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  #1  
Old 12-22-2009, 05:40 AM
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Default noob question about recording for drums

so after christmas depending on how much money ill get im gonna start buying equipment for recording, however i read somewhere that in order to record for drums you need 3 things: mics, mixer, and an interface. I've found on the internet a really nice interface and a pretty basic, but good mixer, but I was wondering can you you get a mixer like this: http://www.guitarcenter.com/Behringe...56-i1153473.gc and a small little cheap interface like this: http://www.guitarcenter.com/ESI-U24X...41-i1439710.gc and have everything work? or maybe this: http://www.guitarcenter.com/Cakewalk...6-i1448468.gc? Sorry for the noob question, I know nothing about recording...
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:13 AM
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Default Re: noob question about recording for drums

Skip the mixer and put the money into into an interface like a Presonus Firestudio Project or something along those lines. Use your gain to feed appropriate levels to your DAW and then mix in the DAW.
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:22 AM
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Default Re: noob question about recording for drums

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Skip the mixer and put the money into into an interface like a Presonus Firestudio Project or something along those lines. Use your gain to feed appropriate levels to your DAW and then mix in the DAW.
Can the mics plug straight into the interface though? I've noticed that the inputs on the interface and the mixer are different.
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:48 AM
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Default Re: noob question about recording for drums

2 usb mics- 20$
Audacity Software- Free
Knowing you saved a ton of money- Priceless
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:58 AM
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Default Re: noob question about recording for drums

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2 usb mics- 20$
Audacity Software- Free
Knowing you saved a ton of money- Priceless
As much as I'd love to, 2 usb mics won't do much for a 6 shell kit w/ 6 cymbals.
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Old 12-23-2009, 05:45 AM
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Default Re: noob question about recording for drums

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Can the mics plug straight into the interface though? I've noticed that the inputs on the interface and the mixer are different.
The Firestudio uses 8 combo XLR/TRS jacks - you absolutely can use XLR in on them. I used that as my first interface.

The interface you've shown merely uses a stereo input pair, which means you will have to mix down ahead of hitting the digital realm. (That means you will only have two channels in your DAW regardless of how many mics you use: left and right).

IMO it's far more useful in the digital realm to be able to go in with everything on its own channel and then if you need to conserve channels later, mix down to stems where appropriate.

Finally.. don't fall into the trap of believing every drum needs a mic on it. If you've never done engineering for a kit you will surely be in phase hell initially. The advice seems to not be heeded much at DW, but I would focus on working with less initially, get comfortable with that, and then add based on what your experience teaches you that you need more of. You can get away with two mics on a kit: a mono overhead and a mic on the kick.

But IMO - if you only want to record, the mixer is a waste of time and money. If you want to run live sound it's marginally more useful (but you'll only be getting 2 channels out of the mixer in a recording situation), and if you're wanting to do some OTB mixing you're going to invest in a much more expensive surface or desk.
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:00 AM
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Default Re: noob question about recording for drums

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The Firestudio uses 8 combo XLR/TRS jacks - you absolutely can use XLR in on them. I used that as my first interface.

The interface you've shown merely uses a stereo input pair, which means you will have to mix down ahead of hitting the digital realm. (That means you will only have two channels in your DAW regardless of how many mics you use: left and right).

IMO it's far more useful in the digital realm to be able to go in with everything on its own channel and then if you need to conserve channels later, mix down to stems where appropriate.

Finally.. don't fall into the trap of believing every drum needs a mic on it. If you've never done engineering for a kit you will surely be in phase hell initially. The advice seems to not be heeded much at DW, but I would focus on working with less initially, get comfortable with that, and then add based on what your experience teaches you that you need more of. You can get away with two mics on a kit: a mono overhead and a mic on the kick.

But IMO - if you only want to record, the mixer is a waste of time and money. If you want to run live sound it's marginally more useful (but you'll only be getting 2 channels out of the mixer in a recording situation), and if you're wanting to do some OTB mixing you're going to invest in a much more expensive surface or desk.
Which interface did you use particular and what mics did you use to plug into it?
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:23 AM
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Default Re: noob question about recording for drums

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Which interface did you use particular and what mics did you use to plug into it?
I started with the Presonus Firestudio (26x26) which took a very unfortunate fall in careless hands. I'm using a MOTU 896mk3 right now.

As far as mics went, I started with a set of Shure mics: SM57 on snare; Beta 52 on kick and a pair of KSM27s as overheads. The locker has grown since then.
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:33 AM
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Default Re: noob question about recording for drums

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I started with the Presonus Firestudio (26x26) which took a very unfortunate fall in careless hands. I'm using a MOTU 896mk3 right now.

As far as mics went, I started with a set of Shure mics: SM57 on snare; Beta 52 on kick and a pair of KSM27s as overheads. The locker has grown since then.
so will these mics: http://www.guitarcenter.com/CAD-Prem...45-i1126882.gc plug into that interface?
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: noob question about recording for drums

I use Digital Performer 6 software on a macbook, Behringer XYNEX 1222 mixer with usb interface, and samson mics(hoping to upgrade mics)
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:06 PM
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Default Re: noob question about recording for drums

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so will these mics: http://www.guitarcenter.com/CAD-Prem...45-i1126882.gc plug into that interface?
I don't know anything about CAD mics. If they use an XLR connection (the standard), yes. If they don't use XLR... I would not buy them.

I would still consider 2 overheads + a 57 and a 52 instead, however. Overheads are going to be the foundation of your sound.
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:28 PM
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Default Re: noob question about recording for drums

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I don't know anything about CAD mics. If they use an XLR connection (the standard), yes. If they don't use XLR... I would not buy them.

I would still consider 2 overheads + a 57 and a 52 instead, however. Overheads are going to be the foundation of your sound.
I was thinking maybe getting 2 good overhead mics, a snare and bass mic instead of spending the money to buy 4 mics for each tom, because if I get two real nice overheads, 4 tom mics aren't needed that much, am I right? And if this is the interface you were talking about, http://www.guitarcenter.com/PreSonus...41-i1167246.gc, it looks like an XLR connector wouldn't plug into those inputs... OR, could you just use a mixer without an interface, like plug the mics in the mixer, and plug the mixer straight into the computer?
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Last edited by Dipschmidt; 12-24-2009 at 01:53 AM.
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:53 PM
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Default Re: noob question about recording for drums

Shure's website has some good info, it taught me a lot. Here's the basics of what they recommend:
1 mic - bass
2 mic - bass, snare
3 mic - bass,snare,overhead

There's a free pdf doc somewhere on that site with a lot more.

I get good results from; Audix D6-Bass, SM57-snare, SM57-between 10&12" toms, SM57-between 14,16" toms, AT3035 Overhead. Run into an Alesis 8 channel USB mixer with Cubase for my DAW. I like using the mixer w/ studio reference quality headphones for practice. You can play much longer without blowing out your ears.
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Old 12-24-2009, 02:46 AM
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Default Re: noob question about recording for drums

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Originally Posted by WayneWickman View Post
Shure's website has some good info, it taught me a lot. Here's the basics of what they recommend:
1 mic - bass
2 mic - bass, snare
3 mic - bass,snare,overhead

There's a free pdf doc somewhere on that site with a lot more.

I get good results from; Audix D6-Bass, SM57-snare, SM57-between 10&12" toms, SM57-between 14,16" toms, AT3035 Overhead. Run into an Alesis 8 channel USB mixer with Cubase for my DAW. I like using the mixer w/ studio reference quality headphones for practice. You can play much longer without blowing out your ears.
What's the best USB mixer under 400$ that gets the best sound, and the best overhead/condenser mics? I'm thinking two overheads, a bass and snare mic.
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Old 12-24-2009, 03:25 AM
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Default Re: noob question about recording for drums

Personally I would recommend the Alesis Multimix 8, USB 2.0. It's about $300 and outputs high quality audio. It has 4 XLR inputs with good preamps, phantom power for condenser mics. With this mixer you can output to headphones, DAW or PA.
Run your bass, snare and two overheads through the XLRs.
SM57 for snare , Audix D6 or Shure Beta for bass. Overheads are tricky, ask 10 people and you will get about 5 recommendations. AT3035 has served me well, whatever you pick get two the same.
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Old 12-24-2009, 03:38 AM
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Default Re: noob question about recording for drums

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Originally Posted by WayneWickman View Post
Personally I would recommend the Alesis Multimix 8, USB 2.0. It's about $300 and outputs high quality audio. It has 4 XLR inputs with good preamps, phantom power for condenser mics. With this mixer you can output to headphones, DAW or PA.
Run your bass, snare and two overheads through the XLRs.
SM57 for snare , Audix D6 or Shure Beta for bass. Overheads are tricky, ask 10 people and you will get about 5 recommendations. AT3035 has served me well, whatever you pick get two the same.
So will two overheads give me the same if not better sound than doing one mic for toms (probably floor toms, right?) and one overhead? the problem is when i only have 4 XLR inputs I'm really limited to what I can do.
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Old 12-24-2009, 04:08 AM
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Default Re: noob question about recording for drums

Your previous post stated you were going to run snare/bass/2 overheads. The Alesis I mentoned would be perfect for that. There are also 2 line in 1/4" inputs, non phantom power / no pre amp, you can use. I use the XLRs for my 3 SM57s (snare, toms) and AT3035 overhead, I use the two remaining line in's for the Audix D6 (bass) and my Yamaha DTXplorer module.
I would start with your initial idea of snare/bass/two overheads.
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Old 12-24-2009, 04:30 AM
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Default Re: noob question about recording for drums

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Originally Posted by WayneWickman View Post
Your previous post stated you were going to run snare/bass/2 overheads. The Alesis I mentoned would be perfect for that. There are also 2 line in 1/4" inputs, non phantom power / no pre amp, you can use. I use the XLRs for my 3 SM57s (snare, toms) and AT3035 overhead, I use the two remaining line in's for the Audix D6 (bass) and my Yamaha DTXplorer module.
I would start with your initial idea of snare/bass/two overheads.
Yeah, but if I'm going to do that, I really need some kick-ass overheads that will get me crystal-clear sound of both the cymbals and the toms. Any suggestions? An overhead under 150 or 100 would be nice, but then again I don't wanna get crappy overheads for the budget im on.
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:02 AM
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Default Re: noob question about recording for drums

dude..your not going to get "kick ass" mics on your budget. Your goal is to get the best you can. All I can tell you is what I know. I have two videos out there with the exact set up I described.
First is a rod solo so it does sound a little "brushy" but the audio is good.

http://www.youtube.com/user/WayneWic.../1/lUCel2wx5NM


Second is a project that's just begining.

http://www.youtube.com/user/WayneWic.../0/QSEws2TmbCA

you be the judge.
W
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:26 AM
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Default Re: noob question about recording for drums

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Originally Posted by WayneWickman View Post
dude..your not going to get "kick ass" mics on your budget. Your goal is to get the best you can. All I can tell you is what I know. I have two videos out there with the exact set up I described.
First is a rod solo so it does sound a little "brushy" but the audio is good.

http://www.youtube.com/user/WayneWic.../1/lUCel2wx5NM


Second is a project that's just begining.

http://www.youtube.com/user/WayneWic.../0/QSEws2TmbCA

you be the judge.
W
Well then until now till the summer ill save up the money and get this: 3 SM57 for snare, toms and floor toms, Audix D6, an audio-technica 3035 condenser (maybe something else) but instead of the mixer you have, ill get the allen and heath ZED-14 USB mixer to plug everything in. think it'll be worth all the money ill be spending?
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:39 AM
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Default Re: noob question about recording for drums

can't comment on the ZED, never used it.
W
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:52 AM
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Default Re: noob question about recording for drums

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can't comment on the ZED, never used it.
W
what about the yamaha usb mixer? http://www.guitarcenter.com/Yamaha-M...98-i1322411.gc
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Old 12-24-2009, 03:08 PM
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Default Re: noob question about recording for drums

the only mixers i'm personally familiar with are the Alesis and a monster Peavey board my old band used to gig with.
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Old 12-24-2009, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: noob question about recording for drums

I say again: don't waste your money on mixers.

If your goal is to record, and you want to have flexibility when mixing or working in your DAW, then what you need is an interface that will allow you to multitrack - that's something a presonus, a motu or an mbox will let you do.

If you do a mixer... you will have to set all of your levels in the mixer and you'll be stuck with whatever stereo mix you get off your mixer when you're working with other tracks. Need more kick? Well... you'll have to go rerecord all over again and bump the levels up.

If you do an interface like the presonus, motu, mbox, etc... you can set each channel so its peak and RMS levels into the DAW are ideal for that instrument. Then you can adjust the relative mix of things as you're working with a track. Need more kick? Move the fader for the kick mic up a notch in the DAW.

Engineering drums is an expensive, time consuming and difficult affair. Don't make it more difficult than it needs to be.

57, 52, and one or two decent Audio Technica large diaphragm condensers as your overheads. Go for the presonus, motu, or mbox interface (make sure you've got a firewire connection on your computer for the interface).

This will save you time and money in the long run and if you want to do e-sessions for friends or anything like that, you will leave everyone with more flexibility.

The simplified version:
Mixer will likely only give you stereo out into your DAW, a mix of everything you've got plugged into the mix.

Interface will give you as many channels out as your computer can run (I've done up to 14 channels at one time on a laptop).
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: noob question about recording for drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chonson View Post
I say again: don't waste your money on mixers.

If your goal is to record, and you want to have flexibility when mixing or working in your DAW, then what you need is an interface that will allow you to multitrack - that's something a presonus, a motu or an mbox will let you do.

If you do a mixer... you will have to set all of your levels in the mixer and you'll be stuck with whatever stereo mix you get off your mixer when you're working with other tracks. Need more kick? Well... you'll have to go rerecord all over again and bump the levels up.

If you do an interface like the presonus, motu, mbox, etc... you can set each channel so its peak and RMS levels into the DAW are ideal for that instrument. Then you can adjust the relative mix of things as you're working with a track. Need more kick? Move the fader for the kick mic up a notch in the DAW.

Engineering drums is an expensive, time consuming and difficult affair. Don't make it more difficult than it needs to be.

57, 52, and one or two decent Audio Technica large diaphragm condensers as your overheads. Go for the presonus, motu, or mbox interface (make sure you've got a firewire connection on your computer for the interface).

This will save you time and money in the long run and if you want to do e-sessions for friends or anything like that, you will leave everyone with more flexibility.

The simplified version:
Mixer will likely only give you stereo out into your DAW, a mix of everything you've got plugged into the mix.

Interface will give you as many channels out as your computer can run (I've done up to 14 channels at one time on a laptop).
What do you mean by RMS and DAW? I feel like a dumbass asking all of these questions :p
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: noob question about recording for drums

DAW = digital audio workstation. The software you're recording and editing in - e.g. ProTools, Logic, Cubase, etc.

RMS = root mean square... to put it in simplest terms, this is kind of a measure of "average" volume. Peak is what it sounds like: how loud the loudest sounds are.

Generally with drums you'll be more concerned with watching peaks and giving yourself adequate headroom for any processing you will be doing in your DAW. There's a lot of information out there on this... I suggest reading as much as you can as it'll make a huge difference in the quality of your recordings.
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