Need help with recording on the fly

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jeddixon
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Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 4:51 pm
Location: Anchorage, Alaska

Need help with recording on the fly

Post by jeddixon »

I use Goldwave to record our Sunday Services, including singing and spoken word. The problem is that right now I must manually re-adjust the line level in order to make the two types of sound record without distortion and at more or less the same level. I believe that the compression utility can be used here to prevent the sound from distorting during the singing, or when the preacher gets all worked up and starts yelling , but I don't know if I can set it up to use during the recording or must apply it afterward. Can anyone give me some pointers on how to use it? Can it be setup before recording?

Jed

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Re: Need help with recording on the fly

Post by GoldWave Inc. »

That is not something GoldWave can do during recording. It would have to be done after. You'd set the volume low enough so that distortion does not occur even during the loudest times. You'd use the Expander/Compressor effect with the "Boost quiet parts" and "Reduce loud parts" to even the volume out later.

Chris

jeddixon
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Location: Anchorage, Alaska

Post by jeddixon »

Thanks for the speedy reply. That is about what I thought, but had hoped otherwise. :(

greenlead
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Post by greenlead »

Are you using an external preamp, such as the iMic? This would probably help you a little bit.

Also, a compressor/gate would help you as well.

jeddixon
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Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 4:51 pm
Location: Anchorage, Alaska

Post by jeddixon »

I have my laptop connected to the tape send port on an Allen and Heath 24-channel mixer. So far as I know there is no compressor/gate to be found anywhere along the channel. The channel consists of cardiod mics on the stage patched to the hardwired channels in the concert hall, which are linked to the mixer via a patch panel in the control room.

I wish the hall supplied a compressor, but they do not. Do you know of a software version? Is there such a thing? My next step is to purchase a simple hardware version I can put in the line.

audibell
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Post by audibell »

Hi
I think your best bet would be to buy a Behringer 2 channel compressor and patch it into the L & R Main inserts on the Allen & Heath; your tape outs should be attenuated along with the Main outs. Otherwise you'll have to use the Compressor expander functions to process and alter the file later after you've finished the service, which I gather you don't want to do. If you want it done in real time you're better off with hardware. The Behringer will add a little hiss when you set the make-up gain.
Best of all is to record at 24bit into your laptop and leave 20 dB of headroom, but you will still have editing chores to "normalise" the volume when you come to make the CD or cassette.
Good luck.

Stiiv
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Post by Stiiv »

Jed/Audi:
If you want it done in real time you're better off with hardware.
True indeed. In a church setting, where the volume can vary wildly (from a child reading Bible passages all the way to a dynamic, rockin' Rev & choir/band), hardware is the only way to boost the quiet & tame the loud on the fly. Mic placement & PA eq for the different channels is also a factor; a savvy soundman needs to know where the soft & loud sources will be, ahead of time, if possible, & prepare the mix accordingly.

Not quite sure from your posts WHY you'd need to do this in real time, though.
Stiiv

jeddixon
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Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 4:51 pm
Location: Anchorage, Alaska

Post by jeddixon »

Thanks all for your replies. It seems apparent that a hardware solution will be needed if I continue to record the services this way.

We do not own the hall. It is owned by the University of Alaska and is used by their music department and many other groups; we are simply one of their regular users. I and my crew setup and tear down for each service, and must deal with whatever configuration that is leftover from the previous user. It seems like detective work each Sunday to reset the board and then ferret out the problems.

I record the service and burn CDs immediately afterward. I usually have around 15 to 30 minutes edit the recording and produce 10-15 CDs. We just recently purchased a 7-bay CD duplicator, so that part of production is a snap, but I am still not happy with the consistency of the recording itself. I want to do whatever I can to make the process simple and consistent. It ain't Nashville, but it's tricky enough for my limited abilities.

The hall is a relatively small 300-person split-level auditorium and is well designed for listening. When we hold services there I never have to worry about having enough volume. It does have its dead spots, but they are insignificant. Once in a while we hold a special event at the ballroom of one of the local hotels, but that is about the only time I ever encounter a serious need for an EQ. Those events are a whole order of magnitude greater of a problem for me because our mobile equipment is adequate, but not great. Those halls are big, rectangular boxes with tons of sonic issues likes unwanted reverb, deadspots and the like. That's when my technical abilities really get stretched and I need all the sonic reinforcement I can get.

Anyway I hope that fleshes out the picture enough. I will check into a small compressor/expander, but it may not be worth my while. If I can get a decent raw recording then Goldwave should be able to take out the worst offences on a single batch edit run, which will permit me to keep my tight schedule in producing CDs. I just have to learn how to use Goldwave a little better.

Jed

jeddixon
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Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 4:51 pm
Location: Anchorage, Alaska

Post by jeddixon »

audibell wrote: I think your best bet would be to buy a Behringer 2 channel compressor and patch it into the L & R Main inserts on the Allen & Heath; your tape outs should be attenuated along with the Main outs. ...

Best of all is to record at 24bit into your laptop and leave 20 dB of headroom, but you will still have editing chores to "normalise" the volume when you come to make the CD or cassette.
Good luck.
I followed you up to the point about attenuating the tape outs. Could you expand on that a little for me? I understand what attentuation is, but am not sure how to control that on the tape outs port, other than tweaking down the gain.

I have set the record quality in Goldwave to 24-bit. I have to watch the recording levels closely to keep from pegging the meter on the singing and other loud sounds. Thankfully it is relatively easy to control, it is just a manual process and requires my crew to pay closer attention than they are currently able to do. That is why I was hoping a compressor would allow us to set an upper limit to the sound signal so that we would not have to worry so much about distortion. I guess I will still have to go through afterward and normalize the volume, though I should be able to include that as part of the batch processing sequence which should save some time.

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