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 Recording The Railboard 
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Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:47 pm
Posts: 19
Location: United Kingdom
Post Recording The Railboard
I'm looking to try and record a song for a wedding.
I'd rather play live to be honest, but I'll be busy walking my daughter up the isle.
She has heard me play Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D Major which I know is commonly played on such occasions but to give it a twist she asked me to record it and have that playing. Which is pretty cool!!!
I have a DAW but I'm still learning it. I am not very good at this home studio stuff to be honest.
I was wondering if I'm going about it the right way and was after some tips.

Equipment:
Railboard #6572
ModDuo Pedal
Computer with a gen7 i7 and 16GB RAM and loads of disk space
Presonus Studio One

So Far:

I've been experimenting.
I set the metronome going at 114bpm and played a bass line. I set the DAW to record two channels and set the Railboard to output on mono.
I soon realised that tapping gave the bass line too much attack so I gently plucked through that like an upright bass.
I've worked out an arpeggio bass line that I can play chords to so I recorded this in full stereo. The plucked bass line is about an octave lower.
I tap this out.
I also double-tracked this and played it again with the DAW set to stereo and the Railboard set to mono.
I also added some fiddly bits.
Overall, for a first attempt, I think it went OK.
A good proof of concept.

But the whole thing needs to have a bit less attack. Clearly I cant pluck my way through all of it, in fact, what would be the point of using a Stick if I did that?

So, my (possibly stupid) question is:
What do people recommend in terms of recording a nice soft-edged version of this song - or any song, for that matter? I have about a year so I could just keep experimenting but any shortcuts would be welcomed!

Phil Lively

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Phil Lively
Railboard #6572 , Black with Gold Tuners, born 2014
Everything's all Sticky!




Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:52 am
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Post Re: Recording The Railboard
I am far from an expert with recording or playing a Stick or a rail-board, but I'll share some of my own experiences and observations... I mostly use Logic proX or Cubase, but I've spent some time with Studio One and Protools, Reason/Record, Digital Performer, Reaper, Abelton and even Garageband. They all pretty much do the same thing, although there are a lot of different paths to the same results sometimes with different DAWS... Fundamentally, the same principles apply.

1) It's gonna sound a little bit different than you expect it to, just because of the way the instrument is played. The railboards have a bit of "growl" in their tone; I personally love this...

2) Record each "side" (Bass/melody) on it's own channel. Play with the click when you record. Don't be afraid to do your tracks "hands separate" if you have to in order to get a good take.

3) When recording, some digits seem to have better tone/attack than others. Although I personally do use all 4 fingers at times, the 3 finger thing can have a massive difference tonally...

4) If you are just going direct into your interface, watch your levels as you play, it's easy to "clip" in certain quadrants and be super quiet in others... A clean and distortion free sound is what you are looking for when recording direct, add your amp emulators after you have auditioned this...

5) Once recorded, start auditioning amp sims; Bass cabs for the bass side, and well, bass cabs even for the melody side can sound good too, but a good Fender Twin-like emulator is pretty cool. Watch the gain, and audio levels... Remember that if it sounds good, it probably is.

6) I like to pan the "bass" side about 15% L and the "melody" side about 15% R respectively.

7) EQ subtractively; think Hi-low pass filter to get rid of "junk" frequencies, inaudible crap that contributes to overall grossness. I don't usually get too extreme with EQ, the Stick has an extremely well designed pickup in my opinion (R Block on the Railboard, I love 'em. PAsv4 on the Grand...Awesome!)

8) Compress both channels in a sidechain, mess around with this you will get some interesting results and this is the step that will likely get you very close to the attack in the tone you are looking for.

9) Reverb; here is the other part to getting "that" sound... A nice tastefully applied reverb will really bring it to life. Maybe a smidge of delay...

Rinse and repeat these steps as you see fit until you achieve the results you are looking for.

After that, it's time for a master mix/mastering all that good stuff which is a whole other can of worms...

Good luck, I hope this helps!

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Railboard #6564
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Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:17 pm
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Posts: 39
Post Re: Recording The Railboard
Not so sure that compressing is going to be the answer for too much attack. Couple of suggestions:

1. Set up a parametric EQ on each channel. Solo each track, and set an extremely narrow "Q" in the mid- or high-frequency band. With the track playing, boost that frequency's level WAY up and sweep the frequency back and forth until you find where most of the attack "click" is (basically where it sounds most obnoxious!). Then, turn the level back to normal, and then down just a bit. You might widen the Q a bit if needed. This should focus the EQ 'cut' on the problem area.

FYI, the Q is the width of the frequency spread. A very broad Q affects a wide range, a narrow Q is more like a drastic peak.

2. Another approach is to duplicate your tracks and set up a low-pass filter. Set the frequency of the low-pass below the attack frequencies - this should cut them drastically, and leave the body of the note below. Mix this sound to taste with the original tracks - this way you get "more" of the lower end while preserving more of the un-EQ'd sound of the attack.

You might also try runing a compressor on the low-pass channels - this is essentially what "NY Drum" compression is (without the filter), combining the raw sound with a highly compressed sound to add fullness while preserving dynamics.

If these don't seem to do it for you, I would be happy to take a crack at it for you. I have Studio One, as well as some other software that is for tone sculpting & mastering that I've gotten great results with. Feel free to PM me if you like, I'd do it for no charge & you can use it if you like it. :)


Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:11 pm
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Post Re: Recording The Railboard
After the EQ that willowhaus suggested, I'd try a limiter to tame the attack. That's basically a compressor tuned for very fast response and high ratio.


Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:39 pm
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Post Re: Recording The Railboard
Hi,

You could also use a "transient designer" like plug-in.
With this you can easily manipulate the attack and sustain of your sound.
Usually those processors have only 2 knobs, so damn easy to play with, and very efficient.

Envoyé de mon MHA-L29 en utilisant Tapatalk

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Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:34 pm
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Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:47 pm
Posts: 19
Location: United Kingdom
Post Re: Recording The Railboard
Thanks everyone for your input.
I have already started this project and I've downloaded some additional compressor plugins for my Mod Duo.
I've also been experimenting with using the built-in compressors in Studio One.
Results so far have been OK and I think the more I play with the technology the better I'll get at it.
It'll be next year before you hear the results. I think I need to debut this at my daughter's wedding.
But I might start actually re-recording some Stick parts that I've been meaning to do on ideas I've previously put on Soundcloud.

:)

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Phil Lively
Railboard #6572 , Black with Gold Tuners, born 2014
Everything's all Sticky!




Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:33 pm
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