#1
Please bear with me, I've tried reading through these forums, and elsewhere and ended up more confused....
So I am looking at recording an electric guitar, drums and a bass in a garage setting. I hesitate to even call it a demo so quality is not expected to be great, just something that will pick up the three instruments with some clarity. Also, we are very poor (our budget is 100 bucks).

Now I know that with that budget, you can't expect much and like I said, I don't. Here's what I have to work with (however, I'm trying to pick between the two, since they both have 30 day return policies)

I picked up a Blue Snowball (USB) for 40 bucks because I saw it at a store and thought I'd see if we could make it work. It has 3 settings which I am still confused about : 1. cardioid, 2. cardioid -10db, and 3. omnidirectional.
I also got a Samson Meteor (USB) used, for 40 bucks to try to test out both. As far as I can tell, it's got the cardioid 'shape'.

1. For a big garage with the above-mentioned gear, where should I start with the mic setting and positioning?

2. Which DAW would be easy to use but decent as far as quality, EQ, etc? I have Audacity, but I am thinking there is one thats better (for Mac OS X)?

Also, just some general guidance for super-simplified information regarding recording would be great, but I'd also love some help with the particular situation. Thanks!
Last edited by infraredz at Apr 23, 2013,
#2
Are you wanting to record live (all at once) or multitracked? For live, put the Snowball in the omnidirectional setting, then go to the middle of the room and move around until you have a nice(ish) balance of all the instruments. Then, if you have vocals put the meteor on those, otherwise try to find a placement around the kick and snare to give them some more punch/clarity.

REAPER is the go to here (and my personal favourite) for DAW. I find it's really easy to use because rather than having to deal with different track types for folders, busses, virtual instruments, etc. like most DAWs, in REAPER a track is a track and any track can be used for anything.

Also, to explain the settings on your snowball it's to do with the pickup patterns. Cardioid is circular but forms a love heart kind of shape around the front of the mic so it picks up less background noise. Cardiod -10dB is the same thing but it is half as sensitive, so you can mic louder sources with it. Omnidirectional is what it sounds like, it picks up everything in every direction, which is why I'm suggesting you use it as a room mic to pick everything up.

Some more tips for trying to record like this would be to try to have everything as far out of the corners as possible, and if there's stuff you can move to make the room irregularly shaped then move them. That should help control the reverb a little and make it slightly less crappy.
#3
itll sound like shit most likely but try the blue on omni in the middle between the drums guitars and everything live. if you wanna do it seperately thats different buts the best i can think of. and reaper for a daw
#4
Heres a good article on pickup patterns to explain the difference between cardioid and omnidirectional : [forbidden link]

The -10dB is what's called a "pad" which means it just reduces the input signal by the set amount (in this case 10 dBs).

For miking the instruments in an untreated room you'll really have to just play w/ it to get a decent sound...You could construct some DIY panels to help with reflections but I'm sure in a garage the ambient noise is beyond appealing for a recording setting.
Last edited by 2infamouz at Apr 23, 2013,
#5
Cardioid means it rejects sound at the "back" of the mic and cardioid -10dB is just a pad switch so you can run hotter signals through it without clipping. Omnidirectional means it picks up sound from all sides.

For a live recording I would play around with the Snowball a LOT to get the instruments as balanced as you can. You may need to place it quite low to the ground to pick up the meat of the kick. Cab placement will matter a whole bunch aswell so don't be afraid to move them. You may need to throw some blankets on the walls if things get too out of hand with the reverb of the garage.

Also, you should try recording each part separately(as well as live) using both mics. There are a few standard ways to record a kit with just 2 mics (Glyn Johns technique etc) so have a go at them, it wont hurt to get some experience.

You can't go wrong with REAPER, it has an unlimited trial but it is very cheap.
#6
What are you plugging these mics into?

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.
#7
Quote by axemanchris
What are you plugging these mics into?

CT


Quote by infraredz
...Blue Snowball (USB)...Samson Meteor (USB)


#8
Right..... those mics.... What are they being plugged into?

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.
#9
Quote by axemanchris
Right..... those mics.... What are they being plugged into?

CT

One would assume the USB Ports of his Macintosh computer?
#10
D'oh.... FAIL.

Sorry.

In that case, I'll just add that, the farther away from the sound source you place the mics, the more room sound you get. Given your description, this is probably not what you want. So, wherever you place the mics, try to get them as close as possible while still picking up as much of the kit as you can.

Just don't expect to have too much control over the sound with only two mics.

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.
Last edited by axemanchris at Apr 24, 2013,
#11
Don't those USB mics work as a simple Usb-audio interface?


I'm not sure but there could come some issues trying to run them both in the same DAW at the same time. I'll have to read about these when I get home.
#12
They work with Audacity fine, haven't tried Reaper but I don't see what the difference would be.

Anyways, I gathered that I should start with it in the middle of the cabs and drum kit, on the ground with it on omni or with the drum kit and cabs in corners and the mic on the ground on cardioid. Is this right? Also, which of the above-mentioned two options would be better?

Reverb probably will be unavoidable honestly, and I'm not even sure it would be a 'bad' thing for our aim.

Thanks again.
#13
Quote by infraredz
They work with Audacity fine, haven't tried Reaper but I don't see what the difference would be.

Anyways, I gathered that I should start with it in the middle of the cabs and drum kit, on the ground with it on omni or with the drum kit and cabs in corners and the mic on the ground on cardioid. Is this right? Also, which of the above-mentioned two options would be better?

Reverb probably will be unavoidable honestly, and I'm not even sure it would be a 'bad' thing for our aim.

Thanks again.

Keep it out of the corners, that'll give everything a boomy, muddy low end rumble that will sound like shit.
Reverb is definitely going to be unavoidable, but it's also definitely something you'll want to minimise unless you're in a very well designed room specifically designed to have a nice reverb sound.

So place the blue to pick up the drums, then get the cabs as close as possible to the mics without drowning out the drums (pro-tip: turning down the volume of the cabs will help get closer ). As I said, if you have vocals use the meteor on those (otherwise they'll get drowned completely) if you don't, then I'd put it on/around the kick or snare to give them some more clarity.
#14
+1 on Reaper. I'm just getting started in the art of recording and I find Reaper to be a good choice. 60-day trial before you buy and then only $60 for personal use.