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help with gear please

Discussion in 'Recording' started by vishucito, Jan 1, 2005.

  1. vishucito

    vishucito Guest

    hey there all, my name is quinn, ive been playing git for a while in a three piece band, recently we have required some more gear and would like to record using a tape deck. i have a crappy basement rectangular room about 15X12X8 (L,W,H). first perhaps i can start with my gear then whoever can suggest an optimum positioning of equipment i would be greatful. we play soft loud stuff with heavy dist on loud parts, loud vocals.

    drums - no mic's
    100 watt head and 4X12 - no mic
    100 watt 1X15 bass combo - no mic
    vocals - one mic - shure (cheap mic) to mixer
    (2X250 behringer powered mixer)
    vocal output to 1X15 yamaha vocal cabinet

    my questions are these

    1)is there an optimum gear placement in a rectangular room to reduce feedback and reflection while maintaining clear sound of the amps and vocals and drums and maximizing loudness/recording quality. ie drums over there, amps there etc

    2)where should i distribute the gear around the room

    3)what should the mic input levels and pa micxer output levels be at in relation to one another - or is this dependant on too many things to clearly say

    4)where would you put your stuff

    5)any help in additon to this is welcome

    thanks quinn, you can post reply or email me

  2. gordyzens

    gordyzens Guest

    Quinn. Do you only have one mic.? Thats all I see in your list of equipment. You can't get a decent recording using only one mic. How many tracks on the recorder? You better save some more and get some more mics. to get a decent sound. Get a few SM-57's, a kick drum mic., compressors/limiters, gates, an equalizer, and effects unit. I would recommend using a click track to record for easier dubbing.
    If you have a computer amongst y'all, get the free version of ProTools. You can record 8 tracks with it. I haven't tried the free version yet. We have Protools HD3 with 6 192 I/O units for 72 tracks of recording, plus 48 tracks of analog with a 60 channel Neve 88R. Some days I wish Protools free version was all I had to think about.

    Good luck.
  3. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Distinguished Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    One sure way to reduce the feedback and reflections that are bothering you is to TURN IT DOWN. The lower the overall volume the better it will sound, the less sound problems you have to try and fix. Yiou have a real challange. I would suggest you start by doing the cheap and most praticle thing. Keep changing things around until you find what works and what doesn't work and live with the best case senario you find. Small dinky practice amps are made for this.
  4. vishnu

    vishnu Guest

    thanks man, ive got 6 mics now,

    thanks for the help, i posted another topic ill repost with my new arrangement and mic setup for input from whoever whill help me
  5. sndo

    sndo Active Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Ottawa, Canada
    Home Page:
    Nah, don't turn it down. If it supposed to be loud, then it's supposed to be loud! No compromises!

    And to the guy that said you can't record with one mic? Phooey! It just has to be the RIGHT mic. Check out Shellac's "Live At Action Park" recorded by band member and engineer Steve Albini. Then tell me you can't record with one mic.
  6. vishnu

    vishnu Guest

    brian, easy man, be the buddah, be easy, my new mic list is

    up in a thread in various threads check it out to help me, brian ILMAO, chill man, lol ive heard it and yeah its one mic (or whatever you said) but i want you to stay here and have impact on myself and others so, be nice, not that you werent intending to, but you know what i mean, dont be mean you know what i mean (homonym) ha , at least cause im a newbie that seems mean but to two suposed jedi's (one confirmed and one annonymous) then be nice
    talk to you sooner than not

    two shure sm 58's
    one shure sm 57
    two low end shure c606's
    one low end like the c606

    one 4X12 cabinet to mic
    or one combo peavy banit 1 X 12

    7 piece drum kick

    which mics and where and when (aside from experimenting which i have been advised to do and will, but if you had to pick what would you do you know)

    bass direct to mix

    all loud instruments separated by rooms
  7. sndo

    sndo Active Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Ottawa, Canada
    Home Page:

    I should stop posting from work. Not only could I be fired for it, but my posts are often clipped and not very well thought out.

    So I don't know why I didn't think of it before. I guess my thinking was in terms of the setup that you had given me.
    But you know what I would do? (italicized terms defined below)

    -1-Setup the drums and the amps in a circle that has a diameter 2/3 that of the rooms width. Stick a pair of cardioid mics pointed 180 degrees away from each other in the middle of the circle and pan them hard left/hard right.
    -2-Mix in your vocals.
    -3-Take a listen to the mix. Make adjustments on the amps and the vocal mic.
    -4-Repeat as necessary.

    It's just so simple and it sounds so good! That's why I think you should definitely invest in a GOOD CONDENSER STEREO PAIR. If you can, get ones with selectable polar patterns if you can. That is, the mic's polar pattern (the area and direction in which it will pick up sound from) can be adjusted. If it is a mic with a fixed polar pattern then you have the two most common choices, omni (picks up in all directions) or cardioid (picks up only what's in front of it. 45 degree angle of reception. Your 58's are cardioid.)

    The reason it sounds good gets back to the comb filtering issue. From my experience, in a room like that, you can't stop reflections no matter how hard you try. Every mic, no matter how close it is to it's respective instrument, invariably receives some signal from the other instruments. And for every mic you add, the more reflections you're picking up. The sound gets all smeared and washy. Nothing beats an X/Y pair, which is two cardioid (directional) mics facing outwards (typically at 45 degrees) with their mic capsules (the front of the mic) touching each other so that they are in the same space and time relative to all instruments. Now this isn't the only stereo pattern that works, but for this scenario, it's probably best.

    As an alternate approach, you could use an omni-directional mic in the center of the circle and use that on track 1, and leave track 2 solely for vocals. That way you'll at least be able to mix your vocals a bit.

    Which brings up another case.

    If you have an compressor in solid form (not a computer plug-in), you should use it on your vocals. I can't get into how compression works, but there are a lot of articles on Google if you use the keywords "compression attack release threshold ratio" and "tutorial" or something.
    But it's almost always required for studio recordings on vocals. It makes the quiet parts audible without making the loud parts unbearably loud. And better live venues will use some compression on vocals too.
    Since you're recording everything live, a little compression on the vocals should help things. But with that small room you might run into feedback issues which are made worse by compression (well, at least until you get to know the settings well ehough to really control it)

    So just get some condensers and go to it. (oh yeah, condensers usually run you at least $300 new. So choose wisely. Ask around before you buy.)
  8. vishnu

    vishnu Guest

    will try that soon for sure, just give me a lead on what mic

    mics to get and ill look into them. as well advise me on a headphone (three of them mid range price / quality) ive got the drums separated and miced with three mics, getting suprisingly decent sound from them and im using low end mics although all the mic levels are very high. ive got the git mic'ed in its own room with the sm 57, and that leaves me with two shure 58s for vocals i suppose i will include when i have the time, right now im saving for the headphone amp/spliiter and headphones so we cant hear the mix in our ears just over the pa speakers (playing back low to avoid feedback). im having trouble making the levels good for the third instrument. im able to get good drums and git, then good drums and bass (bass cab direct to pa) then when i try to get them all in its hard to separate them. this is playback on a cassestte tape mind you. as well i have a question about panning, i dont know if my pa is capable of panning left and right. all i have are monitor levels and main levels (main is the only factor for input from mics, my monitor levels i dont know what they do on each channel). also on the back of my pa there are three output jacks all speakon. theres left middle right. both sides are for the left and right speaker, but im using two 8 ohm pa speakers rated at 700W and my output when using the left and right outs to indiviual speakers is only 180w @ 8 ohms, when i use the bridge plug in i then go only one output speakon to one pa and daisy chain to the other getting 500W @ 8 ohms. this causes loads of discharge when i turn the pa on and off, but i think it allows me to have my input mic levels way lower cause the pa is fighting to hard at low wattage to power the speakers. is this what i would call "overhead" im using all my available levels when the pa is in left right speaker mode and when its bridged output the levels on input are lower. educated me if you know about that. also reccomend headphones and headphones splitter/amp
  9. vishnu

    vishnu Guest

    new fender 100 stage head

    brian im getting a new fender 100 watt stage head, im not sure if i wanna keep my $*^t crate 120 watt around for different guitar sounds if and when i am able to layer diff tracks and gits, or should i sell it and put the 250 towards my fender head, what would you do?
  10. sndo

    sndo Active Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Ottawa, Canada
    Home Page:
    good question.
    once you get the fender head you should be able to decide if they are different enough to warrant keeping both around.
    another good reason to keep it is that you could get another cabinet and then connect both amps for a bigger sound.
  11. sndo

    sndo Active Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Ottawa, Canada
    Home Page:
    Re: will try that soon for sure, just give me a lead on what

    The "monitor" knobs on each channel control how much of each instrument will hit the monitors output. In a live situation, it's used so that you can have two different mixes; one for the audience (the main outs) and one for the band members (the monitor mix) often the monitor mix isn't the same as what the audience gets. Usually the band wants to get a lot of vocals and bass, for example.

    So if your tape deck is hooked up to the monitor outs, this might explain why your mixes aren't turning out as expected.

    Unless you have individual knobs on each mic channel that says "L-R" or "panning" then I guess you don't have panning. But how would you be able to control the destination speaker of a sound with panning? I thought you said before you were putting the vocals in one speak and the bass in the other.

    And I don't know anything about ohms and $*^t. Never owned a PA so I never bothered to learn anything in that field.

    And I don't know anything about good headphones. My only guess is that the more you pay, the better the quality. The only thing I do know is that you should make sure that the frequency response extends all the way from 20 hz to 20 khz. The best headphones go down lower than 20 hz and higher than 20 khz, but this is overkill as most humans only hear from about 22 Hz to 18 kHz.
    There's also something to the ohm or impedance (resistance) rating. I think the lower the number the better, but I could be wrong.

    Did I miss anything?
  12. vishnu

    vishnu Guest

    nope didnt miss anything, i just didnt know i couldnt pan

    i dont know much, trust me, one thing tho, without panning the three piece is quite muddy, but bass and drums alone sound fine and git and drums alone sound fine, all three kinda suck. tape is getting the correct main out feed. later
  13. sndo

    sndo Active Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Ottawa, Canada
    Home Page:
    Maybe the tape is actually getting a little too much level. Reduce the output that hits the tape machine and try again.
    You can always run a little compression on it later on to fill things out if they sound thin... but if you have mud from the get-go, you can't do much.
    How good is this tape recorder? If it doesn't have an input meter and an input volume knob I suggest you find one that does. In fact, find several. They're really cheap in pawn shops these days because digital has all but taken over.
  14. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Within three days you have made about a dozen posts asking the same questions on the same topic, over and over ... to boot, your posts are very difficult to read or understand and on occasion, you have not displayed the best ettiqute.

    Since sndo seems to be the only one willing to answer your posts, I don't understand why you two just don't take your mutual admiration society of two and do this via private e mail ...

    I personally think this all is not up to the usual standards of posts made on RO and is a waste of bandwidth. I am about ready to start deleting your topics unless the quality of the questions, replies and the writing structure of your questions are stepped up a notch. Take some time and think about your questions before you post and please try to word them in a way that can be understood ...

    I wouldn't usually make comment on something like this except you are repeating yourself over and over and over and over .... and I'm getting tired of having to wade through it all .....
  15. vishnu

    vishnu Guest


    im getting tired of wading through the $*^t in here as well, the problem is i dont know what the hell im doing, or what to ask in an acceptable format. my reccomendation to you if you feel so incline is to do just that and remove the threads i have posted that are in your way. as far as coherence is concerned sorry if i write at a grade two level. as far as bandwidth is concerned, i got 99 problems and bandwith aint one, hit me.
  16. sndo

    sndo Active Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Ottawa, Canada
    Home Page:
  17. Pirin

    Pirin Guest

    Re: brian, easy man, be the buddah, be easy, my new mic list

    Hi vishnu,i'm looking for some short c606 sounds or samples.I didn't find any tarcks on the web ...only your opinion here.I wish to make test between my own SM58 and c606 thats why i need these sounds !They can be guitar,voice or odhers. If you think you can help me...please send them on my mail address empireland@yahoo.com
    Offcourse i'm looking and for some links and whatever !
    all best

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