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Changing workflow...

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Changing workflow...

Postby Arpangel » Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:08 am

Workflow? I suppose is the best word to use, and I'm changing it, owing to a major rearrangement of our house yesterday. Lots of things that have been left for ages finally got done, and all while I was at a SOSage meet too, which was very good, as I didn't have to break my back moving stuff.
The result is that I'm having a complete rethink of how, and what I use to record, at the moment I'm all in one room, piano, electronics, computers etc, it's not good for when friends come, and I find it's really difficult to get a good mix recording in the same space, in fact I hate it.
I'm turning the piano room into a performance space, with instruments, mic's, amps, and some sort of small high quality HD recorder, just for capturing ideas. I have another room that I can use as a mixing room, with my computers.
This will also enable me to run mic lines into the computer room for recording acoustic instruments including my piano. The piano rooom will be a good place to try out equipment set-ups for gigs.
I have my Tascam DR100 handy recorder, but it's a bit small and fiddly, I need some sort of multitrack HD recorder that's a bit more chunky, with good metering, that can be transferred to the computers via USB or memory card, any recommendations welcome.
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Re: Changing workflow...

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:38 am

The obvious suggestions would be one of the Sound Devices recorders or a Zoom F series.
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Re: Changing workflow...

Postby Bob Bickerton » Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:00 am

Agree with Sam’s suggestions - but how many channels are you looking at?

If you wanted more than 8 plus and if you needed to tweak gains easily on the fly, maybe something like the Tascam Model 16 or Model 24.

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Re: Changing workflow...

Postby Arpangel » Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:47 am

Sam Spoons wrote:The obvious suggestions would be one of the Sound Devices recorders or a Zoom F series.

Yes, I think it's too similar a solution, I may as well use my DR100 in that case.
I'm thinking maybe a small USB stick type mixer may be a good idea?
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Re: Changing workflow...

Postby The Elf » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:22 pm

You could be in danger of fragmenting your system to the point where you'll be chasing your tail with multiple devices and copying stuff from one to the other. I'd maybe suggest going for one recording system, but maybe with remote control from one room to the other.
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Re: Changing workflow...

Postby Ramirez » Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:04 pm

Perhaps an expensive solution, but I do almost all my work on a Microsoft Surface Pro 6, and use different interfaces in different situations.

I have an RME Babyface Pro, and it takes minutes to set up the Surface with it wherever I want and start recording. It’ll also run for a decent while on battery with the Babyface.
For larger location projects I run it with a Soundcraft UI24R (which incidentally, the Surface touchscreen works with beautifully)

I then have Surface Docks in the studios, connected to the main interfaces, screens, controllers, hard drives etc.

That means I have good, portable location setups, and by simply plugging in one connector, it’s all instantly connected to the main studio. No need to transfers files from one system to another.

Downsides - the Surface is quite expensive as I said, and if it isn’t powerful enough for your needs you might need another machine as well. It also means your computer goes with you everywhere, so risk of damage/loss/theft is much higher, so backup is critical (but it should always be anyway), and insurance is a factor too. Also, the docks are expensive too.
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Re: Changing workflow...

Postby Arpangel » Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:35 pm

Thanks Ramirez, but I think it would be too expensive and a bit OTT for my set-up here.
I only need to record stereo files in the live room, so I can use my DR100 set at 24/48 for good quality recording, and Incan put it anywhere, on top if the piano or on the synth table to keep an eye on levels.
The way I work means that I don't have to keep transferring files. I tend to wait until I've got lots of ideas and tracks, and then put them all on the computer in one go.
Our control room is about 10 seconds walk from the live room!
I'm not sure yet, I'll hang on and see if anymore folks chip in, or I have a "light bulb" moment!
A really good small mixer with card recording is very tempting.
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Re: Changing workflow...

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:54 pm

Multicore to the control room and mirror the main computer desktop on an iPad?
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Re: Changing workflow...

Postby Arpangel » Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:44 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Multicore to the control room and mirror the main computer desktop on an iPad?
The iPad idea is a good one, but if I'm playing in the live room I'll be recording straight to USB, or my DR100, then I'll take the card to the computer.
I like the idea of every session being like a live recording, also, that way, everything I do should in theory be capable of being played at a gig, I'm not into studio composition much these days. I just want to simplify things to one take.
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Re: Changing workflow...

Postby CS70 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:37 pm

When it comes to projects and files, nowadays you don't need to move anything manually.
Two computers, doesn't matter which, with Dropbox on (or something similar). You create the projects in the Dropbox, all files are automatically synced and you. You don't need to be online when you record for that to happen.

Use an interface in your recording room, the DAW in your mixing room, you're done.

I use this setup all the time as i tend to record in three different locations (home, the studio and other suitable locations). Even if I'm not on the net when recording, once I reactivate it they files get synced immediately.
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Re: Changing workflow...

Postby Bob Bickerton » Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:39 pm

So only stereo, but you’d like a mixer - how about something like the Presonus AR8?

Easy record onto SD card.............

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Re: Changing workflow...

Postby Arpangel » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:16 am

Bob Bickerton wrote:So only stereo, but you’d like a mixer - how about something like the Presonus AR8?

Easy record onto SD card.............

Bob

Yes that would be a solution, does the card recording work OK? Can you use high resolution like 24/48/96? I've heard bad reports about quallity and those Presonus mixers.
I already have a small Mackie, and my DR100 recorder, it will do basically the same job, but an all in one solution would be better I guess, but there doesn't seem to be a very high quallity small mixer with SD recording.
I don't need to transfer between computers, I'm only using one for editing, and really I want to record in the live room, it's spontaneous, when using acoustic instruments I can use the edit room to monitor and get a good mix, it's the main reason I've had this rearrangement.
My partner plays piano and she can help me with setting up a mix.
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Re: Changing workflow...

Postby The Elf » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:31 am

I can vouch for the Zoom LiveTrack - great little devices.

But I still can't help feeling you're fragmenting a system that should be more about cohesion.
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Re: Changing workflow...

Postby Bob Bickerton » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:34 am

Can’t vouch for them myself, but they seem to have reasonable reviews. They support 96kHz/24bit and SD cards are a pretty standard media for portable recorders.

From what you’ve described, I’d like the concept of having hands on analogue knobs along with an obvious transport module........

Sound Devices MixPres are great but would be more fiddly to operate under the circumstances you describe.

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Re: Changing workflow...

Postby Arpangel » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:55 pm

The Elf wrote:I can vouch for the Zoom LiveTrack - great little devices.

But I still can't help feeling you're fragmenting a system that should be more about cohesion.


I know what you mean, but I've got to the point with my music that it's so simple now, it's either one synth or the piano straight to stereo, how much gear do I need to record that?
Even complex multitracked pieces are made up of lots of seperate mono or stereo files, I never multi-track at the recording stage.
The biggest issue is acoustic recording, I really need a seperate control room, I can't record in the same room, it's a total PITA, playing takes to see how it sounds etc.
TBQH, I've had it with stuff, it doesn't seem to matter how much or how little stuff I've got, it makes absolutely no difference to my musical output.
Now I've just got all this stuff and it's all in chaos, just piled up, it just seems so much less hassle to just sit down at the piano, I don't have any gear issues with that, it's just there.
The only thing that stops me from selling all of my electronics is the feeling that "I may need it at some point" but my caring for it, programming, and dealing with it has become a chore, not a pleasure.
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Re: Changing workflow...

Postby The Elf » Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:38 pm

I understand what you're saying, but then you want to add more gear and more stages, which seems counter-productive. :?:
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Re: Changing workflow...

Postby Arpangel » Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:28 pm

The Elf wrote:I understand what you're saying, but then you want to add more gear and more stages, which seems counter-productive. :?:

I want to seperate the playing side, from the editing side.
Some of my music doesn't need editing, it's played and that's that. But some does need editing, or even more tracks added, and that requires a different side of my brain to playing.
I have never, ever, integrated the two, so the "adding more gear and stages" has never applied, as I've always worked in very seperate stages.
I seem to work best in a mess, when there isn't any logical layout to my studio, and when I'm not even thinking about equipment, that happens quite a bit, but sometimes, like now, I focus in on things and try and make this "ideal recording environment" but it never seems to happen, I just continue to muddle through.
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Re: Changing workflow...

Postby blinddrew » Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:06 pm

Sounds like you need to focus on getting more messy rather than trying to tidy things up. :)
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Re: Changing workflow...

Postby Arpangel » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:32 pm

blinddrew wrote:Sounds like you need to focus on getting more messy rather than trying to tidy things up. :)

Ha Ha! Yes! I know people who's studios are like junk heaps, make mine look positively tidy.
It's actually quite unnecessary and unproductive to concentrate too much on this, it's all OK when you have little equipment, or, maybe medium sized equipment! But anything beyond that, confusion and chaos work against you, and it becomes unworkable.
I like the idea of my studio being like a child's construction set, it lives in a box, it's taken out, played with, and then put back in the box, and every time you get it out you don't know what bricks your going to use, or what you're going to make with them!
I really like that idea, and it's quite possible to make that work with software, but not so easy with hardware.
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