Traveler—February 2023–Jamey Johnson, Johnny Cash (x2), Lionel Richie, The Cranberries, Travis and the Chipmunks

Hello all!

I was able to get in the “studio” and work on a few tunes this afternoon. The one that I’m posting is a song that I have listened to for a while, but started working on last week.

I think that this is my first video on this website where I’m using my new laptop. So I have vox and guitar going through the audio interface into reaper, with video recorded on OBS.

I haven’t figured out how to edit very well yet, but baby steps! I hope that you guys like it, and as always, any feedback is helpful!

The Last Cowboy—Jamey Johnson


Hi @Traveler ,
Congratulations on your first video post, and I am dogging the fine result for a first try!
Editing and adding effects can be done later, and definitely baby step, as they can come in a bunch you get more proficient in your gear.
Thanks for sharing.

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Well played and sung, Travis, and and it sounded good.

Good to be able to produce a better quality of home recording, which I’m sure will be good for you channel and supporting your gigging.

On the video and editing, I would suggest get into the habit of letting the last notes fade before moving to switch off the camera. That makes for a smoother end and you can easily trim the starting and stopping after the fact.

Watch out for loudness when recording for YT upload. YT has a standard level and if you are louder then they will adjust your audio level which you want to avoid. It could mess with your dynamics, ‘squash’ the audio a bit. You were a little loud but not so much over that I’d think it was a problem. Right-click with the mouse in the video when streaming from YT and select Stats For Nerds to see this.

In terms of the recording, was voice and guitar recorded through the same mic or do you have the guitar plugged in and recording voice and guitar separately?

Irrespective, my subjective sense would be that your vocal was a little soft relative to the guitar. It also sounded like the vocal was panned left and the guitar right. As I said, this comment is subjective. I’d usually suggest when recording yourself singing and playing that both are mixed to the centre. and that the guitar should accompany the singing but the vocal sounds better if it is a little more present than what I was hearing.

As I say, my taste, no absolute right and wrong, and I could hear your singing.

Have fun tinkering!

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Thank you for the very thoughtful post @DavidP !! I’m looking forward to diving into the software some more as I feel pretty noobish with it.

I have noticed what you said about YouTube and sound levels. A few of my older videos got pretty distorted because of that I think. I will try to be more concentious of that next time!

I have the 2i2 scarlet, so I had vocals going into the first channel on an AKG condenser mic, then guitar going into the 2nd channel, but the guitar bled into the vocal track as well. I’m still amazed at how much sound the condenser mic picks up! I made another video yesterday and I could hear my kids playing outside! Ha. I probably need to be more aware of this in the future too.

As for the panning, I’m not sure on that one. How can I tell?

Thanks again for the thoughtful advice. There are a lot of new considerations and much for me to learn with all of this.

Always a pleasure, Travis.

A condensor mic really is super sensitive and generally as quite a wide pick-up pattern. The best thing you can is experiment with your mic position. You and to raise it up so it is inline with your mouth and perhaps bring it in closer 6-8". YOu can also experiment with the Gain knob on the 2i2. You are a powerful singer so must watch to avoid clipping on the 2i2 (red halos around the gain knob on mine).

You should find with adjustments to mic position and input gain, you can reduce the bleed.

That said, I think with better placement you should be fine and may even find you don’t need to plug the guitar in. If you don’t want to apply different effects to each track after recording then it may be easier to just play and sing.

If that sounds OK then you can also just skip Reaper and use OBS with audio sourced from the 2i2.

Another option in time is to get a dynamic vocal mic. That is much better suited to recording vocals when playing as it tends to have a more focsued pickup pattern. You can sing into the mic and when you go off axis then it is nowhere near as sensitive as a condensor mic.

I recall some people have mentioned that when using the 2i2 sometimes one channel is left and the other is right, both effectively mono.

You should see this in Reaper when you look at the tracks and the meter.

You want to make sure you are using the Focusrite ASIO driver and have selected that in Reaper/Preferences/Audio Devices.

And when in OBS there is an add-in to download that will enable you to use that Focusrite ASIO driver.

My videos and Open MIc recordings are made in OBS without using Reaper, audio from my 2i2, using an AKG D5 dynamic vocal mic (which I think is a reasonable price, though that’s all relative).

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Awesome tips @DavidP !!

I have a couple Shure 58’s that I use for gigging. I actually haven’t tried using them with the audio interface, but maybe I should try to go that route in my next recording sessions?

I’ll definitely play around with the mic positioning next time! I had my Stratocaster going to my Boss Katana MKII then to the scarlet for a couple tunes last night and that was pretty neat to add different effects!

Thanks for the advice!

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A good performance, Travis. I agree with DavidP that the vocal to my ears is a bit soft compared to the guitar, or the guitar too loud compared to the vocal. You’ve definitely found your lane.

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I love this. Right up my alley. Good stuff!

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Thank you @oldhead49 !! I think that you are right! I’ll work on trying to balance better in the future :+1:

Thank you @ToshS !! I’m a big Jamey Johnson fan!!

That was really nice Travis. Your playing and sing was great for only one week into the song.

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Thank you @SgtColon !! It’s a relatively basic strum but I like this tune a lot!

Hey Travis,
Sounded pretty good. Your guitar was good and the vox was deep and rich. You could probably give Mr. Cash on here (@ToshS) a run for his money if you did some Cash as you have that deep voice for it.

Recording and video editing. Is my hobby and I actually like to do production more than play guitar. I play just so I have something to record and mess with. David was pretty spot on in his assessment. He mentioned Stats for Nerds at YT. Here is probably more on it than you want to know:

One way to go with what you presented today is to dual track your guitar. You are a bit limited with OBS in the recording audio and manipulation department. Yet it is a good deal for recording “live” type sessions and keeping both audio and video in sync.

The best of both worlds might be to get you started in Reaper. There is a ton of how to, high quality videos up at the Reaper web site. Reaper is excellent at audio manipulation and it is possible to use both OBS and Reaper together. Reaper is a very low cost DAW, that yields very high quality.

Now back to those dual tracked guitars. The best way to do this is to play 2 tracks or more on guitar and pan them out 30% - 80% or so and pop the vocals in the middle. You can tell where you are panning wise by the controls in OBS. I don’t have it open, so I can’t give you more details on that. Now, if you lack 2 tracks of guitar you can use the Haas Effect. Just search on it. If you go this way, right away your vocal will sit nice in the middle and those guitars will support it instead of fighting it.

I hope some of the above helps and good job!

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The SM58 is a great low cost vocal mic and you should try it next session! Turn off the AI phantom power prior to plugging in the mic. Presidents (many) have been captured by the Shure SM58! You will find it will not pick up leaves falling outside, nor the kids for that matter.

The thing about all this stuff is that it takes time, just like guitar and can be a huge challenge. But it is rewarding too. Just as a frame of reference, I have been recording since about 2005, while dabbling prior to that over the years. Getting close to 2 decades there. I also had some great help from folks like Scooter Trash and @RomanS or Roman.

There are areas on the community that are into recording and you should make your way there soon. But I will say, if you ask questions there, you will get a ton of differing ideas and sometimes that is hard to sort.

All the best in your guitar and sound production journey!

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Wow, so much to unpack there @LBro !! Thank you for your thoughtful response.

I started using reaper a little bit last week, but I definitely have a lot to learn with it. I will watch some of those videos that you mentioned to try to get a better handle on things.

I did create a few tracks and I uploaded a few of them to SoundCloud using reaper. I don’t know much about SoundCloud yet either but I have noticed quite a few people here in the forum using it. I didn’t edit anything on these tracks (mostly because I don’t know how to yet, ha!) but I definitely want to get more confident with these things.

Thanks a lot for the feedback! I might have to pick your brain some more in the future, if you don’t mind!

I’ll attach my new SoundCloud page directly below here.

PS—I love Johnny Cash, and I think that I have a live performance of “Ring of Fire” from a recent gig in the “playing live” section here :+1:

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I was thinking the very same thing @LBro . I’m thinking @Traveler would sound good with some Johnny Cash action!

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@ToshS and @LBro You inspired me to work on some Johnny Cash this evening!! Both of these need more work, but here are 2 songs from the man in black.

Folsom Prison Blues—Johnny Cash

I Walk The Line—Johnny Cash

I checked out your last cowboy. Sounded great, your voice really makes a song interesting.

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Um, a tad rough as you say… But man, unmistakable Cash voice for sure. Might give old @ToshS a run for his money at some point on vox. You sound enough like Cash im book to rein it in a bit. Don’t hold some notes so long. I think your tempo might be slow on the whole of the song. That is affecting your vocals delivery.

At this point I would put your vox in the lead and your guitar running 2nd.

Polish this thing up and you really might have a nice offering.

Production and mixing are quite a lot of work as you might be suspecting. But most I find that can play, can at least lays down some tracks, collab and what not. You can certainly ask away on questions. Might be better in another thread and do summons me. I am sure someone else or myself will get back to you.

I know a bit about Reaper, but not so much OBS. @TheMadman_tobyjenner and others are totally into it! So you are in good hands either way…



Thank you @jkahn !! Jamey Johnson is almost the center of my wheel house, I think. Thanks for listening!

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