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Online Collaborations / Wade In The Water
Last post by JohnD -
This one took a slightly unusual course when I was putting down the basic track, I hope you get into it.

There is a need for more vocals (I can take mine off), keyboard,  guitar solo, a bit more bass, tambo, percussion.

UPLOAD LINK  for contributions.

DOWNLOAD LINK for music and guide track.

Guide track on YOUTUBE

Guide track as an MP3 Clyp

Home Recording / Getting Started in Reaper on Windows
Last post by JohnD -
If you are recording you can do it with a USB Mic but it might be easier with an interface like a Focusrite or Behringer, TBH I've never tried it with just a USB Mic,

There are many recording programs , the one I know is called Reaper.  I will put down here some steps to get you started (for free):
* Download Reaper (free for 60 days) HERE
* Download Melda MFreeFXBundle HERE
* Download Blue Cat Electric Guitar Amp HERE and Voxengo Boogex guitar amp HERE
* Optionally download Izotope Vocal Doubler HERE
* Optionally download MT power drumkit HERE
* Optionally download the Lil Peep Drumkit sounds here (to add to metronome if you hate clicks) HERE
* Optionally download Acon Multiply HERE
* Optionally download TAL reverbs and anything else that looks useful HERE

Online Collaborations / Oh Mary Don't You Weep No More [COMPLETED]
Last post by JohnD -
We are in the key of Em - don't get confused, we are not doing it in Gm.

There is no harmony yet, see if you can invent one!

Music and sheet is attached or you can download everything HERE

Jon, you might find it easiest to play the clip directly HERE

You can send in your MP3 tracks HERE

Send in as many as you like, vocal, harmony, percussion, bqss, guitar. solos especially welcome!
Online Collaborations / Guidelines For Recording Pieces in a Collaboration
Last post by JohnD -
  • Play with guide track in your headphones.  We don't want to hear the guide track in your contributions!  The guide track keeps you in key and in time and means that mixing the track is much easier.
  • Use as decent a mic/recording device as you can manage, you will sound better for it.  A USB Snowball type mic around £50 is ideal or a similarly priced condenser mic going into a Focusrite or Behringer interface.  But we've had great results dfrom just a phone.
  • Video would be nice ;) although don't let t his stop you, I'm starting to thing just audio is all you really need, after all its the music that counts.
  • You don't need to be fantastically gifted to contribute a great track, just playing something tasteful at the right time, even if its simple.[  We always need more instruments, even if its just tambo or triangle (even balalaika, hmmm)
  • Watch out for backing noise that you don't notice, its impossible to get rid of.  Eg: Air conditioning, computer fan, traffic, dogs, kids lol
  • Try to record vocal and instruments on separate tracks, we can do a much better repair job in the mixdown if its all separate.  This may mean submitting 2 tracks, thats fine.  OK, so you have to sit there and go through it 2 or 3 times, but each track will be better for it.
  • Recording to MP3's is fine, that is sufficient quality you don't need huge "wav" files.  The problem of losing audio quality isn't really to do with with the software medium we use ;)
Online Performing / Whats Your Setup?
Last post by JohnD -
I've tried lots of things, bought stuff and plugged everything in to everything else, completely messed up going online and made all the mistakes!

This is my summary of recording for a home CD, videoing a performance for posting online, streaming video live for WINDOWS:

Recording A Home CD

Aston Condenser Mic --> Focusrite PC Interface Box --> Reaper DAW software + plugins for reverb etc from Izotope or Waves.

Alternatives:  Condenser mic and PC Interface from Behringer.  DAW from loads of places.

Videoing a Performance for Posting Online

Setup 1 (Acoustic):
Mic/Interface as above --> OBS Studio --> Possibly export to Reaper for sound tweaking --> Cut the start and end with any video editor eg VideoPad.

Setup 2 (Electric):
This one is a work in progress.

Mic+guitar pedal--> Acoustic amp to act as a monitor so you can hear guitar in particular --> Mix output to PC Interface -->OBS Studio for recording -->Video Pad for topping and tailing.

Streaming Live Video

Condenser Mic --> PC Interface Box --> OBS Studio --> Facebook Live via RTMP settings (works great)

OBS Studio

The big thing I have found is OBS Studio (free), which apart from being good Webcam software (can change image quality/balance etc) can also tweak the sound AS ITS BEING STREAMED.  Not only that but it can use standard VST plugins that you might use in a DAW so the sky is the limit with reverb, compression, autotune (although always problems if you have guitar and vocal in same mic).

PC Interface

A PC Interface is usually a box which basically is a digital - audio converter to convert the analogue mic signal into a digital signal that it sends down the USB connection so the computer can use it.

The leading brand which is damn good is Focusrite but you can good cheaper versions by Behringer and other makes like Audient are good too.

For recording a home CD you only need one channel because you just keep recording one track at a time to build up.  For streaming or videoing you need a channel for your guitar and vocal.  If like me you like a third input for foot drums thats a 3rd channel and you need a bigger box.  The Focusrite Sol and i4i4 are excellent.

The Mic
For recording  a home CD you need a condenser mic and these pick up everything you can hear a pin drop.  The more money you spend the more they pick up.  They are very lively to work with and if are using an amp will be prone to feedback.

So for some recording live situations where you aren't aiming for near studio quality a good old dynamic mic like a sure SM58 is worth trying and will be very robust and forgiving.


Hurrah! It seems Acoustic Guitar Magazine agrees that OBS is the way to stream into Facebook or Youtube:
Acoustic Guitar Magazine
Online Performing / Re: FB Open Mic
Last post by JohnD -
FB Open Mic runs on Sunday Evening from 8pm and is run by Claire O'Brien with help from Lisa Lew,

Starting this Thursday 9th April Lizzie  Bee will be starting here "Kings Head Virtual" Open Mic on the FB Open Mic group page.

The format is that a running order is established and you each take turns streaming to the FB Open Mic page.  It works well, you het loads of viewers (40+) and lots of kind comments!