4 March 2005

Recording for dummies

home studio

[Studio-sweet-studio. Here's the current state of my little corner of the condo. I'm currently working on the rondo from Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 7 in D, Op. 10 No. 3. After playing nothing but my own music for-it-seems-like-forever, it's refreshing to get back to some Beethoven or Bach. On the top of the piano is my binder for The Journalist (I'm re-learning a couple of songs from there), for The Silent Spectrum, and the sheet music for "The Spider," an instrumental by Kansas that I'm also re-learning. Out of laziness, I haven't put away any of the recording equipment yet. The wife may put an end to that laziness soon enough.]

Mason recently asked about my recording process: I'm afraid it isn't all that interesting. It's the home studio equivalent of pressing PLAY and RECORD on a Radio Shack tape recorder. I didn't want to labor over it--I just wanted to get a listenable version of the music recorded. The equipment is:


I recorded the piano first (2 tracks) with the top lid of the piano open and the mics positioned right next to the strings. I then recorded the voice separately (1 track) while listening to the piano part on headphones connected to the MR-8. I can only store 128 MB on the MR-8 CF card (too poor right now to buy a sweet 1 Gig card), so for longer songs I had to burn an MP3 and use my iRiver player to listen to the piano as I sang. I'm sure the neighbors were thrilled. Some of the songs' piano parts were recorded in several pieces because their WAVs were too big to fit on the card, but also because of convenience. There are some very obvious and distinct sections in many of the songs, and those were easier to record separately.

You can connect the MR-8 to a computer through USB, but it's not convenient so I just take the card and copy the files to the PC. I then drop the WAVs into separate tracks in a Cakewalk project. The only editing I did in Cakewalk was to paste the sections together, cut out glaring mistakes (then paste in the re-recorded fixes), adjust the tracks that were recorded too quietly, and split left and right piano.

[ posted by sstrader on 4 March 2005 at 2:54:09 PM in Music ]