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Best Recording Software & Hardware ?
Topic Started: 13 Feb 2017, 04:42 PM (227 Views)
Bobbie
inline ocarinist
I'm brand new to recording my Oc. Just tried it for the first time today. Any advice you have I'd greatly appreciate.

I'm on Linux so I tried the Audacity program. Free and capable, but not too obvious how to use it. Would you recommend this product or some other?

I have two used Mics -- a Realistic Electret Microphone 33-1065 and a BSR (no model number). The latter has an on/off switch and reverb knob. Both run off a single AA battery and plug into the standard round Mic port on my pc.

I've successfully recorded into MP3 files.

But my recordings have some background white noise I'd like to eliminate. How do I clean this up?

Any advice? How do you record and what software and hardware do you use? Thank you.
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WinterdrivE
Inline Ocarinist x 3
If all you need to do is combine a recording with a backing track and maybe add some reverb, Audacity is the way to go. Audacity isn't great for really complex projects (eg, mixing and mastering vocals), but it can do the basics really well for free.

As for the background noise, you can use Audacity's noise removal effect to try to get rid of it.

However, a better and more permanent fix for background noise would be to get better equipment. While the noise removal in Audacity can be useful, I try to avoid it because it degrades the quality of the recording. (It has a tendency to remove more than just the noise) Better equipment shouldn't create as much noise, so you won't have to use noise removal which gives you a better final product.

I use a Samson C01U mic along with the program REAPER. I mostly deal with vocal and electronic music though, so you might not need something as heavy duty as a full digital audio workstation. I'd recommend starting with Audacity and then if you feel you need to upgrade, you can try out a DAW like REAPER or LMMS.

I would, however, really recommend the C01U. If you're willing to spend about $80 on a mic, it's a really great option. I don't have a point of reference since it's the only mic (aside from my laptop's built in mic) that I've used, but I'm satisfied with it and it has good reviews. It also connects through a USB port so you don't need any extra equipment.
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avery
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i love H.Fiehns
i use audacity it just takes a bit to learn
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Bobbie
inline ocarinist
Thanks for the advice.

WinterDrivE, I tried using the Noise Removal feature in Audacity, and just like you said, it helped clean up the white noise, but it also degraded the recording quality. Oh well, at least I know how to use that now.

Looks like Audacity and my current Mics are a great way to start. I'll keep learning with them for now.

If I start running into limitations, I'll check into those nicer Mics you mention. Thanks.
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LillyDragon
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*sips tea*
If you want to do recordings on a budget in the meantime, one thing that helps me out is to record in a smaller room. When I record in the bedroom with my phone's mic, a lot of noise and echoes get into the recording, while in a closet stuffed to the ceiling with clothes and boxes, additional noise is very minimal. (I still get "photobombed" by air traffic outside sometimes, though.) Easy Sound Recorder on Android is surprisingly great at picking up musical instruments with the right settings.

Granted, it's still not 100% clean or ideal; I mostly do recordings with it right now to analyze my progress as a player. Even on a mobile device, you always get the best mileage with professional mics hooked up, so I agree with WinterDrivE on that. (And I second that LMMS is great.) I've had my eye on the Yeti Snowball for a while, since it's an affordable model recommended by a couple of my artist friends.

Some soundproofing foam tiles on the walls might be great as well, if you have a large room. As far as I know, that should help control echoes/reverberation in the room. Amazon sells them, which will eventually be tempting for me once I improve. They would look cool in the bedroom anyway.
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Gemstone
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more practicing would be nice
I read into this thread as I also wanted to start with some recording. As my boyfriend owns a mixer which I can use when he doesn't need it , I wanted a microphone and from recommendations here on the forum I got the Shure SM57 and a fitting XLR cable. It was partly a gift and I don't know much about it, I tried it out a bit yesterday. Anyway, I'm using Audacity and planning on watching somne tutorials for it and getting into it when I got more time next week.
Off-topic: When I tried it out it sounded quite good for my untrained ears. Apart from the Noise Removal feature I applied low/high pass filters to eradicate some noise. Is this an option, too? I checked with a tuner to find out at what frequencies the highest and lowest tones on my ocarina are and then deleted all others. I'm not sure if this is a good way to do, but it seemed to work. Please let me know if this is too much off-topic, then I'll open another thread :)
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WinterdrivE
Inline Ocarinist x 3
The high and low pass filters can certainly help to reduce noise. However, be careful with the low pass filter.

Many sounds (most, in fact) aren't just a single frequency, but exist on many frequencies at once. In music, the pitch that we "hear", eg A4, B6, etc, is in fact only the lowest and loudest frequency that that sound exists on, called the fundamental frequency. There are many other frequencies, called harmonics, that are on other frequencies above the fundamental which all come together to create the individual tone of the instrument. For example, a clarinet playing A4 and a flute playing A4 will both have a fundamental pitch at about 440 Hz (depending on precisely how they're tuned), however, there are many other harmonics above 440 Hz that differ between the two instruments, which is why a flute and clarinet playing the same note still don't sound the same.

When you use a tuner, the frequency that the tuner shows is only the fundamental frequency.

If you low pass too close to the fundamental, you run the risk of also cutting out the harmonics that give the instrument it's character. Ocarinas by nature have very quiet harmonics, but especially if you enjoy a reedier or chiffier tone, you'll want to be careful not to low pass too low, because much of the individual character of the instrument resides above the fundamental pitch.

Similarly, high passing too high can run the risk of cutting the fundamental, however since the fundamental is already the lowest frequency in the sound, there's not much below the fundamental other than noise and hum, which you'd want to eliminate anyways, so it doesn't garner as much caution as the low pass.

And LillyDragon brings up a very good point about your surroundings when recording.

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yordan
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total amateur
I can generally second the opinions about the Audacity for Linux and Windows, and Easy Sound Recorder for Android. Still, if you want really good recording, you will already cover it with Audacity and some good external mic. PCM recorders from Olympus, Zoom, etc are good integrated solutions, which could be obtained for some 120-150EUR - they have low and high-pass filters, noise reduction, etc already during the recording. Post-processing with Audacity afterwards is usually enough for a good recording.
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Gemstone
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more practicing would be nice
Hi WinterdrivE, thanks for your advice! I hope I may add without being too much off-topic that I guess (only a guess) I didn't cut off too much off the frequencies as we chose quite a large gap between the frequencies we read off the tuner and the settings we used in Audacity. At least I'm very pleased with the results and I'm hoping to continually improve my playing and especially breath control so that some future recordings sound nicely. As for Bobbie, i can't really recommend but the software as I'm just getting to know it, but up to now it was nice to work with.
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wAllop1
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Professional novice
Just throwing this out there, if you want something that is portable and isn't tied to a computer, the Tascam DR-40 (or the Zoom H4n) is a great option as it has decent built in stereo mics and two combo Neutrik Quarter inch/XLR inputs with phantom power. The built-in mics themselves have a relatively large amount of hiss (still very low at normal recording volumes), but the inputs are basically silent. I have used it regularly for recording videos and various electronic instruments, and it can record in up to 24 bit WAV/BWF at 92 kHz. I also use Adobe Audition for most audio editing, but Audacity works very well too.
And FWIW, your surroundings are very important when recording something, acoustics make all the difference. I find that a larger, less reflective room (or outside) works better for me, but that's just my preference. You just want to avoid it sounding harsh and overblown, and should probably avoid placing the mic too close
Edited by wAllop1, 16 Feb 2017, 02:26 AM.
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Bobbie
inline ocarinist
My friend who gave me my used microphones is now offering me a mixer -- a Realistic 32-12008 model.

What could I do with it?

Could I collect multiple ocarina tracks and put them into one song?

That would be awesome... my very own ocarina duet!

How do you record multiple times into one file?
Edited by Bobbie, 16 Feb 2017, 05:09 AM.
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wAllop1
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Professional novice
It would be better to just record them individually and add them together in software like Audacity
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Bobbie
inline ocarinist
Is there any way to record, then play that back while playing the harmony, and record them both as one file?

For me, at least, that would be the easiest way to ensure proper timing and that the melody and harmony fit together best.

Thanks.
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WinterdrivE
Inline Ocarinist x 3
^ yeah, record the first track, then hit record again and whatever's already on the screen will play as you record (unless you mute it).
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Achint
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Fat Mouse >^_^<

http://theocarinanetwork.com/topic/6994315/4/#new

This might help.

Aaand these:

http://theocarinanetwork.com/topic/6995149/1/#new

http://theocarinanetwork.com/topic/6995742/1/#new

http://theocarinanetwork.com/topic/7012187/1/#new

Also if you want to record a separate harmony, start on a new track. Do not record on the same track or you'll just overwrite what you had before.
Edited by Achint, 17 Feb 2017, 10:07 AM.
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Kitten Forest
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Transverse Ocarinist x 4
Personally, I find KdenLive to work good on Linux for doing audio or video just because it is more familiar to me due to its similarity to programs like iMovie that I used to use. It does have some good features, but not as much as programs specifically for sound editing. Regardless of what program, Achint has a good point about harmony. Recording parts separately as it makes it easier to edit and then all the tracks can show up as some programs do overwrite it.
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Bobbie
inline ocarinist
Thanks for the good advice. I'm following up on it, including those good links. Cheers.
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