Topic: Recording module question  (Read 805 times)

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Offline Matthew Warwick

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Recording module question
« on: April 07, 2012, 02:09 PM »
For the past couple of days I've been recording some drum tracks to click at my church. Some sounded good, some okay, some not so good. I've been practicing to click on my practice pad off and on for a few months, but I've found it's quite a bit different from playing to it on the drumset itself.

I've decided to try and invest in a pair of overhead mics, a recording module, and recording software. I have some specifications, though, and I was wondering what I should look for if I want these things.

For one, I want the ability to plug the overhead microphones as well as my metronome into the module and then be able to hear both of them through headphones while I play (as well as record what I'm hearing so I can hear it back).

Also, does the recording module have to have EQ bands on it if I want to EQ my recordings, or do I just need to get recording software with EQ to do that? EQing is something I enjoy, so it'd be cool to be able to do that.

Obviously, I'll need some cables too. Besides the 2 or 3 XLR cables for the mics, what else will I need, particularly for connecting my metronome (it's a Dr. Beat digital metronome) to the module so I can play it through my headphones and record it?

I know a fair amount about microphones, but I'd like to know what I need in the rest of the equipment and what features to look for. I'm just going to get two overheads, and I already have a good enough bass drum mic in case that doesn't come through clearly enough. Of course, I'd like to have a few channels on it so that when I get more mics in the future, I can potentially mic the snare and maybe other individual drums.

Offline Bart Elliott

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Re: Recording module question
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2012, 10:45 PM »
We've actually talked a lot about this type of thing before, so I would definitely do some searching on the forum for past responses.

I don't have the time to answer with all the specific gear possibilities (ie. brand, model); you'll have to do the research to see what's out there now and that fits your budget.

To go with something that will give you a lot of versatility, you'll want to go with a condenser mics for the overheads and XLR cables. Mixer wise, you can go with something like the Alesis Multimix 8 USB 2.0 FX 8-Channel Mixer with FX and 24-bit recording ($300), running it to your computer and using the music editing software of your choice ... or ... purchase a DIGI 003 Workstation ($2,000) which comes with Pro Tools LE, and run that to your computer.

Mic-pres in either of these units will work, however you do get what you pay for; the DIGI 003 has far better mic-pres.

Plug your metronome into the mixer using whatever cables you want, depending on the output of your metronome. Both of the mixers I mentioned can receive 1/4" or RCA inputs for the mixer. You can also generate the metronome for your DAW software.

Typically, if you are going to be doing any EQ cutting or boosting, you want to do that in post-production if possible. You want a good, clean, raw audio track for each instrument, messing with the EQ only when necessary based on what you need when adding all the voices together. If you EQ your inputs and track that, then you are stuck with that ... and still may need to EQ even more which reduces the overall quality of the final product. With proper tuning of the drums, good mic placement, quality mic-pres, and an appropriate tracking room, you shouldn't need to do a lot of EQing ... in most cases. Try to get great raw audio recorded.

Read some reviews on the gear you are considering. Be watchful of issues with latency which will be a problem if you are tracking while monitoring yourself through the computer. If you only use the computer to record, you can always monitor your drums and metronome from the mixer.


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