Home Recording Studio

Here's my home recording studio... um.... no studio.. just an area of my living room / dining room. As you can see there's plenty of room left for living and dining. You can read my equipment list below but it's pretty simple and basic. I also list a recording procedure below. Also see my page on the Yamaha AW2400 for some updates on my setup.

I bought the Yamaha AW-1600 in early 2006 and it is amazing. The reason I got this is the 24 bit recording ability and Yamaha's reputation for quality. I am using it with a drum machine, Shure SM-57 mic and the free Behrenger mic that came with it at the time. Everything works just as advertised. I have made 34 steel guitar sound samples for web site posting and 4 complete songs. I've been able to edit extensively without resorting to any exporting to a PC. The mastering tools are great and the effects are high quality enough that I haven't had to bother patching in my external effects unit. Mastering a CD is a snap! Weakest link is some noise on the pre-amps but that was solved by feeding the mics into a Yamaha MG10/2 mixer (only $100) which has a lot of gain and inaudible white noise. I did look at Boss (nice but I wanted 24 bit recording and did not need all the drum stuff and amp models), Korg (did not have as easy interface to PC and operating system was not as flexible), Tascam (nice products but yamaha had better reviews on most sites). This unit has EQ/Dynamics/Comprression on ALL inputs, Track channels and the bus. Either internal effects unit can be inserted in line either at the input or track channels or used as a send/return. You can record dry, record with effects, or record dry and bounce to a new channel with internal effects, then back to the old channel again. Look at the block diagram and you will see how flexible and well thought out this unit is.

For an update on my studio setup go to my Zoom R24 Page!

Zoom R24 Home Studio

Equipment List:

  • George L's .155" cables and connectors
  • Goodrich 120 Volume Pedal (primary pedal)
  • Peavey Millenium AC BXP 5 String Bass Guitar
  • Peavey Generation Custom EXP 6 String Guitar (Sold)
  • Fender Hot Rod Deluxe (used with 6 string guitar)
  • Washburn D46SCE Accoustic/Electric Guitar
  • Peterson StroboFlip Tuner
  • Rigel A+ Deluxe Mandolin
  • Ultimate Support GS100 Guitar Stands
  • Yamaha AW1600 Professional Audio Workstation (Sold!)
  • Yamaha AW2400 Professional Audio Workstation - in place 7/13/07
  • Steelers Choice Easy Rider Seat with back and side compartment
  • Yamaha MG10/2 Mixing Console
  • KRK Rokit 8 Powered Monitors (these have awesome playback sound but buy the 5" one to hear what......
  • ......your mix will sound like on an actual users playback equipment (most likely a PC or small stereo) (Sold!)
  • Replaced Rokit monitors with Yamaha HS80M's as of 7/13/07
  • AKG K240S Headphones
  • Boss DR-880 Drum Machine
  • Raven West Nylon String Accoustic/Electric Guitar
  • Shure SM57 Microphone (recording steel guitar)
  • Sennheiser e609 Microphone (recording lead guitar)
  • Sennheiser MXL-992 Condenser Microphone (recording accoustic guitar)
  • On Stage Stands MS7510 Mic Stands from Musician's Friend (Boom stand, cheap mic, adapter and mic cable $20.00 !!)
  • Keeley Electronics 4 Knob Compressor
  • Fender Nashville Telecaster (Red) with aftermarket white pearl pickguard
  • Fender Squier SSH Telecaster (Black) (Sold)
  • Hipshot B-Bender with B and G bends and Low E/D toggle (to be added to blond Tele) (Sold)
  • Boss GT-8 multi effects pedal (I no longer have this!)
  • Lexicon MPX1 Multi-effects Unit (Sold!)
  • Gator GRR-6PL-US 6 Space Rack (Sold!)
  • Stewart World 1.2 Power Amp (Sold!)
  • Rick Johnson cabs (made for a single 15" speaker) (Sold!)
  • Eminence KappaLite 3015 neodymium 15" speakers (in Rick Johnson cabs) (Sold!)
  • Revelation Tube pre-amp (Sold!)
  • G&L ASAT Tribute Premium (Blueburst) (Sold)
  • Hercules triple guitar stand (GS-432B)
  • Guyatone MD-3 Micro Digital Delay
  • Oscar Schmidt OE30 Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar(Black) (Sold)
  • Oscar Schmidt OE40 Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar(Black)
  • Line 6 ToneCore Echo Park Guitar Effects Module
  • On Stage Stands SMS6000 (monitor stands)
  • Washburn D-10S accoustic guitar
  • Oscar Schmidt OG1 3/4 size Dreadnoght accoustic guitar (Sold)
  • BJS 7/8" x 3 3/8" (10 string) Birthstone Bar (Sold)
  • BJS 15/16" x 3 3/8" (10 string) Birthstone Bar
  • Hilton Standard Volume Pedal (lightweight aluminum model with detachable power supply)
  • Hurco Blue Nylon Thumb Picks
  • Rondo Music SX 6 String Lap Steel
  • Agile AL-3000 Uniform Profile CSB Flame (Rondo Music)
  • MSA Superslide Lap Steel (On Order)
  • NS CR5 5 String Electric Fiddle

    Recording Process

  • Lay out chord charts and drum patterns in Excel (email me for Excel file sample)
  • Create custom drum patterns (I did start with Band In A Box (BIAB) but wanted a tighter more custom sound)
  • Record Drum patterns onto AW-1600 tracks 15/16 in stereo especially to get the stereo snare drum sounds
  • Add the Rhythm guitar to track 8.
  • This helps to keep track of where you are when playing the bass and other parts even if you don't use the accoustic rhythm track in the final mix
  • Add the bass part on to track 7.
  • I use a real bass (less than $300). It sounds terrific, you don't need a bass amp, just record direct.
  • After a few months of playing bass, you will know a lot more about music. It's easier than programming a bass part into a machine
  • Lay down either the steel and or lead parts or mandolin parts
  • I started recording in 24 buts but now just use 16 bits to keep the file sizes smaller.
  • I can't tell the difference in sound quality from 24 to 16 bits and it's all going to be reduced to a .wma file later anyhow.
  • I don't record dry because I prefer to use my effects and hear what the final track will sound like up front.
  • This does create all sorts of problems with editing later on due to the reverb and effect "tails" preventing precise edits.
  • To solve that problem I just put adjacent parts on different tracks.
  • The above scenario uses 4 tracks total for drums, bass and rhythm guitar.
  • I still have 12 tracks left! and use most all of them by the time I am done recording all the solo pieces.
  • Time to master the recording by figuring out all the level adjustments that need to be done on each track.
  • Since there may be large level differences between different parts of the same track, and I don't use ANY compression....
  • I make a quick chart of the level differences and adjust them on the fly. The mixdown ends up on the stereo track

    I burn the stereo track to CD on the AW1600 as a .cda file, rip it to .wma on the PC using Windows Medai Player set to 192kbps which is exactly what ends up one my web site. I also back up all the .wav files by copying all the AW-1600 files in the selected song directory to the PC over the USB cable. I bought an extra hard drive for my PC so I can keep 2 copies of these files on the PC. This way I can occasionally reformat the AW-1600 when it gets full and I still have 2 backup copies in addition to the .cda burned CD which I save. I backup each song as soon as it's mastered in case the AW-1600 drive dies on me. That's too much work put into each song to risk losing it.

    I left out a lot of details! Email me if you have any questions or just want to discuss the AW-1600.

    Comments? email webmaster Greg