The basic tools for the job

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by dehughes, Jan 13, 2005.


  1. dehughes

    dehughes Member

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    Hello all,

    I'm just entering the world of recording (home, exclusively, and quite amateur), and am looking for some advice on the basic tools required for this. Here is what I currently have to work with:

    - Home built PC with 512 RAM, 2800+ AMD, etc...etc...
    - Tascam US-122
    - Kristal audio program (http://www.kreatives.org/kristal/index.php?section=news)
    - Rode NT3
    - SM57
    - Sennheiser e609
    - AKG C535EB
    - CAD 95
    - Audix OM-6

    ...and that's it. My goal is to be able to record "respectable" demo quality material, and take it from there. I need just as much help with the mechanics of recording as I do the materials, so I figured I'd seek your help.

    What basic pieces am I missing (LD condenser, better software, different mics?)

    Also, what are good online resources for recording methods, etc?

    Thanks so much,


    david
     
  2. loudboy

    loudboy Supporting Member

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    What type of music?

    Is it a full band, w/live drums?

    To record a good demo of a band, you need:

    Storage Medium (HD, tape, etc.) and software, if HD based.

    Enough mics: Typical would be a handfull of SM57s, a dedicated kick drum mic, a pair of small diaphragm condensers, a large diaphragm condenser. This could cost around $500, or $10,000, depending on what you bought. If you added a pair of SDCs and a kick mic, you'd be all set.

    Mic Pres: This can be as simple as a Behringer mixer, or as complex as high-end, discrete pres that are tailored for specific uses. Price can go from almost free, to tens of thousands of $.

    Compressor: The FMR Audio RNC is probably the best buy in audio today.

    Accurate Monitors: Essential for making a good recording.

    You're off to a good start, everything you've listed is OK.

    Loudboy
     
  3. Kiwi

    Kiwi Silver Supporting Member

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    Loudboy does it for a living, so hear the man.

    As for the learning curve: I'd suggest a visit to http://homerecording.com - a pretty good place for both newbies and those with a few records under their belts.

    Kiwi
     
  4. tedm

    tedm Gold Supporting Member

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    you'll probably need/want a little 6 or 8 channel mixer, pref. with some good mic pre's for a couple or few channels, aux send/returns, and with phantom power.

    Also, the RNC compressor recommendation is a great thing to have to start out with.

    check out tapeop.com message boards as well as homerecording.com
     
  5. dehughes

    dehughes Member

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    Many thanks. I'll check out the sites you mentioned.

    The "accurate monitor" thing is what strikes me as important at the moment, as I'm using my Aiwa home stereo system as a monitor setup. Granted, it is a nice (relatively so) system, but I'm sure it is less than accurate... :D

    As for the type of music, well, it is for now, and into the future, just me (vocals) and my guitar (acoustic and electric), so I'd wager that reduces the tools needed to do things well, and perhaps the $$$ requried. Like I said, I realize that in recording, as with playing an instrument, the tools of the job are only as good as the person using them, so I figure the curve starts for me with the mechanics and practices of recording.

    That said, I've been checking out the RNC, etc.., and maybe a M-Audio mic pre...I've got this feeling that the US-122 doesn't have very good preamps. Maybe I'm wrong, or just incompetent. Also, I'm checking into a Studio Projects B-1 as an inexpensive LD condenser (recommendations welcome).

    Thanks a ton,


    david
     
  6. tedm

    tedm Gold Supporting Member

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    i've heard mixed things on the us-122, in any case, it's limited to a couple of 24/48 channels on a rather slow USB bus, so if your pc has a faster USB 2 or firewire IEEE1394 port, you may want to look at these devices.

    A great LDM for a budget price is the MXL 990, about $59 with shock mount and case when on sale at Musicians Friend or GC.
     
  7. dehughes

    dehughes Member

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    Very nice. I'll look into that mic...primarily I'm looking for a LDM that works for vocals, and a second LDM for acousitic guitar. One that would do both well is also nice. :)

    As for interfaces other than the US-122 (which is working *okay* at this point), what would you recommend? I have both USB 2.0 (off the motherboard) and a Firewire connection (on the soundcard).

    Thanks,


    david
     
  8. tedm

    tedm Gold Supporting Member

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    Hi David,
    Since getting my PCI based EMU card, I haven't been keeping up on the latest in soundcards. Check with Sweetwater, the recording forums, and upcoming Winter NAMM announcements.

    Also, make sure the HW you get will work with the SW you plan to use.

    If the US-122 is working well for you, I'd keep using it. It's when you need more channels or higher sample res (96khz/192khz) when you'll need another interface.

     
  9. dehughes

    dehughes Member

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    Alright, I picked up a MXL V67G (thanks Loudboy, I love it so far!) and have an Oktava MC-012 on the way, so now I have one LD and one SD condenser. I've been using Cubase LE so far with good results, but am going to look into Samplitude too. The US-122 is going to be replaced with a Delta 66 and a DMP-3 preamp.

    Any crucial things that I'm missing for singer/songwriter home recording? Any other flavors of LD mics that you'd recommend?


    david
     
  10. Greggy

    Greggy Member

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    Not sure if you need drums. A good drum machine would help (Boss DR770 is decent). If you run the analog outs into a good A/D converter and eq it carefully, you can get realistic drums. Sometimes a compressor before the converter helps, but this is not always needed with drum machine samples, depends. Also, on my DAW I insert mastering software into the input mixer when tracking off the drum machine, cleans up a lot of the mud, adds clarity, etc.
     
  11. dehughes

    dehughes Member

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    Hey Greggy, thanks, but I don't want to go with drums just yet. I'm in over my head as is... :) I'm just thinking of alternative mic colors/voices to compliment what I have. Some have said that the V67G is a dark mic, but if it is, I sure like it a lot. Perhaps different LD condenser to compilment the V67, and ...... ?


    david
     
  12. Mayor McCheese

    Mayor McCheese Member

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    That V67G is a great mic, ain't it? Loudboy recommended that one to me a couple of years ago and I haven't regretted picking that one up.

    I think as far as mics go you're covered.
     

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