My first real 'clients' in my project studio... advice?

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Member Since: May 06, 2007

Hello all. I'm back for more guidance from the fine folk that know a lot more then me!

Noise2U knows me pretty well, as he guided me through my last major project for my band I was in. I added a few pieces to my setup since then, but I am mostly week in the mastering/eq department. My mixes are not terrible, but there is of course room to grow.

Any Flash enabled browser can play tracks I did early this year for the last band I was in. They are at We did everything on those recordings in my project studio, and the setup for this project is very identical.

Now, for this project, I have real paying 'clients' if you will, looking to start recording with me tomorrow. We setup the drum kit today, and I am looking for any help along the way, as I am really going for a better final then my last project I did for my own band. Not that I wasn't happy with it, but I know I can get better. And I would like future paying clients of course, and I want them to feel like they are getting their moneys worth, even though I charged extremely cheap.

So, here is my setup:

-All PC based recording. Sony Acid Pro 7 for my DAW.
Line 6 UX2 for tracking guitars, vocals, and Bass (I also have an SM57 to mic a cab if the group decides to try that; but they are pretty happy thus far with the Line 6 tones we worked on).

-I am triggering the drum kit. Half of it with acoustic drums with Roland V Drum acoustic triggers, and for cymbals and extra needed triggering, I have pads from a Yamaha DTXplorer I am using (works great for Chinas, rides, hats, ect).

These triggers are plugged into an Alesis DM5 module; witch is connecting to my PC via an M-Audio USB 1 in and 1 out midi interface. I am using a mix of ToonTrack’s Superior Drummer 2.0 with the EZ Drummer drum kit from hell expansion.

For vocals I am using a MXL V63M Studio Condenser Microphone, but I also have a Shure Beta 58A and a Shure beta 87a.

These guys play the newer style of Hardcore. One of the bands they have mentioned to look up to and follow sound wise is a group called “Devil Wares Prada”. Not my cup of tea always, but I am a metal head, so I know somewhat of where they are wanting to go with it.

They have a singer, 2 guitar players, a bass player, drummer, and a keyboard/synth/sample guy. We are going to start building click tracks and hopefully tracking tomorrow.

One of their requests is for a cymbal I do not have in SD 2.0 or in Drum kit from hell. Its this odd bell cymbal. Smaller then a splash. They use quite a bit I guess, and would really like it in the recording. So I figured they could track it separate and we can add it to the drum mix. My only question is, out of the mics I have, what one would work the best? And is it possible to add it after all the other drums are tracked and make it sound natural? As the project progresses, I’ll be posting here for more help. So please, by all means, hit me up with any guidelines.

Thanks in advance!

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Kaos is only a form of insanity
Since: Feb 03, 2005

Aug 09, 2009 10:36 pm

The cymbal refered to is basically a heavier duty bell that is part of the ride cymbal. I would think that in SD2 or Drumkit from hell you would have the option of playing a bell sound from the ride cymbal as oposed to the outer of the ride, if you can then look to use one from a heavy type ride cymbal in the program.

If not then the MXL would probably be best suited to get the full range of sound, and as you will only be recording that one cymbal you could mic it relatively close to keep room noise out of the mic as much as possible. It will then just be a case of making the balance right in the mix and using the right reverb on the overal drum sound.
Since: Nov 11, 2007

Aug 10, 2009 04:30 pm

Way to make use of what you've got...the light the shadow stuff is mixed really well.

Since: May 06, 2007

Aug 11, 2009 03:52 pm

Koas62, thanks fot the reply. The drummer wasn't thrilled about the sounds on the SD setup, so we'll have to mix his real one like you said.

The only issue really is, they are younger kids and my partner and I started setting up click tracks and noticed very quickly, that they were not ready for clicks. They have not really used anything like them before, so we just had the drummer count off on his hi hat where needed and had one guitar player play a scratch track with him. It worked well, but they are going to loose the tight sound they could of had with a click.

Quincysan, thanks for the comps on the last mix. I know there is a lot I could of done different, and I am hoping to grow with this next project.

My next task is the bass tracks. The bass player doesn't have a real amp setup he can use, so we are going to end up using the Lin6 UX2 for his tracks. My issue is, I am very in-expirienced with low end tones. Especialy bass tones. Noise2U took our bass tracks and re-touched them up, as the regular tone we had needed a face lift.

I am not sure what to do about the bass tone. They play a lot of newer heavy/hardcore stuff, so a punchy bass is what they are gonna want to go with.

Any suggestions??

Thanks for the replies thus far.

Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Aug 11, 2009 09:29 pm

Rockwood, have you checked the bell sounds in the DM5 itself???????????

I don't recall right off but I thought it has one. If I get some time tomorrow I'll run through the samples on mine and see if there is a good one. I know the sound you are are talking about and it is basically as kaos stated. The bell sound from a newer heavy ride cymbal. I might actually have a sample of one as well. But I'll have tio take a bit to find that one.

Since: May 06, 2007

Aug 12, 2009 03:47 am

Thanks Noise. I thought about looking through the DM5, but thought to save time I'd just record thier exact cymbol. But I'll try it. Got plenty of time before the final mix anyways.

What about a bass tone? I am not sure if you remember, but in the LTS project I had a pretty flat tone. I'm gonna need something more punchy to track with this time. As I stated above, I am not very good with the low end tones yet,

Czar of Turd Polish
Since: Jun 20, 2006

Aug 12, 2009 12:31 pm

For Line6 I personally like the Tom Sawyer (little gain) and the Silverface presets. I tweak them of course but I like them as starters.

For hardcore, the kick is usually punchy instead of boomy and there is tons of click so I let the bass occupy the real low (Korn style) ~55hz and make sure there is plenty of string noise.

Since: May 06, 2007

Aug 12, 2009 09:43 pm

Thanks Tripps. The kick drum is pretty bitchen right now. And I beefed up the lower toms a tad.

I just went with a basic tone and hope it doesn't pull down the quality much. I didn't get your post in time, so I didn't get to try your suggestions. These kids are a little loose on things anyways, especialy the bass player. And not going with a click isn't helping much. The drummer is young, and couldn't follow the click at all, so we had to go without and just have him count things off with the hats.

And thier gear isn't the greatest. So I am trying to get the best out of what I got to work with.

Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Aug 14, 2009 02:50 pm

Rockwood, just let me know if ya need a tweak on it and I'll be there for ya.

Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Aug 14, 2009 03:57 pm

Hey as well, are you using the UX-2 to record the bass direct? If you are maybe I can try and tweak the tone here for you as well. Just a thought. Either way works for me.

Since: May 06, 2007

Aug 15, 2009 08:14 pm

Thanks as always Noise. I already got the bass tracks tracked. Couldn't really waist anytime.

This one has been a rough project. These are young kids, and its been a tongue biting exprieince at times.

I'll have to send you the bass tracks, and attatched to the e-mail will be my apologies. When you read it, you'll know why hahaha.

I'll get them for you soon. I wanna get some of the other tracking doen first. Thanks again man.

Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Aug 17, 2009 09:05 pm

Sweet, I'll try and keep some time reserved for them.

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