Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19

Thread: Portable Recording Rig - 16 channels - What am I missing?

  1. #1
    timkroeger's Avatar
    timkroeger is offline Custom Title User
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Germany
    Age
    36
    Posts
    225
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    1197227

    Portable Recording Rig - 16 channels - What am I missing?

    Sign in to disable this ad
    Hey there,

    I'm planning to build a basement studio in the long run, but since I won't have a basement for the next 1.5 years, there's no way I will be able to track a band. There may be some mixing contests coming along here at HR but I can improve in mixing only, and still won't have any experience in tracking when I start with the basement studio. So I was thinking, I could visit bands in their rehearsal rooms where they feel at home and comfortable, do some on-the-fly / makeshift acoustic improvements, listen to a few songs, decide on how to record and track happily away.

    I have the Recording Engineer's Handbook and the Mixing Engineer's Handbook for reference (along with a few other Books like Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science, Master Handbook of Acoustics, Home Recording Studio: Build it like the Pros and the Tape Op books for the "vibe"). The ME's handbook helped me improve my mixing skills already so I guess the RE's handbook will help me get a grip on tracking, mic positioning and stuff. I read Harvey Gerst's big mic thread, and follow almost every thread that deals with some aspects of tracking and mixing here at HR. I have done some hands on tracking a few years ago with much lesser knowledge than I have now and I feel I really need to get my hands dirty now.

    Now, there's some gear I already have, and some which I plan on buying next month and I'd like to know what you think of all this and if I might be missing something (gear or possible issues or whatever).

    I'll record digitally and I planned on buying an M-Audio Profire 2626 which would allow me to record 8 channels simultaneously. I can connect my ancient M-Audio Octane 8 channel preamp via ADAT to it and then record 16 channels at 24bit/48kHz which is enough for me. I like the Delta 1010 I have for my desktop and I don't want to improve the mobile rig and go with a much pricier interface. A better interface will be on my list for my desktop DAW when the basement studio takes off. The Profire then goes via Firewire into my 13" MacBook Pro. The 2.53 GHz Core 2 Duo / 4GB RAM should be enough for Reaper, I think. Outputs go into the Behringer Headphone Amp for distribution and direct to my tracking headphones. The MacBook has a 240GB harddisk which I will save the projects to and then move them to a USB drive for safe storage and transfer to my mixing desktop at home. Of course I need mics and mic stands and cabling.

    What I Have:
    • MacBook Pro + Reaper
    • M-Audio Octane 8-channel preamp
    • Behringer Headphone Amp
    • AKG C3000 (from the 90s I think)
    • EV RE-20
    • Shure SM7B
    • Shure SM57
    • 2x Oktava MK012 (cardioid and omni capsules)


    What I (think I) need and plan on buying next month:


    The bands I'll be recording will supposedly consist of acoustic drums, vocals, acoustic and electric guitar, electric bass, maybe acoustic bass, the odd synth/keyboard. I want to keep an open mind and be prepared in case I'll need to capture some brass instruments, too. Basically I want to start out somewhat metal/rock/country focused and wander into the blues/jazz territory and anything else that may be called music in the widest sense later on. Where I live, it will be easiest to find some pop rock / alternative rock group to talk to.

    I don't have a giant portfolio or something so I guess my rates will be quite low or money-back if it doesn't work out. Maybe there is not much interest but maybe I can just get some practise out of it.

    So, what am I missing? What didn't I think of?

    Cheers
    Tim
    Last edited by timkroeger; 11-17-2010 at 11:17.
    Opening soon: unknown-artist-studio.de
    Other stuff: tubegeek.de or soundcloud

  2. #2
    timkroeger's Avatar
    timkroeger is offline Custom Title User
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Germany
    Age
    36
    Posts
    225
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    1197227
    What I'd try and use where (preference descending from left to right):

    • Vocals: Baby Bottle, SM7B, RE-20, C3000, MK012, SM57
    • BD: RE-20, D-112, t.bone BD mic
    • Snare: SM57
    • Overheads: 2x MK012 cardioid
    • Toms: t.bone cheapo clip ons, RE-20 on stand tom
    • Electric Guitars: SM7B, SM57, C3000
    • Acoustic Guitars: MK012 omni / cardioid, C3000
    • Electric Bass: Direct, RE-20
    • Acoustic Bass: Baby Bottle, MK012
    • Room sound: MK012 omni


    I plan on upgrading some mics and expanding the collection over the next 1.5 years to improve the sound (e.g. tom mics) or have different options for a specific purpose (e.g. vocals or guitars).

    • a few Sennheiser E604 for Toms
    • Sennheiser E906 for Electric Guitars / Snare
    • Blue Dragonfly for Vocals / Guitars
    • AKG C414XLII for Vocals / Guitars and whatnot


    This might seem a bit much but I see it as a long term investment into my recording hobby. Just felt that I needed to elaborate a little on what I thought I would achieve with what type of mic. I've heard different things about the C414. Some praise it, some think it's overrated. What do you think?

    Cheers
    Tim
    Opening soon: unknown-artist-studio.de
    Other stuff: tubegeek.de or soundcloud

  3. #3
    bouldersoundguy is offline Modulator
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    4,567
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
    Rep Power
    11262520
    If you're going to record bands in their rehearsal spaces you probably don't have time to track everything separately, so you'll need to record them live. The best way to do that is to let them keep their rehearsal setup unaltered rather than try to get them all monitoring through your system. To do that you'll need a mic splitter. Put the splitter between their inputs and rehearsal sound system, with the other output to your system. They do their thing as normal, you do yours without interfering with their routine. There will be bleed in all the mics, which is an educational tracking and mixing challenge.

  4. #4
    NYMorningstar is offline Recording Modus Operandi
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    3,469
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    4185781
    Quote Originally Posted by timkroeger View Post
    So, what am I missing? What didn't I think of?

    Cheers
    Tim
    This is a broad question because there are so many variables. Do the band or band have their own FOH or monitor sound techs?
    Do they have their own mixers?
    Are you going to rent them yours?

    Focus on their stage plots and what they have/need for equipment. Getting that straight is more important than recording them. Once you get it working, a stereo feed should be decent but for post processing you'll want separate tracks for each instr/voice. Ease into it and good luck.
    Busy recording...
    http://nysteacherjobs.com/

  5. #5
    timkroeger's Avatar
    timkroeger is offline Custom Title User
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Germany
    Age
    36
    Posts
    225
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    1197227
    Quote Originally Posted by bouldersoundguy View Post
    If you're going to record bands in their rehearsal spaces you probably don't have time to track everything separately, so you'll need to record them live. The best way to do that is to let them keep their rehearsal setup unaltered rather than try to get them all monitoring through your system. To do that you'll need a mic splitter. Put the splitter between their inputs and rehearsal sound system, with the other output to your system. They do their thing as normal, you do yours without interfering with their routine. There will be bleed in all the mics, which is an educational tracking and mixing challenge.
    I agree, that would be a challenge. Good advice with the mic splitter; I might be able to return the vocals at line level from the interface into their mixer but that would alter their rehearsal setup. I think it's good to have several options of how to record. That would largely depend on what the band wants and what they feel comfortable with. Solid advice not interfering with their routine. Recording sessions would be at the weekend, not just a few hours in the evening after work, so I guess there would be time to track separately. Again, that might just depend on the band's preferences, how much time they can spend and what they want to achieve. They'd need to have a good drummer for tracking everything at once. Trying to overdub drums with all the bleed from the other instruments and vocals might prove difficult.
    Opening soon: unknown-artist-studio.de
    Other stuff: tubegeek.de or soundcloud

  6. #6
    timkroeger's Avatar
    timkroeger is offline Custom Title User
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Germany
    Age
    36
    Posts
    225
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    1197227
    Quote Originally Posted by NYMorningstar View Post
    This is a broad question because there are so many variables. Do the band or band have their own FOH or monitor sound techs?
    Do they have their own mixers?
    Are you going to rent them yours?

    Focus on their stage plots and what they have/need for equipment. Getting that straight is more important than recording them. Once you get it working, a stereo feed should be decent but for post processing you'll want separate tracks for each instr/voice. Ease into it and good luck.
    Yeah, I know, definitely a broad question, so I'll try and answer yours first Own FOH or monitor sound techs? I don't think so. I'd think, if they already have their own techs, they'd more likely go to a studio with some track record (pun intended) and not go the rehearsal / mobile rig route.

    Own mixers? Possibly but I'd figure nothing fancy. We're still talking rehearsal not live gig, right? I don't think I'm the live sound guy. Live sound and recording - at least for me - don't mix well. Too much to handle simultaneously; a good live sound and good recording may not be a one man job. Also for live sound you need a lot more experience, because you can't tweak away as long as you like.

    Rent them my mixer? No, I don't have a live / monitor mixer and my inline console is not portable (don't mention the day I'll need to move...). I figure they'll need at least some rehearsal equipment for amplifying vocals and that should be it. At least that's what we had "back in the day". Whatever else there is, I just need to make it work by being spontaneous and well prepared. Hopefully I'd have checked all the important things prior to the session via phone and know what I'm getting myself into.
    Opening soon: unknown-artist-studio.de
    Other stuff: tubegeek.de or soundcloud

  7. #7
    bouldersoundguy is offline Modulator
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    4,567
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
    Rep Power
    11262520
    Quote Originally Posted by timkroeger View Post
    I agree, that would be a challenge. Good advice with the mic splitter; I might be able to return the vocals at line level from the interface into their mixer but that would alter their rehearsal setup. I think it's good to have several options of how to record. That would largely depend on what the band wants and what they feel comfortable with. Solid advice not interfering with their routine. Recording sessions would be at the weekend, not just a few hours in the evening after work, so I guess there would be time to track separately. Again, that might just depend on the band's preferences, how much time they can spend and what they want to achieve. They'd need to have a good drummer for tracking everything at once. Trying to overdub drums with all the bleed from the other instruments and vocals might prove difficult.
    Even with a whole day or two you will spend a lot of time setting up and making things work, so time will be short. One option, if they can perform without vocals, is to track just the instruments using the split, then track vocals one or several at a time using headphones. That would at least avoid bleed into vocal mics and let them do multiple vocal takes.

    If you bypassed their rehearsal sound system you could put everybody on headphones. Connect bass/guitars/keys direct just for monitoring and track only drums (and maybe bass) first, then start layering. You'd get maximum isolation but it would take a lot of time. You'd be lucky to track more than one song in a day.

    I have a live mixing/live recording setup with an Alesis HD24 racked with my live mixer. They stay wired together so I don't have to spend any time connecting them. I can roll the rack in to a venue or rehearsal space, hook it to the splitter, snake and power and it's ready to go. I just pop a drive in the recorder, create a project and song, arm tracks and hit record. Even then I'd want an hour or so to hook up, troubleshoot and set levels.

  8. #8
    moresound's Avatar
    moresound is offline Loud Sun Studios
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    New Hampshire Lat/Lng: 42.8129750,-72.0248270
    Age
    100
    Posts
    25,932
    Thanks
    41
    Thanked 40 Times in 19 Posts
    Rep Power
    21474866
    Hey Tim my suggestion to you would be to go to a few different practices with a few different bands (bring ear plugs!!!!!) and just view what is going on and how they conduct their practices (- the beer, wine and pot).
    With that knowledge you'll have a better grip as to what your up against.

    Do you have a good click to provide the drummer with in a click track?

    What I've seen for most bands that aren't fortunate enough to have a house with a basement or what have you to practice in, are forced to rent a shoe box size room to practice in ..... and I mean shoe box size!!!!

    So if you could talk them into recording separately that will be the way to go.
    Drums and bass through a DI, then guitars and keys, then acoustic, then any solos, then vocals and backing vocals.

    As far as your microphone selection that you have now looks good but I didn't see anything for the kick drum - wait I guess the re20 but then what will you have for the floor tom? Get a Sennheiser E602 or the Shure beta 52 over the AKG d112 for the kick.
    The t-bone might work, but If it was me I wouldn't. I would go for something like the Sennheiser E604s.
    And I'm not to keen on using clip-ons for recording ... you'll get a lot of transferred noise through those. great for live sound!!
    I don't think you'll need the baby bottle or the 414s. BUT if you must have the 414s I do have a factory matched pair that I don't use that often at all that we can talk about.

    Have a nice commuter ride - man three hours a day! When do you sleep?







    ♫♪♫ I have a fever and the cure is cowbell ♫♪♫ .......... *LIVE FREE OR DIE* .......... ♫ I'm all ears ♫

    ☼ Mucho Loco Henry Areebah! ☼

    Any mic you buy will be perfectly suited to your needs, until you use it long enough to learn that it's not.

  9. #9
    timkroeger's Avatar
    timkroeger is offline Custom Title User
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Germany
    Age
    36
    Posts
    225
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    1197227
    Click track should be no problem, I could even record a shaker for example and loop it to provide a more organic click track. Other than that I could use about any sound from Addictive Drums. I think I can find something for everyone's taste

    I've thought about room size and bleed, too and I definitely like the idea of Drums + Bass DI first best.

    Regarding the clip-ons, I'm not too concerned about the noise. I'll try to get most of the tom sound from the overheads anyway and if it's mandatory to use tom mics for e.g. metal and heavier rock stuff they will be heavily gated. But you're right, that might be the area where I can improve most mic-wise. I'm just settling for the t-bones first because four of those E604s would set me back another EUR 480.00 as opposed to 79.00. What do you suggest for toms?

    I've read some people prefer the Shure beta 52 above the AKG D-112 and vice versa. I figured both mics are in the same ballpark regarding price so all I can do is try one out, right? But which one to begin with? Now I'm leaning more into the Shure direction... What about the E602? How do the Shure and the Sennheiser compare?

    Well, if I don't need the Baby Bottle, what LDC would you recommend for vocals? The only LDC I have is the AKG C3000 which I'm not that fond of. I figured for 400 bucks you can't go wrong on the Bottle and have a second option for Vocals. Of course there are still the dynamic LDs I have.

    Oh, on the Baby Bottle: I'm also a sucker for design and that is such a nice looking mic. I know, I know, should be no concern but I 've tried to fight it numerous times and I never win... The Dragonfly is looking very nice, too. Ok, I need to stop now

    Cheers
    Tim
    Opening soon: unknown-artist-studio.de
    Other stuff: tubegeek.de or soundcloud

  10. #10
    moresound's Avatar
    moresound is offline Loud Sun Studios
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    New Hampshire Lat/Lng: 42.8129750,-72.0248270
    Age
    100
    Posts
    25,932
    Thanks
    41
    Thanked 40 Times in 19 Posts
    Rep Power
    21474866
    I'd go with the beta 52 first then you won't have to sell of the Akg later.
    The Shure has a nice low end but the Sennheiser seems to get the attack and the low end thump at a very reasonably factor.
    You have yet to mention any tube LDC, any reason for that on the vocals? The MXL 2003a has been getting great reviews.








    ♫♪♫ I have a fever and the cure is cowbell ♫♪♫ .......... *LIVE FREE OR DIE* .......... ♫ I'm all ears ♫

    ☼ Mucho Loco Henry Areebah! ☼

    Any mic you buy will be perfectly suited to your needs, until you use it long enough to learn that it's not.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Portable Rig
    By stevieb in forum Guitars and Basses
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-23-2008, 07:12
  2. i could use some advice/consultation on a portable recording rig
    By treymonfauntre in forum Digital Recording & Computers
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-01-2006, 12:18
  3. Need to set up a portable recording rig...
    By K9SaVeLLi in forum Recording Techniques
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-17-2005, 03:20
  4. Need to set up a portable recording rig...
    By K9SaVeLLi in forum Digital Recording & Computers
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-17-2005, 00:06

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Special 93% Offer

Got beats? Samples? Mixing and mastering services? Get a head start with this 93% OFF special offer!