#1
The aim of this thread is to help musicians on a very tight budget to be able to produce and record music that allows them to showcase their songs.

I'm not sure if we're allowed to advocate piracy and downloading illegal things like torrents from The Pirate Bay or other illegal sites, so don't start sharing links or anything. But for arguments sake of THIS thread, my thread, let's just neglect the cost of any software and only concern ourselves with minimising hardware costs. So, MY initial thoughts would be:

Tracking/mixing: Reason, ProTools, Logic

Drums: EZDrummer, Superior Drummer 2.1, or really any program with enough control and nice high quality drum samples

Guitar/Bass: As far as I can tell there isn't a way to sample guitar/bass realistically (atleast if it's guitar/bass driven music, not just chords/notes ringing out) that is as easy as just using a DI box or audio interface into Guitar Rig or other bass oriented software/VSTs.

Vocals: Just grab an SM58, SM7, RE20 or another 'decent' mic for your voice/style and get an interface that comes with a preamp strong enough to make the noise minimal. Compression, reverb, all of that can be added with software after tracking to keep costs down.

Keys: With the samples availible these days by companies like Native Instruments and the nature of keyboards/pianos you can literally just 'type in' what you want played and get amazing, 100% real sounding results in a flash.

For me, sample drums, and keys, interface guitar/bass and add digital effects/cab simulation, and use a real microphone/preamp.

So what do you think? How would YOU keep costly hardware to a minimum for all of us 'budget producers'.
Last edited by squidlips at Sep 20, 2010,
#3
But for arguments sake of THIS thread, my thread, let's just neglect the cost of any software

However, Reaper is a great alternative and not going to compromise sound quality, so I'll let it slide. However some say the interface is a little to be desired. What would you say the pros and cons of Reaper are apart from cost?
#4
I wouldn't advise using an SM58 or SM57 for recording vocals. Even if you're on a budget, you can still get a decent condenser microphone and the sound quality will be so much better. Even if a condenser is the most expensive thing in your rig, it will be well worth it. SM57 and 58 are good performance mics but they just don't have that flat of a frequency response needed for getting a good vocal recording.

Just saying.

-g13
#5
Quote by squidlips
However, Reaper is a great alternative and not going to compromise sound quality, so I'll let it slide. However some say the interface is a little to be desired. What would you say the pros and cons of Reaper are apart from cost?


I say it would have been easier if tracks were arranged vertically and you could scroll down. Also, scroll wheel simply magnifies the track which is quite annoying.

Though it could also be because I am using a puny 15'' screen with a res of 1024*768.
Last edited by GS LEAD 5 at Sep 20, 2010,
#6
Quote by gothikchile13
Even if you're on a budget, you can still get a decent condenser microphone and the sound quality will be so much better.

I would have thought this was the case as well, but I honestly don't mind the SM58 for USD$100 new on eBay. What would you suggest for a $100 vocal mic budget?
#7
nice.
I'm like a black Dr. Who, Except I'm white

I only watch porn with names that are puns or have alliteration in the title...
#8
Not to be an arse, but time and time again people kiss Avid's butt by thinking Pro Tools must be included in every list of DAW's, regardless of the budget. But let's face it, apart from Pro Tools HD (which requires thousands and thousands of £'s worth of gear), there is nothing worth bragging about Pro Tools other than the fact that most people believe it to be the best.

Pro Tools LE/M-Powered both require the use of dedicated, Avid-authorised hardware, of which all is overpriced for its featureset and usually poorer quality than the competition. As if that wasn't reason enough to ignore PT at a consumer level, LE/M-powered also feature a highly limited track count, no plug-in latency compensation and are no closer to running many of the best PT plug-ins than any other DAW (without the external DSP of the HD cards, PT has no advantage plug-in wise).

Seriously, for people on a budget Pro Tools should only be considered if you care more about the brand than the quality of what you use!

I'd only consider a copy of Pro Tools LE if I was running a project studio and thought being able to bear the Pro Tools name tag would attract more customers, even if I actually did all my mixing in Logic after exporting the tracking session files from Pro Tools. And I can guarantee the customers wouldn't notice a thing in terms of quality, sometimes ignorance is bliss.
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#9
I second Reaper, for two reasons. Firstly, it may be nagware but it doesn't disable itself (at least, none of the versions I've had do). So it's essentially free until you decide to register it. Even then, $60 for personal use is pretty darn good.

Secondly, Reaper comes with a rather decent set of MIDI tools that can take the place of something like EZDrummer, if you get a good set of samples. (Google "free drum samples" and go from there.) I've been meaning to write a basic tutorial on how to use Reaper's MIDI editor to do drums for a while now, if anyone would find it useful...
#10
Another free tracking program i might add is mixcraft
i think UG should have a sub forum to the gear ads... for like recording equipment. not just guitars and amps and that stuff
#11
Studio Projects B1 Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
Behringer B1 Single Diaphragm Studio Condenser Microphone

Condenser microphones right around the USD$100 mark. Better than the SM58? What do you guys reckon?
#12
Condensers: MXL 990
i think UG should have a sub forum to the gear ads... for like recording equipment. not just guitars and amps and that stuff
#13
Quote by squidlips

I'm not sure if we're allowed to advocate piracy and downloading illegal things like torrents from The Pirate Bay or other illegal sites, so don't start sharing links or anything.

then maybe you should go read the fucking rules. they arent just there to look pretty.
#15
Quote by TheRavager
What are thought on Audacity?


I don't like it, Reaper is better in my opinion..

My question: Budget mic cables, what are good?
Matthew 7:7 ""Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

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#16
Reaper and an sm57, people get REALLY good vocals from those (depending on the vocalist)
just visit www.myspace.com/slicethecake for a listen at what one can do.
most importantly you need to train your ear, and No you shouldn't advocate privacy.
oh also
xlr and stand £20-30
so you've spent £130
sm57= roughly £100
well and you need an interface but thats for antoher day
#17
Quote by tr3nt
I don't like it, Reaper is better in my opinion..
My question: Budget mic cables, what are good?


I'm using Audacity at the moment, but anything other than just tracking it's not that great.

As far as budget mic cables, I'd just use eBay and find a reputable brand at a good price for the length you need. However if you're going to be doing alot you can buy a roll of Canare cable or something and just hook up some Neutrik connectors for great quality and super low prices.

What about interfaces? What do you guys reckon is the best value way to get the guitar/bass INTO the computer?
#18
I'm just going to throw in pod farm.
i think UG should have a sub forum to the gear ads... for like recording equipment. not just guitars and amps and that stuff
#19
then maybe you should go read the fucking rules. they arent just there to look pretty.
i used to be a mod, then i took an arrow in the knee.
#20
I'll start off on a bit of a tangent....

If you want to make the best possible recording by spending the least amount of money, your best bet is to go to a project studio and spend $100-$200 to spend a day working with someone who already owns the gear and knows how to use it.

If you've never used a saw before, and you go out and buy a cheap saw and build a nice wardrobe yourself, what level of quality workmanship will you produce? Not very.

If you've never played guitar before, how long does it take you to be able to play well enough to do a show in front of people?

... and yet we all (and I did this too....) get this impression that all we need is some software and a couple of cheap mics and we can produce release-ready recordings. Nope.

That said... about the Shure SM57/58 mics....

My main vocal mic is a Rode NT1. Decent mic at about $350. I was recording one singer where no matter how I EQ'ed her voice, she just sounded strident - not to mention the fact that I was making the mistake of trying to fix something that wasn't right, rather than going back and getting it right in the first place. And then, failing that, I went to "let's get the right sound at the source." I threw every mic I had at her. I have a large-diaphragm *dynamic* mic, similar to an RE-20. These mics are used to get that "big radio announcer voice" so I thought, surely, that will make her not sound so strident. Even that didn't work.

As a last ditch effort.... I reached for my SM58. It was *perfect.* Given a choice, I won't even use a 58 for live vocals, never mind actually recording... but for her voice.... golden.

Part of the art of recording is the ability to match mics with sources - the same way a vintner or even a good restauranteur will find a perfect wine to go with the perfect meal.

Of course... the person who is just getting going and thinking that they'll sound radio-ready with a cracked copy of Cubase, an SM57 and a soundblaster card would have no idea of this.

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.