#2
Roland interface, a variety of mics, and a modern Macbook pro. Done.
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/roland-octa-capture-10x10-usb-audio-interface?pfm=sp

I strongly recommend using this to create demos and for songwriting but bring in an engineer with cred for the tracks you want to sell to the public. Skill and experience matters.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#3
If you want to mic a drumkit you're gonna need a treated room. Room treatment is very important if you're looking to invest actual time and money in to creating a studio.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



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You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
#4
First things first, if you want to record and mix tracks you're best doing some sort of course/qualification. I'm currently doing a Popular Music and Recording degree and if you're clueless now then having all the money in the world won't allow you to record or mix music well. I though I knew a bit but looking back I knew nothing! Even short courses will show you what each mic/software/hardware thing does and how to change things to get the sound you want.

If you want to skip that then a Mac Mini/Macbook Pro with Logic is your cheapest and most reliable DAW option. Look at Focusrite (or similar) Analogue to Digital (A/D) Interfaces to get the signal from your mics to your DAW, they do multiple version of for example the scarlett interfaces with different ins and outs and then look at mics. Shure and Audix do good drum mic kits which is a start and you can use those mics on other things like amps and see which sounds best.

As for monitors, you can get a budget pair of M-Audio BX Series speakers or similar from brands like Alesis for about $300 brand new.

Remember everything you buy then needs cables, power etc.

IMO I'd spend the money booking out a studio with an an engineer if you have no experience beforehand. If you send $1000 to get a studio with an engineer for 4/5 days, you're going to get a lot more music down without the struggle of figuring it out as you go along and they'll have a much stronger chance of getting the sound you want without any mixing. Hell if you can find someone in a university who has access to a studio in their course and they're doing recording, hit them up they might even do it for free and you can pay someone to mix it.
#5
In my experience, you can have it good, quick, or cheap... pick two.

In other words... If you're looking for good quality and you're on a tight budget, then you have to expect that your goal is likely going to take a great deal of time.

Don't worry so much about which gear to buy. The point is getting to know what gear you get. You can't compete with major label sound from a garage. It's just not possible. They've not only got all the tools but they have the experience and the talent. These things take time and money to cultivate.

What you can do though is get to know your room and your gear and create a sound that is unique to you and appealing to your fans. That's the most important thing. I recently released my debut album, which if you click the link in my signature you can hear a song from, and I recorded it in a basement. I don't own a single mic that cost much more than $100, and I mixed it all "in the box." Is it a major label sound? No. But if I do say so myself, it sounds pretty damn good.

In that case, it was my experience as a producer and engineer (and as a writer and arranger) that brought the album to life. You can get very good sounds from cheap gear and you can get really bad sounds from great gear if you know (or don't know what you're doing)

Of course, right now you're looking to upgrade so here are some thoughts.

Computer: Mac is my preference but I would go with a refurb from a couple of years ago. they're plenty powerful and cost about a third of a new one.

Mics: Look for packages. Most manufactures bundle mics for different purposes and the prices are pretty good. I have a Nady 7-mic drum package that cost $200, I think. REALLY cheap mics for sure but that sort of thing can really help you hone your placement technique. Now when I do use a studio and I have better tools, the sounds are immense.

Accessories: Make sure to budget a fair amount of money for stands, clips, and cables. A pop filter and other little things are good to have around as well.

Interface/Software: This is a slippery slope. A decent 8-input interface is a good place to start but don't let anyone try to sell you on the biggest, baddest thing you can find. Not at this stage. Find something you can learn to operate quickly and don't worry about the best converters or preamps. I'm sure a lot of people will argue this point, but you've got to start with what you can manage and then grow. Same goes with software. Almost all if it is going to come with bells and whistles you won't use. Just get whatever looks like it's simple enough to use. If you like Garage Band, start with that. It's totally possible to make great sounding recordings with that. If you want more power, Logic is GB's big brother.

After that, I agree with one of the previous posts I saw suggesting training. If there is a studio in your area, see if they offer classes. That will make a huge difference and help you overcome many challenges. You will probably also be exposed to great workflow ideas that will make your whole process easier.

Hope that helps. Good luck!
#6
If you plan on recording drums and want to do a professional job you would eventually have to look into a higher channel count, 16 input interface probably at minimum.

So with your budget it might be worthwhile looking into digital desks (mixers) that have integrated multitracking capability but the learning curve is steep. From what I've looked on there is Allen & Heath, PreSonus and Behringer out of the ones that I know. This can also double as part of your PA system, so it might be worth going this route and say getting a PreSonus or Behringer 24 input mixer to pull both jobs.

If this is too complicated, look into interfaces that are 16 channel or can be expanded to do 16 channel recording.

Maybe PreSonus 192 or Audiobox1818VSL which comes with 8 input pres and can be expanded to 24 channels with ADAT preamps which can be purchased later if needed.
http://www.presonus.com/products/Studio-192
http://www.presonus.com/products/AudioBox-1818VSL

or the Audient iD22, which could also be expanded with ADAT preamps.
http://audient.com/products/id22

There's also MOTU, RME, Focusrite and other manufacturers that can fit into your search so look at the market, but I'd say 16 input interfaces. The ones I list above usually have fewer inputs/output options but can be expanded with an ADAT preamp, sometimes cheaply bought second market, once you narrow down what you need we can talk further on these but in passing I'll mention a few that could be bought at bargain: Focusrite Octopre, PreSonus Digimax, Art Tube Opto8, etc...

Then we'll have to move onto mics for drums, you can buy a drum mic package.
Budget: Shure PGDMK6-XLR 6-Mic Drum Package, CAD Pro-7, Samson 7kit (used the last one, quite good for the price)
Better: Audix FP7, Shure DMK57-52 4 Piece Drum Microphone Set (needs overhead mics), Akg Drum Set Concert I Professional Drum Microphone Pack, Sennheiser DrumKit 600 Drum Mic Kit, lots of other options.
Some of these, like the Shure kits come with SM57s that can be used for guitar tracking.
If you get these you can track guitars after you're done with drums, or just gets few extra sm57s or e609s to do that. I would record guitars direct as scratch parts while tracking drums, and redo the parts with amps later, by either reamping or re-recording in the same room for no bleed, or if the band is tight - everything at the same time.
Maybe a bass recording mic/mics, I like AT4040 which could also do great for vocals main mic.
You'd need to decide if you want to go Mac or PC, and what DAW. I am fond of Studio One at the moment but have worked with most DAWs and have achieved good results with pretty much all of them, it is a matter of experience. Look into Cubase, Studio One, MOTU Digital Performer (Mac Only), Logic (Mac only), Pro Tools, Sonar, Reaper, etc.

Monitors - quite important to have decent monitors, look at Yamaha HS range, HS8 probably, I'd go that route if buying today.

Probably a few movable DYI gobos with sound isolation that you can move around yourself.

Good tracking headphones, headphone amplifier depending on how many people will track together in a room. Maybe DT770 for sound isolation - these have helped me narrow down sweet spots for drums and guitar ampls while the players are making racket as they have really good isolation.

Possibly a modeling preamp or two for tracking quiet, to be replaced with live guitar recording later or reamped recording. Maybe a couple DI boxes to capture direct sound from guitarists for safety takes, if need be to be reamped later. This helps when someone delivers a great take but something happens during tracking like say a bassist bumps into the guitar mic and knocks it off mid performance.

At this point I think I'll let you ask questions back so we can clarify further.
#7
I would suggest tracking drums somewhere else - like a local studio - and buying a high quality interface with just a few inputs for tracking vocals, guitar and bass.

Drums will sound terrible in a bedroom no matter what equipment you have, plus you'll be wasting tons of money on stands, mics, cables and a higher input count on your interface. That money is better spent getting a great interface, monitors etc..

On Mac you should look at Logic as a Daw, it's the best deal out there.
#8
For Drums I'd say get the Roland tdk25 or td kv25. Great feel on those drums. I would then get bfd3 while it's half off. This is how I record drums (sample here https://youtu.be/3_yjaUf5iqU) . Record the drums using midi this way, where you will have access to all the room mics and stuff included in BFD3. Great flexibility for mixing.

For the guitar I'd get Peavey revalver.

For the interface I'd suggest the Tascam uh7000, I saw an used one for like $250 on zzounds. It sounds almost as good as my apogee symphony but only has 2 channels. It has incredible preamps too. (Edit... here it is. http://www.zzounds.com/item--TASUH7000?siid=136898&-z74BQsfPZ6tOQzwRINyIbjdiGpUsdmkIuqK1EBoCGn3w_wcB= ... that is an incredible deal)

For the mic get a 3u audio Warbler from ebay. It's a Chinese mic which sounds like it should cost three times the price. Great sound.

And logic pro would be the DAW I'd recommend


With this you can record just about any Rock music.
Last edited by nyandres at Apr 11, 2016,
#9
Quote by nyandres
For Drums I'd say get the Roland tdk25 or td kv25. Great feel on those drums. I would then get bfd3 while it's half off. This is how I record drums (sample here https://youtu.be/3_yjaUf5iqU) . Record the drums using midi this way, where you will have access to all the room mics and stuff included in BFD3. Great flexibility for mixing.

For the guitar I'd get Peavey revalver.

For the interface I'd suggest the Tascam uh7000, I saw an used one for like $250 on zzounds. It sounds almost as good as my apogee symphony but only has 2 channels. It has incredible preamps too. (Edit... here it is. http://www.zzounds.com/item--TASUH7000?siid=136898&-z74BQsfPZ6tOQzwRINyIbjdiGpUsdmkIuqK1EBoCGn3w_wcB= ... that is an incredible deal)

For the mic get a 3u audio Warbler from ebay. It's a Chinese mic which sounds like it should cost three times the price. Great sound.

And logic pro would be the DAW I'd recommend


With this you can record just about any Rock music.


He wants a good organic rock sound ( see his references) - he will not get that unless he records real drums.
#10
Quote by reverb66
He wants a good organic rock sound ( see his references) - he will not get that unless he records real drums.


BFD3 can pull it off... Even the built in set of drums sound very organic... The main thing is... Have someone actually playing the drums. whether electric or not. The ribbon mic kits are the next thing I find creates that sound. I insist the main thing though is not the acoustic kit, but a responsive kit (electric or not) actually being played by a human.

https://www.fxpansion.com/products/bfdx/bfdexpansions/bfdhorsepower/

Check this out for example if the video in the link above is not convincing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euAy01BJ9cg

I think acoustic drums when well recorded are better. But otherwise they can be pretty bad... This gives you well recorded results everytime. Some of the expansion packs were recorded with that organic old school sound in mind. The td25 what I'd recommend because its as responsive as the TD30 at half the price.
Last edited by nyandres at Apr 12, 2016,
#11
Here is a short but sweet list.
Used iMac
Presonus firestudio
Logic from Apple
Good monitors, I use Yamaha hs7, maybe a used pair
Inexpensive drum mic set like CAD audio pro
Use your sm57 to mic your snare on drum tracks and mic your guitar amp on leads and rhythm if you can record separately
Direct in your bass tracks to the interface
Mxl 990 for vocals it's a great inexpensive mic
#13
Having worked with Focusrite preamps for years I still fail to hear what is so special and the "air" feature ...woohoo, that's some marketing mumbo jumbo if there was one.

Same thing with the XMAX preamps (PreSonus) - they're OK, I wouldn't be soiling my pants over either one of these two preamp designs. They're competent and OK...

The Firestudio Tube had some interesting features on its 2 front end preamps that could get in some tube harmonics and a limiter that were quite good but PreSonus discontinued that...for some reason it didn't take off as well. I loved it on vocals, kick and snare.

Anyway...out of the two, I think you'd be pretty much going horses for courses...

I still work for the most part in 22bit 48khz or 44khz and can't be bothered to go higher for most projects, as the latency hit becomes noticeable and track count starts to suffer and honestly I don't hear that much difference for the music I record.

Look into Audient iD24 as well, they would have several better channels than these two for vocals and DIs, and then you can get an ADAT expansion unit with XMAX amps from PreSonus if you'd want to, even go used, it will save you some money if you want to work at 48k.

Out of those two I'd probably go for the Thunderbolt interface although integration between S1 and PreSonus products has been amazing. I guess you can always take a shot at PreSonus and see how the latency feels to you. Presonus - no problem, I like them. USB for serious multitrack recording? I am not quite sold on to that yet. Maybe buy from a store with return policy.

Did you look at MOTU as well?

I am not sure about the iMac - several friend's systems fried their graphics cards as they have insufficient ventilation. While the graphics card is $200 Apple doesn't sell replacement once your system gets about 2 years old or so. Read up on that particular model and GPU issues, maybe it is on the older ones but it is a big problem. I have one iMac sitting in storage here as a friend left it asking me to recover his drive. Apparently you could save about 30% of these by baking in the GPU in an oven but I'll leave that to him. Another buddy baked two of his and one still works a year later, the other worked maybe 3 months, long enough for him to recover his info.
#14
To be completely honest, 3 grand sounds like a lot of money to spend on recording gear, but unless you already have a lot of it, starting from scratch and making a professional sounding studio out of it in your home, that can record drums, simply isn't possible. Especially if you're going to waste money on a Mac, 3 grand is barely enough to buy you a computer, interface and some decent monitors, let alone any good mics, software and plugins, plus all the treatment you'll need to hang to actually make your room suitable for recording a full drum set and mixing. I'd start smaller and focus on quality. Get a good 2 channel interface and a nice mic for vocals, build some panels to hang on your walls and grab a set of nice monitors. Record your drums at a local studio and pay someone to mix your songs...

No amount of great gear is going to make up for your lack of experience mixing. Doesn't matter what you're using if you have no idea how to use it. Your great sounding source files will quickly turn into a mix of jarbled junk. There's a reason you don't just buy a bunch of high end guitar gear and start sounding amazing. Same goes with recording.

Quote by diabolical
I am not sure about the iMac - several friend's systems fried their graphics cards as they have insufficient ventilation. While the graphics card is $200 Apple doesn't sell replacement once your system gets about 2 years old or so. Read up on that particular model and GPU issues, maybe it is on the older ones but it is a big problem. I have one iMac sitting in storage here as a friend left it asking me to recover his drive. Apparently you could save about 30% of these by baking in the GPU in an oven but I'll leave that to him. Another buddy baked two of his and one still works a year later, the other worked maybe 3 months, long enough for him to recover his info.

I've used the 21" and 27" iMac every day at work for the past 3 1/2 years for extensive graphic design and video work. Never had an issue, or heard of anyone else having an issue...? We still have 10 year old iMacs being used in our print shop that have never had a problem.
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
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maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





www.SanctityStudios.com
#16
I don't want to talk you out of a Mac, but like I said, within the last 3 months I've seen three iMacs that became nicely designed silvery doorstops. They were 3-5 years old so I guess it could be argued that they've served their time. I have a friend that makes music with Logic on Mac Mini and he said it is enough for him, he basically runs drum vsts and records I guess what you'd call basic rock production.

Both interfaces are fine and have an option to be expanded. I'd go with a 16 channel interface when tracking drums. My last band got 2 Firestudios chained together via firewire and we filled all the channel, 15 tracks of drums and one track was the scratch track submix as we had to plug 2 guitars and bass on separate mixer and feed that on track 16.

Realistically, this is what a drum tracking session with me would look like:

1. kick
2. snare
3. snare bottom
4. tom1
5. tom2
6. tom3
7. fl tom
8. hh
9. ride
10. oh l
11. oh r
12. pzm room crush mic mono (optional)
13. room l (optional)
14. room r (optional)
15. second kick (depends on band, most metal bands usually have them)
16. kick condenser (optional, if two kicks then two condensers)
17. condenser center OH (optional, but have to use on some large kits)

For drums it really depends but sometimes I've managed to do it on a 8 channel interface by submixing toms and dropping the snare bottom mic but then you can't really achieve the professional results you'd want, for example, can't gate the toms as good and eq each separately. Also it is a lot harder to work on triggering external samples from these if you want to do drum replacement. The snare bottom mic could be faked somewhat by putting a speaker on the snare and blasting just the snare hits back through it, recording the bottom of the mic, but it is not quite the same.

BTW - not sure which version of S1 you're getting with purchase, I think it is Artist which you'd have to spend $200 more to upgrade to full. You can work off of Artist for a bit though, unless you need external vst synths and/or 3rd party plugins.

You can always go with Reaper on Windows or Mac ($60), although it runs better on Windows.

We never talked about the mics that you decided to pick?

The Samson or CAD kits are about $300 and deliver quite good to professional results.
This would work on a standard kit, maybe you buy two for a bigger kit or a few more dynamic or condenser mics to spot the HH and ride, so say another $300 and you're set for drums. These dynamics and condensers can then double on instruments, the kick drum mic works for bass amp recording, the dynamics direct on guitar amps, the OHs might work good for vocal mics or you might need dedicated vocal mic.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/drum-microphone-packages/cad-premium-7-piece-drum-microphone-kit?rNtt=samson%20drum%20mic%20kit&index=2

Anyway, I thought we went through mics already...I thought I'd mention it.

The Presonus 192 could be expanded to 26 channels with ADAT preamps so you can see what is compatible and get ADAT preamp for 16 channels track count. I'd buy used...and here is the funny part, you can also use Focusrite ADAT pres on it Something like the Octopre.
I guess you can also do the same thing with the Focusrite interface.

Maybe also look into the Presonus mixer, if you can go desktop you can do firewire interface, pop in a firewire card (about $30 at Guitar Center):
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0053ZK4Z8?psc=1

You'd also have higher track count and the capability to use the mixer live, also you can use the mixer effects when tracking, when I was in a pro studio I always put in mild compression on some things before it even hit the DAW. Not a deal breaker but it is my preferred method, which I don't employ at the time due to limitations (only 2 channel high end preamp) unless I am recording vocals.

I wouldn't go with Garageband, it is a fun toy, maybe to start a song and arrangement when you can't be bothered to think as an engineer, but I'd leave it at that.

Now, if you will outsource drums, you might as well look into the Audient iD24 which will give you 2 tracks out of the box with two mic pres and one DI that should be better than what you'd get on the two you're thinking of getting. If you decide that you don't want to outsource the drum kit, you can eventually expand with 8 channel ADAT preamp up to 10 tracks:
http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-ADI-ID22-LIST
If you have to spend the money you won you can also their preamp off the bat for 10 channel count (I think 6 channel at higher than 48khz):
http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-ADI-ASP800-LIST
Last edited by diabolical at Apr 13, 2016,
#18
The Asus will probably hold and noone is stopping you for the price of that Mac to buy 1 or even 2 i5 desktops with Win7.

Did you stop to think why that iMac was refurbished? Exactly because of the issue I mentioned. I wouldn't go there.

Get the middle Mac Mini instead with the SSD drive and put external drive for music.
That's what I'd do...or a used Mac Mini (the higher version). BTW, a lot of people are complaining about the latest OS (El Capitan) so research how the audio will work with that one and the particular interface.

The PC will work OK for the other unit, you can possibly up the RAM a bit.
#19
Recording music really isn't all that resource intensive, it's only when you get into mixing, especially with lots of virtual instruments, where you start using lots of RAM and processing power.
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





www.SanctityStudios.com