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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Tempest, Sep 26, 2010.
The most important part of a good recording is keeping the early reflections out of the recording. Small rooms with no acoustic treatment are bad news. A church or hall with the microphone 20-30 feet in a nice sounding room is usually safe for a decent recording when you have no experience.
Reverb is pretty individual. You never know if the person listening thinks that you are trying to hide something.......
There's no way I could really tell you what reverb settings to use because each DAW is going to be a little different, and reverb is going to be an individual thing based on the piece of music and your personal sound. If you record dry and add reverb as an effect after the fact, dial it up until you feel it sounds right, although it seems to me that most of the time less is more. A bit of reverb colors it and adds some depth, but if you soak it in reverb the end result might sound novice. On the U2 song I covered I used a lot of reverb, but that's what that particular song called for and what was used on the original, but most of the time I keep it pretty light, around 5-10%.
A lot of that depends on the mic too - an SM57 or SM7B can be used in a room that doesn't have a lot of acoustic treatment because of their cardioid pickup pattern, so it mainly picks up sound being put directly into it and they do a good job of limiting ambient noise. Using a noise gate can also help with that if you are in an untreated room, (can usually be set in the DAW) and especially with trumpet due to it's level of audio signal. There are other mics too with what's known as a supercardioid pattern that are often used as stage mics in higher volume situations - they have an even tighter pickup pattern so they are better with feedback rejection, and might be an even better way to go in an untreated room. An example of a supercardioid mic would be something like a Shure Beta 58 - costs more though - about $150 for the Beta 58.
Thanks for the input on reverb, I will have to be carefully with how I use such effects to avoid that "cover up" sound.
what are your opinions on messing with the gain?
It's my understanding that when it comes to using gain, that you should use as much as you can to get the strongest signal you can without clipping/overdriving the mic. There are going to be clip meters on your track - little red lights that stay on if you've pushed the sound too hard. When setting levels, play as loud as you are going to play and keep the signal from clipping. Be advised though that just because it might not be showing as clipping in the application doesn't mean that you aren't clipping. That's why you need to record a bit first and listen back. If you hear distortion, you've either pushed too hard on the sound, or your gain is set a bit high.
There is a lot about gain structure that I don't understand though - sometimes you'll put another preamp in your signal chain, and you'll have to set gain between multiple points and that can get confusing in a hurry. When I was first fiddling with recording I was using a Blue Icicle. (Buy Blue Icicle XLR to USB Mic Converter | Audio Interfaces | Musician's Friend) That has an analog gain knob without markings, so it wasn't repeatable, but it also allowed me to set gain in Garage Band on my iMac. On top of that, it's not truly a preamp - it's just a signal converter - so I didn't have a lot of headroom for gain, and more than once I had to go back and make an adjustment because even though I didn't get clipping in the application, there was clearly distortion on the track. That's not really an issue with my Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 firewire interface.
I wish you luck - I have a feeling there is going to be a lot of trial and error with this before you start getting the feel for what you can and can't do with it in your particular situation. Keep us posted on how it's going.
Thanks a ton for all the advice!
I will post back as I figure things out and maybe even post the final product,
This site has been an amazing help to me,