Hello, a few questions for the new guy here...

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by sshack, Dec 25, 2007.

  1. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    Dec 25, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    Hello folks. I came here in hopes of finding some answers from experienced folks in this vast realm of recording. Hopefully, that'll happen.

    First off, I'm a guitar player/singer. I pretty much started to 'build' a studio setup over the past few months to explore the recording side of things. Anyway, my primary objective is to record good electric guitar, acoustic guitar and vocals. I do not have drums, so I'll just be sticking with loops for the time being. Bass will more than likely be either loops, or I'll pick up a cheapy and run direct. All of this happens in a basic living room by the way, nothing fancy. Carpeted floors, drywall walls....so everything for now is close mic'd. I do however have hardwoods in other rooms in my house, so if/when the time comes, I may explore moving some amps in and record there. So, here's my setup thus far:

    20" iMac 2.16 CPU, 2G RAM
    Yamaha HS80M monitors
    Apogee duet
    Shure SM57, SM58
    Garage Band (Duh)

    The immediate future (this week) for me holds an external HD and Logic Express. So for the most part I've just been tooling around in GB to 'get the hang of things'.

    Things that I'd like to have but don't want to put the cart before the horse (this is where you can step in and help):

    *For vocals and/or acoustic guitar the AT4040 or 4050 OR a Baby Bottle perhaps...not sure which, but I'm leaning towards the AT's based on my research, though I have used the BB before and it didn't suck.

    *For electric (beyond the 57), CAD Trion 7000 and the MD421.

    *Preamps...UGH my head is spinning. UA SOLO110/610/DCS Remote preamp OR Great River ME-1NV. Really, I'm pretty wiped on this, I have no idea where to start. FWIW I like older recordings like Pink Floyd, later era The Beatles, etc....not too much 'modern' sounding stuff, though to have the ability to record as such if/when the time presented itself is not a bad idea.

    Overall my budget is pretty flexible. I'm not rich, but I do gig regularly so I have a few hundred buck each month of expendable income that I can put towards this stuff. That being said, I want to keep things under reasonable control, but I don't mind splurging if or when it may be necessary and worth the money.

    So, any advice or assistance that you all can throw my way in regards to the "what's" and "when's" would be quite appreciated. And by the way, I'm wicked open minded with all of this....not really hard set on anything, but suggestions do need to be substantiated (to a point)....if you know what I mean.

    Thank you in advanced!
  2. TheFraz

    TheFraz Active Member

    Feb 5, 2007
    Well it seems to me that you have your sit figured out pretty well for some one just getting into things.
    Your choice of mics are great. I really like the AT4040, and the 4050 is just as great with more polar patterns.
    The 421 is an outstanding mic. Take a look at the Sm7b from shure. Its pretty much a 57 thats internally shock mounted, electronically protected, and equipped with a bass roll-off and presence boost. I love using it for clean guitar amps.
    You may want to look at some matched condensers. The rode NT5s are a great buy for the buck. They work great on acoustics, drum overheads, pianos, and pretty much what ever acoustic application you may have. The small diaphragm will work nice in an untreated room since it has a more directional recording pattern. (well I think I may get grilled her for my termanolgy but basically it picks up less noise then a large condenser does)

    I am by no means well versed in the world of preamps, but I have a real nice single channel summit audio that works real nice with my 4040, and well frankly I have yet to use a mic with it that did not work well.

    You will more then likely want to get a better program then GB. since you have a mac, I strongly would recommend logic. In the box it has just about every plug in you could need, and a huge MIDI application. It has a bit of a learning curve to it, as it is a fairly large program with a $*^t load of applications. But most people I know can get a solid hold on it with out spending to much time on it.

    Things you should be looking into is buying higher quality cables. for every things. no need to settle for crap you will need to buy over and over again.
    Most things of quality in the recording world come with a nice price tag. Because of this there is a large list of budget gear you can buy that is truly not worth your money. It seems like you are well aware of this fact as the items you have mentioned are for the most part all quality peaces of gear.

    also don't overlook the importance of treating a room. Every room has its own personality. sometimes this personality can really add some great colour to your tone and other times it can borderline kill your recordings. A good quick test is to clap your hands loudly to get an easy to trace reflection pattern of the room. if the reverb lasts along time, you are going to be looking at some less then dry recordings. If your clap triggers a fluttering in the room, you know you are going to have issues. chances are that flutter will not match your tempo and therefore will be nothing but an big issue.

    Have fun with it, and do not be afraid of some good old fashion trail and error.
  3. robbiusa

    robbiusa Active Member

    May 29, 2007
    Pontiac, MI
    That was some really good advice.

    I think the AT 4040 is really good for micing acoustic guitar... doesn't work well for my voice, but as with anything, YMMV, some people like it a lot on their vocals and it seems to be a real popular mic.

    Also, for vocals I would check out the ADK Vienna/Hamburg mics. They sound pretty good on acoustics as well.

    Discrete Drums and Drums on Demand are good sample sets. EZdrummer is pretty cool too.

    Try a bunch of stuff and have a good time.
  4. drstudio

    drstudio Active Member

    Nov 16, 2007
    Home Page:
    I agee with Fraz, Logic is a great program, and is very affordable now. If you get Logic Studio, you'll get tonnes of loops and sounds, plus the plug ins are very usable... even the AMP Modeling isn't bad.

    I haven't tried them yet, but I'd be interested to see what the Rupert Neve Portico pre amps are like. I've read lots of reviews that were very positive, and for under 2k for a dual channel preamp designed by Rupert himself, I don't think you could go wrong.

    I recently bought a pair of the NT5's... I would say they are okay.... not amazing though. I guess you could say for the price, they are alright.

  5. tifftunes

    tifftunes Active Member

    Jan 13, 2003
    Cubase (start with LE - it's sufficient and complete for your needs).

    Presonus Firebox (again, sufficient, clean)

    Shure KSM44 (versatile, highly usable on vox, ac guitar, elec gtr, bass, even as a single drum OH).


    Though the KSM44 may be overkill to start with, it's a fantastic and versatile mic that you will keep and keep using. You could actually get away with just your 57 and 58 for a long time and still be able to make very good use of them, and still sound professional. It's more to do with what goes into them that counts anyway! Otherwise this is an excellent entry to recording without spending a fortune.
  6. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    Dec 25, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    Thanks for the advice. I already have Logic and the Duet though. Since they're virtually brand new, I'll have to get some mileage out of them before I would consider trying something else.
    I like the sound of that mic....I'll definitely be researching that bad boy.

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