Direction and purpose.
Let me explain my situation a little then ask a few questions I have sorta floating around in my head.
I'm a drummer, have been for more than half my life. I grew up playing heavy metal and because of this I have a rough heavy sound. I can keep a beat no problems.
I play in a blues rock band with a few mates. The lead guitarist has an amazing ability to ramble on in a fresh bluesy rhythm. The bass guitarist can hold a groove.
We jamb regularly but only in an improvised way. One of us starts a groove and the others join in, some 15-30 minutes later we have a break for beer and cigarettes. Mostly the groove lasts the entire session.
I am currently recording these jambs with a single room mic and just saving the single track to listen back to and see what sounds cool to me and so forth.
Now, this is where I'm at.
What I want to know is where I should spend some money if I want to do the following...
I have 5 hours of these improv sessions which I want to cut into individual tracks. What's a good way of doing it?
I want to spend some money on getting a better sound for the guys in the band. I play loud and there small amps can't cope. Is getting a PA system and a power amp and mic'ing everything up a good way to get louder?
I want to make a lot more noise and record more than a single track or at least be able to mix the sound levels from different parts of my kit and the guitars and vocals/ranting so things sound better when I record.
I have spoken to the guys at the music stores around town and they really only try to sell me stuff not explain what I will need.
Thanks in advance.
Also what's a good way for me to put some of what we've recorded up online to share?
Many of the answers you seek lay in the pages of this site.
Search it and narrow down your questions - take note of the fact that the forum is broken up into many distinct areas.
I'm moving this thread to an area more suitable as it really doesn't have anything to do with the business side of this here industry...
1. Is recording improv sessions with this band the ultimate goal? What comes after this?
2. Are there local recording studios where you would be comfortable jamming and would be attractively priced?
3. How good are the recordings you have already made? Is this a test run or something that you definitely want to preserve?
4. Are you more into playing or more into recording? Do you see recording as something that is fun/interesting or its own or are you just doing it because it is the "affordable" way to get a CD of your jams.
The basic idea here is that there are are several levels that you can get into this. For very little money you can improve your direct to two track recordings and either edit them yourselves or have a pro do it for you. Or you can go into a studio and let them record you. Or you can spend a big chunk of money and do the whole thing in your house. The choice depends on your goals and interest which isn't apparent to me yet (and maybe not to you).
What you need is to define a rough goal, try and come up with 2 or 3 specific goals you want to achieve after that and find a way to get there.
In my case, I want to see the band go somewhere and for a start, improve the recording quality. After that, I want to either: make multi-track recordings of the band, like a small studio would do OR make multi-track live recordings. I might do both. So I want to get a bit of gear that works for me, and all I need now is the cash.
Most bands want to get big, but maybe you'll just want to make recordings of how it is now.
(But believe me, once you get your feet wet, you'll want to go swimming)
If you can, talk over it as a band - do you want to become more than jammers? If you go gigging, a good idea is to get a demo - and you could either get some studio time, or do it with your own gear - which could be where you want to start.
But, don't commit to something if you don't feel confident enough.
The mics:guitar either a Shure sm57 or a Sennheiser E609. The bass you can go direct or mic the amp depends on what you like. If you need vocals Sure Sm58 or 57 will work or whatever your preference. The drum mics Im not familiar with but if you serch the forum I amsure you can find ome good sugestions. Typically 1-4 mics. Close micing should give you pretty decent results. Sometimes you have to control the sound some moving blankets carefully placed can help.
Later if you want to spend the money you can look into an 8 channel + firewire audio interface with mic pres. This option gives you the ability to record and mix each track indavidually. You can edit each instrument on seperate tracks. You will be able to incorporate all the equipment you used before.
Audacity or if the Edirol came with some recording software Id just use that.
So pretty much your looking at cables, mics and a mixer. I would go for some headphones and even a headphone amp so you can all monitor as you record. When you get it together mostly you will find yourself moving mics, equipment around, and adjusting mixer and levels to get a good sound. It takes some experimentation.
Also, checkout this site it has lots of good recording related info:
Space wrote: Rather then use those "bamboo pole thingies", get a handful of thai sticks. It's a win/win/when ya coming home situation!!
The time for fun and games lessons, school starts again soon.
Read it a few times.
As BobRogers said and was correct I'm not really sure what direction I want to head in.
The reason I started recording our sessions was just to preserve it as something to show my grandkids one day.
That's how it started. Where it's going to end who knows, it's like I'm addicted to recording stuff now.
I'm seriously keen on getting a drum mic pack so I can capture all the sound from my kit, when I use sticks and pound all you can hear from the area mic is me (doesn't worry me much, annoys the band though) and when I use bamboo pole thingies or brushes you can't hear me at all, lack of win all 'round. So yeah. Micing up the kit time. Seems I need a Kick, snare and overheads. Dunno what brand though. I'm keen to get a good kick mic because I tune my kick drum with two full skins (no hole in the front) for maximum boom.
I looked at and heard the Sure mics at a local store and they are fantastic (dear as poison but I'm guessing I'd get what I'd pay for).
Still have no idea what size mixer to get. I think I should get it last after I've figured out how many mics I need.
The speaker system i'm looking at is mostly Behringer. I was drooling over a pair of Behringer 900W 2X 15" with horns and a Behringer E1800X 18" sub. Anyone know anything more about these that a product description doesn't mention? I can't find a decent review from someone not trying to sell it to me.
That just leaves an amp. I was thinking just one big amp. Really big because I might want to add to the 3600watts worth of speakers in the future.
As for going to the local recording studio, it's either waaaay to expensive or just a smelly room with a limp PA in it.
Anyways, thanks for all the input from you guys.
That's because it's Behringer, and if the sales reps aren't pushing it, noone is likely to say anything remotely good about it.
Allow me to take this in the other direction...
You've stated that YOU have a desire to make things sound better (live and recorded) but you haven't really indicated as to whether your mates are after the same thing. Are you dragging them along or do they share the same vision and goal(s) that you do?
If volume is a primary issue, and it's agreed upon by everyone that it's an issue, frankly I'd tell them to buy some bigger amps. That may sound obnoxious, but as a drummer (particularly jamming in a non-studio environment), you're pretty much setting the standard with respect to the volume of things. I too come from a metal back ground and know first hand that asking a metal drummer to hit softer is like asking Pam Anderson to wear a burlap sack instead of a halter top...it just ain't gonna happen, unless you have a change of heart.
But don't put yourself in a situation where you spend all of this money, energy and zeal into something that you alone want (if that happens to be the case). They need to carry some weight too.
Bottom line, if there's a disparity in volume, either someone's gotta come up, or someone's gotta come down. However, rarely are things better when you increase...give it a shot.
A lot of things have changed in the four months since those first posts. The general idea is to get an interface with 8 pre-amps and to track the guitars in one room and have everyone playing in the room I track the drums in. Earbud earphones worn with earmuffs over the top make for awesome personal monitors. I'll need a new headphone pre-amp, some more mics and a boat load of cables.
Currently all the amps circle the drum kit which is squished against a wall. You have to climb over gear to get from one end of the house to the other.
Actually a lot has changed since I posted this thread, my purpose hasn't altered much, I'm still an arrogant bludger, but the direction has changed significantly, mostly from information I learned here at RO.
For starters, amps that are loud enough to get over my kit are usually muddier and translate worse through the microphone than smaller, tighter practice amps.
One RO members shameless spruiking of the SM57 was a big factor which led me to buying one. I now use it with the Behringer mic to make stereo mixes that make me grin in delight.
Mainly I have gained the tools I need to get recording and music information without having to talk to some asshole trying to sell me something.
I agree that smaller amps usually sound better than bigger ones when recording separate tracks, but in a live setting where everyone is jamming/recording together, there's nothing wrong with a nice loud amp.
Rhythm uses a 4" Orange amp.
Bass uses a 12" Fender Keyboard amp.
We have a 12" sub too, just no power supply as of yet.
Recently, Mr. Foggy Valley loaned us a 2*15" Laney Linebacker, a BigMuff distortion pedal with "choobs" and a Rat pedal. Also in the box of trash was a delay fx pedal and a wah pedal. In fact I should have some tracks to upload from a jamb session on the 9th using the linebacker and gear. Gotta export the files from the session and chop the tracks out...
Sshack, what would you recommend in the way of bitching lead and bass amps for around the $1000USD mark?
Greener wrote: Lead uses a 6" Drive amp.
Rhythm uses a 4" Orange amp.
Bass uses a 12" Fender Keyboard amp.
We have a 12" sub too, just no power supply as of yet.
Wait, you lost me bro...are you saying that the guitar players use amps with 6 inch and 4 inch speakers? What is the wattage?
All three amps plus the computer I record with are connected to the same powerboard which runs from the one outlet and that doesn't even get warm... So I would say like 15 - 25 for the guitars each and maybe 75 for the bass. But the bass amp is stuffed, the limiter is a fascist and cuts in randomly.
There's lots of options for $1000 man; depends on the flavor/tone they want.
It's louder than the Drive and about equal with the bass amp.
Under-gunned you reckon?
I have heard things about the Fender Blues tube amp.
But not heard a thing from it.
I am keen though.
Greener wrote: Is getting a PA system and a power amp and mic'ing everything up a good way to get louder?Bigger amps is probably a better way to go. Things will get very muddy with a PA on all the cabs. There will be mic bleed, and phase issues. If you don't get good speakers you will also have the transient response of the speakers detracting from the clarity of the sound.
"I want to make a lot more noise"
No offence, but that's funny coming from a heavy metal drummer.
What kind of budget could you have to work with? Ballpark figure even.
Unless you have some huge kit that spans the width of a freeway (imagine the tom runs...) then 2 mics or even 1 will do a good job of picking up the kit. A single mic on each guitar amp works.
So however many mics you need, you can either get something that will let you record all these separately - a computer interface (with multiple inputs) or a recorder; or you could get a mixer, play about with the levels and record an output from that.
As for your existing stuff, Audacity will let you split stuff up into sections I think. Export each as its own mp3/whatever.
I play in someones living room, with neighbors all around so making it louder currently would be impossible.
However, as a band we are looking at renting some studio space with no noise restrictions which is why I'm keen to gear up to make more noise.
As for mic-ing up the guitar amps and my kit I have nfi where to look for information.
Same goes for pre-amps for the mics and a mixer.
I have around AU$6000 to spend.
I currently have a decent laptop and an Edirol UA-25 with 2 inputs. And I'm happy to just record only 2 tracks I suppose if I can get the levels right and combine channels before recording (is this possible?)
Currently I record on a single mic and I get the levels by moving amps and the kit around the room. (slow and annoying).
Bonus side, Saturday nights jamb produced 4 tracks, 28mins. Enough for me to say we cut a mini-LP. Yet to sell it though.