not sure where to start

All about drum recording technique, mics, software etc...

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not sure where to start

Postby Miketh » Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:53 pm

I want to do some home recording but I'm really not sure where to even begin.

The tough thing is that I got accepted into a great band with a guy who can home record guitars, bass, and vocals and I mean really get near production quality if not production quality sound out of it. Better than any of the local studios. Problem is he doesn't know a lick about recording drums and neither do I.

So I don't want something that's going to pale in comparison to his guitar / vocal sound. I've recorded with a couple of local studios in the past and always left dissatisfied with the sound.

I guess I thought the first step would be to decide whether to invest in mics and mixers and try recording my acoustic set, or invest in an electronic kit and just rely on engineered sounds. I'd prefer acoustic; just hate electronic kits for some reason. But it seems much more nuanced.

Is there an online resource for learning how to record acoustic drums? Like a recording bible or something?

Also, where should I start my research into different products? Of course I want the impossible and get a crisp, big sound out of my drums without spending an arm and a leg.
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not sure where to start

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Re: not sure where to start

Postby Alan_ » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:06 pm

for starters: what kind of rig is he using to record the other instruments?

honestly, you can probably get the equipment to record an acoustic set for the same or less than you would spend on an electronic one.
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Re: not sure where to start

Postby Miketh » Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:50 pm

Honestly I'm not sure what he has to do his guitars and vocals. I haven't been to his house. All I know is that he has a PC with some mixing software on it (very detailed info, I know).

He's not much help, because he's always either worked with electronic kits, or drum machines. I'm an acoustic man.

I didn't think about the cost comparison between an e-kit and mics, good point.

One of the things I found on this forum that was helpful was the tuning bible; is there a comparable resource for recording?

And one thing that caught my band mate's eye was a set of mics by CAD for dirt cheap on Musician's Friend. Is that a decent brand? Or are they cheap for a reason?

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/na ... 9+201171+8
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Re: not sure where to start

Postby Alan_ » Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:03 pm

first thing, for your computer you need a sound card/audio interface that has multiple ins/outs. if this sound card doesn't have mic pre-amps, you'll need to run the mic's through a mixer first, one that either has direct outs for each channel or enough sends to send each channel to the computer independently of the others.
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Re: not sure where to start

Postby Miketh » Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:10 pm

For now I don't plan on having "entirely" my own setup. I won't be able to afford a recording PC in the foreseeable future, especially if I spend a bunch of money on mics and mixers.

I guess I'm thinking about initially just having the mics and mixers and using his comp, which he's agreed to.

Hilarious sig btw!
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Re: not sure where to start

Postby Alan_ » Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:23 pm

thing is, how many channels in does his audio interface have?
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Re: not sure where to start

Postby Empyrean Drums » Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:30 am

The simplicity of electronics is great for live settings, but when recording something is lost. I'd go with the mics and mixers, the quality and versatility are only at the expense of patience. If you put in the time you’ll get results no matter what medium you choose to record and mix down on, even cassette. Mics and mixers also have an additional purpose when you add a PA. You can use the same rig and start pre-micing your kit for live shows so you can avoid the single-overhead mic set-up at your next show
If you want to record purely digital you might as well use a drum machine
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Re: not sure where to start

Postby SGarrett » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:00 am

^^^I disagree with some of that statement. I'm purely digital, as are a great number of professional studios, and I've never had a complaint about my drums sounding like the programmed drums I'm replacing.
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Re: not sure where to start

Postby Alan_ » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:33 am

the real issue is the quality of the mic preamps, cabling, and mics, no matter whether you're using something like a presonus firestudio (which already has mic preamps onboard), or a setup like a mixer with enough sends and preamps into an m-audio delta 1010.

I don't do any mixing outside the computer anymore. I still will occasionally run a signal out through some analog gear to color the sound (we have a couple of nice tube preamps, a couple of old urei compressors, an old plate reverb) and I sometimes master to tape, though.
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Re: not sure where to start

Postby Empyrean Drums » Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:20 pm

SGarrett wrote:^^^I disagree with some of that statement. I'm purely digital, as are a great number of professional studios, and I've never had a complaint about my drums sounding like the programmed drums I'm replacing.


Let me clarify-I wasn't trying to imply that recording digitaly is wrong, just keep the option of programming drums for quick demos and pre-production as a cheap alternative to investing in something like a set of V-drums.
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Re: not sure where to start

Postby Steaky » Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:27 pm

Empyrean Drums wrote:
SGarrett wrote:^^^I disagree with some of that statement. I'm purely digital, as are a great number of professional studios, and I've never had a complaint about my drums sounding like the programmed drums I'm replacing.


Let me clarify-I wasn't trying to imply that recording digitaly is wrong, just keep the option of programming drums for quick demos and pre-production as a cheap alternative to investing in something like a set of V-drums.


In a word BFD.

V-drums are great for demoing with particularly if noise is an issue with neighbors and you can trigger any sound you want with them beyond the onboard sounds. But mic'ing kit's can be as simple as 3 good mic's and a bit of trial and error. I have recorded on a released album in the past in front of the fireplace in a small 1 bedroomed flat(apartment) using just kik snare hat mic's and an overhead. There are loads of sites on the www with info to get you going on this.
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Re: not sure where to start

Postby Miketh » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:32 am

[quote="Steaky"][quote="Empyrean Drums"][quote="SGarrett"]^^^I disagree with some of that statement. I'm purely digital, as are a great number of professional studios, and I've never had a complaint about my drums sounding like the programmed drums I'm replacing.[/quote]

Let me clarify-I wasn't trying to imply that recording digitaly is wrong, just keep the option of programming drums for quick demos and pre-production as a cheap alternative to investing in something like a set of V-drums.[/quote]

In a word BFD.

V-drums are great for demoing with particularly if noise is an issue with neighbors and you can trigger any sound you want with them beyond the onboard sounds. But mic'ing kit's can be as simple as 3 good mic's and a bit of trial and error. I have recorded on a released album in the past in front of the fireplace in a small 1 bedroomed flat(apartment) using just kik snare hat mic's and an overhead. There are loads of sites on the www with info to get you going on this.[/quote]

[i]There are loads of sites on the www with info to get you going on this.[/i]

Are there any you would recommend to an absolute beginner?
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