Monday, November 2, 2009

Basic Home Recording - Part II

Reaper is great and with ReWire capability - It is in effect compatible with Pro Tools. Among many of its cool features is VST plugin compatibility.

VSTs, unlike RTAS, are an open-platform. There are literally THOUSANDS of free plug ins. Many of which emulate classic hardware. And they do a pretty damn good job of it too.

Take a look at to get started. Search through their database - You need it, they probably have 5 or 6 free plugs that do it. I even use them in PT sometimes with the VST-RTAS Wrapper.

You should also consider where your drums are going to come from. Tedious MIDI sequencing is an option. Though not terribly conducive to the creative process. Drum loops always kinda suck because they are just that, loops. They tend to lock your brain into one creative path. I like to riff over a click track and then play drums over the riffs. KVR has several free drum sampler plugins that are similar to the original dfh Superior.

And of course as Prime mentioned - EZ Drummer is just that - EASY as hell to use and quite affordable. And you can use any GM drum file with it straight away.
Source : Prime/rob @ The Guitar Matrix -

Limiters, Compressors and CLIPPING - Watch those meters, if you are recording analog sources you've GOTTA have a solid hardware comp/limiter to tame that signal before it hits the AD converters. Just no way around it if you wanna beat the S-N ratio and get maximum level to 'tape', without clipping. This could be something as inexpensive as an Alesis 3630 with 2 simple mods that make it far better than stock, or a classic, indisputably perfect tool like Universal Audio/Teletronix 2-1176n. There are plenty of price points in between that sound amazing including the ART Pro VLA II at just $299 you get two channels of tube compression and limiting that sounds eerily similar to the 1176.



EQ : I'm going to say this is probably the most important. As always.... it's just my opinion. There are people better qualified to make such statements, but I'm entitled to my opinion and it's subject to change. LOL!

You should have an EQ plugin running on almost every track. Running an EQ plugin with a high pass filter at around 50hz alone would probably improve a lot of people's recordings. Most of the stuff below that is mostly mud. We'll talk more about this later....I'm sure.

Most DAW Recording Software will come with a VST EQ Plugin. IF you have nothing else....use it. Though as mentioned before, there are plenty of free plugins available. And of course, you can always buy them.

I like to have a Dynamic EQ with built in Spectrum analyzer. At this point, I'm recommending Voxengo Gliss EQ. Use whatever you like.

Voxengo Gliss EQ -

Compressor : This is the second most important as far as I'm concerned. You should probably be running some kind of compression on your Kick, Snare, and least. Once again, most recording software includes a compressor. This time I'm recommending a free VST compressor called BLOCKFISH. It's easy to use and works well.

BLOCKFISH (free VST Plugin) -

Volume Leveling : This one can help with your hihat, cymbals, overheads, and room, etc. in your drum mix. Recommending TLs-3127 for free.

TLs Volume Leveling (free VST Plugin) -

Antress ModernVLME (free VST Plugin) -

Guitar/Bass amp and cabinet modeling plugins (free VST Plugin - 1 yr.) (free VST Plugin) (free VST Plugin)

As I mention when talking about the UX2......

Those will allow you to shape your processed and/or unprocessed signal after you have recorded your tracks.

You could also plug your guitar directly into the sound card of your computer. Certainly, that's not the best option...but if you have nothing else it beats a blank. In Reaper you can monitor the processed signal as you're recording, though there will probably be some latency. That's where devices such as the UX2 come in handy. It has tone direct monitoring which allows you to hear exactly what is being recorded with virtually no latency.

Try this...In Reaper, right click the record arm button and choose 'monitor input'. Load your VST Plugins (Amp/Cab models) to that track . Plug your guitar directly into your sound card input. you can check out the plugins through your computer spkr.s/monitors and it has cost you absolutely nothing!!! I never use this method, but I did check to make sure that it works. Have fun!!!


Saturated Driver (free VST Plugin) -

Voxengo Tube Amp
(free VST plugin) -

Source : Prime/rob @ The Guitar Matrix -

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