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Semi=noob here

Discussion in 'Recording' started by cactapus, Sep 24, 2005.

  1. cactapus

    cactapus Guest

    Hi, Im Justin, and I've been looking for a good place liek this, and thankfully I found it (y). Anyway. I have been doing research for a while now, and I finaly recorded a friends band today. As im new at recording, I was a little nervous, but hey...it happens anyway, Im trying to get better quality sound and I dont know where to go from here, heres what I have to start it off.

    Peavey 6 channel mixer
    Standard soundcard with a 1/8 to 1/4 cord going from the mixer to the card
    A few mics, nothing special
    Adobe Audition....

    Anyway, I was wondering what I should get next...besides studio monitors. Im looking for anything that would improve the sound. Im short on cash at the moment, but it really doesnt matter. Im not sure if I should get a better soundcard, or even which soundcard, or better mics, or equalizers, pre-amps, crossovers, not sure....

    I hope someone can help.

    Thanks
     
  2. Hi there-

    Of course, the front-end of your rig (mics, pre-amps, etc) is arguably the most imortant part, it sounds like the first thing you should buy is either a dedicated hard-disk recorder, something like the Boss BR-1600 (roughly $1,400 US), or a better soundcard (if you don't plan on carting your computer around.)

    I'm not suggesting you need something as expensive as the Boss (since you're on a budget,) but it's just an idea. If you're going to be recording bands, you need at least 8 XLR inputs (IMO). If you're just recording yourself, 2 will suffice. I'm speaking from experience. I started out on a Boss BR-8 (no XLR inputs) to record my band, and that was quite a hassle, going from a Yamaha mixer to the 2-track input of the Boss. I have a Tascam US-428 for recording myself at home, and I have an Akai DPS24 for live/mobile recording of bands.

    If you want an ordered list- here:
    1. Hard disk recorder (some type of Boss, Fostex, Roland, Korg, etc)
    2. Microphones and related accessories (high-quality cables, stands etc.)
    3a. Studio Monitors (Event TR-5's are nice, and I've heard good things about Samson Rubicon in Tape Op- both good if you're on a budget)
    3b. Headphones. Sony MDR-7506's are nice.
    4. Outboard gear (compressors, etc.)

    Just suggestions.
     
  3. cactapus

    cactapus Guest

    Wow, thanks for the help, but I have a question. Do I need a hard disk recorded, I thought that was for people who dont want to use a computer? Im not exactly sure what it really is, but I thought it was like a digital multitrack? Any Idea's for a good soundcard aswell. I won't be traveling with the gear also if that helps, strictly a home studio.

    Thanks
     
  4. No, technically you don't need a hard-disk recorder (digital multitrack), that was just a suggestion. I suggest it because they're more stable than computer based DAW's, and are dedicated to recording.

    Depending on how much you have to spend, you could get the Tascam FW-1884 (8- XLR ins, motorized faders, MIDI I/O, ADAT, S/PDIF, WC I/O.) I think it's a good choice if you're new to recording and have a firewire port on your computer. It's about $1,300 US.

    I don't reccomend getting a separate soundcard (an internal one) for your computer, mainly because they don't have XLR inputs, and you often can't do many tracks at once. Unless, of course, you got an RME Hammerfall card, and had some pre-amps you could connect via ADAT lightpipe. But that gets complicated, especially for someone who's new to recording.
     
  5. cactapus

    cactapus Guest

    Alright, so I think Im going to get these next...tell me what you think

    -MXL 990 Condensor Mic for vocals
    -Sm57 for guitar/bass amp micing
    -Event Tr-5 monitors
    -The Sony headphones you suggested
    -Mic Pre-amps

    For the pre-amps I was thinking a Behringer Ultragain Pro MIC2200. I heard behringer arent that good, but that in the last year they started improving and such. Any suggestions on pre-amps. And am I moving in the right direction as far as the next equiptment I should be buying?
     
  6. I've heard some good things about the MXL 990 mic's. SM57's are always good. I like my TR-5's, but I would do research on monitors to see what people think about them before buying. I had TR-6's recommended to me by another engineer I work with, but they were out, so I got the TR-5's.

    Before you get the mic pre-amps, you'll need something to record into. I would suggest saving your money and getting something like the Tascam FW1884, which can work with Adobe Audition, and you can record and mix multiple tracks at once. IMO, something like that is just the best option for a home studio. Hopefully someone else comes in with an opinion so I don't steer you in the wrong direction. I have a Tascam US-428 that has 2 XLR's, 2 TRS's, and a 2 track RCA input. I can record 4 tracks at once, and it's connected via USB to my computer. I don't work for Tascam, in case anyone thinks that, I just happen to think they're cheaper than going the Digi002 route.
     
  7. cactapus

    cactapus Guest

    "Before you get the mic pre-amps, you'll need something to record into"...what do you mean by that though. I have a mixer hooked up to my computer, im not exactly sure what you mean. Sorry about all of this, I guess I don't know as much as I thought I did :p.
     
  8. What I mean is, connecting your mixer to the computer doesn't allow for any changes after recording. What you put in is what you get out. With any kind of control surface (tascam 1884, digi002, mbox, etc..) you can record multiple tracks (at least 2) at once, and edit them individually later. Just adding a mic pre to the signal chain doesn't really do anything. I suggest picking up the book "Home Recording for Musicians for Dummies." That's a good place to start if you're new.
     
  9. cactapus

    cactapus Guest

    Okay, so basically it allows you to record multiple instruments at once? With more effects and such, more expansion than just the highs and mids on mixers?...and this can be hooked together with my mixer? I have another question now that where on this subject, how does it connent to the mixer, mixer main outputs to the tascam or digi type thing? I was already thinking of picking up that exact book by the way. Sorry to bother you about this, Im just really passionate about music and Im loving everything involving music production. If im bothering you, just tell me, thanks.

    p.s I was looking up the mbox,it looks completely diffrent than the other things you showed me. now that I look at it, I guess you hook the mixer to this and plug it in through usb and its as simple as that?

    EDIT : Well, now that I think about it, is it only for recording multiple instruments, because since I layer the tracks...like drums, guitar, bass, vocals, and so on, theres really no need to multi track them, as there on seperate layers, so I still have control over every instrument.
     
  10. That's the good thing about something like the Tascam FW1884- it has faders and everything- you don't even need your mixer. You can control levels and different controls in Adobe Audition without a mouse. You can just plug the microphones straight into the FW1884 or Mbox and record. Of course, you have to set up Adobe Audition to recognize it, but the manual should cover something like that. The only difference between the Mbox and FW1884 is that it doesn't have faders or some of the controls, it's more for just plugging in one or two sources and hitting record.
     
  11. cactapus

    cactapus Guest

    So, basically a good thing to have, but its not neccassary at the stage that im at, right?
     
  12. It's something that's good to start out on. It gives you the basics of multi-tracking. That's why I suggested a hard-disk recorder, maybe one with a USB out to transfer your files to the computer, or a CD-R to burn your finished product. Because you don't have to worry about getting software or running into a lot of limitations you might have with just a control surface. Using a dedicated hard-disk digital multitrack is just easier for beginners. Something like the Fostex MR8hd. Then you can just export the files via USB to your computer for mixing.
     
  13. cactapus

    cactapus Guest

    Ah, I see. It's all comming together now, nice. A few simple questions, then Im done...i swear, heh.

    1. What is the job of a compressor(sounds dumb but I just want to make sure)?

    2. What is the job of a limiter and or a gate?

    3. Whats the job of a equalizer(yet again..sounds dumb but I just want to make sure im correct)?....

    Ha, just noticed there all rack mounts to. Thanks again

    ah one more

    4. What is mastering all about
     
  14. In basic terms, a compressor lowers the level of the loudest sounds, so you can turn it up to hear the softer parts. It's more complicated than that, but basically that's it.

    A limiter just stops the loudest sounds from going above a certain threshold, like -3dB. A gate stops the sound from playing if it falls below a certain threshold, like on vocals, If the sound starts at -5dB, then anything below -5dB will engage the gate and you won't hear any sound.

    An equalizer (you're probably looking at something like a 31 band graphic equalizer) comes in two basic types: Graphic and parametric. A graphic equalizer lets you change the amplitude of a certain frequency, with no other options. A parametric equalizer lets you choose a frequency, and change the bandwidth and amplitude. Basically, an equalizer lets you change how something sounds by increasing or decreasing frequencies.

    Sorry, my explanations are long-winded and confusing. Any basic book on recording will answer your questions better. I tried though.
     
  15. cactapus

    cactapus Guest

    Nah dude, you really helped me out, I understood it completely. I really appreciate the help and all that really. Thanks for all the help and everything. Sorry I was a pain. Thanks again
     

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