Need Advice on setting up a home studio and equipment for it

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by John Peakon, Mar 7, 2011.

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  1. John Peakon

    John Peakon Member

    Mar 7, 2011
    Hi there,

    I am session musician looking to record and produce my own side-project, a full 5 piece heavy rock-band comprising drummer, rhythm guitarist, lead guitarist, bassist and singer.

    We've got two fairly big rooms to play with, but we need some assistance choosing the gear, setting it all up and getting to grips with it all.

    Here are a few details for you.

    The drum-kit comprises 2 x kick drum, snare, 3 x rack toms and 2 x floor tom and a large number of overheads.

    My bassist, and guitarists all have their own amplifiers and speaker cabinets to record with. The rhythm guitarist has said he would like to experiment with at least two microphones on his amplifier, and the bassist has expressed a wish to record a DI signal to allow the possibility of re-amping later on.

    As main songwriter, I'm looking to be able to record a full album of 10 songs averaging around 5 minutes per song. I'd like to record rhythm parts (drums, bass, rhythm guitar) simultaneously with a high level of isolation between the recordings, then overdub lead guitar and vocals.

    We like the idea of using an 'in-the-box' system so we can edit and mix using a computer rather than external hardware.

    We're well rehearsed and tend to nail performances in no more than two takes.

    Please could you provide a run-down of your equipment recommendations. We need to include all the cabling and connectors etc. plus an idea of the kind of data-storage requirements we'd be looking at.

    We've got a budget of £10,000 for all the gear.
    We want it recorded at 24 bit 96k

    thanks, John Peakon
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    Before considering any other instruments, you need to work out how to get good recordings of the drum kit, since it's relatively large. Your big problem is going to be the acoustics in the rooms if they are untreated. You are not easily going to get the "high degree of isolation" that you mention.

    Since you have indicated this is to be more than just a demo recording, and also that you can nail the rhythm parts of these tracks in only a couple of takes, for this first CD I would seriously consider renting professional studio time for recording the drum kit (which needs many microphones) and also the bass (via DI), and maybe rhythm guitar too. You can take those tracks away, and using them as a bed, make do with adding lead guitar and vocals in a home studio with a lot less expense on gear and acoustic treatment than you would have needed for the whole band.

    It's likely that this is not what you wanted to hear, but a professional-quality recording of a full rock band does not just happen - it takes more than a reasonable amount of cash thrown in the direction of purchase of equipment. That said, the difficult bit is the rhythm section, and if you get a helping hand for that, you can add the overdubs and then enjoy the whole mix process without having to battle with problems created by poor acoustics and track bleed.
  3. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    John - I'm having trouble figuring out exactly where you are coming from. You say you are a session musician, so I'd guess you have some recording experience. What kind of studios? Is the idea here to record everyone playing simultaneously? Do you have other ambitions with recording or is this band the whole motivation for the purchase?

    Forgive me if this is elementary to you, but recording a well rehearsed band in a pro studio can be done very quickly and inexpensively. You've at least got a fairly reasonable budget to start out but it will still require a lot of compromises and jury rigging. If your primary focus is the band rather than learning to record it may not make sense to do this.

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