recording

Hi all. I have a mid sized practise room where I play drums. Lately the idea came up to record sound and/or video. The rooms acoustic is pretty ok. But even though I've been playing drums and percussion for more than 30 years, I have no experience whatsoever with that kind of amateur recording.
I have a laptop (windows) and nothing else.
My intension is to use as few mics as possible. What equipment and software do I need to record and edit on my laptop.
I would greatly appreciate any help.
Thanks in advance!
 

notvinnie

Senior Member
You need a way to record the sound captured by the microphones. For a laptop situation, you will need an interface (probably USB) to connect the microphones, and software to capture the recording. In both cases, there are many, many options. For drums, I suggest getting an interface with 8 analog (XLR) inputs, even if you only plan to use 3 or 4 to start with. Check out PreSonus, Roland, Focusrite, Universal Audio, etc. For software, look into Reaper, Studio One, Sonar, Cubase, Pro Tools, Nuendo, etc.

Your laptop should have a decent amount of RAM (8 GB minimum) and consider getting an external USB 3 SSD drive.


https://www.gearslutz.com/board/newbie-audio-engineering-production-question-zone/
https://homerecording.com/bbs/
https://recording.org/
 
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Elvis

Silver Member
Back in the old days, I used to just plug a cheap mike into my boom box and I taped the mike to the top of the bass drum hoop, with the end just hanging over the back end of the bass drum.
Hats came off a little weak, but it picked everything else up pretty good.
I did that in the kitchen of a little house I rented. Room was probably 15x10 and I pointed the bass drum down the long side of the room, backed up to the sink.


Elvis
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
The easiest way to do this is to get a decent USB mic straight into your computer and download free recording software. I used Reaper for years and loved it.

It can get more complicated than this, but this would be the simplest way.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Question: Are you looking to record just drums, or a full band?


Recording AV can be as simple as putting your cell phone on a tripod, with gear like a Zoom H4N or EAD10 being the next simplest step.

The next step up would be an interface + mics. If this is where you are headed, there are a plethora of different threads on the forum alongside the results people are getting.

Is there a youtube video or recording that you fancy? Something that you can point to and say "I want the same results that he's getting"?
 

Otto

Platinum Member
When I record purely for practice purpose I will hang an Omni directional mic just above my head pointed down at my head.

I send that into a cheap 4 track analog recorder(Tascam) that also has a little bit of EQ ability in case I have a lawnmower or something else invading my freqs.

I still use an analog cassette tape for this purpose...makes it harder to jump around and stealthily ignore the problems...but I can play the tape back at higher or lower speed to bring out flaws.

All under $100 and in use since 1995-ish.
 

Elvis

Silver Member
The easiest way to do this is to get a decent USB mic straight into your computer and download free recording software. I used Reaper for years and loved it.

It can get more complicated than this, but this would be the simplest way.
Hey, I like that idea!
Would it possible to simply use the Windows Voice Recorder that's already in the computer?


Elvis
 

TMe

Senior Member
I'm gearing up to start recording. I'm thinking simpler is better, since I don't know what I'm doing.

I got a little Presonus two channel Audiobox and it seems to work fine as long as I don't try to run a MIDI instrument through it.

I searched YouTube for videos about how to record a drum kit with one microphone. That looks like a good place to start. The videos stress the importance of having your kit tuned up nicely and learning to play with a well balanced sound. That's a worthwhile exercise even if I never use the recordings for anything else.

Once I've practiced that, I'll try recording with two mic's.

My plan is to start with cheap versions of two good quality mic's and practice with those. Then I'll rent much better microphones for a few weekends and see if I can get some drum tracks that are good enough for a demo recording.

If that doesn't work, I'll have to decide if I want to step up to more channels and mic's, or call it a day and cough up the cash to have someone else record the drums.
 
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Bo Eder

Platinum Member
If you have a freeware recorder on your Windows machine (like how you get GarageBand on a Mac), then all you need is a USB audio interface and some mics.

I made some recordings with a two-input interface (some can be had for as little as $50) and a couple of condenser microphones (one overhead directly center of the kit looking down, and one pointed at the front of the bass drum - or inside it if you're ported) and then you're good to go!

On the cheap side, I was surprised by the Behringer U-Phoria interface (they in come in 2-channel to 8-channel varieties), and the AKG Perception 420 microphones (about $100 each). IN a nice sounding room, you can achieve close to John Bonham openness with just that.

Don't forget to get good mic stands and good cables. That could easily cost you more than $200 right there ;)
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
On the cheap side, I was surprised by the Behringer U-Phoria interface (they in come in 2-channel to 8-channel varieties), and the AKG Perception 420 microphones (about $100 each). IN a nice sounding room, you can achieve close to John Bonham openness with just that.
The neat thing about cheap interfaces is that their preamps's are quite good by 30-year-old standards. Even the ones that aren't stelar at least have the courtesy to be completely quiet.

It's as if we've won the war-on-noise that the analog generation fought so long and hard against.
 

simmsdn

Silver Member
The best low cost rig for you (where I started at home)...

TASCAM US-1800 (you can find used for about $200)
Pyle Pro Drum Mic Set (about $100, comes with rim clips for Tom and snare mics)
A few mic stands (overheads and bass drum)
XLR cables (I use Amazon Basics cables, I don't know who makes them for Amazon, but they're great and affordable!)

For a DAW, download Reaper - it's free to try and a LIFETIME license is $60. Another very good DAW is Cakewalk. Cakewalk is absolutely free! A company called BandLab bought the code from Gibson and are giving it away...this was $500 software just two years ago.
 

simmsdn

Silver Member
The neat thing about cheap interfaces is that their preamps's are quite good by 30-year-old standards. Even the ones that aren't stelar at least have the courtesy to be completely quiet.

It's as if we've won the war-on-noise that the analog generation fought so long and hard against.
The Behringer preamps are actually really nice. Gear snobs will hear with their eyes, but you can get real nice, usable tracks with Behringer pres. I'm about to add a Behringer ADA8200 to my home studio. 8 more pre-amps that are clean for $200...20 years ago that would have easily cost over $3000!
 

Davo-London

Gold Member
Hi, I don't want to hi-jack this thread, but at church we have mics on snare, kick, rack and floor toms and 2 overheads. I always think the hi-hats are rather weak and feel they should be better represented. I never thought to re-angle the snare mic to act as a dual mic for snare and hi-hats. I'm going to try that next time I play! This occurred to me reading this thread!

Peace. Davo
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Hey, I like that idea!
Would it possible to simply use the Windows Voice Recorder that's already in the computer?


Elvis
I'm not sure how much you can manipulate your recordings with Windows Voice Recorder. With Reaper, you can EQ and add effects and all kinds of stuff. Also, Reaper is free (Disclaimer: they do ask that you buy a licence eventually. Some people do. Some people don't.)
 

Elvis

Silver Member
I'm not sure how much you can manipulate your recordings with Windows Voice Recorder. With Reaper, you can EQ and add effects and all kinds of stuff. Also, Reaper is free (Disclaimer: they do ask that you buy a licence eventually. Some people do. Some people don't.)
Good point.
Thanks.
 
Thank you very much for all the answers. Really helpful!

I think I'm gonna go for Behringer U-Phoria interface + some decent mics.


Question: Are you looking to record just drums, or a full band?

Recording AV can be as simple as putting your cell phone on a tripod, with gear like a Zoom H4N or EAD10 being the next simplest step.
The next step up would be an interface + mics. If this is where you are headed, there are a plethora of different threads on the forum alongside the results people are getting.
Is there a youtube video or recording that you fancy? Something that you can point to and say "I want the same results that he's getting"?
KamaK, my intention is just drum recording, not full band.
I like the sound of this guy :
Simple and clean.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I recently bought one of the small two channel focusrite scarlets. It's really cool, nice and small and works great, doesn't even need power! Gets it all through the usb.

It's only two channels, but that's enough for my purposes which is basically what you're doing, recording practice room sounds.

Now, I will state that recording to a PC has a bit of learning curve to it. If that's not your bag, you might be better served with a stand-alone recorder that records to a memory card or external drive. They're meant for one thing and much simpler to get going, requiring no PC.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Now, I will state that recording to a PC has a bit of learning curve to it. If that's not your bag, you might be better served with a stand-alone recorder that records to a memory card or external drive. They're meant for one thing and much simpler to get going, requiring no PC.
Worth mentioning:

If the OP has a Mac... You can practically fart into Garageband and it will spit out something coherent with little to no effort.

 

TMe

Senior Member
I have a laptop (windows) and nothing else.
If you're looking for software that's free of charge and easy to learn, Audacity might be a good choice.

https://www.audacityteam.org/

For practice recordings, I use a Zoom H1 and record to mp3's. I open each mp3 in Audacity where I ignore all the effects except Normalize and Compressor. I normalize the left and right channels independently to get a better left/right balance, clip off any excess noise at the beginning and end of a track, then compress it to level things out, save the edited version to mp3 and delete the original mp3.

Using that as a routine, I can process a lot of practice recordings fairly quickly, then use those to play along with between band rehearsals.

I can also use Audacity to slice and dice recordings to suggest alternate arrangements of a song. My edits are clumsy, but good enough to present ideas.

If you want to make demo quality recordings, I've heard that Audacity is good enough and some people have successfully shopped demo's made with Audacity to record labels. I haven't tried it myself.
 
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