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Thread: Complete beginner wanting to record!

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    Complete beginner wanting to record!

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    Hello, I am completely new to recording music myself so I am in need of a lot of help!

    I am looking at recording my band in a live situtation with us all playing at once, then overdubbing vocals and a few extra guitar noises, sounds and the like. The band consists of drums, two guitars and bass.

    Basically, what do I need to do this? Cheaply, but effectively. Ideally I would like to record onto my macbook pro into logic, or onto a separate digital device to import them into my macbook pro for tweaking.

    I have a macbook pro and a m audio m track plus that I have been using to record rough ideas, but I obviously cannot use this to mic up a whole band!

    Any help is appreciated, and if this is posted in the wrong place then please direct me to the correct location.

    Thanks in advance,
    Space.

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    To begin with, you will need an interface with enough inputs to cover voices and instruments at one time......
    Bob G.

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    **Edit - sorry, just seen you have 2 Guitars, so the 4 channel input below wouldn't work so great for you. I would suggest the 6 Channel inputs at the bottom - using the Steinberg**

    At the very least you'll need 4 individual inputs....something like the Akai EIE LE Akai EIE - Thomann UK would connect via USB to your MacBook the same way as the M Audio interface and allow you to record the Guitar, Bass, and 2 Overhead mics that can be set up in the Glyn Johns method to record the Drums. That's the very least if you wanted to record all at once.

    Another option is to use your M Audio M Track Plus and record the drums first, with just 2 Overheads, and then overdub the Guitars and Bass afterwards.

    The other option would be for something with 6 inputs which would allow you to record the Guitars, Bass and Drums with 2 Overheads, and close mic'ing the Kick and Snare. Something like this Steinberg interface - Steinberg UR44 - Thomann UK would work for this.

    Obviously I don't know what your budget is etc, so these are just options

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    Tascam 1800, lots of bang for the buck (or pound or Euro, or ...). Really nice unit, inexpensive, good drivers (at least on MS OSes) 8 mic (with phantom), and 6 line. Just a really nice unit for the money.

    I am not saying there are not other equally good or better interfaces. But from what I have read and my own experience (recording a whole band), I have been very pleased with this unit. I use it mainly as a mobile recording unit.
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    Thanks for all your help!

    By the sounds of it I am going to need an interface (like my M-Audio box) that has enough inputs for the amount of microphones that I will be using to record the full band. So 6 inputs seems to be the minimum that I could get away with but 8 would be nice to have more mics for the drums. Am I correct in thinking this?

    Also, will all of the separate inputs be recorded onto separate tracks into logic? They won't be grouped together once recorded will they?

    I really appreciate all of the help that you guys are giving me!

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    Personally, I would have 1 for each Guitar, 1 for the Bass, and have 2 Overheads, 1 on the Snare, 1 on the Kick and either the Hi Hat or Floor Tom as close mics, depending on the type of playing, which would need 8 inputs. That would give you a good range of the Drums.

    Depending on your DAW, if it is capable of recording multiple channels, then yes, these would be recorded as individual mono tracks. I know some DAWS such as Logic Express limit the amount of simultaneous recording channels, so it depends on what you use.

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    I'm with Dave on the 1800. Using one now. What he said, plus 2u rackmount so it can be mounted in with the rest of your gear, plus headphone out for monitoring what you're getting live. 8 mics gives you 2-3 for vocals and 5-6 for drums plus 6 line ins (2 of which can be selected as instrument in) gives you plenty of flex for guitars/bass/keys. And again as Dave said, it's reasonably priced.

    You can keep your M-Audio at home for overdubs and leave the Tascam in the road gear for live recording. Nice setup.
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    Next thing you have to look at is drum mikes if you haven't already got them. Then cabling from your pa to your interface (use the channel inserts on the mixer). Shouldn't run more than $700-800 total if you get a reasonably priced mike pack + US 1800 + cables. Also, consider miking the guitars (bass is easy to di well you just need a di box). Find a good system of miking the cabinets to get the sound you want. A pair of SM57s and some stands will add another $250 to the mix, but will be worth their weight in gold if you set them up proper.
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    I am using an Audix mic set for the drums, run the toms to 1/4 (dynamic mics 12-14), Kick and snare to 9-10 for gain control, 7-8 for over heads (condenser) 1-6 for vocals and guitars. All feeds are direct to the interface.

    Other than the overheads for the drums, all mics are dynamic, either direct cab micing, or split the vocals before the PA and run into the interface. That way, I don't worry about the PA mix.

    First run, no noise to either the interface or to the PA. No gain issues that I could tell either. However, if the vocals condensers, you will have to use a something like this: ART S8-3WAY Which is probably good to have around anyway. But for the dynamic vocal mics, I just used a simple splitter.
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    If cash is a primary concern, you could also buy/borrow a mixer with enough channels to mic up everything and run that to your existing interface. You would however lose your ability to mix individual tracks/instruments as the output of most inexpensive analog mixers will of course be in stereo. If you spend some time setting up your mics and a little EQing you could probably get a decent recording. Then overdub to your hearts content. Another way would be to get a gig somewhere that already has a sound system and bring your pc/interface and just line out of thier mixer, take your time setting everything up and cross your fingers for a decent live recording.

    "overdubbing", This is basically tracking, which is how your going to get the best recording with your existing interface. Set up a couple of mics in the room. Do a few short warm up takes to get the levels decent. Have the whole band play the songs togather. Record these tracks individually. These tracks are now your "scratch tracks". Now , starting with drums, you can track everything individually using the scratch tracks as the reference the players will be playing along to in thier closed back headphone monitors. Now you have clean individual tracks of each instrument to mix/EQ and you can drop the scratch track. This method could be even better/easier if everyone had a click track to play to in the beginning and you had more than 2 inputs for drums, but it would be the cheapest/best way using your existing equipment. Maybe someone else will toss out some ideas for you on that,. For Example: (2 tracks are drum overheads in one take, and then have bass(direct in) and drums(kick drum mic) as another 2 track take)? Or using a small 4 channel mixer to sub the drums down to a stereo track,.

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