Computer software for recording ensembles in multi-tracks.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by bandman, Sep 27, 2015.

  1. bandman

    bandman Forte User

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    I am now retired and I thought it would be fun to write trumpet ensembles for middle and high school students. Being a retired band director and trumpet player I also thought it would be fun to multi-track myself playing the ensembles for the demo that would go out to the young people who would be playing my music. I could actually record the entire ensemble, and also record each individual part. That way they could hear, and practice with with their part, and also hear what it would sound like all together.

    I'm not into this to make money, just to provide a different kind of playing situation for young people, so feel free to steal my idea and run with it. The more music we put out there for young people the better.

    My question is what software would allow me to put many tracks down on my laptop. I have a very nice digital microphone but have never found the software that made me feel like I wanted to actually finish what I think is a worthy project.

    Your suggestions are greatly appreciated.
     
  2. tubamuirum

    tubamuirum New Friend

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    Reaper is very good. Inexpensive & reliable.
     
  3. amzi

    amzi Forte User

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    Audacity does what you seem to be talking about--it's free and easy to use.
     
  4. bandman

    bandman Forte User

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    I just downloaded Audacity. I had used an older version of this software a few years ago. I'll play with it tomorrow. Thanks!
     
  5. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    If you are working on a Mac, Garage Band comes on the machine as part of the iLife Suite. While tools like Reaper and Audacity are probably technically better, I've used Garage Band a lot because for me, it's fairly intuitive and easy to use, and I get decent results with it. Keep in mind though that the software is only part of it. If you want things to sound good, it's going to take a bit to learn some of the ins and outs of using proper gain, compression, reverb, EQ - stuff like that.

    Keep us posted on what you end up doing.
     
  6. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

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    Yes, that's what I use, and you can use a Zoom and download. It is easy to put onto iCloud to share with the band members as well. Audacity is quite good, and as I am techo-technically inept, it has to be simple for me to use.
     
  7. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

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    BTW I forgot to add, I use a simple (read cheap) USB microphone on my HP laptop, and it works very well.
     
  8. edfitzvb

    edfitzvb Forte User

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    +1 for Audacity
    I suggest (after recording each track) copy the track, paste it to a new track, then: 1.) amplify by at least -10, 2.) add Gverb to create a hall-type reverb. I think you will like what it does to the sound, especially trumpet when the two are played together
     
  9. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Here's another thought, but it might not be a bad idea to look into investing in a decent audio interface as well. I have a Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 and it has been wonderful, but you may not need quite that much capability - I can run 8 mics on preamp at once - you may only need one or two.

    You might also want to start looking into microphones. While your digital mic might be ok for a one-size-fits-all approach, there are definitely microphones that are better suited to some task than others.

    The world of audio recording can be quite the rabbit hole to fall into, depending on how far you want to go with it because there are so many aspects to consider once you get going.
     
  10. bandman

    bandman Forte User

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    I have used Garage Band when I was teaching. You are correct in that it will do what I want it to do. My daughter uses a Mac and I have grown to love it, but I use a Windows 7 PC and I really do not have the funds to update right now. I’m trying to put it off as long as possible.
    I chose to download Audacity. I own a digital microphone so I’m set up there. I found some great tutorials on YouTube. I am a visual learner so that has been great. Tomorrow just for fun I will record some of the duets out of the Arban just to play with the settings. After that I will try some easy 3-8 part ensembles but I’m going to get into this slow and easy.

    I wish I had thought of this when I was a band director. I loved doing my own arrangements and even wrote a few original pieces that ended up at festivals and concerts. I could have done my own demo recordings on all the instruments.
     

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