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Serious Band, home recordings

Discussion in 'Recording' started by dmiller6590, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. dmiller6590

    dmiller6590 Guest

    Hello hello. I just came across this site and it looks pretty cool.
    so my friend and I are moving out to Arizona in a few months to pursue our band, etc. We've checked out some studios online, and also some studios in our area, and obviously with great quality comes great prices.
    We have jobs so money isn't a huge problem, but I think we're going to try and take it upon ourselfs to make our own demo, and learn from experience, (also going to be sound engineer majors).

    I suppose the only problem will be is that we're going to be getting an apartment, which may be a tad tough play too loud.
    We were thinking about recording drums at a local studio just to save noise and to make sure they are perfect. However I think we're going to take it upon our selves to do the guitars/bass/vox/etc.

    We're looking into getting the new Sonar 8 studio package, which comes with a mixer board and such.
    Along with that I'm assuming we'll get some SM57's and such.

    My question is, do you think that it's possible to get a great sounding recording from a home studio? With drums done at a real one, I think its safe to say they should be fine, but as far as guitars at home, vocals and things.
    And with direct input on guitars, can you still get a great flavored sound?

    I'm sorry if this is very broad, I'm searching the other threads for pieces of information, just new to the whole thing as others are I assume.

    By the way, the type of music is rock/pop, with emphasis on the rock guitar sound, (i.e hendrix).

  2. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Distinguished Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    Guitar will typically need to be recorded by a mic on a decent amp, to give it real tone.
  3. Greener

    Greener Guest

    I went down the route of DI guitars and studio tracked drums.

    It depends on the feel you are after, you can record the guitars DI in the studio then bring them home for re-amping, but you really need to pay attention to acoustics of the room you are in otherwise you end up with mud.

    There is nothing wrong with recording your own home demos, just be aware they will not be as good as what a professional can do with a zillions dollars of equipment and years of know how.

    I have an Edirol UA-25 interface, it's cheap and rather nasty but I can use it to record some good sounds. Maybe start small with something like this and play around and see what you can do. Then go in for more expensive stuff as you learn what you need.

    You cannot beat phat pre's, sexy converters and nothing tops solid room acoustics... All these cost the big dollars though and you'll never know what works for you without a boat load of testing and trying and learning.

    Good luck and let us know what you get up to.
  4. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Nov 30, 2008
    Lake Ki-Chi-Saga, Minnesota USA
    Hello dmiller6590,
    welcome to the RO community forum.

    To answer your question, yes it is possible to get a good sound from a home studio.

    However, don't set your hopes up to high. Great recordings take time and knowledge to acquire. You really do need to know your system before you can progress.

    Have you ever heard the expression?: less is more

    I also lived in an apartment while doing some recording too. I only had one landlord and he did mind it too bad as long as I did not play past 10pm.

    I am sure you will be fine, it seems you have a good direction already. if you have a way of doing remote recordings you can utilize the great outdoors into your songs.

    Do not waste your money on a cheap mic pre if you want a studio sound.

    Expect to pay $2000 for a decent one. Sorry, no way around it unless you are good with making one from a kit. Check out this thread I started on DIY pres here:


    I can make one recommendation on microphones. The mic I know Jimmy Hendrix used on his guitar cabinet is a beyerdynamic M 160

    If you watch the Jimmy Hendrix Isle of White video you will see it.

    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/search.php?s=Beyerdynamic M160&rkg=1

    Have not acquired one of these bad boys for myself yet, but it is high on my list of 'must haves'. These mics are terrific for all kinds of applications. I have heard they are wonderful for female vocals, violins and drums too.

    By the way, ribbon mics will get fried with phantom power so you either will want to have a separate mic pre for it that DOES NOT supply phantom power, or just make sure you do not use +48 volts on it. That would make anyone really upset to lose a $700 mic in a matter of a split second!
  5. BobRogers

    BobRogers Distinguished Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    What kind of experience does your band have with recording? Have any of you done a lot of track-by-track recording? Any experience with mic placement, acoustics, etc. Ever done any mixing?

    Basically, if this is all new to you it sounds like you are on the right track. But a good computer. Good software. Good interface with a few (not exactly state of the art) mic preamps. A few basic mics. STOP! PRACTICE! LEARN! Let a studio record the drums. Experiment with the guitars. Record bass and electric keys direct. Buy or make some movable acoustic treatments so that vocals and acoustic instruments sound OK in your apartment recorded through an SM58/57 and your interface preamps. (The acoustic treatment will make it more pleasant to practice in your apartment and make your stereo and TV sound a lot better.) Keep improving by refining your technique. Resist the temptation to try to get better by buying equipment.

    In a few months of hard work or several months of sporadic work you will have pretty good sounding demos and enough knowledge to make an intelligent decision about whether to spend your money on studio time or home recording equipment.

    One thing I've learned in doing this - it is almost impossible to save money by buying home recording equipment. If you enjoy doing it, if it is part of your creative process, fine. But it will almost certainly cost you more to record yourself than to pay a studio to do it.

    Think of what you are doing as an educational experiment and remember what we Professors say, "education ain't cheap."
  6. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Home Page:
    +1 to Bob.

    I've pretty much been at every point he's covered somewhere along the line.
    I threw myself down the rabbit hole and decided this is what I was going to do with my life, so the GAS has hit me harder than most home/project recordists.

    You've got some pretty decent stuff there - enough to do it all (IF you get some SM57/58s). You'll find drums are more difficult due to the # of mics. More mics = more issues.

    My suggestion:
    Do some demos at home, and get the songs TIGHT AS HELL.
    Then go to a real studio. They usually charge by the hour, so you might as well rough track everything (in addition to drums). You won't pay hardly any more to have them plug in your bass/guitar and put up a vocal mic or two.
    Then go back home and think about what you have.
    Can you get better vocal/guitar/bass cuts?
    If not, you've at least honed your recording chops.

    Remember what Dave said:
    Good guitars, good amps, good room.

    Once again I'm reminded of a recording axiom taught to me be some local pros: Garbage In = Garbage Out.
    Good player > good instruments > good mic > good pre > good interface / converters > and so on. Notice that the two most important elements come before the mic.
  7. fourone3

    fourone3 Active Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    If you're worried about waking the neighbors recording guitars, try recording them DI and using amp simulating software like GTR, Amplitube or Eleven.

    Does they sound just like a real amp? Not really. Does they sound better than an effects processor direct? I think so.

    Give it a try. Waves just starting literally giving GTR Solo away for a year. You've got nothing to lose by experimenting with such.
  8. natural

    natural Active Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    Good products can come from the apartment studio.
    The operative word in your question is DEMO.
    I started my recording career from my apartment.
    For the basic tracks, we would go to a rehearsal studio which we could rent for less than $100.00 for the entire evening.
    Borrow a couple more mics than what I had, set everything up for the first couple of hours and had at least a good 3 to 4 hrs to cut several basic tracks.
    Back to the apartment for overdubs and mixing. Worked out great.
    Whenever quality issues started creeping in. We would always chant: O-med.... OOO-MED...... OOO-MED.
    That would always remind us that we were just cutting a DEMO.
  9. Rocket

    Rocket Guest

    Everyone has a thought, mine is, for recording drums, guitar, bass, syth, trying sm57, for vocals.. use sm58, they are average priced, and sure is been around for some time, and these seem to out perform the expensive ones......

  10. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Moderator Resource Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    Check the date of the last post. ;-)

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