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#1
Simple..I have around $1500 to make a rather professional sounding home recording system. I already have a very good PC laptop and a means of making the acoustics acceptable.

I was looking at this rig as a rough template for what I was looking to do: http://tweakheadz.com/rigs2.htm#Rig7

However...I don't understand EXACTLY how that works. I do realize I have a lot of reading to do in regards to actually recording and mixing properly. But I want to know what gear I need for what I want. I simply want to record my band and other bands if they so want..and it sound pretty professional.

That rig shows that I basically need an analog mixer...I can get a similar Allen n Heath for cheaper, then I need a good sound card and software...good mics and amps? I mean..I don't understand why I would need much more? If so, please explain..

Thanks guys.
#2
Alright, a few quick questions. First off, how many mics do you plan on using at the same time? This is where a lot of your money is going to be eaten up, especially if you are going to be recording a drum kit. Second, what software are you going to use for your DAW? This is where several hundred can get eaten up right away.

These two questions will save you a lot of hassle down the road.
Derpy Derp Derp Herp Derp
#3
^ you don't actually need the mixer tbh sonar and cubase all have it on board
the sound card needs to be pretty good and i'd get an asio driver too
software i can vouch for cubase being pretty good once you get to grips with it
the problem comes with mics if you want decent sounding guitars you'll want really good mics the most commonly used one is the shure sm57 then you'll need a compressor mic for vocals which tend to be pretty expensive you'll also probably need some sort of preamp for the vocals to be run into. I'd also recommend getting some vocal editing software or get cool edit pro and use the vocal compressor on there vocals are compressed alot more than you think. the problems come when it comes to drums because you will need a set of drum mics if you plan on using digital drums thats not so much of a problem but restricts you post recording editing abit. thats all i can think of if theres anything more?
#4
Quote by josh_salty
... then you'll need a compressor mic for vocals which tend to be pretty expensive


You mean condensor mic?!

Any way, if you want to record your band or other bands, here is a list of pretty much the basics

Guitar amp mic, Drums mics, vocal mic, interface, possibly a preamp depending on what interface and vocal mic you get, decent studio monitors. I would personally use amp sim's for now.

What i recommend:
-A decent set of drum mics (i use superior drummer, so i cant recommend any)
-A decent interface, 8 channel if your micing drums, for your price range, i would recommend the Presonus FP10, if you wanna go a bit more (annd WELLLLLLL worth it (cant exagerate that enough!!!)) i would get a Profire 2626.
-Monitors- I would recomend nothing cheaper lower than RP5's, or what i have, which are Mackie Mr5's.
-Make sure you know that your acoustic treatment is working right, monitors are useless without a decently balanced room.
-For a vocal mic, i would get a SM58 for more aggressive vocals, and an AT2020 for softer spoken vocals (and acoustic guitars). I would get an AT4040 if you can afford it.
-Preamp, this is completely optional, in the case your step up to a mic such as a SM7b which needs more gain than some interfaces can pump out, you pretty much have to get a preamp. A good preamp will sound way better and clearer, but can be pretty expensive, so i wouldn't get one now.

Here are my words of wisdom
-Dont buy anything made by behringer.
-Dont go for shitty monitors just cause they are cheap, they are the most important thing to put money into IMO.
-You dont have to have every piece of gear you want now, learn how to use everything you have and then realize what your REALLY need. Dont just buy gear for the sake of it. This can also be known as G.A.S (gear aquisition syndrome? something like that)

Good luck and feel free to ask any questions
5150 III 100W, Mesa 4x12 Cab, Framus Cobra Cab, M-Audio Profire 610, ISA One Pre, SC607-b, Equator D5's, Countryman Type 85 Di box, Radial JCR, Superior Drummer, SSD 4 Ex, TS9, NS-2 and the list goes on and on
#5
josh_salty, you got some facts wrong.

1. Audio interface
What I'd get is a good audio interface, maybe something along the lines of these:
RME Fireface 400 http://www.thomann.de/gb/rme_fireface_400.htm
This bad boy will eat up your funds but then again, you probably won't need to change it ever again for anything else. Unless maybe for RME Fireface 800. This thing has also two preamps and other goodies.

If not RME, which I'd or any other studio tech would higly recommend, get some other interface that has at least 8 analog (and this is important, make sure they are analog!) inputs.

Also, there's software bundled with this interface. It will be more than enough for simple recording and editing/mixing.

2. Monitors
Get studio headphones or nearfield active monitors. I'd suggest the industry standard

Yamaha HS80M http://www.thomann.de/gb/yamaha_hs80m.htm or its little brother HS50M http://www.thomann.de/gb/yamaha_hs50m.htm
Just keep in mind that when turning up the volume, you'll get more distortion so if you can, always get a louder monitor. Doesn't mean you're gonna be blasting the thing all the way up to 11, just the more you turn up the volume, the more distortion you get. So having these two Yamaha's at the same volume, you'll get more distortion with the smaller one.

3. Preamp
a lot of the interfaces already have preamps, but remember, if you're recording drums, you'll need at least 8 or so mics, therefore 8 preamps as well. Try using this:
SM PRO AUDIO PR 8 E http://www.thomann.de/gb/sm_pro_audio_pr_8_e.htm


---

Some word of advice....
Mics... Well, since I'm already over your budget, I'd suggest that you don't compromise on your sound card and monitors because you can always borrow mics from a friend or a rental. If you get a cheapass interface and a pair of crappy monitors along them, you're not gonna get any good results no matter how badass your mics are. Gather some more funds, get a shure sm57 and a sm58 (both are industry standards, one for recording instruments and the other for vocals), BUT DON'T COMPROMISE ON THE BASIC GEAR.

Also, keep in mind that if you do get Shure sm57, you'll need to use a preamp, without it, it's barely heard.

Another thing, when buying Behringer and other cheap brands, never buy their audio interfaces nor monitors. They make great effects and other gadgets (compressors, gates, etc) but not good interfaces or monitors.
Last edited by The Axeman at May 25, 2010,
#6
Wow...a lot of great info from you guys, big thank you. First let me just confirm that for drums/instruments I will be using a set of SM57s and for vocals probably SM58.

Basically, with a set up like this: Mics into audio interface into laptop that's running software. I would be doing all the mixing with my mouse through the software that I use. I feel the very most I would need to record at one time would be 8 channels...that being for the drums.

A few questions:
1. Do I need to purchase a soundcard still after the audio interface?

2. What software should I use? I seem to see Protools all the time as I look at gear. I believe all the interfaces you guys showed me are compatible with it.

3. With the RME FireFace 400 that was shown...how exactly could I record around 8 channels at the same time? There seems to be plenty of line ins but only two mic ins.
#7
Quote by burritosaregood
Wow...a lot of great info from you guys, big thank you. First let me just confirm that for drums/instruments I will be using a set of SM57s and for vocals probably SM58.

Basically, with a set up like this: Mics into audio interface into laptop that's running software. I would be doing all the mixing with my mouse through the software that I use. I feel the very most I would need to record at one time would be 8 channels...that being for the drums.

A few questions:
1. Do I need to purchase a soundcard still after the audio interface?
nope, your audio interface replaces your sound card

2. What software should I use? I seem to see Protools all the time as I look at gear. I believe all the interfaces you guys showed me are compatible with it.

get reaper, its a free DAW, compatible with just about everything, and can do just about everything that pro tools can.

3. With the RME FireFace 400 that was shown...how exactly could I record around 8 channels at the same time? There seems to be plenty of line ins but only two mic ins.


cant help you there, thats why i suggested the FP10 and profire 2626
5150 III 100W, Mesa 4x12 Cab, Framus Cobra Cab, M-Audio Profire 610, ISA One Pre, SC607-b, Equator D5's, Countryman Type 85 Di box, Radial JCR, Superior Drummer, SSD 4 Ex, TS9, NS-2 and the list goes on and on
#8
Quote by Tig Bitties
cant help you there, thats why i suggested the FP10 and profire 2626


So basically...If all I mainly need is an audio interface and a mic setup..I'd be will to spend up $600-800 on an interface. Also..It may not be optimal, but I have a pair of really high quality Technics DJ headphones that I will probably use for monitoring the mix.
#9
you'll want monitors to mix with. not headphones. you have to hear how real speakers will handle your music and how it will sound to the majority of other listeners who will not be using headphones. there's a big difference in sound and stereo image in the isolation of headphones, and the space and room of monitors.

i would spend at least 600 on monitors and the rest on an interface and mics.
#10
Quote by sandyman323
you'll want monitors to mix with. not headphones. you have to hear how real speakers will handle your music and how it will sound to the majority of other listeners who will not be using headphones. there's a big difference in sound and stereo image in the isolation of headphones, and the space and room of monitors.

i would spend at least 600 on monitors and the rest on an interface and mics.

+1 to the monitor mixing. later on you'll want to get a good set of headphones to reference your mix but you definitely want to hear it on speakers. i'd recommend a sub too, otherwise you'll need to eye your sub ranges on mixing and that doesnt work nearly as well as eyeing and listening.

aside from that you basically need an 8 channel input (preferable firewire if the laptop has it) 8 mic's total (for the drums) of which you already have a couple and some have been suggested. 1500 isnt much unfortunately to get this all setup, make sure you get some good monster cable for your setup. using decent quality speakers and mic's won't matter if the signal is getting thrashed from a subpar line component.
#11
THE RME has adat ins whick ifc you get a 8 chanel preamp you witll have 10 mic pres to use
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#12
I hear you guys on the monitors...my birthday is coming up in July, perhaps it would allow me to spend more on the monitors and what not. I genuinely would like to get the Audio Interface and Mics first. I am pretty decided on SM57s for instrument mics...however, in regards to the audio interface..I'm not too sure on. I really don't know which is best as far as 8 channel..
#14
Howdy TS, i was in the same boat as you earlier this year. I just finished up buying all the stuff i had with a 1800 budget. Things i bought thanks to recommendations of this forums best?


Sterling Audio ST79 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Mic $225.00
Maudio Profire 2626 $522.80
Rode NT5 pair. $395.00
Shure Sm7b $250
Pair of Rokit krk 6's $319
All bought off ebay, mf, gc or craigslist(only the sm7b was).

The profire is hands down one of the best firewire interfaces if you arent going ProTools HD. The Rode Nt-5's are great for acoustic instruments and overheads. The SM7b and ST-79 are great vocal mics. The SM7b is a great for guitar amps as well. KRK Rokits are great "cheap" monitors. Ebay sees pairs of 5's go for 150 and 6's go for 300 all the time.

All this cost me 1650 usd. Good luck!
I traded in my Real Books for Robbins and Cotran Pathology Textbooks
Last edited by mexican_shred at May 25, 2010,
#15
Quote by Tig Bitties
Here are my words of wisdom
-Dont buy anything made by behringer.
-Dont go for shitty monitors just cause they are cheap, they are the most important thing to put money into IMO.
-You dont have to have every piece of gear you want now, learn how to use everything you have and then realize what your REALLY need. Dont just buy gear for the sake of it. This can also be known as G.A.S (gear aquisition syndrome? something like that)

Good luck and feel free to ask any questions


What's wrong with Behringer?
#16
Quote by mexican_shred
Howdy TS, i was in the same boat as you earlier this year. I just finished up buying all the stuff i had with a 1800 budget. Things i bought thanks to recommendations of this forums best?


Sterling Audio ST79 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Mic $225.00
Maudio Profire 2626 $522.80
Rode NT5 pair. $395.00
Shure Sm7b $250
Pair of Rokit krk 6's $319
All bought off ebay, mf, gc or craigslist(only the sm7b was).

The profire is hands down one of the best firewire interfaces if you arent going ProTools HD. The Rode Nt-5's are great for acoustic instruments and overheads. The SM7b and ST-79 are great vocal mics. The SM7b is a great for guitar amps as well. KRK Rokits are great "cheap" monitors. Ebay sees pairs of 5's go for 150 and 6's go for 300 all the time.

All this cost me 1650 usd. Good luck!


I was giving the ProFire 2626 a real good look earlier today. I feel more confident in this piece now. What exactly is ProTools HD ? I know that's very newb but...what software would I be using with the 2626?
#17
Protools HD is the "industry" standard DAW in use. Takes all sorts of bells and whistles and cash to use it, and for a home studio starting off with i would not recommend it. With my profire i use Reaper and Cubase, which are both excellent DAW that have everything you need for a DAW. The Pre-amp in the Profire slays any preamp any presonus model near its price range has.
I traded in my Real Books for Robbins and Cotran Pathology Textbooks
#18
I think the industry has begun to embrace a lot of the new DAW's - I use Logic Studio on my Mac and know a lot of Studios support Logic and others too (according to TapeOp magazine).
Now running an Eleven Rack with Pro Tools 10.3.3 - it's amazing and I'm having ball with it - worth every penny. PT 10 is tops IMO and the Eleven Rack is a work of art!
#19
Quote by strangedogs
I think the industry has begun to embrace a lot of the new DAW's - I use Logic Studio on my Mac and know a lot of Studios support Logic and others too (according to TapeOp magazine).


I'd use Logic if I had a good mac...but I don't. I'm most likely gonna go with the 2626 and Protools Mpowered. A set of sm57s, an sm58..good monitors, my headphones..and yea. I'll be good to go.
#20
Quote by sambot12
What's wrong with Behringer?


Its cheap crap made in china with a huge track record of having broken/low quality products.
Derpy Derp Derp Herp Derp
#21
Quote by lockwolf
Its cheap crap made in china with a huge track record of having broken/low quality products.


What did you guys use to record with?
#22
Quote by burritosaregood
What did you guys use to record with?


My personal setup right now is this:
Digidesign Mbox 2
Presonus TubePre
dbx 226XL Compressor
Lexicon MX200 Effects Processor
Rode NT1-A Condenser mic

Pro Tools 8
Waves Native Power Pack
Line 6 Pod Farm 2
Addictive Drums
Battery
and a few other plugins.

I've got about $1000 in hardware and another $2000 in software on my recording PC. I've only got the Rode for a mic since I only record vocals with it (guitars are done through virtual amps, drums are software drums. You cant tell the difference with a good mix)
Derpy Derp Derp Herp Derp
#23
Quote by lockwolf
My personal setup right now is this:
Digidesign Mbox 2
Presonus TubePre
dbx 226XL Compressor
Lexicon MX200 Effects Processor
Rode NT1-A Condenser mic

Pro Tools 8
Waves Native Power Pack
Line 6 Pod Farm 2
Addictive Drums
Battery
and a few other plugins.

I've got about $1000 in hardware and another $2000 in software on my recording PC. I've only got the Rode for a mic since I only record vocals with it (guitars are done through virtual amps, drums are software drums. You cant tell the difference with a good mix)


It sounds really good man, wow. I'm thinking that I'll go with the 2626, Pro Tools, Shure SM57s for drums and amps, and a good condenser mic for vocals.
#24
Quote by burritosaregood

1. Do I need to purchase a soundcard still after the audio interface?

burritosaregood, first of all

audio interface = sound card. sound card is not a proper term for it so I used "audio interface".
2. What software should I use? I seem to see Protools all the time as I look at gear. I believe all the interfaces you guys showed me are compatible with it.

If you want something legit, I'd suggest using bundled software, because buying software is very expensive

3. With the RME FireFace 400 that was shown...how exactly could I record around 8 channels at the same time? There seems to be plenty of line ins but only two mic ins.

the RME 400 has 2 input channels that have preamps and 6 line inputs (+ you can connect another unit via SPDIF or ADAT that houses more inputs, it supports up to 36 channels). But that's why I was suggesting getting the SM PRO AUDIO 8 channel preamp which you'd have to plug in to the line inputs of RME

M-Audio Profire 2626 is certainly a good piece of rig, but RME is something (like I said before) you probably wouldn't never had to sell off (unless for RME 800)
Last edited by The Axeman at May 26, 2010,
#25
Quote by The Axeman
burritosaregood, first of all

audio interface = sound card. sound card is not a proper term for it so I used "audio interface".

If you want something legit, I'd suggest using bundled software, because buying software is very expensive


the RME 400 has 2 input channels that have preamps and 6 line inputs (+ you can connect another unit via SPDIF or ADAT that houses more inputs, it supports up to 36 channels). But that's why I was suggesting getting the SM PRO AUDIO 8 channel preamp which you'd have to plug in to the line inputs of RME

M-Audio Profire 2626 is certainly a good piece of rig, but RME is something (like I said before) you probably wouldn't never had to sell off (unless for RME 800)


So, I could get the RME and then the Pro Audio 8..and then plug the Pro Audio 8 into the RME through line input. Then I have 8 more mic inputs? Is this basically unlimited? By that I mean...could I technically by more than one Pro Audio 8 and plug those into other line inputs...being able to record 16 mics at once. Not that I would ever need to...but I'm just curious.
#26
The SM Pro preamp works just like any other preamps would, you can't extend RME's inputs with preamps, but you can extend RME with another RME 400 or 800 unit. Like the product description says, you have a 36 channel input/output limit

You plug the preamp inputs into the line inputs of RME and that's it. You'd have two unconnected preamp channels on the SM preamp.
Last edited by The Axeman at May 26, 2010,
#27
Presonus DIGIMAX FS preamp

from what I understand, you can also use this particular preamp to extend RME's inputs/outputs. You can connect this to RME via digital input/output on the back (ADAT)

http://www.thomann.de/gb/presonus_digimax_fs.htm

Not saying you'd have to get it, just that you can use stuff that have ADAT to extend RME. You could use other (not all) audio interfaces that too have ADAT to extend the amount of usable analog inputs/outputs. By connecting different units via a digital link (ADAT in this case, can also be SPDIF), you are extending the inputs and outputs of your recording system. I suggest using products that aren't audio interfaces by themselves, since you'd be paying for something you already have, rather extensions like this Presonus. You can't use it alone but you can use it with a audio interface that has a ADAT input/output. Hope this makes sense. Ask if it doesn't
#30
If I could afford one I'd definately go the RME Hammerfall route with some mic preamps then some good monitors. I was wondering if you guys know of any compable cards to the RME that are cheaper?!
#31
Thanks for all your help guys! My last question (I hope)..pertains to controlling the software I decide to get. I will most likely get some form of Pro Tools...If I end up with the 2626, it will be the M-powered version. I'm not sure what version I would get if I get the RME.

My question is: Are there any ways of controlling the mixing board within the software with a physical analog mixer? Sort of how you would use a midi component that is mapped to different keys within a program?
#32
No need to answer that guys...I figured that last question out for myself. Unfortunately the digidesign control stations are WAY out of my price range. I realize most all of you told me not to buy any Behringer products, and I definitely won't for the audio interface. However, I did find a Behringer control surface WITH motorized faders, which is compatible with basically any DAW I decide to use. So far here is the list, depending on my future circumstances within the next couple of months.

-Either M-audio 2626 OR RME 400 w/Preamps
-A set of Shure SM57s and probably one Beta 52A. Also, a good condenser mic.
-A control surface, something like the Behringer mentioned above (or just the Behringer).
-My laptop with a DAW...most likely ProTools.

The 2626 and RME are both compatible with basically every DAW imaginable, correct? If so, I need to do a good amount of reading in regards to each DAW and the pro's and con's of them.
#33
they are both compatible with any DAW except the RME is not compatible with Pro Tools. Digidesign/Avid is very funny about choosing what interfaces will work. However if you get the 2626 you will be fine with any DAW. I have the unit myself with a presonus D8 attached via ADAT and a set of Mackie MR5s and I am very satisfied with the recordings and mixes I make.
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#34
Also, remember that you almost always get bundled DAWs with audio interfaces, just look up what they come with and you won't need to spend the extra $$$.

I wouldn't get a control surface if I were you, it's not that necessary when you're just starting out, but if you are, there's nothing wrong with getting a Behringer. Like I said, just don't get their monitors nor interfaces. The control surface can't alter your tone (unless it's broken and adds electrical noise ).
Last edited by The Axeman at May 27, 2010,
#35
Quote by The Axeman
Also, remember that you almost always get bundled DAWs with audio interfaces, just look up what they come with and you won't need to spend the extra $$$.

I wouldn't get a control surface if I were you, it's not that necessary when you're just starting out, but if you are, there's nothing wrong with getting a Behringer. Like I said, just don't get their monitors nor interfaces. The control surface can't alter your tone (unless it's broken and adds electrical noise ).


Yea bro...I that's what I figured. I figure if I am going to skimp on one thing (If I really do want it) it would be the control surface...as it's more of a luxary...the other things are needed and truly will affect the sound quality/finished product.
#36
Quote by lockwolf
Its cheap crap made in china with a huge track record of having broken/low quality products.


I don't know about their track record, but my band has a Behringer mixer/audio interface and it works fine for what we use it for (mixer for recording drums and vocals and audio interface for guitar). I'm sure there's better stuff out there, but I'm a 15 year old with not very much money so it made sense for us.

What do you mean by low quality? The EQ works fine so I don't see what the problems are.
#37
Quote by sambot12
I don't know about their track record, but my band has a Behringer mixer/audio interface and it works fine for what we use it for (mixer for recording drums and vocals and audio interface for guitar). I'm sure there's better stuff out there, but I'm a 15 year old with not very much money so it made sense for us.

What do you mean by low quality? The EQ works fine so I don't see what the problems are.

The best comparison would be if you tried something better for a longer period.

I guess the overall impression is the feel of the controls, sound quality, quality of EQ and other built in effects, if any and build quality.
#38
Quote by The Axeman
The best comparison would be if you tried something better for a longer period.

I guess the overall impression is the feel of the controls, sound quality, quality of EQ and other built in effects, if any and build quality.


Well that makes sense, but the mixer we have has 6 XLR inputs which is all we need for recording drums, plus each one has its own EQ so it's helpful. I personally haven't noticed problems with the EQ, but you're right, I probably would if I used something better.
#39
I currently use a PC laptop...it has a pretty decent CPU...an intel core 2 duo at 2.3hz. I have 4gb of pretty fast ram as well. I'm hoping it will be good to go for using Pro Tools M-powered.

I'm also thinking about purchasing some form of a mac for using Logic or...replacing the PC as a means of recording. However a new macbook pro, even with my student discount is a G stack..way too much. I have seen some older model macs on sale for mad cheap...like $300...I believe G4s. Are these good for using Logic or Pro Tools m-powered?
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