JaseBlade

Nightwish forum musician collaboration

44 posts in this topic

I was just sat thinking about this, and think it would be so great if we could actually make this possible. As there seems to be a lot of musicians on the forum, do you think it'd be possible for people to record themselves playing along to Nightwish tracks (or even other bands) on their instrument, and then putting it all together to make a complete track. I know there's sites that are made specifically for this, but it'd be nice to have the forum come together to do their own :D

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I'm in favour of this! I remember there was an attempt at something similar on the forum years ago but it never took off. No harm in trying again! I can do guitar, keys, and vocals.

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I haven't played guitar in years but this thread opened up when I starting getting serious about playing again. I have a black Gibson SG! I'm not good enough to play lead, but I can riff rather well.

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Good idea! :clap:

 

I could maybe sing a bit :)

... My singing samples: www.soundcloud.com/opj1974

 

With some reservations I can record drums, too (I am using only single bass drum pedal, so cannot actually do any double BD style stuff).

... Drumming samples can be found here: http://www.tapinapahkina.fi/opj/video. Scroll down and check the last three videos (Rainbow Night), they're from the studio recordings from the 2011. Other stuff is such poor quality crap.

 

For vocal recording I mainly use Oktava MK105 large diagram condenser mic.

 

In drums:

Audix D6

Audix i5

Shure 57s

Oktava mk012 (overhead)

 

Also own Audix OM3 and Sennheiser935 dynamic mics.

 

Audio Intrerfaces:

- Avid Fast Track Duo (portable use, easy to carry around)

- Focusrite Liquid Sapphire 56 (For the heavy and more complex stuff/live band recordings etc. Just got this, haven't tried it yet) :)http://us.focusrite.com/firewire-audio-interfaces/liquid-saffire-56

 

Focurite applies also for recording drums, naturally.

 

Max OS X 10.9 (Yosemite) with Garageband at the moment. Logic Pro X is on my list next.

 

I am poor in mixing, so it would be nice to find someone who can do that properly.

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It's great to see that people would be up for trying this :D

 

So, is that lead guitar, rhythm guitar and vocals sorted out? Does anyone around here play bass?

 

Wow, nice vocals there, Slayed Dreamer! A nice lot of kit you have for recording your work too.

 

It's no worries about the double bass drum parts either, I can hopefully manage that. I unfortunately can't play the acoustic kit at home any more (the neighbours wouldn't be too happy), so I just record stuff direct from the electric kit- but it gives a decent enough sound.

 

Here's a couple of examples of recordings from the kit (the second having plenty of double bass drum parts):

 

 

 

So, what does everyone else think would be a good song to do a rough version of just to see how it goes? (I think I've got a studio recording of Ever Dream that I did somewhere actually, so that could be one possibility if I can find it).

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JaseBlade, Thanks for compliments :)

 

Have to ask - how you recorded those videos (and audio)?.

It feels to me that the drum track in both videos is liiiiitttlle bit behind from the background track. It is NOT a time issue, you have good and constant time, but in general it seems that background is little bit forward compared to your playing.

It could be a AI latency, it can be the way you have routed your monitoring, it can be the brains of your kit, perhaps you are using audio interface that is causing little bit delay in signal – For example, depending on manufacturer, lower budget audio interfaces CAN cause latency as long as 65-80 milliseconds, even longer. That is a LOT when recording drums. Basically, In practice it means that you are hearing the background little late OR when hitting the drum, signal is recorded with delay.

That is why a bought the Liquid Saffire 56 first place. It has mix control software to control the signal and prevent delay/latency problems. I have to just learn how to use it though... first opportunity to put it in a test will be next weekend :)

A person who nows better about mixing/mastering or recording stuff could tell us better... anyone?

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You're welcome, Slayed Dreamer- the Nightwish vocal covers were amazing!

 

The video was just done on a cheap camera, and then the audio directly onto audacity on my laptop. And then I had to add the backing track separate to my drumming too, so there were three separate layers to try and time-match.

 

It's obviously a very low budget way I'm using at the moment (I'm only a poor student after all, haha), but I do hope to improve the recordings by investing in a better quality audio interface and such. Hopefully, this will eliminate the issues I'm having, but I think they could be largely due to human error from me not quite aligning the separate layers right in audacity.

Sounds like a good investment you've made there with the Liquid Saffire 56, I hope it works for you. It seems like you already have quite a lot knowledge with recording already, so you can be the brains of this forum project, haha :P

 

The guitarist of the band I'm in has a degree in music production, so I may ask him for some advice and about better audio programs to use for my recording.

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Me? Brains? Noooooooo, never trust a drummer! Ehmm... Uh.

Actually, I'm only a rookie what it comes to recording stuff. Trying to learn as much as I can, though. Lot's of music projects going on at the moment. Which is nice. But family and work is taking time off from these dear hobbies :)

Yeah, I was wondering if that is the case. Even the bitrates etc. were exactly the same, different devices still record and play stuff with different speed. The difference can be just 1-2ms, but it is enough to cause  this "bouncing hall/arena echo" effect after few minutes.

In this way of recording stuff, problem (probably) is when you are listening the playback track with your iPod (or whatever player you are having) they play it a bit slower/faster than what the track's actual speed is. And there is actually nothing you can do about it :/

Figured this out myself few years back - recorded drums using Zoom Q3 and combining it with existing audio track. Pure "pain in the ass" scenario after two-three minutes of playback. Manual adjusting is just... something. Never again :D

Yeah, we will hire that guitarist friend of yours immediately for mixing and advice! Couple cases of decent beer or bottle of good whiskey will do? ;)

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Haha, I should know that rule by now.

 

That sounds great- what kind of music projects are you involved with?

 

Well, you definitely know a lot more about recording that I do- I'd have never even thought of these tiny differences existing, although I do think I probably could have got the layers time-matched much better had a spent more time on it.

 

Oh wow, I didn't know about that one either. So it'd be best to just use a CD player for the playback track?

 

That sounds very similar to the problem I was having. I split the recording up into separate bits so I could get smaller manual adjustments on each part, so I guess that was caused by this small speed difference in the backing track.

 

Haha, that'd definitely seal the deal. Shall we all try and decide on a track to just do a rough recording of for now, just to see how it goes before doing a better version?

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@ MasterStroke Epu: Wow, that's great! I play along to Full Moon quite a lot, so that one shouldn't be a problem.

 

It's great to see so many musicians here willing to give this 'project' a go, and it will be amazing if we can manage it :D

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I'm a total n00b at recording stuff. More like I never have done that sort of thing. What is a cheap but efficient way of doing it on the computer?

 

Also, I won't be immediately included. When I feel competant with my skills, I get jump in. :)

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What Spirit wrote :)

 

Anyone know a good or alright microphone that you can just plug in to a computer, and doesn't cost a fortune? For recording vocals?

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MasterStroke, brilliant - we do have a keyboard player then, too :D

 

@Spirit (And Eilenna):

 

Unfortunately, some money has to spent to get proper results :(

 

AUDIO INTERFACE FOR RECORDINGS

 

You will need audio interface (AI) between your guitar and computer to record your stuff properly. Sure, you CAN record your instrument/singing even through computer's built-in mic, but result is somewhat crap.

 

I bought myself Avid Fast Track (Duo version) couple years back, which has pretty decent and good quality pre amps. You will manage with solo version: http://www.avid.com/US/products/fasttrack-solo/tech-specs#Features. Price is around 150 dollars, I think (If you can find one on second hand market, maybe half the price).

M-AUDO and several others offer options. Some are cheaper and some are more expensive than the AVID.

http://www.junodownload.com/plus/2011/05/03/10-best-audio-interfaces-for-home-studios/

 

RECORDING SOFTWARE
Then, you need some DAW (Recording software). For Mac users, Garageband will do just fine. There are several others available for free, but Garageband is very easy to learn basics. Even an ape like me did learn that in few days. Garageband is also available for windows.

 

Windows users have lots of options, but i know nothing about those (as being Mac user since 2005).

 

MICROPHONE(S)

- Shure SM57/SM 58 or Audix i5 etc. are good choices for recording vocals (Dynamic microphones). Price is somewhere around 100 dollars, maybe less if Shure.

- Sennheiser e935 is excellent choise (Dynamic microphone for vocals- I own this one)

- For best results, it is recommended to use large diagram condeser mic. Like one that I have: http://www.thomann.de/gb/oktava_mk_105.htm. These usually  cost more than dynamic mics. AND they need phantom power (48 V) in order to work (means that they either need a battery inside OR your audio interface/mixing console has to support phantom power, so check that one first if going to by condenser mics).

 

There are also many USB-mics on the market (that you can plug directly to your computer), but I do not have any more information about those or their sound quality.

http://ehomerecordingstudio.com/usb-microphones/

 

CABLES

- For microphone you will need microphone/instrument cable with XLR inserts

- For recording guitar, instrument cable with Jack-Jack plugs.

 

Then you just plugin your gear - instrument to AI's inputs and AI output --> computer input.

 

You are ready to go! (Well, naturally you will have to launch your DAW ... and learn how to use/record with it :))

 

RECORDING PROCESS

It is cruisial that we all record our stuff with similar audio settings. That has to be decided beforehand.

 

I recommend that we will use 48Khz bitrate (adjust from your software settings) OR if that is not available, then 44,1Khz.

 

Recording process should happen in particular order, with separate mixes in between.

 

I am afraid that if we all do our stuff on our own at he same time (with our own, what-ever recording gear), and then try to glue separate tracks together at the end, final result is more or less doomed to fail. As explained earlier in thread, different devices most likely play and record stuff with their own speed, so latency/delay/incompatibility/whatever problems WILL occur.

 

Skilled mixer/sound engineer would not see this a problem at all(?). But I am not skilled. And not a mixer :)

 

So, we have to do this step-by-step like this?

 

1. Drums.

... drum tracks are recorded

--> files to sound engineer/mixer

--> bd, sn, toms and symbals sounding good and balanced together, oh yea...!

--> convert tracks to stereo .wav/aif/aac file (OR at worst, 256Kp Mp3)

--> this master track to bass player

 

2. Bass

...Process as above

--> track(s) to mixer again

--> track incl. drums + bass to guitarist(s)

 

3. Guitars and Keys

...Process as above

(Only your OWN tracks sent to mixer, not the playback track)

 

4. Vocals

....Process as above

 

--> final mixing

 

IF we all had same recording software (and/or operating system), the easiest way would be to pass original/native software file forward to next one (Via dropbox etc.).

 

... Hopefully I did not mess your brains with this :D Lots of things left out to be said, too tired already... so next time then :)

 

EDIT. Little bit tweaking of content...
 

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Thanks for the info Dreamer!

 

@ July: I think a double bass with a bow would sound so cool! I actually don't know what that sound like, but I bet it would sound great for simple symphonic melodies. :)

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I agree with Spirit, it would definitely sound good! And it sounds like it'll add a nice 'dark' edge to the music :)

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Double bass kicks ass! Our acoustic trio just expanded to quartet and newcomer (bass player) plays double bass in it. Works great with everything, and gives unique feel - especially when played with pick up technique :) So much more lively than electric base (even though we use also fretless electric base, depending on the song). For example, "Billie Jean" base line with double bass sounds so awesome!

 

So, what do we have? Drums, couple of guitars, keyboards, (double) bass and to singers? Starting to sound like a band, eh? :D

 

 

THE KEY (And changing it)

One thing that has to keep in mind is the key of the songs... by default, we are going to keep the original key of the songs, right? Then we probably have to select several options and singer(s) have to test, if the key is right for them or how the singing in original key feels in general.

 

Sometimes changing the key is possible, but sometimes it is not (usually because of the guitars - when they are playing riffs or similar stuff, which uses  "free strings" on the guitar).

For example – it was mentioned that Sonata's "Full moon" would be potential song to start with.

Let's assume that I am supposed to sing the lead vocals. I know that Tony Kakko is a tenor. I am (light) baritone, so the highest notes can go off/over my scale. Not much, but half step is always enough :) So I had to test and see. Other option is to compose the song a bit, add our own elements and feel AND then we have the right to alter the vocal lines also ;)

What comes to NW songs, I can sing some of the Marco's stuff, some I simply cannot (because - hey! - Marco is tenor, too!).

 

Depends, how high the vocal lines are written.

 

This far, I've sung WYLASR, The islander, Birdie song... original key is ok! Tested also couple of others, like Seven days to the wolves. When I was training classical singing, I also sang "Kuolema tekee taiteilijan" - there original key was ok too :) Thank good male vocal lines are usually written quite low in NW songs, I think.

In my dreams Planet Hell would be awesome to record! Angry, fast, brilliant song in general. I have to give it a try this week... Eilenna, could you sing female parts on that one? ;)




 

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I'm currently looking into getting some better software for recording my Alesis kit, but I'm a complete novice when it comes to recording music- I'm used to just hitting an acoustic kit and leaving all the recording part to someone else :P

But, I've been looking at Superior Drummer software and it's various metal related add-ons (especially the latest one which was recorded by Andy Sneap). I'm guessing I then need a DAW to use this software with, which is where there seems to be so many options- Cubase, Protools, Reaper, Logic etc. I definitely need to have a word with my music production experienced friend about the best option here.

 

Hell yeah Slayed Dreamer, Planet Hell would be great to do!! :D

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I cannot provide anything but maybe do a crappy drawing for the song, but boy, I sure hope this takes off!

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Hey, since I am still restoring my guitar and in need of recording equipment, I'll have to sit back for a little. Though, I can help but suggest Save Our Now by Devin Townsend. It can use our male and female singers as well as sound simple with an air of raw epic power. As with Devin's music it sounds so modern and forward, I think the double bass would sound excellent carrying the core melody of the symphonic bits.

Though, I think when everyone is geared for the collab, voting will be in order. I do agree Full Moon would be nice as well. 

 

Edit: I wonder if Eilenna would like to play as Annekke.  :sunny:

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Plamet Hell is very nice, I think I could :) But I don't have a proper microphone at the moment. When I record myself right now I sing into my phone's dictating... Would that even work or is it too low quality?

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