1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

Basic Home Studio Help

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Atmosphere, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. Atmosphere

    Atmosphere Guest

    Hi there. I did try using the search function, and couldn't find what I was looking for (there were about 34341 matches :p). Anyway...

    I am looking into recording at my home. I have already started and have made some successful recording. This is what I have thus far:

    - HP Computer with an upgraded soundcard
    - Behringer XENYX Mixer
    - Acoustica Mixcraft Software
    - Shure SM57 Microphone

    This is basically what I am using right now. It works, but I want to produce some better quality. Here are some of my main questions.

    - Is the mixer limiting the quality that I can get?
    - What signal processors can I get to improve sound quality?
    - What are some cheaper, but great quality audio software for recording?

    As far as money goes, I would be willing to spend $100-$200 for each piece of equipment.

    What can I do to produce better quality recordings?

    Thank you in advance for advice and I'm sorry if this has been asked many times before.[/list]
     
  2. mwacoustic

    mwacoustic Guest

    What are you recording? (instruments, style, etc)
    What kind of room are you recording in?

    The mixer is not top quality, but you should be able to get decent results if used properly, and the SM57 is very well respected and should do well for you.

    Don't worry about any signal processors to improve your sound - maximise your room acoustics and techniques with the equipment you have first. You can't fix problems there after the fact with any amount of processing.

    I'm not familiar with your Mixcraft software, so can't comment much on that. As far as cheap software goes, have you tried Audacity? Can't beat the price.... ;)

    And oh, yeah... you'll get some good advice from the experts here. Listen to them. :cool:
     
  3. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    This, and all of your other questions are asked on this site on a daily basis.
    Experience, practice, practice, trial and error, experience, practice (not necessarily in that order).

    The first thing you can do is upgrade to an ADC better than your computer's soundcard. Look into FW - Presonus Firepod, firestudio, etc.

    SM57's are great mics.
    Get a few more and experiment with placement and combining signals.

    Behringer Xenyx? Good enough for learning on.
    Want better quality in a mixer? Mackie Onyx (or any of the VLZ series) for starters.
     
  4. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Oh, and it doesn't hurt to get yourself a good book on the subject (so's you can cross-reference the things you can learn on this site), sit down with a cup of joe, and read.
     
  5. Atmosphere

    Atmosphere Guest

    Thanks for such quick replies and the advice!

    I record stuff from hard metal to acoustic, basically everything. And the room is basically any ol' room in your house.

    I'm not a complete newbie when it comes to recording. I've been messing with this stuff for a good amount of time now, and I want to produce some better sounding/quality stuff.

    What are some examples of signal processors that would benefit me, if any? I mean, I wouldn't see studios (even home studios) with racks full of stuff if they weren't useful!

    Besides the practice, experiment, practice, experience part... what would be the next step in upgrading/improving?
     
  6. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Guess you missed it, here it is again:

    The first thing you can do is upgrade to an ADC better than your computer's soundcard. Look into FW - Presonus Firepod, firestudio, etc.

    SM57's are great mics.
    Get a few more and experiment with placement and combining signals.

    Behringer Xenyx? Good enough for learning on.
    Want better quality in a mixer? Mackie Onyx (or any of the VLZ series) for starters.

    >Edited for emphasis.
     
  7. mwacoustic

    mwacoustic Guest

    From what you have described, I would still recommend that you don't worry about "racks full of stuff" for awhile. Besides, a lot of the impressive looking hardware can be replaced with software these days.

    You're not a complete newbie - great. So can you pinpoint what aspects of your sound you are not satisfied with?

    Bent's suggestion of an improved ADC is a good place to start, but other than that, there is not really a magic signal processor that you can plug into which will just make everything better. There are plenty of tools out there, but which tools you need depends on what you are trying to build...
     
  8. Atmosphere

    Atmosphere Guest

    What does ADC stand for?

    On my sound; I have yet to record any good distortion sound. I've tried miking, direct in, both at the same time and it never sounds good. It lacks fullness and warmth. I've tried eqing, add effects, everything just cant get it good.

    Everything sounds so flat, lacks warmth and just the UMPH a recording should have. I'm not completely tone deaf or dumb, I've tried fixing these problems over and over. Just can't get a sound I'm looking for.
     
  9. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Analog to Digital Converter.
     
  10. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    How are you placing the mic? A 57 just off center, straight into the amp's driver is standard practice. How does your amp sound prior to setting the mic up? If you aren't getting the tone before you put the mic in front of the amp then you're never going to get the tone you want.

    Every instrument requires certain treatments and techniques, as does the room they are recorded in. Keep in mind that a majority of the time you are also recording the room the instrument is sitting in - if it doesn't sound good in the living room, for instance, try putting it in the hallway...

    Sometimes lack of room = lack of tone, this is why I said you should buy a few more 57's, so you can blend them together.
     
  11. mwacoustic

    mwacoustic Guest

    {old-link-removed}

    Are you happy with the sound "live"?
     
  12. Atmosphere

    Atmosphere Guest

    Yes, I've always had great tone live and while recording. It just never turns out great once I hear it back, even after "mastering" it.
     

Share This Page