Author Topic: Recording tips - from a homebrew garage band guy  (Read 2580 times)

BesideTheVoid

  • Fast newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 32
  • Karma: 1
  • formerly known as ProtoArmor
    • View Profile
    • Official BesideTheVoid Productions Website
Recording tips - from a homebrew garage band guy
« on: 2008-09-22 01:01:34 »
Hi,

I am really excited to hear about the ff7voice project.  I heard a comment about clipping in the recording, which leads me to offer some advice from a semi-experienced garage band leader and multimedia guy.

For a good recording environment, an attic with exposed insulation is great!  I did a recording (2 acoustic guitars--lead&rhythm, one vocal) on a minitape recorder and a powered Radio Shack lapel mic in my friends attic, with lots of books and exposed insulation, and it sounded like an off-the-shelf recording and remains the best unprocessed recording I've done.  Of course, if you get desperate you can always pin up quilts on the walls and ceiling that are closest to you.  Some more ideas are attaching quilts to the walls (at least closest ones) and ceiling, or getting a couple of those $15 Walmart foam mattress pads, may be nearly as effective as acoustic foam--I haven't tested these theories yet.  If you try them, I would love for you to post your results.

As for the remark about clicks/pops in recording, this could be clipping, and is hard to repair unless you get a specific program with a feature or plugin to fix clipping.  Ways to avoid this are: recording at lower volume and then normalizing, putting the mic off to the side (this can be bad especially in bad recording environments), or using a membrane mic.

If you want, you can make your own membrane mic.  In my ventures in homebrew recording, this is most sure advice I have to offer.  If you compare talking into the mic with a foam cover, holding the mic off to the side, talking into the mic directly, or talking into a membrane directly, you'll find that the membrane mic method gives you far superior results.

You'll need:
-Plastic bottle
-Plastic Wrap
-Scissors and possibly razor knife
-Mic: preferably a powered lapel mic--get one from Radio Shack, but only bother with the watch-battery powered one.  Otherwise if you don't want to bother with batteries you can get a good stereo mic on eBay (the one pictured was from an eBay company that made homebrew mics--I can't seem to find them anymore).

Steps:



1. Cut bottle upper part off with scissors, then cut sides out only leaving two strips to hold loop to top (you can start the cut with a razor then continue with scissors for safety)



2. Attach plastic wrap with rubber band



3. Attach mic with twist tie or tape (twist tie avoids getting your mic gooey over time)



Tell me how your experiments go!  I'd be glad to do audio editing and compression on the files too.  Make sure you keep original unedited files in FLAC (lossless compression), and then you can export to ogg/mp3 or whatever you are using--but keep originals!  You never know when you might need your originals.  After all files are finished, I would glad to do the process of normalizing, equalization and compression so that all the audio throughout the game sounds uniform and volume varies only in situations where it should--sign me up if needed!


Well that's all the advice I have for right now, seeing as I'm pretty much just a self-made garage band guy.

glhf,
Orangejuice
« Last Edit: 2008-09-22 01:06:29 by OrangejuiceElectronica »

Marc

  • Moderator
  • Insane poster
  • *
  • Posts: 445
  • Karma: 0
  • I hear Voices ... in my head
    • View Profile
Re: Recording tips - from a homebrew garage band guy
« Reply #1 on: 2008-09-22 02:57:25 »
Thanks for the advice.  I have a few lines to record this week so I'll definately try your suggestion as I frequently breathe into the mic and it yields undesirable results.  I'll report back my results.

Also, I noticed you offered to do sound editing.

We're currently looking for a sound editor to clean up the files so if you'd be willing to lend a hand, that'd be great.  We currently work with wav's recorded in audacity so we could send those files to you to work your magic.

BesideTheVoid

  • Fast newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 32
  • Karma: 1
  • formerly known as ProtoArmor
    • View Profile
    • Official BesideTheVoid Productions Website
Re: Recording tips - from a homebrew garage band guy
« Reply #2 on: 2008-09-23 00:44:38 »
Excellent!  However, it would be best to do at least a large chunk of them at a time including all parts for at least a reasonably-sized chunk (at least 5 inutes w/ all parts recorded), and then use them as a frame of reference.  You can send via AIM, or put them on an ftp/website folder somewhere.  Let me know if you need to do AIM, then we can choose a time.  I look forward to being a part of this!
Orangejuice

Marc

  • Moderator
  • Insane poster
  • *
  • Posts: 445
  • Karma: 0
  • I hear Voices ... in my head
    • View Profile
Re: Recording tips - from a homebrew garage band guy
« Reply #3 on: 2008-09-23 01:11:51 »
That's great.

And actually the way we record the lines are per scene.

So we get perhaps 200 overall lines in a scene individually recorded since that's how the game needs them for playback purposes.

We do have a FTP server set up where the files are located.

I'll PM you my e-mail and we can go from there.

Mesden

  • Cool newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 79
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Recording tips - from a homebrew garage band guy
« Reply #4 on: 2008-09-23 01:16:05 »
Send me an E-mail to Undernet01(at)Shaw(dot)ca and let's talk about Audio Editing. Thanks for your interest.

Aaron Busch