#1
Well my band decided to just spend money and do home recording instead of buying studio time. The problem is even though we have decent sound cards we don't have enough inputs (we are looking for a sound card with at least 8 analog inputs that can record at the same time). I am using Sonar Producer 8.5 on a PC with Quadcore 3ghz intel processor and about 10 gigs of ram.

I want to be able to record drums with each piece of the drum set on a separate track at the same time so I know that is asking a lot. If it requires getting an external sound card that is fine I just need to know what I am getting into.

Thanks for any help.
#2
My band has decided to set up a full studio as of recent, and we actually have gone with the Focusrite Saffire Pro 40. It sounds good from all the tests we have done so far, it has 8 in I believe and has an expansion for a preamp strip if you would like to add more for live recording. It's actually incredibly easy to track 8 channels of drums as long as you don't have horrendous bleed, and the levels are set right.
#3
thanks I will look into that, the thing is we already have 2 mixers (one is a 20 channel with 10 direct channels out) and the other is just an 8 track and it has 4 outs, so I really just wanted a good way to take the 2 mixers and put them into the computer.
#4
Quote by Pg.inc_music
thanks I will look into that, the thing is we already have 2 mixers (one is a 20 channel with 10 direct channels out) and the other is just an 8 track and it has 4 outs, so I really just wanted a good way to take the 2 mixers and put them into the computer.

You could do that, but you'd get a lot more versatility and control if you bring each track into the computer independently.

The old TASCAM M-164U was a $300 16 channel mixer that can send 12 independent channels to your DAW through a USB 2.0 cable.

It's discontinued. Maybe it never lived up to the promise. I've got one, but haven't really put it through it's paces yet. It worked great for 2 channels through the USB with my other laptop (which broke) but when I've tried 6 channels through my current laptop (older than the other one, but more things going on) it tends to get some dropouts. The replacement in TASCAM's lineup cost 10 times what the M-164U did.

Just some food for thought. I'm sure you can find something that will reliably bring in enough channels so you can have one or more track per mic/instrument. It's also a good idea to bring in dry and wet signals for the guitars, and maybe even have a couple of mics going on the guitar cabs. If you have them in different tracks, then you get control over how you mix them after the fact, without having to do more takes.

With a track for dry guitar you get 2 advantages:
- You can re-amp that, either virtually with your DAW, or w/a re-amp box back through your rig. Some MFX pedals/workstations (e.g., Digitech GNX4) can serve as a re-amp box.
- Having a dry guitar track makes it easier to see what's going on visually by looking at the sound waves if you need to do some editing. Wet tracks have so much going on in the wave that it can be harder to tell what's what. You can edit all the related tracks simultaneously based on the visual cues you find in the dry track.

You proabably already know all of this. Just thought it would be good to put it all out there in case there's a new idea here for you, or for others who take a look at this thread.
#5
I always maintain that, if you want to learn how to record and to make recordings, then get into recording. If you want to play in a band and get a demo done inexpensively, get studio time at a project studio for about $150/day or so and be done with it.

See, for $150/day over two days, you'll get a near radio-quality demo. It will take about 12-16 hours and cost $300.

Or, for $2000 (pretty much minimum) and at least a couple years worth of practice and learning, you can make your own.

Think of it as learning a new instrument. You don't have a drummer? You can either get one who knows what he/she is doing already and have one now, or you can buy your own kit and spend a couple years or so learning how to do it yourself.

In any case, how good will you be after only two years' worth of study?

Choice is yours.

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.
#6
I've tried using quite a few different USB mixers that are supposed to be able to record different tracks, and I have really only had issues with it.

Well with my amp I do 3 tracks of guitar, hard left, right, and then one down the middle. Really it is about getting the drums to sound like I want them to and I just don't feel like I can do that without having each part of the drum on its own track. I do have a drummer and he is actually paying for whatever we need to get the drums to sound good.

I actually did record in a studio years ago, I just wasn't happy with someone else having control over my music, and I didn't think the quality was very good.

thanks everyone for all the help
#7
Quote by Pg.inc_music
I've tried using quite a few different USB mixers that are supposed to be able to record different tracks, and I have really only had issues with it.

Well with my amp I do 3 tracks of guitar, hard left, right, and then one down the middle. Really it is about getting the drums to sound like I want them to and I just don't feel like I can do that without having each part of the drum on its own track.


I'm not sure USB mixers are supposed to work that way. What you'd be looking for is an interface. There are some reasonable suggestions above in the thread. In any case, you're looking at, for something with enough channels to do live drums anyways, a minimum of $300. As a general rule, you should never get the cheapest thing you can. Already, at that price, you've got your two days worth in a project studio and you haven't even bought monitors or a single microphone.

Quote by Pg.inc_music

I do have a drummer and he is actually paying for whatever we need to get the drums to sound good.


Sorry, I wasn't suggesting that you didn't have a drummer. I was just making a comparison between the fact that, if you need drums on your album, that it is cheaper and easier to get someone who knows how to do it to come in and do it for you than it is to buy your own drum kit and learn how to play it, and the fact that if you want your album recorded, it is cheaper and easier to pay someone who knows how to do it and has the gear than it is to buy the gear and learn how to do it yourself.

Quote by Pg.inc_music

I actually did record in a studio years ago, I just wasn't happy with someone else having control over my music, and I didn't think the quality was very good.

thanks everyone for all the help


This is what they call a double-edged sword. If you don't know what you're doing, you are ill-advised to try to control it. The odds of you getting the sound you're looking for without knowing what you're doing is slim.

Maybe just try a different studio? Listen to some of their work and see if it is up to snuff.

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.
#8
Quote by axemanchris
I'm not sure USB mixers are supposed to work that way.

The TASCAM M-164UF was: http://tascam.com/content/downloads/products/121/E_M-164s_OM.pdf (page 26, 1st Paragraph under functions).

And here's the replacement: http://tascam.com/product/dm-3200/. The replacement is in a whole other leage. It needs an expansion card to send to the computer, and then it does it by firewire with double the tracks. Last time I checked, it cost at least 10x as much ast the M-164U, and that didn't include the expansion card.

But most USB mixers only pump out 2 or 4 channels, so I could see why you'd think that, axemanchris.

I still have very limited recording experience. Basically it was making an audition MP3 for a singing program for my kid. I bought an sE LDC mic for practice and just-in case we had to DIY since we had a limited timeline. Also, just wanted to have one. And we built a vocal booth in the basement for the same reasons.

We couldn't find anyone who could play the piece for accompanyment on the piano, including her piano teacher, who's a member of a prestigious symphony. So we programmed it into MIDI via Guitar Pro, and played it back with sequencer software through our Roland digital piano, recording it with Reaper through the Tascam.

We took that track to a studio and did 2 sessions there. I brought my mic (and a cheap tube preamp w/a Russian tube) along just for kicks, thinking the studio would have Neumans or something. No. The had a Rh0de mic that cost about 2/3 what my sE did. We tried both through the preamp and decided to go with the sE. Multiple people chose that sound blind. The studio recording rig was some Mac w/a 2-channel Pre-Sonus interface.

She was having some trouble hitting the highest note so we did some takes at home, too. In my opinion her performance was about the same in the studio and at home, but we sent the cuts to her teachers and they all said the home recording sounded better.

BTW, she tried the studio's headsets for monitoring when she was singing, but ended up using our own instead. And I used them for the mixdown.

I doubt I'm any kind of audio engineering prodigy or anything like that. And I appreciate that making 1 vocalist and digital piano accompanyment is much easier than doing it for a full band.

But I plan on using my gear to do our band stuff, too. We have decent digital drums, so that should be a cinch. I've already got the voice recording figured out. And I think I can get an adequate garage rock tone from a JVM halfstack, the LDC, and an SM57. If not, it sounds good enough coming direct out the line out.

I'm pretty happy with the results I've gotten just recording band practices w/the vocals through an SM58, the guitar cab mic'd w/an SM57, and the drums direct into the mixer. I do plan to refine it more when we record our own stuff if we decide to put out an EP.

In my case, I'm doing this mainly for fun and educational purposes, so there's not much to lose. Plus the genre is lo-fi garage rock anyway. Even if we were to make something that hit, I wouldn't be able to take time off my day job to promote it anyway.

I can definitely see where you're coming from, axemanchris, and see it applying completely in many situations. Especially if a band is trying to do it for a living and doesn't already have much gear and/or experience. Affordable, user-friendly gear and information on how to use it right is so readily available these days. It seems to me that most folks can DIY record, but they're probably better off handing the tracks to a pro for the final mix. Maybe even have a pro along for initial recording sessions to make sure they're executing sound recording practices.
#9
Fair 'nuff.

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.