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Need some help recording drums

Discussion in 'Drums' started by carlw, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. carlw

    carlw Active Member

    Apr 9, 2009
    Hi guys, I'm brand new here.
    Be advised I know very, very little about sound and recording and I'm trying to record some drum covers for my youtube channel.

    My situation is: I have an ipod playing the original audio and me playing my electronic drums over the top.
    I plug my ipod into my mixer's first mono channel using a cable with a headphone jack on the ipod end and a headphone jack with a quarter inch mono adaptor on the mixer end.

    (It's a very cheap Behringer Xenyx 1002FX mixer.)

    My electronic drum module outputs to the second of only 2 mono input channels on the mixer (in both cases I'm using the quarter inch plug instead of the big XLR one and turning the gain up quite a lot). This cheap mixer has more input channels but they're stereo, don't have an XLR port and don't have gain.

    I output from the "L Main out" to a Powered P.A. mono speaker (Behringer B215A). This works out OK because the ipod's input is converted to mono from the quarter inch adapter so I hear both channels on the one speaker and my electronic drums give a mono output too.

    I output from the RCA "CD Tape Out" using a stereo RCA cable which goes to a headphone jack...with an extension cable eventually reaching the microphone input on my computer (the red jack on my on board sound card). I have the microphone boost enabled on the Realtek HD sound panel software.

    Believe me I've tried all sorts of other solutions and this is the only one which gives reasonable results - in the past I've tried playing with a mixture of electronic and acoustic drums/cymbals and this is so loud...I hate trying to monitor the original music on headphones turned up really, really loud and then blasting my drums over the top (this is very neighbour unfriendly and when I can't hear a clean mix it's hard to keep in time with the music).

    So given what I've said - can anyone see anything I'm doing wrong? So far this is the only solution I've found which results in a pretty clean mix being output to my P.A. for monitoring and Computer for recording and gives a reasonably loud result which when played back, comes out of both left and right speakers on my computer.

    My final question - the result I get is a bit fuzzy and low quality (obviously I'm using lots of cheap gear, plug adapters etc. and my setup is very budget and far from ideal but if I were to upgrade anything what would be best to spend money on? I'm interested in a new sound card because this on board one doesn't have "Stereo Mix" and I need that for something unrelated.

    Thank you in advance for any help you can offer.
  2. jg49

    jg49 Distinguished Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    Frozen Tundra of CT
    What I think your best investment would be is an interface. This will change your signal into a digital format, have clean preamps, come with a software recording program and remove the xenyx from your recording chain. It also takes your soundcard out of the loop which is a lot of your problem. The interface sends the digital info by either firewire or USB connection to your computer. There are many of these type units ranging ranging in price and number of channels.

    Here are some good ones but there are many others

    the other hing that these units will give you is a good headphone/monitor mix that you can adjust the sources (even multiple recorded tracks) exactly as you like in stereo. You could record the ipod channel first for example then play it back and record your drums in stereo output into two mono channels and much more.
  3. carlw

    carlw Active Member

    Apr 9, 2009
    OK thanks mate - I'll definitely research those.
    I'm learning the entire prospect of recording is very complex.

    Like consider this problem - I have a big setup of acoustic cymbals but only 3 electric cymbals (just little rubber trigger pads) which aren't going to be easy to put on the kit. I'd like to use my real cymbals but they're very loud and obviously a microphone would need to be setup to record their sound. With a mic setup I guess I'd be forced to monitor on headphones because any speaker making sound would give a feedback loop - I learned this the hard way (very loud noise on my P.A.).

    I'm trying to avoid monitoring on headphones if at all possible and keeping the volume lower is desirable so I guess I have to figure out mounting these electric cymbals (and where to get more).

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