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Simple recording setup for practice

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by rdwhitti, Nov 16, 2016.

  1. rdwhitti

    rdwhitti Tele-Holic

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    I want a simple way to record my practice and don't want or need the complexity of a digital DAW, or at least I don't think that I do. I have been tempted just to get a basic cassette recorder but cassettes were never a quality medium and are now hard to find. I have looked at portastudios but don't know what I am looking at.

    At least twice now at the local GC they have said that to record an amp via mike requires the amp to be LOUD as in 8 or 9 on the volume, and at home this is simply not possible. I am not looking for production quality here. I have a Deluxe Reverb RI.

    I currently have a Tascam handheld recorder DR22 if I remember but hate the small buttons and display.

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. rdwhitti

    rdwhitti Tele-Holic

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    A portastudio may be the simplest approach but the current models seem to have small hard to read displays is there something similar with an easier to manage interface?
     
  3. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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  4. rdwhitti

    rdwhitti Tele-Holic

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    I've already got a better handheld recorder but hate the small buttons and display, thanks anyway.
     
  5. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    A DAW is only as complex as you make it.

    You can record one track at a time for the rest of your life
    with any DAW if that's what you're after.

    Then, after you record your instrument, you hit play and play it back. Simple.

    The cheapest way to go is to get a free version of Audacity and be done with it.

    Load it on your laptop or your home computer and record every simple
    idea that pops in your head. That's it from my perspective.

    There's nothing complicated about it. It's the operators (us) that seem to
    complicate matters. Just cuz the damn thing has a few bells and whistles
    doesn't mean you have to use them. Hell, I never use the parking brake
    on any of my cars! Or the high beams. That has never swayed my car buying decision.
     
  6. rdwhitti

    rdwhitti Tele-Holic

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    Thanks, I know they don't have to be complicated but they just scare me. I'm the type that wants to learn all of the details, to the detriment of my playing. I envision something like the old tape recorders that only had play, record, ff, rewind, etc. Maybe an iTrack Solo and an iPad? What mic? And does the amp really need to be that loud (I am in a quiet neighborhood with no traffic noise)?
     
  7. xafinity

    xafinity Friend of Leo's

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    life is so hard
     
  8. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    No man, the amp doesn't need to be loud at all.

    Listen, when starting off, any mic will do. Also, any amp will do
    and any recorder will do!

    I remember recording through some pretty crazy things just to get a sound.
    I even remember recording to VCR machines to get 2 hours of recording time!
    Man, those were the days!

    I still have recordings I did on bouncing cassettes back and forth.

    Just get yourself involved and busy at it. Set goals on how much fiddling
    you will do before you actually start a recording session. I usually give myself
    ten minutes and not much else before I hit the record button. If I don't
    do that, then I run the risk of getting deeper into some irrelevant crap
    that leads me away from music.
     
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  9. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The Tascam looks like a neat little unit. Do you have a tablet or large smart phone you can connect to it (via wi-fi)? That might get around the small buttons and display problem.

    Amps are generally recorded at a loud volume when using a dynamic microphone (although it isn't a necessity if it's just a practice recording). But using a condenser microphone (like your Tascam has), normal listening volume should be just fine.
     
  10. still_fiddlin

    still_fiddlin Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Have you tried to use the Tascam? It's more than adequate for what you want to do, and it does just have a record and play button like a tape recorder. (Tascam was a tape recorder company, after all.) It won't get any simpler than that. Download and print the manual. Get or use your own short camera tripod to mount the recorder so it aims at your amp, and push Record.

    An iPad will also require a microphone plugin and some means to hold the iPad or mic near the amp. Now you're talking a lot of money to get a recording you can already do with the Tascam, but it's certainly an option. Plus you'd need to learn GarageBand or something like that to record and playback. It's not wasted effort, if that's your ultimate goal, but more work upfront to simply hear how you sound through the amp!

    Good luck! (I started with a Sony cassette recorder, but rely on digital recorders, or the occasional interface-DAW route these days.)
     
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  11. Martin R

    Martin R Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Get Audacity, get a cheap interface, get a mic, get a $40 ART TubeMP preamp and record.
    IF your amp is low you'll have enough gain with the pre to feed into the DAW.
     
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  12. Alamo

    Alamo Doctor of Teleocity

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    Reading this seems to imply that you haven't taken your time to get familiar with the device. right?
    get used to it.
    hey, I can eyeball the recording level on my H1 at rehearsals because they don't change much anyway. set and forget.
    a little under-exposure can be normalized on the pc. if it overloads the red light will be flashing. turn down a little.
    now just find the record, start & stop button and voila, you're ready to go.
    quite a small learning curve required. have some good lighting and reading glasses perhaps.
    I too hate those small fonts but still get by just memorizing what needs to be done.
     
  13. rdwhitti

    rdwhitti Tele-Holic

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    Yes I have tried using the Tascam to record and I didn't like the results. I mint get an external mic and feed it into the Tascam so that I can leave it on the desk in front of me.

    I guess I'm just an old fogey and am used to the way things used to be. LARGE buttons and LARGE displays/meters (like on an open-reel tape deck). I have toyed with the idea of getting an old Teac or Tascam open reel deck, and might yet.
     
  14. rdwhitti

    rdwhitti Tele-Holic

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    Yes I have taken the time with it and am ready to throw it in the trash can.
     
  15. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    What didn't you like about the results with the Tascam? I haven't used the DR22 but Tascam is usually very reputable.
     
  16. The Blood

    The Blood Tele-Meister

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    I've used a lot of recorders over the years for setting up a groove to play along with, and recently discovered loopers, which have the advantage of allowing you to set up a track immediately without any fiddling whatsoever. I've learned that if it takes any time to setup I won't do it after a few days being inherently lazy I guess.
     
  17. 5ofeight

    5ofeight Tele-Holic

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    My first efforts of recording my practise stuff was direct to my phone, It wasn't of good quality though and it wasn't long before I moved on to using a DAW. This is a far better option, I plug my guitar direct to my PC using a cable I bought off ebay for 2 or 3 GBP's. I was using Audacity but have since moved on to REAPER which is also free to download and use, a little latency lag but with a few tweeks that was sorted out..
     
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  18. rdwhitti

    rdwhitti Tele-Holic

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    Thin sound that was difficult to control. if I kept the recording level low enough to prevent clipping the sound was very faint and thin. I was using the internal mike and tried all of the suggestions in the manual. I have not tried an external mic.
     
  19. BelairPlayer

    BelairPlayer Tele-Afflicted

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    Mistercharlie likes this.
  20. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Friend of Leo's

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    A looper may work for what you want. One with plenty of storage, and you can dub parts on top of each other and practice getting it tight and good sounding, or use it for backing to solo over.
     
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