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Questions about my process
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques  
Author Questions about my process
And when I say 'Process' I mean I record live into a Zoom H2n and that's the end of it! hihi

I have been thinking of making a short record to post onto Band camp and MAYBE make some physical CDs.

I'm thinking of recording at home and then bringing all of the WAVs to a studio to have them mastered etc.

I can edit a bit but am really a beginner. I have friends in various studios that would work on my stuff.

I'm wondering if there are particular things to watch out for when recording this way. I just make sure my recording isnt clipping and go. Would compressing and EQing the entire track suffice, or would it be better to go for a more traditional approach in the studio. I'd like this record to sound like it was recorded simply but be mastered etc. properly.
I think you should look for someone who would just master your tracks as you say.. But why not send them two samples initially to see if you are getting a decent recording they can work with. Dont add any compression to start, just eq so that all the parts have their space. Recording is a process as you say, so give it a shot.

I use a Zoom R8 and it’s surprisingly good. You don’t need to record that hot from my experience. I would do 24 bit if it has that option. Just some quick thoughts.
I guess it depends a fair amount on the type of music you are doing, but you may want to consider recording onto separate tracks different parts of your synth to make it easier to mix and master it.

As thevegasnerve was saying, it may be worthwhile getting somebody with mastering experience to listen to some of your recordings and get tips from them.
Yeah, if there is one thing that can stifle a potentially good mix it’s not being able remove the layers that have issues, or eq them properly.
I tend to record live and don’t necessarily separate all my tracks out since I only have 8 tracks, sometimes that’s a problem.. But the benefits outweigh the negatives with not using a DAW for me.
Usually you want to be well below 0db. Maybe -6 tops.
If you want to give a little extra punch you can put a limiter on your master before you post it up. I usually put 4 or 5 db of hard limiting with waves l1+ ultramaximizer if it's not getting mastered. I fucked up a couple tracks though limiting without good monitors. Dont overdo it or you can unpleasant distortion. It should be transparent but louder not crushed.

Link is in my sig to my soundcloud.
I did some tracks like this last year as a kind of workflow experiment. Ran my Eurorack, a drum machine and a couple DIY synths into a small mixer, then brought the mix out to a pair of JBL speakers, and the same stereo mix to a Zoom H4n on line inputs.
One of the things that I ran into is that it is hard to judge the volume of your bass instruments. What sounds great at high volume, may actually be not quite loud enough, if you have a very resonant space.
Or it is blasting way too loud, if your space has a null around the main bass frequency.
I chased my tail on this for bit until I started using headphones to get my mix balanced, then would leave the bass/drum machine relationship alone after I turned on the speakers.

But honestly I am not very happy with how most of those tracks came out. There is something about the Zoom analog to digital converters that makes things sound grainy and harsh if they are even a bit distorted or have irregular harmonic content. I do wonder if putting a stereo mix through an analog compressor with very mild settings could help. Or possibly a gentle stereo EQ?

Live to 2 track is admirable, but it's almost that you need to do about a dozen takes to get one good mix.
I sometimes record like this, just straight into my zoom h2n.

If I have the time or was going to put something out as a release on Bandcamp though I’d probably breakdown the indervidual parts and record those off separately. That way as mentioned each part can be tweaked a bit, fixed for mixing and mastering.
I've similarly trialled the stereo mix only recording. It was fantastic for getting me to really commit to sounds and a good performance as it took away the 'ill fix it when I mix' thought. Led to a much better performance, more brash bold rough (what I wanted). But my mastering engineer hates it. He has to work so much harder to get it sonically up to scratch. He ends up making copies of it to try and put together a makeshift multi track anyway. My space isn't acoustically perfect and I bet neither is yours, so you can't hear clearly enough to nail the balance. Especially when you're also focusing on the performance.
I've returned to multi tracking but get my masterer to mix the stems. I give him a rough mix, where I like to ride the faders, pretending I'm back in the room with my former self creating the piece, but performing a mix. My masterer and I are developing a good working relationship over each track I give him where he's understanding what I want more, and I'm getting better at explaining it.
I suggest asking your mates to have go mixing your multi tracks. If it sounds rad then get it mastered.
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