1. The Rules have been updated regarding posting as a business on TGP. Thread with details here: Thread Here
    Dismiss Notice

Mic and Monitor Advice Please

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by The Usual, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. The Usual

    The Usual Guest

    I want to record a very good demo for our band and I need some advice on mics and monitors, on a budget. What’s new right? If you need a number for the budget, say $400-$500 for the mics and $200 for the monitors. I am really hesitant to give a budget though, because I don’t want to sound unreasonable. If you need to go outside of it to recommend something decent, please feel free.

    Here’s what I have:

    Cubase SX
    Waveterminal 192M with 2 mic pres and 4 line ins
    Alto Mixer used solely for mic pres when recording drums that allows me to have 4 tracks and use the 4 line ins. This means I am limited to being able to mic the drums with 4 mics only

    Here’s what I assume I’ll need mics for:

    The kick drum
    Overheads
    Snare – SM57?
    Toms –SM57?
    Guitars – SM57?
    Vocals – Large condenser?

    I don’t know a whole lot about microphones, or monitors, so any advice is greatly appreciated. Any advice on using only 4 mics for drums would be great too.
    Thanks very much in advance
     
  2. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,465
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    MD
    For starters, I'd increase the monitor budget to $300-400. In that range, there are plenty of good powered monitors, Event, KRK, Fostex and Wharfedale to name a few.

    As for mics, you can try a LDC in front of the kit. 57 on the snare. Or maybe save a few bucks a find a used 545 or 517. On OH, I've found the MXL 603 pair to be decent for the money. For a bit more, the Oktava 012 or Rode nt-5.

    Some other mics to consider: the Shure 52, D112, Senn 421, 609 but these will blow your budget.
     
  3. loudboy

    loudboy Member

    Messages:
    27,432
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    Sedona, AZ
    Seriously, I'd take the money and book time in a real studio.

    There's no way that $700 worth of mics and cheap monitors, through an Alto mixer, are going to allow you to record a demo that's 10% as good as what you could get in even an average mid-level studio, where you could book 20-30 hours and make a decent 3-4 song demo.

    If you're interested in learning how to record, by all means get a simple setup and practice, practice, practice, but don't expect anything high quality until you've been at it for a while.

    Loudboy
     
  4. The Usual

    The Usual Guest

    I know, I know. I'm just really stuck on the whole paying someone for four songs, that aren't good for anything other than give people an idea of what we sound like, when really, I can do that with a tape recorder in the room. I'm exaggerating, but you get my point.

    It's not like $1000 in a studio is going to get me anything good enought to sell anyway, so my grand is gone and I have a four song demo. But if I spend a grand on equipment, I can record all my demos. You see where I'm stuck.

    Not to mention, most of the bands that I know with CDs did them themselves and they sound surpisingly great for Cubase in the basement

    I'm not saying you're wrong, I am just really wrestling with this one. I really do appreciate the feedback.
     
  5. mikeyp123

    mikeyp123 Guest

    I just went through a search for cheap yet good monitors. Ended up between a used set of Tannoy Active Reveals or new Yorkville YSM1P. Went with the Yorkvilles, they're pretty good so far.. have great low end extension, but they are big, Mackie HR8324 size. They are lacking some refinement in the upper freqs, and don't sound as "sweet" or "smooth" at the Tannoy's. If you get a chance listen to those small powered Dynaudio, use them as reference.. if you can find a cheaper monitor that gets close, you should be good.
     
  6. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

    Messages:
    13,448
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    I think spending at least a day in a studio is a good idea because:

    1. You will get some idea of how to mic things.

    2. You will hear what a decent console and monitoring system is supposed to sound like.

    3. You will observe at least some of the activity of the people in the studio.

    4. You might be able to ask questions, as long as you're not driving the engineer crazy while he or she is trying to work the session. After the session is a good time.

    Then, with this small amount of experience under your belt, you will have some frame of reference, and perhaps understand what to shoot for in your own recordings.

    I am all for doing it yourself. But I started my projects 20 years ago in outside studios, and the experience really was an education. Incidentally, my work coming out of my own studio has been broadcast nationally for many years, so yes, it is possible to learn this stuff. But do consider the good advice loudboy is giving you.

    It really is a nice experience to see how to do it right. :)
     
  7. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,353
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    western ma
    Cutting/mixing drums is a tough business - with the right gear. The chances of a novice engineer getting a decent drum recording the first time out are slim at best.

    Then there's the monitorong issue. Damned hard to get right in most hme studios for a full band tracking at once, in my experience. Decent cue systems aren't cheap.

    I haven't a clue what $200 monitors sound like these days, but i'm skeptical.

    I see some logic in learning to DIY, but there's a looong learning curve for most of this stuff. Is your band willing to work a lot of long sessions with iffy results?

    Not trying to be negative, but realistic.

    If you're determined to do it, try kik, snare, OHs for your 4 drum tracks. Don't know how far $500 will take you mic-wise for this set up, but i'd blow most of it on the overheads, then get an ATM25 for kick and a 57 for snare. At this point your mic $$ is shot and you're looking at building the track through overdubs on the drum part.
     
  8. Priestunes

    Priestunes Member

    Messages:
    1,094
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    Event 20/20 for monitors... at least. You could buy a large diaphragm mic for fairly cheap... Samson C01 for $70.00 or CL7 for $170.00. Or Rode NT1A for $200.00. In any event, buy yourself a large diaphram and use it for as many signals as possible--vox, guitar, overheads--via multi-tracking. Behrenger makes some pretty cool tube mic preamps for about $40.00 each. They heat up the signal and give you more XLR ins. So with two of these you'd have 6 XLRs and that's plenty for the first pass.

    Events--$300.00
    Large diaphragm(s)--$200.00
    Two Behringer mic-preamps--MIC200 $100.00

    $600.00 total.

    You won't get a fair sound unless you do at least this much. But you'll have the stuff and will be able to do multiple takes, punch-ins, and can record as often as you want. If you use some sort of Bose speakers (the little black cubes that are weatherproof) you'll still be cutting yourself short. The speakers are SO important. This assumes you have an amp. If you don't like your board, forget the mic-preamps and get another, probably Behringer and you'll have at least 8 XLRs for just a wee-bit more money.

    Normalize everything. Mix with friends. Have fun! Post your results if yer so inclined. :)
     
  9. The Usual

    The Usual Guest

    Thanks for all the feedback, it's great. I guess I should have pointed out that I have been in a studio before, and I have some engineer friends that are pretty generous with help, so I am not completely new to this stuff. I have also recorded 20 songs with my cheap stuff and I've had some time to work with the Cubase. However, we were kicking around the idea of going to someone first for a couple of songs, just to pick up some tips. I think we may end up doing that. It seems to be the concesus.

    As for the budget, it looks like I'm dreaming. I should have asked what you thought was reasonable for 4 mics and a set of monitors to do a decent job. I do believe that it is better to not skimp on these things now, as I will no doubt be uprading later.

    So if I may ask, "What's reasonable for mics and a set of monitors to do a decent job".
    Kick
    Snare
    OH
    Vocals
    Guitars - (I already have SM57)
    Mic pres (I guess I'll need four for the drums)

    Thanks again
     
  10. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,465
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    MD
    On the other hand, consider buying some gear and recording that demo before you spend $ on studio time. You'll hear the demo in it's entirety, giving you a better idea of what to change or not change, you'll be able to gauge other peoples impression of the songs and you'll have actual physical stuff as a result of your spending spree. Now, when the time comes to go into the studio, you have a clear direction for the songs. No wasted time. Plus it's just plain fun.

    BTW, I'd say a budget of 1500-2000 is more realistic.
     
  11. loudboy

    loudboy Member

    Messages:
    27,432
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    Sedona, AZ
    Kick - ATM-25, $139
    Snare - SM57, $89
    OH - Pair of Oktava MC-012, $200
    Vocal - MXL V67G, $99
    Mic Pres - Sytek 4-channel, $800
    Monitors - Tanny Reveals or used PBM6.5, owered w/a vintage Pioneer, Onkyo or Maranz receiver from the 70's. Approx. $2-400

    Loudboy
     
  12. The Usual

    The Usual Guest

    Thanks Loudboy.

    A friend mentioned a AKG C2000 or 3000. Any thoughts on those?
     
  13. loudboy

    loudboy Member

    Messages:
    27,432
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    Sedona, AZ
    We've got a 3000 kicking around the studio. I never really use it. For LDC's on a budget, the Chinese stuff is where it's at. Several choices for under $100, all different flavors.

    An example: I like the V67G, Les doesn't care for it. To put it mildly. <g>

    OTOH, I think the Studio Projects C1 is unusable, but others swear by it.

    Borrow what you can and see what works best on your voice.

    The rest of the stuff on my list is all gear that you'll own and use for the rest of your career. Try not to waste money on stuff you'll outgrow, or have to replace.

    Good Luck,

    Loudboy
     
  14. Gaz

    Gaz Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Location:
    Southern CA
    It does seem like a waste of money to me, too. My plan has always been to have a studio with whatever money I have available, as more money comes, investing more. Get the best stuff you can afford, but get started on your own...keep adding and eventually you will get great sound on your own equipment. It may take years, but the sooner you start...
     

Share This Page