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Old 10-30-2007, 06:15 PM
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zambizzi zambizzi is offline
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Default Mic'ing & Recording Setup? Ideas?

I know next to nothing about Mic'ing up a kit and doing multi-track recording...but it's the next thing I'd like to do in my drum room. Once I sell off some gear, I'll have a budget of about $700. What should I look for? I don't need top-shelf but I obviously don't want cheap crap that won't get me very far, either.

As I understand it (and correct me where I'm wrong) - I would need at least:

1. A few mics for my kit, I'm playing a 5 pc. these days, 1 tom up, 2 on the floor, single kick, single snare. And...2 crashes, a splash, ride, and hats. Not sure what I'd need for this?

2. A mixing board. We currently use a little 4-track board that I plug directly into my PC...and a single mic. Beyond that I have no knowledge as to what would work best.

3. Monitor(s)?

We had talked about doing a setup where we partition each other off and use monitors...so the mics don't bleed together. The room is only 14'x12' but it will have sound absorbtion of some sort on the walls when it's finished.

Honestly, I'm shooting in the dark, any recommendations and advice would be appreciated. We need enough quality to cut a decent demo and do basic multi-track recording. I would probably use Sonar to work on the tracks...which I already have.

Thanks!
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Old 10-31-2007, 12:42 AM
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hawk9290 hawk9290 is offline
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Default Re: Mic'ing & Recording Setup? Ideas?

First things first- check out classes in audio recording and such. They are worth the money, because otherwise without good directoin you may end up out $700 and staring at a bunch of buttons and knobs.

I would strongly recommend digital recording, as it gives you much more flexibility. I know some old-school people say analog is much easier to learn; but heres my take- the analog mixers are very straightfoward, but trying to dial in all those effects and chop up the takes into what you want and getting all the levels right without graphic visualization is a royal pain compared to digital recording. You can get something like the ProTools M-Audio lightbridge, and then throw in a 8 channel mic preamp (there are some decent pretty cheap ones, though I really like the more expensive Focusrite and PreSonus ones) for around $700. Then you can get a couple mics (I would stay away from those "great deal" $200 mic packs- they really don't give you much better sound than an SM-57 snare, Beta-52 kick, and two decent overheads- which is all you need). Also, you can get into other recording systems, such as the TASCAM or Korg digital multitrack recorders and things like the TASCAM FW-18## series are good, and they just came out with the US-1641. However the 1804 (which I would recommend for you since it has the same features as the more advanced levels, its just more compacted and less gadgets to confuse you) and the TASCAM FW series have ADAT digital outputs. This means that you can link devices, so that if you bought this one now, but later went to a ProTools system (which this would not be out-of-the-box compatible with), you would still be able to send your audio channels through the lightpipe cable into the ADAT-In of the ProTools device and get all those channels still. It essentially allows great expandibility, whereas anything without it you can only expand a little bit on.
Also check out some of the recording packages with the multitrack recorders, they have some really good deals there.

*edit*
also, for the TASCAM FW-1804, I would recommend buying an additional $200-$400 mic preamp, so you get 12 total channels of mic in, which is quite ample.
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Old 11-01-2007, 05:51 PM
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Default Re: Mic'ing & Recording Setup? Ideas?

Thanks hawk, lots of info to digest there.

I definitely intend to use digital recording and probably use a combination of Sonar and Sound Forge to edit the tracks....which I do now w/ my single mic.

What about PA speakers? Could this pre-amp board setup double as a PA system? It's probably a stupid question but I know almost nothing about A/V gear....I'm a software engineer by day - this stuff is all a mystery religion to me at this point.

I intend to take some sort of audio engineer classes, someday, and learn the finer details. I would like to eventually build a fully-capable home studio. For now I don't mind staring at a bunch of knobs and buttons so long as I can fumble my way through making some decent recordings. I'm a hands-on guy and I don't mind a little research and experimentation...it's part of the fun.
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Old 11-01-2007, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: Mic'ing & Recording Setup? Ideas?

If you were to buy a board, then you could use it as a live board, providing you had PA speakers. PA speakers are not suited to monitoring, they're completely different beasts.

In your situation, I would buy an 8-channel interface (something like a FirePod) a selection of good quality, but not overly expensive microphones (Shure SM57/8, AKG C1000/Rode NT5 AKG D112/Audix D6 etc) and then obviously the DAW software. With the right experimentation there's no reason why you couldn't get a good recording system running for under $800 or so provided your existing computer system is up to scratch.
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Old 11-02-2007, 06:49 PM
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Default Re: Mic'ing & Recording Setup? Ideas?

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Originally Posted by Mediocrefunkybeat View Post
If you were to buy a board, then you could use it as a live board, providing you had PA speakers. PA speakers are not suited to monitoring, they're completely different beasts.

In your situation, I would buy an 8-channel interface (something like a FirePod) a selection of good quality, but not overly expensive microphones (Shure SM57/8, AKG C1000/Rode NT5 AKG D112/Audix D6 etc) and then obviously the DAW software. With the right experimentation there's no reason why you couldn't get a good recording system running for under $800 or so provided your existing computer system is up to scratch.
Duncan, it's funny you mention those mics. I'm using NT5's, A D6 and an SM57 at this very moment.
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Old 11-02-2007, 07:34 PM
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Default Re: Mic'ing & Recording Setup? Ideas?

I sincerely hope they're working out for you!
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Old 11-02-2007, 08:18 PM
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Default Re: Mic'ing & Recording Setup? Ideas?

The mic preamps are the most important component to a great sound.
Good Luck.

Last edited by Stevesmithfan; 11-02-2007 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 11-27-2007, 06:45 PM
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Default Re: Mic'ing & Recording Setup? Ideas?

Time to revive this sucka!

OK, I'm trying to work out a trade deal with a guy who's offering recording/PA gear + cash for my Roland TD-3 kit. I expect to get around $700 for the Roland...it's like brand new and are going for $1000 at Guitar Center, right now.

So, to make a long story short...I need the following?

1. Mixing board
2. Drum Mics, clips, and stands
3. Pre-amp
4. PA speakers

...is that a good start for very basic info? I'd like him to get me some details on what he's got and some pictures...but obviously I need to know what I NEED before going that far...heh!

I can cut out the speakers and maybe even the pre-amp...because I need at least $200 in cash out of the swap.

I'll post more info as I get it!

Thanks all!
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Old 11-27-2007, 07:10 PM
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sio_13 sio_13 is offline
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Default Re: Mic'ing & Recording Setup? Ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zambizzi View Post
Time to revive this sucka!

OK, I'm trying to work out a trade deal with a guy who's offering recording/PA gear + cash for my Roland TD-3 kit. I expect to get around $700 for the Roland...it's like brand new and are going for $1000 at Guitar Center, right now.

So, to make a long story short...I need the following?

1. Mixing board
2. Drum Mics, clips, and stands
3. Pre-amp
4. PA speakers

...is that a good start for very basic info? I'd like him to get me some details on what he's got and some pictures...but obviously I need to know what I NEED before going that far...heh!

I can cut out the speakers and maybe even the pre-amp...because I need at least $200 in cash out of the swap.

I'll post more info as I get it!

Thanks all!
Well, it honestly depends on what the gear is. If anything is Behringer stay away from it. Is this gonna be used as PA gear, or studio gear? They are seldom backwards compatible. I'm an audio engineer in training, even attended a top-notch audio school here in Nashville, so I'll be glad to help if I could get some more info. Get the exact name/type of each piece of gear, then use the web to try and get prices and info for each. I've seen quite a few folks get ripped off this way (myself included), mainly because they didn't know anything about the product prior to sealing the deal. In my opinion, if you really think you can get $700 for the e-kit, then I would go that route and just sell it for cash; trades are too sketchy for me.
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Old 11-27-2007, 08:16 PM
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Jeremy Jeremy is offline
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Default Re: Mic'ing & Recording Setup? Ideas?

Depends what you want. you don't need pa speakers if you're recording.

If you know what you're doing you can get a great sound with just 2 overheads and a kick mic for your kit, run it into anything that will record them all to separate tracks, and then do some minimal editing later.

i recorded my whole band (guitar, bass, big drum kit, 3 vocals) doing live takes with this setup. i got it over time, but it adds up to around your budget:
2 audio-technica 3031 cardioid condenser mics $300
1 audio-technica atm250de kick mic (i really needed to be able to get a toneful jazzy sound on occasion. if you're doing rock or fusion or whatever you can get a cheaper kick mic) $250
1 audix i5 $85
1 Fostex mr8hd $299
Edited, mixed, mastered in garageband and the cubase that came with the fostex
we all brought our own headphones for monitoring the guitar and bass, since we ran them direct. Surprisingly, the drums made enough noise to hear while we recorded. If you had to buy the kind we had you'd run up about $80
I had some pretty decent computer speakers (Altec Lansing with a woofer) which I used while mixing. I think the equivalent now costs $90
Each track on the fostex has two inputs, so you can record 2 things to each track. I put the 2 kick outputs into 1 track, the snare into it's own, and the 2 overheads into their own. then i ran the guitar into it's own track, and the bass straight into my computer. We recorded vocals by singing while we played, since the overheads picked it up well. You can put the tracks from the fostex on your computer, so i just did some editing in there, but very little.

Honestly, when they hear it, the first reaction I get from most people who know anything about music is: Who did you record with? I just say we did it in my basement and I mixed it, and I've gotten a few local bands to record with me since the record does sound really good. I sound like a bragging douchewaffle don't I, but the point is that you can make it sound great with minimum gear.

My setup is actually a little bit more than the minimum you need, and all told if you had to buy everything new it would come to around $1000. I actually spent around $700 to get everything I would have absolutely needed to record.
Audio-techica and rode make good condensers, audix and shure make nice kick and snare mics. Fostex, tascam, and roland all make decently priced versions of the sort I got, or you can kick up a couple hundred and get something like a firepod or the mackie onyx and have a nice preamp that'll run everything straight into your computer. You can get by without a snare mic if you need to drop something, since the overheads will get it.

You really need to know what you're doing to get a great sound, regardless of what gear you use. If you want to ask me, I'll gladly answer any questions you have, and I'm sure other people will, as well.


Also, Behringer makes fine mixers. I'd stay away from anything else of theirs though.
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Old 11-27-2007, 08:46 PM
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Default Re: Mic'ing & Recording Setup? Ideas?

What's wrong with Behringer? I got a 6 channel Behringer mixer which runs my drum mix into a firewire 410 audio interface, which runs into my macbook, which I use Ableton Live, Reason, ReCycle, Garageband etc... I also have an Edirol PCR-50 midi-keyboard running into the mac via USB. It's more than enough for playing around at home. for mics I have an AKG-C1000S condenser for the room, as well as 3 of those Samson tom mics, which came with clips and a Samson kick mic. I'll take a picture and show you everything when I can.
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Old 11-27-2007, 08:57 PM
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zambizzi zambizzi is offline
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Default Re: Mic'ing & Recording Setup? Ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
If you know what you're doing you can get a great sound with just 2 overheads and a kick mic for your kit, run it into anything that will record them all to separate tracks, and then do some minimal editing later.
Wow, thanks for the insights, Jeremy. I was wondering if a minimal mic setup like that would suffice...I'm not playing a huge kit and the room we're recording in is fairly small (14'x12') and the ceilings are maybe 9'.

I'm doing the email dance w/ him now and will post info/pics later so you guys can help me make sense of it all.

I appreciate all the help guys!

Quote:
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sound like a bragging douchewaffle
Wild or domestic?
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Old 11-27-2007, 08:58 PM
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zambizzi zambizzi is offline
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Default Re: Mic'ing & Recording Setup? Ideas?

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What's wrong with Behringer?
Indeed...we're using a little 4-channel Behringer now, plugged directly into my PC...it's served us quite well for our minimal needs, so far.
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:35 AM
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SLEEPY BRiGHT EYEZ SLEEPY BRiGHT EYEZ is offline
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Default Re: Mic'ing & Recording Setup? Ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mediocrefunkybeat View Post
In your situation, I would buy an 8-channel interface (something like a FirePod) a selection of good quality, but not overly expensive microphones (Shure SM57/8, AKG C1000/Rode NT5 AKG D112/Audix D6 etc) and then obviously the DAW software. With the right experimentation there's no reason why you couldn't get a good recording system running for under $800 or so provided your existing computer system is up to scratch.
I think along these lines as well. Figure out what you will really need to do in the beginning. Do you really need 8 inputs for recording? If the whole band is recording at once, then ya I would go for an 8 channel interface. In fact, the Firepod is so cheap now it's hard to pass up even if you don't need the extra inputs right away. However, do you think you can get by with 4 inputs? If so, check out the Firebox (what I use), which is a little cheaper than the Firepod. If you think you and one other band mate could track at first, then everyone else can overdub, maybe you don't need 8 inputs. My band mate and I record with just 4- 3 for my drums and 1 for his guitar. Then we overdub the rest. A Firewire interface will kill two birds with one stone for you. They'll provide the A/D conversion to get into your computer, and offer some preamps (Firebox has 2 pres Firepod has 8).

I wouldn't bother getting a mixer for now. You don't need it to record. I don't use one, and I multi-track just fine. Eventually I will buy another mixer to use for mix-down, but not while tracking. If you have enough inputs on your interface, you won't need to sub-mix anything. This also goes along my thought of minimal mic'ing in the beginning. If later on you decide you really do need 20 mics on your kit, get a mixer to save you the cost of adding more inputs into your DAW. For now, it's not a necessity. Save the money to put towards mics. If it's a must for now, check out the old 1u 4 to 8ch rack mixers on eBay. I've been watching a lot of them lately and many of them go for under $100.

Altec Lansing with the sub is not a bad suggestion for budget monitors. That's what I have been using for close to if not a few years now. I do know their limitations though, and it's extremely important to double check your mixes on as many sources as you can. I like to use the Altecs and a pair of Sony headphones for my main reference points. These past couple of weeks I have added a new trick to my reference bag- my cell phone! I Bluetooth the mixes over to my Walkman phone to listen with my ear buds and to hear the mix on the cell phone speaker. My ear buds are pretty good, lacking some of the bass the Altecs and Sony's have for obvious reasons. The speaker lacks most of the bass because it's only like a 1/4" in diameter... BUT... with each mix I have been getting better and better at making my mixes translate to all references well- even the cell phone speaker which destroys most music. I also check car stereos and boom boxes when I can with final mixes (it gets a bit costly to burn a cd for every version of a mix).

As far as mics go, there are many good ones out there. The ones suggested so far will be fine. I have a very limited mic collection right now, consisting of an MXL 2001, 2 MXL 604s, AKG D112, and a Shure SM58. My band mate has an Audio Technia 3035, and a Shure SM48. Our other band mate left behind a Shure Beta 56. The mic collection will always grow. Don't forget the cost of mic cables and stands! I have to really plug MXL here for their customer support. I didn't expect much from them because they make budget mics, but I asked if I could get a replacement capsule for one of my 604s (intending to pay for it). They mailed one out to me for free, quickly even!

A couple years ago I made a decent upgrade to my recording setup for $700. It got me the two 604s, the D112, as well as two ART Pro Channel channel strips (pre amp / comp / EQ), which are great by the way. Next year I plan on getting more pres. Again, eBay has some killer deals. I've also been looking at old rack gear for FX processing in the mix. So many people are dumping their rack gear from the 90s... it's great. It just takes a bit of reading to find the real treasures.

So much more to this subject and I've already spent a lot of time typing this out. Check out the Recording thread on this forum. It is loaded full of information. Also check out the Tape Op link in my sig for an insane amount of info coming from self-producing artists/bands and commercial engineers. While you're at it, subscribe to Tape Op (free), and fall in love with recording for real. :)
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