Rick's Rap - November 2007
Well, at least part of the reason I've been having such a hard time mastering the basement tracks has finally come to light ... the mixer was broken. Not totally, mind you, just enough to screw things up, but not bad enough to be obvious that is was broke.
There is some sort of problem with the onboard effects that prevents them from totally turning off. The result is that the tones on the tracks tend to have very little high frequeny content, and every now and again they just sound weird. Of course we just assumed that was because of the way we were playing. Eventually it got bad enough so that we couln't ignore it and Bob took it in to the shop. The good news is that it's covered under warrenty, the bad news is that there's an eight to ten week delay on getting the parts.
While we're waiting for it to get repaired we're trying to figure out how to hook up my powered p.a. head so that we can continue recording.
Well we got my p.a. interfaced with the recorder and proceeded to continue recording. Wow! What a difference it makes actually having some high end on the guitar tracks. There's still plenty of bottom end, but now they've got presence.
Now the long pole in the tent is the e.q. on the vocals. It seems we have a tendancy to breathe into the mic, and this makes a sound like a little burst of static. To minimize this, I have to turn down the upper mids and highs. This cleans things up pretty well, but it makes the vocals a tad muddy, not enough to make them unusable, but definitely enough to be noticeable.
I'm guessing this is why when you see a photo of someone recording in a real studio, there's always a wind screen in front of the vocal mics.
We've been trying to make some decently quality basement recordings for 6 months now, and I think we're starting to get the hang of it.