Multitrack Recording

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shider
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Multitrack Recording

Post by shider » Tue Jul 31, 2018 2:35 am

Hi there,

i wanted to ask if you are doing some multitracks recordings of yourself and if so, how your process looks like..

I've dabbled in it before, doing some recordings on my phone with an app, which syncs up the different video tracks and offers the option to play a clicktrack over headphones, but the result is at most mediocre (largely due to my own playing, but also because the app has its limits) and i would like to know if there are alternatives which are easy to set up and could be used to practice (i view this kind of recording mostly as practice on intonation, playing in time and to keep oneself motivated)

Greetings,
shider
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by imsevimse » Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:38 am

I have done some multitrack recordings most with a portable 8 track studio. Biggest problem is intonation and time.

If you want a glimpse of my work they can be found at various places at my page
https://sites.google.com/site/brazzmusic/

Process has been different.
Tried playing parts in order 1, 2, 3, 4 or in the reversed order or 1,2,3,4 and finally a new recording of 1.
Intonation is the problem when you do this, and to have all parts play together since I don't use a click track.

I guess a click track helps. I have not jet tried to record with a four part piano accompaniment as a support. I think the harmony could help intonation when doing the first parts and in the end it could be removed. That might be something to try out.

/Tom
Last edited by imsevimse on Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:48 am, edited 5 times in total.
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timothy42b
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by timothy42b » Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:29 am

I've done some, though not in a while.

I used Audacity on a laptop, an H2 connected for the microphone, and an Audacity generated clicktrack on an earbud in one ear.

I should really try again, I've improved my playing since last time.
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by Finetales » Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:06 am

Audacity is the easiest way. It's really easy to do.
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by SwissTbone » Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:45 am

I do it in Audacity also.

The real question is what mics you use and how you place your mics. I think this can make or break a recording.
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by BflatBass » Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:22 pm

I know this is an old thread but I just happened to notice it so I thought I'd add something.

I've been doing multitrack recording at home for a few years now. I use a Tascam DP-006. It's a really handy unit with 4 separate built in tracks as well as a click track. When used with an external mic (I use a Shure SM-57) the sound quality is really good. It has two built in condenser mics for mobile use but the sound quality isn't very good.
You can overdub easily and if you bounce tracks you really can record an unlimited number of tracks. It has a few editing features as well as the built in pan and level adjustments per track. You do have to jump through a couple of hoops to export your recordings to a computer though. Not a big deal.
I use my DP-006 recordings for my video collages that I'm teaching myself how to make. Video with my phone, audio with the Tascam.
You can usually find them new for less than $150 on ebay or Amazon.

Multitrack is great for ear training but I do it mostly to hear my arrangements as I've been playing around with trombone quartet versions of old jazz standards. It's really invaluable for that.

https://tascam.com/us/product/dp-006/top

Cheers,
Robert
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by harrisonreed » Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:33 pm

Laptop, focusrite input, large condenser mic, FL Studio, altiverb, and some open back headphones.

One thing that always bugs me are the videos on YouTube of relatively famous multitrackers who are obviously just lipsynching to their audio track.
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by BflatBass » Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:01 pm

harrisonreed wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:33 pm
Laptop, focusrite input, large condenser mic, FL Studio, altiverb, and some open back headphones.
Do you overdub on FL Studio? I can't figure out how to do it. I can record and mix but I can't record and listen at the same time.
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by harrisonreed » Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:44 pm

BflatBass wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:01 pm
harrisonreed wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:33 pm
Laptop, focusrite input, large condenser mic, FL Studio, altiverb, and some open back headphones.
Do you overdub on FL Studio? I can't figure out how to do it. I can record and mix but I can't record and listen at the same time.
Yep, that's the number 1 thing any DAW is used for. The trick with FL studio is that each WAV file is set to a channel, and that channel needs to be routed to a mixer track. Then you can apply plugins to that track, and route everything to the master mixer track. Everything plays when you record again.
shider
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by shider » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:38 am

Since my old thread seems to have risen from the dead i will add something as well:

When i posted this I used an android app called "Acapella". The app itself works fairly well, but it leaves you no control of how to sync up your tracks. Also you are limited to a the phones microphone.. The convenient thing is you get a video collage on top with very little effort!
But again: it's very limiting and after playing around with that app i upgraded a little bit:

I got a USB audio interface, a large condenser mic with a stand, studio headphones (fairly cheap AKG), connected all that to my laptop and started playing around with the DAW Reaper.
After getting this setup to run i had a mobile recording setup i could take with me and i did a few recordings of myself.
The first results were very promising! Now the limiting factor was not the hard-/software, but me :biggrin: and that's something I can work on.
Haven't done much recently though because other projects have been more important, but once that settles down I want to dive further down this rabbithole :good:

PS: because Audacity has been mentioned a lot: i have used that aswell, but for me Reaper was the next step.. It's a lot more complex if you want it to be and a full DAW, so you can use it for whatever audio project you want! I believe you can even import video files and show them in playback
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by SimmonsTrombone » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:32 am

Cakewalk by Bandlab - formerly Cakewalk Sonar - is now free. It does everything a DAW can do.
https://www.bandlab.com/products/cakewalk
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by harrisonreed » Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:36 am

Wow!? They are just giving stuff away now. Really good stuff. And they wonder why no one makes money in art any more...
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BflatBass
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by BflatBass » Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:35 pm

harrisonreed wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:44 pm
Yep, that's the number 1 thing any DAW is used for. The trick with FL studio is that each WAV file is set to a channel, and that channel needs to be routed to a mixer track. Then you can apply plugins to that track, and route everything to the master mixer track. Everything plays when you record again.
I'll try it again but as I remember FL was doing some things that I didn't want to happen and I couldn't figure out how to make it stop. It had to do with assigning tracks in the mixer. I used one of the FL Studio audio recording tutorials as a starting point but after trying it out FL kept doing things I didn't want it to do.
If I can get FL figured out it'll probably save me time because of it's editing power. I wouldn't use it for effects or the use of plugins.

Cheers,
Robert
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by harrisonreed » Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:52 pm

BflatBass wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:35 pm
harrisonreed wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:44 pm
Yep, that's the number 1 thing any DAW is used for. The trick with FL studio is that each WAV file is set to a channel, and that channel needs to be routed to a mixer track. Then you can apply plugins to that track, and route everything to the master mixer track. Everything plays when you record again.
I'll try it again but as I remember FL was doing some things that I didn't want to happen and I couldn't figure out how to make it stop. It had to do with assigning tracks in the mixer. I used one of the FL Studio audio recording tutorials as a starting point but after trying it out FL kept doing things I didn't want it to do.
If I can get FL figured out it'll probably save me time because of it's editing power. I wouldn't use it for effects or the use of plugins.

Cheers,
Robert
At this point I just use templates that I set up, but I think it goes like this:

1. You have to arm tracks to record into the playlist. Disconnect these tracks from the master track. All these armed mixer track do is record audio and dump it into the playlist as a wav file. The wav files appear as channels in the channel rack, and you can assign those channels to one or multiple other mixer tracks.

2. The newly recorded wav files and their associated mixer tracks should be tied to the master output by default, but make sure.

3. Now if you arm tracks to record, everything in the playlist should also play back into the master track, but only the armed audio mixer track will actually record new audio.

I think FL studio is different in that each row in the playlist is not associated with any particular track in the mixer. The channels are, but the playlist can be as messy as you want it to be.
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by bkessler » Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:05 pm

I do a lot of this for various projects (mostly in ProTools), and here's a tip that I find helps immensely: use different setups for the different tracks. When we hear ensembles in real life, it's never all the same person playing the same horn/mouthpiece from the same position. You're just you, so that's a variable you can't change, but there are lots of variables that you can:

1) Use a different horn for each track if you have them available. (Or mouthpiece, if you're comfortable on more than one and they give you slightly different desirable tones...or swap components to other bells, etc.)

2) Make sure to pan the tracks to different positions. This often matters way more than levels, etc. for hearing the parts well.

3) If you have them available, use different mics for different tracks.

4) Slightly change the EQ from track to track.

5) If you have a bussing structure in your DAW, you can use sends to move some of the tracks forward (less reverb) or backward (more reverb) a little in space.

Of course, the main part of my process looks like this: Record a track, listen to it, be unhappy, record it again, record the next track, decide I'm unhappy with both tracks, record them both again, stop recording and go practice, etc.
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Briande
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by Briande » Wed Apr 01, 2020 3:48 pm

I just used Garage Band on my iPhone to record all 4 parts of a trombone quartet. Pretty easy.
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by DougHulme » Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:26 pm

I have no idea how to multitrack but I rather enjoyed this contribution from Carol Jarvis - unlike me she clearly does know how to multi track!! Kindest... Doug

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bq9xBEpBrwM
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by Mikebmiller » Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:46 pm

I got an 8 part arrangement of the Mahler 2 Chorale and am using that as my test piece to learn how to do this. I just got an AT2020 USB mic and am using that along with Audacity on my laptop. If I can get the audio where it needs to be, I may work on doing some karaoke video with it. I downloaded the free DaVinci Resolve the other day. Let's just say that's a step up in complexity from Windows Movie Maker, which is what I have used in the past. This is kinda fun - it really makes you concentrate on your time and intonation.
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by Finetales » Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:56 pm

Mikebmiller wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:46 pm
I got an 8 part arrangement of the Mahler 2 Chorale and am using that as my test piece to learn how to do this. I just got an AT2020 USB mic and am using that along with Audacity on my laptop. If I can get the audio where it needs to be, I may work on doing some karaoke video with it. I downloaded the free DaVinci Resolve the other day. Let's just say that's a step up in complexity from Windows Movie Maker, which is what I have used in the past. This is kinda fun - it really makes you concentrate on your time and intonation.
The video has always been the hard part for me with multitracking. I've done plenty of multitrack videos but always showing a single cam or none at all. I did I new one a few days ago and decided to tackle the multicam video showing all the parts. I also used DaVinci Resolve...I felt like an infant trying to figure it out. But it can definitely do it.
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by harrisonreed » Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:26 pm

Finetales wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:56 pm
Mikebmiller wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:46 pm
I got an 8 part arrangement of the Mahler 2 Chorale and am using that as my test piece to learn how to do this. I just got an AT2020 USB mic and am using that along with Audacity on my laptop. If I can get the audio where it needs to be, I may work on doing some karaoke video with it. I downloaded the free DaVinci Resolve the other day. Let's just say that's a step up in complexity from Windows Movie Maker, which is what I have used in the past. This is kinda fun - it really makes you concentrate on your time and intonation.
The video has always been the hard part for me with multitracking. I've done plenty of multitrack videos but always showing a single cam or none at all. I did I new one a few days ago and decided to tackle the multicam video showing all the parts. I also used DaVinci Resolve...I felt like an infant trying to figure it out. But it can definitely do it.
Most of the videos of multi track performances are just "lip-synching". They aren't doing whole takes with video at the same time.

They do punch ins and crossfades with a click track until each part is perfect, and then record a video of themselves pretending to play along with the click track.
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by Finetales » Wed Apr 15, 2020 9:00 pm

harrisonreed wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:26 pm
Most of the videos of multi track performances are just "lip-synching". They aren't doing whole takes with video at the same time.

They do punch ins and crossfades with a click track until each part is perfect, and then record a video of themselves pretending to play along with the click track.
Yes, that's what I do (I actually play everything down, but it's not the recorded take). It takes FOREVER and is extremely tedious to record video of the actual takes. I used to do it that way and it was a massive headache that basically led to me not bothering with video on my multitracks anymore.
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by BflatBass » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:20 pm

Finetales wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 9:00 pm
harrisonreed wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:26 pm
Most of the videos of multi track performances are just "lip-synching". They aren't doing whole takes with video at the same time.

They do punch ins and crossfades with a click track until each part is perfect, and then record a video of themselves pretending to play along with the click track.
Yes, that's what I do (I actually play everything down, but it's not the recorded take). It takes FOREVER and is extremely tedious to record video of the actual takes. I used to do it that way and it was a massive headache that basically led to me not bothering with video on my multitracks anymore.
This is really interesting. I've been recording audio and video all the way through on every track so far and yes, it takes a LOT of takes and most of the time really frustrating.

That's it. I'm going to start lip syncing. My final rendering quality is going to improve a lot!
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by Finetales » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:51 pm

The way I see it, the only time you really NEED to make the video be the actual take is if a solo is improvised, or if you're doing one of those live looping videos (which isn't really a multitrack). For everything else, I'd rather get it done in a reasonable amount of time and have fun doing it than be "authentic". The audio is what's important.
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by harrisonreed » Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:13 am

Finetales wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:51 pm
The way I see it, the only time you really NEED to make the video be the actual take is if a solo is improvised, or if you're doing one of those live looping videos (which isn't really a multitrack). For everything else, I'd rather get it done in a reasonable amount of time and have fun doing it than be "authentic". The audio is what's important.
Or if you want to do a video of a live event, a lesson, or concert. I love live recordings. A multitrack video is, by definition, not live. So why make life even harder?

But, since I know this, multi track videos don't interest me. Hearing the same person, on one or two horns, recorded on a single mic in mono, run through the same effects, lip synced to a video, sounds bad, and looks kind of silly. It can be fun sometimes.

The collaboration videos can be great though.
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by Mikebmiller » Thu Apr 16, 2020 7:17 am

As no one is making any money off these things, with the exception of Chris Bill on Youtube, I would say that however you want to do it is OK by me. With all this time at home, it is more fun than playing Rochuts.
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by Finetales » Thu Apr 16, 2020 2:19 pm

harrisonreed wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:13 am
But, since I know this, multi track videos don't interest me. Hearing the same person, on one or two horns, recorded on a single mic in mono, run through the same effects, lip synced to a video, sounds bad, and looks kind of silly. It can be fun sometimes.
Mikebmiller wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 7:17 am
As no one is making any money off these things, with the exception of Chris Bill on Youtube, I would say that however you want to do it is OK by me.
Don't forget Jacob Collier. Jacob Collier basically turned a couple of YouTube multitracks into multiple Grammys, international tours, several albums with presumably enormous budgets, and no doubt stacks of cash.

And, for the record, he lip syncs too. It's standard practice. (Whatever that means in the multitrack world.)
With all this time at home, it is more fun than playing Rochuts.
In my experience, it is also an incredible practice tool. I have yet to try anything that caused so much improvement in so little time as recording multitracks. After all, you must be in time, in tune, and matching style and volume with every note, and you are held accountable by the recording. It's not a "cheat" or a "short cut", but just something most people haven't tried.
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by Burgerbob » Thu Apr 16, 2020 2:26 pm

Finetales wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 2:19 pm

In my experience, it is also an incredible practice tool. I have yet to try anything that caused so much improvement in so little time as recording multitracks. After all, you must be in time, in tune, and matching style and volume with every note, and you are held accountable by the recording. It's not a "cheat" or a "short cut", but just something most people haven't tried.
Assuming the multitracker doesn't just edit and autotune everything... :pant:
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by harrisonreed » Thu Apr 16, 2020 5:41 pm

Burgerbob wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 2:26 pm
Finetales wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 2:19 pm

In my experience, it is also an incredible practice tool. I have yet to try anything that caused so much improvement in so little time as recording multitracks. After all, you must be in time, in tune, and matching style and volume with every note, and you are held accountable by the recording. It's not a "cheat" or a "short cut", but just something most people haven't tried.
Assuming the multitracker doesn't just edit and autotune everything... :pant:
The obvious ones that are compressed to the max and auto tuned .... Gah. Don't get me started.
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by Mikebmiller » Fri Apr 17, 2020 8:47 am

Here is my first multitrack effort. No auto tune. No compression - just a bit of reverb to make up for the small room I am using to record. Constructive criticism welcome. Or if you just think it sucks, you can say that too.

Mahler 2 Chorale for 8 trombones. But I only used 2.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/10qgOEW ... sp=sharing
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by AuntieAmanda » Sat Apr 18, 2020 2:36 am

For what it’s worth, Amanda and I have tried this a few times, sometimes with help from a few additional Amandas, and sometimes with the enigmatic Bass Amanda, although we wouldn’t use the word ‘help’ where she’s involved...

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... QMTyaZ0TsN

Our favourite so far is ‘Seduced’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdkQKlmQ-Gg
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by Mikebmiller » Sat Apr 18, 2020 7:04 pm

Amandas y’all sound great.
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by shider » Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:47 am

To provide some further information source, James Nova of the Pitsburg Symphony has just posted an introduction to his overdubbing process on his youtube channel:

https://youtu.be/xr3m3YyhHYM

If you don't already know his recordings, go and check them out!
He has released a whole Album of Star Wars overdubs.
For me as an amateur it's incredible what a pro player can achieve by just overdubbing yourself.

Greetings,
shider
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by Mikebmiller » Wed May 06, 2020 9:21 am

Here is my 2nd attempt at overdubbing. I did the Michael Kamen brass quintet that the Canadian Brass has made famous (or at least as famous as a brass quintet piece can be). I have always wanted to play the horn solo on this piece. So the trumpet parts are sounding down an ocatave an I played the tuba part on euphonium, so I took a few notes up an octave, but the overall sound is OK. I used Cakewalk to record and edit this. I put in a bit of reverb. See what you think.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kPFIfz ... lcli8P3Bw
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by Molefsky » Thu May 07, 2020 9:47 pm

Using a focus rite Scarlett 6i6, an old laptop and Reaper. Been experimenting with mics for tuba, Euph, British baritone, and tenors/bass bone. Some of the mics I have been playing with: shure 57, Røde NT5, Audix D6, have an AT2020 on the way.

My process is pretty similar to the one that Jim Nova put in his video, I kind of zigzag tracks and go back and fix little things. What are the big issues that I find has to do with intonation and collaborating with others.if we are recording with a tempered instrument like organ or piano then that needs to be the pitch authority but a couple of times I’ve had an eager trumpet player record all of his tracks first even before the equal temperament instruments and so I’ve had to go through and get stuff for time accuracy and then go back and fix it for pitch accuracy with the tempered instruments. On the flipside, I’ve done some tracks where the reference track was all midi but I wanted to have just intonation for the final product. In the case with the eager trumpet player I completed my tracks with organ and then send them back to him and Let his ears do the rest of the work. With the midi stuff I will get my things tracked in and then I will go back and listen with my parts soloed to see if it really sounded the way I wanted. It’s pretty easy to punch in little bits etc at that point.
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Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by boneagain » Sat May 09, 2020 6:43 am

shider wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:47 am
To provide some further information source, James Nova of the Pitsburg Symphony has just posted an introduction to his overdubbing process on his youtube channel:

https://youtu.be/xr3m3YyhHYM

If you don't already know his recordings, go and check them out!
He has released a whole Album of Star Wars overdubs.
For me as an amateur it's incredible what a pro player can achieve by just overdubbing yourself.

Greetings,
shider
You'll note in the comments to Mr. Nova's excellent video that the microphone latency can be done without so much trial and error in Audacity. It can be even more straightforward than suggested.
The simplest latency adjustment takes advantage of:
1) the zoom function (as Jim and the commenter mentioned)
2) the zoom function with a bit more precision eyeballing
3) the Audio Position tool at the bottom of the Audacity window.
4) a rhythm track that provides more than one click per second

The process is:
1) Select between a little before one beat in the click track and after one beat in the new test track
2) View->Zoom->Zoom to Selection (you can just type Ctrl-E... a handy shortcut you will use a lot)
3) Now select from the LEADING edge of the click track beat and the LEADING edge of the test track beat
4) In the Audio Position box click the down-arrow on the text part
5) Select "Start and Length of Selection"
6) In the right-most box with time values click the down-arrow
7) Select "hh:mm:ss + milliseconds"

At this point, if you selected carefully, the "milliseconds" part of #7 will be the number you want to use in the latency adjustmment window. You will use a negative number. In some versions of Audacity the setting is under "Edit->Recording" while in others it is under "Edit->Devices."

As you can see, by using the whole screen to zoom in to the space between one beat on two tracks you can get very fine adjustments. You could improve this by using a faster beat, but keep in mind that at very high tempi you might get echoing or other effects making it hard to find the leading edge on the test track.

Also, it pays to do this test with whatever monitoring setup you will use and not just the system speaker. The system speaker will add room echoes that will muddy the leading edge. A long ear monitor cable can add significant delay so that the adjustment is not accurate.

Finally, keep in mind that sound travels about 1 foot in 1 millisecond. Human ear resolution is about 3 milliseconds. If you are going to be more than 3 feet from your microphone you MAY have more offset to deal with.

I continue to be amazed at what is possible even with FREE tools. I thought I had it good with a Roberts cross field 15" half-track capable reel-to-reel in the old days. And that cost me more than my current laptop.

BTW: Jim's tutorial is about the best one I've seen for getting started with Audacity. IMHO he's as good at explaining things as he is at playing. What a great guy!
Mikebmiller
Posts: 499
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:13 am
Location: Spartanburg, SC

Re: Multitrack Recording

Post by Mikebmiller » Thu May 21, 2020 3:49 pm

I have seen Jim's overdub presentation a couple of times live. He records with his bell about 10-12' from the mic. I have found that in playing about 2-3' from the mic, I don't have any problems with delay. Then again, I will never sound as good as Jim. I started off with Audacity, but have used Cakewalk for my last couple of attempts. There is a very helpful Cakewalk support group on FB and also tons of videos to help you figure out how do do things.
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