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Recording hierarchy?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by EricIndecisive, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. EricIndecisive

    EricIndecisive Active Member

    What do you think is the hierarchy when recording? I guess for some things it's obvious. But in terms of gear, I don't ever have a whole lot of money at one time, so I'm trying to figure out what would be the next best purchase. Sorry if there is a thread on this already... These are how I imagine it, though I don't really know at all. Would love to hear some opinions from the pros!

    1. Performance
    2. Instruments
    3. Room
    4. Microphones
    5. Interface / preamp
    6. ?

    I really want to know, because I know that I need monitors instead of computer speakers. I also need a new acoustic! But would I benefit from a better interface or better microphones?

    Then in terms of mixing I suppose it would be the skill of the mixer and the monitors.
  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    There's a simple way to answer this question. It goes like this. Q. Can you get a decent sound out of the acoustic with the gear you already have? If yes then move on to the next segment.....if no then theres your answer. pt.2: Q. Would a better sound from your monitors result in an easing of work for you to achieve a decent mix? If yes then there's your answer, if no then return to question one.
  3. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    The only part I think that is almost always right is "performance." "Instruments" is close because it's part of performance. (But put a great player on a POS and don't worry about the sound.) You can choose the mics and position to overcome the room and a great room can make up for some crappy mics, so that ranking is not clear. I agree that interface/preamps is below all the other factors....usually.

    In terms of "what should I spend money on"... probably a pretty good list. In terms of the specific microphone/interface question...analog is alway a better long term investment than digital. Good microphones will be good ten/twenty years from now; what was the best interface in 1992? With that said - it might be that the interface is the best purchase in the short term.
  4. EricIndecisive

    EricIndecisive Active Member

    Thanks guys!

    My firepod has served me well, I can't deny that. But it has 8 inputs, and I only ever use 2 of them. I don't have room for a drumkit, and I have a good setup with friends where I can get a live performance in MIDI format.

    I am very basic - only recording myself. I multi-track every song. So short term is probably not a bad thing. I would love to find a high quality 2 channel interface that has some solid preamps, and it seems like the only one I can find is the RME Fireface 400, which is about $900 used! Or would I be better off getting something like the firestudio mobile and then building one of the preamps from 7th circle audio? This stuff is all so confusing to me haha. I used to actually write music, now I just look up what I think I need on the internet...

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