The Whatever Thread... for Recording!

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The Whatever Thread... for Recording!

Postby PlasticPeople » Thu Jun 16, 2016 4:22 am

I figure we could use a casual thread for sharing our collective journey through the world of recording.

I've been using Ableton with a Presonus Interface (running direct in) for a few years and while I've grown to enjoy a speedy, simple recording process (with unlimited looping and overdubbing), I came to the realization that despite it's conveniences, I was spending a lot of time in overdub-land, trying way too many times to nail the track right. And when I did get it right my recordings still felt a bit lifeless.

I just got this cheap Fostex 4 track tape recorder on ebay. Not a lot of frills (or any kind of EQ) but it's tiny and it does have an aux send. I want to use it as my primary method of recording, and then bounce audio from tape to Ableton, where I can do the heavy lifting. I think it'll force me to better practice my phrases before I hit the "Record" button.

The dude I bought it from sent it with a Motown's Greatest Hits tape. I had a pleasant evening of listening to it played back at a higher speed, bouncing both sides to Ableton (a lot of good samples to be found) and then erasing it to make room for my giggles and shits.


Other potential uses:

*Tape loops?
*Sending stems back through pedals (via the aux send) for some post(ish) production effects.
*Can demo pedals the same way... a 4-track recording going through a pedal seems cool. Hearing a looped 8 second phrase for 8 minutes can be exhausting.
*Can make an actual honest-to-jeebus mixtape now. Now all I gotta do is make friends who actually listen to tapes :lol:

Plus (let's be real) I wanna push those inputs realllly hard. Wish I had Ohnoho's "Blowing Up" right now :grumpy:
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Re: The Whatever Thread... for Recording!

Postby Brandsmannen » Mon Oct 03, 2016 12:37 am

That is sweet! Everything I'd want in a 4track basically.

Your list of things is totally legit, and it's actually very easy to drive the inputs on that thing so pick your guitar with highest output pickups and fire it up. Try making tape loops, extremely fiddley and if the whole preparing thing gets too much, then just record really long shit onto the 4 tracks. I have a tape with 4 chords that I recorded 30minutes each on, more than enough haha
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Re: The Whatever Thread... for Recording!

Postby baremountain » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:09 am

So I've been in a slump lately - I've been buying/flipping pedals pretty regularly (since July I've flipped a Super Radical Delay, Montreal Your & You're and Positive, & Dwarfcraft Eau Claire Thunder, and have kept a Happiness, Pretty Years, 8-Step Program, Echo Degrader, and 856 for Zellersasn and also bought a new saxophone and amp), and most of my play-time has been noodling with the new pedz, trying to dial in cool settings and just figuring out how things interact with one another. I had been feeling pretty down about myself because while I've been recording most of these 'circle of trust'-type experiments, I haven't been re-listening or doing anything to make those recordings useful/turning them into songs.
Yesterday some friends came over to have me record/produce one of their songs for a compilation that some other friends are putting out. This was my second time working with them - the first time was for a full album (over the course of 2.5 days) and I was a little too Laissez-faire, leaving a few blemishes/gaps that I can't help but beating myself up over when I listen back. I'm proud to say that yesterday we worked from 10:30A to 5:30P with the band tracking parts, playing with microphone arrangements (we used 8 freakin mics on the drum kit for the final take), and dialing in settings on my pedals. We ended up with 46 tracks by the time they left, and one of the label-runners and myself did some outboard production with pedals (this was my first time applying this new routing skill to an actual project) and ended up with 57 tracks total.
Anyways, the (unmixed/mastered!!) song sounds *way* better than the album we did together, and is probably the most professional-sounding thing I've ever recorded. Beyond that even, it validated all the time I spent sitting in front of pedals dialing in sounds and was the perfect reminder of everything I love about the recording process and making music. I feel totally reinvigorated and plan to spend this afternoon turning one of the ideas I've been sitting on since I moved into my new house/studio into an actual song.
I've also got a session on Saturday and Sunday with an old band to record a song we haven't played in months for that same compilation and I'm just beyond stoked on that. I'll share the results when they're publishable, but I just needed to share how great it feels to have my motivation back.

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Re: The Whatever Thread... for Recording!

Postby D.o.S. » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:58 am

That's awesome dude! :thumb:
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Re: The Whatever Thread... for Recording!

Postby gnomethrone » Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:20 pm

PlasticPeople: that 4 track looks rad.
Baremountian: stoked for you! sometimes you gotta hibernate for a little bit.

i found some dude on craigslist offering free recording sessions so he can practice with his analog recording rig. gonna lay down some tracks sarurday. i havent put anything down on tape in a long time so it should be fun. i'll report back with what his setup is like and what the results are.
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