Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Creating a home studio for recording the classical guitar. Equipment, software and recording techniques. Amplification for live performance.
konstantine
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Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by konstantine » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:45 pm

I just did a test recording with the new Apogee MiC+ as an an easy, portable and "inexpensive" alternative to regular XLR mics into an audio interface. What do you think?



Konstantine

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Kent
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by Kent » Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:08 pm

Sounds pretty good Konstantine.
Of course a fine player can make mediocre mics sound good!

bert
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by bert » Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:10 pm

Sounds good, but I doubt it is easier than mic/recorder combinations like the zoom H series

Conall
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by Conall » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:07 pm

Problem for me is:

- it takes ages to set up a neutral background, lighting, camera & recorder (in a video)
- it takes longer to get the sound & visuals to my satisfaction
- I unintentionally pull faces what with the effort & concentration involved in playing for a recording making me unwatchable
- it's fiddly & time consuming to sync video & audio
- and it takes loads of takes before I'm happy (if ever).

The recorder itself is the least of my problems!

Nice recording by the way.

Rasputin
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by Rasputin » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:40 pm

Nice review. It's not that much more portable than a small external interface and an ordinary mic, and of course you can use an ordinary mic in other setups too. When it comes to portability. I think you've got to bear in mind all of the other kit you have to lug around anyway. Being able to leave behind a little box that you can get on e - b a y for under £100 is not a good reason for spending £230 IMO, especially when the box solution is likely to sound better and means that your money is going into something more versatile and more resellable, i.e. an XLR mic.

konstantine
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by konstantine » Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:47 pm

Kent wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:08 pm
Sounds pretty good Konstantine.
Of course a fine player can make mediocre mics sound good!
Thanks for listening and the kind words Kent!

bert wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:10 pm
Sounds good, but I doubt it is easier than mic/recorder combinations like the zoom H series
I also have a Zoom H5, which alone of course its easier to record since its self reliant, but IMO the XY capsules that come with it are noisier and thinner sounding than the Mic+ for classical guitar, for recording a band performance or a louder source the H5 is a better option. But for CG it requires at least a cable and a mic more to get decent results - with a couple of nice SDC of course it is a better option but makes it less portable than a USB mic into an iPhone.

Anyway, I don't know whats the best option yet, thats why I'm still searching and made this video to get some feedback. I just try to find a sweet spot of convenience vs quality for mobile recordings.

Conall wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:07 pm
Problem for me is:

- it takes ages to set up a neutral background, lighting, camera & recorder (in a video)
- it takes longer to get the sound & visuals to my satisfaction
- I unintentionally pull faces what with the effort & concentration involved in playing for a recording making me unwatchable
- it's fiddly & time consuming to sync video & audio
- and it takes loads of takes before I'm happy (if ever).

The recorder itself is the least of my problems!

Nice recording by the way.
Thank you Conall, I know the struggle, thats why having a music room/home studio helps, I have everything set on their stands and tripods all the time, ready to record or capture a video. Still trying to make it better and incorporate more recordings from outside of the studio.

Rasputin wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:40 pm
Nice review. It's not that much more portable than a small external interface and an ordinary mic, and of course you can use an ordinary mic in other setups too. When it comes to portability. I think you've got to bear in mind all of the other kit you have to lug around anyway. Being able to leave behind a little box that you can get on e - b a y for under £100 is not a good reason for spending £230 IMO, especially when the box solution is likely to sound better and means that your money is going into something more versatile and more resellable, i.e. an XLR mic.
Thanks Rasputin, a couple of nice microphones into a decent audio interface is a better option and I whould´t trade that for the apogee, but a USB mic into an iPhone or iPad is more portable and requires less setup time while sounding better than most portable recorders. In other words, if I want to do a quality mobile recording I´ll definitely bring XLR mics, laptop, interface. But sometimes I'm on tour, holidays or just outside with my guitar and its nice to have something around to be able to make a decent recording on demand. I agree though, £230 is a lot of money for more limited functionality.


Thank you all for the feedback, I really appreciate it!

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:57 pm

My first efforts in about 1977 were on a portable cassette recorder with a built-in microphone, all the mechanical noise, no tape noise reduction ... somehow I think things have got a bit better.
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ameriken
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by ameriken » Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:41 am

Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:57 pm
My first efforts in about 1977 were on a portable cassette recorder with a built-in microphone, all the mechanical noise, no tape noise reduction ... somehow I think things have got a bit better.
Hate to admit it but I remember those. :wink:
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konstantine
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by konstantine » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:37 am

ameriken wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:41 am
Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:57 pm
My first efforts in about 1977 were on a portable cassette recorder with a built-in microphone, all the mechanical noise, no tape noise reduction ... somehow I think things have got a bit better.
Hate to admit it but I remember those. :wink:
These things where great, you could play around with older batteries and make some interesting things! :casque:

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sxedio
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by sxedio » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:59 am

ameriken wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:41 am
Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:57 pm
My first efforts in about 1977 were on a portable cassette recorder with a built-in microphone, all the mechanical noise, no tape noise reduction ... somehow I think things have got a bit better.
Hate to admit it but I remember those. :wink:
They were still current in the 90s, though those with a bigger budget probably moved to mini-disc! :) .
(Gr) (En) (very little Fr)

Conall
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by Conall » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:16 am

Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:57 pm
My first efforts in about 1977 were on a portable cassette recorder with a built-in microphone, all the mechanical noise, no tape noise reduction ... somehow I think things have got a bit better.
I remember them well.
The sound quality was truly awful but it had one (only) advantage: it was incredibly easy & quick to use (OK, the rewinding & fast forwarding was annoying).

Which why modern manufacturers are clearly missing a trick. The modern selling point is "most features at cheapest price". I'm sick of having to spend hours every single time I buy a new piece of technology or software to try to get to know how to work something adequately.

When is some manufacturer is going to realise that most of us have busy lives and want a product that is very quick to learn to use well with good results?

Here's one: make a video & audio recorder with auto everything (sound levels & clipping limiter or whatever it's called) which has equally good quality in audio & video (say CD audio & HD video). Maybe make in 2 parts so the video cam can be placed further away but connected by simple cable. Audio & video record (wav file onto SD card). Controls limited to "record, play, pause, stop, rewind, rewind to start of track, fast forward equivalents, delete track". Display on recorder shows track number, timer. A few minor other features maybe (headphone socket etc). Perhaps one "advanced" button that aspiring sound engineers can explore but I won't.

I have a Tascam DR40 which is more complicated than it needs to be, 2 very good video capable cameras, good audio & adequate video software. I know they are capable of good amateur quality but they all take too long to set up & work out how to use (I use them rarely and have to re-learn how to do it all every time I do it, especially synching audio & video).

The school-used Coomber cd recorders are quite easy to use but not video (unless they have a new product).

And no, I don't want a £1000 i-phone. Something for about £200-300 that will do the job as close to I describe (very easily) is what I and I'm convinced thousands of musicians want - for musicians who want to spend time playing music (& occasionally recording for pupils / YouTube etc) not spending bloody hours / weeks trying to set up & use the stupidly complicated devil machines of modern day!

konstantine
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by konstantine » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:17 am

Conall wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:16 am
Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:57 pm
My first efforts in about 1977 were on a portable cassette recorder with a built-in microphone, all the mechanical noise, no tape noise reduction ... somehow I think things have got a bit better.
I remember them well.
The sound quality was truly awful but it had one (only) advantage: it was incredibly easy & quick to use (OK, the rewinding & fast forwarding was annoying).

Which why modern manufacturers are clearly missing a trick. The modern selling point is "most features at cheapest price". I'm sick of having to spend hours every single time I buy a new piece of technology or software to try to get to know how to work something adequately.

When is some manufacturer is going to realise that most of us have busy lives and want a product that is very quick to learn to use well with good results?

Here's one: make a video & audio recorder with auto everything (sound levels & clipping limiter or whatever it's called) which has equally good quality in audio & video (say CD audio & HD video). Maybe make in 2 parts so the video cam can be placed further away but connected by simple cable. Audio & video record (wav file onto SD card). Controls limited to "record, play, pause, stop, rewind, rewind to start of track, fast forward equivalents, delete track". Display on recorder shows track number, timer. A few minor other features maybe (headphone socket etc). Perhaps one "advanced" button that aspiring sound engineers can explore but I won't.

I have a Tascam DR40 which is more complicated than it needs to be, 2 very good video capable cameras, good audio & adequate video software. I know they are capable of good amateur quality but they all take too long to set up & work out how to use (I use them rarely and have to re-learn how to do it all every time I do it, especially synching audio & video).

The school-used Coomber cd recorders are quite easy to use but not video (unless they have a new product).

And no, I don't want a £1000 i-phone. Something for about £200-300 that will do the job as close to I describe (very easily) is what I and I'm convinced thousands of musicians want - for musicians who want to spend time playing music (& occasionally recording for pupils / YouTube etc) not spending bloody hours / weeks trying to set up & use the stupidly complicated devil machines of modern day!
There is always a veil of nostalgia about the past but I think we live in a great period! Sure a lot of things are far from perfect but considering what was possible (or wasn't) just 10 or 20 years ago, I find it hard to complain when with just a few hundred bucks one can have almost professional results recording CG at home!

Btw, Zoom Q8 and Q2n are doing what you are asking.

alexshur
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by alexshur » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:49 am

i like sound

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by rojarosguitar » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:08 am

Konstantin, very nice playing first of all.
You have a very nice and light touch!

As to the sound, it is difficult to tell, as the sound file is clearly processed, but we don't know how (in any case I hear some reverb, unless you have recorded in a really big lively room).

I can't really see the advantage of this kind of equipment that seems to be somewhere in between the stand-alone mobile recorder (or a smartphone made into a recorder) and a fully blown recording chain.
For documenting a session or ones' musical development I think any of the mobile recorders (Zoom, Tascam, Sony, Panasonic, you name it) is better than good enough IMHO. For serious music productions the Apogee is not going to be good enough, apart from the fact that you are stuck with mono occupying your lightning input.

For myself I have found out that when I record myself I want to be busied or bothered as little as possible with the technical side of the process. If I want really a high quality recorder, I pull ut one of my bigger mobile recorders and use some great and proven stereo mic. If I just want a simple memo, I'd take either my iPhone with Zoom iQ7 or the DR-40 that is hard to beat in that price range. These ar all 'no-brainers' to set up and then you can concentrate on what you actually want to do: play...

These are my thoughts (though certainly these products must have some user niche, because otherwise they will disappear quickly from the market)...

Thanks for the nice snippets of music! More of that, please...
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kloeten
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Re: Recording CG at home, easier than ever?

Post by kloeten » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:38 am

rojarosguitar wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:08 am
Konstantin, very nice playing first of all.
You have a very nice and light touch!

As to the sound, it is difficult to tell, as the sound file is clearly processed, but we don't know how (in any case I hear some reverb, unless you have recorded in a really big lively room).
@ Konstantin, for a home recording, this sounds great!
@ rojarosguitar - my Zoom H4n always leaves me frustrated with a thin sound. Recording 'louder' implies more finger noise / clipping etc. Can the difference be explained by post-processing as you say?

Cheers
Rutger

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