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Idea, likely not an original: Karaoke-style recording sessions
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
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travis.farmer's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Idea, likely not an original: Karaoke-style recording sessions

so here it is, and i thought of this late last night, so it is likely not a great idea for a hobby, for me, but here it is anyway...
i was playing around with the program Ardour, and i thought of an idea for a hobby: recording people singing to a Karaoke track, just for fun.

for a little background, i have no professional recording training, i am just a 41 year old semi-Autistic (Autism Spectrum Disorder) man, with a love of music, and an interest in recording gear.

firstly, i am not sure of the legal details involved. as it is just for fun, i would likely only charge for the cost of the Karaoke music track itself (karaoke-version.com). and i would provide the person/s recording with the raw audio files, and the recorded mixed track. do i provide the karaoke track? they paid for it...

currently, i have a Tascam US-1641 interface, a Tascam M-1516 mixer (i like playing with analog mixers...). i have some crappy Pyle microphones (no cables yet), but that is about it for recording gear, other than the computer with Ardour software on it.

i would have to make some sort of basic "studio", and get some more gear, but that aside, is it legal to do this? record someone against a Karaoke track? i mean, i am not distributing the track, other than to the "client". what they do with it after that is up to them... right?

i just want to do it mainly for fun, and to learn. maybe in the future, i can record "garage bands" for fun.

~Travis
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Nut
 
travis.farmer's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
this must be my absolute worst idea, or something... no comments or input of any kind. and here i JUST bought a old Mackie 32.8 with power supply, just for this idea...

~Travis
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
The licensing will be restricted and site specific. I dug around and found these details on the site you propose to use.

As I suspected, you will need to get specific permission to record for each specific track. The process will require the site to contact the license holder and seek permission. It's likely that the license holder will want to be paid for this usage or require additional arrangements or assurances - possibly all of the above. This may make the idea more difficult and expensive than you might have assumed.

Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
If the client finds and brings in the track on their own (with none of your input or involvement), the onus is on them.

Last edited by Brent Hahn; 2 weeks ago at 05:08 PM..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Nut
 
travis.farmer's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
ok, so no Karaoke tracks, if i provide them, but i can still record local "garage bands" for fun.

now i just need some sort of "studio" to do so in...
with the cost of building supplies, a studio of some sort may be hard to come by. now, i do happen to have an old 29 foot camper i have been using as a storage building. it is in fair shape, and has no leaks. may not be much, but could be built to suit. i mean, as i am just starting out, i could build the walls in with 2 x 4s, and insulate with Roxul. the ceiling height may be an issue though... can't build down, as i have only about 6 foot 5 inches... maybe just a layer of 1 inch foam for the ceiling, or something...

anyway, it is something that can be outfitted to some level for recording garage bands, and allow me to learn the basic concepts, and failings of my "studio". i wouldn't hard-wire anything anyway. just run cables around, out of the way for now. maybe build a simple cable run up in a ceiling corner, with drops at the walls.

i don't expect much of a "live" vs "dead" space due to space constraints. more of a all-around concept where the band can setup, and i can mic the instruments. then a thickly insulated "control room", where i don't need the space for a band.

i would build a better space, but i doubt my landlord would allow that... so until i can afford to move to a better situation, this may have to be the idea plans. i just have to figure out how to make it work.

~Travis
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
@ travis.farmer to make things easier just record some vocalists depending on genre, etc.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Nut
 
travis.farmer's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Hmmm, that is an idea, just for starting out. i could just record vocalists.

so what do i need for that? i assume i need a very well insulated space, for sound deadening, or can i just use a simple vocals surround?
that would make the space much smaller, too, than if i record an entire band. something to think about...

~Travis
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
@ travis.farmer I'm no expert on what you'd need but music making is more fun when you keep things simple.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
I think the vocalist idea is a good one. Singer-songwriter (or rapper or whatever) sends you a demo track just recorded on their phone or whatever. You develop the musical accompaniment and arrangement as an indie, house, pop song or whatever as discussed. Then they come to you to do quality vocal takes, doubles, backing vocal layers, overdubs etc. They get credited as songwriter and you get credited for arrangement.

For this you just need a DAW, monitoring, MIDI controller/keyboard, acoustic treatment around the DAW, a treated space for vocal recording (could potentially be a shared space with the DAW), one or more good mics, mic stand and pop filter, audio interface, a tracking monitoring solution (2 sets of closed back phones and headphone amps and cables etc).

I'd so all the processing with plugins initially and if you find yourself using the same kinds of EQ and compression all the time that will clue you in to what outboard or channel strips may make sense as hardware eventually.

This may also lead to developing your own little label and even releasing compilation albums of local singers etc.

This is far more manageable than trying to wrangle bands with all their quirks and far less problematic than trying to track drums and amps without a full, sound-proofed studio facility.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
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travis.farmer's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
sounds like one heck of an idea, but developing an accompaniment may be an issue, as i can't play piano, at all. i play drums, but very, very badly (just starting to learn). now, this isn't to say i can't do a drum accompaniment, it just wouldn't be very good.

with that in mind, i still like the idea of recording vocals. but it would seem i need to partner up with somebody for the accompaniment part.

~Travis
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
with that in mind, i still like the idea of recording vocals. but it would seem i need to partner up with somebody for the accompaniment part.
This would make you (by far!) the Junior Partner in this arrangement. Someone capable of providing accompaniment has to be a musician, has to play multiple instruments, has to know arranging and unless it is an already existing song, may have to be able to write original music to fill in the "gaps" in what is often a client's sketchy idea of a "song".

Such a person probably would already have their own DAW setup to record all the instruments, prepare the tracks. They probably know how to use it. All they need is a vocal microphone and they can cut you out of the "partnership".

I think - get your room sounding good and do single overdubs. It doesn't have to be just vocals. With just 2 or 3 mics, you could record acoustic and electric guitars, small percussion, get a DI box for bass. Keyboard players will probably bring their own. As long as you don't shoot for big drum sets and full bands...

One instrument at a time. A good sounding treated room, and some good microphones could be the determining factor if someone is deciding whether to record at home or hire you.

Another reason for people to hire you is your fluidity on the software and workflow. Being fast - in setup, cueing up takes and playlists, having developed a sensitivity to the artists' needs for things like count-offs, pre-rolls, cue mixes etc. Speed in editing, comping, and tuning.

Providing the service means more than just owning the equipment.

When an artist feels like they can get more done with you than working alone, when they feel they can better "just focus on the music" because you are doing a good job of Taking Care Of Business on the audio side, they will be back. And they will tell their friends.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #12
Gear Guru
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn ➑️
If the client finds and brings in the track on their own (with none of your input or involvement), the onus is on them.
^^^^
This!

IMHO start with singer(s) and their backing track(s).

Once in a while, you may be able to record Acapella harmony singers.
Same/similar to Barbershop and Doo Wop.

Not sure what vocal mics you may have,
but two good sounding dynamic mics I like a lot are...
The AKG D790 (or D770-but getting scarcer to find)
and the EV 767a.
Good possibility you'll find either one excellent condition/used (they are out of current production) for under $100 each.

The SM58 is also a good vocal mic, but these two sound "cleaner" and more like a condenser. (with a nice budget Pre anyway)

All three of these microphones, don't pick up a lot of your Room sound.
But it's still best to do some sound treatment.

If you do enough Treatment, the EV 635a omni mic is nice for multiple voices/harmonies/BGV's-at once.
Chris
P.S. I just recorded this first, one take/Practice Vocal today on the EV 767a.
2nd Vocal clip is fuller voiced.

I had the Scarlett "Air Button" on both, but can explain how it can
be simulated for free!
Attached Files

FinalFinalIntroStormyEV767aSoloAirTW.wav (1.21 MB, 288 views)

AIRScarlett3rdGenEV767aTWSunshineComeAnotherTW (1).wav (760.4 KB, 203 views)

Old 1 week ago
  #13
Gear Nut
 
travis.farmer's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
a lot of good tips here! i "think" i know what i will be recording.

i have bookmarked some microphones, and saved searches on another.

now, what to do about heating and air-conditioning? i plan on well-insulating, so i was thinking if i got a dual-zone mini-split (heap-pump/air-conditioner), if i can find one my eventual tax-return, or savings could afford. my plan would be, as they are pretty quiet, just get the recording room up/down to temp, and then shut it off during tracking, and kick it back on in between, now and then. or are they quiet enough to leave running? perhaps with some sort of baffling to prevent direct sound.

THIS tax return will be insulating the studio space, so heating and air will be next run of funding, unless i sell my 88 Goldwing GL1500 (hate to...)


~Travis
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Gear Guru
 
IMHO charge (on the low end) to the Public.
(Keeps out the riff raff )

Unless it's a close friend situation.
You might make that an exception.
I have a couple of Pro (i.e. make $$ off what they do)...
Where I can at least flip chess lessons, to compensate them.
Chris
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Gear Nut
 
travis.farmer's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
how much wall insulation is minimum for recording clean vocals, or whatever? i mean, the space i have for a "Studio" is in a old gutted-out 29 foot camper, with 2 inch thick walls. i plan at a minimum to build 2 x 4 walls just inside the outer walls, with Roxul (3 1/2 inches) in between the studs. then, my father (a long-time carpenter, aka, my real-job boss) suggested a product called Homasote, in 2 layers (staggered joints) on the inside. my guess would be that i then treat the interior to stop reflections. but would that be enough sound insulation? or do most mics pick up everything the room hears?
currently i have just some Pyle mics (as in Pyle of crap, i think), but i do plan to upgrade when i can afford some. my biggest priority is the studio space right now.
i haven't even tested out my Mackie 32.8 mixer i picked up, yet. can't yet find room for the monster to set it up.
i know i can record directly into my Tascam US-1641, without the mixer, but i just like using a mixer. i like the feel of being able to turn a knob to affect the sound qualities or path.
the mixer has 8 buses, and each bus has it's own Insert jack. i am going to make an adapter for each Insert, and use it as a direct-out into my Tascam US-1641. probably a dirty way of doing it, but until i get a better interface (MOTU 896HD?)... by dirty, i mean taking the unbalanced line outs from the insert jacks, sending it to the 8 balanced mic inputs on the front through TS to XLR adapters. then routing the 4 outputs from the Tascam US-1641 back to the mixer, but not routing them through the 8 mixer buses, so as to not get feedback (using 4 of the returns?).
it is all kinda over complicated, but i just love having too many wires, yet everything works, and i know what it does.

in an ideal world, i would daisy-chain 4 MOTU 896HD interfaces via Firewire, and use each of the mixers 32 direct-outs, and tape returns. but that is just fodder for my dreams... i am not even sure how many ins and outs Ardour can support, let alone my DAW computer. it can barely run my CAD software for my CNC laser machine, about the time Windows 10 decides to do an unannounced update
if i could sell my CNC laser machine, i could buy a lot more gear, and build most of my studio... but it is like my child... i just can't bring myself to sell it (yet).

~Travis
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #16
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by travis.farmer ➑️
how much wall insulation is minimum for recording clean vocals, or whatever? i mean, the space i have for a "Studio" is in an old gutted-out 29 foot camper, with 2 inch thick walls.
how wide is the camper?
Quote:
then, my father (a long-time carpenter, aka, my real-job boss) suggested a product called Homasote, in 2 layers (staggered joints) on the inside. my guess would be that i then treat the interior to stop reflections. but would that be enough sound insulation? or do most mics pick up everything the room hears?
You seem to be still confused as to the difference between sound treatments and sound proofing. When you are inside your camper, do you hear the neighbors? A nearby highway? Owls? If someone sings inside your camper, do the neighbors complain? Can they even hear the singing?

Quote:
, with Roxul (3 1/2 inches) in between the studs.
Roxul behind your sheet rock will help with soundproofing. For sound treatments, you will need Roxul wrapped in fabric on top of your sheet rock.

You should research this and think it through more thoroughly. For example, there is no point spending money to isolate your structure from the outside world if you are not picking up noise from, or transmitting noise to, the outside world. Maybe you live in the woods.

Sound absorbing panels and bass traps will almost certainly be a must inside your space. Those however, will do nothing to placate your neighbors if they are close by or sensitive. . Two separate issues with separate solutions.

Quote:
in an ideal world, i would daisy-chain 4 MOTU 896HD interfaces via Firewire, and use each of the mixers 32 direct-outs, and tape returns. but that is just fodder for my dreams... i am not even sure how many ins and outs Ardour can support, let alone my DAW computer.
I thought you were going to be doing overdubbing of karaoke vocalists with one microphone? Why would you ever need direct outs from your mixer? Unless you are planning on having a full band with 32 mics running at once, in which case, you might want to rethink the whole idea of building your studio inside a camper.

And if you for some reason insist on using the Mackie to mix OTB, well that's your funeral, but still, you only need 32 channels of D/A. to mix OTB. You can get an 8-channel Aphex D/A for $400, your MOTU interfaces will run you almost $1000 each.

Quote:
i plan at a minimum to build 2 x 4 walls just inside the outer walls
If you are going to be building stud walls on the inside, do yourself a favor and sacrifice a little bit of your space and make at least two of those walls at slight angles. i.e. avoid parallel surfaces if at all possible. This will stop flutter echoes and help prevent standing waves.
Attached Thumbnails
Idea, likely not an original: Karaoke-style recording sessions-screen-shot-2021-06-13-8.03.23-pm.png  
Old 1 week ago
  #17
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travis.farmer's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
sorry, i am autistic and very impulsive, so i tend to take what little i know, wrong or right, and run with it.
clearly i should just throw all my gear on the dump, as it is apparently worthless. and while i am at it, despite my 110 IQ, i am clearly stupid and unteachable. so why not throw myself on the dump as well.

look, i am trying to learn, so there is no need to bash me, or my equipment that i thought was very good, and spent my savings on just to buy so i could fit in with you folks. there is a reason i make mistakes only a less-than-beginner would make. because i know even less than that! i don't have the fortune of formal education due to being both poor, and learning disabled. so it is not my fault for not knowing something, when i am still trying to learn.

that POS Mackie cost me $600, and i had to sell off a bunch of my hopes and dreams to buy it, because i thought it was good.
i understand that everything i have is a POS, but it all cost me a lot of money, and i don't have the privilege of wealth, of any kind. i make far less than $15k per year, and most of that goes to bills. the rest is, apparently, wasted on gear, trying to fit in with the fame of music, even though i know it is forever unachievable. which is why at 41, i still can't afford to move out of my parents house!

~Travis
Old 1 week ago
  #18
Regards the licensing issues: there are a number of backing track sales sites around. Do some searching for "professional vocal backing tracks of popular songs" and have a look. In general, these sites have a license that allows for use of the tracks for personal use, performance or for demos so long as the recordings aren't sold. If you want to sell copies, most invite you to contact them so they can seek permission from the rights holders and sort out arrangements for royalties to be paid. This seems fair, so I would review a number of these sites and then contact a short-list of them to ask about processes and financials etc. You should be able to establish arrangements and relationships with a handful of such services

Then, given the above, you can ask the singer whether they want a demo only (not to be sold) or whether they want to be able to sell or monetise the recording. The latter option may cost more and mean that they need to wait for permission to be received for example. You'll know what the deal is once you've worked through processes with your 'service partners'.

On the topic of soundproofing and acoustic treatment. It's all very 'it depends'. If you live in a quite location the van may well be fine. If you live near a major roadway, probably not. You can do test recordings for background noise with any mic. Leave your phone in there for a while with an audio recorder app running and see what it picks up. Same with treatment. Clap your hands or hit some sticks together in there. Play some low frequencies. Record it with your phone or just listen and walk around. See what the reflections and resonances are like.

As far as gear goes, start with whatever you can get your hands on and learn as you go. Offer some free trial sessions to friends or something and be clear that you are learning and still figuring out what you need. Heck, you can also try singing yourself just to get the process worked out - it doesn't matter if you are really terrible - it's just to get all the gear hooked up and working, dealing with the process of recording, mixing, processing audio etc as well as sorting out issues with noise, acoustics, major equipment shortcomings etc.

Keep working on the drums. That'll be very useful. Consider learning keyboard and/or learning to sing a bit. These skills will be extremely valuable.

If you want to do this sort of stuff, have fun, learn, make new friends and so on - good for you. Give it a go. Just don't expect everything to happen at a pro standard right away - I think you will need to experiment, tinker, learn, make some horrible recordings, improve, learn more, experiment more, change some stuff, make some better recordings, develop your skills, learn even more, make some quite good recordings and so on over possibly many years. But, this is the journey and where the fun comes from and what makes it so rewarding in the long run. If it was easy, everybody would be doing it - and because it's hard, once you have some skills you will stand out from the crowd. Remember that.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #19
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by travis.farmer ➑️

look, i am trying to learn, so there is no need to bash me, or my equipment that i thought was very good, and spent my savings on just to buy so i could fit in with you folks.
if you are addressing me, I am not bashing you. I am however trying to stop you from spending the little money you do have on unnecessary gear.

If you want to integrate your mackie into your one-mic rig, you might be able to use it for OTB mixing. Personally I wouldn't bother, but if that's what you wanted to do, you don't need to daisy chain 3 $1000 interfaces to get 24 channels of D to A. You can get 24 channels of D to A for about a third of that cost. How is pointing that out "bashing"?

Same thing with the soundproofing advice. If you live in the woods, maybe you don't need to insulate the trailer vs the outside world. At all. That would allow you to focus on getting good sound treatments inside the room.

I am trying to save you money. If you want to take it as "criticism" there is nothing I can do about that, but that is certainly not my intention.

Quote:
that POS Mackie cost me $600, and i had to sell off a bunch of my hopes and dreams to buy it, because i thought it was good. i understand that everything i have is a POS, but it all cost me a lot of money, and i don't have the privilege of wealth, of any kind
It's not that it is a POS. It's that it is irrelevant to the type of recording you say you want to do.

If before you bought a 32 channel analog mixer for your one-microphone studio, suppose you had posted on a forum and asked if it was a good idea or not? You might have been talked out of it and been able to spend that $600 on something more practical and specific to your application. Well, you can try and sell it, but otherwise, it's too late for that mixer. But it is not too late to try and talk you out of buying other inappropriate gear. Gear that does not have any use in the type of recording you would like to be doing as your immediate first step.

People are trying to help you. And feeling sorry for yourself is a dead end.
Old 1 week ago
  #20
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travis.farmer's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
let me be clear in one thing, i never stated i wanted to stay a "one-microphone studio". to do so would be stagnant. it is just a method of learning. my first post even stated that i wanted to expand to record "garage bands" at some point. and IMO, calling someone a "one-microphone studio" is quite derogatory, when they have stated they want more, but are just starting out.

the camper studio is temporary. more of a learning experience on how to build something resembling one, before i go to the expense of a full studio. like an less-expensive trial-run, so to speak.

perhaps we both mistook each others intentions. i vote for a re-wind, and a re-take.

as i said, i am impulsive, so i tend to do things i think are correct, before asking for advice. also, Autism... i tend not to communicate well, nor can i interpret communication well.

i re-read your post, and the thing that caught my eye that i didn't notice before was the diagram you drew. it makes sense now, why i have never seen a "box" shaped studio. unfortunately, that is just what i have to start with, is a box. the walls, i have enough room for building walls at slight angles. the ceiling though, has very little room to change much, at 6 foot, 6 inches. i can perhaps build in a slight taper, to get the reflections from standing... perhaps if i only take up around 2 inches in slope, it may be enough to diffuse the reflections.

i don't plan on recording a full band in the camper, as there simply isn't enough room. that will be for the future.

as for the mixer... i tend to think for the future, without thinking...
i will likely only be able to afford one good interface (i can get a used MOTU 896HD for around $300), so i wanted to make the most of it by routing the inputs to it through the mixer, so i can combine channels in the future. when i do record a full band, i do know that a drum kit takes a lot of mics, with the exception being my E-Drum kit. with the mixer, i can combine the mics i need for a full band down to just the 8 channels i can record with, and still allow full provisions for the band to monitor themselves over headphones if they want. that is the understanding i had in mind when i bought the mixer.

~Travis
Old 1 week ago
  #21
Gear Addict
 
I say skip that MOTU interface, it's firewire only and was released 18 years ago. That's ancient in digital years and is a dead end now that Firewire support has been dropped. In your position the Behringer UMC1820 would seem fine and is cheaper at $250 than the used MOTU.

Since you're not going to be recording full bands like with full drum kits to start, don't worry about using the mixer. Just go direct into the interface. Start small/simple and build up.

When you do get to recording full bands, I doubt you'll be happy with combining mics before sending to the interface. I've had to do that and it really limits you in the mixing process. I believe a 2nd of the Behringers I referenced above could be linked by ADAT to the first to give you 16 mic channels.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #22
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by travis.farmer ➑️
let me be clear in one thing, i never stated i wanted to stay a "one-microphone studio".
Did I "accuse" you of wanting to stay a one-mic studio? . A one-mic studio is your immediate goal, and so all the advice you are getting is about that. At the moment, you have a zero-mic studio, correct? I don't understand why you are feeling "insulted" when you were the one who started the thread talking about recording karaoke singers. That is a one-mic application.


Quote:
i wanted to expand to record "garage bands" at some point. and IMO, calling someone a "one-microphone studio" is quite derogatory, when they have stated they want more, but are just starting out.
I can't help it if you want to take things that people say that are true as "derogatory". You ARE starting out with one microphone. As such, you are being advised to not spend money on things that are wasteful in that application. FOR NOW.

Quote:
the camper studio is temporary. more of a learning experience on how to build something resembling one, before i go to the expense of a full studio
You are getting advice for the studio you are building NOW. I don't see a problem. When you are ready to build the larger studio, by all means come back to the forum and ask again about building out a larger space or accommodating more input channels.
Quote:
i re-read your post, and the thing that caught my eye that i didn't notice before was the diagram you drew. the ceiling though, has very little room to change much, at 6 foot, 6 inches. i can perhaps build in a slight taper, to get the reflections from standing.. perhaps if i only take up around 2 inches in slope, it may be enough to diffuse the reflections.
I pointed it out because you have not put up the sheet rock yet, so it is a golden opportunity to actually "design" your space.
If you do two of the walls, you are already ahead of a lot of other places. Don't worry if you can't also do the ceiling. Or can only do a slight angle. Do what you can. It is more important to get it up and running than to get it perfect, and as you say, you plan on building a larger studio in the future.

Quote:
... can combine the mics i need for a full band down to just the 8 channels i can record with, and still allow full provisions for the band to monitor themselves over headphones if they want. that is the understanding i had in mind when i bought the mixer.
Yes you can do these things with a mixer. But as MrKahuna says, there are workflow compromises to premixing channels. I would use my mixer to get 6-8 drum mics down to two channels when I used to record to 8-track tape. It worked, but you only got one chance to get the premix right. That means a lot of time taken in setup. Which "clients" may not like .

I work in 3 studios, and only one of them has a mixing board. The other two are "mixerless" studios and yet they all can easily handle full bands with 16 inputs or even 24. ADAT expanders for a base interface are cheaper than mixers and cheaper than multiple interfaces.

In any case, there is plenty of time to worry about this as it is all in the realm of your future studio. The advice you are being given is for the studio you are building NOW. Your FIRST studio. Your STARTING studio.

It is more interesting for us to help someone actually build a real studio now than to discuss in the abstract some studio a person is going to build someday. If you are serious, the immediate reality should also be more interesting to you than the vague generalities of the "future".

Focus on getting your camper space livable, acoustically treated and with one good mic. Make that happen first. Everything else that you are talking about is either irrelevant, or can be decided later.
Old 1 week ago
  #23
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MarkF48's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
The concept of a camper studio reminded me of a few YouTube videos of 'Jam In The Van' I came across a while back .....

https://www.youtube.com/user/JamintheVan/featured

You're getting good advice in this thread.
Old 1 week ago
  #24
Gear Nut
 
travis.farmer's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
one thing i can state with confidence, written communication is much harder to give and take than speaking face to face...

i may be putting the mixer on FB marketplace, see if i can recover some of the money. i also put my old Goldwing motorcycle up for sale too, just to raise funds for my studio. i will Try to hold off on gear, with exception to some good microphones, and "maybe" a better DAW computer. 16GB of ram just feels light when hit record through my Tascam US-1641. though maybe Win10 is just auto-updating when i try it (a regular annoyance with Win10)...

but all that aside, i will put my money toward the studio. and i have 4 mics currently (well, 4 Pyle POS mics ), so technically i am a 4-mic "studio". what i have on order, but not in my possession though, are mic cables. i had ordered just some basics for now.

i had originally planned on a single room for my DAW and the "recording room", but i tried a test mic near my current DAW computer, using a Pyle mic and an improvised XLR cable (old 1/8" TRS cable, with ends cut off and XLRs soldered on), and my Tascam US-1641. the background noise was horrible. fan noise, mouse clicks, keyboard taps...
so i think it will be easier to just build a insulated wall between the DAW section, and the recording section. that was just in my bedroom, the test...
currently for power to the studio camper, i have single-phase 240V @ 30A available, but as i will not likely use any 240V equipment, i have 60A of 120V available, if spread in the panel in a balanced fashion. so hopefully after i install a mini-split AC/Heat-pump, i still have enough power for the equipment...
on the nature of power, the studio camper is powered off the garage, so currently no generator backup power. when i get going, i will have battery backup for the equipment, but i am not sure if i can stretch generator power from the house.
just realized, i seem to be thinking out-loud for some reason...

there have been some mentions of me learning piano/keyboard as possible accompaniment... how hard is it to learn, compared to drums? or am i better off to stick with just drums?

~Travis
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #25
Gear Nut
 
travis.farmer's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkF48 ➑️
The concept of a camper studio reminded me of a few YouTube videos of 'Jam In The Van' I came across a while back .....

https://www.youtube.com/user/JamintheVan/featured

You're getting good advice in this thread.
I have joked with the idea of calling it "Backyard Camper Studio"

~Travis
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by travis.farmer ➑️
there have been some mentions of me learning piano/keyboard as possible accompaniment... how hard is it to learn, compared to drums? or am i better off to stick with just drums?
First rule is to learn the instrument(s) you love. The desire to play is what ultimately makes you get good.

Piano/keyboard is very handy with producing in a DAW since it gives you a great way to play musical parts in. Play a chord sequence on pads. Play a bassline on a monsynth. Add some melody parts with sampled instruments. Starts to sound like a track. Learning it also teaches you the basics of musical theory.

I'm a bassist first, a guitarist second and used to be a punk/metal vocalist a long time ago. My little secret is that my keyboard skills are all one-hand-at-a-time. I know enough scales and chords and musical theory to get my compositions happening and arranged and play in the parts - but playing one hand at a time is fine with a DAW since if more layers are needed you just record another track. For this reason I can also get away with a smaller 37 or 49 key board with some octave buttons. You want to be able to play both hands at once for live performance on piano or keyboard generally - but learning to play and sight read with both hands takes a lot of time invested.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #27
Gear Nut
 
travis.farmer's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ambiguous signal ➑️
First rule is to learn the instrument(s) you love. The desire to play is what ultimately makes you get good.
really, i love most all instruments. as far as playing, i have a strong desire to play music, and be good at it. but i haven't found my key instrument yet. perhaps it is piano/keyboard... but likely it will be whatever i can learn without getting frustrated and giving up on it.

i started learning guitar... but got overwhelmed. i was quite good at the E chord of Nothing Else Matters - Metallica, but got frustrated i couldn't play the rest and sold my guitar for what turned out to be a very crap truck...

currently trying drums... as i thought it was the easiest to learn. i am finding that as the key time-piece of the band, i "may" get overwhelmed.

Always liked the sound of a piano, and the versatility of a keyboard, so maybe that "could" be my key. i picked out what i think may be a good beginner keyboard at Sweetwater, a Yamaha PSR E-463. it can be powered by batteries, for how long, who knows... but i can set it up anywhere that is comfortable, and learn it... if i buy it.

Quote:
Learning it also teaches you the basics of musical theory.
this is something i do want, an understanding of music theory.
while i am Autistic, unfortunately, i am not a savant... that would be handy... but as i am not, i have to depend on my love of music in general.

one of the reasons i want to record music, other than a fascination with the gear, is that weather i can play or not, i want to be able to get those that CAN play or sing, recorded, so they can achieve their dreams, and so i can live vicariously through them, i suppose. most all my hopes and dreams have been destroyed... i want to have the opportunity to make sure that isn't the case with somebody else.

~Travis
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #28
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by travis.farmer ➑️
there have been some mentions of me learning piano/keyboard as possible accompaniment... how hard is it to learn, compared to drums?
I think it is harder - but then again I am a drummer. Still objectively - on the drums, I have 6 or 7 different things to hit, using two hands and two feet. On the piano, I have 88 different things to hit, and I need all ten fingers to get at them. And I still need to work a foot pedal.

Keyboards are suggested mainly because a keyboardist with a synth can "fake" a whole band. You can't play chords on the drums or mimic a string section! On the other hand, plenty of studios attract clients with only the promise of a great recording - and it's up to the client to find musicians for backup.

Quote:
or am i better off to stick with just drums?
If you really want to learn the piano because you dig the piano, then by all means go for it. If you want to learn piano because someone proposed that it will 'enhance your studio business', I would say well, there are plenty of ways to enhance one's studio business, and nobody has the time to do them all. So, do the ones that are comfortable and convenient for you.

Not for nothing, but learning to become a great recording engineer is a "lifetime" achievement. Becoming a great drummer is also a "lifetime" achievement. Getting great at playing keyboards and arranging is a yet another "lifetime" achievement. You might want to take stock of how many lifetimes you have, and put your studying into those tasks where you will most enjoy yourself, or where it will be most practical to further your main goals.
Old 1 week ago
  #29
Gear Nut
 
travis.farmer's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
You are absolutely correct, joeq. i have far too many "lifetime achievement" goals, and i am already 41 years old...
after much tossing and turning last night, i have found this...
I have spent my life, so far, doing what others want of me. when i first watched the documentary Metallica did on recording their "Black Album", my first thought wasn't playing guitar, or drums... it was "how cool would it be to be able to record a band".

i can dabble in playing an instrument or two as a hobby, but my goal is to record music. it would be nice to be a great drummer... but my whole life i have lived in the shadow of others, as it is where i am most comfortable. recording music will let me stay in the shadows, and achieve my music goals.

even before this post, i put my Goldwing motorcycle up for sale, just to get money for the studio. i have a large CNC router taking up space in my camper. it was being built as a hobby, as a future job idea... it is taking a lifetime to build... so i think i will sell it, and gain more space in my camper studio, and yet more money.

i may even add a note to each sale, "may do partial trades for music recording studio gear". i mean, i need the money, but it could be interesting to see what turns up. could be a bunch of quality mics... and the important part is "partial trades".

after watching even just a few of those "Jam in the van" videos... makes me wish my camper had some slide-outs. it isn't wide... like 7 or 8 feet wide, but it is long, at 29 feet. when i get the CNC out of it, i will have the full length available for my first studio rendition.

I don't plan on towing it any, until i can afford to buy a place of my own, so gutting it out completely won't harm it. i have already put a new stronger roof on, though that needs finishing so i can take the tarp off it. the tarp just looks really... classy.
the camper has a large double door in the rear, that could be used for getting large equipment in and out of the recording room. i will need to double it, i think, for sound... or eliminate it (most likely).
now, the siding is in rough shape, so i could, with enough money, replace that, and in the process, eliminate the windows, as they are sound leaks.
I have attached a non-glorious picture of the camper for reference.
i have since upgraded the tarp to one that fits the roof, and it is situated so i can use the door.
so first, i need to finish the roof. then some better siding, and window-elimination. then, i can focus on the studio itself.
for roofing, i was thinking that rolled-roofing would be the least expensive. it is an fiberglass-asphalt product, like a shingle, but one piece, full-length. not ideal, but it gets rid of the tarp.
for siding... not sure what is cheapest right now. it needs to hold up fairly well though...
the "wedge" shaped front and rear of the camper "could" be flattened, seeing as how i would be re-doing siding anyway. it would make it easier to side over a flat wall, than all those angles... i would lose a little length, but i think the trade-off would be better.
really, whatever i do only has to last until i can build a full studio, but i don't know when that will be, so it will need to last quite a while.

so, i "think" i have settled down my goals to my current needs, without stepping on my future feet. in other words, what i need to do now, that won't limit future expansion if it turns up.

keep in mind, there are no bathrooms left in the camper, as there just wasn't room for the option. that will need to be figured out before i "open for business", though. i currently live in-town, not in the woods. so the bushes and trees are not an option here.

something i just thought of... with expensive equipment being in the camper studio... i should invest in some sort of alarm, before moving in equipment. being a camper... a car alarm may be sufficient... with some good door locks. and something to keep thieves from just towing the whole camper away, as well.

anyway, i seem to be writing a book here... so i will cut this chapter off now, so i can get ready for my current job (carpentry).

~Travis
Attached Thumbnails
Idea, likely not an original: Karaoke-style recording sessions-img_0311.jpg  
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #30
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by travis.farmer ➑️
I don't plan on towing it any, until i can afford to buy a place of my own, so gutting it out completely won't harm it. i have already put a new stronger roof on,

Is your trailer road-worthy or could it be made road worthy?

I remember a guy up near Woodstock, NY that built his studio in a van. It was not a "trailer" I guess, since it had its own motor but still "mobile".

Anyway the idea was that his van was mainly a "control room". To record larger bands, he would drive it over to the band's house, run the mics from the band's practice space into his van and record them. He could even sometimes pull up alongside the house so that his van's side window could "look in" to the room where the musicians were set up. ​Then drive home and mix.

It is something you could keep in mind for the future without doing anything different now except not letting your wheels rot. All you would need when you are ready to do it, would be an extra long snake and of course a tow vehicle. In the meantime, setting up your camper as a studio can proceed just the way you are planning to do it.

i
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