Beginner Band Recording Set-Up

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by KoskoArts, Feb 15, 2007.


Would this work?

  1. Yes

  2. No

    0 vote(s)
  3. it could...

    0 vote(s)
  1. KoskoArts

    KoskoArts Guest

    Well, first off, I want thank everybody who participates in this thread (and apologize to those who my newbness annoys).

    My band has been playing together for around half a year now (folk, jazz, rock). And it would be great if we could record or sessions. Use these recordings for promotions, selling, blah blah blah.

    We’ve been making due with the equipment we have, but a couple things have sparked my interest.

    The Presonus Firepod $499.99
    Shure Drum Mic Package $399.99
    3 SM57s
    1 Beta 52
    Sennheiser E609 $109.99

    This would all run to a computer, a Core 2 Duo PC. The motherboard has an SPDIF In, Line In and 2 Firewire Ins.

    The instruments I would like to record are: Bass-Direct, Acoustic-Direct, Guitar-E609, Drums-3 57s and a 52, 2 Vocals-Probably SM58s (already owned).

    What I’m thinking this setup would allow for is recording each instrument to its own track during practice/recording sessions. I’d like the ability to go back and overdub certain parts (or specific instruments within parts) or sections if they don’t work out. I’m wondering if I’m missing any glaring issues. I was wondering if there are other recommendations for other equipment to consider.

    So to me, this looks like it could be a really fun set-up. And seriously, thanks guys.
  2. KoskoArts

    KoskoArts Guest

    And if it helps, you can check out a current recording at

    The first song we did as a group with a couple room mics, then overdub'd the vocals on top of it. Personally, I think the drums sound like they are in some far off galaxy, the acoustic sounds like a tin pan, the electric sounds a little backed away but not bad, and the bass just isn't full enough.

    These are some of the errors I'd like to address. Also, thats pretty much our style as well (if it helps in addressing what we may need).
  3. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    Hey KA -

    All of the stuff you mention is halfway decent stuff. It sounds like you'll be getting to a pretty high track count though if you do 4 mics on the drums (then, eventually and presumably 2 overheads). I would say do a 3 drum-mic setup, a direct on bass, a guitar cab mic (the senn is fine) and vocal mics (lead and 1 or 2 backup).

    That leaves you some room for keys if needed or any other aux instrument with an 8 track rig.

    The presonus stuff is fine as are things like the mackie onyx stuff.

    Before you go and blow a LOT of money on this kind of a few hours in a local studio (probably will cost you less than a Shure SM57) and record a track or two. If it's a good and reputable studio, you'll probably learn a lot about what you should or should not be doing just by watching the proces unfold.

    Don't worry about the mega-bucks gear that they may have...for what you're looking to do, decent gear such as the presonus or mackie with some quality shure and sennheiser mics will do just fine. Pay attention to the processes.

    Other things to bear in'll need cables, headphones and headphone amps. Don't forget to factor that into your budget!

    Cheers -
  4. KoskoArts

    KoskoArts Guest

    I was definitely looking at some of the Mackie ONYX line, the only thing is it looks to be about double the price of the Presonus. Still, you get what you pay for I suppose.

    We've all done a bunch of studio work in the past, and actually the thing is that I just wanted the comfort of being able to do a *reasonable* job myself. Plus just being able to do a million takes if we wanted to (and jams and practices and whatnot).

    And of course, thank you very much as well. :)
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    KoskoArts, I'm with Jeremy on this one. I couldn't agree with him more than his recommendations to you. I just keep telling folks that want to go to recording schools, that booking a session in a decent studio and picking the engineers brain (in my case some has been removed already) is a great way to a fast education. Requires less time and less commitment, both financially and timewise.

    You may find that the Mackie mixers, with their FireWire optional card, may in fact be more expensive than the Presonus Fire Pod? The Mackie device can do double duty as a stand-alone mixer. Albeit they are now made in China. The Presonus products are built very well. I'm very impressed with the innards of the Digi Max that I have been evaluating. Very solid.

    If I were to go about this again however, I think I would probably look at the Mackie 1640 with the optional FireWire card. With that, you can track 16 microphones simultaneously. I just find eight inputs too limiting, when trying to track an entire band, even though I have done it many times before. More than eight usually means less of a compromise when tracking.

    Size does matter
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  6. GentleG

    GentleG Guest

    I like the shure kit as it also comes with 3 clamps
    use the 52 and one 57 on bass and snare
    use one 57 on guitar cab, keep one 57 spare
    get a cheap large condenser for accoustic guitar (AT2025 f.e.) you may even want to try the spare 57
    get 2 small condensers for drumoverheads (I use oktava mk012)


    (don't forget cables and stands)

  7. KoskoArts

    KoskoArts Guest

    A friend of mine reccomended using Studio Project C4s for ambient room mic'ing and for overheads.

    As a side note, its THIS particular band thats been playing together for around half a year. The players themselves have been playing and recording for far longer. I'd just like to start getting the recordings to sound better.

    Besides that, thanks guys, solid advice
  8. jdier

    jdier Active Member

    Mar 20, 2003
    Home Page:
    I have two buddies with the FirePods and they love them. I think your plans and choices are PERFECT for your stated goals. I like your drum mic choices too, though you could probably get by with 3 drum mics, a 52 and a few 57's. The Studio Projects will do you fined too.

    The one thing that I noticed missing is a headphone distribution amp. I have an OZ hm6 which I really like. I also have a presonus hp4 which has worked well for me.

    You might want to think about buying $200 worth of OC 703 and building some bass traps or at a minimum, wrapping them in fabric to control some of the room sounds in your space (unless you have a great one.)
  9. GuySonic

    GuySonic Guest

    Obviously there are many, many ways to record a 'band sound' using various mics, multiple track, and post edit effects/mix techniques. Each recording session mic, effects, and mix configurations have potential for creating a satisfying result, but rarely achieves a satisfying sound of what the band actually sounds like during a performance.

    If yours is a 'performance' band of accomplished musicians looking to do a demo, consider real-time 2-track HRTF stereo-surround mic method requiring a minimum of post work to produce satisfying sounding results.

    With this method, the recording session is 'staged' just like a live performance, or might actually be a live performance recorded from "the best seat in the house" position.

    Band session and performance recordings done in this manner found at:

Share This Page