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Bang for the buck...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by flaquito, Aug 7, 2005.

  1. flaquito

    flaquito Guest


    I'm pretty old to playing the drums, but pretty new to recording them (myself anyway). I'm looking to purchase some mic's and an A/D box for getting drums into my PC. Mobility is unimportant, as I'll be setting this rig up on my kit and leaving it there. I already have a pretty muscular PC, an old (and somewhat noisy) Tascam M308B console and $1250 that I can dedicate to this project. The end result should be a multitrack DAW for my own edification that I don't have to fuss with too much. I know it won't sound particularly good for that amount of money, but this is all hobby stuff and I think that's ok. Since I'm very green, I was hoping for some advice on the best way to accomplish my goal.

    I've done some reading and I think I've narrowed my selection of A/D box to the Presonus Firepod and the M-Audio Delta 1010. Both are comparable in price (within $100 of each other, anyway) and will eat up a little less than half of my budget. The Presonus is very attractive because it appears to have decent pre's (for the price), a simple interface, and be a good overall value by most accounts. The Delta 1010 seems like a very popular "standard" for someone on my budget, but doesn't come with all the built-in preamps, so I'd probably have to rely on the M308 for some of that functionality given my limited budget. That would be ok, except the Tascam is pretty old and fairly noisy.

    As an aside, I'm an advocate of using Linux where possible. I've played around with the Planet CCRMA audio package and low latency kernel and have found this to be very stable and complete. Hammerfall (probably out of my budget) and M-Audio have good driver coverage in Linux and the Bobob Sourceforge project is approaching a usable alpha version of their Firepod drivers. In short, it would be a bonus if I could use whatever system I get in Linux, although this is not a requirement. I'd be happy to use whatever software comes with the hardware provided it works.

    As for microphones, I'm pretty dead set on having a mic on each drum and a pair of overheads (for a grand total of six microphones - snare, rack, floor, kick, overheads). I realize that I will have to settle for pretty shitty mics for the amount of dough I'll have left over (~$700), but "coverage" is important for me. I think some people will suggest I buy two higher quality room mics and skip mic'ing the individual drums, but for me that would be missing out on part of the learning experience. Perhaps in time, I can upgrade mics one at a time as I can afford it, but I'd like to have everything on it's own channel from the get-go. To satisfy my budget, I was thinking I would have to settle for a boxed set, like the Audix DP3 or the Shure PGDMK6 or perhaps just a bunch of sm57's and a B52. This is where I need the most advice.

    I know that's a lot, but any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for any suggestions you can provide.

  2. vinniesrs

    vinniesrs Active Member

    May 12, 2003
    In regards to your mic setup, don't even think about miking using room mics....unless the acoustics are fantastic and the drums are even better. I think you're on the right track with your current mic picks. I would (if budget issues are pressing)go with a pair of sm57's for the toms, a kick mic of choice (rent one to find out)and a pair of reasonably priced condensers like the akg ck391's. Not only will this provide you some good mic choices for other applications, but it will force you to use mic stands when recording. This is a good idea so that the vibrations from the drum wont transfer into your track through a shell mounted clip. It will sound good too.

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