#1
My band is looking to start recording our own material shortly and since my flat is the place where we do most of our practicing together and since I have the best computer setup out of all of use, I've decided to take the initiative and invest in some decent equipment that will help us achieve the sound we want.

At the moment we're a trio (rhythm guitar - me, lead guitar and bassist/vocalist) though we have a drummer who plays with us from time to time but can't really be considered a member as such as he lives in a different city and doesn't get up here very often. The plan is to find a local drummer. We will also want to add backing vocals, possibly multilayered and keyboards or synths. We play black metal although that doesn't mean that we want necro production - lo-fi, certainly, but the sound we're trying to achieve is more akin to Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse or Immortal - Sons of Northern Darkness in terms of being a bit muddy but still having everything distinct and mean sounding rather than early Darkthrone or Mayhem. We absolutely want to mic our amps instead of DIing. I play through and ENGL Screamer and our lead guitarist through a JCM800 so we want to make the most of having two excellent amps.

At the moment we're messing around on a Fostex digital multitracker which is ok but I think we'll get much better results and will have a lot more options if we record to computer instead. I've got around £250-300 to spend on a recording solution (just the recording hardware, mics are already sorted) and was wondering what's best to go for. At the moment I have a Creative Audigy 2 in my computer, not the worst card in the word but it's also been superceded by the X-Fi range so I suspect it will have to go.

As you can probably tell, I don't know a great deal about this but I was thinking that something like the Presonus Firepod would be ideal. It offers a lot of flexbility what with the eight channels and has what appear to be high quality preamps on each of the channels. Certainly the 8 inputs will be excellent for when it comes to micing up a drum kit. I'm also a big fan of the Firewire interfaceas this would save me ripping components out of my PC. On the other hand... we're a reasonably lo-fi band, do we need all this? Could we get satisfactory results with something similar but cheaper? With fewer inputs, for example.

Or is there a better way of doing this altogether? Any suggestions welcome
"It's not a beard, it's an animal I've trained to sit very still" - Bill Bailey
#2
That looks like a great purchase, and it comes with software.

What are your PC specs?

If you want to do a decent recording, you'll want to record a minimum of 7 tracks at a time (2 guitars, bass, 2 overheads, kick and snare), so I can't see that greatly exceeding your requirements. I assume you'll want to record the entire backing track live to capture the energy, being a band of harder disposition.

That said, you could get an interface with fewer inputs and a fairly cheap 8 track mixer, but, of course, once you commit to wax, you won't be able to adjust levels, and you'll lose quality because you won't have as good preamps in the signal chain (even if you did, the quality would dip in the mixer stage and not be fully compensated by good interface pre's.

But, you will need a reasonably powerful computer, a suitable recording environment with good acoustics and some good microphones, probably at minimum, Shure model 57s (guitars and snare) and Rode NT1As (overheads and bass amplifier) and a decent kick mike (Shure do a reasonable one of these, the AKG 112 and EVRE20 being other strong candidates)

Plus of course, should you wish to sell it on, the firepod will retain its value fairly well.

That's my two cents.
#3
^good advice.
PM Me for any help you need with recording systems/tips
Quote by BrianApocalypse
Good call

Man, you should be a mod, you know everything.