Marcel (Siff)'s Learning Log

Thank you Lisa for the analysis and tips! :blush:

I recently watched your version and saw you with a capo on one and nice ornamentations on the "d"s. Thought about tuning the guitar down for me, but then I noticed my singing was rhythmically and melodically totally different anyway than the original. :sweat_smile:

So thanks to checking out some other avoyp like yours it helped me listen better where others focus the attention to details I’m maybe missing out.

I like the song, but I was never a punk rock aesthetics guy. I love how he sings, but even in the ballad, he uses this unhinged cadence that’s hard for me to feel.
But as you say. I’ll try and improve it some more. It’s fun to play and the more one plays it the less one needs to think about the guitar and finally the voice can get more attention.

Good tips thanks. :ok_hand:

Oh yeah, I forgot to say in my last post:

Next up House of the Rising Sun :city_sunrise:
(hopefully a bit sooner, still so eager to finally really start to consolidate all the barre chords I already started to lear)

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I think you can be well played with progress, Marcel.

Lots of good advice from @Lisa_S already. All I can say, from personal experience and observation, is that it appears to come quite easily for some people to play and sing together in a natural sounding way, and others (very much like me) find it quite difficult to marry the playing and singing together, irrespective of how well one may be playing the song. I have found over the years that there are songs where I am able to get into a natural groove playing and singing and others that I just struggle. The good news is I have found that sometimes after much time passed I could go back and play and sing songs that were previously beyond me. And I stress, this has nothing to do with the chords and strumming pattern (which of course is sometimes a problem on its own)

I only know the song from watching and listening to people here in the Community. I know it is up tempo but it felt a little rushed to me. It may sound and feel a little better if you slow down just a fraction.

Nothing wrong with the camera from what I can see.

I am interested in recording and expect others may benefit if you share some details of your workflow. And to continue to develop that, if possible a hint of reverb on your voice may add something. Not so much that it sounds like your voice is echoing around a chamber, just enough that nobody might notice reverb but you notice its absence rather than its presence.

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Glad I could help a little, Marcel. :blush:

Thanks for checking it out. :smiley: The Capo is on one to get back to Origianl tuning, as my guitar was tuned down a half step for another song I had hands on by that time and I didn’t want to tune up and down all the time. :joy:

But experimenting with the Capo is basically never a bad idea to find a range suiting your voice.

Looking forward to House of the Rising sun! :slight_smile:

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Thank you David for your comments and suggestions.

I’ll keep at it exploring the singing technique.

Glad the phone’s camera seems to be enough. I think good lighting gets a lot out of it.

Sure a good idea, I will make a detailed post about my current setup and and process after my next song, so I can take screenshots of the process in the daw too. Was already working on some checklists, that would help to showcase the recording process itself better.

There is a reverb on the voice, but I only used it very slightly. But good to know that I could crank it up a bit.

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I’ve been closely following your progress, Marcel, and you are coming along leaps and bounds. I think @Lisa_S and @DavidP have given you lots of good advice. Our resident Green Day Fan and Super Player @adi_mrok can probably give you more advice amd tips with that particular song.

Absolutely. I’m just thinking about recording full band production of the three originals I posted along with the latest on in the pipeline and any tips would be appreciated.

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Thanks for calling out @Socio luckily I was just browsing the forum :grinning: Marcel nice to meet you, well done on the recording! Definitely some positives there as steady rhythm where vocal was not involved, good chord changes, nice production. I would do was Lisa suggested which is to play along the original at a slower tempo and only then build up the speed. Also a useful tip - try to use your pinky finger to mute high e string during verses and let it ring out only when chorus. This will introduce some nice dynamics to the song :wink: all the best

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Thank you @Socio for the kind words and summon and to you adi, hello! and thanks for the input. I knew about the pinky idea, but I gave up on it for the moment as it hindered my strumming so much. I will try to slow down and implement it in the future when I get my strumming hand to move less and have the pinky anchored muting.

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Alright, inspired by @DavidP’s request to share more of my process, here is a “little” rundown of my setup for the interested:

This is from the player’s perspective:

The softbox as the main front light from the front left.

Close up of Softbox

An old bedside lamp with a cloth over the front as additional light from the front right.

Close up of 2nd front light

2b.
Still have the normal overhead lamp on (I feel there’s never enough light when recording).


iPhone on a stand with a ready power cord (you never want to lose power while recording) transmits picture to an Apple-TV to check framing.

Close up of phone stand with a mirror behind it (it's slanted so I can see what I'm doing without taking it out of position)


Shure SM 58 dynamic vocal mic, coming from the top left seems to obstruct the body and guitar the least so far.
Trying to position the vertical rod of the stand out of the side of the frame.

Superlux D10B dynamic instrument mic clamped to the stand with a fixture it came delivered with.
It’s directed to the 12th fret

Audio Technica AT2020 condenser mic, on a mic arm connected to shelf, set to face bridge at bridge height

Close up of AT2020 (I added a tape marking to better see where it's exactly facing

I try to have the instrument microphones just below the camera frame cutoff now. When getting close and cutting off my legs in the videoframe it’s doable while still roughly getting the desired recording triangle distance.
As suggested in Technique 1 of this article: Stereo Miking Techniques For Recording Acoustic Guitar

When using this technique, remember to follow the “Rule of 3:1,” where the distance between the two mics is at least three times the distance between each mic and the acoustic guitar… This will help keep phase cancellations to a minimum and provide a smoother sound that will translate well to mono should you decide to do that later.


All the lamps and the monitoring stuff is connected to a power hub to not have to turn off each thing separately


Close up of UMC 404 interface with headphone distributor, control iPad on a laptop stand with an arm attached to the table with a workstation

Having that movable laptop stand on an arm I can gainstage the interface and start and stop recording over the “DAW Control” app on the iPad without reaching far back to the mouse and keyboard.

The little black thing on top of the iPad is a remote that came with a cheap tripod for the phone to start the video recording.

I use in-ear headphones connected to a portable mini amp (Behringer Powerplay P2) which has a volume pot closer to me for fast monitoring changes. I tried to record without headphones, but I think it’s better to hear your voice a bit more objectively while singing.


Close-up of the other side with stand for tabs, light and TV controls and the newly added checklists

Current checklists, what do you think? Any more ideas to add?:


Now only a few rudimentary thoughts on the Post-Processing:

Red: After that my current process is to import the video into the DAW and align the first and last clap.
Sadly there always seems a tiny discrepancy in timing so I have to stretch the video a few milliseconds to fit the audio perfectly (in Ableton enable warp of the video track and adjust length with shift and mouse).

Yellow: I have a standard empty track called track length to quickly set the start and endpoint of rendering without cutting around the tracks. In Ableton at least you then select the length track and hit render, and it will only render the space of the set track.

Green: For the moment I try not to mix it too much and only use a reverb on a return and mix it in to taste on all the tracks

Purple: I also have the guitar mics already panned respectively to the position they record.

Additionally, I often use a tool called Vocal Rider Stereo to help me level the voice before maybe adding compression.

Depending on the song or recording there can be said and done much more for the mixing of course.

(Ignore the upsidedown video. This I had to fix in an external editor…)


Alright hope this post is somewhat readable and not too cluttered and that somebody gets something out of it.

Otherwise, it was a good exercise to recapitulate what I learned so far when trying to set up a “sound and video recording booth”.


Bonus Pic: After the recording the stand can be put out of the way and the arm too (that's what the markings on the floor are there for). Best to cover them with their pouches when not using them.


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Thanks for sharing, Marcel.

That is quite a setup you have going.

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5 - House of the Rising Sun

A few rushes and some missed chords. Still have to work on dynamics, bridging sections, and not botching the outro.

Still, much to learn in trying to get a more steady voice dynamic. This time I didn’t use as much gain or pitch correction in the post-process, as it also changed the guitar bleed on the voice track. This can sound fun sometimes, but it’s quite unnatural so I tried to do as little as possible this time.

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If you want people to see your videos you should consider posting them in a thread in AVOYP, more people look there than learning logs. Quite a collection you’re starting.

Your playing is coming along nicely. HOTR was a mix of animals & dylan. Something is slightly odd about the video? Did you speed the video up a bit? I’m not quite sure what it is but it must be in the post processing.

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Hi Marcel, that was an enjoyable listen. Thought you did a great job singing and playing. I liked the dynamics in your performance - changes in strumming pattern and volume worked well for me and I wasn’t aware of any missed chords. I guess outros are last in the list of things to work on for a song and you have gone for a harder option of including picked individual notes. Overall job well done. :clap: :clap: :clap:
Best wishes,
Alan

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Cracking job there mate :grinning:

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Thank you for watching closely and commenting. I’ll consider it for the next one.

I’m a bit of a perfectionist and didn’t like the idea of posting these rehearsals there, but you’re right it may not hurt to let them be a bit more visible.

I really don’t know where the conversion problems are, as the video is a few milliseconds shorter so I have to stretch it. Good eye noticing it. I need to figure out how to get it more in sync without postproduction, maybe changing the sample rate of the interface could help. I will investigate. Thanks for pointing it out.

@Alan_1970 Thank you! Glad it wasn’t too noticeable when I made errors, tried my best to keep soldiering on in the rhythm.
Yeah, I always like to try to implement some part of the tabs to give the intros or outros more character, but I haven’t practiced it enough. Single-note parts like this are hard as you only play them once per song. Even if it’s just three notes. Not much tolerance for error in a very short time.

@Uninvitedguest :blush:

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Well done on this one, Marcel! :clap:

The strumming where you’re mimicking the way the Animals do it, sounds really nice. Also the dynamic changes in overall playing work well. :+1:

Also great how playing while singing works for this tune, you kept your rhythm steady to my ears most of the time. And I liked the way you kind of smiled during the outro noticing it’s not coming as it should. A feeling we all can relate, I guess. :smiley:

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Thank you Lisa for your always uplifting comments :smiley:

I studied the recording, tabs, and several tutorials to get closer to the original. I scribbled all the speed changes and as many details, as I could muster on the songbook page. I would post that sheet, but I don’t know if it’s allowed to post chord sheets from bought material.

True, I felt more comfortable keeping time with singing in this one, if you can remember all the verses it feels relatively intuitive in relation to the guitar.

Honestly, I’m just trying to smile and look at the camera or something when I feel a cranky face incoming :sweat_smile: But yes, the true feeling came through anyway. :face_with_peeking_eye:

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I read you’re using an iPhone to record. iPhones by default use a variable-bit-rate recording which is not as precise as constant bit rate (CBR). I had the same problems with trying to stitch together audio & video in Adobe (a long time ago). Maybe Ableton deals with the iPhone video the same way as adobe.

Your audio tracks are probably fine.

You could try a different video editor to stitch together audio + video - DaVinci Resolve doesn’t seem to have the same issue with iPhone video.

Good on you for posting in AVOYP.

Thank you for the tip. Had no luck with this recording trying to stitch it in DaVinci. No matter the frames, importing in differently, handbrake it etc.

I ended up stretching the audio instead a bit for the last video.

I’ll see if some other framerates or maybe the 4k setting on the phone could help. It’s a bit sad because the automatic audio syncing in DaVinci Resolvce would be comfortable, but it doesn’t work with the time discrepancy.

Thanks for the help, it’s pretty hard to find information on this problem. But pointing out the non-CBR nature of the capture at least helped me get clarity as to why…

I think I had this problem once before, Marcel. I use Reaper and there was a media setting for the project, frame rate maybe, that was different in the DAW to the recorded video. I don’t think it is caused by the audio sample rate.

Oh and well done, you are making progress with your playing and singing.

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I’m in Reaper at the moment. In Reaper it was on the Project Settings pop-up but under Video not Media. My memory was correct, the setting to check is Frame-rate. If you drop a video into a DAW and that setting is not consistent your video and audio in the DAW will be out of sync. At least it was in Reaper.

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