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recording gear help - what to buy?????

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by schmittuml, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. schmittuml


    Oct 25, 2004
    Lowell, MA
    I want a portable way to record with my band we jam from house to hosue very casually..... drums, a guitar and bass..... how could i record this setup in a decent quality way? how could i do it with and or without a laptop? a couple mics (what kind) and what to record? what has enough inputs for the 3 instruments.....

    im so lost...........-Brian
  2. adisu

    adisu I admit it, I'm a "user"

    Apr 8, 2005
    IT's of course depends on your budget buti'll give you a strting point....
    first you need a computer and a sequencer to be able to make the recording.
    1) A-computer-because you are sayong that the jam moves between houses you need the computer to be portable therefore laptop would be the right choise...i would recomend a good laptop with a strong CPU (intel pentium 4 with more than 3GHZ if it's a PC).
    B-Should have 1 giga or more of RAM in order to avoid problems.
    C-Big HDD -every minute of recording a stereo signal on sampling rate of 44.1 16 bit (which is CD quality) will take 10 MB of HDD space and the higher quality you choose to record the more space you need to save the files (for example 32 bit float at the same 44.1 stereo will take 20 MB space per minute) so anyway big HDD is good for long sessions and also you also won't need to backup to CD's all the time to free space for future sessions.
    D- most new computers come with USB - 2 connections if you can make sure to have firewire connection which is much more stable. (in case you'll choose to buy firewire connected soundcard)

    2.Soundcard: first, if you want a good quality recording don't use the onboard soundcard ...it **ck.
    There some soundcards with interface for laptop (like echo's souncards) but they are very expensive.
    There are many good soundcard that connect via USB 2.0 or via firewire , the firewire is known as a more stable architecture but the USB 2.0 is fast enough and most of the time will do the work.

    when you choose the soundcard you need to pay attention to few things:
    A. how many inputs the soundcard have - you can buy a soundcard with only two mono input but then you will need a mixer to sum all the mics and send them to the two mono input and create a stereo track of your jam.
    the problem with only two inputs is that you will record the signle to the sequencer as 2 mono tracks or one stereo track and than is later you'll want to had some effects or compressors to guitar BG or drums you wont be able to do it because you'll have them all together.
    If you'll buy a soundcard with 4 inputs you will be able to send each signle to a different channel and separate the guitar, bass and drums but still need a mixer(or preamps) unless the sound card will have a mic preamp on it.
    (On the other hand you all play at the same time in the same room so even if you'll put different mics for the guitars and different ones for the drums most probably the drums signle will go also into the guitar mic and vise versa, there a way though to create a full separtion i will tell you about i later.)
    B. second thing you need to pay attention when you buy the soundcard it's that it have 24bit recording and 96KHZ sample rate (in case you want a better recording quality).
    C.some soundcards have preamp on them and then you can connect the MIC directly to the soundcard with no mixer or preamp needed in the middle.

    You need at least 2 mics to record the all room in a stereophonic way like they use to do before the close micing times that way you put the all band on one side of the room and place the mics in a stereophonic way on the other side , you create the balance between the instruments and start to record ....on the jam try all of you to stay at the same level because you record all into stereo channel on the sequencer and as i said you won't be able to change and mix the gains later. in this type of recording you need only two mics and soundcard with two pre amp inputs will be enough.

    The other way is to buy something that is called DI -DI for example with DI you can connect directly to the soundcard and then if you'll connect the bass and the guitar directly to the soundcard and the drums via mic to mixer/pramp and than soundcard you will be able to get a full separtion of the guitar from the bass from the drums and make sord of level mix and FX adding later.
    ***For this method you'll need 2 mics 2 DI
    You need to send the signle to DI from the AMP because the band members still need to hear each other so make sure your guitar AMP can send out signal without shuting down it's own speaker (small amps can't do it, bigger can).

    I hope i didn't confused you too much. :) :)
    You didn't give to much info so i gave you a few ways i know.
    If you have any questions i would be happy to answer.

  3. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Boss BR-1600CD. Plenty of channels, built-in effects (vocal, bass and guitar), mastering tools to cut a stereo CD.

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