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Basement Studio

Discussion in 'Recording' started by EricIndecisive, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. EricIndecisive

    EricIndecisive Active Member

    For those who hate to read, the main points:
    Just starting
    $4-5k budget
    Transforming my basement
    Style: Acoustic guitar, vocals, some electric
    Information on setting up acoustics for a room
    Looking for: a nice 'real' sound
    Estimated costs / suggestions: mixers, compressors, mics, the works


    Hey everyone, I'm new here, and have pretty much just started out recording music. Right now I run on my laptop, and for equipment I only have an SM57 and a little behringer xenyx 502.

    I guess for what it is, it gets the job done. But I want something that sounds really nice and not so 'far off'

    My budget - $4-5000
    Project - Transform my basement into a studio
    Get some good stuff for recording

    I'm a songwriter and most of my stuff is acoustic with mixed drums (drumkit from hell + fruity loops to tie it together) But I love all kinds of music so I have some songs that use electric guitar and of course you gotta love some techno once in a while.

    I would describe my style as somewhere in between Jack Johnson, Matt Pond PA, and with a little Joe Satriani mixed in.
     
  2. sk8aholic

    sk8aholic Guest

    hmm, 4-5 grand is definately good, so all you need is recording equipment, you already have guitars/drum sets, i use for my setup the presonus firepod around $700. and it has 8 combo line/xlr preamplified inputs, it sounds great and comes with cubase le so you don't need to spend any money on software and more on hardware, get lots of mics!, if you think your going to be doing drums even 1 song out of 10, get that 1 song with drums sounding up to par, if you have a bad drum sound, the whole song will sound bad, if you do go with the firepod, mic your drumset with anywhere from 4-6 inputs, snare,bass,hi tom, mid tom, floor tom, and 2 overheads, if only four, then get rid of the over heads, and the mid tom, or keep the over heads and get rid of the tom mics altogether, for drum mics, use your sm 57 for the snare, and i'd go buy a shure beta 52 for your bass drum, and for your toms you could buy some more sm57s, they are cheap and sound amazing, or you can buy a drum mic kit for pretty cheap, i'm a big fan on shure mics, there kits are damn good, i'd go for
    that, if your recording electric guitar, your gonna need an amp to mic the sound, use one of your sm 57s for the mic, oh, your going to need a lot of xlr cables and a few line cables, include them in your budget, they add up, and for vocals get something along the lines of a marshall mxl2003, sounds good and is pretty cheap compared to the high end mics which could take of your buget in 2 or 3 mic purchases. record your acoustic guitar with the sm57s, i swear they are amazing. alright for acoustics, go to a store that specifically sells wood, and buy lots and lots of acoustic board, 4by8 sheets of 1 inch thick green acoustic board, the stuff works great, i don't know where you live, but where i live in toronto, i got mine at home depot, just screw them up to your walls. set up your drum kit in an open area, with the bass drum facing the most open area, when recording all stuff, amps, acoustic guitar, face it all to the most open area, your also going to need some monitoring speakers, this is really your call, easy enough to find. your also going to need a headphone amp and some headphones, i use the apex aha4 headphone amp, it has 4 outputs for headphones, but i only use 2, 1 for me, and 1 for the person doing whatever, playing drums, playing guitar etc. and for headphones, i use 2 sony mdr-xd100. for your drums you could get creative and make a little wall around them about 4 feet after your bass drum make it out of wood, and put the acoustic board on it, a lot of studios do this, i don't, but trust the studios more then me.. hah, and yea i think for the most part i covered everything. hope everythign works well, take some pics, i'd like to see how it turns out when it's finished, see you later



    links for the items:

    -presonus firepod - http://www.zzounds.com/item--PRSFIREPOD

    -vocal mic - http://www.zzounds.com/item--MSHMXL2003

    -drum kit mics(overheads not included) - http://www.zzounds.com/item--SHUPGDMK4

    -overhead mics(get 2) - http://www.zzounds.com/item--AUDF15

    -headphones(getatleast2) - http://www.zzounds.com/item--SNYMDR7505
    (i couldn't find the ones i have, but these are about the same. probably better)

    - headphone amp - http://www.zzounds.com/item--PRSHP4
    (also couldn't find mine, but again this is probably better too)

    - guitar amp - http://www.zzounds.com/item--MSHMGSTACK1
    or - http://www.zzounds.com/item--MSHMG100DFX

    - studio monitors - http://www.zzounds.com/item--MDOBX5A

    - upgrade if theres money left over to - http://www.zzounds.com/item--STECUBASESX

    hope this helps!, happy recording!
     
  3. Jeremy

    Jeremy Active Member

    Im sorry Sk8aholic is very novice here, he meens well, but dosent quite have the insight you may want. Dont take that as an insult please Sk8. You have given yourself good options with the allocated money. You need to decide how you want to record. If you want to go firewire into a comp. You havent eeven told us if you have a really nice comp to record to. If not that chews up a BUNCH of your money, or you can go with a studio in a box method. Please go the computer route, give yourself options not limitations.
     
  4. sk8aholic

    sk8aholic Guest

    haha, fair enough, that's your opinion, but you more less just told me mine was wrong and didn't answer it your self. spend the time and answer his questions, the setup i explained works perfect, sounds great and i havn't had any complaints about my recordings, people always ask where my band recorded, and i say at my home, and they are always impressed. anyways, he said he uses a laptop, so i figured it was good enough to run what i listed, i'm sorry jeremy i still stand by what i said, i think if he did the setup, he would be very pleased wit the outcome, not only that, it's way easier to setup, then if he would get into a protools. all i did was describe my setup, i spent around 4 grand on everything, not including my computer, i don't think he wants to go pro here, i think he was simply asking to get a good nice sound with a semi-pro set up, and i think what i described will do that. the equipment i mentioned will cost about $3400 - $3500, so he has $1500 left to spend on acoustics, and that upgrade to cubase 4. i think it's in his check, why don't you tell him what to buy, and show the links, and add it all up and see what it comes to.
     
  5. EricIndecisive

    EricIndecisive Active Member

    thanks both of you for your replies!

    Sorry I didn't state evertything earlier either. My laptop right now is a beast:
    3.4 ghz, 2 gigs of ram, plenty of hard drive space. I guess it is a pretty good sound card (this was a gaming computer) and it has a line in, microphone, etc. But if I had some extra money I would probably build my own computer with a sick soundcard, and decent everything else, since this is the laptop I use for school and everything else, and sense it moves around a lot, i tend to have hard drive problems.

    Right now this is what I use:
    Shure SM57
    Behringer Xenyx 502 (little 45$ mixer)
    Adobe Audition (for everything but drums)
    Drumkit from Hell (for drum sounds)
    Fruity Loops (to put them together)


    Using the SM57, I record my acoustic guitar and it sounds really damn good for 100$ mic, and its recorded in my room right in front of the computer. It actually comes in much clearer than a kid I know that goes to a 'studio'.

    For equipment I have plenty of guitars, bass and guitar amp, effects pedals, noise cancelling pedals... I don't have a drumset but using the drumkit from hell I do get pretty good ones. I would love to get one down the road, but I'm not very rythmic with my hands.

    I get comments on my music that the voice doesn't sound like it 'fits' the music. They don't mean the style, just the way that it's recorded, it seems tacked on. I have gotten a little better at it, putting more on a certain channel, adding a little reverb, and cutting out the 'out of level' parts.

    My main problem with vocals is that I can't sing with any emotion due to the fact that the levels get extremely out of hand. I have parts that go high and ones that stay low. Is that what a compressor does? It just amazes me that the guy from Foo Fighters can scream into that thing and it all comes out balanced.

    My space is pretty small, about 13x 16 feet with a 7 foot high ceiling, and a pole in like the middle of the room. But its 16 feet to a 2 foot deep bench that goes along the whole wall, so I think I could putt he computer and stuff up there.

    Also, I'm planning on selling a lot of things on ebay, working this semester at college, and also over the summer, so my budget might be even a little higher.

    I will check out all of those things that you posted sk8aholic, and jeremy, what is the difference between firewire and line in? I like to have it all on the computer since I am pretty PC savvy, and am really getting used to editing audio in the program.
     
  6. sk8aholic

    sk8aholic Guest

    basically your meaning of line in would be buying somesort of mixing board with tons of inputs, and then connecting them with line cables (1/4") to an expensive soundcard that has lots of inputs, if you want to go that way, it will cost you more and be harder to install, basically the soundcard will have connectors on it that you can plug into giveing you more inputs, such as the m-audio delta soundcards which have a breakout box connected to the soundcard, that has a certain amount of inputs and outputs that you connect to using the mixing board. Firewire just connects to your computer using 1 firewire cable, from the firepod to the computer which means no need to spend money on a soundcard, sound cards are expensive, because with the soundcard you need to buy other things like external preamps or mixing consoles, which altogether add up, the firepod has 8 combo 1/4" and xlr preampplified inputs, with 8 1/4" outputs, and also has a midi in/output and s/pdif in/outpus. all 8 of the combo inputs are sent to the computer with through firewire, and the inputs are shown as 8 seperate tracks which can be recorded simitaniously in your software program. just open up your mixer in the program and there they are.
    Since you're not going to be using drums, like real drums, miking them. it will save you lots of money on mics. which can be added more to acoustics in your room.
    for your vocals being uneven in level, this really comes down to the vocalist singing at the same level, compressors will help with this a lot, but if the vocalist is singing parts way higher then others or lower then others, youre recordings will still come out being not the same levels through out the song, even with using the compressor. basically just try and sing the same level through out the whole part, maybe do it in parts, sing the first bit, and check it to see if it's a good level, then if you like it, go onto the next stoping at every pause in vocals and checking to see if it's the same level. and yes, work with compressing in the program also, a cool effect i use sometimes is the fm radio compresser in cubase sx, but work with them, spend lots of time on mixing vocals.
    but anyways, if you choose to go the way of getting a good soundcard, get something that's expensive and has many inputs becasue otherwise you will find your self needing or wanting more as time passes, the only reason why i bought my firepod was becasue i can upgrade it to 16 from 8, but i don't think i'll ever need more then 16 inputs at once since i'm recording all the instruments seperately. but of course i could use up 16 inputs if i really wanted to. editing audio in the program would be the same using firewire or a soundcard, you're still bringing audio in, but anyways you seem to want the soundcard way, so good luck with it! enjoy

    happy recording.
     
  7. EricIndecisive

    EricIndecisive Active Member

    haha i guess i really have no idea about different ways of recording! i have a stereo 1/4" to 1/8" cord that goes right into the microphone slot on my computer. so it goes microphone -> little mixer -> cord -> computer

    i thought that what i would essentially be doing is getting a bigger mixer, better mic, etc. but i guess that getting firewire would be great, it sounds fast and easy. up to 8 tracks simultaneously would be really cool. but dont you need a good soundcard to get good playback when youre listening to it again?

    so right now, my SM57 works really great for my guitar. but a bit of noise still comes through when recording, is this the microphone or the little mixer preamp?

    and i hear that condensor mics are a lot better for vocals and really warm up the sound of them, is that true?

    im glad that a compressor will help a lot. but for right now this will be good practice trying to control my voice and getting comfortable levels. im no amazing singer, but its fun to try.

    so could i get a bigger mixer and connect that to the firepod? or is that just beating a dead horse. i read that recording is 90% getting it perfect on the way in, and 10% is processing.

    thanks sk8, it seems like youre pretty knowledgeable on this stuff, so i appreciate all the help!
     
  8. Jeremy

    Jeremy Active Member

    Sk8 you really do have good advice, but I will try to go a little more indepth and give you Sarnz my experience. I have owned a firepod I just got rid of it. I loved it for what I used it for, it did the trick. It is good by all means, but it really dosent excell anywhere. You want something better with the same ease of opperation. When I say better the mic pres in the firepod are decent. They boost they signal, but they are less than stellar. When you need to use mic pres I usually want tranparent pers. Which meens they accuratly reproduce the sound without adding their own touch. When a mic pre adds its own touch, and slightly alters the sound we call this color. I prefer my mic pres to be crystal clear, and if I want color I get it from a mic. Mic work the same as pres, there are ones that will give you exactly what you put in crystal clear, and there are ones that will add its own distortion, warmth or color. I prefer the booster(pre)to not be dirty or graininy. The firepods pres sound realy good until you have something to compare them to. now you could by the firepod, and just not use its pres and buy some better outboard preamp, but thats not getting what you are paying for. If you plan to use outboard pre(s), and just need a firewire interface with better converters than the firepod look at an M-Audo Delta 1010 not the LT the LT is the soundcard. It has better converters, and no pres. If you want to use pres that are on an interface the RME fireface has one of the best combos of pres and converters. You could go the route of a mackie onyx, which is very good too. Many people on these forums will talk crap about Mackie, but they really do make good stuff, and they are nearly bulletproof. If you really want to do things right you will fork over the bucks to get a soundcraft ghost (the best mixer you can get for the price), and get a Lynx soundcard, and be done with things with a super badass setup. Going that route would leave you without money for mics, but you wouldnt have to upgrade your actual recording system pretty much ever. Purchase whatever you want on but do it on ebay, and save yourself a few bucks.
    Mics:
    Get these all on ebay too
    AT2020----my goto mic for recording electric guitar, sounds silly but this mic really is fantastic. you can get one used and nearly spotless for 50-60 bucks.
    Audix DP5a---Drum mics that are fantastic plus you get an I5 that slays the Sm57, and mic clips to boot. you can get these new on ebay for like 520 bucks. you will not be disappointed.
    Rode NTK--- A tube large diaphram condensor mic that really is best bang for your buck. you can get this gem with the sm2 shockmount for about 400 bucks.
    oktava mk012's are really good for overheads. rode nt5's are very good too. I even use akg c1000s' that sound really good. you will need to get 2 of whatever you choose for overheads.
    Sennheiser MD421---simply a classic good on nealry everything. 300 bucks. Great on bass cabs and floor toms kick drums etc.....the list goes on forever.
    sennheiser e609--another great mic for guitar cabs. 100 bucks.
    Kel Hm1--- a really good mic for the pric it would be a shame to not just have one in the arsenal.
    shure beta 52. I always like have a choice on kick drum, the audix D6 is great, but it comes in the dp5a pack we were talking about. so pick up this. $150
    EV re20--great mic on just about anything fro male voxs to kick drums.
    you already have a sm57 and everyone should have several, but I prefer the i5, and you should have several. One comes in the dp5a.
    Concentrate on getting good drum mics, these can be interchanged in many different areas. Get good drum mics, and a good vocal mic, and prepare to rock my friend. Drums are the foundation, get that foundation recorded the best you can, and everything else will fall into place.

    Now for software I used Nuendo, I like nuendo. you have to find what works for you. Get yourself drumagog, its a drum replacement tool. Sometimes you will find when working with a drum kit that is better suited for firewood, using this thing makes everything all better.
    Now with all this talk I didnt manage to really give you everything you want to know. I gave you a few mics, and a few options for recording, I have more to offer, but my fingers have begun to bleed.

    Please email me, I have got something you really should have.
    weezerman2002@AOL.COM
    Cheers
    Jeremy
     
  9. xX5thQuarterXx

    xX5thQuarterXx Active Member

    This is what i would do in your situation.
    -Buy a Firepod.$500 at musicianfriend.com
    -Cubecase SX3. $600
    -Presonus Headphone Amp with 4 AKG Headphones. 200
    -Monitors, i like the Mackie HR824, but its what ever "you" like 300-800

    From there im not sure how to hep you much. For a drum kit i would go with these mic's

    Bass drum MD421
    snare drum MD421
    snare drum bottom SM 81
    Tom Tom's MD421's
    hi hat SM 81
    overheads AKG414's or SM 81's

    But idk how serious you are about getting a good kit sound. Those mic's will ROCK for it and are prett versitile. So its good to have them around anyways.

    That leaves u extra money for Cables, Stands, ect. Those can add up sp its good to have some extra cash
     
  10. Jeremy

    Jeremy Active Member

    I agree with the sm81 for overheads I forgot to include them.
    The presonus hp4 would be my choice for headphone amp aswell. I really liked that little guy.
    The hihats are the loudest thing on a drum kit and subsiquently I dont mic them because they show up just fine on everything from snare mic to overheads.
    AGK K240's are really nice headphones for the money, dont go uber cheap here please.
    Monitors are really going to be tough. You will have nearly every member on here with a different opinion. I really think it is better to have a better recording device. I know the monitors are your weakest link, but get good with the monitors you have is more my style. If you have to go cheap go the route of samson rubicon. Mackie hr624, hr824 are good, but people will tell you that you need to spend 1800 on monitors on here, and I would ask them to pitch you a few bucks so that you may. spend about 500-800 on mointors that are preferiably biamped.
     
  11. Croakus

    Croakus Active Member

    Let's not forget sound treatments!

    All that hardware will do you no good in a room that sounds like garbage. I learned that lesson the hard way after months with very good equipment and a bad room. Litterally MONTHS of lost work.

    There's no need to go overboard with the high dollar Auralex dense foam treatments. A few pieces of properly placed 2" thick 703 Rigid Fiberglass insulation does a great job. I covered mine with 99 cent Muslin from the fabric store using 3M spray on adhesive.

    I'm far from expert, but my room sounds fantastic now and I can finally start learning how to use all this gear properly.

    I treated a 12" by 17" room for about $300 including 2 foot ceiling panels.
     
  12. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Wow...lots of advice here. I must say, no offense guys, not all of it is great. Instead of me saying "This is what you should get for your money!" I'm going to tell you the ideas behind what you need - you figure out what works. I'll give examples where possible.

    Okay - $5K is a lot of money to start with, but by NO means enough to make a professional studio. It WILL, however, get you started in the right direction and you can build from there.

    Here are the things you MUST take into consideration and the order in which they should be taken into consideration.

    1 - Room acoustics
    2 - Monitoring
    3 - Microphone(s)
    4 - Microphone preamp(s)
    5 - Effects
    6 - A/D - D/A conversion (debatably above effects)
    7 - Computer/Software


    For a 12x17 room, treatment will not be terrible, but figure on it costing around $1k of your budget. (Trust me - $1K spent here is worth $25K spent on mics and pres and perhaps even more). My advice - USE AURALEX! Not because they're badass or awesome or even because they're a sponsor on this website....mainly because you can send them a layout diagram of your room and they'll actually tailor your acoustics products around that. Simply hanging a bunch of rogue acoustic treatments WILL be worse than having none at all! Other guys to consider would be Real Traps (Ethan lives over in the Acoustics forum here on this site and is a wonderful resource - so are most of the other guys over there!)

    Monitoring:

    Don't be afraid to spend a little money here either. Get the best you can afford. Think around $1000 for this as well. For that price, you can get Dynaudio BM5As or even Event ASP8s (if you sweet talk your favorite GC employee!) If you need to go less, consider used. Ebay has things like Hafler TR8s and occassionally Genelec pairs under $1k. If you need cheaper still, try NHT M-00s. They don't offer much in the way of Low Frequency, but what they do offer is simply amazing! For $500, you will not find a better pair. IMO, for $2000 you will not find a better pair of monitors.

    Also, you'll need some kind of monitor controller w/ talkback if you ever plan on having other artists work with you. I LOVE the Presonus Central Station. With this and the M-00s, you'll be right at $1k. With the Dyn's or the Event's, think $1500.

    Mics:

    Don't fall into the trap of "You'll need 6 to 10 mics for mic'ing your drums!"

    That is simply BS! This is either the sign of a bad/inexperienced engineer or a piss-poor drummer or both. If you can't capture the whole kit with 3 mics, something is wrong!!!

    As for those mics, you will want a matched pair for overheads, a good vocal mic or two (2 or more is better - different flavors for different vocal sounds), a good kick mic (might just be one of your vocal mics too! one of my all time favority kick mics is the Soundelux U195 - there is NO better sounding kick mic in existence!) and then some other "assorted" mics.

    An SM57 or 2 in the locker is never a bad investment. Try the Audix i5 for a slightly bigger sounding mic if you'd like.

    Overheads - great choices are: (note: in all cases, I'm only giving good, but affordable choices. I'm not listing $2,000 microphones as this would not make sense with your budget. Instead I'm listing microphones that are of excellent value and fit well into any mic locker so that you won't "outgrow" them, you'll just add to them.)

    Shure SM81
    AT4040
    Rode NT5
    Studio Projects C4
    AT4041, 4051
    AKG Blueline, C451B (old ones can be found on Ebay cheap and are WELL worth it!)
    Crown CM700 and many more.

    Vocal mics -
    Rode NT1A, NT2, NTK, K2 (I love mine!)
    AT 4040, 4050, 4060, 4033, 4047 (All great, all very different!)
    AKG C414
    Blue - Bluebird, Baby Bottle
    Soundelux - U195
    Studio Projects - C1, C3, T3
    Many, many more

    As for preamps - there are MANY good choices at a budget price. You could either get a mixer which would have some good preamps or you could get individual pres or you could get an "all-in-one" interface (Firebox, etc.). My personal thought for your situation would be perhaps a hybrid of the above. For example, if you were to get a Mackie Onyx mixer and a couple outboard pres, you would get:
    1 - several VERY good and transparent pres
    2 - a monitor controller with talkback
    3 - a good headphone amp
    4 - VERY good AD/DA conversion
    5 - decent EQ

    Add a Brick (GT) or two and you've got some very colorful and some very transparent pres.

    Just doing some basic math at this point based on some hypothetical assumptions:

    $1k on acoustics
    $1k on monitors (Dyn BM5As)
    $1.5 K on Mackie Onyx 1220w/Firewire + 2 Brick preamps
    $1.2 K on mics (2 SM57s, Rode NT5, Rode NT1A, AT4047)

    You'd still have $300 for the software of your choice and you'd have pretty much everything else you need.

    Add to that the fact that you wouldn't have one single piece of "disposable gear" (that gear which you find after using it for 3-5 years you have officially outgrown and isn't worth selling!) and that's a pretty decent start.

    When you can afford it, later, pick up some effects. Get stuff that's good though and stuff that you can learn on. (Think - will I still use this in 10 years or will I want bigger/better?)

    I hope this helps...

    J.
     
  13. Jeremy

    Jeremy Active Member

    I personally would get 1 brick pre and a fmr rnp. I like to give myself options when I record, not limitations. You very much limit yourself in my personal opinion using a kick snare overheads mic scheme. Even if I mic the kick twice and all the toms, when it comes to the kit I start mixing only with snare, kick, overheads, if nothing else is needed so be it, but the tracks are there if you need the toms mic'd, or the room. I like to have tracks to play with, not spending time tring to eq the overheads to see if I could get a little more oomph out of that tom roll. I do also agree treatment is vital, and deserves to be number one, monitoring for a newbie dosent fit the #2. You CAN make great mixes without spending genelec cash.
     
  14. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Well....if he were to get the Onyx and the two bricks, as I suggested in the scenarios above, I doubt he would find any "limitations." In addition, I would think the FMR would be redundant seeing as how it's a "transparent" pre just as the Mackies are (and seeing as how I have both and FAR prefer the Mackies - they aren't that far off of my Millennias and Graces!). In addition, perhaps he would like to mic (in stereo) a guitar with some heft to it. A stereo pair of the bricks would come in mighty handy.

    I find that the bane of young engineers (as well as a clear sign of their youth in the business) is the drum kit (and the piano as well). Let me state this as clearly and as uninsultingly as possible.

    If you need to use more than 3 to 4 mics on a drum kit, you are doing something wrong.

    If you EVER need to use EQ on a drum kit, you are doing something wrong.


    Simply put, your microphones should be placed correctly and your kit should be tuned properly. Period. If you need more snare - move your overhead. If you need more tom, move your overhead. For the love of God - do NOT mic every piece of the kit. You will have far more resulting errors with phasing (and then the need to EQ each piece and/or gate it - which sounds like SH*T) which will smear the sound of the kit.

    No.

    I'm not saying you need to spend Genelec cash (seeing as how that is at a minimum $2000 and I made recommendations as low as $500.)

    Monitoring, next to room acoustics, is THE most important ingredient to a good mix. Period.

    If you can't hear what you're mixing 100% accurately, then you are wasting your time and your clients time.

    Spend more money on your monitors than anything else at first. You can make 1 mic sound like 10 if you know how to use it. Poor monitors are poor monitors. You CANNOT get a mix sounding right on inferior monitors.

    J.
     
  15. Jeremy

    Jeremy Active Member

    I agree that monitors are the weakest link in any recording chain, and I would agree that 500-800 need to be appropreated here.

    The problem I have with moving mics all day long is this. you move the mic to pick up more snare, but you ended up getting a hotter crash than needed. So you spend time to dmpen the crash by adding just a tad bit of tape. When you tamed the crash enough to your taste, youget a fine snare sound, but you dont get the toms the way you wanted, so you move the mic back a little, and rise it a tad. Now that snare needs to get tuned to get more out of it, but the hotter snare dosent sit well with the entire sound of the kit. If the kit sounds good and everything is in very good tune with itself and the room I mic it. Steve Albini records his drums in a room with a very high ceiling, but it is nothing but concrete walls, and mics the room with several mics.
    Truth of the matter is find what works for you in your room with the equipment you have. You will have 10 people give you 10 different ways to do something, and all can have very good results. I personally like to mic the whole drum kit, so I may have the options I previously mentioned, or I can use drum replacement software (drumagog) which, gives great drum sounds.
     
  16. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    I hear what you're saying here and I'm not trying to insult or be disrespectful, but it is QUITE possible to mic the kit and rather successfully so without mic'ing every piece. Moving the mics is the ONLY correct way to EQ the kit. If you want to "Drumagog", by all means, mic each piece, but I have yet to encounter a drum kit in my nearly 15 years of professional recording which I could not tune and get mic'ed with 3 mics when the kit is tuned properly and the mics are placed properly. Granted I may spend 30 minutes setting up the mics, but it's usually worth it and saves me at LEAST that much time in messing with effects later.

    As for the monitors - how can one possibly quantify a maximum budget that one should work with for monitors? $500-$800 will simply not buy you a decent monitor. The only (and I do mean ONLY) exception is the NHT M-00. Everything else in that range should merely be considered glorified computer speakers. And the NHT's are by no means full-range so a good subwoofer is required for full-range. (Though I use the M-00s just fine on-location with no sub and rarely miss it.)

    This gentleman has a very reasonable budget to work with for a basement studio. If he cheaps out on the monitors now, he'll wind up selling them for <50% on Ebay in a couple years and investing even more money. Wouldn't that be a horrible waste?

    J.
     
  17. Jeremy

    Jeremy Active Member

    No I said everything he buys should be purchased on ebay, and preferably lightly used, unless he finds a screaming deal. 800 bucks on lightly used monitors will suit his needs, and wont depreciate much, so if an upgrade is ever decided upon he wont be loosing his pants. We all know on here that 4500-4000 bucks sounds like alot of cash until it comes time to spend it, and it goes......sadly.....way too fast.

    Now when you say you are using 3 mics are you really using 4, and just not counting the overheads as 2? I know you can use a single overhead with good results if you dont stereo them. Or are you just using overheads and kick? I always have a snare mic'd. Just wanted to make sure I understand exactly what you are doing here.
     
  18. Scoobie

    Scoobie Active Member

    Cucco's right about using just 3 mic's on drums.......

    I tend to mic the whole kit, even if it's to just satisfy the drummer. But when mix'in, 80% of the time I'm only using the 2 OH's and Kick. I usally have a hard time with to much Snare in my Overheads...........so I don't really need the snare mic .

    Far as buying cheap monitors. Don't go there......I've been down that road. The money that I have wasted on monitors would have bought me a killer pair.
    So get the best you can in your budget......

    Peace.........Scoobie
     
  19. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Fair enough - $800 on used monitors will probably yield decent monitors.

    As for the kit - nope, I mean 3 mics. Two overheads and 1 kick. Very rarely do I ever find the need for more than that and it's usually to highlight special parts of a kit (like a 3" splash or crazy loud cowbell...)

    If I need more snare, I aim one of the overheads a little more at the snare. If I need more toms and less cymbals, I pull the mics up and back a little and angle them into the kit.

    One of my favorite 3 mic setups involves M/S in front of the kit and a kick drum mic (often on the beater side of the drum - which, BTW, can be used to also highlight the snare. Just think - Fig 8 or omni under the snare aimed at the kick - you get both the kick and the snare and the snare is even hitting the inverted polarity side of the mic. And if you MUST EQ, at least each part - kick and snare - operate in two completely different bands so you can tweak each individually.)


    J.
     
  20. Jeremy

    Jeremy Active Member

    the real question is where sarnz went.
     

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