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Introduction and some questions

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Necromortis, Oct 16, 2005.

  1. Necromortis

    Necromortis Guest

    Hello all. I'm new here, just felt that an introduction would be nice.

    My name's Christian, I'm fourteen, and I live in the Bay Area. I'm a guitarist, though I can play the bass and I'm trying to teach myself how to play the drums. I also used to play the piano and I play keys every once in a while. I listen to metal, mainly melodic death metal: In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, and Opeth.

    So, hi all of you guys!


    Anyway, to the reason I'm here.

    I'm in a band that plays melodic death metal (mainly a cross between the three bands that I mentioned above), and I'd really like to start recording the original material I've been writing.

    I'm trying to get a demo together at the moment, and I just need to finish up one more song and then rehearse everything to perfection. I'm getting off topic though...

    Like I said, I'd like to start recording us, make a demo, then hopefully get signed, maybe release a few more demos. I'm trying to live my dream here.

    Anyway (I say anyway a lot...) I came here needing help. I know absolutely nothing (NOTHING) about recording. At all. Period.

    Now please, I've tried reading guides, etc., and it just doesn't make any sense whatsoever. That's why I'm here, to get advice from the experts.


    My gear:

    -I've got a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe for an amp (as well as a practice amp but...). It's 40 watts.

    -My guitars, bass guitars, drum kit, keyboard, bass amp (it's a practice amp though).

    -A basic guitar cable and an adapter that takes a guitar cable and puts out a headphone jack (1/8" I think it is...just your basic headphone jack)

    -Acoustica Mixcraft and Audacity (I'm not quite sure which one I like more...)

    And that's it.


    So, I want to record my band, and I'm totally lost. I can record a guitar signal (guitar>amp>line in on the computer) but it sounds mediocre at best.

    And don't get me started on mixing. I don't know what/how to do anything.

    So...any help (wow, I sound pathetic)?

    What should I get (or aspire to get, I work for things, and I don't have much money at the moment)?

    I'm hopefully going to be getting a microphone or two for Christmas though, which should help in micing the drums. Hopefully.

    I'm also thinking of a pre-amp...or whatever they are called. Something that I can plug multiple inputs into and have one input come out that I can plug directly into my computer. I just don't know which one to get.

    As you can see, I'm lost. Please, help me!

    Thanks in advance, and sorry for the long post,
  2. Reggie

    Reggie Distinguished Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    It sounds like you are a bit confused as to what you really want. If this is what you really want:
    ...then I have some good news for you. You don't have to waste years and thousands of $$ learning to record anything! All you need to do is go to a pro studio, record a demo live to 2-tracks, and shop it around/sell it/ whatever. If you are thinking about doing it yourself to save money, or because you think you can get a better sound in a short time than a real studio, then you are getting into recording for the wrong reasons.
    Trust me, a DIY recording by someone with only a few months experience recording and a few hundred dollars in recording gear is probably going to turn people off and distract them from what may otherwise be very good songs.

    BUT.....If you are serious about recording and are willing to divert a lot of time and money away from your band, then look around the site and absorb as much info as you can until you are ready to make the jump into a starter recording system.
  3. Necromortis

    Necromortis Guest

    Thanks for the advice, and I've been looking for a few studios. But I can't find any. That's one of the main reasons I'm trying to do it myself.

    Also, I'd like to be able to record band practices, song ideas, and songs as a band.

  4. JNS

    JNS Guest

    Definetely go to a studio. It would also be a great way to learn some basics. While there, ask questions (even stupid ones) Try to figure out how things work and what the engineer is doing.
    This is actually how I started my "career". My past music school provided free studio time for its students, so my band were there quite often. And couple of years later I got a job from the very same studio.

    You can't have very good sound that way (unless your amp has a speaker emulator). Try micing the amp.

    No, you don't. You gotta start somewhere.

    Call it a mixer... and input coming out is actually called output :wink:
    I hate to say this, but in this case I would suggest some Behringer stuff :oops:
  5. Necromortis

    Necromortis Guest

    Do you have a link to a good Behringer pre-amp? Or any pre-amp that you would suggest?

    Thanks so much for your help, I'll look harder for a studio near me (btw, anyone know of any? I'm in the Bay Area, near Mountain Veiw).

  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    First off kido, going to a studio is inexpensive education time well spent. A good Beringer? No such thing. Cheap and plentiful, sure. Start with a 16 input model. Microphones? No other better way or inexpensive way to go than Shure SM58 (or more inexpensive SM57 with optional cheap foam pop filters). One of the best all-around microphones ever made regardless of what you see in any ads. A decent cheap pair of headphones. Take some of your favorite CDs and audition them on the headphones. That, is the sound you are looking for. An inexpensive multi-effects unit and an inexpensive hardware compressor will also be in order. Total cost, about $1000. Then all you need is the directions to Carnegie hall which follows here. Practice, Practice, Practice and you are there. Remember, listen to your CDs carefully and remember rip-off is the key. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Let your ears (if you have any left from playing death metal) be your guide. It's not rocket science but it could be.
  7. Necromortis

    Necromortis Guest

    Heh, thanks for the suggestions.

    Here's a tentative product list that I'm thinking of purchasing:

    Headphones (two pairs):

    Now, here's where I got confused. The whole Mixer thing. Where I can plug 8 inputs and have one output. Are you guys talking about this:


    or this:


    Microphones (two):


    or two of these (I'm not really sure what the differance is)



    Good place to start? Yes? No? Any suggestions on which mic I should choose, and any pointers on which one of the mixers/whatevers I should grab?

    Also...hardware compressor? Multi-effects unit? What the hell? Sorry, but what's a hardware compressor?

    And why would I need a multi-effects unit? I've got all the effects I need (I have multiple guitar pedals I like to use).

    And yes, I still have ears ;)

  8. MadMax

    MadMax Distinguished Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Sunny & warm NC
    Home Page:

    Try doing a google on these keywords: "recording studios bay area california"... should do you some good. (I'd prefer not to list all of the studios there, so as not to be disrespectful to the other RO members/studio owners who may not show up in the results.)

    I'm almost old enough to be your granfather, OK? I'm on the opposite coast. I have NOTHING to gain here in what I'm about to pass on.

    You are possibly/probably a budding musician with lots of talent and drive. Why do you want to risk your limited time and funds on learning the craft of recording the absolute hardest way you can?

    Do that google search. Contact the studios and book a session with the one that seems like a good fit for you and your band. Talk to the studio owner/engineer who's going to do your session. Tell him that you want to not only record, but also watch, learn and ask questions.

    Be SURE to get a trusted adult (PARENT!) involved who can help you guys out on the legal side with copyrights, royalties, etc.

    While you're in the recording and/or mix session(s) watch, learn and ask questions... just be careful about asking too many questions... you are paying for the time you are in the studio!

    Ask if there are any good; mastering, duplication, production/rental companies that they would recommend to contact. Ask about the local music shops and who's got good prices on stuff.

    Once you've actually seen the real deal, you may find yourself in a situation where you might want to be able to get part time work for a real studio. It ain't gonna be a great job, but you'll DEFINITELY get more education and experience doing that than anything else you could purchase.

    Think about it... if your goal is to be a musician, then be a musician, FIRST. If you go out and spend say, $1000 on gear, it'll take at least a couple of months of hard work to figure all the stuff out to a point where you can even get a fairly decent sounding studio sound... longer, often MUCH longer if you make some poor equipment decisions. And to top it all off, you're out the $1000 and your creative side will suffer as well.

    If you go to a studio and invest that same $1000, you should (and will, you seem like you're pretty sharp) have something that will get you;
    a) A real idea of what it takes in the way of knowledge, gear and money to record properly,
    b) A finished product that will help your band get work, and hopefully earn enough money to THEN get the gear you need to record your practices/creative ideas,
    c) And I would hope that you would take away a better understanding of the music and recording industry.

    Let me put it this way... which would YOU rather have? $1000 worth of cheap gear that you probably won't be happy with in 6 months, or a finished demo that you'll be proud to give to people?

    Sorry to be so long in my reply, but I hope this helps.

    (Gran'Pa) Max
  9. Necromortis

    Necromortis Guest

    Thanks for the help guys. I guess I'll get to the recording studio someday, but *shrug* It's fun to record yourself you know?

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