By Eduardo Patricio
In this post we present two videos in different formats, but edited from the same source material captured on the 20th of June 2018, at Barigui park (Curitiba, Brazil).
The audio was recorded with the ZYLIA ZM-1 3rd order Ambisonics spherical microphone array while the video was captured by a 360-degree camera (Gear 360).
Below, you can watch both videos and find some information on how to achieve the two different results, with focus on preparing the audio recorded with the ZM-1 microphone for each scenario.
Interactive, immersive video with full 3D sound
(media components: 360-degree video + Ambisonics audio)
Non-interactive video with fixed perspective 3D sound
(media components: Tiny planet” video + binaural audio)
The microphone and the camera were placed on a single camera stand with a small clamped extension arm (see picture below). Both devices were aligned vertically with a small horizontal offset. We made sure the microphone and the camera always had the same relative facing direction (front of the microphone aligned with the camera side where the recording button is found).
For scenario B, we used the video from Gear 360 in ‘tiny planet’ format and a binaural audio track.
Since, the source material is the same as the one from scenario A, we’ll list here only the steps that differ.
Scenario B steps:
Choosing binaural preset on ZYLIA Studio PRO in REAPER
#ambiencerecording #ambisonics #binaural #soundscapes #immersiveaudio #360recording
Organizing rehearsals is much easier nowadays than it was in the past. Songwriters and musicians can easily rent a rehearsal room, join together and take part in the jam session.
But how to achieve a great rehearsal recording without spending too much time on technical issues? First, you need to know is what happens with the audio signal that goes to the recording device. The terms 'conversion' and 'converter' are crucial here.
Band rehearsal recorded with ZYLIA ZM-1.
Conversion of the audio into a digital form
The audio which comes from a microphone or directly from an instrument to the interface is actually a series of electric signals of varying voltage, which represent acoustic sounds. These signals are converted into a series of numbers (by the analogue-to-digital converter), which correspond to the specific values of the voltage. This process is called conversion, digitalization or sampling.
To be more detailed, digitalization is collecting a great number of snapshots (samples) of changing voltage values in equal time intervals. You can visualize this by comparing this process with a film stock which consists of many still photographs taken with the camera at the specific time frame.
Depending on the sampling frequency set, these snapshots are taken at different time intervals. For example, at 44.1kHz the analog-to-digital converter takes one sample every 1 / 44,100th of a second. It mins that it takes 44,100 samples representing the voltage every one second and converts them into appropriate numbers which can be stored in the digital form.
The audio signal recorded in this form, in order to be reproduced, must go ‘way back’ – so it needs to be converted into the analog signal, which will again be a variable electrical voltage. This process takes place in the digital-to-analog converter.
Audio bit depth
In digital audio ‘bit depth’ is the number of bits of information in each sample, and it directly corresponds to the resolution of each sample. To simplify, we can assume that the sampling frequency are values assigned in time and the bit depth are values assigned to the strength of the signal.
As it was already mentioned, in the 44.1kHz system, the audio-to-digital converter takes 44,100 samples per second. So, in the 48kHz system it is going to be 48,000, and so on. Increasing this value allows capturing more information about the sound which equals higher sound frequencies. This simply means that high-frequency instrument components can be better reproduced.
On mastering process, it is significant to operate on full band samples where low and high-frequency components are well heard. It is easier to mask some instruments by others in the same acoustic scene. Taking care of high sample frequency, you can guarantee your listeners’ natural timbre and feelings.
High sample frequency and bit resolution recordings are strongly recommended in compression, equalization and many additional audio effects. Standard configurations are 16 bits depth and 44,1k Hz sample frequency called CD standard. More advanced audio processing may require higher parameters.
If you neglect to configure high bit resolution a quantization noise will appear in your recording. It is an understandable effect since sound samples will be represented by an insufficient number of bits.
In audio mastering process, the quantization noise prevents engineer to operate on well-recorded sound frequencies. Low bit depth frequency components are much distorted than the high bit. When mastering operator mix rehearsals with noise, the final record contains strengthened noise, which may be onerous for the listener and difficult to accept in professional audio production.
Probably you wonder if it is possible to record a live concert with ZYLIA microphone. Of course, it is possible. This time we present recording made only with one ZYLIA mic situated in front of the stage. On stage, we had around 20 acoustic musicians - piano, double bass, saxophones, flutes, trumpets, etc. No additional mixing or mastering was made.
Big Band from Poznan Music Academy. A mysterious and inspiring piece of music. Conductor - Patryk Piłasiewicz.
By Maciej Lenartowicz
Over the past decades, musicians experienced an unprecedented increase in availability of home recording equipment. Recording studios of the 1980s based on cassette tapes redefined the way how music is created, spawning such masterpieces as Bruce Springsteen’s “Nebraska” - intimate, dark, emotional and most important – created mostly outside of professional recording studio. In the digital age, there’s no need to rewind and erase – there’s plenty of recording space for hours of high-quality audio on your hard disk. Thanks to this pivotal change the difference between studio and rehearsal space becomes more and more insignificant.
There are very different ways of rehearsing – from a tightly organized practice of previously composed pieces to “chaotic” jam sessions. It doesn’t really matter how your rehearsal looks like – every single one of them is worth recording.
If you’re passionate about something that you do, it is very likely that you will want to do it better. Recording rehearsals let you (and other band/project members) review your progress on a certain piece of music. Some errors may go unnoticed while playing, especially when you are focused on your part and less concentrated on the piece as a whole. If your session is recorded everybody has a chance to take their time, re-think and highlight the most troublesome parts of a song. If rehearsals are recorded there’s no worry that somebody will forget their astonishing idea that came spontaneously. You can also record different versions of a song and then chose the best afterward, with a clear mind.
This type of exercise is a good way to introduce a new member of your band/project to already existing songs. She/he can learn all the songs prior to rehearsals without involving other band members and thus save their precious time.
To conclude, I think that in this case, it’s acceptable to answer a question with a question. Why shouldn't we record our rehearsals? Due to aforementioned advantages. enormous storage space for recordings and simplicity of making them I strongly believe that there’s no reason not to.
Practising with your band is more fruitful if you are able to record everything with a good quality. Then you are able to listen to everything, identify bad notes, make corrections, or simply change arrangements. Recording gives you a lot of possibilities to polish your skills and make you music sounds awesome.
Are you having a hard time identifying the best band recording method?
Of course, you can find on the market lot of recording devices. They are in different price range and they give limited possibilities for recording. There is also the issue of quality, not every recording device is able to record your rehearsal in an easy way giving you as the output a great quality recording.
If you are looking for a perfect solution - so ease of use, awesome quality of recordings, single tracks of instruments as the output, and a great design - ZYLIA is the choice. Practising with your band is more fruitful if you are able to record everything with a good quality. Then you are able to listen to everything, identify bad notes, make corrections, or simply change arrangements. Recording gives you a lot of possibilities to polish your skills and make you music sounds awesome.
Recording audio with smartphone, field recorder and Zylia
This is an example of rehearsal recorded with a smartphone, a typical field recorder, and Zylia Portable Recording Studio. With ZYLIA you can feel the difference... and this feeling of spatial sound, just like being in the middle of your band.
Recently, we had a chance to run beta tests in a private rehearsal room in Gdańsk (BADUUUM Rehearsal Room). Mariusz - owner of this rehearsal place was using ZYLIA recording system to work with local bands. We have collected his feedback and a few pictures to share with you.
"Our experience with Zylia ZM-1 microphone was very fruitful because we used it in our rehearsal studio (Sala Prób Baduuum in Gdańsk) with professionals and amateurs, playing all kind of music from jazz, acoustic pop, reggae, to rock and heavy metal. Technology did convince us, because of its abilities to separate tracks and overall quality of recordings was very high, especially drum set and vocal - which are usually the hardest to record well. It was a great experience and we hope to have a chance to use it on a regular basis."
Mariusz Pawłowski, owner of rehearsal room Sala Prób Baduuum
We want to share few tips about how to prepare for recording your first EP. Feel free to use them with your band.
Your first EP must go straight from your heart!
The best tip ever, always record your music. Record every song, sketch or new riff. I am sure you will make a great use of it as the inspiration at some point in the future.
All you need is to be real with your fans and with yourself.
Quality. In this case, you should focus more on passion in your music than its quality. People will accept raw garage style if they like what you are creating.
Finesse your music. Record your selected songs and listen back to it again. We all know that it is difficult to evaluate yourself while playing with a band, many mistakes are unnoticed. There is a great tool which can help in this process. ZYLIA is a multitrack mic which can record a whole band and separates tracks of every musician from recording. So after your jam session you all can sit back, and listen to single tracks. It’s a totally different thing once you sit down and start listening to the recording. You start to process it and make progress with your band.
…and of course, rehearse and record as much as you can.
The EP flow. Work on your EP flow, so the songs' structure - intro, middle, end part, memorize your riffs and lyrics. Make a clear plan for recording, and make sure everyone knows it. If you choose to go to a recording studio, be prepared. You do not want to waste your money for practicing in a recording studio, it is very expensive. You can always practice with ZYLIA Portable Recording Studio.
Think about your budget. You will need to pay for printing, and the CDs, maybe distribution. Make all calculations and be aware that it is not very cheap:-)
If you choose to record with ZYLIA, then no recording studio expenses will appear:-) Just rent rehearsal room with a decent acoustic treatment and easily record your songs. You can always play with tracks and prepare a balanced recording. No stressful situations in a recording studio. Just you, your band and a great chemistry.
It is more easy than you expect.
Just follow our advices and you will get a good quality recording from your home rehearsal session.
Home recording studio equipment
First of all, find a room.
Put your instruments inside in a circle, and plug them.
Arrange the space to make it look more cozy:-)
Carpet is recommended if you play drums.
Put ZYLIA ZM-1 multi track microphone in the middle of the room. Just between all musicians.
In this way you can record all sound sources at once.
Plug it to your laptop and get ready for recording.
And the most important element - THE BAND!
Start recording music in your own music studio in living room!
Our young stars, FairyTaleShow recording their greatest hits with ZYLIA. It was a great recording session. Like it and share it because guys play cool music.
By Piotr Makaruk
How it is usually done - studio session recording ...
These days music production is faster than ever. Through years recording process has been moving from analogue to digital domain. As the answer to this shift quite a big spectrum of available DAW software appears. They offer a rich amount of tools for track editing and music arrangements. It is a great progress in music editing. Musicians are allowed to rework their technical skills using advanced software, to correct their mistakes, play with amount of quantization or rearrange a whole song with different groove. The methodology of music recording has changed and this advanced software treatments applied to sound are becoming standard procedure. Technology is blissful and allows amateurs as well as professionals creating great music pieces on their computers. This form of music creation could be perceived as a rather conceptually-oriented, because production process highly contributes to the final sound.
How it was done - live studio session recording ...
Some great albums such as the first album of The Beatles and Led Zeppelin debut were recorded during a live studio session. Musicians used to play song together and recorded songs simultaneously. These records are familiar from the fact, that they were mixed and mastered incredibly fast within tens of hours immediately after recording. For example Led Zeppelin I album was characterized by unforgettable and unique dose of expression, with interesting natural balanced room ambiance, although final record contains some crosstalks and notable leakages on the vocals recordings. However, all these imperfections were admitted to had been done intentionally by the authors. Experimental setups of microphones were highly contributing to the phenomenal sound. Maybe live sessions recording approach is worth to reconsider once again in light of new promising technology? Is it always worth to record each track separately?
Coming back to live studio session recording with the new technology...
ZYLIA Portable Recording Studio comes with a new approach dedicated for music recording. It allows casual users for live studio recording in easier way than it was ever done before. This single recording device offers studio capabilities with no necessity of applying excessive recording equipment. Multiple microphones setup and reflection filters are substituted with a single device. Up till now live studio session recording approach required well equipped studio or rehearsal room with an acoustic adaptation. Often musicians were partially separated from each other losing their emotional connection.
The advantage of proposed solution is ease of use. ZYLIA is connected via USB cable to your laptop and does not require additional power supply. Moreover advanced technology inside of ZYLIA helps to save some space in a rehearsal room and offers a big freedom in instruments setup.
By putting it in the middle of music scene, ZYLIA offers more spatial freedom in a rehearsal room setup making it a quite natural and comfortable for musicians. After initial recording is made, in order to localize each of the sources correctly in space, live studio session can be performed. After recording and processing a significantly enhanced sound of each instrument could be mixed in your favorite DAW software with additional effects applied.
Moreover, it handles well acoustic imperfections present in a rehearsal room.
The huge advantage of such solution is mobility. Musicians can take ZYLIA in an inspiring place and create music outside of the studio environment recording not only their music but also surrounding world. Why not to take several ZYLIA devices and experiment a little bit with several setups during the same record live session like it was done during Led Zeppelin album?
Advanced technology in ZM-1 would allow to record rehearsals and highlight each instrument mapping it on audio clip like if they were recorded separately. When the most important thing is already done and song is recorded, a quick editing will be required before presenting a song further to wider audience.
Finally, I would recommend this device to every musician who is looking for new ways of musical expression, bands who feel more comfortable during a live recording as well as artists who discover sounds through experimental approach. Classical and timeless albums prove that a real eye-to-eye contact between band members during recording creates something which could not be repeated in track by track recording approach. Thanks to ZYLIA device a live studio session recording would be much easier than it has ever been before. It opens a new field for people who would like to experiment with sound and music.