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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Help me improve my recording skills
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques  
Author Help me improve my recording skills
Zerius
Hello guys !

I've been wiggling for few years now with different synthesisers, drum machines and for the past 2 years on an eurorack system. I had tons of fun learning, playing and experimenting with all this material and now I'm feeling more and more interested in recording and mixing my stuffs.

My set up today is compose of:

- Eurorack system, my audio source
- Few pedals
- Rme fireface 400
- Mackie mixer 1202-VLZ Pro
- Midi keyboard
- KRK RP5 G3 monitors
- Daw, Ableton

What I would like to know now is how to properly record and mix in order to create my future tracks and also know everyone workflows.

If anyone could recommend me good tutos or any tips to get a better quality production with this set up. I don't really feel the lack of inspiration at the moment but I'm just a bit picky about sound quality and I would prefer speak with real people first who will knows what they are talking about before watching tons of videos.

My actual plan would be to mix and record everything in Ableton.

Any recommandations is welcomed, even the basics of basics and I would be happy to share my knowledge with everyone here as well since this post might also concern other members.
BenA718
You should check out Udemy and SkillShare for online courses. Lots of options to choose from!
BendingBus
Zerius wrote:
What I would like to know now is how to properly record and mix in order to create my future tracks...


I started recording in the late 80s. So much has changed with technology, but the fundamentals remain the same. For analog synths, a setup capable of capturing quality sound to "tape" is quite straightforward...

Ultimately the A/D converter is capturing the sound of your synth, and so you want the best one you can get. Set its input type to Line +4. Working backwards, now we simply trace the signal flow from prior stages to get quality analog sound to the converters at around 0VU (a decent VU meter is a great investment).

The eternal rule of recording is start with a great sound source, so you want to make sure the synth is solid; low noise, tuned, etc. Gain staging matters; you want to trace your path from the osc to the outputting vca and make sure you aren't overdriving any modules (unless that's what you want for a specific sound) and in the end are outputting 0VU-ish. I rarely see this mentioned, but you can take the same synth and playing, run different levels internally, and get quite different recording quality. Saturated sounds tend to get mucky in the low-mids, higher distortion, and lose dynamics...which then becomes a mixing challenge. Finally, use studio quality cables to chain the audio path; from osc to the A/D. The A/D is going to like 0VU, at least with mine the best distortion specs are hitting it with peaks around -12dbfs.

You've now got a good sounding synth, well gain staged, with quality connections, to a great sounding A/D. Bam, that's it. The place where a person could now screw this up is by inserting sub-quality stuff into the chain that doesn't really need to be there. For example, guitar pedals! This is sort of a nightmare, and why people use stuff like the Little Labs boxes, to get level/impedence from line sources, down to what pedals like, and then back up to pro levels for the A/D. Also, inserting cheap mixers and preamps can muck up the sound. Modulars can sound fantastic, world-class A/Ds are now affordable, and so you want to be careful about what you put in-between.

Once you've got good sounds captured, then we get into mixing, which is a whole different topic. But mixing goes a lot smoother when things were well recorded, so my advice would be to focus on that first.
Zerius
BenA718 wrote:
You should check out Udemy and SkillShare for online courses. Lots of options to choose from!


I'm gonna check few courses, some seems interesting !

BendingBus wrote:
Ultimately the A/D converter is capturing the sound of your synth, and so you want the best one you can get. Set its input type to Line +4. Working backwards, now we simply trace the signal flow from prior stages to get quality analog sound to the converters at around 0VU (a decent VU meter is a great investment).


When you say that you mean I should add +4 in my sound card interface input when recording ?
I'm mainly using digital oscillators so I should get a decent sound enough I think, they are less unstable compare to analog ones.
BendingBus
Zerius wrote:
When you say that you mean I should add +4 in my sound card interface input when recording?


Put on your list to review analog and digital levels (line+4, line-10, instrument, mic, VU, dbfs, etc). This stuff isn't glamorous, but it's fundamental knowledge important in today's analog/digital hybrid world. I think there is a tendency for beginners to skip the basics and go right into fun advanced topics, and then around year 15 finally go back and learn this core stuff (which has quietly been causing problems in their system for years). If I had a time machine, I'd go back and learn this stuff first.
Eichburger
BendingBus wrote:
Zerius wrote:
When you say that you mean I should add +4 in my sound card interface input when recording?


Put on your list to review analog and digital levels (line+4, line-10, instrument, mic, VU, dbfs, etc). This stuff isn't glamorous, but it's fundamental knowledge important in today's analog/digital hybrid world. I think there is a tendency for beginners to skip the basics and go right into fun advanced topics, and then around year 15 finally go back and learn this core stuff (which has quietly been causing problems in their system for years). If I had a time machine, I'd go back and learn this stuff first.


Sound on Sound magazine archive is a brilliant resource for this.
joeTron
Gather your favorite recordings, digitally import them into your DAW and listen to them through your speakers. Do an A/B test : Using 2 stereo tracks, compare your pieces against your favorite recordings ( Make sure they're the same volume level !!!). Then make a list of problems and/or solutions. REPEAT.
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