Author Topic: Recording/DAW advice  (Read 6205 times)

stecykmi

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Re: Recording/DAW advice
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2012, 02:01:53 AM »
I'm pretty familiar with Ableton myself, but I've never had a legit copy. *cough*piracy*cough*

If he's interested at all in producing electronic music (ie anything with samples), I think Ableton is the best way to go. You can get an MAudio Fast Track Pro or Ultra for an ADC interface, a small MIDI controller (MAudio Axiom series?) and a couple mics (probably a SM57 for the bass/snare, and a pencil condenser for the overhead), you can get a decent sound, especially with lots of post-processing or sampling. A decent pair of headphones can sort of suffice for monitors as long as the listen to the master track on at least a couple of other systems. This is assuming he has access to a decent PC or MAC.
 

raulduke

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Re: Recording/DAW advice
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2012, 03:43:19 AM »
Ableton is unbelievably powerfull for electronic music composition. I have been using it since version 3 and it has just got better and better. I'm used to it and comfortable with it so I'm not going to swap over anytime soon.

I think Reaper is quickly becoming people's choice though due to its cost, reliability and frequent updates.

Pro Tools has always been a bit of a joke IMO. They suck you in and then make you fork out the for upgrades etc. There are better bargains to be had than ProTools in the DAW world IMO.

+1 on the V-Drums. My brother has a set and loves them, and more importantly, his girlfriend also loves the peace and quiet ;)

gtr2

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Re: Recording/DAW advice
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2012, 08:09:03 AM »
+1 on the V-Drums. My brother has a set and loves them, and more importantly, his girlfriend also loves the peace and quiet ;)

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greyscales

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Re: Recording/DAW advice
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2012, 09:50:28 AM »
Drums are always the hardest instrument to record and usually the most expensive. For your budget it sounds like you might have to make a few compromises.

Personally I just use Logic Express on my Macbook Pro with a Tascam US-144 interface and a SM57. It has two mic/line inputs, which doesn't give you a lot of options for drums necessarily. But for a young person just getting into recording, you really just need to keep it simple. Getting a couple of condensors or a condensor and a SM57 would be a usable rig. As tough as drums are to record, having to mix 4-6 microphones can be too much work for someone who has no idea how to do it.

A good friend of mine that plays drums (along with a host of other things) introduced me to ProTools a few years ago. He had a pretty simple setup at first, but it yielded usable results. He got a kit of Audix budget level drum mics and ran them through a mixer into his interface. It was basically three tom/snare mics, two overheads, and a kick drum mic. I don't know how much it cost him, but that may be something to look for. It was nothing special but it got the job done.

Everyone records their own way, and there are definitely no steadfast rules. I've heard what should be a good drum track sound terrible and a cheaply recorded drum track sound pretty good. In the end, try to find an interface that let's you expand your setup later on if you want to keep going that way while in the present you provide a decent, if minimalist, rig.

jtn191

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Re: Recording/DAW advice
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2012, 11:04:16 AM »
I should add to my brief advice earlier: you'd want to get a condenser if you want more detail/less midrangy lo-fi-ness that an SM57 provides; ADK, Studio Projects, and Audio Technica are strong, good value brands. Condensers are generally preferred on acoustic guitar, piano, vocals, cymbals etc

As far as recording drums goes...a single SM57 would be fine for recording something and hearing himself back. If his recording advances, he can use it on the snare and supplement it with a kick drum mic and overheads down the road
« Last Edit: March 16, 2012, 11:12:59 AM by jtn191 »

timbo_93631

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Re: Recording/DAW advice
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2012, 11:07:46 AM »
Thanks guys, you all really have been helping me with this alot.  I have been reading and reading about this stuff.  Looking at getting (all are subject to change).

Interface:   ($300) Presonus Audiobox 44vsl

DAW:         (Free) Presonus Studio One Artist (included with Audiobox 44vsl)

Mics:         ($220) CAD Audio GXL2200SP Studio Pack (one GXL2200 condenser, one GXL 1200
                          Condenser plus stands cables and pop screen.  (most likely to change)
                 (Free) SM57 and UniDyne III that my dad has in a drawer plus cables

PC:            (Free)  Laptop from my parents for his birthday.

     That should allow him to get going, and start studying about recording techniques and methods.  I think he can expand on the quality of mics and DAW upgrades as he can afford.  He is good at saving money and has built himself a decent drum kit so I don't doubt that he'll save for some better mics and stuff.  
     I think more than he is a "drummer", or a "guitarist", or any other sort of instrument specific label he is a musician and music lover.  Recording at home is the next part of his journey as he has got listening and playing down. He has no idea that we are going to do this yet so it is pretty exciting.  Thanks again for any additional input on what I have listed above.
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jtn191

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Re: Recording/DAW advice
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2012, 11:27:45 AM »
instead of the CAD package, I'd recommend this similar one by Audio Technica http://www.amazon.com/Technica-AT2041-Studio-Microphone-Package/dp/B000AQDSMQ/ref=sr_1_3?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1331918922&sr=1-3
I bought mine from a store on ebay which threw in some mic cables too

I used only those mics on this recording: http://www.filefreak.com/files/874516_k0dwo/Diamonds1.mp3

2021 near the 12th fret, 2020 added as a spaced pair. 2020 on vocals.
I'm at a point now where I'd like to get something a little nicer, but I could see myself using these later
« Last Edit: March 16, 2012, 11:35:48 AM by jtn191 »

jkokura

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Re: Recording/DAW advice
« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2012, 11:57:22 AM »
Timbo! Great progress. I like that plan. That frees him to add/upgrade mics as you move forward. Really, until you're putting out full fledged production quality CD's that about all you'll really need, a few mics and 4 inputs into your computer.

About the CAD vs AT mics... really you're asking the question of green vs red apples. Is one better? Not likely. They both cover the same ground, and they're both low end mics from companies that supply a wide range from low to mid quality. It's more important to learn to use them as best you can.

I wills say that based on my experience with Audio Technica mics, I would happily use them again. I used the 40 series primarily though, so that's different I guess. I do think sometimes about upgrading my LDC to the AT4050...

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dwstanford

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Re: Recording/DAW advice
« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2012, 10:41:18 PM »
That sounds like a pretty kick ass first rig if you ask me.  He'll be able to crank out some pretty decent recordings right off the bat. 

There are some great resources on youtube, etc on recording techniques.

I like to listen to podcasts on my way to work like:
Sound On Sound Podcast
Pensado's Place (also has a you tube channel)
Inside Home Recording
Home Recording Show
Simply Recording Podcast

Also, Tape Op magazine is a good resource (and it's free)


He'll learn the most by doing things himself, but these resources give some great tips on how to make your recordings more profesional without spending alot of money on unnecessary stuff.

jtn191

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Re: Recording/DAW advice
« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2012, 11:14:11 PM »

About the CAD vs AT mics... really you're asking the question of green vs red apples. Is one better? Not likely.

except not really. look at the hyped high end frequency response on the CAD--(typical of cheap chinese mics) and extended low end of the AT





...+1 on Sound on Sound and Tape Op

jkokura

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Re: Recording/DAW advice
« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2012, 12:02:45 AM »
Fair enough Jeff. However, my comment wasn't about their differences, but rather that one is not better than the other. All you've proved is that those mics are different, not that one is better than the other. Cost and features put them in the same quality range. As mentioned, I'd pick the AT mics myself, but if a good deal can be found on the CAD mics with some stands and cables, that's worth looking at.

Truthfully, at that price range there are DOZENS of mics to be chosen from. If I were looking at CAD mics myself I'd likely get another M179, as I've had one in the past and found it to be quite a good mic. Used, it would be a better mic for the same money as either a new GXL2200 or AT2020.

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raulduke

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Re: Recording/DAW advice
« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2012, 05:58:07 AM »
The AT2020 is a killer budget mike. Its really really good value.

However, it wouldn't surprise me if all the mic's in the low price range are made in the same factory in China.

SE mic's are also well worth looking at; they punch well above their weight.

As for recording drums; I just read a thread on GearSlutz about the Black Keys 'Brothers' album. Most of the drums on that album were recorded with two mics!

The album was also mixed totally in the box, which surprised me as its one of the most 'analogue' sounding records I've heard in years.

dwstanford

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Re: Recording/DAW advice
« Reply #27 on: March 17, 2012, 09:48:20 AM »
Yeah, you're not gonna get a dynamite  condenser in that price range, but either will get the job done.  You can occasionally find a rode nt5 pair for 250 on eBay.  That's a steal for those mics.  Also look for shure ksm32's used for around the same price (single).  I would get him the cheaper ones now and he can save up for the better stuff.  He'll be able to learn the difference between dynamic and condenser and what sounds best with what, and that's more important than how great the mic represents the highs, etc.