Tag: recording

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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New EP Released: Morning Ritual (free single download)

A brand new EP by the Solid Rock Blues Band has been released today on ReverbNation, BandCamp and SoundCloud.

We’re moving! Moving to a new house and this also means: a new studio! To mark this big change here’s the last production ever made in the old “Loft Studio” – our brand new EP “Morning Ritual”. The album includes four blues, country and rock inspired original songs.

The Title Track, “Morning Ritual” can be downloaded for free at SoundCloud. But if you’re willing to support independent music, please consider downloading the full album (EP) from BandCamp for only $2!

The album is available exclusively as a download, for now, trough BandCamp.

TRACKS
All songs are recorded at the LoftStudio. The song “Summertime” has been mixed and produced by Jay H., writer of the VocalKing plugin (click here to check his website).

01 – Wine
A song telling the story of a lady, addicted to Wine.. up-beat, guitar driven, track!

02 – Morning Ritual
The Title Track. Well, .. a song about drinking coffee and the End of the World. But it seems as long there’s coffee, we do not need to worry about the End of the World, right?

03 – Stone Hearted Mandy
Previously recorded and released on the Barking Aunts’ album “Yesterday’s Coffee“. This was a concept album, a story in a handful of songs, about family life and how it got torn apart. We thought this track could be improved so we re-recorded it.

04 – Summertime
We can’t wait for Summer to begin.. mixed and produced by Jay H. using his Vocal King plugin and giving it a good creative treatment. It brought the song to a level we would have never expected.

CREDITS
Special thanks to my friends who helped me out on this one!

  • James Zheutlin (a.k.a. Acid Cowboys) – Text contributions;
  • Jay H – mix & production on “Summertime”

(click on their names to find out more).

DOWNLOAD
Download the full album at BandCamp
https://barkingaunts.bandcamp.com/album/morning-ritual

STREAMING

Available for streaming at SoundCloud or Reverbnation

 

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Free Single Morning Ritual

Morning Ritual (free download)

So what’s next when you have a new guitar (Harley Benton TE-52), a new vocal condenser mic (MXL770) and installed a new DAW (Mixbus5)? Record a brand new song! So here’s “Morning Ritual” – a song about how we try to survive in this world of ours these days.

The song is available as a free download at SoundCloud and there’s a video!

I must say we’re very happy with the new gear as well as the new DAW! Even though there are some hardware issues to overcome it is clearly the best DAW I’ve ever layed hands on.

Recorded at the ZolderStudio
Drums & Bass – Digitech Trio
Guitars, Vocals, recording & mixing – Rudy

Equipment used:
DAW – Mixbus5
Mic – MXL770
Guitars: Harley Benton Telecaster, Washburn Acoustic

 

 

MORNING RITUAL (Lyrics)

Words & Music (c)2019, Solid Rock Blues Band

Well here’s your coffee dear,
it’s in a paper cup,
I know you do adhere
to the morning ritual..
without you can’t get up,
so here’s your coffee dear
here’s your coffee dear

Well here’s your paper dear,
it says the end is near,
you might not want to read,
or hear the news today
don’t worry anyhow
here’s your coffee dear,
here’s your coffee dear

Chorus:
You can Leave Your Make-up on the shelf,
‘cus time, time suits you well,
and here’s your coffee dear

Here’s Your Coffee Dear,
though the End is Near,
You know we can’t give up
on our morning ritual,
yeah though our life is short,
at least there’s coffee dear,
so here’s your coffee dear.

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Stepping up the game: Harrison Mixbus

A professional DAW for home recording doesn’t have to cost an arm and leg. First of all, there are many free solutions or nearly-free solutions. Like Ardour. It’s free (open source) software, if you’re using an older version that is. Like Ardour 4.x.

Last week Harrison Mixbus was offering Mixbus5 for a deep discount and I just couldn’t resists. Still use Ardour for older projects but Mixbus is just an awesome product!

Harrison Mixbus is a digital audio workstation (DAW) available for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux operating systems. Mixbus provides a modern DAW model incorporating a “traditional” analog mixing workflow. It includes built in analog modeled processing, based on Harrison’s 32-series and MR-series analog music consoles. Mixbus is based on Ardour, the open source DAW, but is sold and marketed commercially by Harrison Audio Consoles (Wikipedia).

Installation took some time, you really do need to do this “step by step” following the (online) manual and I had some “problems” importing old projects from Ardour sessions (I thought it was compatible, but it isn’t 100% compatible with my Ardour 4.x version). But after about 30 minutes I was already doing my first (test)recording.

Mixbus5 looks a lot like Ardour (no surprise here!) but it’s more advanced. It’s also more demanding (CPU. Memory, Disk). Despite that, I got it workin smoothly on “light” ITX-computer using an Intel® Quad-Core Processor (J1900, 2 GHz) with 8GB RAM. On this machine I’m running Linux Mint as the OS.

FEATURES
Mixbus comes with a ton of features, plugins and the special offer included some additional plugins!

 

NEW STUDIO
We will be moving soon to another house and there I will be having a bigger (lof)studio. Apart from a bigger room, I most certainly will need bigger monitor screens for this.. in fact, I will need/want two screens 🙂 This is just too much vor only one (small) screen.

NOTE!
I installed Mixbus5 on my desktop computer first for testing but it didn’t run smoothly on my SATA HDD. The disk simply can’t keep up. Mind you, it’s a fast Seagate disk, but SATA just can’t handle it too well.

My dedicated “DAW-computer” (the ITX) has an SSD disk and it runs smoothly. I did have time-outs sometimes, so I’ve installed a little utillity on my Linux ITX computer to prevent it from going in to “sleep” mode and have more performance (full cpu-usage). This fixed the time-outs.

FREE DEMO
You can download a free demo at Harrison’s website
https://harrisonconsoles.com/site/mixbus.html

____________

I was planning to have some fun with it this weekend and perhaps create a short video about it but.. i fell ill and on top of that the power supply one of the hosting-servers died on me.. So had to go the the data center and fix that. I will post an update later!

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MXL770 Studio Condenser – Unboxing, Review and Testrecording

The MXL770 Studio Condenser is a very budget friendly yet high quality studio condenser microphone made by Marshall. It is a perfect microphone for those recording at home – it’s suitable for recording acoustic instruments like an acoustic guitar, as well as electric instruments and vocals.

So – I turned 50 the other day and my wife gave me a few very nice presents! One of them is this MXL770 studio condenser microphone. My favorite studio condenser, a McCrypt condenser microphone, is having issues after having been in use for over 20 years. So – time to replace it. This is a great replacement. In fact, I think it’s a very good upgrade. While the McCrypt was most certainly a great mic, this one is even better.

 

 

 

In the video there’s a test recording using my acoustic Washburn guitar and some vocal. Both are ‘dry sound’, no processing done. In the end of the video there’s a mixdown of the track I recorded.

The microphone was ordered online at Thomann (Germany).

 

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Summertime – Free Download!

What happens if you let someone who’s got great mixing skills as well is the writer of a good vocal plugin mix your track “just for the fun of it”? Recently we were recording a new song and our friend Jay H. from JHudStudio created an alternative mix. We liked it so much that we have decided to publish this mix instead of our own!

Jay H. is the author of the Vocal King plugin, and some other (free) plugins for Windows DAW’s. He put some good time and effort in our song and (re)mixed and produced it based on the original, unedited, stem-exports from our Ardour DAW. This resulted in an original, creative, mix of our song and we were so very pleased with it!

The song is now available as a free download at SoundCloud. We hope you like it. Feel free to share!

The mood of the song, as well as the style, is probably a “60’s” or “70’s” feel, in the vain of Bob Dylan, The Byrds and so on. Drums were created using Ditigtech TRIO, Bass, guitars and vocals by Rudy. Recorded using Ardour (Linux). Mixed & produced by Jay H. from JayHudStudio.

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Lost Faith, Lost Hope – New original song!

A new, original, song has been released on AudioMack. And there’s more to come in the near future as we’re working on yet another new album.

An acoustic demo of the song was released earlier on Youtube (click for the video). Below you’ll find the finished studio version.

Vocals, guitars, recording & mixing by Rudy, Soldi Rock Blues Band.
Drums & Bass: Digitech TRIO Band Creator.

Recorded using Ardour/KXStudio (Linux Audio).

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How to Install Ardour with Jack Audio on Linux Mint and Ubuntu

Installing Ardour, the Digital Audio Workstation, on Linux Mint or Ubuntu isn’t too difficult if you follow the steps shown in these tutorial videos.

Before you jump right in and start installing Ardour, you will need to download and install Jack Audio Server. Search for qJack or Jacl on your installer and install it. After that, configure it as it is shown at the website. You can edit the configuration files using a text editor like NANO from the command line or a graphical text editor. Please do apply them as you are told over here:

http://jackaudio.org/faq/linux_rt_config.html

After that, take a look at this video:

 

It’s slightly outdated since they use an older version of Jack but you will find the settings in qJack when you go to Setup → Settings → Advanced.

There’s a good reason to follow these steps because it will help you to install and configure realtime audio (and you will need this!) in a correct manner. The Realtime Audio will even turn a system with an onboard sound card into a good mixing and editing machine. For recording, I use a dedicated machine with KXStudio/Ardour with a 4-channel USB interface (Behringer U-PHORIA UMC404HD). But you might even be able to use a standard soundcard for recording (I have not tested this!).

Now you can install Ardour. And that’s easy! Open your software installer, type in [ Ardour ] in the search field (no brackets) and install it!

In the video below I will show the above mentioned steps.

 

 

– Audio (voice over) recorded using Ardour 4.0
– Video recorded with “record my desktop” and edited with kdenlive.

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Multitrack Recording Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD

The Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD is a 4 in/4 out audio interface allowing you to record up to 4 intstruments or vocals at the same time. The 4 inputs all have 48v Phantom power and are equipped with fantastic “dead silent” Midas pre-amps. It’s a step up from the cheapest models with Xenyx pre-amps. This makes it a perfect fit for any small studio or bands wanting to do some demo recording without breaking the bank!

I got this device as a birthday present and made a video about it, trying to answer this one question I’ve read the most in comments on Youtube “can it record 4 tracks at once?”. The answer is: YES. It Can!

Multitrack recording with the Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD and Ardour (Linux), Mixcraft (Windows) and Audacity (Windows) is very easy to do (once you know how to connect it and what driver to install when using Windows).

The Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD is a 4 in/4 out USB Audio interface and can be used for multitrack recording with Windows, Apple and Linux recording software (DAW). In this video I’ll walk you trough the steps I took to record multiple tracks at once with it. I made some wrong assumptions and little mistakes at first, but I hope the little errors I made will help you prevent them.

 

 

 

LINUX
Although Behringer doesn’t claim it to be compatible with Linux, it does work perfectly well on Ardour (with the standard ALSA driver). You don’t need additional drivers for it. Do make sure you switch off the “midi” when starting a recording with Ardour since it doesn’t support the midi input if there’s no real midi device connected to the interface!

WINDOWS
For Windows you’ll need to download a driver from their webisite. It doesn’t work with the standard ASIO4ALL drivers that are used by most home recording enthusiast using the standard 1 or 2 channel input/output devices. Although I failed to get it recording 4 tracks at once with Audacity, I’m almost certain it should be possible. If I ever find out how, I’ll post a follow-up video on that since I believe that would be a perfect solution for the fast, leightweight, “on the road” recording.

I tested it on only two windows programs but am positive it will work on many others like Reaper, pro tools, cubase, ableton live, studio one, and so on.

Drivers can be found in the downloads section of this website:
http://www.musictri.be/brand/behringer/home

As far as I’m concerned this is the best bang for the buck!

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Down For The Count – Recording & Mixing with Ardour (Tutorial)

Recording and mixing with Ardour for Linux, Windows or OSX isn’t as challenging as many think. In fact, it’s pretty easy once you know what to do and how it works. In the below in-depth video you can see how I record and mix drums, bass, guitar, vocals and midi keyboard using Ardour. The duration of the video is almost 25 minutes.

The song that was recorded is an original song, written by RJF Mensies and me in 2015 and recorded for the “Telenovelas” album by the Barking Aunts Project. This is a new recording and although the music is more or less the same as far as the vocal line and chords are concerned it still is pretty different.

STREAMING

You can listen to the song on SoundCloud or Audiomack.

Click here for Audiomack
Click here for SoundCloud

 

VIDEO

This video will walk you trough the full recording and mixing process. Ardour is very easy to use and allows you to do a professional audio recording on a shoestring budget!

More (and shorter!) video’s on recording with Ardour at the Recording page.

FINAL NOTE

When the video was finished I’ve added tambourine and did some final tweaking on the midi track. After I recorded and mixed the song I “mastered” it using Audacity. Using a high pass filter (20Hz, -6 dB) and W1 limiter (-2.7dB, -0.3dB ceiling). Hope you like the song and video and if you do like the video: thumbs up & subscribe.

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