How to make settings for specific instruments

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jack o-trades
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How to make settings for specific instruments

Post by jack o-trades » Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:54 am

Hello all,

So far, my R16 has mostly been in use as audio interface. But I have just been on a rediscovery journey to the basics of R16's recording capacities. “Hands-on", and by way of the R16 manual.

Page 18 is about 'Connecting instruments and making monaural settings'. And the instruction under 2 reads 'Make settings for specific instruments, built-in microphones and stereo tracks'. Below this exhortation, six boxes are shown:

Hi-Z
PHANTOM
MIC
STEREO
MONAURAL×2
MONAURAL

Yet on HOW to make settings for specific instruments, no further explanation is given.

Hi-Z and PHANTOM seem more or less self-explanatory: Hi-Z appears to refer to Track 1, PHANTOM to Tracks 5-6. But what about Tracks 2, 3, 4, 7 and 8?

When I attempted to create a click track on Track 8, with the aid of a small electric piano, I didn't get any sound. Even with Track 8 armed. The only way to do this, as I initially thought, was to record the click track on Track 1 (Hi-Z) and to bounce it onto Track 8 next. Nevertheless, the R16 manual seems to suggest that, somehow, Track 8 CAN be set separately. For my electric piano, for instance. Or Tracks 2, 3, 4, or 7 for, say, electric ukulele. In some alternative way(s) it doesn't ever fully explain (no clear specifics even after studying the manual from cover to cover, the evening after my recording session).

My hunch, also based on some of the Appendixes (towards the end of the manual), is that the answer may lay in either Insert Effect or Send Return Effect. And if my intuition is halfway right, I'm hoping for some guidance as to the correct path to take.

Another effect of immediate interest is

Bass Sim: This effect makes an electric guitar sound like a bass guitar.

This is to be found in the Appendixes under the header 'R16 effect types and parameters 2', with as subtitle 'Preamp Module'. Some assistance here, too, as to routes thither, will be equally well appreciated.

Thank you very much in advance for any help given.

Jack o-trades
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sciurius
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Re: How to make settings for specific instruments

Post by sciurius » Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:27 am

If track 8 does not record, even if armed, it is likely that you have switched the MIC switch (located above the channel 7 & 8 gain controls) to ON, which means that the internal microphones will be used for channels 7 and 8.
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Re: How to make settings for specific instruments

Post by Wulfraed » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:13 am

jack o-trades wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:54 am
Hi-Z and PHANTOM seem more or less self-explanatory: Hi-Z appears to refer to Track 1, PHANTOM to Tracks 5-6. But what about Tracks 2, 3, 4, 7 and 8?
Technically, the high impedance switch and the phantom power switch apply to the corresponding INPUTS, not TRACKS; however, that can be forgiven as the R16/24 do not route signals but are 1:1 linked (input 1 directly to fader 1 [track 1, track 9, {track 17} per bank select switch). The prior HD16, the R8, and competing units route the inputs to the armed faders (left-most active input goes to the left-most armed track, etc. -- most units can only handle up to 2 active inputs routing to two tracks).

High impedance should only be needed when using a passive electric guitar; if the guitar has a battery powered pre-amp, the output signal should be at line-level and high impedance setting should not be needed. Similarly, on the R16, only inputs 5/6 can be used with condenser microphones needing phantom power (the R24 has a menu entry that activates phantom power over more of the inputs).
When I attempted to create a click track on Track 8, with the aid of a small electric piano, I didn't get any sound. Even with Track 8 armed. The only way to do this, as I initially thought, was to record the click track on Track 1 (Hi-Z) and to bounce it onto Track 8 next. Nevertheless, the R16 manual seems to suggest that, somehow, Track 8 CAN be set separately. For my electric piano, for instance. Or Tracks 2, 3, 4, or 7 for, say, electric ukulele. In some alternative way(s) it doesn't ever fully explain (no clear specifics even after studying the manual from cover to cover, the evening after my recording session).
1) as mentioned above, the R16 does not route signals. To record on track-8 you must use INPUT 8 (or, if the switch is set, the on-board microphone located in the right "handle", track 7 getting the microphone on the left handle).
1b) make sure you don't have stereo-link active on 7/8 (I don't recall if that is normal for 7/8 since they are associated with the on-board stereo microphones) as that will try to record on both together, creating a stereo file.

2) track files on the R16 are "assignable" (unlike the previous and competing units, in which track files are tied to "takes" within a track and can not be easily moved); you disassociate the track file from the track it was recorded on, and assign it to the the track you intend to play it back from. This will be needed if you have multiple parts that all require, say, high impedance (pretend you are doing an electric guitar duet by recording each part separately). No need to do a 1-out/1-in bounce operation (especially as bounce takes real-time to do, whereas assigning files is just a case of going through the menu system)
My hunch, also based on some of the Appendixes (towards the end of the manual), is that the answer may lay in either Insert Effect or Send Return Effect. And if my intuition is halfway right, I'm hoping for some guidance as to the correct path to take.
Until you understand the input/track/file-assign system, leave effects out of the equation. Especially as you would have to remember to put the insert effect on the correct point of the signal path. Insert effects come in Mono, Dual-Mono, and Stereo forms -- Mono is a single signal, period; Dual-Mono is a pair of signals, each treated as a mono signal, each having independent settings; Stereo is a pair of signals, but with common/shared settings.

Other than the 8X insert effect (which is a non-complex effect with independent settings for each input/track) insert effects have to be activated on particular inputs/tracks (and since you can only have one insert effect active, a mono effect means only one input/track will have the effect). Insert effects can be located on the input, where they affect the signal coming in (and based upon wet/dry setting may or may not be recorded in the track); on the track, where they affect the playback of the track but are not recorded in the track; on the MASTER fader, where it affects the entire playback mix (ie; all playing tracks are mixed and then the effect is applied to the result).

The "guidance" on connections merely means that you make the connection based on the type of instrument. If you have a keyboard with stereo line-outs (or are using an MP3 player), you should probably pick an odd/even pair of inputs, and set stereo link on the associated tracks. Passive electric guitar, as mentioned, input 1 with high impedance switched on. Condenser microphones -- input 5/6 with phantom power on. Acoustic guitar and simultaneous vocal? Pick an odd/even pair but do not set stereo link (you want to adjust the two parts independently). {I should do a test, can any two inputs/tracks be used or do they need to be adjacent}

Another effect of immediate interest is

Bass Sim: This effect makes an electric guitar sound like a bass guitar.

This is to be found in the Appendixes under the header 'R16 effect types and parameters 2', with as subtitle 'Preamp Module'. Some assistance here, too, as to routes thither, will be equally well appreciated.
Again, until you understand the input/track and file linkages, hold back on effects.

THEN study the diagram showing the effect algorithms. Each algorithm has a number of stages (modules) which have parameters controlling them. You can not change the algorithms themselves, only the settings within the stages. The appendix you are citing shows the settable options for the stages of the algorithms.
Thank you very much in advance for any help given.
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jack o-trades
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Re: How to make settings for specific instruments

Post by jack o-trades » Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:34 am

Sciurius writes: If track 8 does not record, even if armed, it is likely that you have switched the MIC switch (located above the channel 7 & 8 gain controls) to ON, which means that the internal microphones will be used for channels 7 and 8
You're right. Input 8 was still on MIC. After switching this off, recording signal came back on as normal.

Big thanks, too, to Baron Wulfraed, for his extensive explanation of the difference between inputs and tracks, and of input/file assignment.
Baron Wulfraed writes: Technically, the high impedance switch and the phantom power switch apply to the corresponding INPUTS, not TRACKS.
Baron Wulfraed writes: Until you understand the input/track/file-assign system, leave effects out of the equation.
It has been a while since last time R16 was used for recording instruments, as I indicated in my opening post. And because of this gap, some confusion as to correct terminology must have kicked in, I suppose. In the meantime, I can tell you that basic understanding of the input/track/file-assign system is in place. Therefore, I'd like to go one small step up now. And what I can't get my head around is how, on a purely ergonomic level, to go from Insert Effects to module. The route I aim to take:

Insert effect > CLEAN, DISTORTION, ACO/BASS SIM algorithms > PREAMP module > Bass Sim: this effect makes an electric guitar sound like a bass guitar.

The manual is actually not much help here: very vague on how to 'nail' Bass Sim. The only effect required, for the time being.

Most of last week I have been working on a seasonal ditty for family and friends. The other day, though, a file access alert, mid-session, forced me to delete the project, so I have to start all over again.

Furthermore, what also transpired from hours previously put in is that relaunch requires bass guitar, too - and I don't immediately have a real one at hand. Bass samples in my possession can't be used either, because technology to "play" these with is not operational, at the moment. And therefore R16's Bass Sim effect seems a nice alternative. If I only knew how to get there, that is, in terms of right buttons to push.

jack o-trades
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Wulfraed
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Re: How to make settings for specific instruments

Post by Wulfraed » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:27 am

jack o-trades wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:34 am
Furthermore, what also transpired from hours previously put in is that relaunch requires bass guitar, too - and I don't immediately have a real one at hand. Bass samples in my possession can't be used either, because technology to "play" these with is not operational, at the moment. And therefore R16's Bass Sim effect seems a nice alternative. If I only knew how to get there, that is, in terms of right buttons to push.
I'm probably going to take the long way -- since it offers more recovery from mistakes <G>
  • (Page 49 - step 1) Make sure insert effect is OFF
  • Record the instrument without an effect first. That will give you a clean track with which to experiment.
  • (Page 49) Turn on insert effect, select Aco/Bass Sim (and probably "Standard", "CompBass", or "WarmBass" as a starting patch)
  • Set the input source to TRACK# (where # is the track into which you recorded the instrument)
  • PLAY BACK the track -- you should hear what the effect default values have done (you could go back and change the patch and replay to see the differences); now comes the complexity
  • (Page 51 - step 4, since we've already selected the algorithm/patch) Repeat steps 5-6 for each algorithm module (chart page 46, and the appendix pages listing the module options/parameters) that you want to modify (for example, "CompBass" no doubt has some sort of compressor active) using the instructions on page 52 (select parameter of module, adjust value)
  • Make sure to save the edited patch (page 53) in an "empty" slot since edits will be lost if you select a different patch (this will also allow you to come back to the patch in the future -- select the saved one in place of the pre-built above)
  • The last thing to do is adjust the TOTAL -- since some parameter settings have the ability to result in a signal that is stronger coming out then going in, and if the "in" was already near peak, the "out" could start clipping; this becomes really important in the future when you use the effect on the pre-recorded input itself and not on track playback)
Experiment with the patch edits (page 51-53) until the playback sounds as you want it.

At that time, you could now do a single track BOUNCE with the effect active. Then disconnect the original source track (and turn off effects) and play back the bounced track instead -- the effect should now be a permanent part of the track file. (I think the wet/dry setting on page 55 only applies when the effect is set on the INPUT and not on a track).

In the future, when you are comfortable setting up effects (or have built up a library of saved patches) you can set the effect directly on the specific INPUT, record WET, and generate the final track in one pass. (This is why I went the long way -- I doubt you'd want to reperform a part just because you made a small change in the patch parameters)
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Now to (re)learn to play an instrument

Lanikai S-C, SMC-E; GoldTone Banjo-Uke; Flatiron 1C, A5; Big Muddy M1-W; Ovation MM68AX, CSE-44; Orpheus Valley Fiesta FS; Taylor NS-72ce, T5-S1; Musima (4st, 20 fret, tenor-tuned) banjo; bongos, dumbeks, bodhrans, hand drum, tambourine; recorder: soprano, alto, tenor; Cedar Flute (5 sizes); Pennywhistle (3 keys); Casio keyboards

jack o-trades
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Re: How to make settings for specific instruments

Post by jack o-trades » Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:20 am

Baron Wulfraet writes: I'm probably going to take the long way -- since it offers more recovery from mistakes
Thank you so, so much for your extensive tutorial and the time and effort put into it. Greatly appreciated.

Unfortunately, I can't put your guidance into practice at once (much as I want to), at the moment of writing, due to other commitments ahead - but I'll certainly report back on my findings sometime over the coming days.

Veerstryngh Thynner
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