Hello I am new to recording and trying to record a group that I am part of and mabye others. I am confused. I have pretty much dertemend what I need to record with my pc but am still lost. Most users here just say to go read books well, I read the books in the info section, but wondered which ones I should be reading. I would like a book or 2 that will pretty much cover every thing I need to know from recording to mixing and mastering and do it all on plain english level. Any recomendations on a book like this or books you think beginner like me should be reading.
Any help would great
"A group" does not tell us much about what you are actually going to record. Care to elaborate a bit?
This site has a lot of good basic information and links: http://homerecording.com/
I we are country/bluegrass/eagles type rock band and I Plan record 3 people singing (possibly more or less) 2 gutiars (both acoustic), dobro, a bass, banjo, harmonica, and mandolin /violin. Not all will recorded at the same time or even used on the same song. I will mostly likely have to overdub. I have determined through other asking questions ( on other forums) That I will needs mics mic-preamps and some kind of da/ad converter. My budget is limited so I am trying to stick whith what I need and still make it sound good. I allready have two fmr really nice preamps that I pickuped for $100 each at local pawnshop ( heard they were really good for the price). Now I am looking for the da/ad converter and mics. I am trying to learn and have to many questions for you all to anwser. Which interface has the best da/ad converters? What mics would good for the instruments? and should i record direct using the output of the guitar or mic the cabinets? I hear sm57 are good for guitars and basses but what about the dobro and other instruments? Do I NEED acompressor? If so soft knee or hard knee? What about a mixer should I mix before the siganl goes to my pc or after? How is the best way to mix? Tips and ticks for mixing? How much gain should i used on the mic pre for the various instrumets I have? Best way to make drums using the computer if I ever need them? Monitering? Can I high quality audiophile speakers be used ( I have some ifinity's) or are they not as good as even low quality moniters? General audio termenology ( when reading these forums I feel kinda of lost). All this has gotta be covered in a book or two.
I'm really sorry to say this, but a book will only teach you about 10% of what you NEED to know. This is an experience based craft...much like playing an instrument. It takes practice.
Judging by the level you are at with recording knowledge....save yourself a lot of time, money, and headaches....have a trained engineer record you guys.
If you are a masochist....get a Presonus Firepod (firewire interface with 8 mic preamps), a few mics, and some cables. The Firepod comes with Cubase LE which will be your recording software. Cubase comes bundled with plugins so your compression, reverb, delays....they'll all be there.
You should be able to piece together an entry level recording rig for under $2k.
Is this a recording you plan to sell, or are you just wanting to give it a shot and start learning the ropes?
If #1, the hire it out. If you work with some schmuck like me, you can likely get a finished product ready for mastering or duplication for well under $2000.
If #2, then that's kewl - there's a lot to recording and it will likely be a couple years of mixed results (bad pun?) before you start getting a good handle on this stuff.
It's not cook-book work, and there's a lot of "growing" involved - learning to hear things, learning how to fix things, learning complex software, ... ...
I think Arthur gave you a good answer. Not the only answer, but still a good one. I will only empasize a few bits here and there.
First of all, recording is indeed experience base. It is like playing an instrument -- put a crap instrument in the hands of a really good player and music happens, in my hands even the best instrument sounds like crap.
>>I will mostly likely have to overdub.
Most programs allows you to do this. Cubase is not a bad starting point, a lot of people use that program. Go for the small and less expensive versions, the expensive ones has too many features.
>> I allready have two fmr really nice preamps that I pickuped for $100 each at local pawnshop ( heard they were really good for the price).
Good preamps, really good price. These will serve you well.
>>> Which interface has the best da/ad converters?
Oops. Wrong question. The best da/ad converters comes in boxes that costs like a Porche car. But do not despair, the medium priced boxes are plenty good enough for most user. The really low-priced stuff is, well, exactly that and low-quality as well. There are probably 100 different interfaces to choose from, almost all of them will work good enough. It is about budget and preferences.
>>> What mics would good for the instruments?
There are simply too many to choose from, in all kinds of price brackets. I will make one recommendation here, that has worked for other people I know, but that is one one of a million alternatives.
a) one Studio Projects B1 for song
b) one Shure SM57 for guitars.
>>> and should i record direct using the output of the guitar or mic the cabinets?
Micing the cabinets is most often the preferred method.
>>I hear sm57 are good for guitars and basses but what about the dobro and other instruments?
Use the 57 for micing cabinets, the B1 for other instruments and line direct for the bass is probably the standard recipe.
>>>Do I NEED acompressor?
No. Use what is in your program instead. Say, Cubase has plugins.
>>> What about a mixer should I mix before the siganl goes to my pc or after?
No mixer needed. Mix inside the PC.
>>>How is the best way to mix? Tips and ticks for mixing?
Sorry to say it (and sounding like a schmuck), but use your ears. When it sounds good it is good. Experience comes in a lot here.
>>> How much gain should i used on the mic pre for the various instrumets I have?
Enough to make the needles in the program move, less than going into red on the meters. It all depends on the mic, the instrument and so on. So simply check the meters and cross-check the result by listening.
>>>Best way to make drums using the computer if I ever need them?
Ooh, there are a lot of ways. Come back later when you have the recording program.
>>>Monitering? Can I high quality audiophile speakers be used ( I have some ifinity's)..
They can be used and are better than low-quality monitors. The important thing is that your ears knows how they work. If not, you may try to compensate faults in the speakers by mixing and the result will sound bad on other speakers. With good speakers that you know, less faults and less probability of this overcompensation.
I wish you good luck on this trip of learning how to record. It will cost you sweat and money, but it is very rewarding.
Thank you for your wonderful reply gunnar. #2 I am bascially just doing this for fun and mabye produce demos or cds that we could give to friends and family of us playing. I would like as much as possible about this beacuse recording and high end auio have always been interests of mine and I am studying electrical engineering right now in hopes that one day I will be able to design high end audio equipment.
Great! That's the way to get started. A lot of folks think they can buy an armload of gear from Guitar Center one day and be making first-rate recordings in their living room the next.
It sounds like you're up for the challenges and longer-than-you-think-it-is learning curve of recording.
What kind of computer are you using? Laptop? Desktop? Mac? Wintel? Are you looking for a Firewire interface, or is something with a PCI card OK by you?
zemlin wrote: Great! What kind of computer are you using? Laptop? Desktop? Mac? Wintel? Are you looking for a Firewire interface, or is something with a PCI card OK by you?
I am using a dual 2.5ghz powermac with 2 GB ram. I also Have a cheap ibook which may get used to record on but probably not. I would like firewire interface in case i decide to go mobile in my recording and use the ibook or of my friends powerbook. But if a pci soundcard will get me better quality sound for the same amout or less money I will most likely go with that.