recording guitar and voice

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recording guitar and voice

Postby rhirvine » Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:13 pm

This morning I stumbled upon Windows (7) live movie maker which apparently came bundled with my notebook computer. After experimenting with it, it seems I can do a video and audio recording of myself doing whatever. My question is this: can I get a better audio recording using some USB microphone? If I go to the trouble, I want the audio to be up to par. I plan to record "puff the magic dragon", and few other tunes for posterity for my grand child and my grown up children. It will be both voice and guitar. Thanks!

Rich Irvine
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Re: recording guitar and voice

Postby ajbremer » Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:37 am

Hi Rich,

That notebook computer has its own mic but an external mic would be the next step up. I've recorded stuff using Walmart $8.00 mics and they are even better than the ones on the laptop. Of course you can go up from there. Google the different types of mics for vocals and you'll find a massive range of them, going easily into the many hundreds of dollars and even into the thousands.

The Sure SM57 is about a hundred dollar vocal mic and it's really common. Here is one link that may get you started:

http://audio.tutsplus.com/tutorials/recording/11-of-the-best-studio-microphones-ever-how-and-when-to-use-them/

Here's another cool link for starters sir: http://www.ehow.com/how_2211374_pick-vocal-microphone-recording-studio.html
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Re: recording guitar and voice

Postby Joey Bowie » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:36 am

Rich,
Forgive me if I appear to be stealing your thread but while we're on the subject of recording audio music off a PC there has been something puzzling me for years now about what type of recorder is best for this and maybe you or someone else can answer this for me.

Years ago I used reel type recorders to learn songs and when they became extinct, I used cassette type recorders. I still have many blank cassettes that I'd like to put to good use I would like to find a decent sounding recording device that I could use to record audio off my PC via a mike or a USB. I want to be able to learn more Chet songs by using the recorder instead of going on my PC and getting them of Youtubes. I've always been able to learn guitar parts easier just with the audio. I'd like to find something that is portable and not too expensive if I can.

Joey
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Re: recording guitar and voice

Postby ajbremer » Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:28 pm

Hi Joey,

You said, "I've always been able to learn guitar parts easier just with the audio. I'd like to find something that is portable and not too expensive if I can."

Believe me, the best FREE way to learn Chet tunes using mainly audio and not video is a laptop and the software program called, "Audacity". Laptops are very portable. I even use it in my car to practice along with. You can download the software for free here: http://audacity.sourceforge.net

I use a mac laptop that I bought used for $700 and I simply love macs. I've got a 15" 3 to 4 year old mac book pro and I'll probably never have a windows computer as my main computer again. But anyway, back to the subject at hand.

There's only a couple reasons why a laptop and Audacity wouldn't be good for a person: their not computer literate and they don't like messing around with all those new commands and having to learn a bunch of new stuff. There's one more thing that makes Chet tunes way faster to learn - TABS! I find that most all the really good players don't use tabs, they've been playing since they were young and having to play by ear was the only choice back then in the days of no internet and no computers. They learned how to learn without that stuff. I wish I was like those guys where learning a Chet tune by ear would come easy BUT it all comes hard for me and the only way to learn is a ton of practice. And 'for me', that's where a laptop, software tools, and tab come in.

Here's a short description of how I go about learning a Chet tune. First I try to find the tabs for it. There are many publications of Chet tunes out there where the tab is available and there's a ton of them on the net also. I have collected many, many of them over the years. There are all kinds of great resources out there and if you spend a little extra money on them they will help you get your Chet tunes down much faster. Here's a few awesome mainstream resources:

John McClellan: http://www.acousticguitarcommunity.com/profile/JohnMcClellan
Craig Dobbins Acoustic Guitar Workshop: http://www.craigdobbins.com/Acoustic%20Guitar%20Workshop.html
John Knowles: Finger style Guitar Quarterly: http://www.johnknowles.com/quarterly.htm

Those three above guys publications are awesome and I've used them many times. For under a couple hundred bucks a year those three guys publications can be coming to your door and you'll have an awesome collection.

Then after you finally get the tab to the tune you want to learn, then you need to have an mp3 file of the tune on the computer (desktop or laptop, don't matter). I then start the software program called, 'Audacity' and I import the mp3 file into it. Audacity brings the music file in and you just click the play button and try to read the tabs and play along with it. But here's the magic right here:

There's a function in Audacity where you can slow the tempo down any percentage but yet keep the pitch the same. I've taken Chet tunes with mega fast licks, slowed them down around 20% and just kept playing along with it over and over again. There's a playback function in Audacity where you can loop play. So you pick out a little portion of the tune that you really need to get better, slow it down, and play along with it over and over again.

Then, as your hands begin to treat you well due to much practice, you can speed the tempo percentage up until one day, "Yippie, I can do that!"

All this might sound easy but it does take some time to get the hang of it. But the cool thing is that once you learn these learning principles you'll be able to learn Chet tunes at a much faster rate. There's just too many Chet tunes out there to learn to play by ear, at least for me. By using todays technology and taking just a few weeks of learning time, a person can learn to play Chet by using tabs, a sound file, and the computer.

This has been my perspective and the way I've been doing it and I can tell that it is working. I wish I was as great at playing like most of you guys but with the tools I've mentioned maybe someday I'll have Snowbird and Sandman down by memory. That reminds me, I'd better quit this post and grab my guitar!
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Re: recording guitar and voice

Postby ajbremer » Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:12 pm

Hi Rhirvine,

Hey, sorry for posting that last message of mine to Joey. I talked about things that wasn't in your original post. I realize now that I should have PM Joey with that information instead of putting it in this post. Again, please accept my apologies.
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Re: recording guitar and voice

Postby Joey Bowie » Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:44 pm

Thanks for all that great info AJ. I'll look into it. If anyone owes Rich an opology it's me. Sorry Rich.

Thanks again guys.
Joey Alves
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Location: Taunton, Ma.

Re: recording guitar and voice

Postby rhirvine » Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:00 pm

Don't worry about it. I learned what I needed to know about the subject.

Rich Irvine
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