I'm looking to do some recording over the next month with my band. We're basically indie rock. 2 guitars, bass, drums, vocals, and we might add some keyboard in as well. I'm going to get logic pro because I've got a hookup to get a good deal on it. I'll be recording on a macbook pro. I have an sm58 mic and I can manage to get ahold of 2 more dynamic mics and a decent large condenser. The question is: what more do I need to make recordings? I figure I need an audio interface, some nice headphones, and possibly an over head condenser. Suggestions?
At the bare minimum, you need:

1 interface capable of handling:

1 mic for each of the guitar cabs
DI for the bass
1 mic for each of the vocalists
1 overhead mic for drums
1 mic for kick
DI for keyboard
Mic stands/floor stands

If you record multiple tracks, you can reduce some of this stuff. You might be able to get by with one condenser on the drums... maybe.
We definitely will be multi-tracking. I figured I ought to get a condenser for the drums and then use dynamic mics to mic the snare, toms, and kick. Should I be looking at a small condenser for the drums or is a large one usable (I know we've mic'd the whole set with one large condenser before and it sounded pretty good). Just wondering because then we could use it for vocals too and kill 2 birds with one stone. But we can always just use an sm58 for vocals. I realize it's not the best, but still very usable.
Here's my standard mic list...

Sennheiser e602 or Shure Beta 52 for the kick, SM57 for the snare, SM81 for the hi-hat, Sennheiser e604s or AT3528s for toms, AT4051s for overheads, AT4041s for spaced pair room. The AT3528, 4041, and 4051 are all small cap condensers, the SM81 is a condenser, and the rest are dynamic. If you don't have the budget for all that, or it's not available, a well placed mic or two in a good sounding room will be alright. If you need to do minimal miking on the drums, I recommend the Glyn Johns set-up. 1 mic five feet from the left of the snare, one mic five feet from the right of the snare, one mic five feet above the snare, all preferably small cap condensers, though as long as all three are the same type of mic it should be ok. For this set-up, also have a large cap condenser five feet from the kick, about as high off the ground as the top of the kick drum.

SM57s or 58s will work just fine, try putting another dynamic on as well though. The Sennheiser MD421 mixed with a 57 (or 58) sounds pretty good.

Take it straight with a DI, though if you want to mic it, the e602, Beta 52, or even a 57 will do.

You should be ok with the 58, but a large cap condenser might be preferred.

DI box

You'll need an audio interface. If you can, get something that can handle at least as many inputs as drum mics, and at least one headphone out. Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 is pretty good, and relatively cheap for what you get. Over-ear headphones that have minimal bleed will be your best bet. Get a decent pair, bleed could potentially be your worst enemy come mixing. That being said, it can also help contribute to a more raw, live sound if that's what you're going for.

If you provide a budget and list of mics available to you, I'd be more than happy to help you out more!
Call me Michael...

Need something mixed? Send me a PM with the details! Cheap rates, fast turnaround, satisfaction guaranteed!

Pro Tools HD9
Logic Pro 9 Master Pro
There may be a better solution. Couple of questions first:

1. How soon do you want your recording done?

2. What is your budget beyond the gear you already have?

If you want your recording to be done in less than, say, 3-5 years and/or at a cost of under two grand, I suggest just book some time at a project studio.

A place like mine (and no, I'm not advertising as you are at least a few hours away from here) will charge you $200 or less for a day's worth of recording. You'll work with someone who already owns the gear and already knows how to use it. Book two days, allow for a few days for mixing, and for less than $400 you will have a really solid sounding recording.

Alternately, for $400, you could buy yourself a reasonably decent vocal mic and still not have 80% of what you need. Consider that recording, like any other skill, takes time to learn and get good at. You know how after a year of playing guitar, you still pretty much sucked? Yeah, we all did. But after three years or five years, we were finally ready to show our shiny happy faces in public whilst wearing a guitar. Same with recording, man. Same with recording.

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.
I guess that is doable, but I've tried to stay away from going to a studio. I honestly don't know that my drummer and bassist can get everything down in a short period of time. One of them could end up spending tons of time recording and run the bill up. And I'd like to have the experience of recording, which I've done a little bit before, and mixing. And it would be nice to spend money on equipment and recordings rather than just recordings...plus being able to do recordings in the future without having to go back to a studio. I have an sm58, mxl 990 condenser, audio technica at2020. I can spend 800 or 900 if I need to.
A decent interface will take up a good chuck of that budget. I'd get a good interface, then work on finding a good sounding room to record in. With the right placement in the right room, you should be able to get some decent recordings with that.

Check out that for getting drum mics. The 3 57s could also be used for guitars later on. Take the three 57s and do the Glyn Johns set-up I described, wile placing the Beta 52 on the kick, halfway into the soundhole.

That's the interface I mentioned. It's pretty damn good, and you won't need to worry about upgrading it for a couple of years. It also has enough mic pres to handle miking the drum kit.

If you have the available inputs, I would throw up the mics you currently have as additional room mics that could be mixed with or swapped for the other mics. In other words, use them as potential back-ups.

The 990 or 2020 could be used as the vocal mic instead of the 58. They'll get you a better recorded sound, with the 990 probably giving you the best result of the three.
Call me Michael...

Need something mixed? Send me a PM with the details! Cheap rates, fast turnaround, satisfaction guaranteed!

Pro Tools HD9
Logic Pro 9 Master Pro
Last edited by TasianSensation at Dec 5, 2011,