Recording drums & band with Focusrite 18i8 & Cubase 8 Elements

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by John U, May 21, 2019.

  1. John U

    John U Member

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    11
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2019
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Hello all

    So, I've recorded my band,including a live drummer, a couple of times and I've always felt like i did things the hard way. Results weren't too sparkly either. I'd like some advice on how to do things more efficiently. Or maybe you can suggest some different approaches.

    So, as you may know, the focusrite has a bunch if inputs. Mainly, 4 XLR inputs and a bunch of other 1/4" line in inputs. 8 to 12 to be exact.

    What is the best way to start getting the drums recorded?
    (We are a basic 4 piece rock band. Drums, guitar, bass, vocals)
    1. Should i just dedicate all 4 XLR inputs to snare(close mic), kick(close mic) and two overheads recorded all in one session? What is the best way to include the tom-toms in this situation?
    2. I also have an 8 channel basic unpowered mixer. A friend said I could mice more of the drums if I used the mixer, for example, two overheads and a close mic'd hi-hat through the mixer, then run those lines into the focusrite from the mixer. Then i would still have the XLR inputs to mic the kick, snare and toms direct into the focusrite?
    3. Finally, how should i set up the recording? In my last recording session, we didn't use a click track. We mic'd up drums, using all 4 xlr inputs, and played live (i placed my guitar cabinet in another room and line-in'd that into our headphones.) Then we layered everything else after that.
    4. Would it be better to record a scratch guitar part and maybe some vocals over a click track, and then make the drummer record his part to that?

    Sorry, i know this post is messy and all over the place, just like my recordings ha! Just trying to get some better ideas from the TGP community.

    Thanks all.
     
  2. jmoose

    jmoose Member

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    Feb 15, 2008
    Location:
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    What is this? Drum week around here?! Cool!

    Believe it or not what your really asking is "how should I produce my album" and its largely a completely unanswerable question. Just too many variables and nobody knows you, your band, the internal dynamics of the group, how anyone plays, the sort of end result desired and a bunch of other things.

    Should we use a scratch track? Clicks? I dunno. Maybe you should, maybe you shouldn't! As a guy who makes records for a living I'm a big fan of getting as many people playing together at the same time as possible. Even if we know we're going to replace tracks later, figure the band rehearses & plays shows as a unit right? Why break up that chemistry.

    Without going into "work mode" and scouting your band as a potential production... well beyond the scope of a forum post all I can recommend is that whatever 'ya did last time that yielded less then satisfactory results?

    Don't do that again!
     
    Crowder likes this.
  3. John U

    John U Member

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    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2019
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Fair answer. The more I read these forums, the more I learn. The more I’ll practice, the better it will be. I’ve got some planning and ideas to get to now.

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  4. jmoose

    jmoose Member

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    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    Location:
    Earth, NYC metro
    Well I sorta answered your question with another series of questions...

    Pre production can make or brake any recording & is way, way more important then what kinda mic you stick in the kick drum or that sorta thing.

    The click question alone? Can the drummer play well to a click or would that be asking a lot? Does the music...by type/genre/final presentation require a click? All things that need to be weighed and considered.

    As a producer these are the kind of things that are super important & sorted out way before getting touching a microphone. By the time we get to the studio everyone should know what the plan is while things like how the drums are miked?!

    The latter is not going to make the difference between platinum & selling 40 copies. Plugging mics in is the easy part. Finding the best way to execute & make the most of a situation and everyone's abilities? Huge.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2019

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