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getting the best sound with my gear

Discussion in 'Recording' started by xMannequiNx, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. xMannequiNx

    xMannequiNx Guest

    So finally all of my research payed off; I now have my basic studio setup, and I'm going to start recording my first 10 songs. Ive got 5 mics: a sterling audio ST55, 3 SM57s, and a beta52. I've also got a 2-input blue tube preamp and a firestudio project to run them into.

    I want to know the best way to utilize all this gear. I have a basic understanding of all of it, such as how to wire it and such, but placing the mics (and everything else) is where I need some help.

    For drums, I placed the 52 in the middle of the kick drum, the 57 on top of the snare on the edge, and the other two 57s in an XY position above the cymbals, running in stereo. What I don't understand is which mics I should run into the tube pre, if any, and if so how much to run the tube. Am I even using a good mic placement for this?

    Next is guitar; I'm following this guide for placement of the mics:
    I know it would be a good idea to run these mics into the tube pre, but again how high should I run the tubes?
    I also have a couple rooms to record the guitars in. I can use my relatively small live room that I am recording drums in, or I can put the cab in a vocal booth-size bathroom and heavily treat the room to be completely dead. I am going for a perfect cab sound, like this band underneath the gun. Heres a link to their tunes on lastFM
    I will mostly be recording VERY heavily distorted guitar sounds, and so far everything I've been recording has sounded very muddy and unprofessional.

    Vocals is probably a lot easier, I'm thinking just running the condenser with a pop screen in front into the tube pre. But how hard would I run the tubes in the preamp?

    And for bass, just simply run it direct into the firestudio?

    I know this is a lot, but even a small tip about something regarding this will help. Thanks in advance!
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    I think you're close but missed the cigar slightly?

    On the drums, you figured out most of the obvious. Although here is a little trick for a different kind of drum coverage sound. Not quite sure what your musical genre is? But quite an interesting way to capture the toms & cymbals with a little extra beefy bottom on the toms. Forget about the XY thing. Stick one 57 under the ride cymbal and about 5 inches at a right angle to the floor tom. Slightly above skin level. The same on the other side. I think you will find you get huge fat toms & nice not overly splashy cymbals.

    Of course your guitar go to microphone is always the 57. But virtually anything will work, as long as you don't overload the microphone's internal electronics. As you may have read lately & seen? A lot of folks are realizing how lush a guitar amplifier can sound with a ribbon microphone. Right, you don't have one of those, yet. But if given the opportunity, throwing a couple of microphones on a guitar amplifier can be great! It can even be greater if the second microphone can be 20 feet down the hallway and around the corner into another room with its door open. There's your Led Zeppelin guitar sound. Or stick it in your garage with a close microphone. Leave the door opened into the house and put a microphone down the hallway near the living room. A record that in stereo and everybody will want your autograph.

    For your vocals, get yourself a foam pop filter and stick it on a 57. Then stick that 57 into your tube preamp. Really. Believe it.

    While, there may not be a problem running the bass guitar directly into your Fire Sale, I'd recommend that the tube preamp. You are most likely guaranteed a 1 to 2,000,000 ohm input load. And you get tha tube harmonic stufff that will only complement a stringed instrument. Plus when you overload their tubes with the bass guitar, it provides for soft limiting with musical harmonic enhancement. But if you want that plain crisp highly defined sound? Go with the Fire Sale.

    The most significant mistake you could make would be trimming your pre-amps too high. These excellent bargain preamps don't quite have the headroom of higher caliber stuff. To make it sound like higher caliber stuff, you don't have to push the preamps. So your levels should indicate on average 10 DB lower than full-scale. In this way, you'll have extra transient peak capabilities. It won't get bogged down at the current limit voltage jam. Give yourself plenty of padding.

    "But I got this great condenser microphone...." OK, stick it down the hall and track it to its own channel. Then you'll have some acoustics with time delay so natural, you'll use it every time.

    Natural engineer
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. xMannequiNx

    xMannequiNx Guest

    Wow that was a mouthful! I understand now how to go about positioning and everything. I've still got a couple of questions though.

    If I were to put the cab into the isolated vocal booth that is completely dead, would I still need the second mic on it? Or would that pretty much do nothing?

    Also what is a good level to run the tube pre? The bluetube goes from 1-100% and can be turned off to be a solidstate.
  4. xMannequiNx

    xMannequiNx Guest

    I was also wondering what the difference was between the firestudio project and the digimax LT with a separate interface like the lightpipe. would separating them give a better sound??

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