Who here records their own music?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jagan Seshadri, Apr 11, 2002.

  1. Jagan Seshadri

    Jagan Seshadri Supporting Actor

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    As I was writing to Jon Are's "How to Sing the Blues" thread, I wondered how many HTF people record their own tunes?
    With the capabilities of home recording using PCs it's pretty easy these days. I have dozens of tunes I've recorded and I'm working on a new one now actually (and no, it's not the 'Grad Student Blues' ).
    So, who else records their own compositions?
    -JNS
     
  2. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Well,

    I do dabble with my own compositions... but have been a recording engineer and mix engineer since I was 12. To date I have worked on countless projects and have worked in the live environment extensively.

    -V
     
  3. Kraig Lang

    Kraig Lang Stunt Coordinator

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    I've been recording on my own now for about 5 years. Spending more money on that then I do on DVD's, if you can believe that. Talk about expensive hobbies. [​IMG]
    Currently, I'm working on a Roland Hard Disk recorder and use a Korg Trinity for most of the Instrumental stuff. The cool thig for me is that I'll be getting a 10 week sabbatical from work this summer, so I'll be finishing up my first CD.
    As a matter of fact, (shameless plug coming, feel free to move on if this offends :b ), you can hear the rough drafts here http:\www.mp3.comascension
    I promise you, it's not that bad.
    Kraig
     
  4. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    Kraig, what do you think of mp3.com as a means of getting your music out there & heard? I've been trying to encourage a mate to put his band there - their music is good, they've had a lot of positive feedback, but as usual, are finding it hard to get the gigs & publicity they'd like. They're not wanting to be the next Strokes, they just want to get their music out there. I think mp3.com would be a great way to do that.
    And thanks for the link - very laid back & groovy. Got a track playing right now [​IMG]
     
  5. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

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    Record my own songs? Why yes, thanks for asking! I've been an amateur (unlike Vince) recording engineer since I was sixteen, and I must say I'm pretty good at it.
    I'm currently using a Korg D1600, which has great sound quality but some of the most annoying little quirks - like the fact that the settings of the internal effects boards aren't remembered within each song. That wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that all the reverbs have a default pre-delay.
    I also have some neato processors, like a Digitech 2101 guitar processor, which sounds fantastic on everything. Also an old Rockman analog delay which, IMHO, is the best delay unit ever made - and it'll do some wonderfully weird things if manipulated improperly [​IMG]
     
  6. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Kraig,

    Just a side note, there is/was already an excellent hardcore band called Ascension in the US. They put out 6 records under than name starting in 1992. They broke up in 1999- but I would assume their label (Victory Records) would come after you is you tried to release an album in the US under that name. You can check out their stuff on CDnow.

    Members of Ascension are now in a metal band called Chimera on Roadrunner who recently toured with Slayer.

    Also, there is a European trance artist currently using that title over there as well.

    -Vince
     
  7. Kraig Lang

    Kraig Lang Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Vince, I'll change it. The name was sort of quirky little thing anyway [​IMG] . What do you think about NQSTV? That's the name of the first album, but I don't think it's a very good performing name.
    As for MP3.com Brian, I like it, If for only one thing, It's Free. I've gotten a lot of good feedback from people that stumbled across my tunes. The big thing to remember with MP3.com is that you need to market your material just like you would anywhere else. There's a lot of music out there that gets listened to. I put my stuff up so that people I work with could go here it without me having to burn a new CD everytime someone asked.
    I've even made $1.57 from downloads [​IMG]
    The site I really liked was Garageband.com. Unfortunately, they are no longer on-line. They had a hard time getting backers to keep the site running.
    Tim, What else do you think about the D1600? I've got a VS880ex and I really want to upgrade to a 16 or 24 channel unit.
    Have a great day!!
    Kraig
     
  8. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

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    Well Kraig, on the whole I enjoy it very much. It's easy to use and offers great sound quality. However, it has a few caveats that you have to work around, namely:

    You can't record on all 16 tracks simultaneously, only eight max. With 24-bit recording/playback, you can only record a max of 4 at a time and can only play back 8.

    The D1600 only has 4 XLR inputs. While this is common in standalone multitracks, it can be frustrating for someone coming from the modular world. Fortunately, I also have a Mackie 1604 mixer in my PA that I use when I need more XLR inputs. The D1600 DOES offer phantom power on all four XLR inputs, though.

    The mic preamps on the D1600 are merely okay. This is to be expected at this price point. The aforementioned Mackie mixer solves this problem nicely.

    The built in compressor, frankly, sucks - very noisy and grainy. Also, the compressor controls are not labeled like other compressors. Strangely, the unit has a separate limiter that is independent of the compressor. It is also not just a limiter. Although equipped with a separate comp, the limiter on the D1600 offers adjustable compression and not just hard limiting. The limiter sounds very nice, and I use it for compression and leave the actual compressor alone. It makes me wonder why they use two different algorithms when one would do the job.

    As I said in my earlier post, the unit does not remember effects settings. It remembers the return levels, but not actual settings, like delay time, etc. It's annoying for reverb because every reverb type has a default pre-delay of 30ms. I can't stand pre-delay, so everytime I load a song I have to go into the menu and turn pre-delay off.

    And finally, the manual can be pretty flaky at times. It's something the experienced home engineer can overcome easily, though.

    The D1600 has a LOT of stuff I like, however. The built-in click that doesn't use a track is nice. Also, the unit has quite a lot of editing features, like cut/paste, automatic fades, snapshot automation (no mechanical automation, though), etc. The waveform editing is nice to fix certain mistakes. A few weeks back my band played a killer take. Only problem was that a snare triplet I played was a bit late on one part. I went into the editing menu and moved that triplet up about 20 ms, and it worked great - absolutely seamless!

    I definitely think the pros outweigh the cons on this unit. It's one of my favorite pieces of music gear, and a very good bargain. One final note: don't buy the Korg CD burner. At 300 bucks, it's way overpriced. The Korg website has a list of compatible burners, and I got the Teac 8x burner for $60. If you think that's a bit slow, remember Ver 2.00 software only supports a max of 8x burning!
     
  9. Jeff Braddock

    Jeff Braddock Second Unit

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    Kraig,
    If you are wanting to get your name out there, you might want to try www.audiogalaxy.com I believe they do hosting for bands that are trying to get their name out. Just a thought.
     
  10. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    Thanks for the feedback on mp3.com, Kraig, I'll be passing it onto my friend.
     
  11. John Besse

    John Besse Supporting Actor

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    Well, with any luck by the end of this summer I will record my concept album! Haven't done any recordings to date, but if things go well that should change!
     
  12. Andrew 'Ange Hamm' Hamm

    Andrew 'Ange Hamm' Hamm Supporting Actor

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    Concept album?? Killer.

    Anyone who's seen my sig for the past year knows that I record my own stuff. I guess I should remove the word "new" at this point.

    Since recording Strange Education, I have had a few major studio upgrades. I'm now recording with Cakewalk on my hard drive, I've picked up a bunch of new drum microphones, added a primo crash cymbal and a huge djembe to my drums, and just last weekend got a new mixer to replace my broken old one. Album #2 is already begun.

    NP: Michael W Smith - Worship
     
  13. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

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    I've been toying with the idea of recording a concept TRIPLE album. The concept: a long-ass album! Seriously, I've mostly recorded the rock band I've played in. I've been working on a solo album for the past three years and it just keeps growing and growing. My friends will be amazed if I ever complete it.
     
  14. Scott H

    Scott H Supporting Actor

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    Yep.

    np: Boyracer
     
  15. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    I hate to be rude, but could someone explain me the appeal of a "concept" album. I have always seen this as a bloated and terribly self-absorbed masturbatory type persuit. Just the phrase itself makes me cringe-- rock musicians having the ego to believe that their "art" has some bigger connection and context in which it must be expressed.

    Again- I hope no one takes this as an insult aimed at them- heck you might all be geniuses-- however I've made a few records in my life and have dealt with loterally thousands of musicians--- and have almost universally found anyone talking about making a "concept" album has been a talentless hack who spent more time drawing the "killer" album cover (or just sitting around smoking weed) than they ever spent on music or making it listenable for anyone other than themselves.

    It just like the ideas of "performance art" or "experimental film", in most cases other than the absolute cream of the crop, this is something you force on your friends rather than something that has any real worth in terms of artistic appeal.

    So can someone explain to me the appeal of creating, or heck even listening to a "concept album"?

    -Vince
     
  16. StevenW

    StevenW Second Unit

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  17. Kraig Lang

    Kraig Lang Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the feedback folks,
    Tim, As far as the D1600, I think I'm leaning that direction now. I love my Trinity, and god knows 2 silver beasts in the studio would be cool [​IMG] . I'm a little concerned by the 4 track only recording in 24 bit, but I mainly work in stereo tracks so it wouldn't be so bad. Are you mastering with the DAW or do you port to the PC for mastering? I'm using Soundforge right now and I love it.
    Jeff, Audiogalaxy looks interesting. I'll read up on it some more over the next couple of days. What kind of experience do you have with them?
    As for the idea of a concept album, to be honest, every album is a concept album. The term has been hijacked by artists who believe that they aren't appreciated. My rule of thumb, If I like listening to what I write and play, that's good enough for me.
    As far as I can tell, after many years, there are 2 types of musicians, those that play to play, and those that play for ego. There are great musicians out there that couldn't care less what others think. And then again, there is some great musical ability out there with a horrendous personality behind it.
    What I usually find is that I have nothing against the music, but the people could make my gut ache. This is typically your self appointed Kings, Queens, and Divas of (whatever). The worst are those with no ability but have the ego.
    BTW, For those of you that do record, do you do it with your PC? or with stand alone equipment?
    Kraig
    np: Sting, Ten Summoner's Tales
     
  18. Andrew 'Ange Hamm' Hamm

    Andrew 'Ange Hamm' Hamm Supporting Actor

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    Vince, maybe you should listen to:

    Pink Floyd - The Wall

    Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

    Queensryche - Operation: Mindcrime

    Dream Theater - Metropolis Pt 2: Scenes from a Memory

    T-Bone Burnett - The Talking Animals

    The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

    The Beatles - Let It Be

    The Who - Tommy

    Pete Townshend - White City

    Joe Jackson - Night and Day

    Joe Jackson - Night and Day II

    Joe Jackson - Heaven and Hell

    Rich Mullins - A Liturgy, A Legacy, and a Ragamuffin Band

    Rich Mullins - The Jesus Record

    Cindy Morgan - The Loving Kind

    Phil Keaggy - Phil Keaggy and Sunday's Child

    Yes - Tales from Topographic Oceans

    Elton John - Tumbleweed Connection

    or other such "masturbatory" yet artistically successful concept albums.

    I'll grant that there are many hacks who want to make a concept album for some strange status-reason, but they are vastly outnumbered by the hacks who want to be a "rock star" for purely non-musical reasons such as fame, parties, and sex. If someone has a big musical idea that spans 60 minutes of music, more power to them. Not enough people have the courage to pursue big musical ideas in this age of three-minutes-and-thirty-second boy-band singles.

    NP: Dream Theater - Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence (yet another concept album, by the way)
     
  19. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

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    Kraig, I outsource my mastering - for two reasons:

    1- The facility I use has MUCH better mastering gear than I do.

    2- The facility has much better engineers than I am. To clarify, I'm proud of my recording and mixing techniques, but until I have more experience in mastering I leave it to the pros. For minor things like fades, normalizing, etc., the D1600 works fine, but for major operations like multiband compression and serious EQ matching I prefer someone with far more experience than myself.
     
  20. Kraig Lang

    Kraig Lang Stunt Coordinator

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    Tim,
    Well, you've successfully stepped outside of my skillset. Although, if all goes well, it won't be for long. [​IMG]
    That's one of the things I'd like to do during my sabbatical this summer is to sit with a professional engineer and learn everything I can. My CD is going to be self created, but, I wouldn't mind having a final pass done by a studio. We'll see.
    Kraig
    www.mp3.com/ascension
     

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