Aesthetics of home recording

Get that song on tape! Errr... disk?
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Professor Bill
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Re: Aesthetics of home recording

Post by Professor Bill » Sun Aug 02, 2020 12:29 pm

jorri wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:53 am

Ive recently converted a "drum machine" project into a live drum situation. No problem at all. This was at full lockdown so drummer just sent these files. Maybe the energy is in live drums here it often feels like that. Of course there are exceptions because some will want to really edit and quantized live drums,but I guess I'm after an early 90s alt sound (live recordings were done then, but seems to me the drums are the bit that matters)
This is something I've been thinking about. My engineer collaborator is a drummer – a very good one. I feel like I can get good sounds from a sample. My hearing's not as keen as some, but to my ears I think the sound can rival a well-engineered recording of a live kit. But I wonder about feel. Some songs seem like they could have been built from loops, or quantized so as to feel metronomic, but other times it seems a live drummer brings subtleties that would take lots and lots of specialized programming. Or maybe it's something I think I am hearing, but isn't really there, or at least 90% of listeners (and non-drummers) would never notice. I've wondered what added value of redoing drums, live, might bring. Especially when they would have to play to a click.

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Re: Aesthetics of home recording

Post by sookwinder » Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:31 pm

øøøøøøø wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 12:02 pm
sookwinder wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:00 am
every now and then I change instruments and forget to look and wouldn't you know sometimes those great takes are ruined.
Listen to the vocal on "Instant Karma" or "Little Red Corvette"!

Sometimes a little clipping (even very UGLY clipping!) isn't enough to ruin a great performance.
I must admit some on my best sounding (feel and playing) "squared fingered piano" tracks have a level of clipping in them … it almost gives a sense of urgency to the sound when compared to the perfectly no clipping) takes.
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Re: Aesthetics of home recording

Post by sookwinder » Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:09 pm

Telliot wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:53 am
That sounds lovely, David. When can I stop by? :)
Todd, anytime you're in my part of the world just drop on by … there will always be a glass of muscat with your name on it :)

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Re: Aesthetics of home recording

Post by andy_tchp » Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:44 pm

:-* ^ A fellow fortified wine fan!
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Re: Aesthetics of home recording

Post by jorri » Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:35 pm

Professor Bill wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 12:29 pm
jorri wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:53 am

Ive recently converted a "drum machine" project into a live drum situation. No problem at all. This was at full lockdown so drummer just sent these files. Maybe the energy is in live drums here it often feels like that. Of course there are exceptions because some will want to really edit and quantized live drums,but I guess I'm after an early 90s alt sound (live recordings were done then, but seems to me the drums are the bit that matters)
This is something I've been thinking about. My engineer collaborator is a drummer – a very good one. I feel like I can get good sounds from a sample. My hearing's not as keen as some, but to my ears I think the sound can rival a well-engineered recording of a live kit. But I wonder about feel. Some songs seem like they could have been built from loops, or quantized so as to feel metronomic, but other times it seems a live drummer brings subtleties that would take lots and lots of specialized programming. Or maybe it's something I think I am hearing, but isn't really there, or at least 90% of listeners (and non-drummers) would never notice. I've wondered what added value of redoing drums, live, might bring. Especially when they would have to play to a click.
To me its just a natural process. A good drummer can learn and play through songs in one session, no problem.
With tweaking a sampled kit, how do you put the energy back in? How do you decide when a fill goes off.
Its also that he's a drummer and I'm not! so its good to have a second opinion. He's also into experimental sounds so will do something like put a mic in the corridor or ex-factory hall that is outside his studio which is not easy to replicate, has a desk with nice transformers and Coyles and Neumanns...so there's something there. he even sent an AUX through his spring reverb.

out of these tracks some i left with the Korg Volca Drum. That's a very different sound, almost IDM, but despite making an arbitrary style separation some tracks could have been EZ drummer or something and some just not.
Especially only one that was a problem, where i'd asked him to bolster up a more new wave beat in there and play metronomically (which i am considering treating more to fit together tightly now). But everything else was noise-rock/post-rock type things which were very organic.
-the value, depends on genre. and how improvisational or chaotic you want to go i guess.
-but also as much value as recording anything. I mean you can be assured your drum sound is not identikit and will produce its own individuality (which i understand for some styles is not a good thing too...even this the odd 'weak snare hit' is a disadvantage but on the whole I am just unsure how to get something of that energy?)
Same reason I record a piano, or use my shitty cello playing instead of a sample library I guess i've just set myself some limitations to move forward, but also if you nail it it has character. Even my guitar is mostly highly effected and /could/ be replaced by a synth on a PC but why?

Its also a primary reason: instead of endless tweaking infront of a screen.... you have a session, you go to a place, you prepare and maybe get both anxious/excited over the situation. You collaborate and they suggest their expertise, ideas, sometimes fail to understand the vison (aren't as invested in it as you_) or sometimes improve a boring track with their ideas. And when its done its done and seems like a short time. so psychologically speaking too, you'd make different results even if somehow the sounds being worked with were the same.
Like with recording myself at home, i don't want it to be too close to the activity of going online and watching something, like i make it difficult for myself intentionally haha.

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Re: Aesthetics of home recording

Post by whitewatersky » Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:06 pm

sookwinder wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:09 pm
Telliot wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:53 am
That sounds lovely, David. When can I stop by? :)
Todd, anytime you're in my part of the world just drop on by … there will always be a glass of muscat with your name on it :)

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CHAMBERS is amazing eh.
went there last year and sent a buncha boxes home.... really cool place to visit if you get the chance

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Re: Aesthetics of home recording

Post by whitewatersky » Tue Aug 11, 2020 3:32 am

so scuse me... while I ask this Guy

How youse uploading photos to a forum these days????

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Re: Aesthetics of home recording

Post by sookwinder » Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:00 am

whitewatersky wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 3:32 am
so scuse me... while I ask this Guy

How youse uploading photos to a forum these days????

http://www.offsetguitars.com/forums/vie ... ?f=5&t=202
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Re: Aesthetics of home recording

Post by Professor Bill » Fri Dec 18, 2020 9:07 am

OK, I overcame my ambivalence and finished (for now) and posted some things. Same things at both SoundCloud and Bandcamp:

https://soundcloud.com/bill-anthes-248083658

https://animalservices.bandcamp.com

This is something I've been meaning to do for years. Thanks all.

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Re: Aesthetics of home recording

Post by budda12ax7 » Sat Dec 19, 2020 7:00 pm

I have everything set up and ready to go. I have a small closet corner and everything is on a recording desk with shelves. My guitars just stored so I can grab them. I started using Ampire and Bias FX for my amps, but having a great time with my soft synth stuff. I have a basic set up with no outboard gear. I went virtual for all that for cost reasons. Finding the TIME to record is another story.

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Re: Aesthetics of home recording

Post by jthomas » Sun Dec 20, 2020 8:55 am

Professor Bill wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 9:07 am
OK, I overcame my ambivalence and finished (for now) and posted some things. Same things at both SoundCloud and Bandcamp:

https://soundcloud.com/bill-anthes-248083658

https://animalservices.bandcamp.com

This is something I've been meaning to do for years. Thanks all.
SUPER NICE! Amazing work.

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Re: Aesthetics of home recording

Post by Professor Bill » Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:22 am

jthomas wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 8:55 am
Professor Bill wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 9:07 am
OK, I overcame my ambivalence and finished (for now) and posted some things. Same things at both SoundCloud and Bandcamp:

https://soundcloud.com/bill-anthes-248083658

https://animalservices.bandcamp.com

This is something I've been meaning to do for years. Thanks all.
SUPER NICE! Amazing work.
Thanks so much for listening and taking the time to comment! Much appreciated. Be well!

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Re: Aesthetics of home recording

Post by seenoevil II » Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:54 am

Word vomit warning.


With the music young people are making, actual live performance (in recording) is nearly extinct (edit: experiencing a marked decline) outside of certain genres. And I'm talking about arty indie heads. In pop music it's been 99% protools, logic, and ableton for decades now.

It's a cycle. You start with imaginary bands out of expediency, but then you actually like it and other people like it and want to copy it.

3 acts that really inspired me to go full drum machine were:

They Might Be Giants (first 3 records). For them, it's definitely a sound. They had pretty rudimentary tech even for 1990 standards. Apollo 18 is fascinating to me as it seems to be as far as they could take the midi band concept.

Toro Y Moi. This guy seems to vacilate between live performance and the machines. Underneath the Pines is a masterwork of live bedroom music. It's all real instruments (including a Nord), all played by him with the only mics being sm57s (supposedly). The charming roughness was obscured by a thick fog of echos and verbs and modulation. Then the very next record was a masterful electronic album of samples and curated drum machine sounds with a very hi fi sound. By this time he had a live band for some years. So for the next record, he took them in and tracked live (though probably quantized).

Chairlift had one album I really love. 2011's Something. That album really inspired me make music fully in "the box." It changed the way I thought about making music from a efemoral thing that you capture then polish, to a static, almost tangible work that you can infinitely manipulate. From a photo, to a painting. Idk why on earth that particular album did it for me when there are infinite other examples of the same thing.


In 2015, I started a project that performed solo. I really liked the idea of a drum machine being brought to an art rock, punk setting. Like Psycho Killer in stop making sense, or if Peaches made loops for Jonathan Richmand or something. The recordings would be pretty similar too. Just those same drum machine tracks, the guitar part, vocals, and a quiet synth bass that can only play roots (by law). IDK if it's been a success really. For the 2nd and 3rd releases, I learned enough about drum synthesis to stop relying on a 909 patch in Logic and make my own samples with analog modeling synths. But while they sound really good solo, they lack the depth and impact of the real thing. The result being that those recordings sound a bit high-passed and tinny.

There are people out there who turn up to gigs alone with a laptop and have a whole symphony emerge from the PA. They bug me somewhat as they'll use AI drummers. I'm a drummer, and I've worked with drummers, so I respect them by programming that midi to be realistic, but also obviously fake. Advertising that this is a janky, electro zombie drummer and not the real thing.

There are other people who show up with an iPod and 100% of their weird weird sound comes from that.

Lastly, there was this lady. She's really cool and sweet. She makes this bit pop, chip toon music that is very expansive and beautiful. She performs with a laptop running ableton and a midicontroller with all sorts of pads. I've watched her play live several times now. I swear to God, the controller is doing nothing. I've never heard a wrong note, or seen something that she definitely triggered with the controller. I swear, she's up there just hitting keys and buttons as her finished track plays. Nobody calls her on it, because her pantomime is really committed, but I find it hilarious.
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Re: Aesthetics of home recording

Post by Larry Mal » Sun Dec 20, 2020 12:40 pm

I guess the only thing I can really say at this point is that I have a little room in the house for my office and recording area. I hung a bunch of acoustic panels on the wall, you can see a bass trap and a wall panel in this picture, but I have another trap and five more of these panels around.

Image

They deaden the reflections in the room and the standing waves. You will notice the change in the acoustical environment the moment you step inside it. This means that I can record my acoustic guitars and such relatively well.

I haven't had barely any chance to record anything, though.

I shoved my computer in the closet and put up a bunch of acoustic panels in there, also, so that sound doesn't escape.
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Re: Aesthetics of home recording

Post by seenoevil II » Sun Dec 20, 2020 2:06 pm

Maybe more in line with this thread (? I'm not sure i grasp it fully).

But, I don't really have a dedicated space for music production. Who knows what I may have accomplished by now if I did.

As it is, I'll let the songs build up for a year or more in my head. Then, when the time is right, I'll completely wreck my bedroom and turn it into a studio.

I'll empty my closet of every sweater and shirt and stick them all along the walls like a fleamarket clothing shop. I've even tacked a duvet to the wall opposite my monitors. It works surprisingly well for completely deadening the room.

Basically, my whole humble abode gets absolutely taken over for about 2 weeks. Drums in the living room, amps running at full tilt in the adjacent bedroom (during the day, with their blessing). Then, when I'm done. I cram everything away until next time. It's really chaotic.

A lot of people I know who aren't as lucky in their living arrangements will take their monitors, interface, and Mac book to a motel for a long weekend and knock shit out every few months.

I'd love a "battle station" some day. I worry that my mixing suffers for a lack of proper room treatment. But I just turn my JBLs way down and sit less than 18" away and hope that the near field fidelity bails me out.
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