need help! recording with VERY limited resources...

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by spaceboy, Jul 24, 2004.


  1. spaceboy

    spaceboy Member

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    Location:
    Dundee, Scotland
    ok, well, I'm gonna go and read up as much as I can about recording and such, but I wondered how much help I could get here. I've been asked to record a demo for some mates, Last 1 Out (awful name, I know...), simply because I'm the only one they know who has any kind of recording facilities. It's just for some woman who own some club somewhere, so it doesn't have to be professional standard (i shouldn't think...) but obviousy i want it to be good. My meagre recording equipment consists of:

    Fostex MR-8 digital 8-track
    Kristal PC Multi-track thing
    One £30 ELV PRO 585s mic
    One Peavey PV i mic

    and that's about it. does anyone know anything about these mics? which one is better? i was given the peavey, so don't know how it compares for price... also, which multi-track do you think will be best? i mean, the MR8 only has 128Mb storage (24 mins of recording time. that's for all the seperate tracks cumulatively), whereas i have about 8Gb of space left on my hard drive. BUT i don't have any kind of special sound card, and possibly more importantly, I don't have any experience working with kristal. I know how to use the Fostex, I know what everything does and i don't know if we have time for me to be working things out as I go along...

    The first problem will be the drums. my bedroom is not big enough for a drum kit... which means I will have to use the MR-8 and record somewhere else. then should I record a stereo track (both mics)? I guess that would be best.

    then there's the guitars. I don't know what amp they'll want to use, but well use my JMP1 as the example. I'm gonna have to choose between the lesser of two evils - recording direct (I think it sounds bloody awful without a good poweramp) or micing it up without a mic preamp... so which do you think is preferable? I really don't know how much of an effect a mic pre has on the sound, having never used one. and if I mic it up, there's so many different ideas for mic position, any chance of a brief "pros & cons" round up?

    then the vocals will just have to fall into place. not so many variables with them.

    so many questions. so little time (they might need to start tomorrow...) so any help at all will be much, much appreciated. mustn't panic... :(
     
  2. P-Bird

    P-Bird Guest

    How many songs are you recording, or planning on recording?
    I see your biggest problem being the lack of memory on the fostex..

    So the best thing i could think of is, is there a way you could get more mics off someone, like borrow them? Because if you could then you coud simply setup up a few mics with the fostex and record everything live so all you gots to do is just eq a little here an there and presto..

    The only other way i can think of is if you did it speratly with the 2 mics you got is recording everything seperatly ..I'd put 2 mics on drums, I'd put them in front of the kit, One facing the left and other the right side of the kit..Reason i wouldnt put them as overheads is because the bss drum tends to get lost then, and you need to be able to hear the bass drum..

    For guitars..I was recording (and still am) a friends demo(like yourself) I didnt use a mic pre-amp either for the guitar amps and we mic'd all guitars..Although i used a Fostex VF-16..But th guitars sound fantastic through it..We, used a Shure SM58 and Beyer Dynamic of some sort to mic guitars as thats the best we had and they sounded great..

    Basically try line diret and micing and see what sounds best, after all thats what your trying to do..
     
  3. spaceboy

    spaceboy Member

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    yay! thanks for the help!

    well, i've had some time to read up a little, and also just think about it and get it straight in my own head... so I've got a better idea now for what to do.

    some things I forgot to mention:

    the MR8 has a USB out, so what I'll do is continually back-up onto the PC. therefore the only time when the memory is an issue is when I'm recording away from home, or if a single song runs longer than the fostex can handle... mum's agreed to let me record the drums here, so that's the first problem solved...

    and they definately want to record multi-track. if we were to record live we'd have to do it at their practice space where I don't have my PC for backing up, so memory becomes an issue again...

    I was gonna use two overhead mics for the drums, but didn't think about the bass drum! your idea sounds good, so i'll give it a go. thanks.

    but after the drums are done, we'll be doing all the guitars/vocals in my room, next to my PC, so I've still got to decide between the MR-8 (only 8 tracks; gotta keep moving files backwards and forward from the PC; but I know it pretty inside out) and Kristal (16 tracks; 8Gb or something of storage so I can keep everything on the PC so less complicated; but I don't really know how to use it yet and only have part of a day to learn; and i only have the stock sound card, which I assume will be fairly shite...)

    whatever happens I'll have to use the fostex for the drums, so maybe I should just stick with that. but please - what would you all do? pros/cons? argh! so complicated.

    thanks though P-bird, that helped me get my head a little straighter...

    oh, they wanna do 6-7 songs. probably about 3 mins each I should think... but that shouldn't matter if i can backup on the PC
     
  4. P-Bird

    P-Bird Guest

    hmm, well if you can back up straight to PC then go with that... Usually stock soundcards are heaps of crap for quality wise..Theres alot of noise and hiss on the line in and mic in adn they seem to also clip very easily, not to mention the sound quality you get from them isnt great either..

    Although because there probobly not looking for top studio quality mabye for guitars and vocals the convienience factor may be alot better to use the PC..But you could do it so that you record all guitars for one song then bounce it to PC so at least your not bouncing tracks after every take and also means you would have full use of the fostex's memory for each song..IMO i think thats the best way to go about it, Track all guitars for each song then to PC with the USB port..
     
  5. spaceboy

    spaceboy Member

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    well, they're here now - some of them at least. we're just waiting for someone to arrange to get their gear here, but I think I'm ready to go... i think... hey, maybe I'll post a song or two when they're done :D
     
  6. P-Bird

    P-Bird Guest

    Yeah man that would be great..
     

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