So, I've finally got the band's act together. We've managed to produce a couple of really decent songs that we're more then proud of. Now, because of our lack of foresight (and because we never thought we'd get this far), we find ourselves unable to record our material. We have tried using a cell phone (it captured the leads but not the rythym sections). And we've used the sound recorder that comes on most computers, and that's our most successful try to date. We hooked up a USB headset and hung it from the ceiling over our band room. And we managed to get pretty good quality recording from it. Now, the trouble is that we can't get more then 60 seconds of recording per session, and our songs are longer then that. We've tried various ways of lengthening the time, with mixed results that usually ended up in us scrambling to our instruments once we found we had more then 60 seconds worth, and really, I'm tired of this. Is there any way to get some cheap recording equipment that'll serve us for now. The stuff doesn't have to last, it just has to be decent.
The Pit. The Movie.
Get a video camera, that'd be better than any of the methods you've tried out.

Seems like you don't want to make things complicated. So that's what I'd go for.
Quote by Tomaz24
Get a video camera, that'd be better than any of the methods you've tried out.

I actually tried that awhile back, and with the video camera's we have, it's the same problem as the cell phone. It doesn't like the low roar of the rythym guitar. We've tried putting it in a different room even, and it doesn't even pick it up there. We've also tried various volumes, tones, tunings, distances, you name it, with little to no success.
The Pit. The Movie.
Are you just using sound recorder?? If so all you have to do to record longer is record nothing for 60 seconds and then in effects decrease the speed a couple of times and you have more time to record. Dunno if this will help but I hope it does
By the way, Audacity lets you record multiple track separately, so you needn't all perform at once. Meaning you can play individually and then whatever microphone you have should capture better.
Use a zoom g2.1u it comes with recording built into it so u can record straight on to comp then get audacity to change things. Zoom g2.1u only costs 80 pounds at www.soundcontrol.com (or something like it) it worth the investment.
Quote by Spay
it captured the leads but not the rythym sections

It will if you record each instrument separately and then mix it on the computer.
find a really cheap studio and see if they can track you live. Pretty much you set up in a room with evertying and go. Some studios have the capacity. If you have the song ready you could get a couple down in like 3 hours. just put some money together. it'll be a better deal than any recording stuff.
My band has made decent demos just by putting cheap condenser mic hooked up to a tape recorder in the middle of the room and doing everything live. We just plugged the headphone out from the tape player into a computer's mic in and recorded it onto the computer later.
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Thanks guys, I think we'll try expanding the time like said above.

I'll download audacity and we'll see how that works as well.

Thanks again

And any other suggestions are still welcome to consideration
The Pit. The Movie.
Guitar and bass could go through effects/amp and then have the line-out go into your microphone input on your computer - record them dry and then add effects afterwards ( reverb , possible EQ ).

Vocals and Drums - quiet environment, get the room reverb too, otherwise won't sound natural.

Programs :

Audacity on Windows otherwise look at getting Studio 64 ( it's an operating system, comes with MANY audio programs ). Try and find a MIDI program ( for Windows I can think of a Jazz sequencer and Denemo ) - this could let you add in keyboard parts too, or any otehr instrument you like ( drums for example ). Then add reverb and EQ afterwards to make it sound natural.

You'd also need to sort out the stereo imaging of the recording ( what comes out left, what comes out right, comes out both etc ).

That's the easiest way - get a few mikes for the drums, they're the hardest part to record. Give me a PM if you want more advice - I've just started a Music Technology course.
an easier way to expand the time with windows sound recorder:

record nothing for 60 seconds. then go to the end, and hit record again. now youve got 120 seconds. repeat until you have enough time, then save the empty track.

now you can rerecord over it anytime and youll have all the time you need. i used to do that all the time before i had any other recording program.
If you can already get it on to a computer with a usb headset, just use audacity and a mike... you could even (as mulletman500 said) record one persons part, play it back and record over it while it's playing...
......... because here at mcdonald's our special ingredient is our people...
I use Audacity and a computer mic.
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Quote by Spay
I actually tried that awhile back, and with the video camera's we have, it's the same problem as the cell phone. It doesn't like the low roar of the rythym guitar. We've tried putting it in a different room even, and it doesn't even pick it up there. We've also tried various volumes, tones, tunings, distances, you name it, with little to no success.

Actually, my band's got some pretty good recordings from a digital/video camera. It's all about placement.
^ actually if you can get a small 4 channel mixer (which are really cheap and almost impossible to find since no one wants to mix just 4 channels) but if you can get a 4 channel mixer and 4 mics you can run the mixer into the video camera. i recommend shure mics, i also recommend forking out some money for some recording equipment. it really isn't THAT expensive to get started.
Get audacity (free) and a $20 mic from walmart or radioshack.


The sound quality may not be the greatest with this method but it will allow you to get your songs recorded so you can burn cds and give them to your friends or whatever.
Recording with no recording equipment is about as possible as playing guitar without a guitar.
Buy a cheap 4 track and a mic, record each piece individually.
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adambc: the analogy holds.

if you want people to take you seriously, you only have two options.
A) get into a studio. (lots of people have home studios that are cheap/free to use)
B) buy real equipment. get a lexicon alpha box and an sm57.
Quote by mulletman500
Audacity is free to download. However, it might be worth investing in something better, including proper microphones etc.

Link: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/.

+1, I have Audacity and it is great. Also, good mics would be a very wise investment.
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Quote by thepope29
find a really cheap studio and see if they can track you live. Pretty much you set up in a room with evertying and go. Some studios have the capacity. If you have the song ready you could get a couple down in like 3 hours. just put some money together. it'll be a better deal than any recording stuff.

A got into a big arguement with a recording engineer over that. In his ad he said that bands can track individually or at the same time. My band put a down payment (non refundable) on our time and when we shwoed up he said he couldn't track us together. So we had to do it individually and we could only get one song done because we booked 4 hours expecting to jam out at least 4 songs in that time and record them. Bad Idea. Cost like $150 bucks.
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If you're really serious about your music and want to put together a good product (albeit on the cheap) then I'd suggest doing a combination of all of the previous recommendations.

1. Rent a set of V-Drums; this will be cheaper than recording the drums in a studio. It's really hard to get a good drum sound when recording with mics on your own, so having electronic drums will give you a cleaner and unmuffled drum sound. Most electronic drumsets these days sample real drum sounds, so it'll sound like a real kit. Your drummer may balk at using electronic drums, but he's still the one drumming on the CD and his part will sound fantastic.

2. Download Audacity or buy a professional recording program. I've bought a lot of recording programs in the past, but I prefer Audacity since it's very much a bare-bones approach. Getting a USB interface is a good idea, but not necessary, since most sound cards these days are 16 or 32 bit (not anything you need to worry about understanding now), so plugging a cable into your line in jack on your computer will be fine.

3. Go to Radio Shack and buy yourself a stereo 1/4" to 1/8" converter jack. It's a little thing with a jack you can plug a guitar cable into, and a plug that looks like one at the end of a headphone wire. You can plug this into the line in jack of your computer.

4. Record the bass direct into the computer, and EQ from there. The most well-defined bass sound you can get when recording like this is just having the bass itself, and not sending it through any amp or effects. Pan the bass at the center of your mix.

5. Record your guitars from the DI out or headphone out of your amplifiers, or from the line out of a multieffects pedal. It'll take some EQing to make it sound perfect, but trust your ears. Also, doubletrack every rhythm guitar part and pan one track 100% left, another 100% right; this will make your guitar sound bigger and heavier. You may want to turn down the overdrive or distortion on your guitar sound, since you'll get enough of a "big" sound from doubletracking you won't need a lot of distortion for a heavy, well-defined sound.

6. Vocals can be tricky, which is why I recommend doing them at a studio, however recording them at home can still be good enough. Doubletracking vocals can do all kinds of magic, including beefing up your voice. Make sure to mix your vocals higher than the music, since they are the central point of the song.

7. Listen to your mix on good speakers, bad speakers, good headphones, bad headphones, in your car, through your TV speakers - anything you can get your hands on. That will let you know how the mix will sound through various ways people will listen to it. Adjust accordingly, and once it sounds good enough through everything finalize the mix, and you have yourself your own track!
Originally posted by Neon Knight
Ramco i worship you and your awesome comment \m/
Thank you guys so much for all the tips and advice. My band is going to start recording some serious stuff today and tomorrow, I'm excited to try and use all the tricks and tips you've given me. Once again, many thanks
The Pit. The Movie.
take the head set... download sony acid (it should be free)

record the singers amp first

then record bass amp

then rythm guitar amp

then lead amp

then drums (each one seperately if possible)

what i mean by record amp is to put the microphone as close to the speaker as possible and and in the center (turn down a little bit)

then in the program, cut out extra noise, synch up the tracks and your set
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Hey Guys, once again. Like said, we recorded. And it didn't come out great. We used our USB headset and Audacity. And we were also pressed for time, so we didn't get to tweak it as much as we'd like. But the recordings are here:

Please tell me what we did wrong/what we could do better. Also, keep in mind that those are only demo's and we plan on getting better equipment and better quality.

Also, please don't comment on our playing/singing skills, we know they needs adjusting/overhauling, and that's not why I came here.
The Pit. The Movie.
You should definitely do each part separately. Record the drums first, and build from that. That way you can get the best mic position and sound for each instrument and mix it better, and most importantly if one thing screws up you don't have to completely start over.

I'd suggest invest in a better mic, such as a Shure SM-57 or Sennheiser E835 (investing in mics that you can use both for recording and live is always a good idea), as well as a USB interface so you can send the mic through the computer; I'd recommend the M-Audio Fast Track USB. The Fast Track also includes amp modeling software. As many people have said in this thread, if you want to be serious about your music you should plunk down some cash on your recording budget. A little over $200 should be enough to buy all of the aforementioned equipment.

Also, it's a good idea to record each guitar part twice and putting one recording in each ear. Since you're going for a heavier metal guitar sound this will bring out the balls in your guitar!

Most importantly, invest some time into your recordings. Don't expect to just play it once and be done. The best players on earth record countless takes and spend hours getting it all to sound right.

I hope this helps out. If you need any more advice you can private message me.
Originally posted by Neon Knight
Ramco i worship you and your awesome comment \m/
Last edited by Ramco at Nov 21, 2007,
okay i'm posting in this thread because I saw it in my previous posts list...

Write songs first. This first.
Your first step should be writing songs
Before you do anything else, write good songs.
Write good songs.
After you've written good songs, nail tone, performance, and timing. Be able to play to a click track.
While you are writing good songs, save up your money.

take the money you've saved up, and go to your local project studio. I can almost guarantee there's some kid like me in every town, village, city, and hole in the wall. Someone at your high school, or some old fart uncle of someone, has a hobby of recording music. Find him, and pay him to record your good songs. He has invested time and money into knowing what he's doing.

You. Do. Not. Know. What. You. Are. Doing. Do not fool yourself into thinking $200 is going to change that. Even if you COULD buy a useful amount of equipment for $200, you would not be able to produce good recordings. If someone picked you up and dropped you into Electrical Audio studio A, you would still be unable to make a quality recording.

Studio time at a project studio isn't that expensive.

Until you can afford it, play live. Every non-friend that listens to a song recorded on a cellphone, or whatever you did here, immediately writes off your band as unprofessional, crappy kids. It's better to have nothing for now.

I am being harsh. Get used to it.
Hook everything up to a computer and record on audacity, eg. record drum beat, then have the rhythm guitarist plug in and do his thing over that, then lead, then vocals or whatever
If you can't record the parts of the drum kit separately ( kick, snare, hi-hat, toms, cymbals ) then copy the track and concentrate on each element - reduce the EQ of lets say bass and low mids and the focus will be on the higher sound such as cymbals, you can then work EQing each element separately more or less and then put them all together til you get a kit you're happy with.

I also agree with the V-drum/electronic kit idea but this should suffice for now.

Needs bass frequencies and not much highs but some mids. Adding some very high frequencies will give the bass a better attack. Don't intrude on other instruments and fiddle the EQ here to fit with the drums, everything else will be easy.

-Rhythm guitar-
is usually more bass than lead. Don't have too much bass in it, as it'll start to intrude on the bass guitar and sound muddy. We want a clear mix. Drop gain and pan hard left and right for a full sound that won't be too brutal - which your recordings were. Reverb also makes the sound bigger and less invasive ( not brutal )

-Lead guitar-
is generally brighter, more cutting and less distorted as they are the focus and need to be more melodic than noisy. Consider dropping gain and recording this direct or applying little reverb to make this guitar stick out.

I don't know if you plan on falsetto or adding backing vocals in future. Find where you're range lies, more bass means more power ( fuller sound ), more highs make it brighter/sparkle, ALL mids makes it sound megaphone-ish. Reverb makes them bigger and helps them blend.

That's EQ

Panning wise - bass is central, vocals can be central or panned out wards and doubled. Rhythm should be hard left and right for a wall of sound effect. Lead can be central or can be left and right about 20/30 like the vocals.

Your guitarists quick solo/passage in one song sounded really sloppy. I can't play better but I'd play what I'm capable of. Hopefully just sounded guff as the guitar was soaked in distortion and wasn't hung to dry.

I liked the Harmonics song - the songs only sound bad bad when the vocals and the drums are featured prominently. Drums are the hardest part to record, vocals were lacking power ( both in volume and bass ).