How to record music?

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This question may appear to be redundant, yet this question is relevant to me, for as I am interested in creating original music, yet do not posses the knowledge of how to do so.

From what I have seen, it requires the use of a microphone to be placed near the amplifier speaker, then the sounds are placed into a recording program for mixing and mastering. Or at least it is the normal procedure.

As well I would also be interested in how music was recorded and produced in the past, maybe from the 1930's to the early 1970's, to perhaps mimic the sound quality from that era. (I prefer a more under produced and raw sound quality.)

If any can help, it would be much appreciated.
 

Given To Fly

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This is a rather broad question that is difficult to give a productive answer. It is kind of like asking "how to paint art?"

Knowledge is important. Your initial observations are more or less correct but there is more to it that you have not observed. I am probably not the best person to attempt to walk you through the processes since there are many ways to record music today. At the very least, is it safe to assume you will be using a computer to record? That will help people with their responses. Good Luck!
 

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This is a rather broad question that is difficult to give a productive answer. It is kind of like asking "how to paint art?"

Knowledge is important. Your initial observations are more or less correct but there is more to it that you have not observed. I am probably not the best person to attempt to walk you through the processes since there are many ways to record music today. At the very least, is it safe to assume you will be using a computer to record? That will help people with their responses. Good Luck!

Knowledge is important as a universal proverb. Perhaps for convenience, I may use a computer for basic mixing and so forth. Though I am, in general, interested in recording like how people from days of yore did.
 

QuantumCybin

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I'll recommend you check out the recording studio subforum and read stuff there. However, for a barebones computer recording setup you'll need a few things: an interface to that plugs into your computer, which you plug your guitar/mics into. You'll also need a DAW, a digital audio workstation. REAPER is a great choice, free for 60 days and only $60 to buy it. It's a fully functional DAW like pro tools or cubase. You can also choose to do everything "in the box" by using software plugins to make guitar/bass tones, as well as programming virtual drums with a program like EZ/Superior Drummer or Steven Slate Drums.

A ton of people recommend a Focusrite Scarlett interface. Most will tell you to get the Scarlett 2i4. I have the 2i2 and I don't have any problems with it, but a lot of people seem to experience clipping issues with it.
 

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Today it is mostly digital. You will need a capable PC, a recording interface and a guitar.

There are digital plug ins that simulate guitar amps, drums, bass, keyboard, you name it. There are even plug ins that simulate "tape" which is what people used back in the 60's-70's afaik before all the digital gear.

If you want to record real drums or guitar or anything else then yes, you would place the mic in front of the amp or each drum and cymbals, overheads. Mic placement is very important but it will take a lot of research for you to know what is best.

I cannot speak on the 30's or anything else really but I do know today it is mostly digital, even if using real amps and instruments and back in the day they used the reel to reel tape. I am unsure of what was used before tape but there is some basic info.

As mentioned before youtube is your best friend, reading forums and books, watching videos, talking to others and your own trial and error.

I would start with the easy route, digital. You may need to find another forum that is based on old school tape recording unless others here have that knowledge.
 

bostjan

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Prior to the introduction of the vacuum tube amplifier, recordings were made by purely mechanical means. A groove cur into wax by a needle was modulated in depth by the sound pressure on the needle. As such, performances were recorded live. If one musician was too high in the mix, the engineer would have that musician move farther away from the pickup. Since the needle was extremely sensitive, and the mechanical apparatus quite delicate, there really isn't a crude way to reproduce this easily.

With early electric recordings, a microphone was simply used in place of the mechanical pickup, so the studio engineer would have fancier gear and record a much more bass-rich recording, but the overall practices for how the band would record was no different. It wasn't until the 1960's really, where audio mixers were used.

To obtain a sound similar to pre-1950's recordings, you can cut the bass-frequencies down to about minus infinity dB, take the low mid down a little, spike the upper mid and cut the highs slightly, so that your tone sounds like it is coming from a tin can.

This is actually why we have the image of the trans-atlantic accent from the "old timey" recordings. It's not that people talked in nasal voices, so much as the fact that nasal voices were picked up much better in recordings, because of the natural EQ in old recording equipment.

1960's and 70's recordings were very much different from 1940's and 50's recordings. Tape recorders became prevalent, and soon evolved into multitrack reel-to-reel recorders with large mixing boards. Dynamic and condenser microphones took the lead for producing much thicker EQ bandwidth, and the use of amplifiers meant that a guitar could perform a solo in a band with percussion and still be heard.
 

Given To Fly

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Prior to the introduction of the vacuum tube amplifier, recordings were made by purely mechanical means. A groove cur into wax by a needle was modulated in depth by the sound pressure on the needle. As such, performances were recorded live. If one musician was too high in the mix, the engineer would have that musician move farther away from the pickup. Since the needle was extremely sensitive, and the mechanical apparatus quite delicate, there really isn't a crude way to reproduce this easily.

With early electric recordings, a microphone was simply used in place of the mechanical pickup, so the studio engineer would have fancier gear and record a much more bass-rich recording, but the overall practices for how the band would record was no different. It wasn't until the 1960's really, where audio mixers were used.

To obtain a sound similar to pre-1950's recordings, you can cut the bass-frequencies down to about minus infinity dB, take the low mid down a little, spike the upper mid and cut the highs slightly, so that your tone sounds like it is coming from a tin can.

This is actually why we have the image of the trans-atlantic accent from the "old timey" recordings. It's not that people talked in nasal voices, so much as the fact that nasal voices were picked up much better in recordings, because of the natural EQ in old recording equipment.

1960's and 70's recordings were very much different from 1940's and 50's recordings. Tape recorders became prevalent, and soon evolved into multitrack reel-to-reel recorders with large mixing boards. Dynamic and condenser microphones took the lead for producing much thicker EQ bandwidth, and the use of amplifiers meant that a guitar could perform a solo in a band with percussion and still be heard.

Here is a fun story to supplement bostjan's essay:
"In the United States, Harvey Fletcher of Bell Laboratories was also investigating techniques for stereophonic recording and reproduction. One of the techniques investigated was the "wall of sound", which used an enormous array of microphones hung in a line across the front of an orchestra. Up to 80 microphones were used, and each fed a corresponding loudspeaker, placed in an identical position, in a separate listening room. Several stereophonic test recordings, using two microphones connected to two styli cutting two separate grooves on the same wax disc, were made with Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra at Philadelphia's Academy of Music in March 1932. The first (made on March 12, 1932), of Scriabin's Prometheus: Poem of Fire, is the earliest known surviving intentional stereo recording."
 

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I appreciate ALL of your responses in this thread. Perhaps this will allow me to have a basic idea of what to expect. I prefer a more raw/under produced sound, primarily due to the music I listen to, which would be Hardcore Punk, Grindcore, Powerviolence, Black Metal, Death Metal and so forth.
 

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im not sure if this is true or not but i was once told that the first recording of sound was by accident when a farmer sort of person had a clay/pottery wheel in their horse stall/barn. and while the wheel was turning a piece of hay was sticking out and touching the clay as it spun. the vibrations recorded the sounds in the immediate area....aaaand.....wait! i kind of forget lol. something about the farmer hearing horse "nays" when he knew the horses were not making sounds. yeah like i said, who knows if its true at all LOL. nice little story though :) this is how im going to record my next tech death album
 

Jacksonluvr636

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I appreciate ALL of your responses in this thread. Perhaps this will allow me to have a basic idea of what to expect. I prefer a more raw/under produced sound, primarily due to the music I listen to, which would be Hardcore Punk, Grindcore, Powerviolence, Black Metal, Death Metal and so forth.

Some people may not agree with this person's methods. I have heard he does way to much to achieve his sounds. Meaning it is possible to get the same or better results with much less work BUT this guy shows you exactly what he is doing.

As long as you had the same plugins you could get the same exact sound if you do what he shows you.

This is just one video of one style but he does have a few others. Worth checking out IMO.

 

bostjan

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im not sure if this is true or not but i was once told that the first recording of sound was by accident when a farmer sort of person had a clay/pottery wheel in their horse stall/barn. and while the wheel was turning a piece of hay was sticking out and touching the clay as it spun. the vibrations recorded the sounds in the immediate area....aaaand.....wait! i kind of forget lol. something about the farmer hearing horse "nays" when he knew the horses were not making sounds. yeah like i said, who knows if its true at all LOL. nice little story though :) this is how im going to record my next tech death album

Won't work. :(

I really wanted that to be true, though.
 

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Not so relevant to the discussion but OP I love your DHMIS theme you got going on
 

bostjan

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Not so relevant to the discussion but OP I love your DHMIS theme you got going on

Same Here! I was going to wait until I had an opportunity to quote the show, but I'm not creative enough, I didn't have the time, although I'd love to make a reference digitally.
 

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Same Here! I was going to wait until I had an opportunity to quote the show, but I'm not creative enough, I didn't have the time, although I'd love to make a reference digitally.

No, because it would've made your teeth go grey.
 

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But I digress, all responses have been helpful in acquiring a basic idea of recording music. I posses many ideas for a song, riffs et cetera, and want to express them in a way I see suitable.

Thanks to thee, who have commented.
 


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