HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by fabkebab » Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:33 pm

Hehe - I always listen to the show, but I had to come in on this one -

1 ) Never heard my voice :-) I once did a whole slot on HMHS (about "extreme" songwriting) - I even did a complete show once (something like episode 34 or something) - That said, I am quite forgettable most of the time.. :P

2 ) My main reason for coming here is to say that I have had a Fostex VF160 since about 2000 and I mainly got it because it accepts 8 inputs simultaneously so I could record band stuff - Its tons of fun afterwards mixing it and playing "what if?" with different effects!!
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by criddlerus » Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:10 pm

fabkebab wrote:Hehe - I always listen to the show, but I had to come in on this one -

1 ) Never heard my voice :-) I once did a whole slot on HMHS (about "extreme" songwriting) - I even did a complete show once (something like episode 34 or something) - That said, I am quite forgettable most of the time.. :P
LOL. My memory is such crap. I have even written songs with people and completely forgotten about it. Too much weed in my past? maybe. :) However, episode 34 was eons ago! I hadn't even started HRO with Andrew at that point probably. I can't remember. What is my name? ;)

I will have to check back for that Extreme Songwriting slot. Wasn't that about writing songs while bunji jumping?
fabkebab wrote: 2 ) My main reason for coming here is to say that I have had a Fostex VF160 since about 2000 and I mainly got it because it accepts 8 inputs simultaneously so I could record band stuff - Its tons of fun afterwards mixing it and playing "what if?" with different effects!!
Good to know. I have always wanted 8 inputs in a portable unit but never wanted to spend the bucks. I had my PreSonus - Firepod that worked great until the big blue light came on and it stopped working. I sent it back to have it fixed and now the drivers won't recognize it. I should try getting it to work one last time. The Firepod had great sounding preamps.

I got the Zoom R16 yesterday. Pretty exciting. I have read most of the manual but haven't plugged the unit in yet. I plan to do some recording tests with it before I do the session I bought it for on Tuesday. Excited to see how it works. Supposedly I can record 8 tracks and then just plut it in via USB and grab the session files right off of this thing. Sounds ideal! More reports to come....
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by Tracey Leu » Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:29 am

Wahey…I’m now the proud receiver of the HMHS pod cast…thanks for your help guys (Zoetrope, Dave & Tony!) A great bit of escapism on a cold & dull day!

Don’t know why I can’t open it at the website but I guess it doesn’t matter now there is no prob. With the download (though it took 47 minutes to do that…but I have patience!)

Bryan Eddy – A Tree Falls in the Forest
The “Fretless Bass” on this song was really cool…they seem to have gone out of fashion these days! Nice Song!

Dwight Engen - Terrible Secret
Really loved this “moody grungy” song…I thought the Intro lead guitar should have been a bit louder than the rhythm but no big deal…the Guitars sounded great!
The Drums also seemed quite low but I took into consideration what you were talking about minutes before…It depends what speakers we are listening through as to wether this is really an issue or not!

(Having listened to all 4 songs…this was my fav. 1)

Avett Bros - I & Love & You
This was really nice…The balance on my phones was perfect…Simplicity is the key here!

Brian Plamondon - This is Love
A very well produced song also…I am becoming a fan of the Mandolin & the Steel Guitar was really nice too!
It made me laugh when you were talking about how “Bad guitarists” layer simple guitar tracks together to get an effective sound…I’m not alone! Lol! (Neither am I a guitarist!)

I’m sure listening to your show will change my perception in my future reviews at the Forum!
Thanks guys…you have a new fan!

Trace. :D
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by tonyoci » Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:20 am

New fans need to send us some music :)
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by Rocles » Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:54 pm

The Cracks wrote:
tonyoci wrote:But that's my point. All of my guitar playing is really bad. However I am saying technically bad, I believe how I use the guitar (and my limited skills) would best be called "Effective" I think I know how to use what I have in an effective way within a song.
Right, but an effective use of effective talents often time results in a distinguished sound. I'll move the conversation off of you as I don't want to be accused of trying to score brownie points, and I'll lead the topic to my favorite guitar player, Keith Richards. I'd say Keith Richards is probably one of the most respected guitar players in the business. But even he has said he is no guitarslinger, solo madman, type. No, as he has said, he's got something more valuable - rhythm. For all his mastery over the instrument, I don't think Eric Clapton comes close to having as many recognizable sounds or songs as Keith does. Sure, he's got some great ones, but I'd bet even the casusal listener can name you five or so classic Stones riff based songs.
Totally agree. Stuff like Brown Sugar sounds so good because of the "loose" guitar...its always just enough off the beat to sound funky. For the same reason, I love The Faces recordings, in some ways, completely ramshackle, but sound great !
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by guitarot » Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:09 pm

Tony and Dave,

This is my first posting on the forum.

I started thinking about home recording while I was listening to the now defunct Home Studio and Audio Review and Luke Stark's Speechless podcasts. I started listening to Inside Home Recording when it started, and from there I followed Home Recording Odyssey and eventually over a year ago I stumbled onto your excellent podcast. It took me several months, but I've finally caught up with all the episodes of your show. For the record, I really enjoy the banter. I appreciate the balance of discussion about songwriting and the technical side of recording.

By the way, when you listen to about 4 shows a week for a few months, you really hear the evolution of Tony and Dave's songwriting and recording prowess. You guys do a great job. Keep it up. Of course I should extend kudos to Zoetrope, Dave Chick, and the rest of the contributors to the show. I really enjoy you sharing your music and special show segments.

As for me, I've been playing guitar on and off as a serious hobby for about 26 years. I've played in a few not-so-famous rock and jazz bands in Buffalo, NY, more for fun than for money. These days I jam with friends whenever I get a chance. I aspire to be a regular home recorder, but most of the time I have difficulty getting over the malaise at the end of the day working and doing stuff with the family. Also, I'm just not comfortable with my recording gear, and I sometimes think I need to start from scratch.

I have two recording rigs, but each of them frustrate me in different areas. I have a Roland BR-1200 multitrack, which is great for plugging in a guitar, bass or vocal mic, quickly getting great sounds and laying down some tracks. Also, since I work on a computer all day, it's nice to work on a reliable appliance, and I like the control surface. However, it's terrible for editing and there's no MIDI sequencing other than the built-in drums. You can transfer the tracks to the computer for further editing, but it's a time vampire and a pain.

I have an old G4 Quicksilver Mac running OSX 10.4 with Garageband 2006. I really like Garageband, but the computer is really two slow and flakey these days, as well as extremely noisy. I've thought ditching that gear to get a decent audio/MIDI interface/control surface for my newer PC laptop, or ditching the whole lot and getting a new Mac laptop. The Zoom R16 looks promising, but I would also need a MIDI interface.

Anyhow, I'm fading fast here. Thanks again for putting together such a great show. I'm inspired.
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by tonyoci » Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:50 pm

Thanks Guitarot, great to get that kind of input. Sorry we had no show this week :(

I guess it would be interesting to hear the changes in our recordings and songs over a short period of time though you probably realize more than most how we repeat ourselves :)
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by criddlerus » Sat Nov 14, 2009 8:37 am

Thanks Guitarot! Very nice to hear that we are inspiring. It has been very inspiring to do the shows actually! I am positive I would not have written more than 2 songs in that period if I hadn't and of course I have met so many new friends. That is a cool thought that you listened to our evolution over a period of months. Hmm. :)

The comments mean a lot! Keep working at recording and send us something. I know sometimes things don't turn out ideally, but just send it in. We repeat it often, but I know the lesson I learned was just to finish the songs. You may come across that amazing song you have in you somewhere (Along with a few other crappy ones, if you are like me. :)


Thanks for the comments and for all the listening!

Dave
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by Tracey Leu » Sat Nov 14, 2009 8:39 pm

tonyoci wrote:New fans need to send us some music
Yes, I will "one of these days"!

How? what format? where to send? :D
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by tonyoci » Sun Nov 15, 2009 2:42 am

Well we do announce it on the show every week :)

MP3 to homemadehitshow@gmail.com

Thanks
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by Grandma Melonhead » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:09 am

My 2 cents.

I record way below zero. I never normalise (or if I do, I dont normalise to 0db). In terms of compression, pulling the threshold down on your compressor has the same effect as increasing the volume of the region.

I can understand recording hot to tape to avoid the noise floor and to maximise fidelity but digital doesnt have the same issues. Well.. at 24 bit it certainly doesnt. At 16 bit I have noticed a loss of presence when recording at less than HOT.

You might think that 24 bit is just 50% more than 16 bit but its much more than that. Each bit you add doubles the possible permutations of 0s and 1s. 17 bit would be the double of 16 bit. 24 bit is actually 256 times the vertical resolution of 16 bit. Thats a lotta room! If I have this wrong please corect me.

I actually wish they would come out with a 24 bit standard for CDs but I cant see that happening, when people in general dont care much about sound quality anymore. A lot about the digital revolution is about ideas rather than realities. People would scoff at old audio cassettes but they are quite happy to have their entire music collections in crappy MP3s! Further, the ipod is very, very popular but certainly not for its sound quality.

rant rant rant....
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by criddlerus » Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:05 am

Grandma Melonhead wrote:I can understand recording hot to tape to avoid the noise floor and to maximise fidelity but digital doesnt have the same issues. Well.. at 24 bit it certainly doesnt. At 16 bit I have noticed a loss of presence when recording at less than HOT.
I think it is VERY subtle, but if you are Steely Dan it makes the difference between good and great.

Here is the test you can do:
1) Record at extremely low volume
2) Normalize to 0db
3) Listen to the results

Another thing to try:
1) Render a mix at -60db
2) Normalize that mix back to 0db
3) See how it sounds.

It takes a whole lot to get it to sound noticeably bad in Reaper, but you can. That said, since it DOES sound noticeably bad at -60db, it probably sounds slightly worse at -30db but you just can't hear the difference as well.

Bottom line: if you are really going for hi-fi, record hotter. Otherwise lower is ok.
Grandma Melonhead wrote:You might think that 24 bit is just 50% more than 16 bit but its much more than that. Each bit you add doubles the possible permutations of 0s and 1s. 17 bit would be the double of 16 bit. 24 bit is actually 256 times the vertical resolution of 16 bit. Thats a lotta room! If I have this wrong please corect me.
I think you are right on that. It took a LOT lower volume to screw up the 24bit sound than it did the 16bit. That made a huge difference.
Grandma Melonhead wrote:People would scoff at old audio cassettes but they are quite happy to have their entire music collections in crappy MP3s! Further, the ipod is very, very popular but certainly not for its sound quality.
You know, I really agonized over the decision to start using MP3's. I was very resistant. If you rip at a high enough rate, you can get a pretty good sound so that is important. I do notice that the sound of streaming audio is horrible compared to a good rip from a CD at 256kbps.

The convenience of MP3's has turned out to win the battle for me. I have done A/B tests with CD's and a good rip and it really is very hard to tell the difference. I couldn't do it consistently. Now, a bad rip is a different story. A friend sent me a bad rip of a Steve Malkmus album that just sounded narrow and dull. I got the real CD and re-ripped it and it sounded fantastic.

Tough call on that one.
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by Grandma Melonhead » Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:19 pm

I guess it might be pretty subtle but with recording, all the improvements you are able to make are pretty subtle but they add up. Plus you have to multiply the improvement by how many audio tracks you have plus the mix down and perhaps the mastered track if that is separate.

---

Regarding MP3s. I dont understand why people dont choose a lossless file type like AAC instead. (or AIF or WAV for that matter). I think maybe its for a simlar reason to that of why everyone leaves their microwaves on high.
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by tonyoci » Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:36 pm

GM: AAC is NOT a lossless format :)

I am a big proponent that audio quality is not that key. People talk about the great fidelity of records but most of listened to them on sub standard gear, and remember in the 60's most people had those standalone turntables. Sure there were audiophiles and those are the same guys that can have all the high quality stuff they want.

I really don't think all this extra effort makes any difference to 98% of your end listeners but you might spend a lot of extra time on it, that time could be better spent on the musical parts of your song or on writing your next song. The sound is also at the mercy of the weakest link in the listening chain (usually crappy headphones or crappy audio converters)

I'm not sure if you are making all these efforts now, and I hope this isn't an insult, but as something of an average listener I'm just not hearing the audio quality in your tracks standing out beyond others ? Most of them sound in the same ballpark.
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by Zoetrope » Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:45 pm

Perhaps he meant flac?
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by criddlerus » Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:42 am

I have used FLAC before and it does sound outstanding but the files are WAY bigger. Here is a rough comparison for an average 70 minute album:
WAV = 800MB
FLAC = 400MB
MPE = 60MB

Sure, FLAC sounds great but my album collection would take up WAY more space. Maybe for an album I really want to hear the high fidelity on I might encode it in FLAC, but honestly, a good MP3 is awfully close.

I understand what GM is saying about recording though. WAV 24bit is the way to go on that. I wouldn't record to mp3 if it could be avoided.

Dave
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by Zoetrope » Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:19 pm

There's a lot to be said for MP3 (or MPE as some folks around here call it).
You can choose the bitrate/quality from really crappy (small file) to really good (still much smaller than a wav).
There's no DRM.
Every media player in the universe, hardware or software, can play MP3s.

And then there's the "network effect". Since all your friends have all their music on MP3, you can all trade songs easily without someone saying "How do I open this file?"

Most importantly, and as Tony points out, most people are listening to their music on systems with such crap earphones or speakers (and frequently in noisy environments) that they wouldn't be able to hear the difference between a well encoded MP3 and the wav file.
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