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What would be the best investment?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by EricWatkins, Oct 12, 2008.

  1. EricWatkins

    EricWatkins Active Member

    Hi, I've got my first band coming to the new studio to record in two weeks. I am relatively prepared but also a bit worried because, although it's not at all my first time recording, it is my first time recording a band in THIS studio. I only have one room at the moment. The band is a death metal 4 piece group with a pretty small drum kit. I just want to do the best possible job recording drums first. The guitar, bass, and vocal tracks will be easier from my experience and I plan on using DI's in addition to thier mic'd amps so I'll have options beyond the inital recording. There are pictures of my room here: http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewPicture&friendID=164664475&albumId=1487261

    It's not really obvious from the pics but the room is halfway treated. All the iso-booths in the back are completely covered in auralex 2" wedgies. There are no doors on the booths yet. The other end of the room has bass traps in the corners and several sonoflat panels on the walls as designed by auralex. I am also going to be building an absorption cloud of 4" thick, rigid fiber board (ductboard) right over the area the drums will be set up at. The drums will also be sitting on a large area rug which is on a floating hardwood floor. As the room is now, it's reall a good sounding room as a control room. But once there are drums banging on the other end of the room, I know that the reflections are going to be really loud. That is why I'm going to try to do everything I can between now and then to deaden the room. I just dont want to catch a bunch of loud, small-room sound on the mics.

    I've got all the mics I need to record the drums. I'm going to make everyone else go direct for the drum recording to eliminate bleed in the room. I can put the singer down the hall in the bedroom for drum tracking this time. I've got a 57 for the snare. ATM 250s for all the toms, a d112 for the kick, and two AT2020s for overheads. Might not be a dream setup but it's not the worst either. I have one LA-610 Preamp. I'm guessing I'll use it for the snare. I also have an AT4047 that I can use for whatever. I'm definitely planning on using it on the vocals unless someone thinks that would be a mistake for this type of music (death metal. I do have an SM7b I can borrow if you think that would be better.

    I dont have many plugins other than what comes with Cubase 4 and I do own Ozone and Voxformer. If I am to spend any money on anything between now and then, I was thinking of the Waves SSL plugs. I just want to do the VERY best job possible so that this job turns into another and then another if you know what I mean. So does anyone see a better place for me to spend money than the Waves SSl package? I dont have a budget because I really SHOULDNT be spending money on anything right now but I will if it will make a BIG difference in this recording. I wont spend any more than what the Waves cost which is $600. I appreciate any help. Thanks.

    Eric
     
  2. Doomith

    Doomith Guest

    I would track everything seperatly. Your going to need to.
    For some good tricks and tips for metal google, 'fader guide drums' or similar. They are some really good recording guides done by a company called Faderguide. (Pretty sure that's the right name).

    You can download alot of free plugins that work really well. You should look at doings this before spending $600 on the SSL pack.

    I would probably spend the money on preamps or more gear. Because if your putting in crap then your only going to get crap out. Save up and get something like an API lunchbox and get a bunch of good preamps so you can make things sound amazing before they hit your DAW.

    Don't forget since its death metal your most likely going to have to replace the kick and blend in the snare (with samples) to get the sound they are after (pays not to tell them most often). Because of this you can get the kick drum mic in very close so you just pick up an impulse without having to worry about the sound ;)

    How are you tracking guitars ? Quite often ive used the D112 for vocals if the vocalist is doing very low gutteral vocals.
     
  3. EricWatkins

    EricWatkins Active Member

    Thanks Doomith. I will be tracking everything seperately. I also agree with replacing the drums with samples. I've already got KTdrum trigger and alot of drum samples. I also have a bunch of free plugs from KVR like the Fish Fillets and whatnot. API's are out of the question right now. I just want to do what ever I can within $600.00 right now to make this recording as good as possible. I am going to give them about 4 options on guitar amps and take a DI signal straight in to manipulate later if need be. Bass will probably go direct through the LA-610. I'll keep that in mind about the D112 on the vocal although I hadnt ever heard that before. I have heard that the SM7b is good for metal vocals. I dont know. That's why I'm asking. I've just read nothing but rave reviews on the Waves SSL plugs and I thought that that might be the best place to spend some dough. I mean, I've got decent enough mics considering the kick and snare will be samples and I'm confident I can get the bass tone and guitar tones I want from what I already have. So I guess my biggest worries are room acoustics and processing as I thought those might be the two biggest differences in my sound I could make right now at such a small budget. Thanks for the help.
     
  4. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    You worry too much. You have Gandalf in your studio! It's all good. :D
     
  5. Doomith

    Doomith Guest

    Maybe then spend your money on getting more acoustic treating!
     
  6. EricWatkins

    EricWatkins Active Member

    Yeah, he makes up for alot. :wink:
     
  7. EricWatkins

    EricWatkins Active Member

    Yeah, my theory is the deader the better as I dont think the sound of THIS room is going to help the end result. At the same time, I might be able to do a lot of that in the low budget way for the particular session. I'm thinking of setting a single sized new mattress on it's side right in fron of the kit to keep it from projecting down the length of the room. The rest of the room, between warm bodies and a fewq loose auralex panels, I think I can get pretty dead. I guess we'll see. Thanks again.
     
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    If you had me over, I'd show you how to get a bitchin' sound with the entire band tracking live, in that space. You need to put the drums on a throw rug to start with. I'd even have guitar amplifiers on, in your open-door booths. You put the vocalist on the SM 7. You're all going to need to use headphones during tracking since your control room is your studio and your studio is your control room. I live right down the street from you. P.M. me if you're interested? You might have to take me to the Chinese restaurant later?

    Give me ambience or give me death...... Metal
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
  9. EricWatkins

    EricWatkins Active Member

    Oh if only you did live right down the street, that would be awesome! I wouldnt have to wait minutes or hours to ask my rediculous questions. "Knock knock, Hey Remy, could you come over and set me straight on my mic selection over here for a sec." Lol. That'd be awesome. Hell, I owe you Chinese dinner four times over now Remy. I really appreciate the help. Maybe we'll experiment with a live situation in the room. But I have to have my safe takes too.

    I do have a headphone amp and six pairs of closed back cans so we're good to go there. Thanks so much Remy. I really do appreciate your help and advice. I will see about geting the SM7. Can it be hand held? Should I push it through the LA-610 or just a clean channel in the console (DM-4800) Thanks again. Going to bed now. Check up with everyone in the AM.

    Thanks for the Remydees.

    Eric
     
  10. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Although a SM 7 can be handheld, it's rather awkward. Quite heavy with the yoke flopping around too. I'd recommend putting it on a stand. Conversely, if the singer wants to pop around I'd give him an SM58. Either way, I'd shove him into your LA-610. And have a good session!

    Waiting to hear something good
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
  11. TopherNeverDies

    TopherNeverDies Active Member

    Eric,
    I have the SSL plug-ins and I must say, they are awesome. It's great having the stereo bus compressor and being able to use it on as many tracks as you want. Sounds real good on parallel compressed drums. I mix in the box so the SSL plug-ins get a lot of usage.
    If you're going to treat your room anymore I suggest you do it yourself and save the cash. You can buy the same exact foam, in whatever color you prefer in Home Depot or Lowes. Do it yourself, always cheaper. If you can't find information on the internet let me know and when I have time I'll dig up the details and post them.

    Respectfully,
    Christopher
     
  12. TopherNeverDies

    TopherNeverDies Active Member

    Oh and how's the LA-610? I've been thinking about getting one. I just haven't gotten my hands on one to try yet.

    Respectfully,
    Christopher
     
  13. EricWatkins

    EricWatkins Active Member

    Hey Christopher. I'm really glad you commented on the SSL plugs. Can you tell me how many instances you can run? I have a Sonica Labs Quad core with Q95 chipset and 4 gigs of ram on Windows XP 32. My DAW is CUbase 4. I really want an idea of how many I might be able to get going at once.

    As far as the LA-610, I really like it alot but I'm not the most qualified person in the world as it's my first channel strip. There are two things I've really noticed. It really makes my bass sound fat and the compressor works really well. Like I said though, it's my first one so I cant compare it. When tracking vocals though, I wince when the singer gets really dynamic but then I look at the meters and the compressor really holds the performance at bay and yet, the end result sounds really natural to me. I guess that would be to say that it's nice and transparent. I dont hear any pumping even at high levels of peak reduction. Hope this helps.

    Eric
     
  14. TopherNeverDies

    TopherNeverDies Active Member

    I use the SSL plug-ins in protools on a little mac book with only 2 gigs pf ram and I haven't had any problems yet. I'm not sure where it would max for me but I've used them on around 20 channels with no problem. It's nice having the channels because you can use 1 plug-in and be able to gate, compress, filter, and eq. I'll try tomorrow to see if I can max out my computer and if so how many tracks I use them on.

    Respectfully,
    Christopher
     
  15. EricWatkins

    EricWatkins Active Member

    Thanks Christopher.
     

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