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Where to Begin Recording Your Violin, Viola, Cello?
Simple answers.
Topic Rating: 4.9 Topic Rating: 4.9 Topic Rating: 4.9 Topic Rating: 4.9 Topic Rating: 4.9 Topic Rating: 4.9 (45 votes) 
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ABitRusty
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February 13, 2024 - 7:52 am
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he does say that unless recording strings/orchestral music or things like bluegrass he uses 48.. im going to keep at 96k.  The files are larger but not important.  plus i can move them to an external disk if its just something i hqve to keep.   havent done anything that falls into that category.

im thinking mostly acoustic recordings.. 96

electric and vocals.rock maybe 48 judging by the video.

i havent been able to tell a difference.  but its hard to do an A/B kinda thing.  i can see a difference in computer when settings change..but it isnt like the system slows to a crawl or anything.  its a tossup i think.

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Gordon Shumway
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February 14, 2024 - 2:26 am
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I shouldn't really leap in without having read the thread.

But sampling-rate theory has been pretty much fixed since the 70s.

I studied electrical engineering from 1978-1981 and we were shown then how it's easy enough to prove that all you need is to sample at twice the rate of the highest frequency you can, or want to, hear.

So 48K is fine for anything up to 24kHz. No-one can hear 24kHz, not even a small child. This config may take care of "air" or it may be that 48K is easier for circuitry to generate than 40K (for 20kHz, the usually cited upper limit of hearing). I thought air was ultra high audio frequencies, but this page implies it's no more than a special effect designed to compensate for digital coldness. It's a disappointing page for such a good product.

But it turns out 44.1 is the CD standard. I have no idea about mp3 bit rates.

I guess they are playback rates, rather than sampling rates.

"Uncompressed audio as stored on an audio-CD has a bit rate of 1,411.2 kbit/s, (16 bit/sample × 44,100 samples/second × 2 channels / 1,000 bits/kilobit), so the bit rates 128, 160, and 192 kbit/s represent compression ratios of approximately 11:1, 9:1 and 7:1 respectively."

Maybe sometime I'll think about that. 

Anyway, the idea is have a good master, then you have the choice about how to play it back. Poor master - no choice.

48K gives a good enough master - it's already better than CD quality - 96K is unnecessarily good. Doubling storage space shouldn't be a problem for us non-professionals - my first standalone hard drive was 300GB. Nowadays 2TB is closer to the norm. But that processing might go up exponentially doesn't surprise me.

Andrew

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Sasha
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February 14, 2024 - 2:57 pm
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I typically go 48khz myself. A lot of the whole 96khz thing was actually due to plugins that do a lot of processing introducing extra noise but most modern plugins now upsample internally anyway so that's not much of an issue anymore.

And then there are those who say track at 48khz and master at 96khz (then down convert if needed back to 48khz).

My take: 48khz and a decent mic give me more power than any studio in the 80s. If I cannot make something that sounds really good, it's not the sample rate or gear that's a limiting factor. And any time I spend worrying or researching it would be better spent just getting better at making and recording music.

And that's how Sasha sees it. :D

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ELCBK
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February 14, 2024 - 4:00 pm
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@Sasha - 

Do you have a preference of bit float depth (32, or 64)?  

Am I really missing out on anything at 32, if I'm just recording in a room?

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ABitRusty
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February 14, 2024 - 4:13 pm
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96 or 48.. deciding to face north or south in your room and adjust the mic accordingly will probably affect the sound more than switching between 96 or 48.  I use 96 because the computer can handle it and once the recording is digital and im inside of plugins..theres more information for them to process..good or bad.  usually bad.  A bonus maybe..maybe not.  but its there so i use it.

set to 48k and 24bit and everything will be great. spending alot of time fretting  could be spent loading up the software and playing.  

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Sasha
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February 14, 2024 - 5:31 pm
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ELCBK said
@Sasha - 

Do you have a preference of bit float depth (32, or 64)?  

Am I really missing out on anything at 32, if I'm just recording in a room?

  

My audio interface is 24bit, but Logic Pro processes and sums at 64bit.

This is another one, 24bit is a lot better than 16bit for dynamic range, but after that there is really nothing to be gained, you're exceeding the dynamic range of pretty much any amp and speaker out there. Editing and processing are different through, and there it makes sense to go with higher floating point precision.

For anyone serious about recording, here is the priority:

Good musicianship/composing/production skills. Okay, autotune is trying to make this go away, and I hope this trend eventually dies. 

Monitors/Speakers. You can't record and mix well if you can't hear it well.

Room acoustic treatment: You can't hear what those monitors are doing if the room bogs them down with reflections. You also can't record/track anything acoustic and have it sound good in a bad sounding room. A bad sounding room will even kill the sound of a screaming loud close mic'd guitar amp.

Microphone: you need a good microphone to capture the sound.

Audio Interface. As long as it's 48khz/24bit doesn't really matter. What matters *more* is the quality of its mic pre's. You'd be hard pressed to hear the difference in modern converters. What I prioritize is stability and latency.

Finally computer and DAW.

Now, other than a good sounding space and musicianship, none of that is really required for recording violin, it just makes it better and easier. You can probably do more on your phone with a USB mic than the Beatles or Rolling Stones ever had access to.

I should do a video tour of my studio now that I actually moved my gear out of my living room in to an actual dedicated studio room and did some upgrades this year. I have a few things left to do, but it's operational and I am having a lot of fun. And also pretty much complete overkill, but hey, music is my main hobby. :D

I guess the point is, I wouldn't worry about bit depth or sample rate too much. Better yet, not at all.

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Sasha
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February 14, 2024 - 5:32 pm
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ABitRusty said
set to 48k and 24bit and everything will be great. spending alot of time fretting  could be spent loading up the software and playing.  

  

Exactly. Only I like using more words to say the same thing! :D

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ABitRusty
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sasha said..What matters *more* is the quality of its mic pre's. You'd be hard pressed to hear the difference in modern converters. What I prioritize is stability and latency.

that.

we live in a great time to experiment in the home with this stuff.   you could print off a picture of every interfqce in the price range your wallet can afford, paste them on the wall, put a blindfold on and throw a dart.. whatever it hits would sound good. 

ive been partial to presonus because the software and hardware are by same.  i dont have to go to different sites.   universal control does all the updates and it just works.  ive had a couple different types as theyve updated.  i think for features and specs the 1810c has been the best.  it has a feature that you can route computer sound internal and out to a virtual track.   think all new interfaces should include that now.  granted you can do routing external and bring back in but so much more handy in the software.   also the xmax preamps are quiet and have alot of gain.  focusright. all the rest the same.  its almost too many choices.

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Sasha
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February 14, 2024 - 6:58 pm
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ive been partial to presonus because the software and hardware are by same.  i dont have to go to different sites.   universal control does all the updates and it just works.  
  

I am using an RME Digiface these days. It doesn't even have any DAC/ADC/Pres/Inputs. It's just a tiny little box with 4 ADAT I/O ports.

It ended up really being a good choice for me, now if I want to change mic pre's I can just do that. And I have super stable RME drivers with nice low latency.

And I did just add a new pre-amp which has an amazing feature. Auto-gain. Press a button, select which channels are recording, start playing for 20 seconds and gain is set. It was getting tedious trying to set gain levels, it's hard to turn a knob while holding a fiddle and playing with a bow. Or from the drums across the room. :D

Made my workflow so much easier.

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ELCBK
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February 14, 2024 - 8:12 pm
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@ABitRusty & @Sasha -

Thank you! 

Really appreciate all the details and help seeing the larger picture of recording!

...not fretting, but preparing - just like listening to a song several times before I play it. 🥰

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ABitRusty
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February 14, 2024 - 10:26 pm
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🤔😏  more like deciding on the perfect strings for a violin for 2 years before you buy one if you ask me.  youre wearing me down on the planning for this. 

messing with you. 🙂

not really 🙃

😁

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Sasha
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February 14, 2024 - 11:23 pm
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@ELCBK I would love to say of course you are not fretting, fiddles don't have frets! But some do. :O

Honestly, the best way is to jump in and just start doing it. The great news is, there is good stuff for a lot cheaper (and cheaper yet since there is now a used market) and even free now. When I started digital recording using a computer for a DAW, there were few choices and mostly really expensive. :)

I still have fond memories of my first 'pro' interface, and Aardvark Direct Pro Q10. I even have some of the tracks I recorded with it. I wish I had everything I've recorded over the years. Not that it's great, some was really bad. But seeing the growth in recording and production is nice. :)

Things have changed a lot since the days of 4 track cassette portable studios and even the early 2000s with limited options. It's a great time to be a musician, unless you want to actually make money at it. :)

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ELCBK
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Hey, I am HAPPY to say

I am finally over my fear of DAW, now 

- thanks to y'all! 🤗 

 

...it's still workin' it's way up my priority list, and I think now I could settle in quickly with it - but it's not like any of this is stopping me from pulling out my phone & recording, which is really adequate for what I'm doing at the moment.  

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