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Messages - MrHarryReems

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Tools / Online Ear Training
« on: December 11, 2018, 16:01:22 PM »
Here is a great free site for online ear training: SoundGym | Audio Ear Training Online

The following users thanked this post: TheBuddha, SandHog

Gear Reviews / Behringer XAir-X18 Digital Mixer/interface
« on: December 11, 2018, 14:31:17 PM »
When my band recorded our last album, we were using an 8 channel interface, which made us struggle with only 4 inputs to mic up the drum kit.  I was faced with a few choices for increasing the number of inputs for our next go around.  One option was to use an ADAT  channel strip for $400-$500 to add 8 more inputs.  Another option would be to purchase a 16+ channel interface, which get very expensive beyond 8 inputs. At the same time, my tired old back was struggling to haul our huge analog mixer in its flight case to our gigs.  I had been shopping for both a digital mixer *and* a channel strip.  That's when my research led me to the Behringer XAir-X-18.

The XAir-X18 is an 18 channel digital mixer that doubles as an 18 channel digital interface.  Two birds, one stone.  I'll be honest, I've been very leary of Behringer products in the past.  They haven't always been known for their quality, but I've been forced to admit that a lot has changed.  At this point, I find the X-Air such an important piece of gear that I don't know how I lived without it.

Initially, I was worried about the quality of the preamps, as I do a LOT of recording.  My previous unit had fabulous preamps, and I was very afraid that the preamps on the XAir wouldn't be up to snuff.  The pramps on the XAir unit are designed by Midas, which makes excellent quality gear.  My concern was that 'designed by' meant that it was something Midas would never put their own name on.  Come to find out that Midas released their own version of the rack mount XR18, which was simply a rebadged unit at twice the price.  I have found that these preamps, while a tiny bit bright, are also extremely clear.  While recording my acoustic guitar, these preamps were clear enough to show me a problem that was buried by the color of my old preamps.  In a back-to-back test, I could see the same range peaking in the spectrum analyzer, but it was much more clear listening back when using the Behringer.

Another great thing about this unit is that it is small and light.  Anyone who's been in this business for any length of time knows that easy to transport gear is a blessing.  Gone are the days of breaking my back hauling around a massive analog mixer.

In regards to features, this thing is loaded.  Tons of built in DSP such as EQ, Gates, compression, reverb, chorus, delay, etc, etc..  Tons of modeled effects.  If I were to list them all, I'd be at this all day.  It also has a 100 band graphic EQ/spectrum analyzer  that makes it extremely easy to ring out feedback in with pinpoint accuracy on a narrow frequency when playing live.

It also allows you to save scenes, so if you play a number of different venues, or mix for a number of different bands, you can save the settings for the band or venue and quickly reload it without having to set everything up from scratch.

I have to admit, however, that learning how to configure the routing was a chore.  I had to RTFM and supplement that with a lot of youtoob vids.  I do have to say, however, that if the device can do it, Behringer probably has a professional quality instructional video on how to do it on youtoob.  The vids were tremendously helpful initially in getting everything setup.

This unit does not come with a control surface.  You can use any IOS or Android tablet or phone to control the device by downloading and installing the control app.  As you can have more than once control surface connected at once, you can allow each band member to control his own monitor mix with his/her cell phone!  It comes with its own internal wireless router.  However, the internal wireless router is one of the weak points of this unit.  If you are in a large venue with a lot of smartphones, you can have issues with the control surface disconnecting from the internal wireless router.   While it's possible to use a wireless frequency scanner and set it to a channel with less traffic, the best solution is to plug a more robust external router into the ethernet port on the back of the device.

This is such an incredibly capable device that has SO many features, I'm sure there are some things I'm missing.  If anyone has any questions, feel free to post up and I'll answer as best I can.
The following users thanked this post: TheBuddha, COF

Recording and Production / Re: Experiencing a weird issue with recording
« on: December 10, 2018, 16:35:50 PM »
Be sure you at least read the section in the article on gain staging.  I think between the mic, the interface, and Cakewalk Pro, you'll be more than set.  Let me know if you have probs with anything and I'll help you however I can.
The following users thanked this post: SandHog

Aww, looks like the voting is closed.  I would vote for invite only.  We need to keep those kids off of our lawn!!
The following users thanked this post: TheBuddha

General Discussion / Re: We need your Thoughts
« on: December 07, 2018, 12:35:58 PM »
And of all the comrades that e'er I had
They are sorry for my going away
And all the sweethearts that e'er I had
They would wish me one more day to stay
The following users thanked this post: TheBuddha

Recording and Production / Re: Experiencing a weird issue with recording
« on: December 07, 2018, 11:43:01 AM »
Once you have your interface and a mic, check out this article on tracking that I wrote for @TheBuddha's page.
The following users thanked this post: SandHog

Recording and Production / Re: Experiencing a weird issue with recording
« on: December 06, 2018, 01:31:23 AM »
Im thinking the sound is too loud for the mic to handle

That's a matter of gain staging.  While not recommended, it's possible to use something super sensitive like an ribbon or condenser mic on a high SPL cab, you just have to work with mic placement and gain staging. 
The following users thanked this post: SandHog

Recording and Production / Re: Experiencing a weird issue with recording
« on: December 05, 2018, 22:09:15 PM »
> Are you planning on using a keyboard controller for soft synths?

Umm, maybe? I have no earthly idea, lol. I'm an utter neophyte when it comes to all this stuff.

In that case, I'm going to rule out any interfaces without MIDI I/O.  The cost difference is negligible, and if there's even a remote possibility that you'll use it in the future, you don't want to be replacing your interface in 6 months when you realize you need it.

I'm downloading Cakewalk Pro now and I'll check it out. If I understand it correctly you run the guitar through an interface and into the software where you can record however many inputs the interface is designed for?

Got it in one.

Here is a 2 channel interface with MIDI in/out.  This was my first interface, and I credit this purchase for my entry into audio production.  It's easy to get good sounding recordings from this thing.  I later discovered that it's because the Presonus preamps are crazy hot.  It's like running a saturation plugin all the time, or a nice tube amp.  These things are $99, and while not the best interface on the planet, they're $99 and can still make a great recording.

I tend to like Focusrite preamps because they are a lot more transparent, but in order to get MIDI I/O, you are looking at $219 for the 2i4.

At $150, you have a LOT of choices:

Steinberg UR22mkII

Behringer Uphoria.  This one is a great deal because it has 4 inputs, and Midas preamps are pretty darned good.  They're not the top of the line Midas preamps, but Midas does not make junk.  It also has fantastic reviews.  Were it my money, this is what I'd be looking at.  I've recently replaced my Focusrite 18i20 with a Behringer X-Air X18 that has these same preamps, so all of my recent recordings are using similar gear.

Mackie Onyx producer at $119.  Personally, I hate Mackie preamps, but that's just my opinion, and you know what they say about opinions...

Roland Rubix 22

At any rate, take a look at these interfaces...  Any one of them would do what you need, but the Behringer would probably give you a little room to grow.  I should probably mention that it's rare that I use more than 4 inputs at once.  Pretty much only when I'm recording drums, or the whole band at once.
The following users thanked this post: SandHog

Recording and Production / Re: Experiencing a weird issue with recording
« on: December 05, 2018, 16:08:12 PM »
What you really need is an interface.  You can get by with a cheap mic... Believe it or not, I mic up my cabs with $39 GLS Audio ES-57's.  While I *do* own some more expensive mics, the ES-57's work a treat.

You can get a reasonable starter audio interface in the $100~ range.  Before I knew anything about this stuff, I was completely skeptical about audio interfaces.  I'm a computer guy, computer hardware should be good enough, right?  Nope.  There's no way I can possibly express the difference.  You simply need an interface.  If I know a little more about what you want to record now, and what your plans are for the next year in regards to what you want to record, I can offer some suggestions as to some decent starter interfaces.  How many instruments are you planning on recording at one time?  Are you planning on using a keyboard controller for soft synths?  For the record, when I'm putting my tracks together and recording the initial scratch track, I never use less than 2 inputs.  I've always got one mic on the guitar and one in my face.  More if I've got my drum machine going along with the scratch track.  I narrow that down to 1 mic when I'm doing the overdubs.

Next, we need to get you away from Audacity and onto a real DAW.  Bandlab now offers the entire Cakewalk Pro suite for free here.

Hit me back with info on what you're looking to do and I'll send you some interface recommendations.
The following users thanked this post: COF, SandHog

Recording and Production / Re: Welcome to the new board.
« on: December 01, 2018, 18:27:45 PM »
Aloha!  I'm looking forward to answering any questions I can and helping to up our production game!
The following users thanked this post: TheBuddha, SandHog

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