#1
My dad is moving into his new house, and wants to dedicate two rooms to make a good quality recording studio.

One room would have the computer, the interface and the monitors, while the other would have the actual instruments being mic'd up.

Feel free to correct me anywhere you see.

I need advice on pretty much everything for this. I am clueless on what interface to get to start. I dont know if i have firewire but i can invest in an audio card for it if need be. I am hoping to get around 8 Mic inputs for drumming.

I dont know what types of mic's to get, besides Shure SM57 for micing the amps. I plan on having 2 - 3 amp mic's, 2 mic's for vocals, and however many for drumming i will need.

I want to be able to play live in there and just jam too. So, i need to know how im going to get the vocals to work for that, i was thinking a small PA system.

And my last question for now is how should i soundproof it? Should i put the foam you get at stores for soundproofing? Should i carpet everything?

Thanks in advance for any help.

EDIT: Budget isn't a big deal. I dont want to have to spend more than i have to to get a good quality studio though. I dont need the ABSOLUTE best interface and stuff, but for a good price is what i want.
Quote by Jack Off Jill
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#2
Check out 'TweakHeadz' website for all the information you will ever need on this kind of stuff It goes through gear you will/may need, different set ups, reccomeded gear and how to use it. Spend a few days getting your head around all of it.
#5
Well if budget isn't an issue...:P


Guitar mics - the SM57 is kind of standard but it's nice to have a couple of different ones for slightly different sounds. I've had decent results with a Sennheiser MD421 blended with an SM57. Could get an AKG C414 on it about a foot/foot and a half back from the amp.

Bass - Probably best to DI it, and possibly link it with a signal from the bass amp. Maybe put an AKG D112/Electrovoice RE20 on it.

Vocals - If budget isn't an option pull out the Neumann U47/U87 :P Realistically though, Id try out the Shure SM7, have heard nothing but good things about it (especially if the room isn't great acoustically). Rode mics get a good name and have very low noise which is a bonus (I own a Nt2A but haven't had an opportunity to use it extensively yet).

Drums - You can either buy a set of drum mics or get dedicated mics. The AKG D112 is always mentioned with kick drums but I personally prefer the Beyerdynamic M88 (supposedly a vocal mic but positioned right it kicks ass on kick!). Shure SM57 on the snare is kind of a no-brainer (possibly 2 - one above and one below with it's phase inverted). A pair of overheads could be small or large diaphragm condensers (Rode Nt5s and Nt2A's have produced good results when I was at college). If you wish to use a hi-hat mic the AKG C451 (I'm starting to sound like a sales rep for these guys :P) is great and the MD421 works well on toms.

Acoustic Guitar - I really like Rode Nt5s in XY with a C414 in omni polar pattern capturing the room. You get the detail and with a nicely treated room you get a good natural reverb.


I'll let a few other folk venture opinions on stuff like interfaces/mics/acoustic treatment then come back. All I'll say on acoustic treatment for now, have a live end and a dead end with screens to separate the 2. Makes your live room so much more diverse.
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#6
I don't have anything to say that will help, but..your dad sounds like a legend for making a studio
#7
Thanks a bunch, ill give the tweak site a good read.
So how many mics do you think i'll need? A couple Shure SM57s, Probably Shure SM7 or two.. an AKG D112 or two, and then possibly a Rode Nt5, Nt2A, an AKG c451, and a MD421.

Im not sure if i'll be recording acoustic, its nice to know though as i overlooked it and i do have one. Would the Rode nt5 be good for playing the acoustic live just jamming?

And i was looking at some popfilters for the mics... do you think i'll need that setup that has the sound proofing around it too?
Quote by Jack Off Jill
I feel bad looking at porn simply because of the ol' story that a lot of those girls were molested as children, But I've never heard of midgets being molested, so it doesn't matter to me anymore, as that's the only kind of porn I watch.

#8
stay away from the d112 it has no deatail to it s ashure beta 52 or an audix d6 would be better
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#9
when looking into sound-proofing check out a company called Audimute. they make some great stuff at killer prices.
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#10
On soundproofing, something I posted pretty recently in another thread....

There is no such thing as cheap soundproofing. It's complicated, and it's expensive. Anything that does not match that description is going to be dodgy at best.

Essentially, soundproofing comes down to a simple formula:

mass + insulation (even air space is fine) + mass = soundproof. The effectiveness of this equation is dependent upon how much mass you have, and how air-tight the air space is.

Generally, what is done to soundproof a space is to build a room within the room such that the floor, walls and ceilings are not connected to the outer floor, walls or ceiling with anything that will transfer vibration.

The "outer room" will have studs placed not against the wall, but in from the wall a little bit. The wall frames and floor of the "inner room" will be elevated and placed on dense absorptive foam rubber or similar material. The "inner room" will also be connected to the ceiling of the outer room with a similar kind of material. The "inner room" will be constructed with drywall or something - maybe double-thickness - placed on *both* sides of the studs. This gives you an airspace between the two layers of drywall, and an air space between that and the outer room.

The studs for the walls will also typically be offset from one another so that the outer wall and the inner wall do not touch - almost like one frame for the outer part of the wall and another frame for the inner part of the wall.

Think of this... you know that old trick with the tin cans and the string where the sound travels along the string? Well, you can sound-proof the sh!t out of your walls and ceiling, but the sound will travel along the floor across the joists and follow the joists to the outside. Similarly, if your inner room and outer room are connected... say... the screws for the drywall going into the studs, and then those same studs touching the outer layer of drywall, you have the potential for sound transference from the inside to the outside.

Think of this too.... sound travels through the air in waves. That means that if air can get out, then logic says that sound can get out. No prob.... just block off all the air holes with enough mass and insulation and enough mass again to absorb all the sound waves. Er... wait a sec..... but if air can't get out.... how can it get in? Ooops.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#12
Different mics sound better on different voices. The vocals on the Thriller album were done with a Sure SM7. The most popular "go to" mic in a pro studio environment for vocals is a U87. (starting at about $2500)

However.... different mics for different voices, as I said. I had one singer I was recording who sounded strident with every mic I threw in front of her. Rode NT-1. (common large-diaphragm condensor). Sennheiser e602 (large diaphragm dynamic mic... the kind you'd use for that "big radio announcer voice"). Small diaphragm condensors. Sennheiser e835. SM57. Nope, nope, nope, and nope. As a last resort, I reached for my last resort mic for vocals... an SM58. Golden. Just.... perfect. For her.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#13
Give Tweakheadz a thorough reading. The forums over at Gearslutz can be really helpful too.

make sure you invest in good room treatment (bass traps) to cut down on room reflections and other small room problems.

also be sure to get one or two high end preamps if you are going to get some nicer mics. having a U87 through mediocre preamps on your interface won't do the mic justice.

It also might be nice to add some ribbon mics to your mic locker. I like the Cascade Fathead, it sounds great and is inexpensive ($150 or so).
#14
whatever interface you get, make sure it has digital inputs so you can more easily use separate pre's. if you're going to invest in decent mics (basically, anything that's not super low end) having good pre's to match them with will go a long way towards getting a better sound.

i'd put a fair amount of money in room treatments before you get too much gear. with live mics, your sources will only be able to sound as good as the room allows. also for the control room, you'll want a very controlled sound to help you with your mixes. take a look at Gearslutz's acoustic treatment forums. they're very helpful.