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-   -   Home Recording Studio (http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1572413)

avarICE_falls 11-10-2012 10:02 PM

Home Recording Studio
 
So I'm looking to get a home studio so I can record my, and others, various projects to refine my skills as an audio engineer. Thing is, I'm not exactly sure what is necessary. I've been looking into Cubase for the software. What are good mixing boards, mics, pre-amps, etc, that you guys would recommend? Or a more reliable software if anyone is aware of one.

axemanchris 11-10-2012 11:39 PM

Well, I've been using Cubase for over ten years and I love it. I can't really imagine using anything else.

That said, it's not inexpensive.

Before we can tell you what to look at, could you please tell us:

-what sorts of projects? Are we talking chamber ensembles, metal bands, live bluegrass hootenanies, etc?

-what is your budget?

-what do you have now?

CT

avarICE_falls 11-11-2012 04:31 PM

Fair questions.

- Mostly metal projects for now.

- My budget is up to a grand

- Right now I have nothing but a bit of an education in it.

axemanchris 11-11-2012 05:38 PM

I'd say, with your budget, don't get Cubase. It will eat up half of it. Lots of folks on here recommend Reaper, and the licence for it is only $60.

Maybe get something like this:
Interface - Tascam US-1800 ($249) - don't know much about it, but it was the cheapest 8-input interface I could find without going used. If you don't mind going used, then we can look at other options. Also, if you don't need to do live drums, we can look at other options with fewer inputs.

Monitors - Behringer Truth 2030 ($360/pr) - probably about the only below-$400 monitors I'd trust. Again, no personal experience with them, but just based on what others around here are saying.

That doesn't leave you a lot left over for mics, but if you don't mind going used, you might get something like:
vocals - Rode NT1 - $150
kick - Audix d6 - $100
snare - SM57 - $75
floor tom - SM58 - $75
(you'll always have room for an SM57 and SM58 anyways....)

Grab a pair of Behringer ECM8000's for overheads - ($40/ea x 2 = $80)

That brings you in at $1140 before taxes.

Keep in mind, though, you'll still need cables, stands, headphones, and some other do-dads.

I honestly can't recommend where else you could save without throwing away money, save for going used on the monitors or interface.

CT

MatrixClaw 11-11-2012 05:55 PM

I'd recommend you skip micing a drumset all together (and program them, instead), until you learn how to mic everything else correctly. Bad micing technique on a drumset (and a poor room) can completely ruin a mix, and is not something I'd suggest at all to a beginner.

avarICE_falls 11-11-2012 06:46 PM

Thanks for the input, Matrix I agree, I was planning on programming drums for now anyway. Does software come standard with a programming tool or would it need to be acquired separate? I can scavenge cables and mics from relatives, but I will buy a few more just in case.

lockwolf 11-12-2012 12:58 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by avarICE_falls
Thanks for the input, Matrix I agree, I was planning on programming drums for now anyway. Does software come standard with a programming tool or would it need to be acquired separate? I can scavenge cables and mics from relatives, but I will buy a few more just in case.


Pretty much every virtual drum plugin is an addon plugin for a DAW (Like Reaper or Cubase). I recommend Steven Slate Drums as most of the samples are good enough out of the box to use in your songs and its now officially the least expensive of the major programs (EX Just dropped to $80 and EX is more than enough to do whatever you need).

axemanchris 11-12-2012 08:39 AM

The only problem with that is that, if you want to record others, you will need to learn how to mic drums.

If you don't have the gear - even on a rudimentary level - to do this, how will you learn?

CT

tottsk1 11-12-2012 09:20 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by axemanchris
The only problem with that is that, if you want to record others, you will need to learn how to mic drums.

If you don't have the gear - even on a rudimentary level - to do this, how will you learn?

CT


I thinks it's better to start to mix properly with samples, Steven Slate Drums are fantastic. After a while he has mastered that he can move on to real drums and maybe then he got the money to buy some really good mics.

lockwolf 11-12-2012 11:32 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by axemanchris
The only problem with that is that, if you want to record others, you will need to learn how to mic drums.

If you don't have the gear - even on a rudimentary level - to do this, how will you learn?

CT


As true as this is, you're already putting him in the $1200+ range with the setup you gave him and he has a small education in what he's doing. There are a lot of factors with a drum kit that you don't have with other instruments which for someone who hasn't done much recording, may be a little much.

Though, I'd def recommend a setup where, after doing some basic recording of guitar, vocals & virtual drums, you could expand onto recording a live drumkit. Are you using a laptop or a desktop? If you're using a Desktop, I'd recommend this setup to begin:

Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 - $350 Used, $400 New (off eBay)
Rode NT1-A - $150 Used, $200 New (eBay)
Shure SM57 - $100 (Any music store, I recommend buying there since there are a ton of fakes on eBay)
Reaper - $60 (Unless you plan to make $25,000 a year using it)
Steven Slate Drums EX ($80 straight from the site, instant download)

Putting you at $850 with the high end prices. You will need FireWire for the Saffire Pro 40 but they're $20-$40 on Newegg depending on the one you get.

As far as for a laptop, since 99% of new laptops don't have FireWire input, you're going to have to go USB. You could go with the Tascam US-1800 but the preamps on it are kinda mediocre which will effect the sound. PreSonus recently released the AudioBox 1818VSL which I've been hearing mostly good things about. They run around $400-$450 on eBay. It would cost $900 at most for the Presonus with all the gear mentioned above.

Also, no matter which interface you look at (Focusrite or Presonus), don't buy any bundled with drum mics. They're cheap mics and most of the time you end up paying more for them in that bundle than it would be to purchase them separate.

axemanchris 11-12-2012 12:04 PM

Okay, fair enough.

What about taking my suggested setup, but leaving out the

audix d6 - $100
behringer ecm8000's - $80
SM58 - $75

which brings him down to $885. He can buy the Steven Slate EX kits for $99 and still come in under budget. He'll still have an interface he can use for later when he is ready to build up his mic collection and do real drums. He also gets to use proper monitors.

?

CT

MatrixClaw 11-12-2012 03:16 PM

Maybe its just me, but I really dislike the Rode NT1, and pretty much any Rode mics that cost less than the K2.

I'd go for an Audio Technica AT4040 over the Rode any day, and you can get them used for about as much as tge NT1.


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