Home recording?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by basskiddanny, Mar 6, 2002.

  1. basskiddanny


    Aug 22, 2001
    a few days ago me and my band did some recording to mini disc, and as expected the quality isn't very good.

    what kind of equipment would we need to get
    semi-decent results, we only used one microphone last time.

    How many mics do we need for the drums??

    The mic we have cost about 35 quid.

    Are there any UK sites that sell recording equipment that i could look at?
  2. LowEndRider

    LowEndRider Guest

    Mar 4, 2002
    Whoooa....big can of worms - home recording leads to max financing if you want to do it properly but you can get reasonable results with basics.
    For a start a portable DAT machine / hard disk recorder or PC with Duplex (simultaneous input/ouput) sound card would be useful.
    Minidisc is lossy compression meaning it filters out 60% of all data so it will fit on disc leading to harmonic underrun.
    A mixing desk is essential as most instrument levels need to be balanced individually rather than relying on the automatic gain levels on a recorder or the acoustics of a room.
    With a desk you can close-mic acoustic instruments and direct inject the amplified ones.
    A stereo electret Mic is an affordable start - again, try to set the levels without automatic gain.
    It's worthwhile setting up a small Demo area even if it just lets you hear the overall sound of the band and what bits need working on - be constructively critical!

    - have fun
  3. Brings back memories of when I started recording :)

    I could write for an hour on this, but I'll keep it brief.

    Most bands use application specific mikes there dude. You got a nice mike for 35 quid (that's a day's pay where I'm from), I'd say use that one for your vocals.

    Drums can get away with a minimum of three for decent quality - one (usually an expensive dynamic or a lower cost electret with good top end response) for your cymbals, one (a dynamic with a flat midrange) for your snare/toms and one (a dynamic, usually expensive, with a response down to 30 Hz) for the kick.

    In a pinch, I used an AIWA cheapie that came with a reel to reel recorder for drums once for a live gig - very cardioid, very good bottom end (25 - 5000 Hz measured response) and impossible to overload.

    Miking your guitars, look for a dynamic with neutral response and no peaks anywhere.

    Miking your bass, use the same type you would for your kick drum.

    General rule of thumb, dont put an electret mike anywhere you wouldn't put your ears. Electrets are less expensive and give awesome performance within their specifications. They have the disadvantage of lower dynamic range, requiring power and can be noisy. Dynamic mikes are quieter, tougher, have a better dynamic range but tend to have a less than flat and more limited response and aren't as sensitive.

    As for recording, if you studio record at home only, go for the fastest computer you can afford, with the biggest HD you can get. A Yamaha DS-XG series sound card will never wrong you either (stay away from SoundBlaster - their noisy). Most software to start you off is available FREE.

    If you need portability, try a Roland or other HD recorder. Stay away from cassette multitrackers other than for maybe using it as a "notebook".

    That's my tuppence ;)
  4. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    I just set up my own home studio-ish...

    It has so far cost me a small fortune... I sold my 5 string Stingray to start it all off!

    PC - 1gig, 20 gig hd, cdrw = £450 - a show model from pc world - and I haggled!!!

    Soundcard - midiman delta66 = £280 - this card is bloody good - I can get 2ms latency out of it - which aint bad. I can thouroughly recommend this or the delta 44 which is the same but without coaxial in/out.

    mixer - spirit F1 by soundcraft = £260 - a good buy i think - quite simple to use considering how many goddam knobs and buttons there are!

    software - admittedly I'm using pirated software - I wont encourage this coz it's illegal, but the way I see it is that if I learn to use it at home - I'll have to buy it if i ever want to use it professionally... a bummer coz it's not one of the cheaper ones.

    My advice is to learn how to use the software, the mixer and card etc.. before trying to record the band - cos that'll be like trying to fly before you can walk... never mind running!

    ...and you'll have a load of gits looking over your shoulder while it all goes wrong... which doesnt help!!

    Oh and Cables - dont forget these will cost a bit too.

    I've been trying to record our bands tracks just as demo versions so we can all 'read from the same song sheet' as it were.
    I plan to try and record the full band in the near-ish future... but not live.

    I'm going to try to record guide guitar & vocal tracks - have the drummer play along and record drums -then re-record the rest...

    sounds simple, I'm sure it wont be!