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Mini Disk Recording

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by BenHack, Jun 4, 2001.


  1. Hey Steve

    How's it going. I read on one of your threads saying that you recorded your recent CD on a minidisc recorder. Did you do this on a walkman type recorder ie single track or was it a multitrack recorder. Also I wasnted to know how you managed to get it onto your computer (for mixing etc) and then onto CD. Thanks heaps, C-YA.

    Ben
     
  2. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    HI Ben,

    I recorded the album direct to stereo MINIDISC via a Sony ECM-907 stereo mic. The MINIDISC player is a Sony MZ-R55 - just a little normal walkman type recorder.

    I then dumped the audio into ProTools on a Mac, editted out the rubbish that I talk between songs, re-equed it slightly to try and get the tracks from the different gigs to match, and the burnt it to CD... The pressing was done by Sony, via a duplication company in the UK, the artwork was done by me, photography by Edward Eldon :oops:)

    It was a pretty painless experience, quite cheap to do, high quality and left me with total control.

    I've just had a royalty statement from an album that I did with a group a few years ago - we've sold a couple of thousand CDs and still not broken even. I broken even when I hit 250 sales, and everything from there on in is going into the cost of the next one... which is the better deal? :oops:)

    cheers

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk
     
  3. Hi Steve

    Thanks for the quick reply. It certainly sounds like an easy way to record your music. I too have a Sony walkman style recorder and a stereo mic so I've figured out how to record my music. I also have a Mac G3 but I don't have ProTools just yet (hopefully it's on the way). So I'm wondering, is it possible to take tracks from the minidisc to the computer and burn them straigh to CD (basically so that I can record jams etc for the band to practice from). Do I need software that enables the computer to read the files.

    I'm fairly computer illiterate but can do the basics. If you could let me know how you actually got the files from MiniDisc to the computer it would be great help. Thanks again.

    Ben
     
  4. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Ben,

    it depends on your soundcard - basically, we connected up a stereo phono to mini jack lead between the soundcard and the MINIDISC audio out and recorded the songs in as audio - because of the compression algorythm used with MINIDISC you can't just dump the information across. If you've got an optical out/in on your soundcard and MINIDISC you can use that for even cleaner recording.

    Basically, the tracks were recorded as stereo audio files, converted into .wav files at 44.1K (the sample rate for CD) and burnt onto CD.

    I can do the same thing with my PC using Cubasis audio (the free version), and editting the audio in wavelab lite...

    to get the stuff onto CD, your end file has to be a WAV file, at 44.1KHz... after that, it's just a matter of copying the files onto your CD using whatever CD burning software you have...

    i hope that helps - feel free to ask as many questions as is neccesary to get it right... :oops:)

    cheers

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk
     
  5. Hi Steve

    Thanks very much for your help. Even I should be able to figure that out. Hopefully I'll be able to have a listen to some of my songs in the near future. Cheers.

    Ben
     
  6. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    No probs, Ben - like I said, if I can help further let me know..

    BTW, I think that Digidesign have a downloadable version of ProTools on their website, which might be worth getting - it's a damn fine program...

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk
     
  7. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Hey Steve,

    I've recorded a ton of rehearsals and a few live shows that I've done using a Sharp MDMS722 minidisc recorder with a Audia Technica ATM35 microphone. I've done all my recording in mono because my mic is mono and I get the added benefit during rehearsals to record more than 74 minutes worth of audio. I noticed that you're using a stereo microphone, how beneficial would it be to use a microphone for each channel i.e. one on one side of the room and the other on the other side of the room? Would that give rise to some wacked out spacial effect in the final product?

    I plan on trying it out myself to see what the results are, I just wanted to know what you thought about that.

    Thanks
     
  8. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    having the two mics that far apart would probably yeild pretty strange results - if you go for two mics, maybe try arranging them as a crossed pair, pointing at about 45 degrees off centre in each direction. Experimenting with the angle and position will reveal the best position for not getting nasty reflections off the walls or any phasing problems with the mics...

    Two mics is bound to be more versatile than a stereo mic- that will probably be my next move... :oops:)

    cheers

    steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk
     
  9. Hey Steve

    Well I got a version of ProTools and I've managed to get the music from the minidisk to the computer so know I'm wondering if you know what can be done to that music ie. can you quantize it, pitchshift and all the other weird and wonderful things you can do with protools or would the sound need to be Midi for this. Thanks agian and I hope you're enjoying the looping tour. C-YA and keep grooving

    Ben
     
  10. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Hi Ben,

    if what you've got on the MINIDISC is the sound of the whole band, then manipulating one instrument within that will be impossible. There are some great things that you can do with ProTools, by way of realigning tracks to fit with each other, correcting dodgy pitch, and editing out sections seamlessly, but unless you want to affect the whole song, I don't think you'll be able to do that with the stereo file from your MINIDISC.

    However, you can certainly reEQ the whole thing, fade out at the end of songs, and even add some reverb to the whole thing if you feel like it needs it, or compress it if the dynamic range is too big for you...

    experiment - you can always click 'undo'... :oops:)

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk
     
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    My band has worked with Pro Tools and to do the sort of thing you mention would require setting up a click track and midi, as you say and recording each instrument to separate channels. We were also able to get the keyboard parts to just record what was played as midi information and then choose the actual sound at mixdown; plus things like ampfarm to change the sound on guitar and bass. PacMan - Jon Packard is an expert on Pro Tools - thanks to the US armed forces! ;)