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My Home Recording Forum Story

by Colin
(Westwood, MA)

home recording forum

home recording forum

My home recording forum story starts with the evolution I have gone through as a recording singer songwriter. We all have different experiences and levels of expertise.


I started on a TASCAM 4 track when I was a teenager. I basically recorded my acoustic guitar and vocal with some harmonies. I was able to bounce or ping pong to create more tracks.

This taught me the basics of getting levels and blending vocals with guitar when mixing and adding reverb as well. I used this 4 track when I went to BERKLEE for home work assignments and basic demos as I blended in a drum machine and bass.

I then left the home recording process as I started to record in local Boston studios with various bands. I eventually connected with an engineer who recorded my solo work when I was signed to AMG records. He taught me a lot about double tracking vocals and guitars and adding appropriate effects.

I went on to record at Electric Lady Studios in NY, NY where I was engineered and mixed by Jonathan Seymour (Dave Matthews, Vertical Horizon, Santana etc).

This was exiting but at the end of the day the label wasn't able to push the record and I was left still not being completely independent as an engineer.

Years later I decided to invest in a home studio. This was a huge commitment because I had singing, playing and writing skills and some producing skills, but I was not an engineer.

I purchased a 16 track digital workstation (AW2816) for about $2000 and the Yamaha Motif 6 (sampler workstation) for also about $1200. I just wanted to create rhythm tracks (drums and bass) on the Motif and record vocals, acoustic and electric guitars live.

Things can be done much cheaper now using software such as Garageband, Logic, Cubase and Pro Tools. I'm starting to learn.

I knew I could create professional sounding recordings but there was a learning curve of about a year until I was finally able to create MIDI rhythm tracks (drums and bass) on the Motif and record them to the Yamaha AW2816 (16 track digital).

Yamaha was very helpful as they have a help line I was able to call as the manuals were like trying to read Greek. They walked me through when I couldn't get the technology to do what I wanted.

From here I bought HOME RECORDING FOR DUMMIES and quickly learned the need for a pre-amp among other details. I also got some solid info on EQ and compression for various instruments. I added a Shure Ksm27 microphone and a Focusrite Trakmaster channel strip to my arsenal. It encompasses a pre-amp, an optical compressor and a 3-band EQ.

It took some time, but I finally produce professional sounding instrumentals and vocal tracks for various television shows.

QUESTION: If I were to leap into the land of software, does anybody recommend which one I should use? I have a MAC and have used a Garageband a bit.

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Jan 31, 2013
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Logic vs Pro Tools
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Thanks for submitting Colin! Great story!

If you are already using a mac and have experience with Garageband, Logic may be a logical (sorry) next step. It's very similar but much more powerful. It doesn't have quite the power of Pro Tools, but you may not need that for your uses!

Cheers!

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