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recording a demo with homestudio equipment?

hey everybody, I just put together a band and I've been reading up on some of the posts on the board that ppl have put up who have similar questions and I just thought it best to tell you what I have and see what you think I should do... *takes breath* lol ohk here' goes...

we are a rock/acoustic/blues/heavy rock... I don't even know how to describe it in terms of genres because I hate genres... we are unique let me just put it that way... anyway I am the rythem (sp?) guitar and lead vocals - Jon (20), while Tod (23) is the lead guitarist and the drums are played by Derrek (21), we have a bass player who will be playing seperately for the demo... all three are VERY accomplished musicians and all but the drummer write music... the drummer plays his own style and has very creative, flowing yet sincapated (sp?) drum riffs that he uses...

ohk that was the band in a nut shell, here is what I have in means of recording eq and mics... I run my DAW with a 3000+ Athlon and 512 ddr ram, in this windows bassed pc I use a Delta M-Audio 10/10 that is then routed from a Mackie 1400 series (6 XLR inputs and 14 total inputs I believe which are 1/4 inch). I then have two condensor mics, one is a Audio-Technica 3035 (or 3530 I don't remember the name) 10 db cut off with bass cutoff... and the other is similar in style. I have a four piece Audio-Technica drum mic set (two tom mics and two snare mics) I then have three Sennheiser vocal live mics 825's I believe, and an SM57. . sooooo

here are the questions - with this equipment... how would you set up a drum set for recording (one floor tom and 5 cymbals) - would you record a rough draft of the song so that the drummer has a mix to listen to? what order would you record in? percusion - bass - guitars - vocals?
I want a good live sound that is full of energy and inspiration I don't like the polished-over glazed-over robotic full of nothingness sound that you hear on the radio so much these days, when we play live, the few times that we have, we have brought the crowd to an uproar and the demand just "one more song" so we are musicians fully capable of the inspiration I just don't want the demo to sound dead, or caught up on the imperfections of the music so much that it destroys the feel...

anyways, who is brave enough to tackle this request? lol


StevenColbert Thu, 03/30/2006 - 04:11
Jman wrote: DUDE GET OUT OF MY THREAD!!!! just because you have lame-ass questions like me doesn't mean that you can just come into my thread and start asking questions that have no relavence to the thread!! NO RESPECT!!!!!!!!!!
Holy moly was that :lol: I was reading your reply and thought you were serious at first.
Entertaining stuff...I should have you on my show someday.

StevenColbert Thu, 03/30/2006 - 04:31
sheld wrote: how long can your mic cables be before they start to lose clarity" hope thats the right word"?
I like Jman's suggestion. And I used to feel the same way about Monster cables. But, I have since found better cable... Mogami
It is absolutely the BEST cable out there.
I invested well over a $1000 in Monstercables for before using Mogami. Now I ONLY use Mogami cable. (and Neutrik ends)
On a 1 to 10 scale the Monster is a 9 and the Mogami is a 10. Just my 2cents
As far as the distance Sheld, I have pondered the same question. I have heard that going over 30' is where some might start to see problems.
I need to make a 25' or 30' cable for my studio. So I will soon know the answer to that question.
I will make the guess that there will be very little problems with the Mogami cables at 30'. But with some BS cable (brand X) there will most likely be some more serious issues to deal with. But that's still a guess at this point.

Pro Audio Guest Thu, 03/30/2006 - 08:26
Holy moly was that I was reading your reply and thought you were serious at first.
Entertaining stuff...I should have you on my show someday.

would I be able to wear a "Monster Cables are better than Mogami cables" shirt, heck I could even start a line of clothing dedicated to this revalation! only under that circumstance would I consider being on your show.... 8) :D

JWL Mon, 03/27/2006 - 18:38
I can tell you what I do. I also use the Maudio Delta1010LT sound card, which has 8 analog ins and stereo S/PDIF in. This means I can record 10 channels at once. Most of the time, when recording my band (which isn't all that different from yours in setup), I do the following channel assignments:

1. OH left
2. OH right
I use a pair of Rode NT5s for these. I spend a LOT of time placing these in just the right spot. Recorderman's technique is good, the glyn johns technique is good. Experiment and read up, get them in phase with each other, and you can get most of your drum sound from these 2 mics.

3. OH front
This is a Rode NT1 placed in front of the kit, a few feet out from the kick drum. Experiment with phase, and find the sweet spot.

4. Crotch mic
For this an SM57 works well, though I usually use a CAD dynamic drum mic. Place the mic pointing at the drummer's crotch, between the kick and the snare. Squash the heck out of it on the way in if you want. I actually use this mic to feed the drums in the headphone mixer for the band, as it captures the entire kit in one channel, with kick and snare prominent, just what you want in a headphone mix.

5. Snare
I use a CAD drum mic on the top of the snare, pointing at the center.

6. Kick
I use a CAD kick mic a few inches back from where the beater hits the kick drum.

That's it for drums, 6 channels. I also place acoustic panels and gobos around the kit to isolate it better and get the best possible sound. Most of the time I use the first 4 channels to get my drum sound, the last 2 are there just to bring the kick and snare into more focus if needed, and also sometimes to feed reverbs.

7. Guitar, DI. I use modelers (POD or Yamaha AG Stomp) so that there aren't guitar amps flooding the room with sound.

8. Bass, DI. Plug it right into the preamp and dial in a great sound.

9. Vocals, using a dynamic vocal mic.

This is my setup for basic track recording, I have an extra input I can use if there is another guitarist, for example. But the main thing is to get good bass and drum sounds, without having guitars or vocals bleed into the drum mics. The guitars and vocals will usually be overdubbed later, using mics and not just modelled DI inputs.

If you spend time with this setup, and if you have a decent sounding room with acoustic treatments, you can get a good sound with even basic microphones and preamps.

JWL Mon, 03/27/2006 - 18:50
whoops.... sorry. Didn't see the double-post note until after I'd already responded in this thread.

On another note, the key to a good recording is a good song, a good band, and a good engineer. The engineer can be you, but it's a LOT of work to both get a good recording and play a compelling take. Serious left-brain/right-brain conflict or something. It's definitely a skill.

But regardless, if you have a good engineer focused on capturing a good band's sound, you can't really go wrong.

RemyRAD Tue, 03/28/2006 - 01:53
3 Mike's on the drum set. Can you guess where? 2 overheads and 1 on the bass drum. SM57 on guitar cabinet. SM58 four vocalist. Active DI on the bass. Those are all of your microphone preamplifiers being fed to your multitrack interface input. You don't need anything else. If you can't get a quality sound with that, you need to practice more. You don't need individual Mike's on the other drums. Balance all that perfectly and to pass. If it sounds like crap? Like Donald Trump says " YOU'RE FIRED".

Donald's next wife
Ms. Remy Ann David
I'm practicing

StevenColbert Fri, 03/31/2006 - 04:06
Jman wrote: Can I wear a "Monster Cables are better than Mogami cables" shirt
And lie to my audience? For shame on you. My fans may be easily amused, but they do not take kindly being lied to.

However, for conversation...I thought Monster cable was the best, when that was all I owned. I wrote "I used to feel the same as you about Monster cable". That changed after buying my first few cables from Mogami.
I have several hundred cables running around the room. One day I noticed that when I walked across the floor there was a "low bump" or "audio click" (for lack of better words). After much interest and look see. I found out that when I walked on (stepped on) the Monster cables they induced the "audio click, low bump noise". But, 80% of my studio is Mogami. So I replaced the Monster cable with a Mogami cable.
Result: No more noise

Since buying all those "WAY too expensive Monster cables" that are not as good as Mogami. I have learned to make all my own cables. Here is where I really have a problem with Monster.
The insulation is like a plastic wax. I hate it. It totally sucks compared to the Mogami insulation. It will melt right off the wire if you have the needle even the slightest bit too hot.
Also buying the Monster cables (already made) cost me like $20 to $30 a cable. And along time ago, (before I made my own cables) I "used to think that Monster cable was the best" (but it's not) so I spent a pile of cash on the best cables Monster made. They sell there best XLR cables at a ridiculous amount of money. It was almost like 100 bucks per cable. Makes me sick to remember buying it.
Since that nightmare, and waste of money. I now buy my own Mogami cable and make all my own cables at about the total cost of $8 a piece, give or take a few bucks. Did I forget to mention: Mogami is better cable?
I did get a free Monster Cable sticker, a free Monster cable keychain, and a free Monster cable T-shirt. I guess that's what the extra money was for, free advertising for Monster.
Funny, even the Monster T-shirt they mailed me doesn't say "Monster is better than Mogami"
Your welcome to wear it. But not on my show! 8) :D

StevenColbert Wed, 03/29/2006 - 04:04
That is something that can happen, but most likely you will not have to worry about it. It hasn't happened to me in over 10 years (that I know of).
And if a mic is "out of phase" in relation to another mic, you will hear it in the mix. Because the channel that is "out of phase" will cancel out the signal of the other mic that is picking up the same source.

Lets say you are only recording guitar. But you are using 2 mikes. One is perfect where it is, but the other is 180 degrees "out of phase". Now if you listen to 1 channel is sounds fine. But if you turn up the fader that has the 2nd mic on it. The signal gets canceled out.
Commercial airliners use the same idea. When they operate an airplane, there are certain frequencies that are between 20Hz-20kHz. Which human ears can hear. They generate (or intentionaly inverse) a signal that is 180 degrees out of phase at the same frequency. This cancels out several Db. Making for a "seemingly quieter" trip.
Moving on...
(If you were to try) You will have just as hard of a time trying to get the mic "out of phase" as you will trying to aviod it. I wouldn't worry too much about it
Lastly, the positioning of 2 OH mic's for drums. Here's what I do.
(I use a guitar cable, or a string, or a measuring tape) Measure the distance from the snare to the left OH mic, then I re-measure the distance from the snare again, and match the distance to the right OH mic.
So if you have 3 feet from the snare to your mic. You should try and keep the other mic close to 3 feet as well.
When one mic is 3 feet away and another mic is used to pick up the same signal is, say 5 or 6 feet away, the signal reaches one of the mics before the other. Now since the other mic's signal still has not reached to 2nd mic. This is where your time/ phase issues accur. One mic is behind. It may only be "X" amount of nano sec. behind. But the signal has to travel further & longer.

But if you keep them fairly close (in relationship to distance) you can avoid alot of headaches and re-tracking.

Pro Audio Guest Wed, 03/29/2006 - 11:13
Hello everyone, sorry this has nothing to do with your post but could i ask remy or stevecolbert, how long can your mic cables be before they start to lose clarity" hope thats the right word"

i am recording a band with this similar setup, one of the problems i have is not being able to hear the drums through the headphones because i am to close to the kit, i use the DT100 but still struggle to hear.

my alternative is to use longer mic leads and move further away from the kit, (so i have bought cable and connectors)
now i need to know how long is too long, i would like to be about 15mtrs from the kit, would this be ok???

Pro Audio Guest Wed, 03/29/2006 - 12:12
DUDE GET OUT OF MY THREAD!!!! just because you have lame-ass questions like me doesn't mean that you can just come into my thread and start asking questions that have no relavence to the thread!! NO RESPECT!!!!!!!!!!

I'm just screwing with you man, but if I could be so bold as to answer your question I would say this... it depends on the cables that you are using, if you use crappy cables you are going to have crappy response, if you use cables that are built for high-deffinition performance than that 15 meters should be fine (much less cost effective) but if that isn't an issue than to with something like a monster cable I love their line of cables, I bought their high end cable and it sounded like I just bought a new mic... some sound ppl don't understand the importance of cables, you can have a $1500 mic and run it through an Excel cable and just have a $1500 mic, however if you run that same signal through a something like a high end monster cable you will have a $1500 mic producing at a $1500 level of performance!!

hope this helps bro...