Low budget multitrack recording and mixing questions

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by cootcraig, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. cootcraig

    cootcraig Guest

    I've got another Sunday session with Carlos Crull's jazz group (a quartet this week) recorded and archived. This week I used my Jecklin disk with Avenson ST02 pair. I'll post a song when I can to it.

    The advice I've heard here is to add a number of spot mics in addition to an ambient pair. I'm giving this consideration but my budget will be limited. The Presonus FP10 is my current choice for getting more mic inputs. The FP10 would allow spot mics for each player of a quintet and an ambient stereo pair and one more for good measure. I have 4 mics currently and could add another 4 budget priced mics.

    I am recording to a Vista x64 pc and have an unused firewire interface on the motherboard.

    My questions for today are:

    1) Any suggestions on an 8 channel mic pre and A/D with comparable or better price/performance to the Presonus FP10?

    2) What software (affordable remember) should I consider for mixing the potential 8 tracks down to stereo? I'm currently recording 2 channels, normalizing and formatting output with Audacity.

  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    So, is your question, "what can I get that's cheaper than the FP 10?" You're still going to need to purchase 4 other decent microphones. And you're using free software. So you're looking at another minimum investment of $1000 for 4 reasonable microphones & some real multitrack software such as, Adobe Audition, Sony Vegas. So $400 for 4 SM57's & $600 for some real software. Oh? And you want a FP 10. Wait a minute! This is getting expensive. Just do it like Rudy Van Gilder does it. With less. You're there man. Just move everybody around until the balance sounds right with your limited microphones. That's all you need to do for jazz. Or my name isn't Rudy Van Gilder. Wait a minute! My name isn't Rudy Van Gilder.

    Ms. Remy Ann Gilder I mean David!
  3. cootcraig

    cootcraig Guest

    Pardon my unclearness. My working assumption is that I can develop my craft and make useful recordings with low priced equipment. This is a hobby and I want to see what I can do with 1 and 2 mic recording. However, most of the advice I've received at recording.org is to use spot mics. I'm curious how much it would cost to expand to 8 track live recording.

    $400 for a PreSonus FP10 seems like a great bargain.
    I can budget for and would gladly use another 4 cheap mics.

    I'm satisfied with the mic pres and A/D on my $150 E-MU 0404 USB
    So is the FP10 too crap to even consider?
    Anything with 8 channels <$1000 to consider?

  4. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    there's a lot of ways you can approach this, esp if you're going low-budget.

    Sure, the equipment you're listing is fine, so is a lot of other stuff at entry level. There's a ton of decent used stuff on Ebay and Craigslist as well, esp if you don't mind taking on someone else's cast-off new toy.

    If you go with something like the Mackie Onyx line of pre's, they include Traction for free as part of the purchase. It's not very exiting on it's own, but it gets the job done. So does the presonus, of course. For now, you'll do fine with either of them, and many others in their price/feature class.

    Judging by the pictures you posted, I doubt you could get the band members to move around much, so you're better off working around it with using spot mics to augment the stereo pair. Keep the stereo image with the pair you're already using, and gently dial in the individual tracks in post, during mixdown for a little detail and punch.

    For a basic live 8 track recording, you right; you can easily use 2 for the stereo pair, and the remaining 6 mics/tracks for all the other stuff; bass, sax, guitar, keys, etc., with a kick & snare mic as well, or a kick & 1 overhead. (It's jazz, of course... ;-) Try it out, you're gonna have a great time working with it.

    The bass & the keys can go out via DI's, so you'll save a little there instead of using mics. A $100 SM57 on any guitar cabinet will do ya fine, as well. Plus, you said you already have four mics, so I think you're in better shape than you'd think. For $1000-1500 worth of pre's and basic mics, you can do this easily and make some great music.

    There's a lot of good software to mix with, out there as well.
    For mixing & Mastering, I use Sequoia/Samplitude, They have a variety of entry level versions you may want to look into. (Sampltidue Studio, I think, is one of the more basic and less-expensive versions...?)
  5. Studiodawg

    Studiodawg Active Member

    Mar 9, 2006
    I'm a Samplitude user also, but for low budget I always recommend Reaper for audio recording software. Many features, an active Forum and a super low price/high performance ratio.

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