Category: Video

Mixing bass for lofi equipment – home recording tip! Hint: EQ and distortion!

How to mix bassguitar for Lo-Fi equipment like smartphones and laptop speakers? These simple tricks will help you create a mix that sounds fine on them!

Ever considered this: many people listen to music using (cheap) earbuds, a smartphone or laptop. Does your mix sound good on that equipment? Most of ours didn’t. Not until recently that is. Except for those where we use the Digitech TRIO pedal.

We discovered a cool plugin for Mixbus5 that enhances the sound of the bass in such a way it sounds better on cheap speakers. But of course it should be possible to do this without a plugin – and we wanted to do so, especially since the plugin was software that needed a license..

Many people use smartphones, laptops, ipads and lo-fi earbuds to listen to music. These speakers and earbuds have a poor audio quality and lack low and hi end. So, how can you create good bass sound on them? By “moving” the bass sound into the right frequencies! Here’s a little trick I use for mixing the bass so it will sound better on earbuds, laptops and smartphones and still sounds fine on high end equipment.

Recorded using Mixbus5, Sony Cybershot and video editing using FlowBlade.

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Al We Talk About Is You – Official Video Released

What’s it we talk about today? You! All we ever talk about is You. Always. And I don’t mind. Let’s be clear about this. Narcissism is very good for your own EGO. Right? So let’s write a song about!

The video was created using royalty free stockvideo and edited using FlowBlade (Linux video editing). The song was written together with my friend James and features Judith S. (not the lady in the video) on vocals.

Prefer online streaming instead of YouTube? Try Drooble. Want to be kind to us? Buy the song or even the album! It’s available at CDBaby and BandCamp.

This is the new single from our latest release, “The End Of The Street“. Please see this post for detailed information about the release.

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Advertising your music on YouTube

Is advertising your music on YouTube useful? Does it get you views, subscribers and new fans? Perhaps even helps you sell your music? I decided to put it to the test using Drooble’s YouTube package.

Some time ago Drooble announced YouTube advertising packages. They offer you around 500 views for $25. That’s only USD$ 0.05 per view so a fair price. Even though I was very skeptical, even before ordering it on Drooble I’ve voiced my doubts, I put it to the test with a recent video I uploaded. A video that was not getting a lot of views but, compared to my other music videos, was doing okay.

You might wonder why I did spent money on it. Well, it’s easy to be skeptical. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating, right?

THE GOOD NEWS (AND SOME BAD)

The service is useful in regard to the number of views. It went from 80 views to 606 views in a week (and it’s now up to well over 1,400). So the views kept coming even after the advertising campaign stopped.

However, no new subscribers and, what’s worse, the viewing time per user for the video went down a lot. Meaning, people would only watch for about a minute or so instead of the full video (as was the case with most viewers before that).

The advertising does work if you want to push the view-counter up. But it doesn’t get you engagement from viewers. No feedback as in comments or likes or even dislikes.Even the scam-advertising will get you at least likes or dislikes (and some trash feedback). Isn’t that weird?

For me, this was just a “put it to the test” and as far as I’m concerned, it didn’t pass. A waste of money. Even though I did expect this, I hoped it wouldn’t be true and would lead to more engaged viewers.

The loyalty of the viewers makes me wonder if the views are machine-generated. Even though the line of the viewer loyalty goes down slowly. It might be “too human” to be bot views (as the ones you get when ordering 5,000 for $10 at some of the scam services around). But, .. Only 22,5% of the viewers watched the full video. As I said, no likes, not even dislikes. Now that does make me suspicious. If people don’t even “hate” or “like”? With over 500 views there should be at least a few likes and one or two ‘dislikes’.

As I noted before, the YouTube statistics also show that the people watching the video as a result of the advertising are also less interested in viewing the full video as the ones that find it because of organic search. That’s probably to be expected however it does show the importance of organic traffic to your videos. You know, people that click on the video they read about 😉

CONCLUSION: IS THIS A SCAM?

I’m a little disappointed to see that the advertising Drooble offers seems to drive people to the video that aren’t interested in it after all. It’s well spend money for me however, since it was an experiment. But, if you’re looking for a promotional tool for your band or video clip I’d say: don’t buy views/advertising. Not on Drooble. But especially not on other sites that offer you “tons” of views. They are scams for sure. In Drooble’s case, I’m convinced they’re doing the best they can and might even believe they offer a useful service. And I’m sorry to say: they don’t. The statistics proof it.

 

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Behringer UMC404HD and Audacity Multitrack recording

Audacity is a free DAW, a program for audio recording and mixing, and it’s popular for some very good reasons besides being free. It’s easy to use, stable and is the perfect little DAW for anyone who wants to get his feet wet in home recording. It is also perfect for recording things like voice overs or a demo for a (small) band. Record, for example, the basic tracks an mix them later on in a more professional DAW or let someone else mix them. Some even record full albums with it. So, it is popular for many reasons.

Audacity the Free DAW for Windows, Linux and MacOS

Some time ago, in 2018, I made a video about mixing and recording with Audacity and the Behringer UMC404HD. The UMC404HD allows for four inputs to be recorded at the same time (4 tracks) so you can record 4 musicians, or instruments/vocals, at the same time. The Behringer UMC404HD is amazing and it’s availble for only a fraction of the costs of several competitors. For example (at this moment) at Thomann. It is out of stock a lot, it seems to be very popular and rightfully so. I am still considering to buy a second one, as a spare, in case mine will stop working or will have mechanical problems one day.

Recording with the Behringer audio interface works perfect with Ardour or Mixbus. Especially since they don’t need any additional drivers. On Windows it also worked perfect on, for example, Mixcraft. I showed this in various videos as well as other people. Many of the viewers however seemed to be having issues with Audacity and the Behringer UMC404HD.

DRIVERS

One of the biggest issues most have is the drivers for the UMC404HD. Behringer has been changing their websites a few times recently and people were complaining they can’t find the drivers. They’re not included on a CD with the interface. Now, there is a good reason for this: production costs. Including a driver CD costs money and Behringer tries to cut the costs so you will have a product that is as cheap as possible. Besides that: most computers and laptops these days don’t even have a CD(r) station. Even if they would include a driver CD it would, in most cases, be useless. Including a CD would only lead to more trash (environmental issue!). You can download it. No environmental damage and cheaper. I’d say that’s a win-win.

However, as noted: the drivers have been hard to find. And, for some reason some complain the new drivers don’t work well. So here’s an older version that does work. Download and use on your own risk, I am not responsible for it.

DO NOT USE ASIO4ALL

Asio4All has been a pretty popular hardware driver for Windows. Do NOT use it. Remove it completely from your system (uninstall) if you wan tot use the Behringer UMC series. They have their own drivers (official site). You won’t get Audacity or any other DAW running on Windows working with the UMC404HD when using Asio4All.

AUDACITY LACKS SUPPORT?

Some noted that the version of Audacity they have doesn’t record 4 tracks. It only shows 2 tracks. There might be two reasons for this, I’m not certain what the reason is in certain situations:

  1. it is showing you 2 stereo tracks (meaning 4 mono tracks!).
  2. You don’t use the correct settings for recording 4 tracks. Set the ‘preferences’ to Windows Audio Session API (WASAPI) as I do in the Video!

Some claim it isn’t available on their Audacity version. On the Audacity website, however, it is still mentioned and what’s more: it’s been a standard in Windows ever since Windows Vista. In fact it is one of the “unique selling points” in Audacity! So I do have a hard time believing it isn’t available and my best guess is you’re not using the corect settings.

 

Prefereces Audacity

I am having the Dutch version but you should be able to see where this setting can be found (under preferences). In case you cannot get it working with the current version of Audacity – and I really do advice to use that one since it has hundreds of fixed bugs! – there are still older versions available. Like over here. Please note, this versions dates back to 2015 and this link (from Google Drive, it’s my “old” Windows version, works on Windows8.1) is to be used solely at your own risk.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION

So this is the video I’ve been talking about, hope it helps or is at least entertaining 🙂 As I said in the video I don’t prefer Audacity for recording. These days I use Mixbus5 (and Ardour) running on Linux Mint. I’ve never looked back at Windows recording since I started using that even though I still have Mixbus on my Windows laptop (Windows 8.1). That doesn’t mean recording using Windows is less good. I simply prefer Linux (Linux Mint).

 

 

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Acoustic Studio Sessions – Folsom Prison Blues

Acoustic version of Folsom Prison Blues Recorded live at the LoftStudio Home Recording Studio. Just a simple quick take, hope you like it!

I learned to love this song on a young age, since my father was a big fan of Johnny Cash (and lot’s of other country music). I’m not a big fan of modern country but like to listen and play songs by Johnny Cash and other “outlaw country” artists even though Blues and Rock are my favorite music styles.

Equipment used:
– guitar: Samick Greg Bennett
– mic: MXL770
– Interface: Behringer UMC404HD
– Ardour (Linux DAW)
– camera: Medion Life

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New Studio! Videotour of the new Home Recording Studio

The ZolderStudio (LoftStudio) has moved! As you might have noticed we were moving to a new location because we’ve bought a new house. Well, that is.. to us it’s new. But it was build around 1880. So it’s got a long history already. Anyway — we’ve started moving into the new house and rebuilding the studio.

After putting in the stuff we already had we’ve added a carpet, some new cables, additional acoustic treatment like DIY Acoustic Panels (see this video about the making and installation of the panels) and finally, yesterday, put in the foam acoustic panels on the walls.

The acoustic panels, btw, were very cheap to create. We paid less than 20 euro’s for them (hint: pre-made painters canvas). The acoustic foam was ordered online from Geek.

 DIY Budget Home Recording Studio

In essence, my home recording setup is a computer with a (Linux) DAW (Ardour, Mixbus5).

Recording at home shouldn’t have to be very expensive. Hook up a mic, trough an audio interface or use an USB condenser mic, and you’re ready to go. But once you get started with recording, there’s no turning back. So I bought a lot of addtional stuff over the years. Lot’s was also given to me as a gift, like the SoundTech ST162 16-channel mixer.

This really still is a budget home studio. Even though some people who visit me think it has cost a fortune to collect all this gear and to create it. There’s a lot of “DIY” stuff in the studio and, as written above, lot’s of stuff comes from very cheap, online, shops and stores in the Netherlands like the Action (there are many of them now all over Europe).

PICTURES & VIDEO

 

YouTube video (open in new window)

So, we’re “ready to rock” again!

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Acoustic Studio Sessions – Knocking on Heaven’s Door

What better way to celebrate using a new studio than recording a classic, acoustic, folk song? The ZolderStudio (LoftStudio) has moved! So I did some test recordings and one of them is Dylan’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door”. And I did not only record the song, I made a video of the recording session.

It’s just a simple “one-take recording” using my MXL770 for vocals, a t.Bone EM700 for the guitar and I’ve used the Behringer UMC404HD as an interface. The DAW I’ve used was Ardour (Linux).

MOVING TO A NEW STUDIO
I’ve also made a short video about the move to the new studio. A full studio tour will be made as soon as the studio is setup completely. I’m still waiting for acoustic foam, ordered a floor carpet and there are now new monitor speakers too. So subscribe to the channel to receive updates!

Please visit the Youtube Channel and subscribe here.

 

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Official Video for “Wine…” (if the bottle would be empty)

A new video has been released for the song “Wine (if the bottle would be empty)” on Youtube yesterday. The video for the track, the opening track of the new EP “Morning Ritual” is the second video we made for a track from this new EP.

All tracks are available for free streaming at BandCamp.
https://barkingaunts.bandcamp.com/album/morning-ritual

 

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