Welcome to the land of studio nightmares. LOL. Obviously, you have already spent some money to obtain Pro Tools. And that's an excellent start. It's also quite an involved and deep program to learn. It's not what we would call easy. Soon you will need some training tutorials to help you out with that alone. Local music stores in your area such as Guitar Center have everything you need. Of course you need to know what you need. And most of this is simple. Let's see... where should I start?
Yeah, let's start with microphones. One of the best, one of the most prolific and one of the most used microphones you need to get will probably be at least 8 Shure SM 57's & 58's. These are $100 each. This microphone is one of the most popular you'll see with every rock band that has ever lived. It is also one of the most popular microphones for use in the studio. These microphones are built like tanks and hammers. They can build houses and they can be used as weapons. They are almost impossible to destroy. They are also the de facto standard microphone to utilize on guitar amplifiers, drums and vocals. Condenser microphones are a whole other animal. They do not necessarily mean better but simply, different and used when you specifically want that kind of sound. Because they do sound different from 57 & 58's. And you might think they sound better but they are not necessarily better to use on everything. Your local music store will also have books and magazines geared toward home recording studios. You should pick some up. Many of these magazines include a lot of advertising, reviews and a lot of hype. Believing all that you read will not necessarily make you a good engineer especially overnight. This is a process that actually takes years to become accomplished with.
48 channels? You really must be kidding? You're joking right? Honestly, you're being completely unrealistic. Unless you need to record 48 channels simultaneously, there is no reason on this little earth why you would need anything like that. Especially since you have ProTools. What you will need is a mixer or a computer audio interface device that should allow for 8-16 simultaneous microphone inputs. This will allow you to record an entire band all at once. And that's the way real professionals like myself do it. Other folks, who are accomplished musicians and can play numerous instruments, only need to record one part/instrument and/or vocal at a time. And that only requires 1, 2, 3 or, 4 simultaneous inputs. You're really asking me to give you my +41 years in the business all that you need to know in a couple of paragraphs. And that too is unrealistic. There are schools you can go to from individual recording studios, to community colleges and up to the university level where you can obtain Bachelor's, Masters and even PhD degrees in the Recording Arts & Sciences. And that should only set you back a little more than $40,000 for a bachelors degree. So obviously you must be fairly well off financially? If not? You might need to set your sights slightly lower to start with. Real studios frequently cost somewhere around $150,000. Home studios can cost as little as $10,000. And that's because those really good microphones you're talking about can cost + $3000 each. I've got quite a few of those. I couldn't buy them all at once. Of course you can get those lovely Chinese knockoffs for $80 each. And they can still do quite an adequate job. You'll also need plenty of microphone stands with booms. Lots of microphone cables. Lots of headphone amplifiers. You'll need a power conditioner and uninterruptible power devices. You'll need a good pair of studio/control room speakers. Those can cost you as little as $300 per pair and up to about $5000 per pair. And you'll want both of those types. Because you cannot rely upon a single pair of speakers. None of us rely upon a single pair.
PreSonus makes a fine computer audio interface that accepts up to 8 XLR phantom powered microphones. This device will only run you approximately $500. And it also comes bundled with its own fabulous multi-track software. So then you'll have to different multitrack software packages. Within the software, you have the equivalent of $850,000 worth of outboard studio processing equipment. So you really don't need any of that stuff unless you want that stuff. I love the hardware stuff so I have that and I spent a bundle for it. But I also have the software so I have both. Most professional studios all have both. And that stuff in and by itself you have to learn how to use it, what it does, why you need it. And that comes from use, experience and lots of reading. Then you also have to learn how to listen. You have to learn how to listen in to the mixes of all of the hits you love to listen to. Otherwise, how are you to know what your recordings should sound like?
So there's some stuff to get you started. There will be plenty of other people that will respond to your post and make other suggestions. We all have our favorites and we have all agreed to disagree and to debate with each other. And that's why you're here and that's why you hear. The only thing easy about making a recording is the ability to screw it up, royally. And that's easy. Plenty of people like rotten recordings quite easily. But that's not what you want to do. That wouldn't be anything anybody would want to listen to. So along with your learning curve of your software, your hardware, you've got a long road to hoe before you get to the Golden gate Bridge.
I'm really not trying to be a smartass. But I am a smartass because I'm good at what I do. Your question was sort of like saying you just bought an erector set and would like to build a spaceship to go to the moon and would like to know how to put it together to do that. And that's easy. You put it together and then you fill your tank with liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen and you ignite it. But you should also make sure you are in the nosecone before you do that. Otherwise, they might get away from you. And then it will land on somebody's head and you will be sued.
Ready? Set. Go.
Mx. Remy Ann David