I AM SO LOST! need some expert opinion

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by xMannequiNx, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. xMannequiNx

    xMannequiNx Guest

    Ive been running around these forums and other forums trying to figure out all my questions, and a few very specific questions of mine have been answered. But after hours and hours of searching i've officially given up, so I'm just gonna spill my guts here:

    Here's my gig - I play drums, bass, guitar, vocals, pretty much anything that has to do with rock/hardcore/metal/screamo/indie and whatnot, and I'm trying to start up a home studio. I'm not a complete noob when it comes to audio recording, as I know my basics (my dad studied engineering in college and taught me a whole lot a few years back), but I need some help getting started.

    So heres the things I know I am going to need to start - keep in mind I am trying to get a really good sound with a limited budget:

    -I already have a very nice ex-gaming computer which works great. I built this a few years ago, and its got 2gb ram, 160gb HD, 512mb nvidia vid card, etc. The only downside is the sound card (although i dont think this is something very important as of now as I am planning on using a firewire interface).

    -Right now I have Cakewalk Sonar 7 installed on my PC, but any other software recommendations would be great; Theres probably better software out there.
    -As far as getting the sound from A to D, this is where I have gotten myself stuck. I know I need 10+ inputs for mics, since I basically want to have each separate drum's sound captured. So what I know there is that was recommended by someone at guitar center was to use the presonus firestudio, which has preamps for 8 mics and a firewire jack which would let me plug into my computer and manage eq, volumes, etc with the software. The only disadvantage is the 8 inputs! I know I can always get two, but 16 is probably overkill for me, and if there were two it may be too much for my computer to handle (this im not sure about though). So my question is, is this a good idea? or should i go with
    -a protools system? My friend has an MBox which he would give to me, but what I am concerned with here is having control of each separate mic inside the software. I know that if I were to use the firestudio I could have each separate mic go to a separate track in the mix and indivdually edit volume, eq, etc, even after I am done tracking and the mics are put away. If I were to use this mbox i would buy a mixer to go with it, but the advantage of this is being able to purchase a 10 or 12 mic input mixer, or even separate preamps.
    -to sum this monster of a question up: should I use the presonus Firestudio, the Mbox and a mixer, or something completely different that I have not thought about?

    -I honestly have no idea what to get for monitors. I know they are extremely important for mixing, but some are just wayyy to expensive. I dont need anything crazy, just something that will sound good and get the job done.
    -For headphones, I know that I am going to need the vic firth studio recording headphones for drummers/guitarists that are tracking, but what about for myself? are these really pertinent if I have decent monitors?

    I could probably write 180 pages about my ordeals with choosing microphones haha. Im honestly afraid to look in a guitarcenter catalog, knowing that as soon I get to the mic section i get overwhelmed with all of the choices!! Although I have pretty much narrowed down my choices...
    +Condenser (overheads)
    -Audio-Technica AT3035
    +Condenser (Vocal)
    +Dynamic (toms/snare/intrument/amp)
    -SM57 or
    -Audix i5
    +Dynamic (kick)
    -AKG D112 or
    -Audix D6
    other recommendations would help. Im looking to spend maybe 1-200 per mic, again nothing fancy.

    -I found a package deal that provides some of the essentials for a small room, like a bass trap and some wall foam with the glue to apply it.

    -Will a bulk package for cables work? I know I can buy 10 boom stands for 100 bucks through musiciansfriend, so that is not a problem, but with cables I can also buy them bulk. Once again, I am going for the best possible sound, so will budget cables alter that at all?

    Anyone who answers any of these questions

    i will love forever :D

  2. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Cables don't really affect sound unless they fail. Buy quality made stuff for the longevity of it.
  3. TopherNeverDies

    TopherNeverDies Active Member

    Aug 14, 2008
    Go to a store and do some A and B comparison with different mics. Is your budget for a vocal mic only 100 - 200 dollars as well? For $299 you could try a bluebird by blue. I haven't tried one but looking at it's specifications suggest it's worth looking into at that price range. Or you can try an AT4040. You really got to try them to make a decision. I'd recommend giving a Shure b-52 a chance too. I personally like it better on the kick then the d-112 and it works great on bass amps as well.

  4. Groff

    Groff Active Member

    Jul 18, 2004

    You'll need another HDD. It is better to separate OS and recorded files.


    Download Now

    Very good FW 12in/out ADDA with rock stabile drivers.


    You're right, it's extremely important to have a pair with good translation. Unfortunately they don't come cheap. Lots of post on this forum about it. If you can afford, those are very good:



    A pair of SDC for overs, acoustic instrument
    A pair of LDC – multipatern
    57 or i5 – can't go wrong
    D6 for kick
    mic set for toms (probably Sennheiser)

    Room treatment:

    Be careful here. I don’t know what you have found, but a small room needs lot of treatments, not just essentials. I suggest you to spend some time at acoustic department on this forum and collect some knowledge.


    Klotz MC5000 is not expensive but pretty good. Neutrik or Switchcraft connectors.

    Sooooo ... what about the mic preamps?
  5. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    My $.02 and worth every penny: Start slower. You are confused because you are trying to buy a huge complex system with only a little knowledge and experience. Focus on a few important items. Get some experience. Then expand.

    Here would be my progression.

    1. Buy the extra disk drive. A very big help for a small amount of money.

    2. Buy the interface. Don't worry about a million channels yet. Buy so that you can expand in the future. Eight channels would be fine to start as long as you have the connectivity to expand in the future.

    3. Buy four SM57s. (The i5s are probably fine. Some like them better than the 57s. I'm just recommending what I know.)

    4. Buy decent quality cables, stands, clips. Nothing overpriced, but not the bulk stuff. The sound of the cheap stuff is fine until it starts to fail. Then you spend forever tracking down the problem.

    5. Buy headphones and an inexpensive set of monitors.

    STOP! Record ten songs. Four mics on the drum set is fine and will take you a while to learn to record and mix well. Learn to place the mics. Learn to use your DAW. It will probably take you at least a month (and maybe several) to record 10 songs with this equipment and have them sound "pretty good." While you are doing this you will think repeatedly, "This would sound a lot better if I would buy..." But the truth is (A) anyone who knows what they are doing can make pretty good recordings with four 57s (B) people who can make pretty good recordings with four 57s make better choices on expensive equipment than people who can't.

    Once you have your 10 song minimum down - go to town. Buy the other mics. Expand the interface. You will be able to set priorities and put your money where it will do the most good.

    Now - no one ever takes this advice. But I wish I had done this when I started out. Education is expensive.
  6. xMannequiNx

    xMannequiNx Guest

    GROFF: With that firewire interface you recommended, would I need preamps and such? Theres no mic cable inputs on it, just the 1/4", maybe buy mic->1/4" cables to go with it?

    BOBROGERS: Thanks for the tip. I wasn't really thinking about starting slow haha.
  7. Groff

    Groff Active Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Yes you'll need preamps.

    Those are 1/4 TRS (tip, ring sleeve - 3 wires, the same as XLR, just different format) Nothing unusual on 8+ in/out interfaces.

    mic (xlr---xlr) preamp (?---trs) AD

    (btw Bob gives you very good tip)
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Stop right there posterboy breath. Bob IS the smartest guy here tryin' to help your teenage rude ass......now......alll this computer lunacy can alm down. And you can listen to US OLD FOLK WITH LOTSO EXPERIENCE.

    Recordinds made simultaniously with different non reallated units won't all monitor what's being recorded. Causing you more nooby confusion and crappy sound n results.

    If you're gunna us esepparate usnits? You're gunna' need a monitor dedicated mixer from which to combine the many sources. Duh and it gets mor complicated from there. That along with yet more gear. So go ahead mr "I'm dunna impress evaone here with my knucklagble egamacation i got from a Beringer manual.

    At least get 2 closley related devices by the same manufaturer. Ya' know? Compatability and that other worthless stuff.....like sence?

    You're at least 18? Right?
    MS Remy Ann David
  9. BDM

    BDM Active Member

    Oct 23, 2008
    Mali, Africa
    i want what you're drinking!
  10. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    Remy DOES seem to have gotten an unusual case of "Happy Fingers", doesn't she?

    Hope you're feelin' better today, Remy! :wink:

  11. xMannequiNx

    xMannequiNx Guest

    REMY: hahah what? i dont recall talking about compatibility....and no I am 17 :(

    GROFF: Im definitely taking bobs advice and going with the sm57s :)
  12. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2005

    Try Reaper: http://www.reaper.fm/

    It will do everything you need and more, the demo will run unrestricted for as long as you want it to (even past the official trial period of 30 days) and, unless you are earning money with it, it will only cost you $50.

    Seriously: there is no excuse for stealing software.
  13. StephenMC

    StephenMC Member

    Dec 10, 2007
    I don't think he said it's cracked?

    ie. I have Apple Garageband installed on my computer.
  14. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    Whats Garageband got to do with anything?

    If its legitimate software I will apologize. And eat my hat...
  15. xMannequiNx

    xMannequiNx Guest

    go eat your hat then! haha

    i bought it used from some dude for cheap so I can mix with my dads 15 year old tape deck mixer with the line out :p
  16. Greener

    Greener Guest

  17. StephenMC

    StephenMC Member

    Dec 10, 2007
    Just an example.

    Of course, if it were illegal, it wouldn't surprise me. But I have a sad tendency to give the benefit of the doubt.
  18. xMannequiNx

    xMannequiNx Guest

    Greener that is epic :D
  19. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    Ok, please accept my apologies. (Fortunately I don't own a hat!)

    You might want to look into Reaper anyway, as it sounds like you don't have that much invested in Sonar...
  20. xMannequiNx

    xMannequiNx Guest

    ok ill do that. Does it work similarly to sonar?

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