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New to recording

Joined the forums because this looked like a reliable place to ask questions on recording :P

Well anyways, I want to get into recording.
I want to record demo's and that sort of stuff for my band and other bands around the area, but I don't have too much of an idea on how to record professional sounding stuff [I record my band through a regular PC mic lol]

I found a mixer that I think is what I'm looking for. Something that I can record, equalize and change the sound directly, and have it all sent to my computer at the same time.
The Yamaha MW12 .I need advice on if I should get that to get started with. Also, Ive seen guitars are recorded through mics? Which would be good, reliable mics to use that arent too costly?
I have a budget of about 700$ [Im pretty sure it won't get me much..but its just to get started]

Thanks for any help and advice


Pro Audio Guest Wed, 04/12/2006 - 00:41
First of all, what will you be recording?

For typical 4 piece rock bands, I would say get:

A mic for each guitarist's amp
A mic for the singer
As far as least 3 mics for the kit. (kick, 2 overheads)

Do you already have a computer program that you can edit audio with?
If not, you will need to buy it.

Also, you will need some sort of interface to go from your mixer to your computer. If you have a crumby sound card, you will definitely need this.

Personally, I would re-evaluate my budget or my mixer to get what I need.

As for mics, I would say get a handful of Shure SM57's (about $85 each). These can work on guitar amps and even vocals. Try to get a couple of small diaphragm condenser mics to use as drum overheads and a large diaphragm dynamic mic for the kick drum. I don't know if you will find the quality you want for the budget you have, so look around for deals.

Hope this helps

Pro Audio Guest Thu, 04/13/2006 - 11:50
You are embarking on an endless journey my friend. Once you start you will be listening to things that never existed before like, wow my fridge has a 8 db boost at 73 hz.

To get proffessional sound requires proffessional ears and profffesional knowledge. The gear is totally irrelevent, well almost. I would recommend studying, what an AD/DA converter is, how to use compression and an eq.

There are so many different systems out there but they all use the same knowledge in tracking sounds, so if you know how to manipulate sound wait for a great deal on something and keep adding to it.

Pro Audio Guest Thu, 04/13/2006 - 19:39
I am definitely in the same boat you are. I am trying to get a started with my friends band, ultimately I want to learn how to produce.

I have found class at my community college for audio engineering that are really really good.

Currently I am taking a "Commercial Music" associates program. Usually though, if you just wanted to do this as a side thing they offer classes that are easy to get into but they take a alot of studing.

I am barely into it, for the most part all we really have is alot of different mics (sm-57s, a EV nd767, and hoping to get a nice tube mic and/or learn what a valve mic really is and use that for synths and vocals), and a 8 track mixer, and my computer with Logic 7. The more I play around with things the more I learn, which is they way it should be.

MadMax Thu, 04/13/2006 - 20:17
Usually though, if you just wanted to do this as a side thing they offer classes that are easy to get into but they take a alot of studing.

I'm really interesting in this "Stud-ing" thing... they really teach THAT?:shock:

Now THAT'S the class for me!!! I'd actually prefer to be a stud on my back, but whut the hay, on the side is cool.

Just curious... Can you declare a major?!? :twisted:

Hmmmmmm, Sign my tired ol' ugly butt up!
(I'm goin' back to school!) 8-)

Seriously though... $700 ain't much of a budget if you aren't REAL careful. Since you have a fairly small budget, look for used gear... eBay and the like.

Be wary of used cables though. Might be better off getting new... be ready for a rude reality... the hidden nasty about audio gear. Whatever dollar amount you spend on gear, you'll spend half that to equal that amount on wiring.

Good luck,


Pro Audio Guest Fri, 04/14/2006 - 00:32
Well, you're going to need a couple of mics at least, recording software, pre-amp and/or mixer, headphones, monitors, decent soundcard etc.

On a low budget I would go something like this...
DAW > If recording audio/guitars/vocals only and no midi or softsynths, something like Kristal (freeware 16 tracks, nice interface but no midi/vst) , audacity (no track limits but primitive interface, freeware, no midi/vst) ,cubase se (audio up to 48 tracks, midi, vsti/rewire etc) or cakewalk sonar (similar to cubase se) around 150 dollars or rent samplitude (which will grow with you provide free updates for 2 years etc), pro for 39 dollars a month, lite for 19 dollars a month.

mics - shure sm57 for micing electric guitars and other live instruments $150 - you might have to make do with this as a vocal mic as well for a while - it is OK for this but a condenser mic will be even better and great for live work. You may need more mics if recording live drums etc, so might need to shop around or ebay etc for this.

soundcard - m-audio audiophile 24/96 for $99 - or echo mia midi for $129

pres - ART Tube MP Studio V3 on sale for 70 bucks right now.

You can make a start at demo recording for 700 bucks but it might be wise to save up a bit and when you have a couple of grand really go for it.

Pro Audio Guest Sun, 04/16/2006 - 23:51
Thanks for the advice everyone :)

I believe the yamaha mixer I had the link for on my first post includes software for it so I hope that takes care of that for now.

My mom told me she can probably get good mics from her work place from the audio/visual department in her job for real cheap. Im just checking first what kind of microphones they have.

I have a basic sound card, so is it recommended I upgrade that too?

Im not planning on getting a seriously profesional sound, not just yet anyways..just something that will be better than recording bands from my 10$ pc mic lol

Anyone know any schools that teach this. The profession is called Sound engineer I believe..not too sure..but I really want to get into it 8)
I know the music institute in Hollywood has wondering if anyone knows if that place really teaches you anything good.

Pro Audio Guest Mon, 04/17/2006 - 00:26

The best way to get involved and learn is to intern for someone in the industry. I can recommend a few books to get you started, but you really need to just do it and learn that way. As far as schools, there is a wide range of schools. Berklee School of Music (in Boston) is a great school for most things music. If that's a little out of your budget, there are some Community Colleges that have good recording programs. I'm not very familiar with the specialty schools, so I can't advise you either way on that.

Again, the best way is to get out there and get your hands dirty.

Here are some books though that may interest you:

Guerrilla Home Recording by Karl Coryat
Recording Tips For Engineers by Tim Crich
The Recording Engineer's Handbook by Bobby Owsinski
The Mixing Engineer's Handbook by Bobby Owsinski


Pro Audio Guest Mon, 04/17/2006 - 01:07
The mixer comes with cubase le - not a bad entry level program, this link shows what it can do in comparison to other cubase software.

Not sure if Sampletank is the full version, but that is a fairly nice vst softsample player.

If you're running any kind of cubase software, you need a good soundcard with decent ASIO drivers, on board audio won't cut it. Some onboard cards don't even support duplex (ability to listen to the soundcard and record on it simultaneously, which you obviously will require). If your card does support duplex you could try downloading asio4all driver, which gives asio support for non-native asio cards - this will improve perfomance but you might still find the need to buy a better audio card.

Definately consider spending the hundred bucks on the M-Audiophile 24/96 or equivalent card, this will at least be able to handle low latency and give you decent and usable sound recording if not top of the range specs. Trust me, you'll be glad you did - you'll be able to handle extra tracks and effects at a better sampling freq/bitrate, more fx and without the horrendous echo like latencies.

YOu can also download freeware like audacity for basic wave editing and multi-track recording, it will be easier to use for recording audio than cubase but offers no vst/rewire/midi and lesser editing and effects (which limits it's usage somewhat) but it is not bad for free - and is a good tool for audio editing and for pre-mastering as cubase le does not include many mastering plugs such as levelling, hard limiters and multi-band compressor. I use audacity occasionally as a back up system, it is very easy to record mics and guitars into for basic multi-tracking.