#1
And I'm looking to buy something for my band. The problem? We don't have a drummer. We play death metal in the vein of Cannibal Corpse, Whitechapel, Job For A Cowboy, Morbid Angel, and the like. Yes I understand that's encapsulating quite a few different sounds, and we do mix old school with new-school death metal and a little deathcore. Anyways, we all have decent amps (I have a Carvin SX200, the other guitarist has a Peavey 6505, and the bassist plays through an Ampeg BA115). We're looking to mic our gear and program some drums into the mix.

I was looking at the Digidesign Mbox 2 Mini recording package from Musician's Friend which includes the following:
Mbox 2 Mini interface with Pro Tools LE software
Alesis M1 320 active USB studio monitors
MXL 990 condenser microphone, and some cables and a stand

That runs for $400, which I thought was pretty decent considering how good Pro Tools is and how much you have to pay for it, and you're getting more than just the software. I was also looking at EZDrummer software with the Drumkit From Hell expansion pack, which would run for around $200 together. The total would be around $600 for basically everything we need to record a decent-sounding demo, right?

Another option I was looking at was the following:
PreSonus Studio One Artist DAW software, which includes EZDrummer Lite and Guitar Rig LE, plus some other plug-ins
Lexicon Lambda Studio interface (This could be changed, of course)
Drumkit From Hell expansion for EZDrummer (would this expansion work with EZDrummer Lite?)
SP B1 Condenser microphone (This could also be changed, but for a hundred clams it seems like a really nice mic and beats everything else in the price range)

That would run about $500, which is a little cheaper than the previous option, and it looks that Studio One is easier to run than Pro Tools. It also has some amp emulating software and some neat plug-ins included, which is a plus.

I'm not sure, but I'm leaning toward the second option. The only thing that's holding me back is I want Pro Tools. The second option has more features and gives me a little freedom with the amp emulating software and extra plugins. I want to know everyone's thoughts, and please tell me if I'm missing something, or should change my whole could-be setup. Thanks!
#2
Take my advice and go for the first, it's the much more comprehensive option, the second option is kinda meh quality wise in comparison, Pro Tools is a great sequencer, just don't get the MXL 990 though, get a 57.

SM57 + Peavey 6505 = godly metal tone. 57's are ok for screams too.
#3
Quote by Beefmo
Take my advice and go for the first, it's the much more comprehensive option, the second option is kinda meh quality wise in comparison, Pro Tools is a great sequencer, just don't get the MXL 990 though, get a 57.

SM57 + Peavey 6505 = godly metal tone. 57's are ok for screams too.


The package that I was looking at comes with the MXL 990, so that's what I would have to go with. We're splitting the bill, and I only have about 200, so 600 is about as high as we can go for now.

Here's the link for the package. I really think it's an excellent deal but I'm not sure on what other people think.
http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Digidesign-Pro-Tools-Mbox-Mini-Package?sku=702525
#4
Don't buy the Mbox Mini bundle. You don't have a midi input which is very useful with midi drums. Also, the MXL 990s are terrible mics.

Step up the few extra bucks and get the Mbox 2, a good cheap pair of monitor speakers & an SM57 for your guitars and stuff
Derpy Derp Derp Herp Derp
#5
Quote by lockwolf
Don't buy the Mbox Mini bundle. You don't have a midi input which is very useful with midi drums.

I stated earlier that we don't have a drummer, so all the drum program would be done internally, wouldn't it?
#6
dude ...why do you want to go for an mbox mini itself ? are you really keen on going for a digi design usb interface itself ...cuz you can get other interfaces that will help you do recordings of the same quality
#7
Quote by Rocker_Mike
I stated earlier that we don't have a drummer, so all the drum program would be done internally, wouldn't it?


Yes and no.

Yes since ezdrummer comes with many drag and drop midi beats.

No since most of said drag and drop midi beats suck and you'll want to have something like a drum machine to program your beats in so they don't sound fake.
Derpy Derp Derp Herp Derp
#8
Quote by lockwolf
Yes and no.

Yes since ezdrummer comes with many drag and drop midi beats.

No since most of said drag and drop midi beats suck and you'll want to have something like a drum machine to program your beats in so they don't sound fake.

Couldn't you simply drag a beat in, chop it, and add new MIDI notes into it, in order to essentially modify the beat and make it your own?
#9
Quote by inlovewithmusic
dude ...why do you want to go for an mbox mini itself ? are you really keen on going for a digi design usb interface itself ...cuz you can get other interfaces that will help you do recordings of the same quality

You can't use a non-Digidesign interface with ProTools LE. ProTools M-Powered is the only ProTools that you can use (some) different interfaces with, and M-Powered is essentially garbage compared with LE, as LE is garbage compared to |HD.
#10
im curious as to where you heard m-audio is garbage compared to le? Im not a 100% but im pretty sure theyre the EXACT same software. either way i have a much better proposition for you.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/FireBox/ fire box interface
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SM57/ shure sm57
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/EZDDFHBun/ Ezdrummer/DFH/Midi controller

thats 400$, leaving you 200$ for monitors. Pro Tools is not worth getting unless you get HD. Theres ton of other software that is equal to or better than pro tools le.
#11
Quote by MetalBass 77
im curious as to where you heard m-audio is garbage compared to le? Im not a 100% but im pretty sure theyre the EXACT same software. either way i have a much better proposition for you.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/FireBox/ fire box interface
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SM57/ shure sm57
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/EZDDFHBun/ Ezdrummer/DFH/Midi controller

thats 400$, leaving you 200$ for monitors. Pro Tools is not worth getting unless you get HD. Theres ton of other software that is equal to or better than pro tools le.

Does the PreSonus USB interface also include StudioOne artist?
#12
Quote by Rocker_Mike
Does the PreSonus USB interface also include StudioOne artist?

it says it on the page so i assume so Also if I could recommend Reaper. Its an excellent DAW, and its free and fully capable the first 30 days. After that you SHOULD but the liscense, but you dont have to. I say you should give that a look as well, but do buy the license.
#13
Quote by MetalBass 77
it says it on the page so i assume so Also if I could recommend Reaper. Its an excellent DAW, and its free and fully capable the first 30 days. After that you SHOULD but the liscense, but you dont have to. I say you should give that a look as well, but do buy the license.

Thanks, you really opened up a new door for me with showing me that EZDrummer package. Well I'll need to buy an interface, and the PreSonus USB interface does happen to come with StudioOne with ALL the included plug-ins and whatnot. I just looked at everything and I could get the PreSonus USB box, an SM57, that EZDrummer package, a set of monitors, and a pair of headphones all for under $500, which is incredibly doable for us right now. I can't do FireWire since we use PC laptops and they don't have FireWire ports. Also, would you recommend an iLok license dongle (why does that word make me laugh everytime I read it?) for keeping track of the licenses, or should I just go as-is?
#14
Quote by Rocker_Mike
Thanks, you really opened up a new door for me with showing me that EZDrummer package. Well I'll need to buy an interface, and the PreSonus USB interface does happen to come with StudioOne with ALL the included plug-ins and whatnot. I just looked at everything and I could get the PreSonus USB box, an SM57, that EZDrummer package, a set of monitors, and a pair of headphones all for under $500, which is incredibly doable for us right now. I can't do FireWire since we use PC laptops and they don't have FireWire ports. Also, would you recommend an iLok license dongle (why does that word make me laugh everytime I read it?) for keeping track of the licenses, or should I just go as-is?

now your gonna make me think of some sexual innuendo for dongle anyways, you could get a PCMIA card for firewire on your laptop. firewire is always faster and safer. The Ilok is completely up to you. I dont use one because i dont really need one and ive heard its a massive pain. The one comparable thing i have is a vienna key, which holds the licesnse to my VSL software (orchestral stuff)
#15
I'd also look at the line6 UX1 or UX2 interface. You get podfarm with them which allows for some killer amp and preamp models for your guitar, bass and vocals. I know you said you have decent amps but have you tried micing an amp before? To me doing a demo, I rather use something podfarm or revalver or some sort of amp sim. Without having a good acoustic room, proper mics and knowledge of recording an amp, I would think you would get a better tone from the software and recording direct.
Lefty Strat Copy w/ GFS Lil' killer rails + Crazy wiring
Lefty Kona Thinline Acoustic/Electric
Righty-to-Lefty Silvertone Bass
Righty-to-Lefty Memphis Short Scale Bass
Vox AD30VT-XL

Tascam US-428 USB Interface Mixer
Guitar Rig 3
#16
Quote by Rocker_Mike
Couldn't you simply drag a beat in, chop it, and add new MIDI notes into it, in order to essentially modify the beat and make it your own?


Yes, you can do that. The problem with it is that it usually is very time consuming to get a realistic sounding beat. With a drum pad or other midi controller you have the ability to punch it in the way you want.

<Long winded non needed rant>
Another thing to factor in with Midi is sensitivity which will make a ton of difference with drums. A real drummer isn't going to hit the snare the exact same way every time he hits it. Most drum programs will claim to use several samples of a drummer hitting a snare that simulate a realistic drummer. Most of the time, these don't sound too different by plugging them in manually since they are all set at the same velocity. You could spend time tweaking the sensitivity to every snare beat so it sounds slightly different but you'll be wasting a lot of time. With a drum pad or midi keyboard, how hard you hit it varies the sensitivity thus you won't need to worry about adjusting every note.
</Long winded non needed rant>

TL;DR: Get a midi drum pad to make the drums sound better

Edit:

Also, would you recommend an iLok license dongle (why does that word make me laugh everytime I read it?) for keeping track of the licenses, or should I just go as-is?


I recommend getting an iLok. A lot of plugins require it (Pod Farm, Auto Tune and various other effects plugins). Besides, getting one now saves you from buying a program down the line and needing it.
Derpy Derp Derp Herp Derp
Last edited by lockwolf at Dec 29, 2009,
#17
Quote by Rocker_Mike
You can't use a non-Digidesign interface with ProTools LE. ProTools M-Powered is the only ProTools that you can use (some) different interfaces with, and M-Powered is essentially garbage compared with LE, as LE is garbage compared to |HD.


Not true, Pro Tools MPowered and LE are the same thing with a different badge.
#18
Quote by Beefmo
Not true, Pro Tools MPowered and LE are the same thing with a different badge.


Actually, there are a few plugins that don't work with M-Powered that work with LE. One being the DV Toolkit.
Derpy Derp Derp Herp Derp
#19
Quote by GeToChKn
I'd also look at the line6 UX1 or UX2 interface. You get podfarm with them which allows for some killer amp and preamp models for your guitar, bass and vocals. I know you said you have decent amps but have you tried micing an amp before? To me doing a demo, I rather use something podfarm or revalver or some sort of amp sim. Without having a good acoustic room, proper mics and knowledge of recording an amp, I would think you would get a better tone from the software and recording direct.


We live in the middle of nowhere, and right outside on the porch and beyond, there's a huge field, and we were thinking of recording out there (no lie) if there's no wind whatsoever. I know it sounds utterly ridiculous, but I think that it would give you an extremely natural sound, with very little ambience coming from the "room." Also, since there's a very large area (a few acres), there will be little reverberations coming from other sources, so would that be OK to do? I probably sound like an imbecile but I think it would work

Quote by MetalBass77
anyways, you could get a PCMIA card for firewire on your laptop. firewire is always faster and safer


1394a, right? And would it be just as fast as a FireWire port that was built in to the computer?
EDIT: I just looked at the cards, and the USB 2.0 has a transfer rate of up to 480Mbps, while the FireWire has a transfer rate of up to 400Mbps.
Last edited by Rocker_Mike at Dec 29, 2009,
#20
Quote by lockwolf
Actually, there are a few plugins that don't work with M-Powered that work with LE. One being the DV Toolkit.


True, but that's an expansion, theres not many real benefits to the DV Toolkit other than increased track count. To say MPowered is garbage compared to LE is just misleading.

And the music production toolkit is compatible, which allows multi-track beat detective and more tracks anyway.

Mainly though its just Digidesign screwing people for more money for features that should have been in the sequencer already. Bunch of shysters.

The whole electric drumkit thing wasn't really that necessary as you said as well, most people would fail to tell the difference between a good vsti and the real thing, so unless they plan on grinding out some professional level recordings then it's not something to worry about. You have to remember most professional level recordings are editing to lose that "human" feeling your are talking about adding anyway, it's a bit of a sad reflection of this era of audio production that people expect and embrace inhuman perfection in their music, but that is essentially the case.

Nah, my main problem with drum programs is how shit the samples/sampling usually are/is, and how few samples there are per hit strength.
#21
Rocker Mike: firewire is faster on a more constant basis. the 480 mbps is a theory speed and usb 2.0 rarely goes that actualy speed. Dont get me wrong usb 2.0 is very good, its just firewire is better Also recording in the field would be a cool thing to try, as if it sounds bad you can just record inside. I wish I had a few acres of space. I would never have to worry about being too loud.

Beefmo: True. Editing is all good, but i think it should'nt be to the point where your grid is set to 164th notes and you move that one guitar chord perfectly in line with the click. Drum samples on the other hand i think are good to an extent as they can make the drums sound better. either way, im wondering your opnion on superior drummer 2.0. I have it and i think its fantastic, would probably fool 90% of listeners and have the other 10% guessing.
#22
Quote by MetalBass 77

Beefmo: True. Editing is all good, but i think it should'nt be to the point where your grid is set to 164th notes and you move that one guitar chord perfectly in line with the click. Drum samples on the other hand i think are good to an extent as they can make the drums sound better. either way, im wondering your opnion on superior drummer 2.0. I have it and i think its fantastic, would probably fool 90% of listeners and have the other 10% guessing.


Superior drummer 2 is probably the most realistic of any drum sim from the results I've heard of it, it does sound great, I've been meaning to pick up a copy.
#23
Quote by Beefmo
Superior drummer 2 is probably the most realistic of any drum sim from the results I've heard of it, it does sound great, I've been meaning to pick up a copy.

haha some shameless self promotion here. http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songInfo.cfm?bandID=971601&songID=8536647

thats a 50 second song i did as a test for the pod x3, and i used Superior Drummer 2.0. The drums sound really slick and their really isnt THAT much tweaking in it. Theres no velocity editing either. I bet you a LOT of people would think their real.
#24
Quote by Beefmo
Nah, my main problem with drum programs is how shit the samples/sampling usually are/is, and how few samples there are per hit strength.


Thats where one of my main beefs lie as well. Like unless you spend hours adding post processing effects, you won't get a good sound.

As for software drums (which I'm using since I live in a condo, record mostly between the hours of 10pm-3am and have no space to set up a real drumkit) I'm quite a fan of Addictive Drums. A lot of the stock presets allowed for some great sounding kits plus, after getting the Punk Midipak, I had some good drag and drop midi beats that I could work with.

Quote by MetalBass 77
haha some shameless self promotion here. http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songInfo.cfm?bandID=971601&songID=8536647

thats a 50 second song i did as a test for the pod x3, and i used Superior Drummer 2.0. The drums sound really slick and their really isnt THAT much tweaking in it. Theres no velocity editing either. I bet you a LOT of people would think their real.


Hate to be a jerk but I can tell right away. I can tell by the Kick Drum and what feels like really sloppy playing. Like the drumming doesn't match the tightness of the rest of the song.
Derpy Derp Derp Herp Derp
Last edited by lockwolf at Dec 29, 2009,