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  #1  
Old 03-12-2018, 12:44 PM
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JustJames JustJames is offline
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Default Audacity for Multi Instrumentalist Recording

Hello my imaginary friends.

I have a project in mind, which involves recording a song where I play 2 guitars, bass and drums, and sing it.

It looks like Audacity can do this easily enough, and I think that the process would go something like this...

1. Set up a click track so that I have a 'canvas'
2. Record voice and a basic acoustic guitar line to act as a basis for everything that comes next
3. Record other instruments
4. Mix recorded tracks into a finished work

Of course I know that this is a wild degree of over-simplification, but is the basic approach sound, and if not, what do I need to change?
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Old 03-12-2018, 02:21 PM
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Morrisman Morrisman is offline
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Default Re: Audacity for Multi Instrumentalist Recording

Yes, that would work fine.

If you can keep the initial voice and guitar seperate as you record, you have the option of redoing bits of the voice track, or doing a 2nd or 3rd complete take and comping the best bits into one lead vocal track.

Make sure audacity has the latency offset enabled, so that the new tracks line up in sync with the old, although it's easy enough to slide the left or right a bit until they're in sync anyway.
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Old 03-12-2018, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: Audacity for Multi Instrumentalist Recording

I agree with Morrisman, and suggest you record your initial guitar & vocal tracks separately, in case you absolutely love one (or both) of the tracks. Being recorded seperately, there will be no bleed from one sound source to another microphone.

I recently recorded & mixed an entire album for a friend, Black and Red by John McMahon. The experience was an eye opener.

The most valuable tools were:
  • Being able to quanitize everyone’s performance, because each performance was recorded separately. This is cheating, but it makes everything sound so much better.
  • Being able to loop the entire song while recording so I could select sections of each “take” to make a final recording (essentially, make a track that was never recorded). The technical term is “comping”, short for compositing. Example here.
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Old 03-13-2018, 01:16 AM
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JustJames JustJames is offline
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Default Re: Audacity for Multi Instrumentalist Recording

Thanks guys.

Keep 'em coming!
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Old 03-13-2018, 07:54 AM
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Anon La Ply Anon La Ply is offline
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Default Re: Audacity for Multi Instrumentalist Recording

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJames View Post
Hello my imaginary friends.

I have a project in mind, which involves recording a song where I play 2 guitars, bass and drums, and sing it.

It looks like Audacity can do this easily enough, and I think that the process would go something like this...

1. Set up a click track so that I have a 'canvas'
2. Record voice and a basic acoustic guitar line to act as a basis for everything that comes next
3. Record other instruments
4. Mix recorded tracks into a finished work

Of course I know that this is a wild degree of over-simplification, but is the basic approach sound, and if not, what do I need to change?
Hi James, this is what I do. Very simple - stick a Zoom in front of the kit and play with a click and maybe add a percussion or keys track. Then my jam pal adds guitars, bass, keys and maybe percussion, track by track - just sticking the Zoom in front of the amp.

I'm old school - no quantising or clever stuff. So the hard part is lining the dubbed tracks up with the other recordings. A tiny mistake in alignment of a dub - hundredths of seconds - can be the difference between a great groove and an okay one. So, when recording I always start with an audible one two three click so I have a rough idea where to trim the overdub track to make the fine lining up a little less tedious.

Also, I find the limiter adds a more natural presence than the compressor, although that just might be me not being very good at using them :)

Another simple tip - with EQ, reducing 300-600Hx by a few dB seems to usually add clarity.
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Old 03-13-2018, 01:33 PM
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Default Re: Audacity for Multi Instrumentalist Recording

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Originally Posted by Anon La Ply View Post
... stick a Zoom in front of the kit and play ...adds guitars, bass, keys and maybe percussion, track by track - just sticking the Zoom in front of the amp.
Thanks ALP - forgive the dumb question, but if I understand correctly, you then take the material recorded on the Zoom and squirt it into Audacity?
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