. Do you have a favorite DAW that you already use for making beats? What kind of computer do you have or do you use a multitrack recorder?

You'll need a mic. I wouldn't even think about a condenser at this point. Just get a SM57 or 58 and a mic stand. Do you have a specific room you're gonna use?

You go to a studio already so just make your first goal to have a home setup where you can lay practice tracks so you don't waste your money and time when you're "on the clock". This is exactly how I started out.

Once you answer these questions, I'll make more suggestions.
When I would record at home I used Cool Edit Pro and Audition.

But I'll most likely be getting Cubase 5.
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