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Advice on equipment for drums.

Discussion in 'Drums' started by Owin, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. Owin

    Owin Active Member

    Hey there, well I have this list of things to buy in mind but I was hoping to get a peer review to make sure Im not missing something important or doing something very stupid. Im a drummer and am hoping to record myself playing to some tracks. This would be my main use for the equipment but Im under the impression that I could record other instruments (e.g. vocals, acoustic guitar, piano) with ease as long as I had this list.

    10 drum mics (I have this already. I was careless with my money, and wont use all of them most likely)
    -Audix F15 condenser
    -KBM 412 kick drum
    -Nady DM70
    -7 piece set of tom mics, 2 overheads, 1 snare

    This is what im considering buying:
    - Behringer XENYX 1202 mixer
    - maybe 7 CBI microphone cables (for the drum mics into the mixer)

    Im hoping to just connect it to my laptop and with some software like KRISTAL audio engine.

    Okay so do I need an audio interface? Maybe some other cables, or is this mixer capable of this?


    Very much appreciated, Jordan

     
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    No, that mixer does not have a USB nor FireWire computer interface. I was just getting something similar that has a built-in USB or FireWire connectivity. There are now numerous similar units to that 1202 and have that capability. But that capability, you don't need to purchase any kind of external computer audio interface. But beware, most of them that have a USB connection generally don't handle more than 2 tracks of record at a time. That's not to say you can't mix for microphones together to a single track or a pair. The devices feature FireWire connectivity frequently have the ability to record 8 or more channels simultaneously to individual tracks. This is much more advantageous when you are trying to record drums to multiple tracks simultaneously. Sure, you can create a two track mix but that's not quite the route you want to go. So even something like one of the Presonus units or Mackie Onyx, plenty of others similar to those. Now those don't necessarily have any kind of actual mixer features. They're basically just an input, output device and the mixer is in the computer. Whereas the Mackie 1640 is both a standalone analog mixer & multitrack computer FireWire interface. And there are other similar units to that by other manufacturers, all decent.

    It appears that you are good to go on the microphone end of things. Not my favorite selection you have there but all doable. So to record your drums, you may want to record 8 or more tracks simultaneously and that's why the Mackie 1640 might be more up your alley? Great for live work, studio work, all that. They also have their Onyx devices which supposedly are sonically superior but hey, I never met a Mackie I couldn't use.

    Time to beat off and a 1, two, three and...
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  3. Owin

    Owin Active Member

    Oh, thank you for that Remy. I checked out your suggestions and Im currently split at the moment over whether to get a ZOOM R16 or a Mackie ProFX12. I don't have the money to really go over that limit. This is all for fun though and no fantastic qualities or features are really necessary. Both seem to have enough inputs for simultaneous track recordings, but is it a bad idea having USB connections? Since they usually send only 2 channels of audio to the computer. It seems some degree of editing can made through the mixers themselves. Are there any major problems with this setup you think?

    I was looking for a FireWire interface but couldnt find one to suit the needs that was relatively inexpensive. Also it would be ideal to just get a basic input/output device with enough connections for a drum set, and that way editing could just be taken care of in software programs, but I had no luck finding such a category.

    Once again thanks for your response. Its very helpful.
     
  4. jimmys69

    jimmys69 Active Member

    A Tascam US1800 will get you 10 mic preamps and a total of 16 inputs all recording separately for $300. USB 2.0 connection.
     
  5. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Don't let the fact that you've bought 10 cheap mics force you to an interface with 10 cheap preamps. There are lots of high quality interfaces with 4 or 8 good preamps. You can add outboard preamps as you can afford. You are much better off tracking with four mics while you are getting started anyway.
     
  6. Owin

    Owin Active Member

    Hey jimmys, you found what I was describing. Thank you for the suggestion.

    BobRogers, yes I think your entirely right on that being better long term. I'll keep it in mind, thank you
     
  7. jimmys69

    jimmys69 Active Member

    And I use it on a daily basis. Well, the older version of it which is almost exactly the same. Samples on my website were all recorded with the Tascam 1641.

    Granted, the preamps are nothing to write home about, but definitely useable. It will be a while before I need to upgrade. The converters sound fine and good preamps can be used with the other 6 line inputs.
     
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    When using these lesser expensive interfaces/preamps, one of the things to remember is they have a lack of headroom. This means you should not push your trim volumes up too high. But rather, if you can, record 24 bit at a slightly lower recording level without having your trims balls to the wall. Your recordings will then have much better transient response since you won't be topping out the preamps headroom. When you know you don't have the best gear, don't try to record on it as if it was the best gear. You might be talking slightly greater background hiss levels that can be dealt with much more effectively in software today. Just remember don't abuse any kind of noise reduction features your software may have. When you do that, things get bizarre and funky sounding not in a flattering way. So you don't try to reduce all noise but merely reduce it by only a few DB. Leave some noise in for good measure or so to speak. You'll be amazed what you can accomplish.

    Working miracles on a freelance basis
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     

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