Shure Microphones and Multitracks

Shure Microphones and Multitracks
AND
Microphones
Multitracks
Essential Steps to Quality
Recording Using a Microphone
and Multitrack Recorder
MICROPHONES AND MULTITRACKS
ESSENTIAL STEPS TO QUALITY RECORDING USING A MICROPHONE AND MULTITRACK RECORDER
BY JON CHAPPELL
INTRODUCTION:..................................................3
)))
CHAPTER 1: A DYNAMIC DUO:
WHY MICS AND MULTITRACKS
WORK WELL TOGETHER ....................................4
Understanding the standard recording paradigm of a microphone and a
multitrack recorder.
CHAPTER 2: STRATEGIES FOR
ACHIEVING AN OPTIMAL SIGNAL ......................7
Mic choice and positioning, level setting, and signal routing.
CHAPTER 3: MULTIPLE MICS,
MULTIPLE TRACKS ..........................................14
The challenges of multi-mic recording and multiple track management.
CHAPTER 4: SPECIAL APPLICATIONS
AND TECHNIQUES ..........................................16
Specific recording applications utilizing classic setups.
CHAPTER 5: TRICKS AND TIPS ........................19
Some techniques the pros use to maximize their sound.
LAST NOTE: WHERE TO GO FROM HERE ..........21
APPENDIX A: SHURE MICROPHONES ..............22
APPENDIX B: TASCAM PORTASTUDIOS............23
Maybe you’re an instrumentalist wanting to put down
backing tracks to solo over. Or perhaps you’re a
)))
songwriter looking to flesh out some basic
arrangements. Or you could be the member of an
ensemble who’s looking to record your group with
greater flexibility than is offered by a 2-track recorder.
Well, if so, welcome to Microphones and
Multitracks, a quick-start guide that will not only have
you making music with your SHURE microphone and
TASCAM Portastudio, but doing it in about the time it
takes you to skim through this booklet and press the
Record button on your deck. We’ll show you how to
get optimum results using some specific models of
SHURE mics and TASCAM Portastudios. Though we’ll
refer to models by SHURE and TASCAM for the
purposes of this guide, these techniques apply to all
mics and recorders of similar specs and
configurations. Some of the mic characteristics may
vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and some
multitrack operations may be handled differently,
depending on the model, but the principles presented
here can be applied across any recording medium.
))))))
CHAPTER 1
A DYNAMIC DUO:
WHY MICS AND MULTITRACKS
WORK WELL TOGETHER
A TIMELESS PARADIGM
)))
hurt yourself, the mic, or the mixer no
matter how you hook it up.
Whether you’re recording your cousin
on the couch or Robert Plant at the
Record Plant, the lessons you learn
UNIVERSAL JOINTS
when using a microphone and a
The great thing about microphones is
multitrack will carry you through your
that, no matter which one you buy, you
entire recording education. Through
probably won’t have to worry about it
the years, the mic locker may grow
being incompatible with your mixer.
and your mixer channels may span
Most microphones are designed to
more turf, but you’ll
plug into most
still use the skills
mixers, from
UNDERSTANDING
you learned from
inexpensive boards
THE STANDARD
day one — the very
to the top-of-the-line
RECORDING
first time you stuck
studio consoles.
PARADIGM OF A
a mic in front of a
Electrically
MICROPHONE AND A
trembling vocalist
speaking, any
MULTITRACK
(which may even
dynamic mic can
RECORDER.
have been you).
go into any mic
Even the best engineers in the
input of any mixer. You might have to
world start a recording session by
use an adapter or transformer, though,
placing a solitary mic in front of an
depending on the jack configuration of
instrument (usually it’s a kick drum),
the mixer. Condenser mics require a
and they listen, listen, listen. Great
special power supply (explained later
recording is not so much about
in the chapter).
acquiring and mastering great
If you start with any quality
technology, it’s about great music and
dynamic mic, such as the SM57,
having ears good enough to bend
SM58, or their Beta equivalents, and
whatever existing technology is at
get the matching cable, you’ll notice
hand to conform to the sonic picture in that the mixer end, or plug, has three
your head.
pins. This is known as an XLR
This section tells you how to hook
connector. If your mixer has the
up a microphone of any model to a
corresponding three-hole jack, you’re
Portastudio. We’ll spare you the
in business. (The TASCAM 414mkII
suspense, though, right from the start
and 424mkIII both include XLR
— essentially, it’s idiot-proof; you can’t
jacks.) Just plug the mic into the jack
4
FIGURE 1: A
transformer looks like
an adapter that converts your
three-pin XLR cable to a 1/4-inch
jack, but there’s some electrical
conversion going on, too.
Beta 52
SM58
electrical converting going on inside
the transformer itself, but it’s a very
basic conversion (see fig. 1). And
the transformer is inexpensive.
In models known as condenser
mics, such as the SHURE SM81,
BG4.1, and KSM32, you’ll need to
have an external power supply or
preamp to get your mic “powered
up” before going into the mixer input.
An outboard phantom power supply
costs as little as $60, and once you
plug your condenser into one of
Beta 56
SM57
Beta 57A
CONDENSER MICROPHONES
DYNAMIC MICROPHONES
)))
(it can only go in one way), and
you’re all set.
If, however, you look at your mixer’s
back panel and you see only a singlehole 1/4-inch jack, like those
commonly found on guitar amps (and
on the Porta02MKII Ministudio and
788 Digital Portastudio — which
includes two transformers in the box),
you’ll need a special kind of adapter
called a line transformer.
The transformer converts your
three-pin mic cable to a 1/4-inch
one, so that you can stick your mic
right into the 1/4-inch jack on the
back panel. There’s also some
KSM32
BG 4.1
SM81
FIGURE 2: Dynamic microphones: Beta 52, Beta 56, SM58,
SM57 and Beta 57A. Condenser microphones: KSM32,
BG 4.1 and SM81.
5
these, you then take either a 1/4-inch
or three-pin output and plug into the
mixer the same way as you would a
dynamic.
Some mics, like the SM81, have a
battery compartment inside the mic
shaft that allows you to insert a AA
battery, so it can receive power from
either the battery or an external source.
The KSM32, SM81, and many other
models can receive power only from an
external source.
microphones and TASCAM
Portastudios. But the principles
presented here apply to any
microphone and multitrack recorder, so
keep this booklet handy as you navigate
your way through the recording jungle.
Fig. 2 shows the SHURE microphone
models referred to in this guide.
The TASCAM Portastudio line
includes four units, starting with the
budget-priced Porta02mkII Ministudio,
and continuing on through the 414mkII
Portastudio, the 424mkIII Portastudio,
and the high-end digitally based 788
Digital Portastudio. Fig. 3 shows the
Tascam Portastudio line.
INTRODUCING THE PLAYERS
For the purposes of this guide, we’ll
focus our discussion on specific SHURE
)))
Porta 02
414mkII
424mkIII
788 Digital Portastudio
FIGURE 3: The Porta02 features two input strips for four
channels, and four tracks; the 414mkII has four tracks, four
channels, two-band EQ, and aux sends for effects processing; the
424mkIII has six channel strips, one stereo input, and four tracks
with a logic-controlled transport; the 788 Digital Portastudio has
eight channels, eight tracks, built-in digital effects, and 24-bit
AD/DA converters.
6
))))))
CHAPTER 2
STRATEGIES FOR ACHIEVING
AN OPTIMAL SIGNAL
7
)))
Let’s look first at pickup patterns.
It sounds deceptively simple, but the first
A mic that listens to sound equally
thing you must ask yourself is, “What kind
from all sides is called an omnidirectional
of sound am I recording?” The answer
should start, obviously enough, with the
mic. This is great for picking up the room
instrument or vocal
sound to provide
part at hand, whether
natural ambience.
MIC CHOICE AND
that’s an acoustic
Omni mics are also
POSITIONING, LEVEL
guitar, a singer, or a
SETTING, AND SIGNAL very good vocal
drum kit. But you
ensemble mics.
ROUTING.
should also consider
Typically, omni mics
what environment you want to place the
are used in rooms where there is no other
sound in. Should it be up-close and
activity — like a tape recorder operator —
intimate, or ambient and from a distance?
so their use for home recordists is
Will the sound be loud and obvious, or
somewhat limited.
soft and subtle?
A directional mic listens to sound only
Keep in mind that any single source
in a specific direction. There are many
can take on a variety of personalities,
types of directional mic patterns, but the
and each may very well require a
most common is cardioid, so named
different mic, a different mixer channel
because its sensitivity field is shaped
setup, and a different approach to
somewhat like a heart. A cardioid mic
recording. For example, an acoustic
picks up sound best when the source
guitar can be miked with either a
projects directly in line with — or on axis
dynamic mic, like the SM57 or Beta 57A, to — its pickup. A cardioid mic will defor a meaty rock-rhythm sound, or a
emphasize sound coming off axis, and
condenser, such as the SM81 or
reject sound coming from the rear of the
KSM32, to capture the more crisp and
capsule. A supercardioid mic has a
delicate qualities of a fingerpicking
tighter, or narrower, pickup pattern,
passage. It all depends on the
which is useful for close clusters of
instrument, the musical application,
instruments performing together, where
and even the player himself.
bleed can be a problem. In these
situations, bleed is dramatically reduced
and isolation is improved with a
SELECTING A MIC: PATTERNS
supercardioid mic because of its
AND THEIR APPLICATIONS
increased off-axis rejection. Most of the
Mics are grouped according to their
mics in the SHURE Beta series feature a
pickup patterns and transducer types.
patterns of an omnidirectional,
cardioid, and supercardioid mic.
DYNAMIC VS.
CONDENSER
The other principal difference
among mic types is whether its
transducer (the element for
converting sound waves to
electrical ones) is a dynamic
or a condenser. A dynamic
mic works sort of like a
speaker in reverse: A coil of
wire is mounted on a
diaphragm, which sits inside a
magnetic field. When the
diaphragm moves — reacting
to the sound that’s hitting it —
the fluctuations in the
magnetic field that result
create a current, which runs
down the wire and into the
board.
A dynamic is the most widely
used and economical type of
mic. Found on performing
stages everywhere, it’s also
used extensively in the studio.
The SM57 and SM58 are two of
the most popular dynamic
microphones used for vocals
and instruments. Dynamic mics
FIGURE 4: An omnidirectional mic (top)
are rugged and can handle
picks up sound equally from all sides; a
cardioid favors sound directly in front
high SPLs (sound pressure
of its capsule and rejects sound from
levels), like those delivered by
the rear; a supercardioid has a tighter
kick drums, snare drums, and
response in front and some slight
response in the rear.
the speakers of cranked-up
guitar amplifiers. They don’t pick
up a tremendous amount of high-end
supercardioid pickup pattern. Because
detail, but this can be good, as they
of these properties, cardioids and
tend to reject rattles in drum hardware
supercardioids also make great stage
microphones, but their other qualities are and guitar-amp cabinets.
A condenser mic uses a different
also useful for studio work — even when
method for producing signals than a
there’s only one instrument in the room.
dynamic model, and requires a
All of the eight mics pictured in fig. 2
constant electrical charge in the
have either cardioid or supercardioid
pickup patterns. Fig. 4 shows the pickup pickup element. The mic draws this
f
)))
f
8
those found in the SM81, have less
mass and therefore require less
energy to move. These diaphragms
are very responsive to the small, highenergy frequencies produced by the
plucked string of an acoustic guitar.
For the same reason, small-diaphragm
condensers work well as overhead
cymbal mics. What small-diaphragm
mics are less good at is capturing
warmth, and responding to complex or
pronounced low-end frequencies. For
sounds with those qualities, you’d
power from an external source, such
as a battery, a phantom power supply
in a mixer, or an outboard mic preamp
with built-in phantom power circuitry.
Condenser mics are more sensitive
than dynamics. This is usually a good
thing in microphones (despite the
quality of dynamics to reject rattles),
as it yields better results in aspects
such as high frequency detail and
transient response. Transients are the
initial attack noises of a note, and are
quite short. Small diaphragms, like
FIGURE 5: SHURE MIC CHART
)))
VOCALS
SM58
SM81 (with A81G
Windscreen)
Beta 87
KSM32
ENSEMBLE
VOCALS
SM81
BG4.1
KSM32
GUITAR AMP
Beta 56
Beta 57A
SM57
BASS AMP
Beta 52
Beta 57A
Beta 56
SM57
KICK DRUM
Beta 52
Beta 57A
SM57
SNARE DRUM
Beta 57A
Beta 56
SM57
TOMS
Beta 57A
Beta 56
SM57
OVERHEAD
SM81
BG4.1
KSM32
MALLETS
SM81
BG4.1
Beta 57A
KSM32
STRINGS
SM81
BG4.1
KSM32
SAXOPHONE
Beta 56
Beta 57A
SM57
ACOUSTIC
GUITAR
SM81
BG4.1
KSM32
HARMONICA
SM57
SM58
52ODX (Green Bullet)
LESLIE CABINET
Beta 57A
Beta 56
SM57
ACOUSTIC BASS
Beta 52
SM81
BG4.1
KSM32
ORCHESTRA
SM81
BG4.1
KSM32
BRASS
Beta 56
Beta 57A
SM57
LIVE STEREO
RECORDING
SM81 (pair)
BG4.1 (pair)
KSM32 (pair)
WOODWINDS
SM81
BG4.1
KSM32
SAMPLING
SM81
BG4.1
KSM32
9
The next step is to
plug the mic into the
Here are the steps to properly set the mixer’s input
appropriate channel
level controls:
input, which is usually
1. Get the mic in front of the performer and have him
input 1 for channel 1.
perform with the dynamics and feel of the actual music
On the 414mkII and
you’re going to record.
424mkIII, you can plug
2. Go to the individual channel’s controls, which are
into an XLR jack. If
arranged vertically, and bring up the volume fader to
you’ve got the Porta 02
about 3/4 of the way, to the “0” dB (unity gain) point. This
or 788, break out your
is the optimum setting for a volume fader, and many
trusty line transformer.
mixers such as the 414MKII and 424MKIII provide a
Be certain you’re
shaded area on the faceplate to show that you’re “in the
passing audio from the
zone.” Do the same with the master fader, located all the
mic to the mixer
way to the right of the channel faders. If your monitor
channel and to the
system is set up correctly (headphones or speakers), you
output stage. If you
should hear audio.
don’t pass audio to the
3. If the overall level is too high or too low (that is, if
proper output stage,
the meters aren’t registering or they’re maxing out into the
you won’t be able to
red zone constantly), adjust the trim control so that the
hear your signal, record
signal peaks at the meters’ 0 dB points. If the meters
it, or both.
occasionally go a little higher than that, into the red, that’s
To ensure that you’re
usually okay. Most mixers allow the signal to travel a little
getting a signal at all,
bit into the red before distortion occurs.
look at the mixer
4. Go back to the mic position and adjust it to get the
channel and make sure
just right tonal quality. For example, if you’re recording an
your Input switch, at the
acoustic guitar, try moving the mic so that it’s in front of
top of the mixer
the bridge and then the fingerboard. Listen to the results
channel, is set to
over headphones as you try different positions, and then
Mic/Line. This tells the
go back to the mixer channel to see if you need to make
channel to look at the
any gain adjustments.
mic rather than a tape
track (which you’d do
for mixing down).
seek the aid of a larger diaphragm
After it’s clear you’ve got some kind
condenser, such as the KSM32.
of signal, you now need to optimize
Fig. 5 shows a chart of various
SHURE mic models and some of their
that signal, both from the perspective
suggested uses. This chart should serve of the mic as well as the recorder. All
merely as a guide. You’re encouraged to that means is that you’re providing the
experiment with all types of mics on any
best possible signal level from the mic
sound to get a result that sounds good
that the recorder needs to see. Ideally,
to your ear.
the signal should be as loud as
possible, but not too loud, so that it
will allow for dynamic fluctuations on
TO THE BOARD!
the part of the performer. The optimal
All right, let’s say you’ve selected a mic
signal is one that is loud enough to
and wrangled a musician into
keep the noise floor down (a fixed,
performing in front of it so that you can
low-level of noise present in all
actually record some music. What now?
FIGURE 6: SETTING LEVELS
)))
10
FIGURE 7:
ANATOMY OF A MIXER CHANNEL
A. TRIM. This controls
the gain level of the preamp.
For keyboards and other linelevel sources, you generally
keep this control at or near the
minimum (all the way left). For
mics, you’ll need to crank it
further to the right. The trim
knob acts as a normalizer on
signals of different levels so
that the faders can be used in
their optimum positions.
LINE
INPUT
MIC/LINE
OFF
EQ
HIGH
)))
250
C. EQ. EQ is short for
equalization, or, more simply,
tone control. The number of
knobs and their function will
vary, but a common
arrangement is to have four
controls: a high- and lowshelving EQ (typically voiced at
10 kHz and 100 Hz,
respectively) and two midrange
knobs that work in conjunction
with each other. One selects the
frequency, and the other proves
a boost or cut at that frequency.
MIC
TAPE
B. INPUT SELECT.
Tells the mixer channel what to
listen to. The “Mic/Line” setting
tells the channel to pass the
input source (mic, keyboard,
guitar, etc.); “Off” means that no
audio passes; “Tape” tells the
mixer to listen to the recorded
tape track assigned to that
channel.
5k
D. EFFECTS SENDS.
If you’ve got some effects units at
hand, like a digital reverb or digital
delay, you can hook them up via
the effects send and return jacks,
and then control the intensity of the
effect — per channel — via the
individual effects send control.
Using one unit for multiple
channels is a great way to
maximize a limited number of
effects. For example, you could
use one effects processor — say, a
reverb set to a live room sound —
and put a little on the vocal, a little
more on the guitar, a lot on the
snare drum, and none on the bass.
On the 424mkIII, Effect 2 doubles
as the Tape Cue (playback) control.
EFFECT 1
EFFECT 2/
TAPE CUE
E. PAN. The pan (short for
“panorama”) control serves
double duty: When tracking, or
recording tracks, the pans work
with the Record Function
switches (on the 414mkII and
424mkIII) and direct the signal to
the busses, which in turn go to
tape tracks. When mixing, the pan
control places the sound in the
stereo field.
F. FADER. Most of your
volume moves will be made here,
after you’ve set the trim knob to the
proper level (described above in
“Setting Levels”). The trims, EQ,
and effects sends are all pretty
much “set and forget,” and the
faders are where 90 percent of
your “board moves” take place.
1
11
SPEAKER
FRONT VIEW
SPEAKER
using a channel strip of the 424mkIII,
which represents a fairly standard mixerchannel configuration.
ROUTING YOUR SIGNAL TO A
TAPE TRACK
CLOSEMIC
MIC POSITION
CLOSE
POSITION
)))
AERIAL
VIEW
AERIAL VIEW
FIGURE 8: A front and aerial
view of a dynamic mic aimed at a
guitar amp speaker. This off-axis
approach is a classic, and was
used by Eddie Van Halen, among
others.
electronic gear, especially tape-based
recorders), but not so loud that there’s
not a little headroom to accommodate
periodic bursts of a really loud sound.
In practical terms, it means setting up
the mic and adjusting the mixer levels
correctly. Fig. 6 presents the four
steps.
OTHER CHANNEL STRIP
CONTROLS
Once you have your levels set, you
might want to make other adjustments to
the sound, such as EQ or effects. Fig. 7
is the “anatomy of a mixer channel”
12
Though you might be able to hear your
source through an input channel, there’s
no guarantee it’s going to go to the
proper tape track, unless you
understand routing and busing. Bus is
the term for a line that connects multiple
points. For example, you can connect
three mixer channels to a common tape
track (which you would do when
blending a sound), or connect one mixer
channel to three tracks (which you might
do for overdubbing — to keep from
unplugging and re-plugging a
microphone).
If this seems confusing, don’t worry, it
will become clear in time, and this is as
complicated as it gets. TASCAM has
made the routing and busing issue a
whole lot clearer on the 424mkIII by
including a function called Direct on its
bus switches. By selecting Direct, a
channel is automatically routed to its
correspondingly numbered tape track.
For example, placing track 3’s bus
switch to Direct means it will listen only
to channel 3. Very handy.
TIP: Channel refers to the vertical
strips on the mixer section that you feed
instruments into. A track is the actual
stripe of tape where information gets
recorded. The Porta 02, Porta 414, and
Porta 424mkIII each have four tracks.
The 788 has eight tracks. In the
Portastudio line — or any mixer-recorder
combination — the number of channels
doesn’t necessarily correspond to the
number of tracks a unit has.
AUDITION YOUR SOURCE
Once you understand routing — and
you’re certain that when you cue the
)))
performer, the music will go to the
right place — go back to making the
fine, subtle adjustments in mic
positioning that will yield the best
results. A good trick to try is varying
the on/off axis position, or attitude, of
a mic toward its source. Sometimes
the best results are when the mic is
slightly off from the direct point of the
signal. When recording a trumpet,
this works well by aiming at the lip of
the bell and not its center. And the
classic way to mic a guitar cabinet is
to put an SM57 one to three inches
from the grille, at the edge of the
center of the dust cap, at a 60degree angle (see fig. 8).
In addition to tilting the axis, try
varying the distance of the mic to the
source. This is sometimes called
“presence,” because the closer a source
is to the mic, the more present it seems
to the listener. (Presence also has
meaning with regard to EQ: the upper
mid-high frequencies, roughly 2–4 kHz.)
Position the mic and monitor the
results through headphones, or, if you’re
in another room, over speakers. If the
recorder is in another room, or at least
far away, it’s really handy to have an
assistant make subtle positioning
changes. Don’t make the talent
(performer) do it; you want him to focus
on delivering a consistent performance.
Before you actually start recording and
put the musician into “performer mode,”
it helps to line up the input to the correct
track where the music will ultimately
reside so that you don’t have to bounce
later on.
RECORD AND PLAY BACK
YOUR WORK
It’s time to hit that Record button! The
one way to make sure you’ve set up
things correctly is to actually record
something and play it back. If all your
routing is correct, and you’ve adjusted
the monitor levels (speakers or
headphones), the only thing you have to
do is rewind the tape, flip the Input
switch from Mic/Line to Tape, press Play,
and adjust the Tape Cue control to a
comfortable playback level.
13
))))))
CHAPTER 3
MULTIPLE MICS,
MULTIPLE TRACKS
)))
placed several feet back. The two
Recording one track is relatively simple,
mics feed two different channels,
especially after you master the
each with independent EQ and levels,
mechanics of mic setup, level setting,
but are bussed to a single track.
signal routing, and playback monitoring.
If you had two different sources — for
Where things really get interesting is
example, two guitarists playing similar
when you decide to record, play back,
riffs with one in the low register and the
and mix multiple tracks.
Once you’ve set up one channel, the other playing an octave higher — this
would be considered layering. In both
procedure is the same for all other
cases, two sources
channels. In fact,
THE CHALLENGES OF
are used to
you don’t even need
MULTI-MIC
comprise the sound
to change channels
RECORDING AND
for one track. What’s
to record to different
MULTIPLE TRACK
interesting about
tracks if you don’t
MANAGEMENT.
layering and
want to. Through
blending is that
bussing, you can
because the channels are ganged to
use the same source on the same
one track, changing the level on one
channel to feed, successively, tracks 2,
channel or the other doesn’t so much
3, and 4 (or, if you’re on a 788, tracks 2
change the volume as it does the tonal
through 8). There are several
character. There are endless
approaches to recording multiple
experimental possibilities using this
tracks. Let’s tackle some of the most
approach. You can create your own
common ones.
unique tonal colors this way. But it can
also become quite addicting!
LAYERING AND BLENDING
Blending is where you take two mics
and simultaneously record a single
OVERDUBBING
source, but from different positions.
Overdubbing is the process where a
One of the most common scenarios
musician listens back to a previously
for this approach is an electric guitar.
recorded track and plays another part
One mic, typically a dynamic, like an
perfectly in sync with it (or as best he
SM57, is placed close to the guitar
can!). There are several considerations
amp’s grille cloth (one to three inches
when overdubbing. First and foremost:
away), while another mic, usually a
protect your previously recorded
condenser mic, like a KSM32, is
tracks. TASCAM facilitates this
14
)))
procedure by adding a Safe setting on
its Record Function switches. Use it.
After taking the necessary trackprotecting precautions, try to achieve a
working balance of the tape cue level
and the live instrument level. This isn’t as
easy as it sounds, because, while you
can turn up the tape track (via the Cue
controls), you must try to keep the
record levels of the live track consistent.
It’s tempting to turn down the live track
in your headphones to get it to blend
with the backing tracks, but don’t do it!
You’ll throw off the delicate balance of
signal-to-noise that you so carefully
sought in setting your initial levels. Also,
there are several places in the signal
path to adjust levels, and you have to be
sure you’re affecting only the monitoring
(listening) portion and not the recording
one (the one that goes to tape).
Maybe you want to record yourself
singing harmony. Or playing three
different acoustic guitar parts. For this
procedure, you’ll use the same source
and simply overdub by recording onto
successive tracks.
ENSEMBLE RECORDING
This is sort of the flip side of
overdubbing. Ensemble recording
means you record the way nature
intended — all together and at the same
time. You record to multiple tracks using
bussing, but you do it simultaneously.
While this makes things easier from a
musician’s standpoint, it sometimes
poses challenges from the recordist’s
perspective.
One problem is where to put all these
people. If you have them all next to each
other in the same room, but on three
different mics going to three different
channels, which go to three different
tracks, you risk bleed. This is when one
mic picks up the sound from another,
unintended source. The result is that you
The stereo miking x-y pattern.
can’t turn up mic 1 without also turning
up the bleed from the singer on mic 2.
And it may very well be that that’s the
precise reason you’re turning up mic 1
— to get the timid singer there to match
lungs with the basso profundo on mic 2.
You could separate the singers, but then
they lose the ability to act as a unit —
where they listen to each other for cues,
tuning, etc. In that case, you might
consider a different mic — one with a
tighter pickup pattern. If you like your
SM58, you might consider switching to a
Beta 58A, which has many of the same
qualities, but a tighter, supercardioid
pickup pattern. For stereo recording,
consider going with a pair of identicalmodel mics, such as two BG4.1’s. Place
them in an XY pattern (where the
capsules crisscross each other at about
a 135-degree angle) and position them
in front of the source.
TRACK BOUNCING
Once you have your ensemble recorded
to different tracks, you might want to
bounce the tracks all to one open track.
Bouncing is taking several pre-recorded
tracks and mixing them down to one (or
two, if you’re running in stereo). Bouncing
allows you to reclaim those individual
tracks — by erasing and re-recording
over them. The one caveat is that once
you bounce and start recording over the
original tracks, you’re stuck with your
bounced track mix. So make sure to
audition it over several systems before
you start to re-record. You must always
leave an open track, so plan carefully.
15
))))))
CHAPTER 4
SPECIAL APPLICATIONS
AND TECHNIQUES
)))
about 12 inches away. Then take a
It’s one thing to stumble through the
larger-diaphragm condenser, like the
recording process and discover all the
KSM32, and place that about six inches
things to do and not to do all by
from the bridge. Run the mics to
yourself. But why not take a couple of
short-cuts and benefit from the collective separate channels and blend to taste.
wisdom of people that have been there,
done that, and lived to tell the tale?
Electric guitars. Like vocals and their
There are many classic approaches to
acoustic counterparts, electric guitars
miking and recording all sorts of
can be greatly enhanced by recording
standard
them in an ambient
arrangements of
space, like a
NOW IT’S TIME TO
instruments. It
bathroom, garage,
TAKE A LOOK AT
doesn’t mean you
or long hallway. One
SOME SPECIFIC
have to follow them
trick is to close-mic
RECORDING
to the letter, but
the cabinet with a
APPLICATIONS
knowing what the
dynamic mic, and
UTILIZING CLASSIC
traditional approach
then take a
MIKING SETUPS FOR
INSTRUMENTS SUCH
is certainly makes
condenser and
AS GUITARS AND
for a good jumpingplace it several feet
DRUMS.
off point.
back, or even way
Let’s examine
back at the end of a
some specific recording applications
hall for a cathedral-like ambience. In this
utilizing classic setups.
case, the ambient mic takes on a much
smaller role than, say, the two-mic
method for an acoustic. Blend the
RECORDING GUITARS
ambient mic subtly. Fig. 9 shows how
Acoustic guitars. If you’re trying to lay
the two mics should be placed, relative
down a thumping rock rhythm on
to the guitar amp.
acoustic guitar, try using a dynamic, like
the Beta 57A. It has a little more highend sizzle than an SM57, but it features
MIKING A DRUM KIT
a great midrange “honk” that higherMic choice and setup. There is no one
quality condensers don’t seem to favor.
correct way to mic a drum kit. Some
For a classic two-mic setup, take a
people like to set up two mics in front of
small-diaphragm condenser, like an
the drummer in a nice, live room, about
SM81, and point it toward the 12th fret,
six feet high and ten feet back, and just
16
)))
FIGURE 9: In a
two-mic setup, one mic
is close up on the grille
cloth and the other is used to
capture the distant sound of the
amp as well as the room sound.
let the drummer wail. Others mic every
drum, send them all to separate
channels, and then hunker down for a
marathon mixing session. But most
strike a balance somewhere in the
middle. That usually involves separate
dynamic mics for the kick and snare, a
condenser mic for the hihat, and two
large-diaphragm condensers for the
overhead mics, which pick up the toms
and the cymbals. Alternatively, you can
use a pair of closed-mic dynamics on
the toms, if you like. Fig. 10 shows how
the “well appointed” drum kit looks, with
the mic configuration discussed above.
Panning assignments. On a drum kit
miked with the above setup, set the pan
controls this way for a stereo spread on
mixdown (not for tracking): kick 12:00,
snare 12:00, toms high to low in an
11:00–1:00 spread, hihat 2:00, and
overheads 10:00 and 2:00. (see Fig. 10a).
USING EFFECTS SENDS
EFFECTIVELY
For a true stereo sound, you must record
a source with two mics and send each
signal to a separate track. But that burns
tracks in a hurry, so a great way to
create a faux-stereo effect on singletrack-recorded instruments is to put just
the effects in stereo. Use a stereo effects
unit, but feed it one input from either a
channel (one instrument) or the entire
mix. Then return two outputs — the left
and right from the effects processor —
and patch them back into the main
stereo bus. That way the reverb, delay,
or chorus will shimmer with a subtle
stereo effect, even if your instruments
are all panned up the center. This is also
a great way to ensure mono
compatibility.
17
SM81
BETA 56
KSM32
BG 4.1
SM57
)))
BETA 52
FIGURE 10: A classic miking approach for a drum kit is two
condensers for the overheads, one on the hihat, two dynamics
on the toms, and one mic each for the snare and kick. A largediaphragm condenser for a room mic is optional.
FIGURE 10a: Note
the pan assignments
on the rotary knobs
just above the
faders. The 414mkII
will take eight inputs
even though it only
has six faders.
Inputs 7 and 8 are
on a single stereo
jack and are
controlled by a
rotary level knob.
KICK
SNARE
HI-HAT
18
T
O
M
S
ROOM
OVERHEADS
(via preamp w/ stereo out)
))))))
CHAPTER 5
TRICKS AND TIPS
PUSH THE METERS — YOU’RE
USING TAPE!
to be sure there’s no other noise, like
studio monitors or even loud breathing,
because you’ll have to run the mic pretty
hot. Run the miked signal to its own
track and then mix it judiciously with the
principal electric sound. You’d be
surprised how this effect — anemic on
its own — adds a whole new dimension
to a guitar sound.
In this digital world, distortion when
recording is verboten. But not so in
analog-land.
10 TRACKS
Pushing the tape
WITH 4
SOME TECHNIQUES THE
means that you
TRACKS
PROS USE TO MAXIMIZE
distort just
AND ONLY 1
THEIR SOUND.
enough to
BOUNCE
compress the
Bouncing tracks
tape, but not enough to make your
is great, but the rule of thumb is that you
preamps clip in an ugly way. There’s a
really don’t want to have more than one
narrow window in there where that
generation for any part, especially on
happens, but if you find it, you’ll be
cassette-based machines. But by
sitting pretty in the sweet zone.
performing a live track along with the
ones you’re bouncing, you can get ten
tracks onto a 4-track in just seven steps,
MIC THE STRINGS OF YOUR
and with no track subjected to more
ELECTRIC GUITAR
than one generation. See fig. 11 for the
If you want to get some acoustic snap
road map.
from your electric — but don’t have a
split pickup configuration with a piezo
and magnetic — here’s how you can
GHOST ’VERB
achieve the same effect. Isolate the
Here’s a neat trick that’s subtle enough
guitarist from the amp in a quiet room
to turn the heads of the attentive, but
and have him monitor over headphones. won’t distract from the musical impact of
Close mic the strings of the electric
the principal signal. Start by recording,
guitar with a small-diaphragm
on any instrument, a melodic line onto
condenser, like the SM81 or BG4.1, at a
one track. Then double the line, via
distance of only a few inches. You have
overdubbing, by listening to the original
19
)))
You’ve done all the homework and
followed the rules, right? So now it’s time
for some fun. Here is some weird
science, recording-wise, that actually
works.
3 Tracks + Live =
4 Tracks Total
2 Tracks + Live =
7 Tracks Total
)))
2 Tracks + Live =
9 Tracks Total
2 Tracks + Live =
10 Tracks Total
FIGURE 11: Seven steps to bouncing ten signals to four tracks,
assuming you perform live with the bounce each time.
and playing along onto a second track.
But don’t play it exactly like the original.
Take a few liberties with the tempo, the
articulation (slide into a note instead of
hitting it dead on), and maybe even the
choice of a pitch or two (but do this
sparingly). And instead of close miking
yourself, play or sing way back from the
mic, using a condenser like the SM81.
You might even have a second mic
pointed at a reflecting wall to capture
only the ambient sound (a KSM32 is
good for that purpose). You can even
run the track through a delay or reverb
after that, so that it really sounds
ghostly. Then, ever so carefully, mix that
sound in with the original track. The
result is a “wrong-note reverb” where
the “effect” (it’s really another track
disguised as an effect) is misbehaving
and deviating from the original line — a
seeming impossibility…unless your
recorder is haunted. Great for
atmospheric effects.
20
WHERE TO GO FROM HERE
If you’ve gotten this far, and practiced some of the
)))
exercises presented here — and lived to tell about it —
you’re doing great! The next step should be to purchase
and master some outboard effects units, like
compressors, reverbs, delays, choruses, etc. That’s what
you’ll need to complete your technical arsenal while you
save up and upgrade your existing, core equipment. You
can always use more mics, too, acquiring models
designed for specialized tasks.
More important than acquiring and mastering gear,
however, is trying to get exposed to as many recording
situations as you can. Volunteer to help out friends and
acquaintances who have little recording experience, but
are looking to put together a demo tape. You never know
when you’ll get another opportunity to mic a Brazilian
percussion ensemble, a gamelan orchestra, or even a
large chorus of singers. Record as much as you can,
develop your ear for microphone qualities, and master the
features of your recorder so that you can focus without
distraction on your whole reason for being there:
developing your ear for music.
SHURE MICROPHONES
SM57:
Outstanding performance and diversity of application make the
SM57 the “workhorse” of stages and studios worldwide.
SM58:
Ostensibly the first choice of performers around the globe, the SM58
vocal microphone is a genuine world standard and a true audio
legend.
Beta 52:
Optimized for use with kick drums, this supercardioid, dynamic
microphone features an integral locking stand mount for fast, easy
setup.
Beta 56:
Specifically engineered for drums and instruments, the Beta 56
dynamic microphone’s compact, pivoting design makes it the ideal
choice.
Beta 57A:
Excellent for acoustic and electric instruments as well as for vocals,
the extremely versatile Beta 57A dynamic microphone provides
optimal warmth and presence.
BG4.1:
The BG4.1 condenser microphone is a top choice for instrument
recording and sampling, as well as for live acoustic instruments.
SM81:
One of the world’s great studio condenser cardioid microphones, the
SM81 provides precise, detailed sound reproduction, is excellent for
studio recording, and is rugged enough for live sound reinforcement.
KSM32:
SHURE’s KSM32 has a classic, elegant appearance and even more
impressive performance provided by its extended frequency
response, low self-noise, high output level, and increased dynamic
range. The KSM32 has the flexibility to handle a variety of
demanding sound sources, including vocals, acoustic and wind
instruments, ensembles, and overhead miking for drums and
percussion. In addition, it has the warmth and sensitivity necessary
for superb sound reproduction in professional studio production and
live sound recording.
For more information, product literature and educational booklets,
call 1-800-25-SHURE or visit www.shure.com.
788 DIGITAL PORTASTUDIO
PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATIONS
Frequency Response ....................................................................................................................................20 Hz–20 kHz ± 1 dB
Dynamic Range ..................................................................................................................................................Better than 82 dB
Channel Separation ............................................................................................................................................Better than 80 dB
Total Harmonic Distortion ................................................................................................................................<.01% (1 kHz tone)
INPUT/OUTPUT SPECIFICATIONS
Inputs A-D........................................................................................................................................................................1/4” TRS
Aux Input ..............................................................................(2) 1/4” Phone Connectors [Nominal Level –10 dBV @ 15 kOhms]
Stereo Output....................................................................................(2) RCA Connectors [Nominal Level –10 dBV @820 Ohms]
Monitor Output ..................................................................................(2) RCA Connectors [Nominal Level -10dBV @820 Ohms]
Aux Output ............................................................................(2) 1/4” Phone Connectors [Nominal Level –10 dBV @820 Ohms]
Headphone Output ................................................................................................................1/4” TRS, 60mW per side, 30 Ohms
Remote Port ......................................................................................................................1/4” Phone, Accepts TASCAM RC-30P
MIDI Ports..................................................................................................................................................................(2) 5 Pin Din
SCSI Port ................................................................................................................................................................SCSI-2, 50 pin
CASSETTE 4 TRACK
Porta 02
414mkII
424mkIII
Simultaneous ..................2 Record; 4 Play................................................4 Record; 4 Play..............................4 Record; 4 Play
Record/Play Tracks
Mixer Channels ..................4 Tape Returns..........................................4 Mono Channels........................6 Mono Channels
2 Band EQ
3 Band EQ
Sweep Mid EQ
(2) Aux Sends
2 Stereo Inputs
(2) Aux sends
1 Stereo Input
Overall ......................................50 Hz–12.5 ........................................40 Hz–16 kHz ±3 dB ......................40 Hz–16 kHz ±3 dB
Frequency Response
kHz ±3 dB
(without dbx)
(3 3/4 ips)
Overall Signal ................................>43 dB ..............................................................>85 dB ............................................>90 dB
to Noise Ratio
1 kHz, 3% THD
IHF-A weighted,
A weighted, dbx on
dbx on
Wow/Flutter (WRMS)....................<0.18% ................................................<0.12% WRMS ..............................<0.05% WRMS
Tape Speed(s) ........................4.76 cm/sec ......................................................9.5 cm/sec ................4.76 cm/sec (1 7/8 ips)
(1 7/8 ips)
(3 3/4 ips)
9.5 cm/sec (3 3/4 ips)
Pitch Adjustment ......................................................................................................±12% ..............................................±12%
Inputs ..........................(2) 1/4” Mic/Line In..............................................................Ch 1-2............................................Ch 1-4
XLR Mic Pre
XLR Mic Pre
1/4” Mic/Line In
1/4” Mic/Line In
Ch 3-4
Ch 5-6
1/4” Mic/Line In
1/4” Mic/Line In
Ch 5-8
Ch 7-8
1/4” Line In
1/4” Line In
Hi Z
Sub Input
Guitar Line Level In
RCA unbalanced
Sub Input
RCA unbalanced
Outputs ..................................Line Output............................................Monitor Outputs..........................Monitor Outputs
RCA unbalanced
RCA unbalanced
RCA unbalanced
Headphone Output
Line Output
Line Output
1/4” TRS
RCA unbalanced
RCA unbalanced
Aux Send Outs (2)
Aux Send Outs (2)
1/4” Line
1/4” Line
Headphone Output
Individual Track Outs
1/4” TRS
RCA unbalanced
Headphone Output
1/4” TRS
Power Consumption ............................7W ..................................................................11W ................................................21W
Dimensions ......................300x80x205 mm ............................................367x100x247 mm ..........................419x115x357 mm
(14.5 x 4 x 9.75 in)
Weight ................................................1.5Kg..................................................2.1Kg (4.5 lbs) ..............................................4.9Kg
Fast Winding Time ........120 sec. for C-60..............................................110 sec. for C-60 ............................120 sec. for C-60
Optional Accessories ..................................................................RC-30P Punch-In Pedal..................RC-30P Punch-In Pedal
AND
Microphones
Multitracks
Produced by two of the most-respected
names in professional audio,
Microphones and Multitracks is a quickstart guide that will not only have you
making music with your SHURE
microphone and TASCAM Portastudio,
but have you doing it in the time it takes
you to read this guidebook and press the
Record button on your deck.
Here’s some of what you’ll learn:
• Proper mic selection
• Recording system setup
• How to set levels
• Miking techniques
• Multiple track recording techniques
• How to capture the best signal
• Classic recording setups
• Professional tricks and tips
Tel:1-800-25-SHURE • Web: www.shure.com
AL1451/January 2001
Tel: 323-726-0303 • Web: www.tascam.com
Was this manual useful for you? yes no
Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Download PDF

advertising