Page 2 of 3

Re: Producing your own CD

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:54 pm
by guitarchuck
I went ahead and ordered BIAB. I should get out soon and have something new to figure out!

Re: Producing your own CD

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:53 pm
by cwhowell2
I think I might have a slightly different perspective on recording. I started out many years ago with a Tascam 4-track tape machine upgrading to an 8-track and eventually to an 8-track reel to reel. Tried some digital recording with Cakewalk Pro Audio and then to a standalone Fostex VF16. Next was a Tascam 2488 and finally a Tascam DP24, my current setup.

I never intended to produce albums for sale but developed an interest in recording for personal reasons. It was an easy way to replace the band I played lead guitar in for 20 years and gave me complete control over the content and mixes. Also it was a way force myself to learn new material on the guitar and as I branched out a bit, 5-string bass, mandolin and keyboard. Tried banjo a couple times but had to admit it was not my instrument. An additional incentive was to be able to leave recordings for my children and grandchildren. My Dad was an accomplished pianist but sadly, never recorded. His distinct honky-tonk style of playing now only exists in my memory.

With my current setup, I use Sonar X2 with softsynths in order to create background tracks; drums, strings, chorus, piano, etc. Some tracks are performed into the recorder via a Roland MIDI keyboard and some are driven by pre-coded MIDI files I buy from I then layer in bass, rhythm and lead tracks as needed. I don't do vocals, although I used to 30 years ago, but have 5 daughters who do a very respectable job on some of my tracks.

Everything gets mixed down to a single stereo WAV file that I transfer to my PC and master with CoolEdit-2000. A program similar to Audacity. I then use Roxio to burn CD copies and an Epson CD printer to create finished CD's and liner notes. I don't need a professional service because I seldom need more than a dozen copies.

So rather than creating a commercial album, we are really just creating musical family scrapbooks. A lot of work and great fun but a fantastic way to improve my guitar playing and learn the recording business. And since I do not sell my CD's, I can cover anybody's song without royalties. - Bill

Re: Producing your own CD

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:28 pm
by Norm
I've had BIAB for years but for the most part I "fire" all the musicians except the bass player. Less distraction. Sometimes on the second go-round the program adds things to it I don't want so it can take some focus to keep the rest of the band out of my track.

I like to use the bass player and add my own rhythm guitar if I think it's necessary. Of course I'm not making arrangements to sell. Just for people to hopefully enjoy as they're passing by...

As a practice tool, BIAB is priceless. Much better sounding than a metronome and does the same thing...keeps you in time.

You can have it repeat the song as many times as you want to and they never complain.

(...and YOU get to play all the leads! :twisted:

Re: Producing your own CD

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:06 pm
by cwhowell2
<<Audio samples: type the norm plays in search field at Google or YouTube>>

Very nice Norm. Love the harmonics in Up a Lazy River. Mood Indigo makes me really miss my Gretsches. - Bill

Re: Producing your own CD

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:38 pm
by DagerRande
Norm, you should look at BIAB these days. I too had an old version back in the 90's and gravitated toward a program called "Jammer", which felt more realistic. Now, thanks to software synthesizers, the sounds triggered by the midi tracks are very realistic in BIAB. You no longer have to depend upon the midi sounds in your computer's sound card. These software synthesizers are triggered by the midi and the sound is incredible. I have a vocalist friend who has recorded 5 CD's in the past 2 years and he uses BIAB for all of his tracks. He is often asked where he got the musicians and how much he had to pay them, etc. He also recorded directly into BIAB because it is more sophisticated than just to create midi arrangements. You might want to take a look at the most recent versions of BIAB from 2012 on.

Re: Producing your own CD

PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:22 am
by Norm
I don't have any big ambitions to make the level of CD that Richard Hudson or Chuck S. (just to name two fine players) make. I've been a poster on this and a couple of other forums for a really long time and I know I sometimes get under people's skin with my opinions. I don't do this deliberately but it sometimes just happens. I've been grumbled at as using "fifty cent words" and worse. I've been accused of being a reason some of the old hands no longer post here over the years.

I remember getting "mic fever" and choking in an attempt to play on the realtime session (much to my embarassment) and found myself unable to play.

Now I have health issues and I, like us all, would like to have something in place I can point people at that they can say, "Yeah, I remember him. He has some stuff on YouTube...let me give you a link."

There is the unasked question "Yer such a d__d know-it-all but I bet you can't play, can ya?"

Put up or shut up.

It was a real chore making the guitar entries because I had pretty much laid off guitar playing for years, favoring Dobro, even to the point of losing my calluses. You guys will never know how difficult it was to do this. But I did the best I could to try to get some of it back. I used free Audacity as a recording platform and my BIAB to provide the bass lines, sufficient unto the day. They filled my need and I don't think spending the money for a BIAB upgrade will improve my playing.

The entries aren't perfect. Far from it. But I think it's pretty safe to say they represent an old guy who wisely understood that there is only one Chet early in life and just learned to love thumb style and played it as well as he could. One of the joys of realizing that you'll never play like Chet is, in my case anyway, you learn to make your own arrangements which is not an easy task sometimes.

When they try to play one of Chet's arrangements there is always "the comparison" that they usually come out second on. No one, to my knowledge, has ever played "better than Chet" on one of Chet's arrangements. Some play Chet's arrangements faster but, sorry...that doesn't mean they're a better guitarist than Chet was...not by a long shot.

I had an email exchange with Chuck S. recently and mentioned to him that I had all but quit playing my old
Gent. I got to thinking about this and it bothered me a lot so since that day I have been picking the old Gretsch up for a little while each day....Haven't done dailies for years...

Sorry for the long ramble but there were a lot of things I wanted said....

Re: Producing your own CD

PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:06 am
by guitarchuck
Norm, I for one, always enjoy your posts! I noticed that you now have over 1000 posts here on this board, so that got me curious. I went to find out who has the most posts here on this board: Wow! You have a total at this time of posting of 1486 when you add your old handle of "thenorm" and your new handle of "Norm". I was surprised to see that I came in 2nd at 815! I'm sure people don't agree with me sometimes either, but I try to post helpful information when I can. I don't always have the right answers or info, but I try to get it right. When I'm not sure sometimes I still post what I think and I have to go back and correct it later. I try not to get involved in controversy, but sometimes our post may by default.

To everyone:
There are some really great players here on this board, many way better than me. I would like to encourage everyone to record themselves, even if it's just for family or friends. As Bill said about his Dad:
My Dad was an accomplished pianist but sadly, never recorded. His distinct honky-tonk style of playing now only exists in my memory.
I really believe that your family and friends will cherish those recordings and pass them down to future generations. Do whatever works for you, there is so many different options to record these days, from free software to expensive, complicated to easy. I plan on recording a gospel guitar CD this year (I hope), with mostly thumbstyle tunes that most people know me for. My Christmas CD was a little different than the thumbstyle that people know me for. Like I said before, don't expect big sales unless your do concerts around the country. You will sell mostly to family and friends that really know you. Sometimes it may be best just to record so that people can have a recorded memory of you.

Re: Producing your own CD

PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:29 pm
by Ray Bohlken
guitarchuck wrote:Steve,
I went ahead and ordered BIAB. I should get out soon and have something new to figure out!

Chuck, Norm, Rande, and Steve, I don't know if you have these links or not, but here are some sites with BIAB files already worked out. There used to be more, but the sites have slowly gone away over time. I use these from time to time, when I am too trifling to work out a song's backup...which is more often than not, these days.

Re: Producing your own CD

PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:48 pm
by DagerRande
Hi Ray,

Thanks for posting those. I've seen the Ohio one but notice that was last updated nearly 11 years ago. I might look at the other files and see if the new higher quality BIAB digital sounds help them to sound better.

thanks again!

Re: Producing your own CD

PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:58 pm
by guitarchuck
Thanks for posting those links Ray! I got my BIAB EverythingPAK a couple of days ago, actually I got the MAC instead of the WIN version last week. The place I ordered it from sent the wrong version and had to re-send the right version. I've played around with it a little bit. I think it's going to work out great.