#1
Hi UG community. I'm planning on making a 100% independent Hard Rock album. I'm targeting a 2017 release date. I have a lot of equipment but since this is my 1st time attempting something of this magnitude, I figured I could use help deciding which other pieces I need to get started.

I currently have:

Guitars
Jackson Rhoads Flying V
Dean From Hell

Amp
Peavey 6505+

Interface
M Audio M Track Plus

Guitar Mic
Sennheiser e609

Headphones
ATH-M50x

Obviously, I need drums, a bass guitar, monitors, and recording software. I have some high end Logitech speakers but I can't tell what model they are. As far as the budget, I'm a college student so the budget on this album is gonna come down to minimum wage. I'm obviously not gonna be able to get a diamond encrusted bass. Also, I plan on using electronic drums. I know what you're thinking, but I live in an tiny apartment and I need something that will get the job done without pissing off the neighbors. The equipment I'm looking for is barebones. Gets the job done but sounds decent. Don't care if my album sounds like it was produced in 1989, that helps if anything. Thanks for reading this bloated post. Hope I gave enough info.
Last edited by RiffEmAll at Jun 20, 2015,
#2
You dont necessary need monitors, a decent pair of neutral sounding headphones will do. You will need a couple of more for references sake. The interface is OK. If you cant get decent results out of micing your amp you can always get decent amp plugins....ahem...you know how....

I recently jammed with my guitar played and a drummer using electronic drums through headphones, sounded awesome except for my bass. Probably cos it didnt have an amp sim on it or something. The thing is the you need a cheap drumkit with touch sensitivity, I am not familiar with electronic drums, you'll have to search this one yourself.

Bass guitar: Almost any bass would do, the Squier vintage modified series are a fantastic place to begin. Set it up, slap some fresh strings on it, get a Sansamp Bass Driver DI plugin(this one is free and supposed to be good) and BAM. Instant awesome bass sound.

DAWs: I guess you should go with Reaper since it's supposedly stable, easy to use, got a lot of tutorials, intuitive and only costs 60 bucks.


I'd also wait for a response from someone who knows more than me.
Purple string dampener scrunchy.
#3
I'd get a better mic for recording voice.
If you're gonna record voice, that is.

On the very cheap I recommend the rode NT-1a.
On the cheap an sE2200T, or an sE2200a mkII (not mkII C) if you want something really versatile.

If you end up using electronic drums be sure to use some good sample library, most of the ones built in in cheap to mid end electronic drums simply sound bad.
If you don't have a clue what to get go to a musical instruments store and ask the guys at the drum section to let you play something, so to understand what kinda stuff you can live with - are mesh pads really important? chokeable cymbals? two piece high hat pad? ...

As for the bass, get something you're comfortable playing and run it through the interface directly, then possibly use some kind of bass amp plugin.

Try the trial version of every DAW and then get the one you prefer working with.

Did you already buy all the things in your list?
'cause if you didn't then there are some (arguably) better choices you could make.

Biggest thing you gotta learn is that if you don't care for your product to sound "modern", crystal clear, sharp, accurate and all that jazz, you might use literally whatever piece of gear.
Thing is, you gotta be able to work with it and make the best out of it.

So yeah practice end experience matter a hell of a lot more than gear, so gain experience before buying gear.
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#4
Thanks. I am only using the Sennheiser for recording my amp. My vocal mic is a blue snowball. The checklist I posted is everything that I have btw.
#5
The Snowball is not a good mic for vocal recording. Sure, it might be "okay for the price" or whatever, but it most definitely is not good. If you really can't buy even a Rode NT-1A you could look at something like the Studio Projects B1, which is dirt cheap but I think it still wipes the floor with the Snowball.

Other than that, I agree on the Reaper, it's cheap but pretty much on par with products ten times its price. I have a bass that cost 80$ brand new and it works just fine for recording.

And remember, the internet is chock full of nice, free VSTs which you can use for your advantage. But before you start working on your album, you could try to record some simple covers first, maybe using drum and bass VSTs for now and get some experience. If you can't make a cover of paranoid sound good, you probably can't make a full, original album sound good.
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#6
Quote by Kevätuhri
The Snowball is not a good mic for vocal recording. Sure, it might be "okay for the price" or whatever, but it most definitely is not good. If you really can't buy even a Rode NT-1A you could look at something like the Studio Projects B1, which is dirt cheap but I think it still wipes the floor with the Snowball.

Other than that, I agree on the Reaper, it's cheap but pretty much on par with products ten times its price. I have a bass that cost 80$ brand new and it works just fine for recording.

And remember, the internet is chock full of nice, free VSTs which you can use for your advantage. But before you start working on your album, you could try to record some simple covers first, maybe using drum and bass VSTs for now and get some experience. If you can't make a cover of paranoid sound good, you probably can't make a full, original album sound good.


Thanks for the help. I'm glad you mentioned a Paranoid cover, I think I have an idea on how to make that work.
#7
Considering that decent headphones for mixing will set you back about $160 and up you can and should just get monitors. PreSonus Eeris, M-Audio, Behringer Truth, etc. are all affordable options and should set you back about the same $$$, you can even get Alesis Monitor One, that's what I am working with at home. Another buddy actually got the Best Buy home brand bookshelf speakers that actually sound great for mixing, I guess one of my recent discoveries:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/insignia-5-1-4-2-way-bookshelf-speakers-pair-black/8959098.p?id=1218957873370&skuId=8959098
Once you take out the nasty fake grille it is quite decent looking speaker underneath.

Record with your current mic and post your effort, let's see what you have. On male voice and especially rock I'd say the Shure SM7B is quite popular, James Hetfield from Metallica uses it, so might want to try that before you discard dynamic mics. Otherwise, if you're going condenser AKG C300B, AT4040 are great choices and I'll take them before the NT-1A which I find to be quite hyped and harsh sounding but that might be your thing, voice is kinda weird that way. If really on a budget, try the AT2020.

Your audio interface is definitely subpar, so I'll try to bring that up in quality.

As far as drums - there are quite a few online session guys, check Egregore "Hive Mind" on my sig., this is a guy that did it for free on drums. I met him on Groovezoo, which now is unfortunately down. There are quite a few guys that charge about $100 per song that are affordable and do much better job than you can with drum plugins. So, something to consider...

Get started writing, record the instruments direct so they can be reamped by a pro if needed later if the tracks are good. Most important thing is the performance and honestly programming good midi drums is a bi*tch.
#8
I dunno man, I pretty sure that decent recording headphones you can get for less. Like the AKG K77's or something of that series.

One way or another most people will still recommend actual monitors to headphones.
Purple string dampener scrunchy.
#9
Quote by Guitar0player
I dunno man, I pretty sure that decent recording headphones you can get for less. Like the AKG K77's or something of that series.

One way or another most people will still recommend actual monitors to headphones.


I guess your iidea and mine on mixing headphones differs by about $100
#10
Quote by diabolical
I guess your iidea and mine on mixing headphones differs by about $100


Hey, I am only parroting what other recording engineers suggested

And I heard these headphones mentioned more than once and they got some good reviews.
Purple string dampener scrunchy.
#11
I've used them quite a bit in the studio for the musicians tracking, when we run out of the better ones. KT99 at worst, what OP already has is better than the KT77, which has really bad bass representation. Beyer D770 would be my suggestion.
#12
Quote by diabolical
I've used them quite a bit in the studio for the musicians tracking, when we run out of the better ones. KT99 at worst, what OP already has is better than the KT77, which has really bad bass representation. Beyer D770 would be my suggestion.


Oh, well this is a different case then.
Purple string dampener scrunchy.
#13
I really like my headphones, they're the best pair I've ever owned. Don't see why I have to change them. I know a few producers who use these.
#14
I say try with what you have. If you're using drum vsts you could try and work with your current interface.
Your headphones are OK. Your mic as well, try your voice on it and you will know. I've used sm57 over some expensive condensers on my fem. singer's voice as it sounded better, so don't just jump to conclusions.
I think latency on the Maudio will probably be your first culprit but deal with it as you get there.
Monitors should be probably first on your purchase list.