Give me your thoughts on this pile of gear and its potential

Discussion in 'Microphones & Recording' started by Genereaux, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. Genereaux

    Genereaux Active Member

    Dec 29, 2008
    Short story long-

    My drummer is in three to five bands at a time. Recently (past 6mths or so), he has taken to piling pieces of gear from various members of those bands to 'build a studio' (to use the term loosely). His wife is a local "go-to" sax player in town, his son(14) is also a drummer with 2 or 3 projects going and his house is the practice pad. So it makes sense to do it there (except of course for the room construction aspects).
    Most of the gear is mine, but I'm not worried about the comingling of the gear and don't see the need to delineate who owns what as much as just find out how many REAL recording folk would take that pile and call it good enough to work with.

    So far we have-
    15-20 57s
    10-15 58s
    2 (at least) Beta 58s
    Beta 52
    SM55 SW
    520 DX
    CAD E100
    Audix OM3

    Presonus Firestudio 2626
    Presonus Digimax FS
    Cubase Studio4
    Sony VAIO laptop- Vista (32bit), 200G HD,2G RAM, Duo Core 1.80GHz

    TC Elect M-One
    Alesis MicroVerb
    Urei LA-12(?) compressor
    ART dual 15 EQ
    DBX 2231 EQ
    ART(?) Tube pre (single ch I think)
    JBL 4ch gate

    Yamaha M916 console (quit laughing)
    Peavey 12 ch monitor board
    Mackie 1604(?)
    Pair of Mackie powered spkrs
    Pair of Peavey ref monitors
    Pair of Acoustic Research powered spkrs
    Peavey power amp
    JBL power amp
    Pair of Alesis Adat tape decks(blackface)
    Alesis BRC

    I THINK thats most of it. NOT the list I would I track down once I've won the lottery, granted. I know we're bereft of GOOD preamps and condensers, but a good start I think.

    MY perspective-
    I think we have enough gear to record ourselves, and have it sound pretty good. We're just a straight-forward, rough edges half-stack rock type band. Good mic placement, good takes and good energy is most of the battle.
    I'm the kind of guy who really just wants to use the computer as a multi-track machine, and I'm not TOO caught up in MIDI or plug-ins etc.
    We're 2 gtrs, bass, vox and drums and we can track 16 channels simultaneously, how much more could I want.

    DRUMMERS perspective-
    He's got a convaluded set-up now, primarily- using the Yamaha board as an additional gain stage BEFORE the Firestudio (partly for 'control surface', partly for the 'analog warmth' of the pres)
    He WANTS to track drums to the ADAT first for tape warmth (IS there tape warmth to be had from ADAT tape?), then through the Firestudio into the computer (but it hasn't happened yet)
    Now, he IS starting to get happier with his drum sounds, but he's frustrating himself into a stall- claiming we need this or that before we can REALLY record, etc
    AND,he wants to eventually drag other bands to record as well.

    I'll take a quick break to apologize for rambling about, I'll TRY to make/get to a point here.......

    So apart from creating an 'immediate history of recording museum', does it seem like there's enough useable (albeit "McGyver'd" in some circumstances) gear to get some 'nice' recordings out of?
    I mean, so many have gotten so much out of less. And I really just want to play already. It seems to me we have as much gear as our "expertise" warrants so we should get on with it already.

    Shoud the drummer get over it a little, or should I?
    If it would help, I could link to the myspace where you could hear ROUGH (really) mixes of some of the songs just to get an idea of how raw the songs want to be, but I think I've confused you as much with my words as my music could have.

    So, in order to salvage this post- Which gear would use, what kind of stuff would you track with it, which would you burn and what gear would you seek out to make the most of the rest of that junk?

    If you've read this all the way through, thank you. And NO, I'm not drunk :p
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    I hate to say this but your drummer, who is suffering from concussion, should just sit down and play drums. There is no additional warmth obtained from anything digital especially an old ADAT. He must of swallowed one of his drumsticks to come up with that? The preamps in your computer audio interfaces are probably better than his convoluted way of thinking. There is just no rational reason to do what he wants to do. In fact, it's counterproductive. But then, you already figured that out.

    Your roster of microphones is all you need. In fact your 57 & 58's are your most important assets to a great sound. A couple of condensers over top of his dumb set will provide a little extra splishy splash. The 52 in his hole & later on his bass drum is the $*^t. Make sure you wash it off well.

    Plugging other drum preamps into your computer audio interface would only be advantageous if those preamps were on a quality boutique nature. Otherwise, it's sort of like using a condom on your blowup love doll so it doesn't get pregnant. You are likely to have more gain staging problems by trying to do it his way. It's sort of like paying the government extra tax money, just because you like them. Right. Idiotic. It's only necessary in very few circumstances. None of which apply to you.

    Your computer & audio interfaces are some of the best rated units. Software is perfectly great.

    Those outboard equalizers should go back into the closet where they belong. You have better more comprehensive equalization in the software. Those are for feedback & monitor problems onstage for a PA system. This ain't a PA system.

    I wouldn't, your Peavey reference monitors. But I would your Mackie's. Acoustic Research? Old ones were never sell powered. And a JBL power amp plugged into what?

    I would consider, however, utilizing your Mackie 1604 as a playback monitor mixer & headphone feed.

    So actually, I think you have a fairly decent comprehensive set of recording devices to produce a more than professional product. But your dumber doesn't really know what he's talking about or doing. Except to screw up everybody's recording. The 12 Channel monitor board can be utilized for the relief of hemorrhoids if your dumber sits on it while playing.

    So if you're interested in making good recordings? Tell him to be the drummer. Someone with some technical competence needs to be calling the shots. He is playing the shots. So he shouldn't be calling the shots. Just tell him to shot up!

    You're the engineer in charge let him know that
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. Genereaux

    Genereaux Active Member

    Dec 29, 2008
    Ahh, Ms Remy.
    TOO funny. TOO true.

    In his defense, I assume he's under the self-inferred logic that " it's KINDA tape, so it probly kinda..."
    I'm sure you can forecast that this is the same brain that will naturally try to compress (overly or poorly) everything and insist we get the final product 'mastered'.

    He IS a great drummer though.

    What would use the CAD E100 for (other than certain drummer orifices)? I haven't found it's niche yet, though my limited experimenting with it has all been 'dry' so far.

    I'm pretty happy with the Presonus gear so far (had it for about a year now). It does what it's told and most of what I want it to do.
    Is there anything you see that I should try to upgrade on the computers end?

    I can't see myself REALLY using much if the outboard stuff ('cept maybe the M-One for foldback/headphones)
    The Acoustic Researchs are these;
    I actually really like 'em.
    What's the JBL powering? Dunno at the moment. Could likely be driving an old school Traynor sub, which he may be feeding off the sub ch of the Yamaha (using one of the EQs as a "crossover"), and mic-ing THAT to yet another kick track.
    Yes, he's a light bit crazy sometimes. But a really good drummer.....

    Yes, I have the 1604, and an ART HP4 as headphone 'amps', giving us 2 separate mixes (yay us!)

    +10 on the Peavey board.

    It IS good to hear that I'm not 'under-thinking' this.
    Now I just gotta wrangle the drummer down.

    Wish me luck...
  4. Genereaux

    Genereaux Active Member

    Dec 29, 2008
    Oh, Ms Remy?
    I just read your post here;{old-link-removed}

    Is that your preferred manner of drum mic-ing? Or just a good way to abbreviate the drum tracks due to limited availability of tracks or mics?

    And your 57 w/windscreen and tube pre vox- What does that lend itself best to (Yes, I DO have one of those windscreens)

  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Genereaux, thanks for asking. No, that isn't necessarily my standard way of micing up a kit. However, I am a fan of Less Is More. I do have fun trying to go for that minimalistic approach. Although I haven't listened to much, I am a fan of Rudy Van Gelder. The Philip Glass of Jazz recording engineers. It wasn't to reduce the track count. It was the clients that I used some of his microphones. In this particular recording I believe I used a Octava 319 pencil type SDC. At the client's request. I normally wouldn't use those particular microphones but I was pleasantly surprised as to their lovely sonic capabilities. They were actually far better than I had expected. I don't however necessarily mic a kit the same as one would for PA. I also consider myself a completely lazy engineer. I like to keep things simple. There is that factor to baffling folks with Bull crap, by putting out more microphones than you know are necessary.

    For the vocal, SM57 is identical to the 58 sans the metal ball pop filter. So you use a piece of foam instead. Knowing how good a 57/58 can sound into a quality microphone preamp. Made me select the tube preamp. Figuring that it may in fact have a decent quality transformer input? And, the additional control which is available on that particular preamp, limiter, EQ, etc.. While, also, offering that warm fat sound.

    That CAD is a decent microphone. Just not sure what to tell you other than to put it on knowing you have only one. Of course, this might be just a great microphone, by using it for ambient pickup, down the hall.

    Keep it coming
    Ms. Remy Ann David

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