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Thread: Total Newbie....Need help with Setup

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    Question Total Newbie....Need help with Setup

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    Basically. im a guitarist and i've recently formed my first band. i've been playing for a while but this is my first band. Our equipment is feeble....and attempts at recording even worse. Basically....given a budget of say......under 2000 what should i be buying assuming i have no equipment at all. i'll give you a list of all equipment whether useful or not. So far i have...my guitar. (heh heh), a 3 channel 2nd hand amp (samick, pretty shitty) which i have just blown and have to get fixed, we have 2 mics, a pc witha decent 4 channel sound card and various softare including cakewalk. So far all i've done is used one mic, shoved it in the middle of the room to capture the music, very crude i know, we only use it to get ideas down. but we wanna start recording some at least half decent demos. Any help on what equipment, techniques, or anything at all you think i should know, would be greatly appreciated. btw...in 6months i will be starting a producing course which should increase my knowledge greatly...but for now..i need help. cheers

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    there we go:

    you lucky ** that you already have that 4ch soundcard!
    You could try to fix the mixer, but with this soundcard it would be great to get yourself a 8- or 16 ch mixer with 4 groups, to which you can assign your channels to. The outputs of the groups are going to the inputs of your computer. You are now able to record 4 different channels at once.

    Now, where to record it on? I would say for a beginner Cool Edit Pro or N-track, there's enough info about these progs around here. They're very cheap and very good for what you intend to do.

    As you know the basic of a good sounding guitar is the guitar itself and the amp. So, the way to let things you mic'ed sound best, buy good mic's. The famous shure sm58 is always good and not so expensive (but definitely not too cheap!). Buy yourself 3 or 4 of such.

    Nevermind effect stuff. You can create them in Ntrack or CePro, that's really enough for now.

    About recording your band: to keep it short, simple, low-budget, etc.; place two mics above drumset, one in kick, one at the side of the snare, and spread those over two tracks. Then place mic for bass-amp, for guitar-amp, and send them to track 3 & 4. Make some test-recordings to be sure the Equalisation is nice (don't make too much changes in it - you cannot change what's going in the soundcard), record the basic tracks, and later on the vocals and solo's. Make a nice stereo mix by panning left & right, add some reverb here and there.. there you go.

    For details, me and the other people here will help you of course.

    (again; excuse me for my terrible english; i'm still dutch...)

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    What F_cksia said!

    Some other bang-for-buck ideas, not knowing what your mics are and assuming your computer is all good:

    A couple/few SM57's for snare, axe cab, other things-- $80 apiece
    2 Behringer ECM8000s for drum overheads and stereo recording effects for acoustic etc.-- $35 each
    Small Mackie board with VLZ pres-- $400 or so?? (or get a Behringer if you really want to scrape and save -- $70 and up but you get what you pay for)
    A nice LD condenser for vocals, acoustic, lots of things-- anywhere from a Studio Projects B1 ($80) to an MXL v93 ($150 w/mount) to a Studio Projects C1 ($230)....
    XLR cables, 25 feet each at least ($5-$?? depending)

    Depending on your choices, that's $500-$1000 spent right there... how big is the band? What are you trying to capture (instruments, etc.)? That would determine what mics to get. Oh, you might throw in an RNC or something for $200 in case you need to compress something before it hits the hard drive.

    Just some random newbie thoughts. Good luck!!!!

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    Thanks heaps. without sounding to stupid could you explain a bit what all those things are i need to buy. i know some but am unfamiliar with actual product names (ie.Small Mackie board with VLZ pres) but would probably know what they are/do. the band has at present, drums, vocals, one guitar, and bass. At present im tending to think i should be buying more mics.....a 8 channel mixer.....cables etc.... My guitar is a epiphone les paul style and can sound real nice with the right amp. unfortunately i haven't got a nice amp but want to buy one, any ideas on what a good, "band for bucks" amp setup would be? i've also read about the roland vg-88 guitar synth type thing....does nebody know much about these? are they worth the $2000?

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    The Mackie is a mixing board, I *think* you can get a small 8-channel with the VLZ pres (said to be better than their older ones) for about $400 or so at Guitar Center.

    ECM8000s are small-diaphragm condenser microphones. To learn all you ever would want to know about mics, do a search for the thread called "How does diaphragm size and polar pattern relate...". Good for overheads I hear. Like most condensers, they need pahntom power, but your Mackie will supply that. (So would a Behringer board, as I mentioned, and they are much cheaper, but the Mackies are said to be much better...)

    SM57's are the SHure sm57 dynamic mic. Almost everyone who records anything has at least one of these, and for damn good reason. Good for guitar cabs, snare drum, and more. OK for live vocals too (and cheaper than the SM58s!)

    "LD condensers" are large-diaphragm condenser mics (see mic thread I referenced, also known as "the big thread"). They're bigger and sometimes look like those old mics Elvis used to use, or more often like the ones the Beatles used to use. Great for vocals and other things. Prices are all over the map.

    The RNC is the REally Nice Compressor. Folks say that this $200 unit is better than anything that costs under $1000. You probably don't need to worry about compressors yet.

    Wish I could help you with the amp question. Good amps never seem to be cheap. You can get a really nice one in your price range, but that would leave no more money for mics or Mackies.
    Look around for used stuff. What kind of tone do you want? I liked running my Epi Les thru my friend's Mesa Boogie Single Rectifier, but it's not a tone for everyone. I'm really not the guy to ask for tone... I used to like my pal's BC Rich Warlock thru a solid-state Crate for a Morbid Angel rip-off tone.

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    OK, let's break it out:

    Shure SM57: Microphone used all over the music industry - used often to mic drums.

    Behringer ECM800: Another microphone used to mic drums (used often over the drum kit (overhead))

    Mackie board with VLZ pres: Mackie is a brand name that makes lots of music equipment. A Mackie board is a mixer (or a console - whatever you want to call it) and the VLZ pres are preamps integrated in the mixer. These preamps are OK. Later you might want to upgrade to separated preamps.

    A LD condenser: LD stands for 'Large Diaphragm'. A large diaphragm condenser microphone is better than a dynamic microphone. The sound it captures is clearer with more definition but it pickups all the noise you make in the room it is placed. Even the noise made by your feets when you walk on a carpet!!!

    XLR cables: Used to get the sound from the microphones to the mixed.

    RNC (Really Nice Compressor): A bang for the buck when talking about low budget compressors.

    Hope I helped a bit,
    Beathoven

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    Before you spend any $$, here's a quick question:

    When you said 4 channel sound card, what kind is it?

    There are some "4 channel" soundcards that are just regular sound cards with surround sound channels. These are very different than 4 channel recording cards (you can record 4 separate tracks at once).

    Depending on how you want to record, this might affect your purchase decision.

    ...just a thought..

    Sean

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    Ok thats heaps more helpful. i know the brands i just confused when u mentioned the VLZ pres i didn't know what that ment. one of the 2 mics we have is a shure SM58 so thats a good start. i'll look into the sm57 and check some prices see if i can get a couple of those. To answer the sound card question....after a quick think i don't think it is a true 4 channel. when we bought the pc we asked for the best soundcard he could give us for sound recording...we were given this one and otld it was a 4 channel but it doesn't seem ne different from my soundblaster input wise. i was thinking about buying a 4 track to record and then edit on pc. does this sound like a good idea? i want the best authentic sound and from what i can work out logically a 4 track should give a more authentic sound that a digital recording.

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    Somebody might disagree with me here, but I think the 4 track route is definitely not the way to go (oh, hell no).

    You're gonna spend close to the same cash for a decent 4 track as you would for a 4 channel sound card (plus, most 4 tracks only let you record 2 tracks at a time anyway). You could get a good 2 track card and be in the same boat.

    Then, if you recorded on a 4 track, you'd have to mix down to the PC - forget bringing each track into the computer separately (it'll fall out of sync in a heartbeat). So you're stuck with your 4 track's cababilities, save some possible mastering on the PC.

    You'd end up with worse quality with much, much less flexibility (IMO). I'd stick with the PC.

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    SeanMorse is totally right on this one.

    I do have a post where I laboriously described the process of mixing four-track stuff on computer. It's hell on earth due to the sync problems Sean mentioned. Read it and I'm positive you'll go out and buy a soundcard instead.

    https://homerecording.com/bbs/showth...ighlight=track


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