MAKE A PROFESSIONAL STUDIO

TIUNON80

New Member
Hello guys, I would like to make a professional studio to record my drums. I already have an acoustically treated room and I wanna know what mics, preamplifiers, monitors, audio interfaces, mixer, etc. to buy?
I would like to obtain Weckl sound. What do you suggest me to buy? Thanks.
I currently have a focusrite scarlett 18i20 1st Gen, a jts 7 piece drum mic set and a soundcraft efx12.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Well, you have a big interface. What kind of computer and software are you running? You may not need the Soundcraft since the mics will go into the Scarlett then into your computer. If your mixer had direct outs for each channel, then that would be cool, but it doesn’t. So not sure how you could use it, unless your mics go into that, and then a stereo output to the Scarlett, but you’re only controlling two channels in the computer.

I’m assuming you have mic stands, cables, etc.,...?
 

Justinhub2003

Silver Member
This is a loaded question because there are so many variables.

An M1 Mac Mini is an insanely great choice for a computer, coupled with the very affordable Logic Pro DAW… that coupled with your 18i20 (which I also own but the gen 2 version) and your mics should be all you need to get started.

But a professional studio is never done. You can always add more mics, a sub kick, expand the interface with over ADAT with a Scarlett Octopre, add better pre amps, and compressors and all that stuff.

But the best approach just to get a good starting point and workflow established and add on from there
 

Justinhub2003

Silver Member
Yeah, I'm agree. but on my scarlett I can't enable phantom power for only one channel.
Ah.

My overheads and Tom mics all use phantom power. But also I have SM57’s plugged Into ports with phantom power enabled and haven’t had any issues. But I’m not an expert, I maybe doing it work, but SM57’s are so cheap I don’t care
 

Mediocrefunkybeat

Platinum Member
Generally speaking, feeding phantom power to a microphone that doesn't need it doesn't cause issues these days. Most are robust enough and designed so that they can handle it being fed in without issue. Even modern ribbon microphones.

However, I would strongly advise against feeding phantom power to any ribbon microphone, even modern ones. If you're using older ribbon microphones, definitely do not feed them phantom power or you're in for a World of pain.

'Professional Studio' is a very broad term. It depends what kind of 'professional' you want to be. What are you planning to do in there? Recording? Mixing? Mastering? Specific instruments? What's your budget? What kind of capacity do you need? Are you likely to be recording multiple instruments at once or just multi-tracking a single virtual instrument at a time? If you're a library composer, you don't need much gear. If you're live-recording a six-piece band, you'll need a lot of kit.
 

TIUNON80

New Member
I'd like to do everything(Recording,mixing,mastering,etc.). I don't have a budget, but if I could spend less money it would be better.😅
I'm likely to be recording multiple instruments at once.
 
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Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Yeah, I'm agree. but on my scarlett I can't enable phantom power for only one channel.
What does this mean? So when you enable phantom power (which I think is just one switch on the Scarlett), one of those channels doesn’t get phantom power? How many of your mics require phantom power?
 

TIUNON80

New Member
What does this mean? So when you enable phantom power (which I think is just one switch on the Scarlett), one of those channels doesn’t get phantom power? How many of your mics require phantom power?
I can enable phantom power from channel 1 to channel 4 with a single button and from the channel 5 to channel 8 with another button and so I can't only enable it on a single channel.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I can enable phantom power from channel 1 to channel 4 with a single button and from the channel 5 to channel 8 with another button and so I can't only enable it on a single channel.
Yeah. That’s how it works. If your mic doesn’t need phantom power, it’ll ignore it. Most modern mixers are this way - phantom gets enabled for a group of channels. It’s nothing to worry about.
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
SM-57's all around the snare and toms, a couple of decent condenser mics for overheads, and a big diaphragm mic for the bass drum, maybe a couple . Everyone has their favorite mics and outboard gear, but condensers for overheads and 57's on drums are pretty well-accepted studio staple mics, though the main bass drum mic often changes depending on the sound you're going for...I'd probably snag an AKG D112 and an EV RE20 or Heil PR40 to start, D112 for basketballs, RE20/PR40 for everything else :D

Comps and pres, I'm very much a high-end tube snob when it comes to them, but they can be expensive. I seem to favor optical comps when I can't have tubes, but everyone's different. Noise gates are essential for cutting off noise from mics that aren't being used that much. And don't overlook plugins. Some of these plugins are great. I really like the Waves RCL comp set to opto mode for a fairly invisible but effective compression. Been around since plugins began but I still think it's the best comp plugin on the market. And to me, a noise gate is a noise gate is a noise gate, so I always gate with plugins. And cheap effect pedals can be surprisingly effective for fun and off-the-beaten-path tones, a la Bonham with the flanger on "Kashmir."

But the best thing you can do for your recordings is have a good sounding room, solid tunings, and quality playing, so since you have the room already, and I assume you must know what you're doing behind a kit to build yourself a quality studio, you're 90% there already.
 

TIUNON80

New Member
What (mics,preamp,rme,monitors,pc,etc.) do you suggest me to buy for the best drums recordings quality? I would like to spend less than €10000.
 

Supergrobi

Technical Supervisor
Staff member
Don't save on the monitors, it's the most important gear in your studio. That's around one third up to half of your budget. I'm using Neumann KH310 but there's other great speakers on the market. Also don't save on a good pair of open headphones for mixing/mastering, e.g. Sennheiser HD660. Also get a good pair of closed headphones or in-ears for recording, e.g. Direct Sound EX-29. Don't miss a dedicated headphone amp.

Get an 8 channel interface with USB and ADAT input (e.g. Focusrite) and another 8 channel mic pre with ADAT outs to chain them.

Microphones - this is highly subjective.
  • Bass drum: I prefer a combination of a Shure Beta91 for the inside and another microphone for the front head, e.g. Shure Beta52A or some LDC (I'm using an Audio Technica AT4047). Assemble a DIY subkick from a 10-12" bass amp speaker, most expensive is a good DI box, covering the very low end.
  • Snare: Earthworks DM20 (expensive) or Shure SM57 (cheap but awesome) on top, Shure Beta98 AD/C or some other good SDC/dynamic microphone on the snare side.
  • Toms: Shure Beta98 AD/C (expensive) or Sennheiser E604 (cheap but great).
  • Overheads: Oktava MK012 MP (awesome cost-benefit ratio). For using LDC as overheads you need a very good recording room.
  • HiHat: some SDC like Shure SM81 or the like.
We could list a bazillion microphones here, this is just what I got great results with.

Oh and don't get caught in the audio plug-in trap. You don't need a ton to get the job done if you have a good room and good microphones.

Did I mention studio monitors yet?
 

TIUNON80

New Member
Don't save on the monitors, it's the most important gear in your studio. That's around one third up to half of your budget. I'm using Neumann KH310 but there's other great speakers on the market. Also don't save on a good pair of open headphones for mixing/mastering, e.g. Sennheiser HD660. Also get a good pair of closed headphones or in-ears for recording, e.g. Direct Sound EX-29. Don't miss a dedicated headphone amp.

Get an 8 channel interface with USB and ADAT input (e.g. Focusrite) and another 8 channel mic pre with ADAT outs to chain them.

Microphones - this is highly subjective.
  • Bass drum: I prefer a combination of a Shure Beta91 for the inside and another microphone for the front head, e.g. Shure Beta52A or some LDC (I'm using an Audio Technica AT4047). Assemble a DIY subkick from a 10-12" bass amp speaker, most expensive is a good DI box, covering the very low end.
  • Snare: Earthworks DM20 (expensive) or Shure SM57 (cheap but awesome) on top, Shure Beta98 AD/C or some other good SDC/dynamic microphone on the snare side.
  • Toms: Shure Beta98 AD/C (expensive) or Sennheiser E604 (cheap but great).
  • Overheads: Oktava MK012 MP (awesome cost-benefit ratio). For using LDC as overheads you need a very good recording room.
  • HiHat: some SDC like Shure SM81 or the like.
We could list a bazillion microphones here, this is just what I got great results with.

Oh and don't get caught in the audio plug-in trap. You don't need a ton to get the job done if you have a good room and good microphones.

Did I mention studio monitors yet?
Ok, thanks. How can I choose studio monitors?
 

Supergrobi

Technical Supervisor
Staff member
Lend some. Stores selling good studio monitors shouldn't have an issue to do so. Get three different pairs in your price range and listen to them closely for hours each. Some criteria:
  • your ears don't get tired (at least too soon)
  • productions you like sound awesome
  • your own productions sound shite
There's some comparison videos on youtube. At first I though "this can only be bullshit" since there's too many variables involved. But they came astonishingly close to my real world experience. E.g. see this one.
 

eric_B

Senior Member
I built a home studio myself about 12 years ago.
I wouldn't call it professional but I can make more than adequate recordings with it.
My (main) setup:

- M-Audio Fast Track Ultra 8R audio interface (comparable to your Focusrite)
- Shure drum mics (a comparable configuration like your JTS set)
- an older Dell PC running a Reaper DAW (you really don't need an expensive Mac or high end PC for recording drums)
- Mackie Mixer (the Fast Track is connected to it for monitoring, your EFX would be perfect for that)
- Dynaudio BM5 MK III monitors - good monitors are important. You could also go for headphones, if that's what you prefer.
- a nice big screen for recording / editing (mine is a 32" Sony TV).

I think your Focusrite and Soundcraft are fine to start recording, probably the JTS set could be upgraded.
You say you have a treated room which is probably one of the most important parts.
My room is rather small and has its limitations (also regarding acoustics), unfortunately.
But sometimes you have to work with what you have.

So if I were you I would get a DAW running, get decent stands and cables and just start recording.
Try to get the hang of it, experiment with mic setups and distances, find out what works well and what doesn't.
You can always spend money and upgrade mics, the audio interface, etc. over time if you find those are limiting you.
But handson experience with the gear you already own will help you a lot more making great recordings than spending 5K on a boutique compressor - or whatever.

Good luck with your recording journey!
 

BGDurham

Well-known Member
For cables I suggest you check out Monoprice Premier cables.
 

TIUNON80

New Member
Which studio monitors do you suggest me to buy for mastering,mixing and editing everything?
 
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