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  #1  
Old 02-06-2018, 03:02 PM
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Mongrel Mongrel is offline
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Default Recording-what do I need to do this?

A friend and I are recording drum tracks in his home studio through a Focusrite Clarette unit (not sure what model exactly but has 8 xlr inputs) and into Pro Tools. We are using a 4-5 mic setup.

This requires me to breakdown and haul my kit 30 minutes away...set up...break down haul back...yada, yada, yada.

Beisdes dragging his computer set up to my house, what could we use to record the drum tracks at my place that would offer the same quality?

Would a portable multi track unit like a Tascam or Zoom be good enough to record what we need or should we be looking at something higher up the food chain?

Advice appreciated!
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Old 02-06-2018, 03:40 PM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Re: Recording-what do I need to do this?

An 8-channel Tascam or Zoom will be every bit as good as the Focusrite 8-channel units. And they're all pretty good at that! It used to be that the preamps in consumer-level products were terrible, but these days the preamps are all pretty good.

If you do buy a Zoom or Tascam, make sure it has a built-in click so you can record that way.

And use all 8 channels to record the drums. Sure, sure, we all know how you can get good sounds with a few mics, but if you're recording heavier music with lots of tracks, it's really helpful to mic the snare top and bottom, each tom individually, etc. Use every mic, stand, and cable you have, so that you have some flexibility when it comes time to mix.
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Old 02-06-2018, 03:43 PM
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Default Re: Recording-what do I need to do this?

The room in which you record has a huge influence on the sound of the kit. Which room is better? Which has higher ceilings?

The Focusrite has great preamps for an 8-input, solid state unit. Better than a Zoom unit, IMO.
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Old 02-06-2018, 03:49 PM
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mikyok mikyok is offline
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Default Re: Recording-what do I need to do this?

I've used the zoom 8 input recorder quite a few times to record the kit. It's a very useful bit of kit. As you said save lugging computers aound.

Provided you've got good mics you'll get a good source sound. If you have a good room bonus.

I've also used an 8 input focusrite into a mac as well. It's the same results.

The production is where the quality of gear/mixing skill comes through. I suppose we're lucky nowadays, you can make a good quality home recordings. Logic and Protools have everything you need and plugins are easily obtained.

I remember our old uni studio and this was as recent as 2004. We were still using DAT tapes and recording on SVHS which were obsolete then! All effects were rack mounted and all wired up to a big old desk which was temperamental at best. The studio smelt like 30 years of sweaty music student.
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Old 02-06-2018, 04:19 PM
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Odd-Arne Oseberg Odd-Arne Oseberg is offline
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Default Re: Recording-what do I need to do this?

Even the cheap Scarlett units., like the one I have, are mles ahead of anything just a few years ago.

Unless you use tons of mics track doesn't take much power. It' all the plugs when mixing that create that issue. Get te same DAW as him and use your computer.
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Old 02-06-2018, 04:31 PM
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PorkPieGuy PorkPieGuy is offline
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Default Re: Recording-what do I need to do this?

My advice would be to learn every song you plan on recording really, really well. Then, schedule a time where you can record for a few hours. Set up your drums once at your friend's place, record good takes, and tear down your drums once, and bring them home.
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Old 02-06-2018, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: Recording-what do I need to do this?

Yea, I think I would just plan to leave a kit setup at the recording place for a few days or weeks if you have that luxury.

Also, the decision on where to record should be made from what room has the best acoustics, rather than which will be the least hauling and setup/tear work.
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Old 02-06-2018, 06:46 PM
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Default Re: Recording-what do I need to do this?

Good thoughts on the "best room"....

Room 1: 15' x 15', 6' 4" floor to bottom of exposed floor joists. 2 walls cinder block, 2 walls "heavy curtains". Fully carpeted floor.

Room 2: 12' x 24' area, 7' floor to sheet rock ceiling, 3 walls cinder block, 1 long wall "open". Carpet under kit only.

Neither space is ideal, I would imagine small nod goes to the larger, higher ceiling space...
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  #9  
Old 02-06-2018, 07:06 PM
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Dr_Watso Dr_Watso is offline
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Default Re: Recording-what do I need to do this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
Good thoughts on the "best room"....

Room 1: 15' x 15', 6' 4" floor to bottom of exposed floor joists. 2 walls cinder block, 2 walls "heavy curtains". Fully carpeted floor.

Room 2: 12' x 24' area, 7' floor to sheet rock ceiling, 3 walls cinder block, 1 long wall "open". Carpet under kit only.

Neither space is ideal, I would imagine small nod goes to the larger, higher ceiling space...
Odd-shaped rooms with heavy stuff will sound more "dead" than smaller more reflective rooms. Which is "better" will depend on the type of music and sound you're going for.

I would take my snare into both rooms and record it to listen back and make a choice.
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Old 02-06-2018, 10:46 PM
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Default Re: Recording-what do I need to do this?

From the book by Bob Owsinski & Dennis Moody:

Quote:
The Curse of Low Ceilings

Low ceilings are another problem for a couple,e reasons. First of all, the sound from the snare, toms and cymbals projects upwards and can splash off the ceiling (especially if it's a hard surface) back down toward the drums, causing some frequency cancellation and altering the sound of the drums as a result.

Secondly, a low ceiling is the sworn enemy of overhead mics. This is because with an 8-foot ceiling (for example), you can't get the mics up high enough to sufficiently capture then entire kit. The overhead mics are relegated to being cymbal mics (although this may be okay under the right circumstances). And if you raise the mics up near the ceiling, you'll also be capturing some of those unwanted reflections, thereby altering the sound of the kit. Higher ceilings of at least 10 feet (12–15 feet high are best) eliminates these problems.
For years I recorded my kits, and bands, in my basement. Cinderblock walls and 6' ceilings. I was learning, not going for sound quality. When I moved into a larger room (12'+ high ceilings) I was very surprised at how much better the kit sounded, with much more clarity to all the instruments.

Realizing you can't magically raise the roof, this info is good to know going in.
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  #11  
Old 02-06-2018, 11:12 PM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: Recording-what do I need to do this?

I'd like to mention something, which goes against most of my gear recommendations....

If you're in a band, it's extremely convenient if you all use the same DAW, the same interface, the same etc. This greatly simplifies online collaboration. All you need to do is set up a Google-Drive or other dropbox-esque clone and you're ready to go. No need to convert Cubase timelines to Protools, or having to get pissed off at the one guy that uses a Mac, etc.

Get together as a band, pick a vendor (Focusrite in this instance), pick a DAW, agree on a workflow, set up a collaborative online storage space, and get to work making music.
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  #12  
Old 02-07-2018, 03:14 PM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Re: Recording-what do I need to do this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbphoto View Post
From the book by Bob Owsinski & Dennis Moody:



For years I recorded my kits, and bands, in my basement. Cinderblock walls and 6' ceilings. I was learning, not going for sound quality. When I moved into a larger room (12'+ high ceilings) I was very surprised at how much better the kit sounded, with much more clarity to all the instruments.

Realizing you can't magically raise the roof, this info is good to know going in.
Amen. I used to record drums in a warehouse/artist loft space.
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  #13  
Old 02-07-2018, 03:26 PM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Re: Recording-what do I need to do this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
Good thoughts on the "best room"....

Room 1: 15' x 15', 6' 4" floor to bottom of exposed floor joists. 2 walls cinder block, 2 walls "heavy curtains". Fully carpeted floor.

Room 2: 12' x 24' area, 7' floor to sheet rock ceiling, 3 walls cinder block, 1 long wall "open". Carpet under kit only.

Neither space is ideal, I would imagine small nod goes to the larger, higher ceiling space...
Both of those rooms are so ill-suited to recording drums that you should seriously research other spaces. Full carpet? Yuck. 3 cinderblock wall and a bare floor? Harsh city.

Good cymbals and a large-ish room with tall ceilings, above all else.
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  #14  
Old 02-07-2018, 04:14 PM
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Mongrel Mongrel is offline
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Default Re: Recording-what do I need to do this?

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Originally Posted by brentcn View Post
Both of those rooms are so ill-suited to recording drums that you should seriously research other spaces. Full carpet? Yuck. 3 cinderblock wall and a bare floor? Harsh city.

Good cymbals and a large-ish room with tall ceilings, above all else.
That is just a description of how the rooms are WITHOUT any sound treatment.
It is not our intention to record in them in that state...
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  #15  
Old 02-07-2018, 04:50 PM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Re: Recording-what do I need to do this?

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Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
That is just a description of how the rooms are WITHOUT any sound treatment.
It is not our intention to record in them in that state...
Understood.

Even so, there are no other spaces you can try? No barns or warehouses or workshops?
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  #16  
Old 02-07-2018, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: Recording-what do I need to do this?

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Understood.

Even so, there are no other spaces you can try? No barns or warehouses or workshops?
Well...ahhh...yep....I agree totally. But it isn't my project or my "band". I was asked to set up at their place and told where to put my kit etc. I did suggest a local church with several really nice open rooms (including the aud.) but that idea never went anywhere.

Since it is not my project or my band, I am not receiving any compensation (other than experience), and I would like something in "my space" for my own use, I starting thinking of what I could do that would allow him to capture a good drum track and "take it with him" to mix at his console.... And since there is 't a whole lot of difference between bis basement and my basement...why not do it at my place anyway.

If...IF we were in this together I would be a lot more enthusiastic and committed to sacrificing for the common good. But right now it's kind of "can you do me a favor".
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  #17  
Old 02-07-2018, 05:16 PM
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Mongrel Mongrel is offline
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Default Re: Recording-what do I need to do this?

Just wanted to thank everyone for their replies and advice... CB, Brent, KamaK, Doc, Porkpieguy, Odd-Arne, Mikyok.

Great to get your input and perspective-thank you.
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