Recording The Band

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Terabyte, Dec 16, 2004.

  1. Terabyte

    Terabyte Guest

    Hi, This topic must have appeared so many times.. but so far i have never found a topic which specifically covers this.

    The band is a metal band with lots of roaring in it and a desperate need of a punchy bass.

    So far, the vocalists voice seems to fade in an out on the recording mainly because he's moving his head very slightly and doesnt have a very good mic technique.
    Is there anyway to get round this problem? Using what equiptment. Specifically make and model of one that works well.

    Is it true that everytime the signal goes through some box of tricks it picks up a bit of (white?.. Pink? :? ) noise.. if so.. doesn't that mean at the end of the recording you end up with a great song overlayed with a load of hissing?

    What bass mics are there out there that give the punchy bass sounds you hear on metal band recordings.. (The boom is still there but there seems to be a sort of PAP at the start of each hit) Most adverts for microphones seem to say that the microphone is "spectacular" doesnt really say what it's spectacular at doing.. no doubt you're meant to look at the specification to work that out.. but i really have no clue about things like the "frequency response" and theyre rather ambiguous when they say "low noise" "weeally weally low noise honest!!!" so sombodies practicle experience with this kind of bass drum recording would be really cool.. and if you could iinclude a make and model of bass drum microphone that would be great..

    Toms and cymbal mics.. How many mics and what kind (type, make model) do proffesional studio's use to record toms snare and cymbals. I've seen this very small dynamic microphe which proffesses to be very small and great.. very small it is.. you can see in the picture.. i just wonder whether it really gets the sounds properly.. its the Beta 98DS Condenser (SHURE).

    And finally the recording process..
    Im currently at college and my teacher likes to keep his knowledge to himself and only teach what is absolutly necessary. So i don't know much about the equiptment required..

    We have a vocalist who can scream and roar...
    Is there any equiptment/software out there that will pitch his voice?

    What's a better recording solution:
    1) Cubase and you're PC
    2) Multi Track Recorder (the lil box things with the small screens costing $1300 with HDD that claim to work wonders and work at 24bit)

    Do i loose recording quality if i put it into my PC?
    Do i need an amazing sound card if i decide to use my PC? (If so please please point me to such a card (make model))

    Compressor? Gate? Equaliser?
    Equaliser.. for some reason theres one on the mixer, theres a seperate hardware one with the physical sliding controls, and theres a cubase.. based.. one :p (LOL)
    Whats the advantages and disadvantages of each? Do you need them all?

    Why is it that my recordings in the studio still sound.. like theyve been recorded in a studio.. as if when your listening to it.. its a live performance in the room next door with waffer thin walls.. it sounds very slightly distant or muffled.. Is this down to the microphones? Dynamics Compressor? Volume levels? I heard somthing about "presence" that anything to do with it?


    Any help on anything above is massivly appreciated.
    Please let me know what your field is.. if you are a regular recorder or engineer for metal music etc.. and please please give make and models of equiptment that you know from experience works well.

    Thanks ALOT :D:D:D
  2. Pete_Weaver

    Pete_Weaver Guest

    Hey Terabyte . . .

    Whew! . . . your questions are covering alot of ground!
    I could write a book if I were to give detailed answers to all of your
    questions . . . however . . .

    Check this link and listen to the song Fragile:

    If this is a sound you like and are after, I'll tell you the gear and
    basic methods I used to achieve it in my home studio.

    Pete Weaver
  3. shock

    shock Guest

    Yes, and I think you know it. :)
  4. Terabyte

    Terabyte Guest

    That music sounds very good.:D
    Trying to picture it with my band...
    Drums sound a bit distant very slightly tho (mainly cymbals)
    But yes thats the kind of thing.
    At the moment i have settings on my speakers to make metal music rather punchy as opposed to flat. (bass mainly)
    So when the music goes crash.. you feel the thud...
    in that music it didnt seem too punchy.. say i had the raw data.. what would i do to make the bass come through with a bit more.. umph and punchyness ^_^_^_^ (umph! great word!)
    So information on how you did it etc would be great...
    The cymabls sounded kind of high pitched tinny distant though.. what cymbals were you using and drum kit for that matter :)

    Great song btw ^_^

    ^_^.. I think i know it.. not sure if that was what it was for.. compressor right? Dynamic compressor? but does that level things out? or does it just make the overly loud bits quiet. and leave the too quiet parts quiet or does it bring the quiet parts up?

    Thanks guys :D:D
  5. Terabyte

    Terabyte Guest

    oh and..
    those vocal effects..
    what did you use to creat them
    they are awesome :D
  6. Pete_Weaver

    Pete_Weaver Guest

    This was recorded and mixed 100% in the box, PTLE Digi 001 except for the front end,
    all tracks were run into an Apogee Trak 2 at 24bit 44.1k and straight into Pro Tools 5.

    The signal chain on the vocals was as follows:

    Vocals into a Studio Projects C1, drum overheads also into 2 two C1's
    Guitar amp half stacks, Studio Projects C1 on one speaker cone, slight angle towards paper part of cone,
    also a shure SM57 on antoher speaker then blend the two mics to taste in Pro Tools.
    All mics were run into the Apogee Trak 2 (which is a killer mic pre and A to D) then straight into PTLE.
    (except toms and drum OH's run into Presonus Digimax.
    Bass recorded direct into Apogee Trak 2

    My plugin chain on ALL vocals for any session I do is the secret weapon.
    1. Waves Renaissance compressor
    2. Waves Renaissance VOX (set to the 25db comp preset, which makes the vocal JUMP out at you)
    3. Bus a vocal send over to an aux input with delay and or reverb when appropriate

    Vocal effects plugin was Waves Mondo Mod or Waves Metaflanger
    Vocal Delay was Waves Super Tap 2

    Bass was recorded DI into the Apogee Trak 2 but next time I'll probably mic it as well.
    I tend to run DAD valves on guitar and bass tracks and McDSP Analog Channel on other tracks
    McDSP Analog Channel on the Master Fader, which I put on the Master fader before I start to mix.

    Finally, we got the album professionally mastered.

    Getting ready to start recording the new album now.

    Pete Weaver - Half The World - Will appeal to fans of Fuel, Evanessence, Staind, Sevendust.
  7. Terabyte

    Terabyte Guest

    thanks so much :D
  8. shock

    shock Guest

    Actually, what I meant was: Tell that vocalist to learn how to use a mic!
    (The use of a compressor will certainly help fo fix things though.)
  9. wwittman

    wwittman Active Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    You're ocvering a LOT of groudnthere, as others have said...

    for the bass, i would say mic and amp (the band has an amp yes? do they get a good metal bass sound live?) AND take a DI.
    adjust the amp for grit and bite and that front end click. Use the DI for the low bottom and mix them together.
    you'll want to check phase between the two signals.

    A big part of a good metal bass sound is a good metal bass DRUM sound.
    Tuning the drum and the drum itself are key here.
    I think most metal is recorded with mics on all the drums... then room mics added to give it some size.
    So that means lots of mics and inputs.

    As a multi-track I'd probably recommend ProTools for its flexibility AND for its compatibility with the pro world should you end up there down the road.
    An M-Box for your computer only sets you back about 400 bucks.. quite reasonable for a 32 track recorder with effects and automation!

    an 002 is even better and allow 96k recording and gives you faders in one version (that move) for about 2000.
    half that much without the faders (002R)

    I'd lean away from the all-in-one hardware boxes because they limit you to staying in that box... and are not expandable.

    As far as the singer goes.. try to record him/her in a quiet place away fomr noisy neighbours and then compress the vocal enough to get it to sit still in front of the track.
    Sometimes, giving a rock singer a handheld mic will encourage him to stay up on it as he moves around (because he can move it with him)... an idea.

    Part of the issue with presence, is the leakage (especially the out of phase leak) between sounds.
    Try to keep each sound isolated on its mic/track as much as possible given your room and its sound.

    hope this helps a bit
  10. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    and don't forget Patty Smyth ;)

    It's good to have you here Mr. Wittman! 8)
  11. Terabyte

    Terabyte Guest

    lol!!! ^_^ Ok :p

    cheers wwittman :D:D
  12. Terabyte

    Terabyte Guest

    you said "100% in the box"
    so what sound card do you use to get the sound there?
    Is the card that (from what i can see) comes with digi 001 the one that you used?

    When you mic your guitar amp.. how far away do you have the microphone.. and how loud do you have the amp?
    (amp spec that you used would be good aswell (power mainly)
  13. Terabyte

    Terabyte Guest

    oh and...

    "All mics were run into the Apogee Trak 2 (which is a killer mic pre and A to D) then straight into PTLE. "

    So.. if all mics went into the apogee track 2.. where did the digi001 come in?

    bit confused :oops: :?

    and was it all kept digital? or were any bits analog?

    Thanks :D
  14. Pete_Weaver

    Pete_Weaver Guest

    Hey Terabyte,

    I apologize, I am being misleading when I say 100% in the box . . .
    I am referring to mixing when I say that. Meaning, no outboard gear
    was used, only PTLE and plugins. However, even that is misleading because PTLE is always clocked by my Apogee Trak 2.

    So . . . what do I use the 001 rack mount box for? . . . well, it's really
    just a giant dongle to let PTLE run! The mic pres and A to D inside
    the 001 don't even come close to the Apogee Trak 2. I did use the
    mic pre's on some drum stuff though and that worked fine.

    Also, the SPDIF in and Out and the ADAT optical in and out on the 001 are crucial to interface with the Apogee. So the 001, along with the PCI card for PTLE functions as my sound card. There is an optical cable running from the Apogee to the 001, which gets the sound into Pro Tools LE.

    As far as guitar amps and mics . . .

    1. Peavey 5150 half stack
    2. Marshall half stack cab with Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier head.

    1. Studio Projects C1 mic on a speaker aimed half way between edge and center of cone, about 3 to 4 inches from the cabinet grille cloth.
    2. Shure SM57 on a differrent speaker, positioned same as above.

    Amp volume . . . I avoided getting so loud that it would distort the
    diaphragm on the Studio Projects, which is a condenser mic.
    So, decent volume but not ear splitting, I leaned toward the quieter side, but still full sounding. (sorry to be so vague, didnt have a decibel meter)

    All recording was digital, no analog tracking.

    does this help?
  15. Terabyte

    Terabyte Guest

    helps alot thanks :D

    so mostly your mic's went into the apogee a/d and mic pre amp and then went straight into your sound card (thing that comes with digi 001) which you pick up with Pro Tools L.E.?

    and for the drums... you used Presonus Digimax rather than apogee.. because its more or less the same system.. but with more mic inputs for multiple drum mics?
  16. Pete_Weaver

    Pete_Weaver Guest

    That's basically correct. When one purchases Pro Tools LE,
    they are either buying a 001 or 002 or Mbox . . . each of which
    becomes your sound card yet much more than a sound card.

    They each have digital ins and outs and I simply connect the optical
    cable from the Apogee to the Digi 001. One of the reasons I personally chose to go with Pro Tools as that I found it extremely user friendly. I was able to make sense of the software and the way its laid out is quite logical, and I've never regretted it.

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