Recording my rock band

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Member Since: Jul 01, 2009

Hello everyone,
I have been playing in a band with a few kids I go to school with, and needless to say we have some talent and we rehearse constantly. After playing a few small shows, the idea of recording has come up, so that we can put out a demo or something along those lines. After getting our money together, we have about 600 bucks to spend on recording equipment. I know that we will need an audio interface, mics (for the drums) and many mic cables. We will be editing and mixing using Logic Pro 8 on my new Macbook Pro, so the 600 is just for equipment. We would like to get some mics that we could use for vocals as well as using them to mic drums so that we dont have to buy different mics for each instrument. If anyone has anything to offer in the way of advice on buying certain things, or techniques at all please respond. Our budget is tight, but we're not looking for a professional studio I hope it works out.

Thanks guys,

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Typo Szar
Since: Jul 04, 2002

Jul 02, 2009 01:57 am

Is it imperative that u mic all the pieces of the drum kit? thats usually a big question i feel should be answered, coz it will really free up ur budget if u dont feel obligated to blow most of it on drum mics. And on that topic, i wouldnt go for the drum mic kits u find, their good and all but their more for live performances as most of the mics r standard mics just built in a way that is clippable to drums. Getting some SM57s will allow u way more flexibility than say getting the Shure Drum Mic kit, which will most likely have some 57s in drum mic format.

If ur not gearing for super pro or anything like that, getting some good Large Diaphgram Condensors will probably serve u best as u can mic ur drum kit as a whole with the mics just a few feet infront of them. Then u can get a bass type mic that will work for ur kick and bass guitar, and dynamics like the SM58 (which i prefer over the 57) for ur snare and guitars and even vocals. Combining the working of these 4 mics will more or less cover all the bases for recording a rock band.

Since i pretty much listed only 4 mics up there, u can look for an audio interface with 4 inputs, which will most likely not cost an arm and a leg. I think focusrite just came out with some new stuff and they have some very sweet preamps. If ur not planning on getting a mixer or anything like that, ur interface will need phantom power to power ur LDC mics and maybe some other functions to help u out, like a low cut or pad.

Since: Sep 03, 2008

Jul 18, 2009 09:58 pm

I agree with crux,can't go wrong with SM57's. Choosing an interface is one of the hardest tasks with so many choices.Ive owned at least 10 over the years. I dont like M-Audio but they have stable drivers and o.k pre's.The Echo gear is great for the $$. I currently use a Focusrite pro 40 and love it,paid less than $400 for it. Motu has good solid gear too for MAC. Ive used tons of vocal mics,each has its own "unique" sound.SM57 are an awsome all round mic and i recommend AKG mics also if you go for a condensor,best bang for the buck in my opinion. A good budget mic is the Audio technica 2020,hope this helps,good luck.

Since: May 06, 2007

Jul 25, 2009 06:56 pm

Have you though about going mic-less with triggers? I know it could cost a bit more but for a good quality demo and patience, you could go the route we did for our E.P.

I just recently left the band, but we were a 4 piece metal/hardcore/alternative metal band. We did drum triggers with toontracks Supperrior Drummer 2.0 with the EZ Drummer expansion pack "Drum kit from hell". This eleminated the headaches of buy mics to use in a not so drum friendly room.

We also used Line 6 mic pres for vocals, and line 6's gearbox software for recording guitars.

If you are interested to hear how it turned out, visit this website with a flash enabaled browser:

Just another way to go about it if your looking for solid quality.

Prince CZAR-ming
Since: Apr 08, 2004

Jul 26, 2009 11:35 am

I would look at the mics first:

600$ is a rough number for getting into recording. Even having the SW and PC already.

Trouble is, that if you're not going to be recording more than this, then it's kinda rough to drop 600$ for a momentary project. If this is true, then try and find someone that already records, and see if you can barter away their time.

If not, and you'd rather drop the coin and gear yourselves up, then here's a 4 preamp input interface:

for 350$ This will record 8 tracks at once, with Mics plugged into 4 of them. I think 2 of those inputs will be MIDI and SPDIF, so you can direct in 1 guitar and 1 bass. Plus, this will also let you plug 3 mics for drums, and 1 for vocals. If you have a guitar effects pedal that outputs SPDIF (like boss GT line) then you can plug into the SPDIF input, thereby freeing up one more line input.

Now, with that $$$ gone, you're left with not much for mics. You didn't specify if you already have a mic for vocals. I'm assuming you do, and this can be used for a drum mic, I'd think. Unless it's real nice, then you can use it for your vocal recordings.

For drums, on the cheap, I'd suggest getting 3 mics. (2) sm57s, or close equivalent, and 1 Large Diaphragm condensor, for vocals, and for drum overall. You should be able to record pretty decent with 3 drum mics, if you spend time getting the placement right. Figure one 57 for right side, one 57 for left side, and the LDC out front, kinda catching the kick and overall. I did this, and it worked out pretty well. You just have to listen with headphones, to see how the sound is coming in. Again, really spend time getting placement right, and don't be afraid to move them around all over, point funny, etc. as the room affects the sound a lot.

I know that's over the 600$ line you've placed, but if you get a sales engineer at (call them for a SE) then they'll drop off some of the $$$. For instance, when I bought my 2 guitars from them, I got a SM57 for 30$ both times. He also dropped ~30$ off from my headphone amp when I bought it too. So you don't have to pay the listed price on their websites, but you have to get a sales engineer. My SE is ted weber, who you can ask for, if you are so inclined.

When you're recording, PLAY TO A CLICK ! This is critical, as you will probably not want to keep playing the whole band over and over if one part needs to be fixed or replaced. Plus, you can add parts or back vocals later, if you have a good click layed down.

Don't be afraid also, to play one time through as a scratch track, then have everyone 'fill in' their parts one at a time later.

Also, if you guys want to record your AMP sound, then you'll have to figure out using MICs on each amp, at different times. Fer instance, recording the drums with mics, but recording the gits direct. Then, after the drums are in, put the mics on the amps, and record them over the drums parts, so you have amped signal, instead of direct. You may want to mix the two together though, a little direct and a little amp signal. Pan them around, EQ them a little different, and it may sound better than live. Nice.

Anyway, hope that helps.

* edit * oh yeah, don't be afraid to record the bass direct, as it's tough to get a good bass sound recorded, unless you have nice gear and a big room.

Prince CZAR-ming
Since: Apr 08, 2004

Jul 26, 2009 11:47 am

Oop, another thing I just saw, is there's the Samson C02 pair of Small Condenser Mics. I think Noize2U has a pair, and he thinks these are pretty nice. The pair will come in less than a pair of SM57s.

The 57s may be more useful overall, but money may be tight, so i figured I'd throw that out there.

There's also the small electret mics that have been talked about on here a while ago. I can't remember them at the moment, but I think BH and Capt Trips (and maybe Noize2U) have them, and like them. Heh, i guess I remember somewhat correctly: www.homerecordingconnecti...ory&id=1380

Here's a review done by Noize, on the Micro. Check their site for uber-cheap prices.

If you go this route (other than sm57), then it may be a little more interesting when recording the guitar cabinets, but I'm sure with dedicated time in mic placement you can find a good solution. You could also use both a LDC and a SDC for recording the mic cab, though be mindful of phase. Phase can be adjust in software later (nudging one track back or forward a few samples) but it's best to get the phase correct when setting up the recording. Google can help on getting phase set correctly.

Since: May 10, 2008

Aug 10, 2009 12:18 pm

i'm facing the same situation as you right now, mxblue10. here's how we record:

one SM57 a little bit to the right of the center of the guitar amp. about one inch away from the amp.

one SM57 right in the center of the amp, about one inch away.

one SM57 on the kick, and one SM57 used as an overhead.


as you can see we use SM57's for EVERYTHING. they are awesome mics, very versatile. they are great live too. you really can't go wrong with them. they're about $100 a piece but you can find them on eBay for about half that. we use GarageBand as the recording program. PreSonus Inspire 1394 is the preamp that we plug the mics into. connects to the computer via Firewire. very simple, easy, and not too expensive.

hope this helps, and happy recording!

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