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What more do i need for home studio?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by RTG03, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. RTG03

    RTG03 Active Member

    As of now, i have a Mackie PROFX16 mixer, CAD pro drum mic's, Macbook pro, and garageband/Audacity. In order to get decent recordings, what else do i really need? I want to get better drum mic's and only like 3 or 4 of them. I would also like to purchase a condenser microphone, once i get more cash. Do i need a preamp or anything like that? what kind of mic's are good for drums and other instruments? I am on a tight budget but would like decent equipment to start getting good recording.

    Thanks for your help,
  2. timshel

    timshel Active Member

    The only thing missing from your set-up seems to be a pair of monitor speakers. Listening through speakers will change how you record music.

    3-4 microphones are more than enough for drums. The mixer has pre-amps, 16 in fact, AND effects that you can utilize in your recordings. Get creative with it. Try everything and anything that you read or think about or have ever heard. I'd suggest making your own opinions about what works and what does not.

    More than anything you buy or upgrade or trade-in or steal or talk about having:

    It is the way you use your equipment and the logical decisions you make during the process that shapes the recording.

    Well written music helps a lot too.
  3. RTG03

    RTG03 Active Member

    I Plan on getting some speakers a little later in time. Ive heard a lot of bad reviews on the mackie profx, about the USB being only 2 channel stereo, so its very limited. If you know about that mixer, was it a good buy? Wouldn't want my recordings to be limited and sounding incomplete or not as powerful as it could be. If not, should i just sell it and replace it?
  4. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    You probably shouldn't have bought a mixer. It's a common misconception that you need a mixer in a home studio. You don't. In fact a mixer has a lot of featured which are rendered functionally useless once everything is "in the box". Once you record your three or four mics to two tracks(Because that's what mixers do. Namely mix down to a stereo main.) they are mixed and that's it. You are not going to be able to edit the guitar separate from the drums or vox. A two channel mixer would be just as appropriate in that case. At least you could pan say, guitar left, vocals right and record those to two separate mono tracks.

    The mixer would become more useful if you had an eight or sixteen channel audio interface like say a Presonus Firestudio, Tascam US 1800 or anything similar which allows you to record multiple channels to individual track simultaneously.

    In short, take the mixer back if you can or sell it and get a computer audio interface from a reputable company. You will also want to get an external hard drive to record to.
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I'm guessing this is like a StudioLive console, Hue so I think he is good to go.. Add Monitors and you are sailing.

  6. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    My mistake. Mind you, you are still bound to 4 channels of I/O including spdif.
  7. RTG03

    RTG03 Active Member

    alright, so i got 4 channels to mess with, as in 1 being for drums, 1 for bass, 1 for guitar, and one for vocals? if not, ill most likely sell the mixer and take your advice with getting the audio interface.
  8. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    What you can do is, do a scratch track (IE: a cue) then do the drums, guitar, vox, bass on separate takes. I don't know how many tracks you can get into Garageband. Likely more than 16. If you take your time, I mean really take your time, you can try and get everything done in one take. It can sound really good if you do it right.

    I wouldn't bother with Audacity. It's ok for file conversion and minor editing but that's about it. Garageband is more than capable but if you want even more complexity and power to edit, consider Reaper.
  9. RTG03

    RTG03 Active Member

    That makes sense, ill have to try that out. I was looking at the reaper also. Looks good for a decent price, it would defiantly be an upgrade from garageband.

    Thanks a lot for your help!
  10. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I share Hueseph's concerns about the mixer. The USB I/O on the ProFX16 is 2 channels in each direction.

    For what he says he wants to do, RTG03 needs either a multi-channel audio interface or a mixer with multi-track recording capability such as the A+H Zed-R16, Yamaha 01V96i, Mackie i-series or indeed the Presonus StudioLive.
  11. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    when i had just a 4 trk i'd submix a stereo drum take, have a bass, guitar track live. sub mix instruments, then have 2 trks for vocs/backups. i would cue the scrtch vox. interfaces are good, but getting one w/ 8 pre's on a budget, limits them pretty much to what has already been stated. if you could keep the mixer and add an interface, well, that is an expansion, to probably 8 analog lines in, on anaverage 18ch interface. but yeah when i got a cpu and soundcard, i did what huseph described.

    track limits are a good thing i think especially when starting out, it shows you how to get the sound you want when your tracking. i still use a 4trk for stuff, but yeah it takes the time upfront, but the mix is basically done so, it's pretty equal timewise.
    that said, i'd want at least 8 ch to record at once, even when i couldn;t afford the 8 track. your gonna want it anyway, so you may as well bite the invetibale bullet that audio recording is, and just get what you want now, w/ a mind towards future expansion. 8 tracks is plenty, especially going to virtually unlimited digital.
  12. RTG03

    RTG03 Active Member

    Well, i'll probably end up selling my mixer, and get this audio interface. TASCAM US-1800 USB 2.0 Audio/MIDI Interface | Musician's Friend

    Any recommendations?
  13. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    nice 1r unit, get a snake, or be neat w/ the front intput wires. looks like some limited outs. fine if ya don't need 'em. i wouldn't mind the interface, it's a capale rack unit that distributes a decent amount of channels, and doesn't kill it audiowise. i'd say good call.
  14. RTG03

    RTG03 Active Member

    Cool, then ill just sell my mixer, Get an audio interface, Get the reaper for my DAW, and purchase some quality mic's. Then i should be good for the mean time.

    Thanks for all your advice, much appreciated.
  15. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    quality mics is broad friend. get some tried and true, they work. 441 421 451 58 57 81 414 87 7b 3035(lol). it's a gamble w/ productive odds..
  16. BobbyRose23

    BobbyRose23 Active Member

    Hey Kmetal I love having something in front of me to work with... I love mixers and I will be getting a nice expensive one eventually. For now I am getting the Zoom R16, my buddy said his boss has one and it is amazing. I will be getting mine in January. check it out Zoom R16 Multitrack Recorder/Interface/Controller | Musician's Friend
  17. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    i enjoy having some faders and knobs too. my personal setup, i opted for a novation noctturn for plugins, and an alpha track single fader unit. i just liked the idea of being able to harness the power of plug-insand the ease of DAW editing/automation, and more realavent track limitations over a standalone recorder. just preference. i haven't used the zoom so i can't say much on quality. if i had the need, i'd opt for the mackie universal control surface, cuz it's compatible;e w/ most software, and expandable.

    over at the studio there's a 24ch automatable board, so my personal needs are met w/ a pretty cheap, simple setup. You could get a mackie D8B, for maybe 600 w/ no dsp cards. it's what we use in the tracking room. 12 pres, 8ch hui (software) control. zero latency dsp, apogee conversion option, eq/compression stock on all 24 channels. and it's very very easy to adapt to if your used to working on mixers, i was able to record w/ out even cracking the manual. tough to beat for the price range. although, they are a bit old, and have a very bulky power supply on the form of a 4u rack cpu. i'd buy one if the studio didn't already have one.

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