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Making a "home studio"

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Iruleonbass, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. Iruleonbass


    May 29, 2005
    New York
    My band is starting to get all of our **** in one bag, and the recording process were using is very very bad right now. What I want to set up, Is a way to stick a mic infront of every amp, and the drum set, and than run in through a signal proccesor or mixer, I dont know what to buy on that issue, and than run all that into a computer and record onto some kind of program I would have to buy.

    So I need recomandations on everything, what mics to buy, signal proccesor/mixer ( I dont even know what you would use) And than computer recording software, and any cables I'll need.

    I have to mic Vocals, Bass, Drums, and a guitar amp. (one of each, so 4 microphones total) So what I plan to do is have everyone play at once and record it as one track. If theres a better way of doing this please let me know.

    Even though money is a problem becuase Im getting my new amp soon, pretend its not for right now.
  2. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    Read the FAQ. It'll answer most of the questions you have.
  3. gilbert46


    Sep 21, 2004
    Sacramento, CA
    I wish it were that simple. Im building a studio as we speak. Drums are hard because you cant capture them all on one mic, and they are all different volume. to do it right you need to mic each drum, and use overheads for the cymbals. A 5 piece drumset would have 5 microphones and 2 cymbals mics on booms for a total of 7. You could then adjust volume accordingly to get a good mix in with the rest of the group.
  4. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    I would respectfully like to disagree with you about drum technique. Close miking every drum allows more control, but some of the best drum parts, kits, and players have been captured on 3 or less microphones, and often only one overhead condensor will do for a well-tuned jazz kit. Earthworks just came out with a set of 3 microphones designed to be used as two overheads and a kick with built-in EQ, and lots of studios are using them.

    Having said that, close-miking everything is my preferred technique, as well, it's just not necessary :)
  5. Import

    Import Guest

    Jul 17, 2005
    I'm used to recording drums with a mic on the bass drum, snare, and thne two overheads, that has always worked for our band. For bass, somtimes D.I is the way to go, i used to be against D.I but my new bass has good pickups and the sound is great, and you dont have to fork out for another mic. guitar as you say, 1 mic, thats how ive seen it dont alot so im assuming it all works well
  6. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    On one of the big Led Zeppelin tunes (don't remember which one...maybe "Black Dog") they set Bonham's kit up in the hallway of the big English country house where they were staying and recording, and hung a mic (I think it was just one mic) way up overhead, off of the staircase. The acoustics of the space made it sound great.

    You don't NEED to close mic everything, but if you do you get more control.

    There are lots of good books. Visit the library and see what they've got.
  7. The Clap

    The Clap

    Jan 5, 2004
    Scottsdale, AZ
    As I recall, this was (perhaps also) for When the Levee Breaks. Those are some sweet, driving drums
  8. millard


    Jul 27, 2004
    There ain't really a cheap way to do this, sorry.

    Also, without someone riding the sound board, you will have a hard time getting a sound you really like with everyone playing live into one track. That's mostly because you will have little or no post production control.

    What we're trying out, is recording each part individually (drums, then bass, then guitar, then lead vocals, then backup vocals, then maybe some guitar fills or added percussion). It's not as much fun as ripping it live, but each instrument is in its own track, so you can fix levels and even play with effects per channel.

    It's especially hard on the drummer as he has to count it out against a metronome click (or listen to an old recording and play along). Everybody else just takes their time and listens to the accumulated material (through headphones), playing over top of it. We're just starting this experiment, so I can't really say how it will turn out.

    On the upside, you can get by with a very modest mixer and only a couple mics. You do need a reasonably fast computer and decent software. Make sure you have a decent soundcard and good nearfield monitor speakers for evaluating the results.

  9. DaveMcLain


    Jun 19, 2005
    Cuba MO
    We do all our recording in my home studio. It started out with an 8 track 1/2 inch analog machine and now we use a computer based setup, Adobe Audition software, Athlon 64 3000+, 1GB ram, 3 10,000rpm SCSI hard drives, 80GB system, 80GB archive drive and a 200GB backup drive. I use a MOTU Firewire sound card, Groove Tubes Brick and ART Pro MP preamps, Groove Tubes Model 1B, SM 57, AKG C-3000, Peavey Condensers for overheads, Shure Beta 52 kick mic, the list goes on and on.

    I would highly recommend using a computer based digital setup, I'm glad I went that route about 6 years ago with Cool Edit Pro. It works great, gets better all the time and it will allow you to produce professional quality results with the least amount of expense and work. Build the most powerful computer you can afford esspecially in the IO department and be prepared for a long challenging learning curve. Recording, mixing and producing your own material takes time but it's worth it, you will learn more about tone than you ever thought possible and have a lot of fun in the process.

    I've also got an extensive collection of guitar and bass amps and other gear that we use. I've collected that stuff over the last 10 or 15 years so that's a big help.

    Recording cinematiclly is how we do it, one part at a time. On our latest project I rented a big house in our town for a weekend of drum recording. It sounds fantastic. I did this because in the past the limitations of our recording space hurt the drum sounds on record to some degree. Now we just tracked all the tunes onto the 1/2 inch 8 track and I transfered them into the computer for overdubing.

    I firmly believe that once the drums are done getting an effective guitar, vocal and bass sound isn't nearly as tough environment wise if you know what you are doing.

    I've spent hundreds of hours micing guitar cabinets and trying different things, combinations of gear and finding what seems to work best for a given track or situation, it's fun and sometimes frustrating and lots of work but it's also what seperates the men from the boys when it comes to making a record.

    Most importantly have fun good gear gets cheaper all the time so I would try to get a few good mics, mic pre or good quality mixer and sound card FIRST. Experiment and find some sounds, our first project was a bunch of cover tunes and we had an awesome time cutting the tracks. Again due to the lack of isolation, number of tracks and other practical considerations, I had to record the drums first with a scratch track and then mix them down to two tracks on the 8 track, then by overdubbing all the other parts, we did the entire project in my apartment, recorded, mixed and everything.

    Needless to say, much was learned but since they were tunes we all knew really well it was pretty easy. And by doing a cover or two you have a target to shoot for, you can imitate the production on the record with your own sounds and that's extremely educational and fun.

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