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Im new around here but ive been interested in studio help and that sort of thing for a few years now but never really got round to purchasing much due to being very confused.

Recording would be basically just my band. Drums, Bass, 2 Guitars, Synth+Keyboard & Vocals.

But i never knew which way really to go :

Getting a tracking device like 8 track or maybe waiting to save for better


Getting a livewire? mixer with 8 straight outs to a MAudio 10/10 or something like that.

We do want studio quality but we dont want to build a huge studio out of it. maybe you cant get studio quality without having a big studio?

I'm sure someone can point me in the direction of where to go and what equipment would be good. things that arent 100% needed etc let us know what and we can worry about that later. basically just interested in basic set up if you get me?

Thanks alot.


hxckid88 Mon, 07/31/2006 - 00:52
I'm not sure exactly where you want to go with this, but I definately suggest a Presonus product. If you want to start off recording tracks seperately, recording drums first, then bass, guitars, keys, vocals, etc, think about a Presonus Firebox, there are tons of packages out there (musicians friend), that can hook you up with starter mics and monitors. That is the route I took. Even better, there is the Presonus Firepod, 8 inputs, in which you can record a whole band simultaneously. 2 overheads, kick, snare, bass, two guitars, vocals. You can always re-record over it if you needed to fit in a backup vocals, or wanted to do vocals later. Or if you have keys, piano, trumpet? I dont know. But for a package like that, it is about $800-1000, especially the fact that you'll need to buy more mics. As starters ,on a budget, keep it simple, Shure SM57's/58s, whatever floats your boat. Those are my suggestions because I was on a budget and decided to go with a small package, I ended up borrowing alot of mics from friends to do recordings, I'm now about to purchase my own :)

ghellquist Sun, 07/30/2006 - 13:57

If you want to get away with a small monetary budget, be prepared to spend a lot on the time budget. Read up a lot, visit other peoples project studios, be prepared to do a lot of experimenting. The most important part of a pro studio is the engineer -- as you will be that you need to invest in your knowledge.

I have seen pro studios doing really good things with simple equipment, I have seen people really making a mess using really expensive equipment.

My first suggestion is for you to go a large bookstore (or and buy a few books and a few magazines. There are probably titles like "Cubase for dummies" that will give you a full picture that is much better than the snippets gained from questions on the net.

Secondly, start looking at what is available on the used market. Check ebay or whatever is close to you. You will find that by using your time budget you will save a lot of your money budget. Used equipment seldom costs more than half new price. Often you can find a few years old pro equipment going for less than what new consumer level stuff costs. Time-less pro equipment, say a used SM57, you can buy and then sell at same price. Consumer stuff bought new today will be worth next to nothing in a few years time.

Do check out what can be rented. Renting top-of-the-line equipment for a few days may be surprisingly cheap. You will get a chance to test things out for yourself and that will allow you to stay out of buying some of the flashy things that you will soon outgrow -- in some areas quality does really pay off.

If I look at your setup, this is what I would expect to have in terms of "pro" level.

Drums: at least five mics - kick / snare / 2 OH-s / toms. Probably a bit more if you want a top-level contemporary sound.
Bass - generally a DI. Maybe an amp mic as well.
2 Guitars - at least two tracks, perhaps more
Synth + Keyboard - 2 more DI-s
Vocals - one channel

In total - 11 to 15 channels. You are now past the 8 given by most consumer stuff.

Regardless of everything written above, really good recordings has been done with 2 channels. In the right hands, in the right room, that is all it takes. Large symphony orchestras are sometimes recoreded straight to disc with only two microphones.

The most important tool I said above is the engineer. Well, the most important tool the engineer has is his ears. Train them carefully, listening a lot to what you do yourself and what other people do.

Sorry, I do not believe there are any shortcuts.


ghellquist Sun, 07/30/2006 - 14:15
i234i wrote: also .. i forgot to say its really the drums that are being the confusing part.

i want to make it possible to adjust the level of each drum during the final mix.

No problem really.

- get a good drummer that knows his job. What the drummer plays is the base for everything else. Timing is imperative, as well as the the right touch. Drummers beating the hell out of it simply do not record very well.
- new skins and tune the drums. Skins does not last very long, change every session.
- a decent room. It will not help you recording in a concrete cellar. Get rid of the standing waves and echos first by bass traps and secondly by high frequency damping.

Now, a setup of drum mics. It depends on the kind of feel you are trying to achieve, partly depends on the type of music. First, some music really requires electronic drums instead (say, the disco Bass & Drum type of music).

- one mic on the bass drum. There are a few standard types used here. AKG D112 or Shure Beta 52A might be a starting point for your testing. But it depends.
- one mic on the snare. Shure SM57 or Neumann KM184 might be typical choices. Maybe an additional mic on the bottom skin.
- two mics as overheads. Say, the KM184 again or Shure SM81 or Royer SF12 or just about any of a hundred variations out there
- one mic per tom. Maybe a Sennheiser MD421-
- perhaps one more mic on the hi-hat
- perhaps one or two mics as ambient mics in the room.

Each mic goes to its own channel of preamp and into the computer for recording on its own track. The preamp can be very important for the sound. Some recordists like to compress the sound on the way in.

You definitely want at least five channels for the drums. Then you can modify the sound by EQ and compressor and set relative volues in your software DAW (say Cubase).

But as always, using the equipment you have and your ears and your equipment, you may select a completely different route. I have heard fantastic drum sounds from only one mic. It took the right kind of music, the right room, the right drummer, the right mic and the right engineer.

Go buy those books first -- it will be your best investment ever.