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LOUNGE => General Board => Topic started by: Funkadrummer on April 21, 2004, 07:15 AM

Title: Recording
Post by: Funkadrummer on April 21, 2004, 07:15 AM
Well my band will soon be looking to record, maybe by the end of the summer and I don't know what to look for in a recording studio. I am not sure what our budget is but I wouldnt say more than $1300. Can you guys help me?

Thanks
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: Gretschn on April 21, 2004, 07:24 AM
Drums are the most difficult and crucial part of the recording. When you are recording you want to make sure that the studio has a good room sound. I like an open woody room. Nothing with carpet and foam all over the place. Also mics would be another important part of the recording process. You want to make sure you have a variety of mics to use to experiment with different sounds. I notice when I record with a crafty engineer he puts mics all around the drum kit and all around the room to acheive different sounds. Good luck to you.
Title: Recording
Post by: Jon E on April 21, 2004, 07:56 AM
The two biggest pieces of advise I always give are:

1) Have your gear in good shape--relatively new heads, tuned well, no squeeks from pedals, etc.

2)  DON'T REHEARSE IN THE STUDIO!!  Have your songs well rehearsed BEFORE you get there.


Mime in money!! ;)

Title: Recording
Post by: Chris Whitten on April 21, 2004, 08:38 AM
As you specifically asked about what to look for in a studio I'd back up Gretschn's comments.
Make sure the room is good for recording drums in. It may not be just down to materials in the room (wood etc). I'd ask to hear some live drums that have been recorded in the room on past sessions.
A decent mic cabinet and decent desk etc...would be a plus.
Does the engineer sound like they know what they're doing? Are they experienced and/or pleasant to work with?
Those are good starting points.
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: ocdp on April 21, 2004, 09:13 AM
yeah the size of the room is important too, you dont want to record in a room with a bunch of echo , well unless you want that on a song.
and like john said....be ready to get in there and record..dont waiste your money and time screwing around with changing parts of the songs. good luck!
(are you looking for a professional studio, or a small local one that charges by the hour??)
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: psycht on April 21, 2004, 09:50 AM
Call various studios in your area (even if its a days drive) and ask to listen to their work.   Do they record digitally or on tape (or both)? Does their work sound good to you?  

What are you expecting to record for $1300?
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: Funkadrummer on April 21, 2004, 10:01 AM
Call various studios in your area (even if its a days drive) and ask to listen to their work.   Do they record digitally or on tape (or both)? Does their work sound good to you?  

What are you expecting to record for $1300?

Between 4-6 songs

Here are two studios I have been looking into.

http://www.cuerecording.com/The%20Red%20Room.htm
http://www.cuerecording.com/studiod.htm

Their Rates - http://www.cuerecording.com/boing.htm

-Josh

Title: Recording
Post by: felix on April 21, 2004, 10:06 AM
cool name, OCDP- I like that

there is a place in town that has the most incredible room for drums *well at least around here*

It's a big room, I'd say 20' x 30' with about a 15'+ vaulted ceiling.

It is all paneled with 1/4 sawn walnut (about 200 + years old) and has huge beams as part of the headers and main roof supports.  I think the floor is paneled with a 1/4 of it stone/or block- can't remember.

This room just has so much "air" to the sound just the real light verb tail stuff/no slap back or echo or mid rangy resonance.  It just sounds amazing.  The outside even sorta looks medeival.  There's a GIANT fireplace in there as well.  It has the feel of playing outdoors but with an incredibly intimate and clear sound.  I don't know how they did it- his dad built it and that guy was a genius (built the board and amps- even the digital filters/ back in the 80's!). The sound always feel as if it's being funneled away from you... no matter how hard or light you play- it's always coming out and not coming "back" at you.  I can't imagine what the real high dollar studios in LA and NY sound like.  My friend recorded at "The Complex" I think it's called in Burbank and he said that was a trip.  The engineer actually wore white gloves through the sessions.  Funny thing was- the sound wasn't all that!  And the playing was definitely there.  Weird- I know nothing.

Title: Recording
Post by: Paul DAngelo on April 21, 2004, 10:27 AM
The two biggest pieces of advise I always give are:

1) Have your gear in good shape--relatively new heads, tuned well, no squeeks from pedals, etc.

2)  DON'T REHEARSE IN THE STUDIO!!  Have your songs well rehearsed BEFORE you get there.
Excellent points!  Especially relatively new heads.  I would recommend against putting on new heads directly before the recording session.  Give 'em a week or so of playing them before you start to record.

The 2nd point should be well heeded.  Have all of your parts worked out before you even step into the studio.  In one of our series of sessions, we had practiced the songs with no vocals so we would be able to lay down the musical tracks together.  Got all of our cues straight.  It paid off, musically and financially.

Every minute you spend in the studio costs $$$$, so be well prepared.

Title: Recording
Post by: Chris Whitten on April 21, 2004, 10:27 AM
Funkadrummer,
Those studios look pretty good.
I'd go with the Red Room (Pro Tools HD and API EQ and Pre Amps). It also looks like a nice room for drums and a good mic selection.
You could do two 10 hour days in your budget.
Day One: Backing tracks and/or as much as you can get done in the time available.
Day Two: The odd outstanding overdub and mixing.
Don't forget to budget enough time for mixing.
It's a VERY important process.
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: LuvmyLeedy on April 21, 2004, 11:52 AM
there is some good advice in this thread already, but i will add my 2 cents based on my experience as a professional engineer/producer.

when choosing a room listen with your ears, not your eyes! the room may look incredible, the mic locker might be full of cool looking mics, racks of nifty outboard gear etc. but what you have to do is LISTEN to what the guy has already done with other people. especially projects with a similar budget as yours. and even if it's different styles of music than you do, you will get an idea of whether the engineer knows how to get good sounds or not. check out the vocal sounds. that is as important as the drum sound. it's what any record and booking people will be listening to the most. aside from your budget limitation that is what you should base your decision on, not how cool or woody or big the room looks.

talk with the engineer and tell him your budget. ask him how the time will be spent in order to bring it in for the money you have. see if it seems realistic how the time is breaking down. see if he understands the kind of sound you are looking to get. try to find someone versatile rather than someone who specializes in a particular type of music, unless that is the exact type you play.
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: Jeremykade on April 21, 2004, 02:29 PM
Has anyone tried recording themselves, thats usually what I do. I have a Powerbook g4 and my friend has an iMAC with an mBOX and it works great. If any of you have heard of Shane Barnard (christian guitarist) or Will Hunt (drummer) they use the same set up. It really works great if you have the $$ and mics. I think it'll save on cash also because wont have to pay by the hour in a studio, just a idea..
Title: Recording
Post by: Drummz on April 21, 2004, 11:06 PM

It's a big room, I'd say 20' x 30' with about a 15'+ vaulted ceiling. It is all paneled with 1/4 sawn walnut (about 200 + years old) and has huge beams as part of the headers and main roof supports.

Wow Felix, that sounds like a great place to record drums! What area is it you live in?
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: bonejoy on April 22, 2004, 08:49 AM
For what it's worth......If it's just a demo you're recording, i'd say this...6 tracks is too much. 3 tracks is the norm.  In two 10 hour sessions, you won't have time to record 6 songs properly.  Also, I'm not convinced anymore that spending money for studio time to record a demo is worthit....for the budget you have, you could get a Boss BR1180 8 track portable studio desk, and some mics.  If you have a PC, get some half decent mixing software on it.  If you need more than 8 tracks you can back the wav file onto your PC ready for the mix.  At least this way, you can take as long as you want to record things and keep on recording in the future.  You can play about with different mic techniques yourself to get the sound right for your music.  This is how my band does it.  We recorded a song onto the Boss last year (we didn't use any mixing software, just the standard tools on the Boss - of which there are loads!) Then we went into a studio and did a 'proper' recording of the same song (We got the studio free so that was OK) but to cut a long story short, the recording we did on the boss (after several beers) was far better!!!!  We're gonna be getting the 16 track version of the Boss 1180 fairly soon too.....

Hope this gives you some food for thought......
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: Drummz on April 22, 2004, 09:04 AM
you could get a Boss BR1180 8 track portable studio desk, and some mics.

Good advice!

If it's just a band demo it is typically not worth the kind of money studios get. Just find a good room in someone's house where the drums sound good in or make a room into a place to record. You can buy a decent digital recorder like the Boss, Yamaha, Tascam, or Fostex, and then some decent mics for less than that studio time. If you read up on it and do it right I think you will be surprised how good of a sound you can get. I have heard some pretty decent recordings made with an analog 4 track recorder some years ago. Besides there are some very nice digital multitrackers out there nowadays at very reasonable prices.

Like Bonejoy said, it will be money well spent because you can record anything, anytime down the road at your own pace. I will be buying one myself in the near future I am sure. It just makes sense.
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: felix on April 22, 2004, 10:34 AM
It's over at Suma/ east of Painesville I-90/Vrooman Rd.

All the great 70's bands recorded there.  Grand Funk, Wild Cherry are a couple of the big ones.
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: felix on April 22, 2004, 10:39 AM
And for 1300 bucks the kid should be able to get a great recorded cd at just a project studio.

I wouldn't buy a digital 4 or 8 track.  It just doesn't make sense.  You will have 1300 bucks in the thing have a crappy room and bad mics and crappy pre's, plus someone that isn't experience running the stuff.  Most guys will do it $100-250 day.  300 for top studios around here.  Cut a deal.
Title: Recording
Post by: Drummz on April 22, 2004, 11:18 AM
I suppose if you can do it for $300 bucks do it that way for sure. You are lucky to have found a place to do it that cheap felix.

A couple studios I have looked at around here are quite a bit more expensive than that. More like $45 - $50 per hour or $500 - $600 a day and that's just for studio time. That doesn't include mixing, editing, or mastering.
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: bonejoy on April 22, 2004, 11:27 AM
I believe that with studios...you get what you pay for!!  Try skimping by going for a cheap studio....and you might as well throw your money in the air....
Title: Recording
Post by: Chris Whitten on April 22, 2004, 11:36 AM
I've worked in many great, but cheap studios.
You've just got to check out the engineer, the room, previous track record and the equipment (as mentioned before).
BTW, I agree about going ultra cheap if this is a demo session. Do we know that yet though?
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: Drummz on April 22, 2004, 12:46 PM
I wouldn't buy a digital 4 or 8 track.  It just doesn't make sense.  You will have 1300 bucks in the thing have a crappy room and bad mics and crappy pre's

I wouldn't say Zeppelin's recordings were crap. I read where the first two Zeppelin albums were recorded with a simple 4 track recorder and also had no close miking on the drums at all! Everything was done with ambient mics for the most part. In the Guitar Player article I read Jimmy Page said he was doing stuff that the engineers said was impossible - techniques in recording and miking that no one believed in and had never tried. I believe Bonham only had two overheads and a kick mic on those records. Heck on the fourth album they recorded "When The Levee Breaks" with NO mics directly on the drums. The drums were placed in a long hallway in a house with a single mic placed at the end of the hallway halfway down a flight of steps. That is how Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones said they got that big drum sound in that song.

There are national acts that have recorded their entire CD throughout a house in various rooms. I can think of STP, U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers just off the top of my head that have recorded like that. Heck some of the STP songs were done in a cedar closet, out on the front lawn, and even in a bathroom when I saw a documentary for their 3rd CD. I am sure there are many other groups throughout the years that have done similar things as well.

So to say you can't record something decent with a home recording studio is just not true from hearing things like that. I have heard stuff that does sound pretty darn good recorded in a living room. Joe Bonamassa has a tune on his latest CD that was done with a small multitracker in his living room as a matter of fact. Granted I have heard some bad recordings also. Many people record in too small of a room or perhaps one that is too dead. I think it just takes time and playing around with rooms and mics, not just simply setting up and plugging in. But I do believe it can be done. And no I would not advise to go out and buy $29 microphones to do the job either. But there are some fairly reasonably priced mics that can do the job well. Besides we are not talking about cutting a full record to get signed, but a demo. It all depends on how tenacious you are. I am no expert on sound or recording, that is a fact. But you can't argue with the fact that it has been done.

I am not trying to discourage anyone to not utilize or seek a professional studio and check out what they have to offer by any means. I am just saying there is an alternative that many times can be more convenient for a smaller band and also more economical in the long run. Plus you will have the equipment and know-how to do it again when you need it.

OK, that's my four cents   ;)  I will shut up now   :P
Title: Recording
Post by: Mark Schlipper on April 22, 2004, 02:06 PM
You both make valid points, but unfortunately Drummz, Felix's, while very absolute, is more on target with what generally ends up happening.  

I have a home studio, and cheap gear.  But I know how to use it to make good recordings.   The average musician doesnt have that knowledge.   (Not tooting my horn here, I went to school for audio engineering)

So while yeah, many recordings were done on 4 tracks and done in houses thats only part of the equation.   Led Zepplin and the Chili Peppers werent trying to record entire albums in the living room with a Shure SM57 and the mic pre and effects built into a Tascam Portastudio.  And they werent going into that situation with no prior recording knowledge.  

What it comes down to is the engineer really.   A great engineer can do great things with very little in the way of gear.   A bad engineer can use the finest gear on the market and turn out a bad recording.   Bonus that you get a set of objective ears as well.

So you have to do the math and find the balance.  
Title: Recording
Post by: Drummz on April 22, 2004, 03:23 PM
I agree 563. There are a lot of variables.
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: WiPunkAllStar on April 22, 2004, 07:06 PM
I'd recomend, as previously stated, practicing without vocals.  Maybe try recording your practices too so you get used to recording.  Im recording for my first time in a week, so excited.
Title: Recording
Post by: Drummz on April 22, 2004, 07:11 PM
Cool Punk!

Let us know how it goes and what you learn doing it. I am always curious to hear peoples' experiences and what they like and don't like about it.
Title: Recording
Post by: vertijoe on April 23, 2004, 07:04 AM
To quote a cliche':

"Give a man a fish, feed him for a day.  Teach a man to fish, feed him for life."  or something like that.

If you have the motivation, get your hands on some home recording equipment, and just start doing it.  I bought myself a Fostex vf-160, a decent tube preamp, and some decent mics.  I'm working on the bands CD project, and while it's going slow, I'm having a great time.  The fact is, I'm not looking to get rich or famous.  We just want something to sell at gigs to those who are interested.

If you want to invest in yourself, do that.  Sure $1300 will buy you a decent little demo.  It'll also buy you all the demos you want to do from now on.  And, you might learn something.  There are lots of resources out on the web to help you learn how to work with the equipment.

Good luck with your descision.
Title: Recording
Post by: Funkadrummer on April 23, 2004, 07:15 AM
Well considering that I want to go to college to be a studio engineer I think I may just by a digital 8 track, some mics and whatever is needed.

What mics do you reccamend for my kit though, its gonna be something like:

10x10
14x14
16x14
20x18
14x6 (Snare)
12x6 (Snare)

1 Hihat
2 splashes
3 crashes
1 china

Also whatelse do you think you needed in general?

Thanks, Josh
Title: Recording
Post by: Chris Whitten on April 23, 2004, 07:20 AM
Just to add to 563,
All those albums by Zepplin, U2, Chili Peppers etc....were recorded on very expensive, high end equipment, by experienced and expert engineers and producers.
In some cases they may have used 4 track machines and a couple of mics, but I can tell you, to recreate the equipment they used would cost WAY over $1300. Maybe one of those Neumann mics would cost $1300.
For a CD to sell at gigs etc... I think the studio Felix mentioned, or the one with Pro Tools HD and the API mic/pre's are both good deals.
If you want to do demos and start to record your band on a regular basis, then yes, start putting together a lower budget home recording set up.
Title: Recording
Post by: Mark Schlipper on April 23, 2004, 11:05 AM
What mics do you reccamend for my kit though, its gonna be something like:

A kick mic like the Audix D or AKG D112 etc, and one large diaphragm condensor overhead, or two small diaphragms.   Dont bother individually mic'ing everything, itll just give you more grief, and its good to learn how to listen with just one or two ears.   The single overhead is a great simple way to do it.   With two, you'll have to learn about phase relations, which is important to learn, but can be frustrating in the process.

Quote
Also whatelse do you think you needed in general?

If youre getting a "studio in a box" with mic pres and all, then all you need is cables and stands.  

As for mics for other instruments, you can use that kick mic or the large diaphragm on a bass cab.   The large diaphragm can be used on vocals too.  And a simple dynamic like the SM57 for guitar amps.   Should get you by.    

My idea of a bare bones mic rig (brand and model is just suggestion) :

Audix D6 (large diaphragm dynamic) - kick and bass mic
Shure SM57 / (sm dia dyn) - guitar amps, misc
Oktava MK319 (lg dia con) - overheads, vocals, acoustics, misc
AKG C1000 pair (sm dia con) - overheads, acoustics, room, misc

In other words, a bass specific mic, a generic dynamic, a pair of small condensors, and a large condensor.  Those 5 mics can get you through just about anything with variety and room to spare.  For example, if you were recording the average rock band, and needed to record them all at once (not counting vocals) :

lg con - overhead
lg dyn - kick
sm dyn - bass cab
sm con - guitar 1
sm con - guitar 2

Some people prefer a direct bass signal (I generally dont unless its direct from the amp and its designed for that) which would free up a mic.  
Title: Recording
Post by: Chris Whitten on April 23, 2004, 11:34 AM
Sorry.....I've got to say I hate the C1000.
There are a plethora of relitively cheap and GREAT sounding condensors out there.
Here's one:
http://www.avensonaudio.com/about.html
Other than that, 563 is spot on.
Might I suggest a computer recording system over a stand alone unit?
Most people end up owning a computer and there are reasonably priced hard disc recording systems (including music sequencers).
If you want to study studio engineering it's as well to learn about computers and sequencer software anyway.
Also, the editing capability is going to blow your mind.
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: dizz on April 23, 2004, 11:41 AM
I have been very happy with my C1000s'
Title: Recording
Post by: Chris Whitten on April 23, 2004, 11:52 AM
Well it could be all about price I suppose.
The C1000's are about $300 a pair, the Avenson's about $500 a pair.
A lot of people on audio forums have reported being blown away by the Avenson. Tape Op magazine said it was a 'remarkable' mic.
There are some great, cheap mics by T.H.E.
(mercenaryaudio.com), but I think they're more expensive.
Title: Recording
Post by: Mark Schlipper on April 23, 2004, 12:07 PM
Sorry.....I've got to say I hate the C1000.

A lot of folks do.  A lot of folks hate the Oktavas too.   Mics are like instruments.  They are all to taste.  Im keen on my C1000s.   Maybe its cause they are older models (close to 10 years old), maybe not.   No idea.  Doesnt matter, the idea was just to illustrate the kind of mic Im talking about.   If price is the biggest factor, get the Oktava MK012s.   You can often score a pair for $100-150.    

As for pc vs standalone there are pros and cons to each.   In an ideal situation, the pc would be the way to go.   But to get more than two simultaneous inputs youve got to spend at least $1000 on the cheapest end.   Either for a multitrack interface with pres or for one without and a mixer.    If you can make that work, AND still afford mics, its the better way to go.    Much more flexable.
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: dizz on April 23, 2004, 12:23 PM
I guess I should add that -I only use my C1000s' for cymbals so its not like I have given them the good once over even, but for cymbals and with a decent EQ, I 'm satisfied.

They come with presense boost adapters as well as Hypercardioid adapters, they take a 9volt or phantom which is pretty cool.  They are a bit big, but they are cased in some solid metal tubing.  I probably don't have a golden ear for what you are hearing, but I have been unhappy with others' techniques for getting my cymbal sounds so much so that I break out my gear and hand them a line out.  /shrug

For the price, I feel like I did well buying them.  I got them for about 120 each on ebay.
Title: Recording
Post by: Chris Whitten on April 23, 2004, 12:30 PM
I'm not partial to overly bright overheads.
I find the C1000's bright, as are the much more expensive 451's.
I'd rather use a cheap ribbon mic (Beyer?).
My favourite o/head mic is the KM84.....but then you're talking $$$
Title: Recording
Post by: Mark Schlipper on April 23, 2004, 01:32 PM
I'm not partial to overly bright overheads.
I find the C1000's bright, as are the much more expensive 451's.
I'd rather use a cheap ribbon mic (Beyer?).
My favourite o/head mic is the KM84.....but then you're talking $$$

My C1000's are as bright as small diaphragm condensors are wont to be, but not overly so.   Again, could be the age.  I certainly wouldnt add a presence boost (which mine dont have an option for unlike the new ones).

Ribbons are phenominal, and Oktava makes a decent one for under $300.   But they are less versatile, so they dont make my "essential rig" list :)  But I do LOVE the ribbon mics.
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: bonejoy on April 23, 2004, 03:56 PM
i gotta say guys....to the layman listening to your music...if they like your music, they won't care how it was recorded or what mics were used!  Maybe this has developed into a 'who knows most about mics' issue.....

Funkadrummer....what's the recording for exactly?
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: Funkadrummer on April 23, 2004, 07:43 PM
i gotta say guys....to the layman listening to your music...if they like your music, they won't care how it was recorded or what mics were used!  Maybe this has developed into a 'who knows most about mics' issue.....

Funkadrummer....what's the recording for exactly?

Something to sell at shows, sell to my friends, use it as a demo to ect.
Title: Recording
Post by: Drummz on April 23, 2004, 08:50 PM
Yeah this thread has gone all over the place   ;D

I use two AKG C1000's for overheads and really like the job they do. It was a good buy for my situation and have no regrets purchasing them. I also use two AKG C430's, one for my hihats and one for the ride cymbal. They are nice and compact and really sound good for that application.

But like everything else, someone likes something better. That is why there are so many manufacturers and so many models of everything that is related to musician's gear. Freedom of choice, thank goodness we have those options or we'd all go nuts!
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: Chris Whitten on April 24, 2004, 02:41 AM
i gotta say guys....to the layman listening to your music...if they like your music, they won't care how it was recorded or what mics were used!  Maybe this has developed into a 'who knows most about mics' issue.....
Issue? I think you taking it way too seriously.
In any case, we're not living in a communist state where one person says something and the rest of us have to agree.
As far as the rest of the debate is concerned, I'm yet to meet a musician who is happy to settle for sub par equipment. Likewise, anyone who sells a CD to friends or at gigs wants the listener to be blown away by it.
Bearing all that in mind, it becomes a cost vs benefit decision. 563 (and others) believe the C1000 is great for the price. That's a valid point. Fine!
Once I post a question about 'What's a great drum kit', get the response 'Pearl Export' followed by everyone else saying 'That'll do' I'll be looking for another drum forum.

Title: Recording
Post by: bonejoy on April 24, 2004, 02:58 AM
Fair and amusing comments Chrisso!  

The kid is on a tight budget and needs some guidence on getting a good enough recording for his bands needs.  Imagine how pissed off you'd be if you blew all of the $1300 that you'd been saving and got a crappy recording....You'd be stuck with it until you could afford to go into the studio again.....

I don't disagree with any comments on this thread, but in Funkadrummers case, I think his money would be better spent on home recording stuff which does an adequate job.  He and the band will learn a lot about recording and mixing techniques this way, and eventually, when they have more money, they can go in a studio and know exactly what to do, as well as working 'with' the engineer to get what they want rather than relying totally on an engineer because of lack of knowledge/recording experience.

I would imagine Chrisso, that you're in a more privalidged position than Funkadrummer.  I'm somewhere in the middle, but closer to Funka....my band isn't signed yet as we haven't been together that long and are stiill in that 'writing' period.  We don't have advance money to splash out on nice recording studios, and we're not rich, so, with around £600 worth of gear, we record everything ourselves and the results are satisfactory....
Title: Recording
Post by: Chris Whitten on April 24, 2004, 03:42 AM
Hey Bonejoy.
No worries.....and I take everything you've said on board.
Just to say, the only thing I disagreed with was the C1000. The mic I recommended cost about $150 more and is by all accounts a VERY high quality piece of kit.
At the end of the day, once Funkadrummer has a look at the recommended options I'm sure he can decide how much he wants to spend.
Title: Recording
Post by: KevinD on April 24, 2004, 07:42 AM
First of all make sure the band is well rehearsed, you don't want to do more than 3 takes. Don't rely on "fixing it in the mix." Even with Pro Tools that stuff takes a long time and lots of money.
Then make sure your drums are properly prepared (good info in this thread and on this site about that).

The other factor is human.  I've done a lot of recording projects over the past few years. Various types of equipment, everything from home studios to professional studios using everything from Pro Tools to 2 inch. I must say that the most important factor in getting a good sound was the person who was running the board. A good engineer is priceless, more important than the gear on which you are recording.
 
I had the opportunity to record at a pretty well known NY studio last year. The aritist I was supporting was paying good money to record there. I was kind of psyched to hear what my drums would sound like in a "professional environment."

Great room, impressive gear all around.

The session went well but the engineer was a house guy that came along with the package. He was only half interested in the tunes that we were laying down. He did his job but that was about it, no interaction, it felt like an assembly line. We were not on the Hot 100 so I'm sure he didn't have much interest in us. The resulting sound was less than stellar, I'd gotten better drum sounds using much cheaper gear in less professional "looking" studios.

6 months later with my own band I ended up at the same studio (long story but I was outvoted). The difference was that we brought along our own engineer. He has years under his belt as a musician and engineer. Same drums and set up on my part but the results are like night and day. You would think one session was recorded in a decent home studio and the other in a 10 Million dollar facility. Of course we paid him but the results were more than worth it.

The point is, make sure that the person you have behind the glass knows there stuff. You can make some really good sounding recordings on reasonably priced gear if you or the knob tweaker take the time to learn how to coax the best sounds out of the room and the gear. It takes some education, time and experimentation to arrive at a comfortable palce, just like playing drums.

Given $1300 and a good engineer I'm pretty confident you can get a professonal sounding 4 or 5 tune demo out of it. (excluding mastering and duplication and artwork and those other things one doesn't quite think about on the way in :-)

Title: Re:Recording
Post by: Mark Schlipper on April 24, 2004, 08:14 PM
i gotta say guys....to the layman listening to your music...if they like your music, they won't care how it was recorded or what mics were used!  

Ill be the first to say that good music translates across any medium.  But I can also say from experience, that a good medium does help that music better.   If you can buy a snare that sounds amazing for the same price you can buy one that sounds like crap which would you buy?   Seems simple.   Thats the discussion we're having here.   If you have $1300 to spend on a recording, do you go to the studio, or buy the gear and do it at home.   We're weighing the options to see which one is the way to go.  

Quote
Maybe this has developed into a 'who knows most about mics' issue.....

When discussing home recording, as this was steered toward for legitimate reasons, you have to talk mics.    Maybe we got into too much detail, but had it not seemed valid and relatively on topic, I wouldve taken it off board.  I do that all the time.   I mentioned a mic that is popular with home recordists, chrisso offered a counter opinion on said mic, we made sure the air was clear and we left.  
Title: Recording
Post by: Chris Whitten on April 25, 2004, 02:05 AM
here, here.  ;)
Title: Recording
Post by: bonejoy on April 25, 2004, 02:13 AM
OK....I shall be eating humble pie today  ;D
Title: Recording
Post by: vertijoe on April 26, 2004, 07:09 AM
Mics:  I just bought a shure drum mic pack

     3 - SM57
     1 - Beta 52 (unbelievable kick mic; good for bass guitar as well).

     I also previously bought a KSM109 - addequate condensor mic as overhead.

Over the years I've had "pro engineers" record real junk for me.  Doing this yourself, your going to create some awful sounding stuff.  But, if you want to learn you'll only do it by yourself.  It sounds like you're doing this mostly for fun.  Do it yourself, you'll have a great time.
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: felix on April 26, 2004, 07:51 AM
Kudo's to the Audix D6.  I bought one fridayat G.C. b4 my club act ($200) and got a couple compliments on my kick sound- very "sticky" sounding with big low end.  Slightly more modern sounding than the D-112.  Going to have a bass drum mic shoot out tonight in my studio with a client and friend of mine on a 18x22's transition badge ludwig kick.  Should be way kool.  Well made, good sounding mic Mark, thanks for the tip.
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: Mark Schlipper on April 26, 2004, 08:19 AM
Kudo's to the Audix D6.  I bought one fridayat G.C.

We will all be anxiously awaiting a big proper review :)
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: windhorse on April 26, 2004, 03:52 PM
Kudo's to the Audix D6.  

My teacher recommends two D2s mounted overhead the distance that the drum is tall, for congas. I'd assume the same for toms, but cymbals probably have their own issue. He's an Audix rep and swears they're the best - in a biased sort of way  ;D
Title: Recording
Post by: Drummz on April 26, 2004, 04:59 PM
I can vouch for the Audix stuff. I've got a D6 and 4 D4's. It is really good equipment and they have done their homework. It is nice to just basically plug in and not have to worry about getting a good sound.

I just made a killer score today. Picked up an Audix D1 for my snare on clearance at Guitar Center for $69!! They are normally $129.
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: Chris Whitten on April 27, 2004, 02:35 AM
He's an Audix rep and swears they're the best - in a biased sort of way  ;D

'Biased' is probably correct.
I've yet to work in a pro level studio that owned any Audix mics.
I wouldn't be surprised to find the Audix is the 'best' mic in it's price range though. By all accounts they are very useful home recording mics and seem to be well respected in live use.  :)
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: felix on April 27, 2004, 06:23 AM
I'm not much on big reviews but I will say I compared the Audix D6 to a D112 and an EV RE 20 for kicks .

D-6 Definitely today's sound.  Big bump in the mic's frequency curve at 60Hz up to 100 Hz and then it's scooped out with another bump at 1 K.
You don't need any eq with this thing.  Set it up and get that sticky "Lars" sound.  Live, it just kicks a$$ for today's rock.  Period.  You won't believe it.  Not my first choice for classic rock.

D-112 More of retro sound- kinda boomy, little drier, perfect for that vibe.  Not as much attack, needs to be eq'd for more modern sounds.
Analog type of sound.

EV RE-20 Flattest of the three, very accurate dynamic mic, needs eq- some people swear by them for kick, good attack.  Lot's of highs to sweep around with, then you crank in the bass.

I was extremely skeptical, but the mic's were all run thru focusrite pre's and a flat monitoring system at 24 bit resolutions.  "What you see is what you get".  I didn't notice any noise from any of the mics.

Don't underestimate the D-6.  For 200 bucks it's a no brainer.
Title: Recording
Post by: vertijoe on April 27, 2004, 06:43 AM
Ok, maybe I've been living in a cave too long.  But I seem to be the only one relying on shure.  I just bought that Beta 52.  I used it on that big 14x26 kick, and it recorded as big as a house.  Even the, flat, un-eq-ed (I know not a word) track on a dry digital recorder sounded just like the drum acoustically.  So, what am I missing?  Does anyone else have any experience with this mic?
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: Chris Whitten on April 27, 2004, 07:26 AM
D-6 Definitely today's sound.  
You don't need any eq with this thing.  Set it up and get that sticky "Lars" sound.  Live, it just kicks a$$ for today's rock.  
Felix,
I consider myself to be a modern rock drummer, but I can't stand that clicky bass drum tone.
I can see it would work better live, helping the definition of the bass drum in boomy environments.
Studiowise, I haven't really come up with an elegant solution, so I'm not arguing in favour of the D112 or RE20 particularly.
I prefer a more natural bass drum sound. Therefore I wouldn't want to use a mic which imposed a 'modern' characteristic. That's probably why most pro studios don't use the D6 either.
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: Mark Schlipper on April 27, 2004, 08:26 AM
I wouldn't want to use a mic which imposed a 'modern' characteristic. That's probably why most pro studios don't use the D6 either.

Have you been in more than two pro studios in the last 6 months?   That mic has only been around for a year, tops.    Its brand spankin new really.   Audix are pro quality, trust me.   Engineers (remember I am one) are often skeptical of trying new things when they have something they know works.    But a good pro studio will use what it takes to get the sound.   And sometimes that means a mic with a specific voice.    

Also, the D6 was designed for exactly what it is.   If you want something more transparent, try the D4, which many pro studios do have in the cabinet.    
Title: Recording
Post by: Bart Elliott on April 27, 2004, 08:45 AM
Audix D6 is a great mic ... and so is the Audio Technica 2500.

And several "pro" studios I've worked in do have the Audix D6, although I've not personally any other Audix mics.

If it works ... use it. Don't get caught up in the price or the brand name.
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: felix on April 27, 2004, 08:47 AM
I just don't like shure's cause they are made in mexico anymore.  No offense, but I cotton to domestic stuff.

Chrisso, just get one and be hip ok?  Don't think, do it.
Title: Recording
Post by: felix on April 27, 2004, 08:48 AM
And if you don't like it, take it back.
Title: Recording
Post by: Chris Whitten on April 27, 2004, 08:49 AM
Ouch! If you're going to get pithy, what level of 'pro studio' do you normally hang out in?
The kind I visit often use $5,000+ vintage Neumann's for bass drum.
Seriously though, I'm getting a little drum recording mic set up together. Therefore over the last 18 months I've been heavily researching a lot of mics.
I read a lot of audio forums and
I tend to talk to a lot of busy pro engineers and producers. A few people have recommended the Audix mics.
When I checked the opinions of the people I actually trust, they had a story that chimed with Felix's, that the mic is hyped in certain frequencies.
That's a downer for the people I trust.
I'm not saying it should apply to you or Felix.
Whether it's a slight over exaggeration I'm not sure, but the last thing I want is for my bass drum to sound like Lars Ulrich....or Limp Bizzkit.....or any of those 'modern' rock productions.
Title: Recording
Post by: Chris Whitten on April 27, 2004, 09:08 AM
Ok, I guess who cares really, but
these are the studios I tend to work in most:
http://www.airstudios.com/technical/lists/equipmics.shtml
www.angelstudios.co.uk
http://www.rockfieldstudios.com/
http://www.2khzstudios.co.uk/equipment.php

I think you know Mark I'm semi retired, but I've worked at The Angel and 2khz recently.
The others I'm sure keep their websites up to date.
No Audix mics in evidence I'm afraid.
As far as I'm concerned, they are probably great mics of a certain level. I must be a snob, because I want to use the BEST possible mics I can on my drum recordings. I guess I'm probably missing out on something with these Audix mics.......I can't even afford $5k plus Neumann's anyway.
But the bottom line is I hear the Audix bass drum mic has a 'shaped' sound. I don't believe that sound is to my taste.
YMMV as they say.
 :)
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: felix on April 27, 2004, 09:13 AM
I had to write back and apologize.  I've been a dik to everybody lately, no sleep.  SORRY.

Anyways.  The sound is not "clicky" as it is "sticky".  I hate clicky and love sticky.  
Check it out for yourself.

They prolly wouldn't sound as good as a 5K neumann.   They darn well better not.  But for a gig or quick session, you put the D6 mic in the kick, walk back to the booth and boom... there's a kick sound that is really impressive.  Plus you have all your headroom.  Live, same thing, boom, there it is.  
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: vertijoe on April 27, 2004, 09:15 AM
I just don't like shure's cause they are made in mexico anymore.  No offense, but I cotton to domestic stuff.

None taken.  In fact that's good information.  Although, alot of the great recording mics are German, and not domestic; ie Neumann and Sennheiser.
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: Chris Whitten on April 27, 2004, 09:27 AM
I had to write back and apologize.  I've been a dik to everybody lately, no sleep.  SORRY.

Anyways.  The sound is not "clicky" as it is "sticky".  I hate clicky and love sticky.  
Check it out for yourself.

No need to apologise as far as I'm concerned.
This is a genuine difference of opinion. That's what forums are about......until things get over heated. My apologies for that.  :-[
I'd definitely consider the Audix for live. In many ways it sounds perfect.
I have no personal experience of recording with it, so I'm probably talking out of my bottom.
The studios I work in (yes again...yawn...) are still using the old D12/112, RE20 or Senn 421 mics for bass drum. The slight difference is they often position a U47 Neumann a couple of feet in front.
There are some great U47 clones around, so I've picked one up. I'm still mulling the interior mic option however. There must be something better than the old faithfulls?
My recent experience tells me not........but I should try and check out the Audix I suppose.
Gotta say I was really put off by the Ulrich comment though, 'sticky' or not (I've heard similar comments elsewhere).
Title: Recording
Post by: Bart Elliott on April 27, 2004, 09:31 AM
Ouch! If you're going to get pithy, what level of 'pro studio' do you normally hang out in?
The kind I visit often use $5,000+ vintage Neumann's for bass drum.


I don't hang out in any 'pro studio' ... but I work in some. And I'm not trying to be pithy about all of this.

My point is not that these studios ONLY use the $5k vintage Neumann mics, but anything that it takes to get the sound they need. I've worked in studios with similar set ups ... but you know what, they still have some "cheap" mics around that are used on specific ocassions. I've worked in studios that, although they have the multi-thousand dollar vintage mics, might through a SM57 on the kick just because of the sound they want ... and the color that a particular mic can bring.

Sure, I want the best mic to reproduce the sound of my drums with the least amount of coloring, and the most amount of raw transparency.

Let's also not forget that you can have the greatest mic in the world, but if you don't have the mic-pre to go with it ... well, forget it.

I think it's silly that we are arguing the validity of a mic because the top studios in the world don't have one. You might as well say that if you don't work in one of these top studios then you aren't as good as ______ .  I don't think we need to get all haughty over this. We can only have real opinions on things that we have experience in. If we haven't heard a particular mic then how can we have an opinion on it ... really?

Perhaps there is no need to look elsewhere if you have the bomb of mics; the best of the best. But let's be realistic here. We've got a guy looking to buy some recording mics. Discounting a mic because it's not being used by individuals/studios who use, let alone afford, the $5k+ mics is just nuts. Let's all get our feet back on planet earth here.

Perhaps I got into this discussion a little late. I was hoping to bring balance, but seem to only have stirred things up.

Also ... the UK sound is very different than the USA. Always has been, always will be. And I love the UK sound.
Title: Recording
Post by: Christopher on April 27, 2004, 10:06 AM
I wouldnt be surprised to not see a D6 in an established studio. I would bet that most top notch studios are not in the practice of running right out and getting all the newest stuff as a constant practice.

They are successful already and have gotten that way by using the equipment that they have. It shouldnt reflect poorly on Audix. Im sure that in the coming years, we will see more and more of them in the top places. Theyre great mics.

If you want something more transparent, try the D4,    

I can vouch for that. I have one. It purely reproduces the sound of my kick. No built in eq scoop stuff going on…
Title: Recording
Post by: Chris Whitten on April 27, 2004, 11:52 AM

You haven't stirred things up.  :)
If it works ... use it. Don't get caught up in the price or the brand name.
That's a fair statement.
In the range of studios I've passed through this year (admittedly not as many as yer average pro), cheap mics yes, Audix's no.
Don't ask me why.
That's all I was essentially trying to say.  :-*
Title: Recording
Post by: Bart Elliott on April 27, 2004, 12:00 PM
You haven't stirred things up.  That's a fair statement.
In the range of studios I've passed through this year (admittedly not as many as yer average pro), cheap mics yes, Audix's no.
Don't ask me why.
That's all I was essentially trying to say.  :-*

Ah ... I understand now. Cool.
Title: Recording
Post by: Mark Schlipper on April 27, 2004, 12:15 PM
cheap mics yes, Audix's no.  Don't ask me why.

Maybe a UK vs US issue (sound aside).  Could be Audix just arent as widespread from a retail perspective.  Maybe theres a UK equivalent that we dont see much here.   Happens all the time.

Title: Recording
Post by: Mark Schlipper on April 27, 2004, 12:21 PM
Ok, maybe I've been living in a cave too long.  But I seem to be the only one relying on shure.  ...  So, what am I missing?  

I dont have any Shure's in my collection because I havent heard one I wanted in there.  I find 57's rather bland and lifeless.  Obviously thats just my opinion.    But its why I dont use 'em.

There isnt technically anything wrong with 'em.  They are fine mics if you like that sound.  Mics are just like instruments, they all have their own unique sound, you choose what you like.

So while you may not be missing anything, I do think limiting yourself is .... well ... potentially limiting.  If you like the Shures, stick with 'em.   But dont be afraid to try others just because they arent Shure.
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: felix on April 27, 2004, 12:32 PM
I just got done talking to my friend about the Shure B-52.  He said they very clicky and the D-6 blows them out of the water.  He's a big fan of audix mics and has been trying to get me to buy one for at least a year.  He's a live sound guy, but does get into studios and his best friend is highly regarded studio drummer/pro in Youngstown- that's who turned him onto the D-6.

Take it for what it's worth.  You can also get the things on ebay for $150.  Man, that's CHEEEP CHEEEP


hmmm?  
Title: Recording
Post by: vertijoe on April 27, 2004, 12:36 PM
I dont have any Shure's in my collection because I havent heard one I wanted in there.  I find 57's rather bland and lifeless.  Obviously thats just my opinion.    But its why I dont use 'em.

I was looking for opinions.  I've been out of recording for a long time, and just re-entering.  The 57's were easy way to start building the mic locker.  They are decent on guitar amps as well has drums, so they were a relatively cheap, versatile investment.  

The Beta 52, in my very limited experience with it, has performed very well.  I like a very natural open kick sound, and it delivered.  It is suppose to work well with Bass guitar as well.  We will find out tonight, as the bass player is coming over to lay down a couple of tracks.

Price is an issue.  This is a little home studio, I'm a long way from creating great recordings.  I may move into audix as I put more cash together.

Thanks for you input.
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: vertijoe on April 27, 2004, 12:39 PM
I just got done talking to my friend about the Shure B-52.  He said they very clicky and the D-6 blows them out of the water.  

Felix,

I found that when I first set the thing up.  Then I played with mic placement.  I pulled it about 12" - 15" out from the drum, and the click dissapeared, and the mic came to life.  Of course, if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.   ;)

Who knows, next time around maybe I'll invest in a D-6
Title: Recording
Post by: Chris Whitten on April 27, 2004, 12:42 PM
I just did a sampling project with my drums.
To a certain degree mic choice was a money no object affair. If you're going to do this once you want to do it right....right?
We still used a 57 on snare.
I haven't heard anything better yet.
***YMMV***
Title: Recording
Post by: Christopher on April 27, 2004, 12:44 PM
The 57's were easy way to start building the mic locker.

I agree, good start. SM57s are in just about every mic locker on the planet. They are the snare drum mic to me, and many others as well.

Can't go wrong with those, build from there...
Title: Recording
Post by: Chris Whitten on April 27, 2004, 12:56 PM
I've seen them used a lot on toms AND sometimes on bass drum. Not my preference, but there you go.
The only no brainers for me were 57 (snare top) and small condensers (o/heads/cymbals).
My biggest conumdrum is tom mics and an internal bass drum mic (ok all you Audix fans...I hear ya).
I just find the ubiquitous 421 a boring choice for toms. Of course it works.
On my sampling session we used vintage Neumann KM56's and they were a dream to listen to. So much bottom end, but at a price.....about $3,000 each.  :o
If ever there was a time to use a two tom kit! LOL
Anyway, I'm looking at some mics that Steve Albini collaborated on for Josephson. I think they're over a grand each though, so it's just a dream.
My philosophy is to buy the odd mic whever I can, looking for the absolute best I can afford.
After all, we know you can record a kit with two or three mics.
I think I've amassed four so far.......although I've still yet to pick up a 57.  ::)
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: felix on April 27, 2004, 01:02 PM
Fun thread.

That's fine joe, I've never used a Beta 52, but I have had my fill of mic placement horrors.  If anything is going to save me time, I'm in.

I can't sell microphones once I've bought them (don't ask), but if I could, I'd sell all my shure's and radio shack mics except for my old unidyne 57, which was my first mic.  

It's very easy to get attached to microphones.  I'm guilty of it.  I hate Shure mics, I think 57's sound like ca ca, in fact, I know they do, but my old unidyne is my fav mic.  You simply have to A/B the things on the same source, look at the specs, hear what the specs do, and see if you dig the color for the application.  To me, a 57 is very bland, dry, kinda black and white.
Title: Recording
Post by: Drumlooney on April 27, 2004, 02:07 PM
Wow I know that mics are a "preference" but to call the 421's a "boring choice" is crazy. I'm not just saying this because I own 4 of them, but I've never heard them discribed as boring.  On another note, I just picked up the AT 2500 dual element mic, first impressions?  not very happy with it, I have to work with it a little, move it around etc.  but I'm not to happy with it so far.  Anyway  just adding my two cents.
Title: Recording
Post by: Chris Whitten on April 27, 2004, 03:25 PM
Wow I know that mics are a "preference" but to call the 421's a "boring choice" is crazy.
Not 'crazy' at all.
If a mic is almost chosen without question and by almost everyone that records drums it can be perceived as boring.
Note I didn't say bad.
The 421 is a great mic....and especially good on toms. I happen to like the 57 on snare. That could be perceived as a boring choice because everyone and their mother seems to record with 57 on snare.
I think you are over reacting a little.
I never said there was anything wrong with the 421, just that I was looking for something different.....for a change.
Title: Recording
Post by: Drumlooney on April 27, 2004, 03:32 PM
I didn't want to come across as over reacting, I'm just curious as to what makes the mike boring.
Title: Recording
Post by: Chris Whitten on April 27, 2004, 03:40 PM
Boring? It's just a figure of speech.
When you are involved in artistic processes (as we all are) you just want to go the extra mile sometimes. Who knows what whims and spur of the moment decisions drive us sometimes?
I could quite happily buy a few 421's, on the other hand I could take a look at what else is out there.
I guess after I heard the km56's it was hard to contemplate the 421's again.  ::)
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: dizz on April 27, 2004, 04:19 PM
I have yet to have been able to dial in the sound I have been looking for with my 57.  This past weekend I recorded some experimental tracks and used an extra C418 on the snare -just to see.  I didnt A/B the mics, yet can still tell the 418 is giving me alot more punch, which helps my playstyle I think.  I dont punish my drums.  

I should try a fresh new 57 since mine is about 12 years old before I go and say, "I dont like 57's on snare".  Maybe both the 57 and the 418 will give me what Im looking for.

I will say that Im in love with my D12 on the floortom.   I dont have the kind of cashflow to really experiment with exotics.  I envy those who can!  
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: Mark Schlipper on April 27, 2004, 05:08 PM
I should try a fresh new 57 since mine is about 12 years old before I go and say, "I dont like 57's on snare".  

The low end frequency response has increased on 57's in the last while.  They used to bottom out at about 70-80, now its closer to 50.   But that low end range isnt real prevelant in snares.  So while they are a bit different, they still have the same flavor.    

Id try something else.  Not because Im not a 57 fan, but because you arent.   Maybe the new Audix I5?   Or an old AKG D1000 (I got mine for $50 each).   They are built on the same principle, but sound different.  
Title: Re:Recording
Post by: bonejoy on April 28, 2004, 04:45 AM
Anyway, Funkadrummer....Have you got any idea what you're gonna do with your $1300?  If anything, you should be an expert on studio mics now!!
Title: Recording
Post by: Chris Whitten on April 28, 2004, 05:50 AM
 ;D
Title: Recording
Post by: Funkadrummer on April 28, 2004, 10:29 AM
heh, nah not yet. Im still looking and such and my band has some practicing to do before we do anything.