Recording with a PCgreenspun.com : LUSENET : To Hear Ourselves As Others Hear Us : One Thread
Dear Mr. Boyk
I have just puchased a copy of your book, "To Hear Ourselves as Others Hear Us". I have not yet read it, cover to cover, but have scanned it and noted that you did not consider one possible method of recording; that of direct recording using only a microphone and a personal computer. I have noted that stereo inputs with 16 bit resolution (said to be CD quality) are not uncommon in some home computers (according to advertisments).
I am interested in having the capability to produce good recordings on recital concerts ( my own) and it seems that this might be done with good fidelity using a laptop computer and two good microphones. This method would also facilitate producing CD recordings if that were desired. Since I am not knowledgable in the techniques of sound recordings, there may be important factors that I am overlooking in considering this approach to recording live music.
If you would care to comment on the feasibility and desirability of direct recording of music using a personal computer as the recording medium instead of tape I would greatly appreciate your reply.
-- Boris Kim (email@example.com), November 28, 1999
Interesting suggestion; I'll be most interested to hear what results you get. "Desirability" is high. Once you have a digital recording inside the computer, you can do a lot with it, easily. "Feasibility" I don't know. That is, we all know one can Do it; but how good it will be is the question. A possible problem is that the computer's internal electrical environment is adverse to delicate signals like those from microphones. I would expect that you'll want to use an external microphone preamp (see book) to boost the microphone signal so it can better withstand the interference generated by the computer's own circuitry.
A sound card with true 18-bit digital conversion should make for better sound even if you end up only burning CDs from the master recording.
Do be sure to read the review of the first digital recorder I can recommend. The URL is http://www.cco.caltech.edu/~boyk/update2.htm .
For practice and teaching, which is what the book is mostly aimed at, most people don't have a computer in their studios. (No reason they shouldn't; I'm just explaining why the book doesn't make much of this idea.)
Finally, remember that the quality of the microphones is crucial. Whatever is not captured by them can never be recreated.
P.S. Let us know, won't you, how the book's practice techniques in Parts I, II and III work for you.
-- James Boyk (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 28, 1999.