Audio Interface for Recording a Full Band


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Duval67
07-09-2008, 08:14 PM
Hey guys,
I'm sure you get tons of threads like this, so I apologize in advance--but I'm very new to this, so it's hard for me to figure what's best by reading descriptions as all their technical lingo confuses me. :p:

Basically, I need to be able to record a drummer with backing vocals, a guitarist with backing vocals, and a vocalist.
I believe I would need 12 inputs for that. 8 for the drums (according to him. We're both new to this, so I dunno if that number is correct, but it sounds right), 1 for his mic, 1 for the guitar, 1 for the mic, and another for the vocalist's mic. Correct?

Now, the backing vocals could be removed--they're not completely necessary if it'll really drop the price of all this.
That's another thing, I don't have a hell of a lot of money to throw around--but I'll find the cash if I need it.

So, would it be best to get an audio interface with say...3 inputs, get an 8 input mixer and use it on one of them, and use that for all the drums, and use the other 2 inputs for the guitar and vocals?

Or would it be best to get an audio interface that has all the inputs we need directly on it?
By the way, I would like the quality to be nice.

Thanks guys--if you need any more info, feel free to let me know. All and any help is appreciated!

SLD.Potato
07-09-2008, 08:20 PM
Well, that's if you're going to record live. If you're going to record each part separately (which is better for several reasons) You only need a maximum of eight inputs, which is much more affordable than a 12-input one.

Duval67
07-09-2008, 08:27 PM
Yeah, I was thinking of recording everybody at once, so there are no timing problems.
So, why is recording seperate parts better?
I'm not questioning your opinion or anything; I feel like it sounds like I am, I'm just trying to gain some knowledge :)

SLD.Potato
07-09-2008, 08:31 PM
Yeah, I was thinking of recording everybody at once, so there are no timing problems.
So, why is recording seperate parts better?
I'm not questioning your opinion or anything; I feel like it sounds like I am, I'm just trying to gain some knowledge :)

No, it's cool. Recording to a click track keeps everybody in time. Recording live gives you some benefits, however if one person screws up everybody's got to start all over again. Doing individual takes means you can each record at your own leisure until you get your individual part perfect. This also lets you do some production tricks like guitar layering and you'll be able to mix the separate takes after you've recorded them, instead of guessing how the mix should sound beforehand.

Duval67
07-09-2008, 08:39 PM
All right, I can see how that would be helpful!
So, which interface would you suggest then? And would it be best to get an 8 input interface for when the drum part needs to be done (Damn him and his expensiveness), or a 1 or 2 input interface with an 8 input mixer? (I think that's what a mixer is--an add-on for more inputs, but if it's not--is there such a thing I could use to increase the inputs?)

Thanks again.

SLD.Potato
07-09-2008, 08:56 PM
All right, I can see how that would be helpful!
So, which interface would you suggest then? And would it be best to get an 8 input interface for when the drum part needs to be done (Damn him and his expensiveness), or a 1 or 2 input interface with an 8 input mixer? (I think that's what a mixer is--an add-on for more inputs, but if it's not--is there such a thing I could use to increase the inputs?)

Thanks again.

Really, this is where I can't be of too much help as I haven't had much experience with this. Honestly, you don't need eight microphones on a drum kit, I know the drums in the song "Here is no Why" by the Smashing Pumpkins only used three microphones. If it's in your budget, go for it. But if it's not, a bass drum mic, a snare drum mic, and two overhead mics would work really well. That way you'd only need a four-input mixer.

As to what you'd specifically want, you could go with either a stand-alone multi-track recorder, or you could get a device that goes in your computer. For this, I recommend going to a music store and talking to the people there.

fridge_raider
07-09-2008, 09:12 PM
I'd certainly recommend an 8 input interface for this. Getting a mixer with a lot of inputs and running it into a two input interface isn't a great idea IMO, as you won't be able to properly edit and mix your drums after recording.

I would go with a used PreSonus Firepod to save on cash. Check eBay.

moody07747
07-09-2008, 10:24 PM
Id say try to get two PreSonus FP10 interfaces. You can chain 3 at a time if needed but at 8 inputs each two should work fine.

You will need a quick computer to track all of these inputs but in the end they will record to their own track in the computer.

MF always has the FP10s on sale

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/navigation?q=FP10&st=

Dont mix the drum mics and then feed to an interface. You'll be shocked on how much you can improve the drums if you tweak each track on its own.

Duval67
07-09-2008, 10:56 PM
All right,
I guess the Presonus is the best choice as of now.
I think I'll go with one for now and record seperate parts--I don't have a ton of money. :p:

Now out of curiosity, is there anything cheaper? This is very reasonably priced, I know--I'm just curious.

And also, what sort of input ports are these? Would a microphone run directly into them? I can almost guarentee that's a noob question, but I'm new to all this.
Thanks.

EDIT: I'm realizing how tight I am for costs now, so out of curiousity (I'll just save up for this stuff) what could I get by with a bare minimum? What would cost me the very least while still sounding good?

SynApsIS
07-09-2008, 11:10 PM
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product?sku=701376X

easily the most bang for your buck I/O card on the market

Duval67
07-09-2008, 11:18 PM
^
That would be EXTREMELY nice, except that I'll probably be recording in at least two different locations over time :(

EDIT: haha, bear with all my changes of mind. :p:
I've decided the Presonus is my best choice, and so is using 4 mics for the drums instead of eight. :)
So, with the Presonus, if I wanted to, I could record everyone live.

So, now I need to know the kind of mics I should be using.
What mic is best for a snare drum? Bass drum? The two overheads?
And the mic for the guitar amplifier?
And also the vocal mic.

This stuff is really helpful you guys. Thanks.

guitarmaniac17
07-10-2008, 02:52 AM
Well, I don't know how much help this will be to you, but when I first started out, I only used one mic for the drums. Haha lame, I know. But surprisingly, it sounded really good. It was just a vocal mic too. The only thing that was bad was that there was no bass drum.

And be prepared for a lot of frustration. Getting all of the right equipment may seem like enough, and your probably thinking that once you get it, recordings will be popping out left and right (or at least I was), but it's a lot more than that. You have to learn all the equipment, mic placements, and various other things. Be patient when people mess up when they're recording, it can be tough at first.

Oh and put bass in the mix even if you don't have a bassist. I'm sure the guitarist can play it. It will make it sound better.

Good luck!

f*ck 0ff
07-10-2008, 04:01 AM
To be honest man recording a full band at once can be a nightmare, you would need to control bleeding into all the mics, I build these baffles that do the job pretty well but they're hard to make so that they are size adjustable. Even with these baffles you still get this really low bleeding sound thats impossible to polish off after tracking. If I were you I would consider individual tracking, that way you aren't going to spend a sh*tload on on inputs that you probably wont use anyway.

fridge_raider
07-10-2008, 04:37 AM
I'd consider separate tracking too, you shouldn't have timing issues because everyone will be able to hear the already recorded parts when they track their part.

However, if you really want to record live, then fair enough. What sort of budget do you have for mics ? The AKG D112 is a great kick drum mic, but it's not particularly cheap. For the snare, you could use an sm57, which could also double as a guitar amp mic if you choose to track separately. Two overheads, there are plenty of cheap options on the market, depends how much you want to spend. I've heard people say they have had good results with the cheapo Behringer matched pairs, C2's etc.

moody07747
07-10-2008, 07:05 AM
Toms and snare - SM57
Kick - D112
Overheads - try two MXL 991 mics

The 57s will work for micing cabs and such, try an MXL 990 for vocals (I use 990s and 991s and like them...they are fair for the price)

The FP10 will have on board preamps and phantom power so you should be good when it comes to condensers or dynamic mics.

Also be sure to factor in the cost of stands and cables.

-=Led_Hed=-
07-10-2008, 03:39 PM
Miccing drums really isn't that difficult, i was taught that if you place 2 or 3 mics(condenser because they're more sensitive) evenly away and slightly above the drum kit it pics up every piece equally and doesn't take away from the sound a significant amount... this way is probably cheaper which saves u some cash for some good vocal and instrument mics. i understand the appeal of recording live but there is alot more you can do with the music recording in layers...

Duval67
07-10-2008, 04:00 PM
All right--I think seperate recordings is the best idea.
So, I'll be good with the SM57, as I can use it for both the guitar and the snare,
I can't afford the D112, any kick drum alternatives?

And I'll go with some cheapo's for overheads. :p:
Thanks guys,
but yeah, what would be a good cheaper alternative for the kick drum mic?

fridge_raider
07-11-2008, 03:54 AM
You could try the Shure PG52 as a cheaper solution. A really cheap solution would be to wire a cheap speaker to an XLR connector and use that as a mic. However, this only picks up the low end boom of a kick drum, and not the click or punch, so you'd probably have to use it in conjunction with something else.

Duval67
07-11-2008, 11:23 AM
All right, cool--The Shure PG52 sounds good--I'll probably get that...or, heh, get my drummer to get that! :p:

Duval67
07-13-2008, 12:44 PM
Sorry to double post, but I've got a concern here.
The Firepod is a firewire interface, but the computers at mty buddy's (where we'd record) don't have firewire ports.
So is there a nice USB interface that is as good as the Firepod for around the same price?

We can get a computer with a Firewire port, but I'd rather use one from someone within the band.
Thanks guys :)

fridge_raider
07-13-2008, 01:28 PM
The main problem is that USB lacks sufficient bandwidth to separate the tracks when recording more than two inputs. You'd most likely end up with all inputs recorded to two tracks, which would defeat the object of the interface, really.

Duval67
07-13-2008, 02:31 PM
Ahh ok.
We'll just use our other friend for his technology then ;)