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tracking drums with a mixer

Discussion in 'Drums' started by pfactionbrett, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. Next weekend my band wants to do some rough recordings of our songs so we can start pre-production on them. Of course drums will be first, and to a click but I have some questions about recording them into my mbox2.

    We have a 6 channel mixer ( 4 xlr inputs) to record the drums into one of the mbox inputs. I just have a few questions about using the mixer into it. We have a bass drum mic, sm57 for the snare, and for overheads since we don't have overheads or room mics we have 2 sm58's, or one nady condenser microphone. I wanted to get an opinion on which to use. I know it's not gonna sound that great but these are for rough recordings to lay our song out.

    When I plug all this up to the mixer, should I keep the mixer masters down and turn up the mbox preamp, or vice versa? Also I can use the Left OR Right output of the mixer to the mbox I dont need both correct?

    One more question, for vocals I have a lexicon rack unit with reverbs, choruses, and delays. I want to record vocals on 2 tracks, one dry, and one with the lexicon. (in case the lexicon track isnt how i want in the end). The lexicon has 1/4" inputs and outputs. Where would I set this up in my chain? I would have to use the mixer even for just one vocal mic to use the Aux is this right?
     
  2. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Look up Recorderman's drum technique (one SM58 above, one off center, you'll understand once you see it).

    Drum tracks (all) panned left, mixer's left main output into mbox left line input.

    Scratch, click, etc. panned right, mixer's right main output into mbox right input.

    Main output faders must be up or silence will be recorded into the mbox.

    Verb on vox: Record vox dry via mixer's left main output, play it back into mixer on an open line input channel. Send via aux to the verb, return the verb into a stereo line, send only the output of the verb back into the mbox via tha mixer's stereo outputs.

    Picture is on it's way...
     
  3. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

  4. wow thanks. Explained very well and good picture too. What I meant about the faders wasn't so obvious about having it all the way down. what I mean is cranking the mixer fader and the mbox preamp will both result in noise, so either way which way should I do it, higer fader on mixer with lower preamp level, or lower fader level and higer preamp level?

    if my scratchtrack and click are already in protools, do I just leave the right output empty?
     
  5. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    mboxsimple.jpg

    1/4" Line Inputs are your friend.
     
  6. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    With regard to the preamp/fader...
    If your mixer preamp is crap, you will get crap either way.
    However you could keep the mixer preamp down, have the fader at 0, and use your non-mixer preamp (if you have a quality one) to compensate. The first preamp in the signal chain (where the mic signal goes) is the one that contributes most to the noise because the noise of that is amplified each time.
    Hence, if your first (mixer) preamp is lousy, minimise the amount of amping needed - play around a little, even. Perhaps it's noisy anyway, so get a little more and add a little less with your interface/preamp.
    You may even find you need both to be quite high if the signal is too quiet.
     
  7. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    No, get unity at the mixer you have. You are not making grammy winning albums here. I don't care what that mixer is, set your mic inputs on it to unity (this goes for you as well, codemonkey) and set everything after accordingly. Don't make me come over and do it for you, it's simple, this is audio 101.
    I've been doing this for far too long to tell (or allow) you guys to do it the wrong way.
     
  8. explain this further.

    I know what they're for. If I had a bass with a DI box, it would go into the DI. If I plugged my guitar straigt into the mbox, it would go in the line in as I have done using amp plugins and it's the only one that works. XLR is self explanitory. Why did you make this post I had not asked about it so what were you trying to explain with the importance of line inputs.
     
  9. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    What?

    Where did I lose you, my man?

    You were right there, you almost had it...
     
  10. rockstardave

    rockstardave Active Member

    +1

    proper gain structure is fundamental and necessary. otherwise you're building a house out of straw...
     
  11. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Thankee Sai, Dave!

    Pics edited for those who give a hoot...
     
  12. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Pfaction:
    Think about the signal flow...

    Unity Gain, every step of the way.


    If you are not there every step of the way then naturally noise will enter into the picture. Somewhere gain has got to be made up due to the fact that it's lacking somewhere else down the line. Got it?
     
  13. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    OK, bent. I stand corrected. And surrounded by RF/white noise. :)

    [Crawls back under desk]
     

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