Recording help and gear

Nuka

Senior Member
Okay so I've been wanting to record for a while now from home and I finally have my studio completed.

What I need help with it this:

I have an ambidextrous set up and so will need around 14 mics. Now that's not the real issue as such. The main issue is, how the hell or where can I find an interface with 14XLR inputs, or is there another way such as using XLR to standard line-in etc.

I need an interface with USB 2.0 connector output and the 14 inputs. Anyone got an idea on how I could do this?

Would a multicore work? Etc etc.
 

BradGunnerSGT

Silver Member
If you want to have at least 14 XLR inputs in a USB interface, then you will need 2 of these or these. The Presonus interfaces are more expensive, but they have the same preamps and audio processing as their StudioLive mixers. I have a StudioLive and it is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but it is FireWire only.

If you only have a few XLR inputs but you have line-in inputs, you can get/make XLR to 1/4" cables, but plugging a mic into a line-level input will give you a very quiet signal.. You have to have some sort of preamp to bring the mic-level signal up to line-level anyway, so just get an interface with as many XLR inputs as you need up front.
 

AndyMC

Senior Member
I would avoid samson, if your bothering to get 16 tracks get 16 good ones not the cheapest you can find.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
Are you sure you need 14 mics?

I say this because I think it's far more important to be able to capture several channels well rather than just slapping a mic on everything haphazardly.

Can you describe your kit? In your situation I would buy a small interface with daisy-chaining capability and start with - say - eight inputs and work from there. You'll probably find that eight inputs is enough for most kits. With eight I would run:

Two overheads (probably spaced for a larger kit).
Bass drum. Two - one on the batter, one on the resonant.
Two snare (one above, one below - one with phase inverted obviously).
Two room mics.

If you get the overhead mics in the right position then you'll probably find that your kit gets picked up well. Essentially, the overheads are the most important microphones and should be picking up the majority of your sound with the other mics reinforcing the overheads.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
14 mics? Wow. If I had 14 pairs of ears, would I hear things I missed? I think not. Less mics positioned optimally is better IMO. I always thought that mic placement is a 3 person process. One person plays the drums. Another person moves the mic around. The 3rd person listens remotely over headphones for optimal placement. BFY, do you concur?
 

Retrovertigo

Senior Member
i wouldn't go with the samson. it seems like you're only printing a stereo mix off the board and not 14 individual tracks. this is going to cost you some cash... theres just no way around that. 14 mics, cables, stands, clips, interface(s). whats you budget? what gear do you already have? Im with BFY on this in that I would go with an 8 channel interface and build from there. any of the Presonus, MOTU, M-audio stuff works just fine. i understand the desire for lots of mic's but you should start with 8 and learn about what you feel you need for the future. you might find that you get a lot done with 8. you dont need to individually mic hats and rides and such... stereo overheads get it done. some close mics for toms, kick, snare and ambiance are why i would feel the need for many mics.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
14 mics? Wow. If I had 14 pairs of ears, would I hear things I missed? I think not. Less mics positioned optimally is better IMO. I always thought that mic placement is a 3 person process. One person plays the drums. Another person moves the mic around. The 3rd person listens remotely over headphones for optimal placement. BFY, do you concur?
Ideally, yes. It's not always possible to have three people. I think those three people should each listen from each position, too. I've recorded a brass band of thirty with just four mics before. That worked quite well - it just requires brainpower.

There are absolutely times when close micing everything is preferable but, to be frank, if you're asking which interface to buy and you don't really have any idea then you're probably not ready for fourteen mics.
 

dwsabianguy

Senior Member
For now, I would start with a quality pair of overheads and a good kick drum mic. I personally recommend Røde NT1000s as overheads and an AKG D112 for kick drum. Read up on phase and set up your overheads and equal distance from the snare drum and you should be fine for the time being, no matter how much stuff you have.

Get the Audiobox. Do not get a mixer. A mixer mixes; an interface records. You won't be able to record separate tracks from a mixer. You can do all your mixing in whatever piece of software you choose to use and it'll probably sound better.

Over time, add on to your collection - get a snare mic (it doesn't have to be an SM57!) and put it on the top, then get tom mics, then whatever you want. I find hihat mics are rarely needed if the cymbals sound good together and the overheads have been placed properly. When you have more mics than inputs, get another Audiobox (it has to be the same interface) and attach them via USB.
 

Nuka

Senior Member
This is where all my experience of noise teching falls down. We normally multicore into a sound desk with 30 odd channels.

My kit if you take it from left to right is 16, 13, 10, 8, 12, 13, 14 with a single bass drum and a single snare.

Hats, ride and various others such as bells, splashes, crashes, china and jam block/cowbell.

Here is a pic:


Keep the advice coming, it's all getting noted down!

I'm a uni student with no job, my budget is formed when I know what I need basically. Though I did work out with that 16 channel XLR interface, 14 mics, 14 leads, etcetc comes to £1,400. So I guess that's my idea at the moment.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
Nuka,

I think it would be entirely possible to record your drums well with just eight microphones.

I've also got a handy 'insider' purchasing tip for you:

http://www.karmamics.com/shop/K-Micro-Matched-Pair.html

I ordered a pair of those microphones after reading a rave review in 'Sound on Sound'. I was in the market for some microphones on a budget and I remembered these. I haven't received these yet but I have read nothing but good press. They are £35 for a pair, delivered to the UK which is absolutely unbelievable value.

These will work well as a pair of overheads and it's even possible that for the size of kit you're playing you could use a pair of these as overheads and another pair for room mics. That's still just £70!

I still hold by my advice. Eight should be enough. It's a big kit but fourteen mics is at least six too many for now. Close micing has its place (especially in metal) but I think it's much more important that you learn the basics with fewer microphones. For years I just owned a pair of overheads. I've used all sorts of set ups and mics at different budgets, from Behringer to Neumann and I still don't feel as though I am fully competent with just two microphones. Recording is a real science and I suggest that you start small and run a few recordings of yourself with just four or five microphones. Build up after that.

You're actually best off buying a book. 'Modern Recording Techniques' is a standard text:

http://www.modrec.com/

It can be had very cheaply used and it's an inexpensive textbook that I highly recommend. My copy is utterly battered.
 

Nuka

Senior Member
Thanks for the advice.

I will look to close mic at some point as my style has the varying tom runs, but for now I'll get the 8.
 
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