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~$600 home studio?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Jtyapp, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. Jtyapp

    Jtyapp Guest

    I've been playing music, jazz, rock, for 10 years now and I'm hoping to start recording some of my projects. I'm definetly on a budget and I know I won't get the greatest quality but I want to do it.

    Basically I have instruments and a pretty good computer (Asus G71). I have a copy of of Cubase LE that I have learned how to use with a crappy karaoke mic I plugged in the 1/8" slot.

    I want to record my rock band (Guitars, bass, drums, and vocals) and maybe some jazz combo stuff on the side. I'm trying to deside what the best way to go about buying gear is. I don't know much about what I need to plug in to my computer in terms of mixers or other audio interfaces, and I'm trying to deside what type of mics to get that will cover the drums well and still work well for vocals and guitar.

    Any suggestions would be great.
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    My suggestion is find some local college kid that is trying to go into recording or broadcasting that has their own gear. Your budget is too small at the moment for your ambitions of recording a whole band. A student would not charge full rates giving more bang for buck and your band could spend the time practicing instead of a job trying to earn $$ to buy sound gear.
  3. 10x10Studios

    10x10Studios Guest

    Actually $600 isn't completely out of the question if you already have the computer. I have a mobile setup that I use all the time and with the right audio interface, you could do some basic recording with little problem. Do you know the specs on your computer? If it's a duo core or better, and since you already have Cubase LE, you may be close.

    Here are some suggestions, and the sound quality will not be bad at all.

    Firestudio Project (used will be less expensive) see these examples - firestudio project Search | Musician's Friend
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    Now, with a little creativity, these mics can also be used as guitar and vocal mics (just to keep the total under $650) but I would recommend, at the very least ...
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    which can also be used for acoustic guitar and cabinets.

    Just some ideas I have used for my friends and clients as well as myself.
  4. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Another route to getting started is to buy a portable flash recorder. Learn to do ensemble stereo recording and then edit and tweak the files on you computer. Lots of other uses for the flash recorder as well.
  5. Derrick111

    Derrick111 Active Member

    Bologna. Get a drum mic pack that has some dynamics and some condensers and push record. Worry more about your recording skill then what you have. Get the job done and hove fun. You have to start somewhere and you will learn. what better way to do it then roll up your sleeves and get dirty?
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    You have to start somewhere, but if your goal is to have your band the best it can be, getting sidetracked with something that is a little more difficult than pressing the record button may get in the way. YMMV. It ain't rocket science or electrical engineering but it definitely will distract from being a musician. Bob's idea of a flash recorder and a decent pair of mic's is a good jumping off point unless the OP really wants to get into the recording arts. 2/3rds of the gear on eBay is from people that bought a drum pack and a cheap damn mixer and thought they were going to produce the next top 40 hit.
  7. Derrick111

    Derrick111 Active Member

    Sure, but wouldn't it be better for him to find out either if he isn't interested in recording after all or that he loves recording and want's to eventually upgrade to something better with an affordable drumpack, recorder, and mixer? I just believe that a lot of people worry too much about equipment and less about the music. Get to the point you can press record and have fun. Take it from there. I was able to do as good a job as 90% of the studios in town with affordable gear and I'm pressin' record myself! ;-) You should hear what I did with a 4-track cassette and a few 57s back in the 90s. There isn't as much of a difference as you would think if you are a good engineer/producer. Then I took it from there and upgraded to absolute pro gear. Some of which I built myself. I didn't let brands and concept stop me.

    Jtyapp, try the Audix or Superlux mic pack to get you started. Just make sure you have a mix of condenser and dynamic mics. This should get you going fine. Spend lots of time on reading/trying mic techniques and good practices. Throw the rules out the window... if it works, it works! If it sounds right, it is right. If it sounds good, well... ya know ;-)
  8. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Agreed. That's why I originally recommended finding someone who was into recording to worry about the equipment.

    I'd guess that if you did better than 90% of the studios with budget gear that doesn't speak very highly of the town you were living in. Good engineers can do wonders with cheap gear almost down to two tin cans and a string, and the cheap gear of today is often worlds apart from the cheap gear of the 70's and 80's, but there is still a big difference when proper gear is used in a proper acoustic room/hall with a good engineer. You can't start there to be sure. You start at the bottom and work up so in that respect yes, grabbing a bunch of reasonable quality mic's and a cheap flash recorder is a good jumping off point.

    And in the 90's I was working on my 2nd decade of professional orchestra and studio jobs.
  9. Derrick111

    Derrick111 Active Member

    This explains a lot. To do this would give up control and cost a lot at the expense of creativity... he is interested in doing the recording. Jtyapp, get a mic pack and a mixer like I suggested to plug into your interface and press record. Have fun. You will sound better and better. Who knows, you might just have a taste for recording that outgrows these humble beginnings and allows you to record orchestras and studio jobs.

    Bye now.
  10. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Once again you miss the meaning. I was playing my second decade of pay gigs in high level situations in Chicago amongst other places. As an engineer I was actually only just starting out. As such, a performing professional musician that is, I have a little insight in what it might take to perform at a level well above mediocre in a studio or in front of a live audience. Also, having made a transition to a more 50/50 play/record situation I have a little insight into the area of a fledgling recordist. Not to mention some perspective with age which seems lacking.

    Never the less. Lots of folks start with humble beginnings in the recording industry at whatever niche they end up in. If all one is wanting is an archive then that is the least expensive path. If one wants to do a demo CD or video then that spans the gamut of desire vs. goals vs. budget. If the OP is hip to travel that path on purpose or accidentally then this is the place to come for knowledge. Just not much coddling. If your band is serious then you will likely want a mixer both for live gigs and for recording your master fader. Getting a mixer that is also an interface is a good way to begin because then you have less gear to worry about. To get one that records more than the main L/R out gets into some cash but isn't necessary in the beginning. It just puts you that much money further from a better board. That said, lot's of beginners go that route to get their feet wet.

    Derrick is absolutely correct that recording yourself whether as an individual or as a band can be a very good way to address and correct problems. Really no argument there. Just figure out a goal list for short middle and long term and then decide how much gear you really want to start digging into.

    Bye now indeed.
  11. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    So you have any rock band you want to record? Does your band have the requisite PA system & microphones? I don't know any rock bands that don't have a PA system. Generally this would mean you already have the microphones you need. And your PA mixer may be a fine front end without the need to purchase an interface that already has microphone inputs. That might be completely unnecessary. You can purchase a couple of line level USB interfaces. 44.1 kHz sampling & 16 bit is all you need. You don't need 24-bit. You don't need 88.2/96/192 kHz sampling. So you have vocal microphones already? How many? Again, and I'm not sure why this keeps happening? Your information is no information at all that pertains to music production i.e. your crappy microphone is far less than what an entire rock band needs to have on stage. So what do you use on stage? Do you have the equipment? Is it yours? What kind is it? If you supply us with better information we can give you a shopping list of what you need to do with your $600. Otherwise, you can see the confusion & banter between the other folks trying to help you. They can't. Your information is not complete enough. You did go to school didn't you? Have you graduated? Beyond 12th grade or is that beyond 6th grade?

    Dr. it hurts when I do this
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  12. Jtyapp

    Jtyapp Guest

    Sorry for being away a while.

    The band I want to record is one i'm in. YouTube - Akineticmusic's Channel We haven't played many shows recently due to many of us being in different schools but we want to get out and play more starting this spring/summer so I was hoping a decent demo might help out, and if not it may be fun to do anyway.

    We do have some PA equipment though it all belongs to our guitarist so i'd need to look at it and see exactly what it is and get back to you. I know he has 4 vocal mics (again not sure what type other than most likely being dynamic ones) and an old analog mixer. So I'm pretty much starting from scratch unless there are good ways to use the little equipment we already have. Again I'm sorry for the lack of details on the mixer and mics and I'll get it as soon as possible. I looked around before I joined this forum and I noted alot of the same stuff that 10x10 posted.

    The mic I was referring to wasn't anything we use for PA. It is basically the quality of a headset mic and I just used it just to learn how to use Cubase and the very basics of recording. I have some experience doing AV work at my church running the mixers, moniters, mics and stuff. I was just trying to show that I have some slight background in this and I'm interested in making this a hobby. I'm not some kid who assumes that he can put out a hit record without knowing anything. And yes i've graduated high school and I'm a sophomore studying mechanical engineering.

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