My Setup to record....I NEED HELP!

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by PollyBass, Sep 6, 2001.

  1. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Hi guys, my band isreally wanting to record. the guitarst has the most money, so hes buying a mixer, and n-track, so we can record on his comp. i was wondering, what would be the right way of going about recording our band? There are, Vocals, Guitar,Bass, and Drums. Ok, so how would i do this? we are doing all this in a room the size of a thimble, so what should i do? they are leaving all the recording stuff up to me,,,(just becasue i know how to setup a PA,,,,SESH...) i dont know if we should all do it in one cut or not? i dont really know what im doing, besides knowing how to plug everyone in, were getting a pa for practise, and recording, How do i mic the singer? thru the pa? i know i have to mic the drums and guiatr, and i will run thru my head (balenced out). and since we are in a little room, arnt the mics for each thing going to pick up the other insturments or voices? HELP! PLEASE!
  2. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    The best advice to give you is to experiment and try it out, as this sounds like the first time you are doing it. Experience is the best teacher.

    The sound quality depends mostly on the type of sound card you have - whether it's a cheap Sounblaster clone, or a high end card made for mixing and recording - as well as how powerful your computer is.

    In my experience, the quickest way is to hook up the guitar and bass through DIs into the mixer (don't mike them - if you really want a live sound, do both - mike and direct, then mix the sound as you prefer it), mike up the drums with 2 mikes (1 for the bass drum), and record the instruments first together. Any mistakes can be gone over individually. Lay down the vocals last - you will need a reasonably good mike and the voice quality will suffer if the sound card is not good enough. Mike the singer through the mixer/ PA as well.

    Hope this helps a bit.
  3. Muttluk

    Muttluk Guest

    Jan 19, 2000
    Oakland, California
    I'm gonna say good luck with the drums...

    You may have to use more than one mic (up to 6) to mic the drum's "properly" obviously, different people believe in differnt forms of what is right and wrong, and there is no "right" way, because different people have different views of whats good and whatnot.

    You may want to set up the mic(s) as fallows...

    -one on the kick (you may need a special mic for this, shure makes one)

    -One on the snare (you may need a special mic for this, to clip on, because it may get in the way of the drummer if a mic stand is there, shure makes these, they clip on to the snare

    -One per tom (i dont know the names of all the tom's but there's the floor tom, and either one or 2 more, depending on the kit. You may need the same mic mentioned about the snare, for the same reasons

    -one (or more) from above, to pick up all the symbols.

    Obviously, this is a very expensive procedure the way i mentioned, but if your guitar player (who you say is rich) is willing, shure is selling a mic kit which has the kick drum mic, 3 tom mic's (the ones that clip on to the snare or tom's) and 2 sm57's to hang from above to get the symbols. if he's willing, i say go for it

    Depending on what kind of recording setup you have, you have an option of doing the fallowing (one again these are just sugestions)

    -Create a dummy track, which is just a mic in the room, to capture the timeing of all the enterences, and whatever of the song, the drummer then plays to this tape, so (s)he has the spacing for all of the breaks, guitar leads ect. Then you lay down the bass lines once the drums are done, then you add guitars, and finally vocals. this is helpful, because if you record to just one track, and somone messes up, you'd have to start from scratch. Then again, if you only have one track to record to, you'd have to do it that way. Also, if you do it this way, if somone makes a mistake, they can just go back themself, and fix it, you dont have to piss of the whole band cause somone comes in late or somthing.

    -Record everyone at once, send everyone's signals into the mixer, have somone sit in and listen to the sound, they decide when the mix is right, you hit record, and then just play. Plain, simple, no fancy studio tricks needed, very basic. Problems are mentioned above. If one person makes a mistake, EVERYONE has got to go back and start over. Also if you dont like the final mix of levels, you cannot go back and change it.

    If you dont know how to record guitar, bass and vocals here are some suggestions...

    Guitar: Mic the amp, you may need a fancy condenser mic (can cost up to $200 for a good studio quality one, or you could get away with a shure sm 57, my guitar teacher used to use these for live mic'ing). Or you could run the signal direct. This would be simply plugging into a di box, and then into the mixer. You would use somthing like a Line 6 POD, or J-station.

    Bass: Same as guitar, but side note, some bassists prefer to use a DI insted of mic'ing, but others prefer mic'ing instead of DI, so its all subjective. Some brands to look into if you chose to DI is the Sans Amp DI, which is an amp Eluminator (kinda a non digital amp simulator) i really like the results i've gotten from mine.

    Those are just techniqes i've used before, or heard of from my guitar teacher... and yeah. good luck...
  4. Oysterman

    Oysterman Guest

    Mar 30, 2000
    There are way cheaper sets for drum micing than the Shure way. I've seen a set of 7 mics (including two condenser mics for overhead, which is preferrable) for $300 here, and that's including 20% Swedish sales tax. Of course, these are by no means the best mics in the world, but they work. No "clip-ons" though, but I have heard (and experienced myself) that they are hard to set up correctly, since they pick up all the vibrations from the drums themselves, and tend to sound like a$$ because of this.

    1) You mic the cabinet, not the amp. ;) 2) You don't want a condenser mic for this, unless you want to pick up all the ambience in the room as well (which would be absolutely horrible if the room sounds bad or there's some other kind of noise going on there). A cardoid ("one-directional") microphone like the SM57 is AFAIK the best choice for a task like that. (not only for live mic'ing)

    Also, if you DI the bass, the DI on your amp (if you have any) is well enough for this task. No need to buy an external box for hundreds of dollars (unless you want to, of course). I took my Trace Elliot head to the studio because I wanted the preamp section of it, and DI'ed that. Sounded great to my ears.

    Oh yeah; symbols and cymbals are two entirely different things. ;)
  5. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Someone said we "Might" need a bass drum mic... we usely just plop a reguler mic in front of it (for live shows) and it works fine. would i still want a drum mic? or can i just record this way? keep in mind that we are staving musicians, dont have alot of cash.
  6. Oysterman

    Oysterman Guest

    Mar 30, 2000
    Try recording with what you have first. Are you happy with how the mic picks up the kick drum? No? Then get another mic. :)
  7. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I agree with Dr Bass Guitar re experimenting. For cheapo recording try 3 condenser mics on the drums, one on kick and two overheads (over ride and hi hats). Guitar amps (valve ones) need to be driven fairly hard to sound 'good'. If your guitarist is typical he has a 100w Marshall, cover it with a blanket (not the vents) and try seperating the guitar and bass amps form the drums. Studios use posh screens I use matresses and sleeping bags.

    I would try recording the instruments first and overdubbing vocals. If you take vocal cues try laying down a vocal/guitar/click guide track and overdubbing over that (band then singer sepaerately)

    Have fun
  8. wannabe

    wannabe Guest

    Sep 29, 2001
    Lake Station Indiana
    When my band recorded the guitarist and drummer recorded together (the guitarists track being a scratch track) then once that was done I could lay my bass down to the drums and his scratch track
    and then he could redo his guitars to a finished
    drum and bass track

    all we ever used were shure 57's & 58's
    to mike the drums play around with the placement
    you'll find they work great

    1 thing make sure the drum track is perfect
    don't find out down the line a mistake he made
    and no one noticed

    and get some decent headphones

    hope it helped

  9. i just started experimenting with the studio plug in for cool edit 2000, and i tried my first recording with it last night.

    i used a line in with an extension cable going from the back of the pc (dell dimension l667, 64K ram, pIII) to make access for the instruments more easily accessible, recorded all the instruments clean (well, the drum loop i used already had some 'verb) and then added effects to each track afterward. haven't tried vocals yet as my first test recording was an instrumental.