Home Recording without Headphones

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by Telecaster88, Feb 21, 2020.

  1. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 Tele-Meister

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    Hey guys, here's my deal... I played in bands from the mid-80's through the mid-90's, until I developed hyperacusis... you can read about what hyperacusis is at Wikipedia. In the wake of my illness I had to quit playing for about twenty years. Nowadays my ears are MUCH better, but still not 100% and I have to be very careful of the sounds (volume and tone) I subject them to.

    In my middle age we are "getting the band back together" to record some new stuff. We'll be recording in my drummer's basement studio. Because of my hearing disorder I have to come up with some workarounds from the standard recording techniques... I need to avoid the drums, and I can't use headphones to track. So my plan is to keep it simple. Here are my thoughts:

    I'll record vocals and electric guitar live with my drummer acting as a live click track, providing a beat on maracas, or tambourine or tapping lightly on a tom or something. I play electric while I sing (strumming etc), with my small amp in the next room, miked. I'll be able to sing along with the guitar and there should be minimal bleed. Then drummer and bass overdub onto these basic tracks. If I need to do any guitar overdubs, I can run DI into the DAW, so no mics are involved, and no need for phones.

    Does this make sense? Are there any obvious better workarounds I'm not thinking of? I'm super excited to record again, but also a little worried. I need to keep my ears healthy. I think this should work though.

    Thoughts? Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
  2. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Doctor of Teleocity

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    Have you ever heard of a Jam Hub? You can set the levels for each instrument and vocal. They were bought out but
    you might find some still out there.

    jh.jpg
     
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  3. Martin R

    Martin R Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Sounds like a good workaround if you can deal with it.
     
  4. Splodgeness

    Splodgeness Tele-Meister

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    Here's a thought.....How about the drummer doesn't actually play anything but acts as a conductor, giving you a visual indication of the beat? He/she could wear headphones with a click track in order to keep time. That way you would not get the extra sound on the tracks you are recording (obviously!).
     
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  5. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Friend of Leo's

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    I think it's a good workaround but I would do try to make your guide something that will be in the final mix. Eg have your bass player record a track to a click then you play along with the bass. You could re-record the bass later if necessary but that way any bleed would be buried by the real track.

    I have an album where if you turn it up loud you can actually hear the click from the drummer's headphones bleeding through in one part. You would only notice if you were listening for it, but that kind of thing bugs me. Well done on getting back in the game!
     
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  6. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    Some of the roland digital drums are cheap and can sound excellent.

    We use a v drums kit for rehearsals and recording. Not sure if your drummer is interested, but it can eliminate a lot of micing and bleed problems. They can play along with bass and rhythm guitars all direct to desk.
     
  7. Ducerro

    Ducerro Tele-Holic

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    Wow! I didn't realize that this was an issue that others had - nor did I know it had a medical term. I have this as well. Mine is VERY mild though and has very seldom caused an issue - triggered by high pitched sounds such as a recorder (those flute like devices). Had a guy in church who played a recorder during songs from the pews (no band) and I almost had to quit going to church because of it. He would play and the ear pain was over the top intense (for me). AND it would literally make me furious. He started playing one Sunday and I just got up and walked out. Had to sit in the truck for the rest of the sermon to calm down. Pastor asked why I had left - but he really already knew. It turns out several others had "complained" as well, so the pastor had to ask the guy to stop.
     
  8. randomhitz

    randomhitz Tele-Meister

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    Here's an option I've tried a little. Ribbon mics absolutely reject everything from the side, only pick up front and back. You set yourself in the next room with a small monitor speaker positioned directly to the side of the ribbon mic and your amp in the main room. You can adjust the volume of your small monitor speaker so that there is very little leakage into the vocal mic. I haven't tried this method with full band tracking but I have done vocal overdubs right in front of the board with one of the studio monitors turned off and the null side of the ribbon mic angled at the other monitor.
     
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  9. Modman68

    Modman68 Tele-Holic

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    Back in the day, I was recording lead vocal tracks and did not like the way headphones messed with things... felt too isolated and compressed.

    The engineer set up monitors in the drum room that were wired reverse phase and I sang in there. The reversal canceled out most of the bleeding sound. Worked great.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
  10. randomhitz

    randomhitz Tele-Meister

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    You also try monitoring the band with bone conducting headphones while hearing your voice live in the room.
     
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  11. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    T-88, there are no rules ! Seems to me you figured out a way to go forward . There's a million ways to skin the Cat so they say.

    Best to you .

    tp
     
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  12. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 Tele-Meister

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    Thanks so much for your thoughts, everyone! This all gives me some ideas to pursue if I need to... I appreciate it!
     
  13. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

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    You might have the beat strobing silently on a screen. I’d like 1 2 3 4 flashing on a big TV. And the drummer taps lightly on your back.

    Or easier the drummer can tap you on the back while listening to a click track. If he taps too hard the mic might pick it up.

    Or instead of a click track a kick drum on beats 1 and 3 (or what fits the song). Though it bleeds into tracks it will disappear in most songs when the drummer is added. You can pick a kick drum that has the initial sharp percussive more muffled.
     
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  14. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 Tele-Meister

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    Well, we recorded today, and it went great! Tracked four songs worth of guitar and vocals... Double tracked the vocals and a bit of guitar. (I flubbed a couple guitar notes, so we double tracked those so we could fix things in the mix.)

    I just listened quietly to the studio monitors instead of using phones when recording the vocals, and it worked fine. There was some bleed from the monitors, but only about as much as you might expect to get from headphone bleed... And we're not Steely Dan, so I think it will work out just fine. :)

    Thank you all so much for your advice in this thread!
     
    Steve 78 likes this.
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