General multi track recording info

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WMDBP
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General multi track recording info

Post by WMDBP » Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:03 am

Hi all! New to the forum and hope this is an appropriate place for my question. I'm new to digital recording myself, having learned on analog equipment in 1979. I have a ZOOM R8 and just found out I can't have multiple time signatures and tempos within the same project. I'm working on a piece where I go from 3/4@96bpm to 4/4@168bpm. Can this be done on the R16 or R24? If not, can anyone suggest some equipment comparably priced that can?
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Re: General multi track recording info

Post by Jim_Fogle » Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:23 pm

WMDBP,

Welcome to the forum. I use a Zoom MRS-8 so my machine is different but similar. Recording audio is recording audio and it doesn't matter if you're recording digital or analog. So I suspect the issue is not that the R8 won't record your audio but that the metronome / timekeeping part of the R8 allows only one time signature and tempo setting per project. Am I correct? If so, all is not lost. The R8 may not have the feature but I have two work around suggestions.

Suggestion 1: Record two song projects with each song project using one tempo and time signature. (Option 1) Export the tracks to your computer and use a DAW to append the tracks of one project to the tracks of the second project. (Option 2) Create a third project. Import the tracks from project 1 and 2. Copy and paste to combine two project 1 and 2 tracks into one project 3 track.

Suggestion 2: Use the metronome audio but ignore the bar/beat and time elapsed displays. Record on left channel a click track of 3/4 time and 96 BPM metronome. Record on right channel a second click track at 4/4 time and 168 BPM metronome. Pan to desired metronome audio. Record foundation tracks. Pan to second desired metronome audio. Record foundation tracks. Mute, remove metronome track assignment or delete metronome tracks. Finish recording.

For your information, Zoom's obsolete hard disk based digital recorders have a feature called scenes that allows a song project to utilize multiple settings throughout a song project. The older units were meant to offer complete recording studio capability so they were designed with more features. As DAWs became more popular hardware manufacturers decided to add DAW and audio interface support and minimize standalone capability. The manufacturers realized most song projects exist on a computer sometime during its creation so supporting that market is better than supporting a diminishing market of those wanting to create a song project solely outside a computer.
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Re: General multi track recording info

Post by MoonBassAlpha » Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:46 pm

I think the mrs1266 and 1608 will let you do that, I know for sure you can use different tempos in one project.
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Re: General multi track recording info

Post by Jim_Fogle » Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:58 pm

I don't think any current hardware solution offers multiple tempos and time signatures; at least nothing sold by Zoom Boss/Roland or TASCAM and they are all the hardware manufacturers still in the market I'm aware of.

As I indicated earlier, I believe all of the hard drive based Zoom recorders included the Scenes feature. That would include the MRS-802, MRS-1266, MRS-1608, HD-8 and HD-16.

Both the Boss DR-1200CD and DR-1600CD have a similar feature. I don't know of any TASCAMs that do but I haven't looked at their older equipment much.
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Re: General multi track recording info

Post by Wulfraed » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:42 am

Jim_Fogle wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:58 pm
I don't think any current hardware solution offers multiple tempos and time signatures; at least nothing sold by Zoom Boss/Roland or TASCAM and they are all the hardware manufacturers still in the market I'm aware of.
The BOSS BR-800 might still qualify. While it (and predecessor BR-600) lack the tempo and beat map feature of the BR-1200, the "song arrangement" feature of the rhythm section does still allow for setting the tempo to be used for a rhythm pattern by time point (the "beats" /time-signature appears to be an inherent part of the selected pattern).

I'm not sure how a tempo change translates to the time/measure screen -- does it track the arrangement or is it fixed to the starting tempo/signature. However, the OP's goal would appear to be answered on this device by picking a simple rhythm pattern* in 3/4, setting it to be the arrangement start, specify the 96bpm tempo and the number of measures for which to play (actually, the last pattern will repeat ad nauseum, so you really need to only specify the start measure when a change takes place), then selecting a 4/4 pattern and specifying its tempo.

{Granted, using the BR-800 /inputs/ may be confusing... Where Zoom used XLR/TRS combo jacks for all inputs, BOSS has dedicated guitar, line-in jacks, and one has to specify which jack is being used -- only one XLR has phantom power, while stereo [dual mic] is limited to a different pair of XLR jacks; and XLR #3 is only active in the 4-input mode}






* The BR-600 allowed for patterns to be edited on-board; the BR-800 dropped the pattern editor and requires a computer to be used to edit custom patterns. But it does allow for on-board "arrangement" editing. A shame, since the BR-800 display has enough resolution that one could have created the computer program grid-mode pattern editor on the device (use cursor buttons to move among drum instruments ^v and time points <>, then use rotary to set the "hit" strength)
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Re: General multi track recording info

Post by still_fiddlin » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:29 pm

I have never used an R8 but the Zoom site says it can also function as an interface when connected to your computer via USB. Many DAWs (maybe all these days) will let you set up a project with multiple time signatures and tempos, so you might consider learning how to do that, and simply use the R8 as an interface.
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Re: General multi track recording info

Post by jack o-trades » Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:21 am

I have never used an R8 either, but I do own an R16. I also experimented, once, with different time signatures in one and the same project. And the relatively simple solution I came up with then might appeal to you.

Your R8 gives you 8 tracks. If you also own a electric piano with integrated metronome AND a Zoom-compatible audio output plug (like myself), or could borrow one from a friend, then it looks like you're in business. Provided, of course, that the time changes in your piece number no more than seven max.

Let's suppose, for discussion's sake, that this is indeed the case.

1 - connect your electric piano's audio output to R8's Track 1 and test, over your headphones, if you can hear yourself playing;
2 - adjust the integrated metronome on your piano to tempo and time signature desired and run a quick test of that as well. Can you hear it clearly, too?;
3 - record the chord line of your project (INCLUDING metronome clicks) up to the first time signature change now coming up;
4 - move on to Track 2, but don't reset that to 00:00 position;
5 - if your R8, like my R16, has marker facilities, mark the EXACT spot, on Track 2, where the time signature OPENING your project, on Track 1 ends, and where your FIRST time signature change should start;
6 - adjust your metronome to first time signature change requirement;
7 - now move Track 2 to just a few seconds BEFORE your first marker point;
8 - record the chord line of this signature change segment: from your FIRST marker point up to the NEXT time signature change. Also ensure that you're STILL recording chord line and metronome clicks TOGETHER, on Track 2;
9 - move on to Track 3, but, once again, don't reset that to 00:00 position;
10 - repeat procedures 5 (marking end of last and start of next stage), 6, and 7;
11 - move on to Track 4, if necessary;
12 - if procedures 5, 6 and 7 need repeating on Tracks 5-7, too, please feel free. But you'll need Track 8 open for
13 - preparing Tracks 1-7 (presuming you'll need that many) to be "bounced onto Track 8. This means that Tracks 1-7 will all be transferred to Track 8, but WITHOUT losing any of your original signature change segments on Tracks 1-7.
14 - First ensure, though, that recording volume controls on Tracks 1-7 are set EXACTLY the same. But you may want to put Track 8's recording volume control a bit more up, since by bouncing 1-7 onto 8 you may lose a little of Track 1-7's original volume;
15 - you'll now have a smooth click track at your disposal, with all time signature changes involved integrated.

Done! And it didn't cost you a penny!

Some additional remarks:

On 3): personally, I find chord lines a bit more practical, if a melody track is to be added, or in case improvisations on the main tune as worked on are required. But if you'd like to start with a chord instrument, a melody click track may be wiser;
On 13) If you wish to clear space for instruments or voices required for further work, the original signature change segments on Tracks 1-7 can safely be wiped, once Bounce has proven successful. But of course only once you're perfectly sure that these won't be necessary any longer.

On a more general note: this is a job demanding accuracy, precision and your full concentration. Therefore I recommend to limit the number of time signature changes to no more than three;
A notation score, if you read music and you own notation software to make one, may also help you to keep track.

Good luck!

jack o-trades
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