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Mom needs advice in buying college son drum recording system

Discussion in 'Drums' started by cherdew, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. cherdew

    cherdew Guest

    HI I am shopping without a clue for christmas gift for my son who wants to be able to record his paying the drums- home by no means a professional studio. Can someone please guide me as to what is neededm without having to mortgage my house, yet not buying garbage either. Any advice is greatly appreciated. He is starting from zero equipment at this point!
    Much appreciated- Cheryl :-?
     
  2. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    I doubt he has zero equipment. He's already got a drum set, right? :p

    If it's just archive recordings to listen to himself play in 5 years time, it's different [read: cheaper] than if you're wanting these recordings to be part of an album him and his mates are releasing.

    The big question is do you want to record stuff straight onto the computer, or onto some stand-alone box then maybe put onto the computer later on?

    Be prepared to be quoted for $500 worth of kit either way. Really though I pulled that number out of thin air to test your reaction. Some sort of budget is needed to say what level of gear you can have.

    For something good it could be $200 for microphones, and anywhere from $100-400 for a reliable way to plug them into the PC. The rules are simple: more cost usually means more options and more room for expansion down the line.
    (it works out cheaper to spend more up front, than to replace everything in a year, if you're likely to expand)
     
  3. cherdew

    cherdew Guest

    Thanks and you are right we have the set :) Budget- I was expecting somewhere between $1000- $1800. He is looking to record himself and some friends playing... I would like him to have the ability to use the stuff I buy him later with add ons as well.

    I was reading about an xy mic coincident technique and an ab stereo setup -and dynamic mics vs condenser... None of this makes any sense to me and I have no idea brand wise or how many of each mic should be purchased... what do the hook into etc...

    I guess I need a really honest salesperson- or someone to point me in the direction fo where to go to buy this stuff. FOund this site and thought maybe someone could enlighten me.
     
  4. Halifaxsoundguy

    Halifaxsoundguy Active Member

    I started with something like this. These machines are affordable, portable and somewhat durable. They are relatively simple to operate and have a lot of built in features. You can also plug a guitar or bass into the recorder. Invest in some sort of laptop bag for it though. You can achieve college radio quality with a machine like this.

    Recorder:
    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/BR1600CD

    Microphones:
    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SM57/
    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/5DrumMicKit/

    Thats my 2 cents

    If you have a mac buy Logic pro, Very Steep learning curve but its a solid program. This is moving into a more professional level

    http://www.apple.com/ca/logicstudio/
     
  5. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Well I'm certain everyone will have a slightly different take on this. I too started with a unit similar to the one (Boss Recorder) above but really wouldn't recommend going that route not with the equipment available today.

    I would recommend the Presonus Firestudio Project which comes with recording software
    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/FireStuProj/
    This unit does require a firewire computer connection, usually a PCIe card that goes into most laptops and a rather recent laptop that can be used for recordsing or even if you need to purchase one you could stay inside your budget with something like this
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834220636

    Then a drum mic kit like the one above and 2 overhead mics like
    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/C02/
    These will require stands, as well some of the mics in the above kit might, as well as cables. You really did not leave much time to properly point you in the right direction. Good Luck and Merry Christmas.
     
  6. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Halifaxsoundguy and J49's suggestions are both reasonable, but the decision of whether to go with a self contained system like the Boss, or a computer based system is a pretty complicated one. It might not be best to make the decision in such a rush.

    An alternative is to get a flash recorder like this. It is a very good tool for a musician for recording practices and lessons. I have one similar to the Zoom and my family uses it all the time even though we have a full studio downstairs. He can actually do a pretty good job of recording his group - not as good as with of systems recommended above, but easy to use and inexpensive.

    Take your time and do more research on a more expensive system.
     
  7. stealthy

    stealthy Guest

    I just used that Zoom H4n lastnight for the first time, using the 2 on board mics and a line out from my mixer. Overall it turned out pretty well. It was at a gig for a band I was running sound for.
     
  8. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Cheryl,

    Lemme put in another vote for the Zoom H4 or the H2.

    Home recording can get stoopid expensive, and very tedious... to even get reasonably decent results can take quite awhile to get good at... ESPECIALLY drums... and especially when you're playing and trying to record at the same time.

    The Zoom offers a reasonable compromise at what, in my humble opinion, is a great value.
     
  9. Jeremy

    Jeremy Active Member

    Cheryl this is what I would recommend. Due to limited space at college and home (and noise limits), I would recommend an electronic drum set. Roland makes great kits, and he could play at literally any hour and not disturb anyone. Plus the drums when they are recorded only take up one channel (so you don't need a huge interface). Anything from the Roland line TD6 and up from there are good electronic drums. Then he could sell his acoustic drums and use the money from them to buy his own interface. Just an idea, it will prove unpopular on this board, but just think of all the sleep you wont be missing out on!
     
  10. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Cheryl,

    You have had a lot of varied advice here. I think it's important to get something of reasonable quality but straightforward to use, and to that end, I would endorse the suggestion of the Zoom H4N, but with external microphones and a few extras. These will add up to considerably less than your maximum budget, but I suggest you put the difference in a Recording Fund deposit account for when your son outgrows the 4-track capabilities of the Zoom. The items you get now will be usable later with a more advanced audio interface.

    Assuming he has a Windows-based computer already:

    Zoom H4N
    2 x 16GB SD memory cards (from the Zoom approved list)
    4x NiMH re-chargeable AA batteries and charger
    Rode NT55MT matched pair of microphones (as overheads)
    2x tall boom microphone stands
    2x 10m microphone cables (XLR-XLR)
    Closed-back studio-quality headphones
    Reaper or Cubase software
     
  11. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    The Zoom H4n, not it's little brother the Zoom H2, is certainly a good way to go. It does not offer quite the capability that an 8 channel interface does but is highly portable and produces very good recordings. The mics Boswell suggested are top flight also. Though Boswell may not have been aware the Zoom units come packaged with Cubase LE (Cubase and/or Reaper are recording software packages.)
     
  12. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Welcome to our personal insanity.

    If i had only stopped with that first Shure mic....... :!:
     
  13. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    That's the problem, DD. Only the strongest minds can stop; but those are the same minds most determined to "improve the sound, with a new _____"
     

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