#1
Hey guys!

So, there's been alot going on for me lately! I sold off the schecter, put PRS Tremonti pups in my Ibanez SZ, and started a rack to add to the recto! It's been busy, but I'm loving every bit of it!

So, my band played a gig today, as headine band amongst 7 local bands, and many many people fell in love with the original pieces we played.

So, this got me thinking....I think it's time to start planning out a recording setup. Over the summer, I will be making a lot of money, so I will be able to fund this at that time!

We'll take it step my step in multiple posts, as there will be a lot of information!

All help is greatly appreciated!
#2
So... what are you asking?
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#3
1. Recording Into......

First, we need to chose something that I will be recording into.

I'd like to do this with a laptop, as I will need to buy one to also use for college soon, so I might as well spend the money once, and kill two birds with one stone.

So, what would you guys recommend to me for a good laptop? I was thinking I'd go ahead and spend the money on an apple, but I'm also thinking, that with a soundcard upgrade, that a cheaper laptop might work well also.

I am slightly done with all the troubles PCs give though....I hear macs are much more reliable.

From there, what program would you recommend for recording? If I went down the apple route, I think garageband would probably be the choice, or are there other options?
#4
2. Recording With.......

Mics, mixers, interfaces? What do I need to get this all up and running?

For mics, I was planning to go with the SM-57 (for myself: I am the guitarist), as it has proved to be a good mic with many many people. I've also seen a more expensive "beta" version of the mic....does anyone know whether it is worth the extra money? I'm also considering a condensor mic, to be placed further back, to get more of the full spectrum of the tone.....I've seen this applied with good results.....opinions?

From there, the rest of my band mates will have to buy their own mics:

Drummer: a shure drum kit and a mixer
Bassist: What would you recommend? Could we just use the bass mic off of the drum kit?
Vocalist: SM-58....again, is the beta version worth it?

So, we're looking for a good quality, and easily transportable recording setup......

If you have any other mic recommendations, please share them!
#5
3. Getting the Signal to the source........

Here is really where I have no idea what to do.

Other than the drums, I don't think a mixer is necessary, as we plan to record the parts seperately and then layer them (have each instrument play their part as they listen to what was previously recorded).

So how would I go about doing this? How do I get the mics to the source? An interface? Mixer?

Recommend us whatever you can come up with! We want to get some nice quality recording out of this!
#6
1.definitely get the apple macbook pro or macbook laptops out now, im on a iBook G4 right now and you never get viruses, its great and the macbook's will be able to run windows eventually probably so you can switch between OS X and windows without losing speed at all, i would much rather use OS X anyways but whatever, make sure you get an education discount from apple.com though, it will give you a couple hundred bucks off, garageband is pretty good and there are many features that are good once you learn to use it well, apple also makes Logic Pro which is very professional but because of this its $1000, apple is the way to go for professional recording, and is good fro college and normal use

2. SM-57 for guitar, not sure on the beta version, shure kit for drums, bass drum mic will be good for bass, and SM-58 for vocals as you said, i dont think the condenser mic is necessary and you could always use the overhead condenser mics from the drums too

3. i think you could just get an 8 mic input mixer and just use that for everybody uless you need seperate mixers for drums and other stuff which i dont see the point of, but i think mixers are the way to go
Last edited by Teleprompters at May 20, 2006,
#7
The best amatuer recordings I've heard use really simple setups from what I've seen, at least for guitar. Shure SM57 -> mic pre-amp or mixer -> soundcard. I don't know enough to give any recommendations, but I was told to stick with the SM57, and not to bother with the 58 if you are just mic'ing an amp. After that, it's all mic positioning and fingers from what I've seen.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool." - W.S.
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#8
The 57 will be for guitar....the vocalist will have to buy a 58 for himself......

Now, how exactly would the mixer go straight into the soundcard? Would I need a special one that goes into a USB? I've never really used one, so I don't know the type of cables that it sends the signal through.....
#9
ya you will plug into the comp via USB, not sur eif the mixer will come with one or what the other end of the cable should be

EDIT: are you going to resign as co-founder of the ibanez/schecter owners club now that you sold the schecter, BTW i heard johnson sold the business in tokyo
Last edited by Teleprompters at May 20, 2006,
#10
most of them either have regular RCA out, 1/4 " line out, XLR, or balanced 1/4" TRS. I'm sure your soundcard will have a regular line in, but best results would probably be with a balanced input or XLR if possible. I have seen a couple mic/instrument preamps with low latency USB or firewire, but they were a lot more than the regular mic preamps. You would probably be fine using the mixer rca jacks into your soundcard line in.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool." - W.S.
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amp vids
#11
I've got what I think is a pretty decent setup. Here's my gear:

Apple Powerbook
Tracktion software- www.tracktion.com (This stuff isn't too common, but REALLY fast, NEVER crashes, and simple to use, but still powerful. I swear to god it pwns so much I have to rant about it, hence, the rant )
Shure SM57(2)(Guitars/other crap. These are the classic general purpose pwn mic.)
MXL 990(REALLY sensitive cheap condensor mic, good for vocals, and acoustic guitars, and other stuff like that. Omnidirectional.)
MXL 991(Drum overhead pencil condensor, sounds good. Has a nice tight cardiod pattern.)
CAD 4 pack drum microphones(These sound a bit week without EQ, but my drum submixer has 3 band EQ for each track, and they sound good with EQing.)
Presonus Firebox(if you want to do a whole band live, get the Firepod, but this works fine if you're willing to dub in vocals and second guitar tracks.)
Behringer Eurorack(I feed the drum mic's into this, and then I feed the outputs from this submixer into the "line-in"s on my Firebox. Otherwise I don't have enough inputs.)
Nice headphones(They're some Audio Technica model, they cost 60 bucks new. I think they're ATH-30s or something. Useful for mastering, though for the final mix you'll need a submixer.)


The hardest part out of all this stuff is for sure the drums. A full set of drum mic's by Shure or whatever is uber expensive...I got this 4 pack for 100 bucks on MF, it needs EQing but it sounds ok. I basically mix it so I get the thumping power of the drums with the drum mics. I typically EQ these guys pretty low, and then I use an overhead to pick up all the high frequency stuff.

Hope that helped somewhat...
I'm not very active here on UG currently.
I'm a retired Supermod off to the greener pastures of the real world.
#12
Dude, how many percent of your original tone would be sacrificed if you were to use a mixer for recording.... Is there any "true bypass" mixer setting (recording n00b......)


And, yeah, whats the best mixer available under 800 bucks nowadays...
Tone is all ...... well probably 75%, in your fingers.
The rest depends on your wallet's thickness !!

Keep the faith, baby!!
#13
So, would it be better to run the mics into a mixer, and then into the computer, or should I go into a USB interface, with mixers or whatever needed, and then into the computer?

Remember, that the tracks will be recorded seperately with each instrument, and then layered....I'm pretty sure this is the best way to record for optimal quality, and not having to redo the whole thing if a single person makes a mistake. True?
#14
For a laptop go for a Macbook Pro. However the problem right now is the only universal app that runs on it is Logic Pro.

As for mics, a few SM57's would be nice. You might want to look into the Shure Drum Mic Kits. For Vocals you'll want a large diapgragm condensor. Check out Audio Technica AT3035, and Rode NT1.

Go Firewire for an interface, since it sounds like you need to stream multiple channels. USB isnt fast enough to stream a lot of channels, usually it only streams a stereo mix.

As for a recording interface and a mixer and that you have two options. Your first option is to get an interface/mixer in one like an Alesis Multimix FW16. However you don't nessicarily need a mixer since most of your mxing will be done in your sequencer anyways. So you're next thing to check out is something like a PreSonus Firepod.

FYI, theres no use in buying an SM57 and an SM58. Both have the exact same polar pattern, the only differnece is the SM58 has a ball capsule and wind screen, which is often preferred in live scenarios. Put a pop screen up to 57 and you'll be fine, or like I said invest in a large diaphragm condensor.

I think that covers it, you may also want to look into a compressor, but thats not nessicary as long as your levels don't clip and you can compress everything on the computer.

I hope thats all, check out this website, great for beginners http://www.tweakheadz.com/guide.htm .
#15
Quote by ibanez4life SZ!
So, would it be better to run the mics into a mixer, and then into the computer, or should I go into a USB interface, with mixers or whatever needed, and then into the computer?

Remember, that the tracks will be recorded seperately with each instrument, and then layered....I'm pretty sure this is the best way to record for optimal quality, and not having to redo the whole thing if a single person makes a mistake. True?


Yes multi tracking is most ideal, also your gonna have no bleed from other instruments in the mic this way. But remember when your doing the drumkit your going to be wanting to do multiple mics at a time sent to different channels into the computer.
#16
Don't buy an Intel Mac yet. Don't get me wrong, I love Macs, its just that they havn't been fully debugged yet. I'm planning to switch to Intel in a year or so probably, once Apple gets all the little quirks ironed out.

Quote by bluespunkmetal
Dude, how many percent of your original tone would be sacrificed if you were to use a mixer for recording.... Is there any "true bypass" mixer setting (recording n00b......)


And, yeah, whats the best mixer available under 800 bucks nowadays...

If you bypass the mixer, you don't mix. That's like asking to get distortion from a distortion pedal when it's true bypassed.
There's the issue with audio quality, but it can't change the sound of the guitar live. It may sound a bit different recorded, but thats normal, it just depends on what mics you use, etc. And for mixer, almost all analogue mixers are under 800 bucks that anyone would need...


And for actual recording technique, I really reccomend that you record the bass player and drummer together. The bass player you can plug straight into the interface, so you won't get bleeding, and the drummer can put on headphones to hear the bass player. Trust me, if the drummer and bass player play together, the rythm improves incredibly. The bass and guitar work off each other, and if you change that the playing will degrade.

Also, you would think that you always want everything to be super clean in recording, but I disagree. Everything super clean and perfect makes it sound lifeless and sterile. Personally I think its best to record the drums, bass, and rythm guitar all at once. You get so much more energy on the recording this way, it just sounds amazingly better. Once you have the core of the song down, then go in and record overdubs, like vocals and lead guitar.

I've made a little machine, it's basically a tape player. What I do is I feed the audio from the interface line out into the record head, then a few centimeteres down there's a read head, which I use to feed the audio back into the line in. Then I feed it through again, like five times, so everything sounds nice and saturated, and compressed a bit. It helps a ton. Technically it's not as clean, but it lets you get really big powerful guitar sounds, as well with really hard drums, etc.

And I saw you wanted to get an SM58 for vocals, bad idea. They're more of a mic for live use, for studio use, get a condensor.
I'm not very active here on UG currently.
I'm a retired Supermod off to the greener pastures of the real world.
#17
hey this is a little off-topic ibanez4life SZ! but that "Subject To Change" song is pretty sweet!
#19
Pink Queen.....you mentioned recording the rythmn (drums, bass, and rythmn guitar) all on one track. Won't this cause bleeding of the drums into my signal, as I will be micing up my recto? If so, does it really not matter, as it is the rythmn track? I can see it as good, as it may bring some more life/unity to the track, but are there any bad sides to it?
#20
^Not onto one track, but into 3 seperate tracks, recorded at once. If you're gonna be picky about how "clean" it is, record the bass into the board with the drums on too. You won't get any bass bleeding into the drum mics that way because the bass will be played into the bassists and drummers headphones.

Here, a screenshot might help:


For this song, bass and drums were done at once. The bass wasn't put straight into the board, I miced an amp. Theres a little bit of bleeding, but very little, my drum mics are pretty directional, and the overhead drum mic doesn't pick up the bass frequencies well.

After we did bass and drums, we recorded the piano takes, and then the guitar. Vocals were thrown in last. As you can see, I record most everything with a Shure SM57, and an MXL990. I then output those two tracks(Shure and MXL) to a "master track" so I can control the volume of both of them with one slider, as well as apply master effects. I can of course apply certain effects to only one of the mics, and then send it to the master. I often take out some of the highs of the 990 because it's got alot of treble.

For the drums, you have drum left, and drum right. I do the drums in stereo, and do all the drum panning, etc. on the Behringer mixer. I then feed it into the line ins on the back of the interface. The left output from the mixer goes to input 3 on the interface, and the right to input 4. I input the overhead straight into the Firebox. I then mix all these into a master drum track.
I'm not very active here on UG currently.
I'm a retired Supermod off to the greener pastures of the real world.
#21
Do you rob banks for a living? I thought I recall reading you were 15 ish. how can you afford alllllllll this stuff?


but cool. I dunno anything about that because I'd never afford it in the near future
I'm not racist.

I hate everyone the same.

#22
^Not even 15 yet.
I'm not very active here on UG currently.
I'm a retired Supermod off to the greener pastures of the real world.
#24
apples kick ass and they do run windows now. we have them at work and they have windows on them too. only the ones with intel processors though. but on the windows side you can still get viruses. awesome software musically for macs
#25
yes, they have a program called bootcamp, that runs windows programs and you can restart into windows i think, eventually you will be able to run OS X and open windows in a window, most people find apple better for arts like music, design, etc., the condenser mic would be better for recrding vocals in a studio, most people have bass plug directly into the mixer and have at least drums and bass play together, if not rythem guitar also, however sometimes when you have an amp up loud it will sort of make the snare ring or move some, it depends on the snare i guess though, the software that That_Pink_Queen recommended looks fine and will be better and more detailed than garageband by the looks of it, and thats not an apple program its just being run on an apple
#26
^It's way more advanced than Garageband, but still really easy to use. Good stuff
I'm not very active here on UG currently.
I'm a retired Supermod off to the greener pastures of the real world.