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Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Bassist_Ben, Nov 15, 2005.

  1. Hey Everyone,

    My mates and i aren't rich so we are going to record one of our made songs through a computer. Is there any tips like, recording separetly or at once!? Please help

    From Ben
  2. Brad Maestas

    Brad Maestas Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2003
    Oakland, CA
    However ambiguous your question may be, I'll do my best.
    The net is a vast and nearly limitless place. There are myriad pages of text out there just waiting to be read by you. However, it's impractical to properly teach someone how to do something as complex as recording by just reading books and articles alone. You need to find someone who already knows what they're doing and then persuade them to guide you. Don't buy a "budget home studio" book and immediately expect great-sounding recordings. For sure, getting a good text like Modern Recording Techniques is a step in the right direction but you still need someone to help you establish a solid foundation in the fundamentals. Ask around and see what you find! Good luck.
    GIYF! :)

  3. thanks brad:D
  4. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I will warn you right now: do it yourself recording is NEVER cheaper in the long run. You will save some money up front, but the results will be poor. So you'll look for ways to improve your recordings: better mics, preamps, mixers, software, oh no time for an upgrade. Bigger hard disks, more RAM, faster CPU, hey that plug in sounds neat, crap now I need a MIDI controller, how about soem effect plug ins, hmmm these PC speakers suck, time for monitors, how about some headphones, great now we need a pair for each bandmember, and a headphone amp and...

    You get the picture. Don't get me wrong, recording your own music is fun, rewarding and in my opinon far better than letting someone else get their grubby paws on your mix, but its not cheaper. I'm building my second home studio right now and I'm about $4000 into the project, with at least another $2000 to go. And that's not counting the hardware I was able to recycle from my last endevor. And my rig isn't even uber compared to what some people do.

    If you are willing to put in a lot of time and a pretty heafty amount of money in, you can make some really good stuff. But if all you want is a quick 4 song demo you could get it done faster and cheaper by just hiring an average local studio.
  5. Brad Maestas

    Brad Maestas Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2003
    Oakland, CA
    No problem!

    I agree with Tash. It's often wiser to go to a reputable studio because they'll usually have way better acoustics than you have access to. I'm going through this right now with a group that I play in. The leader wants to record before the holidays and we're trying to figure out if it'll be cheaper for me to do it or if we should just go to a studio.

    We found a possible studio in Brooklyn. I'm gonna go check it out today and see what all they have. They charge $60/hr for their A room and they can provide an engineer if needed. Depending on the bloke, they're asking between $40 and $60 per hour. So for tracking that's a minimum of $100/hr which is actually quite reasonable. If we get a friend to engineer we can cut some costs there. Our leader already has someone in mind to mix and master it. I have no idea what he'll be charging for that.

    Commercial studios have had it rough since all the prosumer studio gear has proliferated. Now that nearly every kid on the block has a Powerbook and an Mbox, studios are having to lower their rates somewhat to compete. Sure, I've made some decent recordings with my portable HD3 rig but since moving to NYC, finding and renting rooms with good acoustics is just getting too expensive. As much as I want to do this one myself I think we'll be better off at a studio.

    Going back to your original question, each recording method has their own unique results. Recording with one or two mics in a room is one approach. The quality of the room and placement of the mics is most important. You 'mix' by moving the instruments relative to the mic(s) or vice versa. This was the de facto method until Les Paul came along and discovered how to multi-track. It's still favored by many jazz and classical artists as well as the growing contingency of "audio purists". One nice thing (or not) is that any mistakes are either kept or else everyone records it over again. None of this "punch me in there" or "copy and paste that here" crap. :D

    Recording everything separately gives you the most control but also puts more importance on the skill of the operator (and often the quality of his reverb). Recording with multiple mics in a room complicates things a bit and instrument separation/isolation becomes a high priority. This is by far the most popular way to go for most groups and I prefer it especially when I play electric bass. You can achieve true separation between the bass drum and the bass guitar, not to mention all the instruments. That's not an easy thing to do with a simple two-track recording.

    If you're only doing one song, it should be easy to find a low price. Also, ask yourself what it'll be used for. Are you gonna use it to get gigs? Is it a gift to a girl/friend? Is it going to be submitted to a competition? This will determine how much money and/or effort you should put into it. Happy trails! -Brad
  6. but what if i just use Movie Maker Music Recorder or just Adobe Premeir Pro! Maybe that would work...but can i ask is it better to record all at once or separtely!? Thanks!
  7. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Regardless of what software you use you will eventually need to shell out for a large list of gear, depending on your bands needs. As for doing things in tracks or all at once, that depends on your situation and what kind of band you are in. If you are in an acoustic based band and have access to a very good sounding room, you could probably get a decent recording out of a pair of high quality condenser mics with everyone playing at once. My brother is in a bluegrass band that does this, actually they use only a single mic and actually "mix" themselves by physically moving closer to the mic during a take to change volume. They do the same thing live and they sound great, however they are all extremely talented musicians playing very high end instruments that sound wonderful with no help from effects or processing.

    If you play in an average rock type band then you will want to record everything to seperate tracks and then mix them together. That means you will need at minimum a way to get sounds onto a computer from each instrument and a way to mix the tracks together afterwards. Getting the sound into a computer is the hard part. Guitars and bass are pretty easy: decent mic on the cab or line out from the head to a mixer or high end audio interface. Vocals are the same but you will need some kind of preamp to boost and shape the signal (if your guitar player has an effect modeler of any kind, like the POD or GT-X you can use these, the POD XT in particular has a "generic tube amp" model that is great for vocals).

    The hard part of this is drums. Drums are not easy to record. First you need mics, several of them to be exact. For a small kit I've gotten away with 4: kick, snare and two overhead condensers. This works if the room is just the right size and not too echoy, and if the drummer has good control over his/her level, and the kit is very nice sounding. For larger kits you will usually need to add a mic on the toms though, I favor 1 mic for the smallest rack toms and 1 for each pair of floor toms.

    Of course for all these mics you will need a multichannel mixer with mic preamps, or a dedicated preamp. And cables, the last project studio I helped set up spent almost $500 on cables for the drum mics. By the time you get all this stuff you will have already spent as much money as a session in a decent studio. For this reason i strongly recomend booking a session to do drums. If your drummer is tight, doesn't make mistakes and knows the material you should be able to get things done with 1 take per song, which would get even a full length album done in an hour. The studio would then give you a CD of drum tracks, or single already mixed track, and you would take it home to your studio and do the rest of the recording there.