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Recording noise
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Synth Noise  
Author Recording noise
Hi, guys.

I'm wondering what kind of recording setups you use for making noise recordings. I guess anything goes, but I'm looking for ideas. Tinkering and reconfiguring my setup usually seems to be pretty inspiring.

Do you have one device (computer, maybe) that you use as the end point to capture all of your sounds and then arrange, or are you recording some sources to different devices and then playing that into your final recorder as a performance, or...? Or do you feel like recordings are for capturing a performance with other gear, and not for being part of the performance?

I've been experimenting with using my phone and tape deck to capture audio and synths and whatnot, and then playing these back (through effects and along with feedback loops or whatever else I've got going on) and recording the performance through a miked guitar cabinet.

Just curious what others do.
I record into a zoom h4n via a small mixer, then push the whole thing through soundtoys decapitator. touch up with some eq and whatnot in ozone 5 and good to go
I've been using a 1/4" reel to reel, but I just got lucky and got a used one for like $10, I don't think it sounds better than recording to a computer, but I like that I can just flip a lever and it starts recording. I also feel like recording to a medium that isn't free or really close to free (tape vs hard drive) makes me do a better job playing and forces me to record less and then I actually make more finished stuff.
for me a Zoom H4 too.
(mixer between recorder and modular / noise sources)
Another Zoom H4n fan here. cool

Great location recorder....
Live to Zoom H6 here from Bugbrand Stereo Compress ... Quadraphonic or better is fun too from H6 tracks processed using Audacity in Linux.
For cold airy stuff I go straight to digital, usually Logic. If I want a hot and dirty recording, I'll record into my Fostex X-26 four track(max speed) with the inputs over driven then transfer to Logic.

I also have a Sony handheld recorder I'll use to record room tone in tandem or anything else really, I have it with me all the time.
I bought a Tascam Portastudio Mk2 cassette four track a few months ago. I mix down to either a tape deck or Audacity on Ubuntu. I've loved the move to recording to tape, best move I've made in a long time.
cmcavoy wrote:
I bought a Tascam Portastudio Mk2 cassette four track a few months ago. I mix down to either a tape deck or Audacity on Ubuntu. I've loved the move to recording to tape, best move I've made in a long time.

I love tape. I'm usually in a huge hurry, so I've been trying this as a compromise:

At some point, I'd like to go all tubes (mixer) to tape and not be in a hurry. SPL makes (has made) some cool stuff, and it lends to wiggling live too. It sounds nice and dirty and adds a lot of space to a track without stepping on the raw source too much. Likely old news around here.
print as much as ever possible to cassettes/reels, then back to reaper to remove unnecessary crappness.
I am using Zoom H2 / H4 as well with mixer. Line in or mic for field recordings.
jwhtn - I use the same techniques you do basically. It all ends up on Tascam 112 stereo deck. I use cassette loops on old Radio Shack decks, a Tascam 414 4 track with multi track loops, Tascam DR03 digi recorder, microcassettes and some pedal loopers. Mix and combine live onto tape.

I do some live reamping like you mentioned. Small self powered 4" speakers to Sunn 18".

I'm looking at the new TC Electronics WireTap pedal as another easy to use recording source.
I use a Sony PCM‑M10 and monitor with headphones. Works well and I can use it portably to record sounds.
Seeing a lot of love for the Zoom H4N. I'm new to field recorders. Any reason why this one is so great?
bernwerlin wrote:
Seeing a lot of love for the Zoom H4N. I'm new to field recorders. Any reason why this one is so great?

It's not that it's magnificent, but it is a good cross of affordable and good sound quality. Nice and easy to record on, and taking it out for field recording is easy, just need a cheap ol furry windscreen.
The Zoom is not very good for field recording, its preamps are noisy and suck for recording quiet sounds. There is a great comparison here - There are other cheap recorders that will perform significantly better. Never understood why everyone loves the Zoom...
Seven Experiments
I say use any way to record. Whatever helps you translate your vision to recorded music/noise. There is no wrong way to record. There is no right way to record. Just record.

I use multiple ways of recording.

1st is Mackie 1202 mixer in Zoom H4n (easy, quick, just have to watch levels) Bad thing, have to eventually put sounds into to computer to work with.

2nd is Mackie into cassette 4-track. Also awesome and don't have to worry about latency from computer when adding overdubs. And you can record reverse takes, slow down, speed up sounds.

3rd is straight into computer. Works best, but kinda kills creativity to me. I have to be in a certain mindset.

4th is a two computer option. Run modular throught computer #1 (old computer) with Guitar Rig or Reaktor to add effects then run that through main computer to do actual recording.

I love the Zoom H4n. No it is not the best. There are probably a lot of more recorders that perform better. But it is what I have. I love it for its strengths and its weaknesses. Something does not have to be the best to be loved.

Although, I do look to get a recorder better suited for field recording. I am in no hurry and I will still use the Zoom. It is all about options.
It's also worth noting that you can significantly improve the quality of your field recordings by getting some external microphones. Built in mics almost universally suck, and even a cheap external omni stereo pair or a decent shotgun mic will give you vastly superior recordings. And, of course, good technique.
Seven Experiments
100% agree.
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