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Need "idiots guide to recording"...anyone willing to oblige?

jimmyohio75

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Messages
5,536
My band has put out 2 CD's. During the recording process we all thought that it seems easy to record music. We are seriously considering recording our next CD by ourselves. Can someone give me a run down of what we will need. Keep in mind we don't need a professional setup. We are looking for a bare bones set up that will sound decent for a bunch of middle aged amateurs that do this for fun. Thanks for the help.:bonk
 

Rex Anderson

Member
Messages
5,164
Mics go into mic pre's go into A/D goes into DAW computer. Software of your choice. Monitors (audio and computer).

That's it in a nutshell.

Oh yeah, a good sounding well treated (acoustic material) control room and studio help a lot.
 

jimmyohio75

Member
Messages
5,536
Mics go into mic pre's go into A/D goes into DAW computer. Software of your choice. Monitors (audio and computer).

That's it in a nutshell.

Oh yeah, a good sounding well treated (acoustic material) control room and studio help a lot.
What's A/D?
 

jmoose

Member
Messages
4,977
What's A/D?
If you're asking that its gonna be a loooooooooooooooooooooooooong learning curve.

Technically all you need to a make a record is a mic, some tape, and MAYBE some bad reverb.

In all honesty though you need about a dozen microphones and preamps... a mile of cable, monitors & headphone mixes, some software & a halfway decent computer... plus the knowledge to run it all effectively certainly won't hurt.

I'd advice to start small. Maybe get a zoom or 4-track to make demos & work up from there... don't try and "make a record" the first time out.
 

Rex Anderson

Member
Messages
5,164
A/D = analog to digital converters. You need one channel of A/D for each channel of mic, mic pre etc.

This really is a big investment and it sounds like you don't really have a clue-no offense intended.

It's not just mics, it's also mic stands and everything else moose said (except the tape). The bad reverb comes with the DAW software. Good reverb cost more.

Read up on something simple as using GaragebBand, the most simple DAW in Macs.
 
Last edited:

whitepapagold

Member
Messages
693
To sound bad will cost a few grand from where you are starting...

Decent is out of your reach.

Though fun is not.

But Im not kidding, just to be able to do it and sound bad will cost a few grand....
 

loudboy

Member
Messages
27,312
My band has put out 2 CD's. During the recording process we all thought that it seems easy to record music.
Hey - I bought a guitar the other day. I've never played before, but you just press your fingers down on the proper frets, right? How hard can it be?

Can someone give me a run down of what we will need. Keep in mind we don't need a professional setup. We are looking for a bare bones set up that will sound decent for a bunch of middle aged amateurs that do this for fun. Thanks for the help.:bonk
If you're doing it for fun, just book some studio time and let someone who's qualified do it for you.

If you insist, besides the 4-5 year learning curve before you even make a single recording that will approach something even the most modest mid-level studio will be able to do, you'll need to invest quite a bit of money in gear.

You'll need at least an 8-channel I/O for your computer. 16 would be better.

Enough decent mics to record a whole drum set. By decent, I mean between $100-400 ea.

A software program/plugins and a computer DAW powerful enough to run it.

Good monitors - at least $1K for a pair.

A handful of other good mics for vocals/gtr recording.

Enough headphones/cabling/mic stands that you'll choke at the price.

If you shop smart, you may be able to put something usable together for maybe $6-8K.
 

bean231

Member
Messages
4
I think the first big question you need to ask is "How much am I willing to spend?"... I am pretty amateur and I only record my guitar and vocals and I’ve already put in a good $6,000 into my recording equipment… You also have to think of "How much TIME am I willing to spend?"... Recording and learning to record will take quite a bit of time away from playing your instrument... I know for me, I haven't spent nearly enough time to unleash the full potential of my recording software because my time is too valuable to tweek with the software and I would rather spend it playing my instrument.

After you decide how much you want to spend, you can setup a plan for what you are going to invest your money into. I would suggest starting at your recording device (be it PC, Mac or standalone recording device) and working your way from there to your I/O (input/output device), then to your mixer. That is going to be the main hardware, but you are also going to need microphones and studio monitors (you could probably get away with not having studio monitors for awhile, but you will want to get them once you get the cash because you can't do all the fine tune sound tweeking without them and your mixes will sound a little off). The problem is, with recording, you usually get what you pay for so expect to shell out a lot of money for microphones, good recording software, and a good computer (probably the majority of your money will go into these 3 things).

To give you an idea of a simple setup, I’ll tell you my recording gear, but like I said, I only use it for guitar and vocals. If I were going to record drums for example, I'd need different microphones:

- Macbook Pro with 8gb RAM (~$2,500)
- Logic Pro (~$400)
- Apogee Duet I/O (~$300)
- Mackie 8 channel mixer (~$300)
- Audio-Technica AT404SP Microphones (~$550)
- Mackie Studio Monitors (~$500)
- XLR cables (~$50)
- Microphone stands (~$50)
- Instrument cables (~$50)

Once you get all your equipment, you are looking at a pretty large time commitment to actually learning how to use the equipment and the recording software as well… I’ve used both PCs and Macs and I am a Mac advocate now since they are a lot more intuitive and take less time to learn in my opinion, but like I said, I am still pretty noobish to recording.

Hope that helps
 

rob2001

Member
Messages
16,927
IMO, good ears = good results. 8 years in with my humble experiment and I'm still working on that. Yet, I have no illusions of making something that sounds utterly fantastic on a production level. So I try to concentrate on the thing that matters most....the music itself.

But I think the need, or not needing great gear depends on the music. Some styles might be just great with a few 57's hung from the garage rafters, other styles need a great room, great production and modern techniques, and lots of it.
 

mixwiz

Member
Messages
2,403
It gets expensive when you try to make good quality recordings of a band while they are playing at the same time. Individual tracking can be done with much less equipment. The hang up is live drums. One solution is to pay out the dough to have the drum tracks professionally recorded and then add the other parts back at the basement/closet/garage/family room.
 

Fran Guidry

Member
Messages
442
... I only record my guitar and vocals and I’ve already put in a good $6,000 into my recording equipment… ...

To give you an idea of a simple setup, I’ll tell you my recording gear, but like I said, I only use it for guitar and vocals. If I were going to record drums for example, I'd need different microphones:

- Macbook Pro with 8gb RAM (~$2,500)
- Logic Pro (~$400)
- Apogee Duet I/O (~$300)
- Mackie 8 channel mixer (~$300)
- Audio-Technica AT404SP Microphones (~$550)
- Mackie Studio Monitors (~$500)
- XLR cables (~$50)
- Microphone stands (~$50)
- Instrument cables (~$50)

Once you get all your equipment, you are looking at a pretty large time commitment to actually learning how to use the equipment and the recording software as well… I’ve used both PCs and Macs and I am a Mac advocate now since they are a lot more intuitive and take less time to learn in my opinion, but like I said, I am still pretty noobish to recording.

Hope that helps
Let's do the PC math and make a couple of adjustments.

PC - $400
REAPER - $60
Focusrite 18i6: $300 (Need inputs for the whole band)
Use current stage mixer
Pair of AT2020 mics: $200 (plus current stage mics)
- Mackie Studio Monitors (~$500)
- XLR cables (~$50)
- Microphone stands (~$50)
- Instrument cables (~$50)

But if you really want a CD out of the deal, and you want it within a couple of years, go to a studio.

Fran
 

sunburst79

Member
Messages
1,329
GuitarCenter and I'm sure many others have compete packages that usually start around 699.00

Umm.....I probably have a thousand in cords, cables and interconnect snakes. This s just 16 inputs and brands like Whirlwind and Livewire. No Mogami or Monster cable here. I think the ~50.00 figure is ludicrous unless your doing the the one mike at a time style of recording. Just saying it can add up fast.

Same goes for building a rudimentary mic locker with a few stands. I probably have 2 grand in stands and mic's. This is just enough to mic up a full kit and the band using AT and Shure mic's with some of the better MXL mic's for vocals and acoustic guitars. Nothing exotic. I don't have a mic the cost over 400.00 -just like the cables this stuff can creep up fast.

PCs can be fine for recording. You don't need an expensive machine to track. Just stable. The 0’s and 1’s don't care if its Pro Tools HD on a Mac Pro or a PC running something like Traction, Studio one or whatever. Mixing in the box is a whole other story. The room and your mic'ing techniques is more important than the type of computer or software your using to capture the performance
 

jmoose

Member
Messages
4,977
Unless you want to start a "which 500 series preamp should I buy" thread...

Or buy from the classifieds...

Or troll.

I think they've starting to cut back on the trolling... I mean, they did ban Ethan Whiner and a handful of others recently. The remote forum hasn't gone off the rails but Steve puts TONS of time into managing it.

Home recording is great and probably about 60% of my work over the last four years was either done in clients home studios or with at least some of their gear. But even the guys with really nice home studios usually end up hiring in for at least part of the project... be it renting equipment or farming out mixing & mastering.

Easiest way to get started is with a basic field recorder like a Zoom or maybe you get something nicer and a pair of mics. Get a handle on the basic workflow and then you can build up as your needs and experience grow... add a mixer and more microphones and record live to 2-track.
 






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