Home Recording an Album

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by zendao, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. zendao

    zendao Active Member

    Oct 10, 2013
    So I ‘m recording an 8 song rock album. I want to record electric guitars, acoustic guitars, and vocals home and maybe also piano at my aunt’s house if I can manage the recording and bass if I can rent or get someone to lend me a decent one. I will record the drums and do the final mix at a proper studio or outsource the mix somehow. My music is basically a form of alt rock and I’m looking for a sound along the lines of Radiohead’s In Rainbows, Jeff Buckley’s Grace, Incubus’ Make Your Self / Morning View, A Perfect Circles’ Mer de Noms and Mutemath’s self titled album.

    I will be putting my 10+ years of music making into, as it finally seems like it’s time (A single we recorded a few months ago which I unfortunately ended up mixing, and in my opinion sounds like crap, got into national radio without me knowing about it until later http://bajopresionrecords.bandcamp.com/album/spatial-home-single). So basically I’m going for the big break through with this Album so everything needs to be as perfect as possible!

    I’m recording a demo of each song at the moment, then I will send it to the new drummer (http://recording.org/home-recording-forum/55208-drummer-dilema.html#post408755) so that we can compose his parts, record that at a proper studio and then that I’ll record the rest of the stuff home. When I’m done I’ll do a “pre-mix” as half of my art is producing the music with effects and such. That way I’ll be able to experiment and be creative. I’ll then go to a studio and do the real mix with a qualified person and then master there or somewhere else.

    I plan on posting some of the single tracks I record on here to get some feedback on each instrument’s sound and recording so that I can get feedback, etc. My goal is for it to sound as good enough to be along the music on the radio but I need to know if I have the gear and knowledge necessary for recording what I mentioned at home.

    I have a mex fender strat I will use for all electric guitar parts and a 212r frontman amp, but I plan on going directly into my Emu 0202 soundcard and then through Guitar Rig 5, which I recently discovered with the electric guitars and the bass. I have a cheap maxtone bass I will use for the demo only. I also have a SM58 which I plan to use with the cap off for acoustic guitars and the vocals (using a CAD pop filter), and that again going straight into the Emu 0202. I’ve always used Audition but it always gives me problems as it’s not really built for this kind of thing, so I’ve started using Cubase 5 for this project and I’m pleased with it.

    My PC specs are:
    HP Pavillion DV8000t (year 2006)
    Intel T2600 (2.6GHZ) Processor
    2GB RAM Memory
    Windows XP 32
    I've also got a pair of small M-Audio Monitors.

    I’m basically looking for any suggestions or comments on my plan and how to go about things, etc.

    Thanks! :)
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Nov 25, 2012
    Akron/Cleveland, OH
    Home Page:
    How much engineering experience do you have? On one hand, you say you need this to be as perfect as possible, while on the other hand stating that with the exception of the drums, you're going to be doing the recording at home, which implies that the rooms aren't designed for recording, which also implies that you could be dealing with noise pollution from outside sources, and more than a handful of other parameters - including gear and possible lack of experience or knowledge, that could very well make this a very imperfect recording.

    I'm not trying to sway you from doing this at home. I am trying to forewarn you that you could be in for a very steep uphill battle in terms of having the recordings sound good, or in your own words, "as perfect as possible".

    The gear you listed, while decent enough for demo purposes, is not the caliber of that used in pro facilities where commercially released records are made.

    Also, when you start wearing all the hats - writer, arranger, producer, performer and engineer, you can lose objectivity very quickly, and, creativity can take a dive.

    IMHO, if you really want this record to be as perfect as possible, concentrate on the writing and the performing, and let a true pro handle the recording end of things for you.
  3. zendao

    zendao Active Member

    Oct 10, 2013
    100% true... I'm even just beggining to consider the room I'm in! I guess I was exagerrating a bit and not being accurate. My goal is to get the best sound possible out the room I'm in with the gear I have.

    The reason I don't want to go to a studio is that most so called "studios" in this country have quasi-amateur people running the place. Yeah they might have a little certificate here and there, but for the most part they don't seem to be the pros you would expect from someone owning a studio. The other big reason which might be the main reason is I place the comfort and unlimited time I have at my place over the gear and knowledge a studio might have, atleast when it comes to vocals and guitars. Like I've said, I'll upload what I record and I'll see how I'm doing. If it really is just too far from good enough then I might consider studio time. I absolutely wish I didn't have to handle any of the recording or the mixing at all! I kind of even hate to have to do it, but given my circumstances it seems to be the best way to go about it, atleast for now.

  4. Digtlartst

    Digtlartst Member

    May 18, 2011
    Inside The Beltway
    Home Page:
    Your PC may not have the horsepower for the multi tracking you're considering doing, especially with just 2GB RAM. I think 4-8GB would be minimum. You don't mention what hard disk(s) you have but it will need to be a fast one. But if Cubase is handling it so far, maybe you're ok.

    Also, to get some ambience I'd consider micing your frontman amp with your SM58 and compare that sound with patching the Strat and bass straight into your sound card.
  5. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2003
    Kirkland WA
    Home Page:
    Your time and money may be better spent getting the band tight, and going to a recording facility.

    It took me over a decade of trial and error, gathering the right mix of gear, and finding the right recording space, before I gained the skills to do the job right the first time.

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