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Drum recording - Home Study - Advice Needed!

Discussion in 'Drums' started by gavin2079, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. gavin2079

    gavin2079 Active Member

    Hi, I hope you can help.

    I have an RME Fireface UC and am wanting to record drums. I'm trying to figure out the best way to go about ding this. i.e. do I need a mixer? How to power 8 inputs.

    RME: Fireface UC

    I am in the process of buying decent mics and am using cubase. I'd like individual drum tracks in the DAW to be able to eq etc as neeed post recording.

    So, I need a way to power the 8 mic ins. From what I understand the UC will comfortably do this for 2 mics with the Mic pres.

    I also have a Mackie 802-VLZ3, 8-Channel Compact Analog Mixer w/ 3 XDR2 preamps. With 3 further Mic pre amps.

    Mackie - 802-VLZ3

    So in total the availability to power 5 mics into Cubase.

    My question is : Is there any way with this set up to power any further mics to get to the 8 mic ins?

    I'll be using a combination of Condenser and dynamic mics .. proabably 6 condensers and 2 dynamic. Does this make any difference?

    Does the UC or the Mackie have the ability to power any more dynamic mics through the other inputs? I think I could get 4 output mono signals out of the mackie with panning left and right.

    Also, when running out of the Mackie which inputs sould I run into on the UC? And does the Mackie have direct outs or some other combination>?

    Any advice is hugely appreciated. I'm new to recording more than 1 input so its all a bit of a puzzle.

    Best regards,
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Hi Gavin, and welcome to the Forums!

    What you really need is a multi-channel pre-amp that has analog outputs to connect into the FireFace UC as an A-D converter. However, if you are not budgeting on a new multi-channel pre-amp, you can get a long way with the bits and pieces you already have if you think carefully about how you connect it up and which channels you use for what. Unfortunately, drum kit miking is very demanding on pre-amps, so you have to take a little care.

    Without knowing what your selection of mics is and your "3 further Mic pre amps" are, it's going to be difficult to recommend precisely how to set this up. Two of the mics (e.g. the overheads) of course can go directly into the mic pre-amps of the UC. Three more can go through the "further pre-amps" into the UC rear-panel line inputs.

    Now the tricky bit starts. The Mackie 802-VLZ3 has insert jacks on channels 1 and 2, and I would use the tip and sleeve of these to bring out unbalanced feeds for channels 3 and 4 of the UC. You would either need special cables for this job, or else use standard insert cables with the return connector not connected. Lastly I would use the Aux out of the Mackie fed only from the mixer channel 3 to go into the remaining input on the UC rear panel.

    That gives you 8 mic inputs, all with phantom power available (assuming your 3 external pre-amps are suitably equipped). I would run the Mackie channels with relatively low gain on the mixer to maximise your headroom. You can make up the gain in the FireFace or in your DAW.
  3. gavin2079

    gavin2079 Active Member

    Hi Boswell, thanks for the reply. The 3 extra Mic pres was a typo. Sorry. There is only the 3 mic pres on the Mackie mixer.

    I've figured out that all the condenser mics need phantom power so I will need more mic pres at some point. The thing is budgets doesnt really allow this at the moment. Unfortunately.

    The Mic pres on the Mackie are on channels 1/2 and3.

    I'm interested in what you were saying about using leads to use the extra inputs on the RME 3 and 4. Can you explain further?What kind of cables? Whats the theory behind using these tips etc?

    I'll be borrowing these type of mics from a mate: AKG DRUM SET BIG II Live/Tour Sound Package | DV247.

    Again any advice hugely appreciATED.

    Best regards,
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    OK, so you are stuck with 5 mic channels for the time being.

    The "insert" jacks on this type of mixer are positioned after the pre-amps, and allow you to insert a processing box such as a compressor in the signal path. They are the TRS (tip-ring-sleeve) type, and the signals here are unbalanced. When nothing is plugged in, the jack connects tip to ring to allow the signal to go through to the main mix stage. When you plug a TRS jack plug into the insert jack socket, the internal tip-ring connection is broken. The signal comes out on the tip of the jack, and the return signal from the external box goes back in on the ring connection of the jack. A standard insert cable has a TRS jack on one end to plug into the mixer insert socket, and this breaks out to a separate pair of connectors (usually TS jacks) for the send and receive functions.

    Now if you just use the send jack and not connect anything to the return jack, the signal from the mixer pre-amp will come out of the send jack and no signal will go on to the mix stages of the mixer. This is the configuration I was suggesting for mixer channels 1 and 2 to go to UC inputs 3 and 4, effectively using the two mixer channels just as pre-amps.

    The mic input of mixer channel 3 is best handled through the Aux output, with channels 1-3 faders kept at minimum. This leaves the main and/or headphone outputs for dealing with the playback signals from the computer.

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