Need Advice For Recording

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by tucker, Feb 28, 2001.

  1. tucker

    tucker Guest

    Jan 21, 2001
    North Carolina
    I've been playing for about fours years and I am planning on recording my own stuff. Well actually I plan on recording my own stuff and my bands stuff. I have two 4 piece bands, two guitar players, bass player, drummer and singer which is one of the guitar players. Thats one band. My other band is one bass, drummer, guitar and singer.
    My plan is to record their stuff and my own things like sampling but with recording over things like making my own songs. ( me as bass player and guitar player, and the drummer is someone else.) First of all what do I need to do this, like mics?, how many?, and where is an ideal place to record?
    I know this may sound a little confusing but I'm sure there is an easier way of saying this. I am 16 years old and is able to obtain a decent amount of pay. With a little help from my bandmates I should be able to collect the money and make my own CD's and a CD for my bands( I have a CD burner myself and use it very often ) < I figured that would be a help to record CD's right? Well anyways I've been looking at ministudios and haven't decided on one. I need to know the following questions. How many tracks do I need? Analog or Digital? What else? I hope I gave the enough information to help aid all you bassists in answering my questions and lending me helpful advice.
  2. I_Dream_Of_Bass


    Feb 8, 2001
    I recently purchased a Tascam 424MkIII porta and I was pleasantly surprised by it. You can fanagle 8 inputs on the board but only record 4 tracks. It's not bad for an early 4-track if you don't have any equipment. I picked mine up for about $380USD. You're also going to need a selection of microphones to record everything. I would suggest Shure SM-57's for any instrument you need to mic, and a Shure SM-58 for vocals. These are relatively inexpensive microphones that are very rugged and will last for a long time. BTW, for the bass, I would suggest going direct out of the head/combo and recording that way since a good bass microphone will run over $200USD. You should be able to pick up a microphone (SM-57 or SM-58), cable, and microphone stand for $100USD each. You also need to consider how you're going to be listening to the tracks that you're recording. Headphones, amps/speakers all add up to more money and will vary depending on how you are recording and what you are using to record. Obviously you'll save more money by purchasing all of these items together. You also may need to think about effects units(reverb, compressor, etc.) These aren't necessarily essentials initially, but depending on your style, you will most likely want them eventually. As you can see, it quickly adds up to a lot of money, even if you just buy the bare minimums to record. As a side note, and from past experiences, I would be a little hesitant about having the band purchase these items as you may run into problems of them wanting to borrow the equipment( to friends), or, if anyone leaves the band, they might feel that they deserve some of the equipment or money for there share of it.

    Just some things to think about.

    If you have more questions, just post them here and try and include some other info such as the type of music that your band plays, how much money you have to spend, and what you're looking to get out of the recordings(quality-wise and end-result)
  3. tucker

    tucker Guest

    Jan 21, 2001
    North Carolina
    First of all, my equipement sorta sucks. I don't have a mic output on my head, so that leaves that out but I will be getting a new head anyways.
    My band plays funkrock with distortion ( How I hate distortion especially when im grooving into a solo and then the guitar kicks in a solo too I hate that) and maybe a little bit hard rock but rarely do we ever play this type. Thats one of my bands, the other band plays about the same thing but alot of distortion and the drummer is loud. I try to keep everything equal but I don't want to blow away my band cause I easily can and the guitar player cranks up his 50 watt amp all the way and distortion too.
    As for me playing by myself. I plan on flaying funk things like Red Hot Chili Peppers to clasic alternative rock and funkrock. Actually many things.
    My spending rate will be around amybe around $500. I figured that would be a good and reasonable amount to start at.
    And I want to record because I hate recording on a small recorder with bad sound and I want to seek a career in music with recording. I want decent quality not the best but enough to to sound good and inexpensive.
    P.S.> My band mates really dont know what they are doing with electronics and equipment so I usually do it. Plus they wont want to borrow it I know. And if they do leave then they will have to deal with it and they'll put like 20 bucks in it anyways. Plus I can beat all their a$$es.
  4. I_Dream_Of_Bass


    Feb 8, 2001
    Unfortunately, I don't think $500 is going to be anywhere near enough for what it sounds like you want to do. The minimum that you need is a recorder/multitrack and at least two mic/cable/stand setups for stereo. That would probably put you between $500 and $600. The sad fact of the matter is that it isn't cheap to buy good quality recording equipment. I would suggest checking out the site that virtual.ray suggested, along with some magazines at a bookstore directed at this area. A few that come to mind are Home&Studio Recording, Mix, and Electronic Musician. I'll also include some sites on the net for pricing gear. (Not a pro-audio outlet, but they still have some excellent prices on equipment.)

    Even with only two mics and a recorder, it's going to be an uphill battle to get the sound that you want from a 4-piece band, but it sure can be fun trying to do it sometimes.

    P.S. If you mean by that, that you are looking to become a recording engineer, then you should go talk to the engineer at a local studio and see if you can intern for him. That'll be the best education that you can get. And who knows, the engineer might actually give you some studio time after a while if he likes you and thinks he can trust you.
  5. tucker

    tucker Guest

    Jan 21, 2001
    North Carolina
    Well I said around $500 but I will go for the price I need to go to. I never thought of going to a local recording studio. I know of one and its at a church. I should check with the guy this Wenesday. Thanks alot man, that has got to be the best advice ever. I would have never thought of that. Well I'm going to check these sites out and see what they will do for me.
  6. dhosek


    May 25, 2000
    Los Angeles, CA
    It's tough enough putting together the stuff to play live as a teenager without throwing in the added cost of recording equipment.

    Even if you record straight to the computer, you're looking at a not insignificant investment in software (Cakewalk is probably a good entry-level point for computer recording and that'll be $200 or $300 iirc) plus outboard equipment (another couple hundred for an A/D input to the computer, plus all the mics and cables).

    Here's my thoughts for the budding band expenditures:

    Your first step will be setting up with vocal reinforcement: Sm58s (with some dilligence you can find them used for $70-80) plus a boom/tripod mic stand for each singer ($20 each for something that won't quickly fall apart). Plus a 20' XLR cable for each mic.

    You might be able to plug mics into your amps (some guitar and kb amps have XLR inputs). The XLR->1/4" route even with an impedence transformer should be considered only a last resort.

    When you have the money, you should pick up a mixer and powered monitors.

    An unpowered mixer will better fit into a home-recording setup (try and pick up one which has direct outs on at least 8 channels like the Allen & Heath MW 14:4:2+ or Mackie 1604VLZpro. Either of these will set you back about $1000 new). Powered monitors can be used for rehearsal and small gigs as mains if need be. The Mackie SRM450 is nice for around $800 each.

    I would recommend against buying a full-fledged PA for almost all bands: What I've outlined above is more than adequate for rehearsal and small gigs. At larger gigs there will usually be either a house sound system and you'll be better served by a full-time sound man.

    You'll probably want to pick up some additional signal processing equipment at this point. A good compressor (or several) like the RNC would be useful (especially for the bass), plus some reverbs, etc.

    You're also in good shape to be able record as many as 14 tracks at a time with either set up described above and a suitable recorder.