Thursday, June 20, 2013

Data Dump

The Zoom H6 will be a portable 6-track recorder for only $400.
I also realized that I can get 10 analog inputs with my Focusrite 18i6 and the Apogee Mini-me.

RCCNY June 19 2013
The Amateur Mind
Professionals are never satisfied.
T226 movement 3 take 1
(Note to Drew: Gain at 36.1, Oktava mics)
T232 movement 3 take 2
T235 take 3 w/pu ("with pickup")
T243 take 1 w/pu
T245 movement 2 take 2
T247 take 3
T248 last chord take 2
T250 take 4 (noises over beginning)
T253 Movement number 4 take 1
T254 movement number 4 take 2
T256 pu ending
T257 pu take 2
T258 pu take 3
T260 number 5 take 1
T264 take 2
T227 pu
T269 with marker for video w/repeat of number 2 (and others) w/ number 4  w/ number 5
T270 w/ 2 "claps" (multiple takes)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Fiddly but cheap

Basically there are no portable little desktop workstations which will record more than 8 tracks at a time. As far as I can tell. And Yamaha seems to simply be out of the market.
But here's the thing: I have a Tascam 680 (six-channel) portable recorder. And I also co-own a Sound Devices 702 which has very nice preamps. And then Greg has a Fostex 2-channel machine. So if, and yeah it's annoying, but if we used all three machines we'd have 10 channels of pure love.
The Tascam US-2000 is the only sub-$1000 box that'll help. I mean, it needs a computer but at least it's USB. Yeah, there are some standalone 16-track machines at about $500 but meh.

The line inputs on the US-2000 can only handle +20dBu. And the mic inputs are even worse, only being able to put up with +12dBu before they crap out. For those of you playing along at home the "instrument" level inputs will only do +16.
(Ugh. I hate typing "+" in blogger now because it apparently wants me to link things to some dumb Google Hangouts thingy. Bleh.)
So, getting back to recording on three separate recorders. It's very fiddly. And one has to line up the tracks all by hand. Truthfully I end up lining up tracks by hand much of the time anyway.

Okay but I still have to figure out how we want to split out the tracks. We'll be recording at 48kHz and 24-bit. We're doing that just... because. I don't even want to have to justify it anymore, it's just the way things are.

Kick -- Lindell preamp 1
Snare -- Lindell preamp 2 to Fostex
OH L -- Neve 1
OH R -- Neve 2
Tom 1 -- Sound Devices 702 Left
Tom 2 -- Sound Devices 702 Right
Bass -- Aphex tube preamp 2
Greg's guitar -- Neve 3. Or. Or we could use a Lindell preamp (because we did one recording with the Lindell and it sounded pretty good) is a possibility. If we were to do that we could flip one of the Neves to the kick (which also tends to work as a room mic.)
Drew's guitar -- Neve 4
Adjunct bass -- because what band doesn't need two basses? This would be a Countryman or an Aphex channel to the right channel of the Fostex

So that's 10 channels of recording. Three recorders -- the Tascam, a Fostex, and a Sound Devices. We have 8 outboard mic preamps (two Lindell, four Neve, two Aphex). This will work. And it'll only be slightly annoying to set up. And slightly annoying to re-align and mix.
The other option is some other sort of recorder. I don't know. But now you don't know as much as I don't know. So there.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

That then, which what.

You want random notes that don't make sense to anyone but me?
I can give you those.
I visited a studio recently. They had a pretty complete preamp collection -- including 8 channels of API, some Great River, even a pair of the same Neve 1272's by Brent Averill that I have. Funny thing was that their monitors were those Mackie Genelec knockoffs and a pair of the "new" Yamaha NS10's. Which, you know, is so not how I'd go about outfitting the end of an otherwise class-A signal chain.
But you know, that's just me. 
I'm still going back-and-forth in my own head about whether to separately mic the toms or not. Maybe we should just do it and I'll complain about it later? I think that perhaps my biggest complaint is the rattling of snares whenever any other freakin' drum is hit. Why can't the snares just shut up when the kick is smacked? Sheesh.
Preamp list
1. Aphex L
2. Aphex R
3. Lindell L
4. Lindell R
5. Neve 1
6. Neve 2
7. Neve 3
8. Neve 4

Er, so if that's Kick, snare, OH L, OH R, Tom1 and Tom2... that's six channels right there.
So guitar, guitar, bass... that's nine channels altogether.
If we add an adjunct bass then we're staring down the throat of 10 tracks.
Is there a portastudio-like thing that'll record 12 tracks?

June 17 2013 Notes

T122 mvmnt 6 open 1 stick
T128 closed - False Start
T129 "take 2"
T130 - last chord
T132 "take 3"
T137 "take for Misha"
T139 "take 4" long false start
T140 "take 5"
T141 pickup from previous take
T147 addition 1 page 24 (w/fs)
T149 addition 2 piano only
T155 number 5 take 1
T156 addition take 1
T159 addition no. 2
T161 addition no. 2
T162 addition no. 2
T165 number 5 take 2
T167 addition 6
T192 number 4 take 1
T193 number 4 take 2
T194 addition (w/fs)
T198 number 4 take 3
T211 number 1 takes 1 and 2
T212 take 3
T213 take 4 (w/fs)
T215 pickup 1

(w/fs) = "with false start"

Friday, June 14, 2013

Tubular Diatoms

Here's an acoustic guitar arrangement of Tubular Bells:

Plus, I'm finding some diatoms have reasonable CC licenses. Spiralia

Diatomaceous Earth

We've come to an agreement to name the new band Diatomaceous Earth. Because our commercial instincts are so well honed.
As it turns out, diatoms are psychedelic.

This week we played a 40-minute jam I named "Chimerical Weathervane". Yes, this will have to be edited down considerably. And mixed (because right now it's all over the place). But basically this is what we sound like.

The Ghost of Arthur James

Groove to The Ghost of Arthur James.
I own the vinyl.

Because I am so cool.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

How's Your Sight Reading?

Dig Jonathan Newman's Blow it Up, Start Again.

(Click through to embiggen, make sure you watch clear through to the last frames).

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Accidental Album

So. I think City Samanas accidentally made an album. I really like it. Maybe there should be some interstitial, maybe some things could be edited down, maybe a bit of tasteful mastering, but it's a cool album.
Eric Clapton's guitar in While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Isolated.
I am unnecessarily amused by a television commercial.

I know, right?

What Wickedness This Way Comes

So, quite by accident, I think we recorded an entire album.

Note that what you hear above isn't mastered and could likely use some gentle caressing as far as the mix goes.
This entire record is Greg Bartus, Lily Kinner, Dave Wolfe, and me. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Rehearsal Wednesday night. Schecter bass going into the Aphex preamp (I'm sort of under the impression that only the right channel of that preamp works as it should, but it may be simply that it never warmed up properly.)
Lou likes his cymbals low. Normally that might be irksome for an engineer trying to record toms separately from the cymbals but since we go with a simple 3-microphone setup on the drums it actually makes life easier because the cymbals are about as far from the overhead mics as the toms are -- making the cymbals relatively less loud in the recording.
Other than being scolded for my general lack of musicianship the rehearsal went very well.
Of course, this helped:
My view of the rehearsal with Lou.
No, the Avalons are not ours. We don't use them. The bourbon, however, was Bulleit.

Above this text is (or should be) links to songs we recorded. That Bandcamp album will be getting updated with more materials over the next several days. 
Musical lubricant with Greg and Lily.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Juliette Valduriez

I offer this compelling and definitive evidence that the Fender Stratocaster is not required. Now a Gibson SG with P-90 pickups would in fact be cooler, but the SG is naturally groovier than a Stratocaster. Don't believe me? Re-watch video evidence.