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One for the audiophiles

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by bass_player, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. Can anyone help with some advice for setting up a basic home recording studio? I recently acquired a copy of Cubase SX and am now looking at purchasing an interface. My band has two guitarists, bassist, drummer and eventually a vocalist. I am unsure whether to get a two channel interface (such as spike or firebox) and use my laptop and Cubase SX to mix all the instruments together or to splash out the extra cash to get an 8+ channel interface so we can record 'live'. The firepod 8 channel interface has been recommended to me. Anyone know what this interface is like? It retails for about $1500 so is a bit on the expensive side.

    Also is it worth getting our own equipment to record our songs or is it just easier to pay the cash to use a professional studio?

    If anyone could give me some advise or recommendations it would be much appreciated.

  2. without spending thousands, nothing you record at home will sound as good as spending the cash to record at a pro studio.

    I wanted to record every band practice so we could listen back to tunes & see what needed work.

    so I bought a 4 channel desk for $300 bucks. we would plug the lead vocals in, DI the bass, and stick 1 mic on the drums & 1 mic on the guitar.
    I'd give it a rough mix, enough so we could hear everything, & run it into my audio in on the PC. I could also use the monitor out on the desk to run the vocals into the PA.

    the mix was recorded on cool edit pro & later I would simply do a bit of hard limiting etc to get the levels right.

    I have done some recording of individual tracks & mixing of a 16 track song at home (ie stick 8 mics on the drums & mix that to 1 track, add bass, guitar 1, guitar 2, rtc) but it took HOURS to get right, and you really need an extra person to assist you.

    I recommend getting some basic stuff for live recording at home, and when it comes to recording a demo/ep/etc go to a studio. that way you only have to worry about playing & your music will sound better cause you're not stressed!
  3. $1500 is a very tight budget for recording a full band. If you are really serious about making a go of the band, look into digi 002, for about $5k you get an 8ch desk that you can use live as well as a software package I thing is far more usable than cubase (saying that though I haven’t used cubase since 99, and have only used VST, so things might have changed). You also have to consider mics, stands, outboard gear etc. etc.

    Really though, as good a musician as you are, people study for a long time to become an audio engineer, they have the skills and tricks at their disposal that a DIYer just won't. Don't take that personally, it's not an attack, but if you haven't got the money to sink into gear and want to put more effort into writing and playing, just go to a studio.

    Edit: also check with SAE and the conservatorium music tech department. When I was at SAE here in Brisbane we had a register of bands that were keen to get into the studio that we would record a 3 or 4 track demo for, just to get the experience. I currently work with the MuTech guys here at the Brisbane con now and they are always keen for bands to work with as well. It will get you experience and when you go to a commercial studio you will be a lot more efficient and economical.

    Good Luck.
  4. Yeah for live recording you are really need a basic mixer and record 2 a channel feed from the desk to a computer. This is a good idea for demos, refining your performance before outlaying a huge chunk of cash on a pro studio.

    Once you are rehearsed a good idea is to find a studio with protools and a nice Neve. Over a period of time start to track you beds. Do rough guide vocals and quick mixes and you will save yourself big bucks.

    Take these tracks to a good well known producer and pay them to take one or two of the best tracks into a pro end studio. The days of approaching record companies with demo quality recordings is just about gone. Plan on getting a video clip done for one of these polished tracks, and you can start hitting record companies. :grin:

    Remeber when you spend money within the music industry especially with producers, studios, engineers, you are also networking and can use their contacts too. :wink:

  5. I think the key question is whether you've got the time, dedication, talent and brains to become a good engineer.

    The last rock band I was in, we left our gear set up at the guitarist's place all the time unless we were gigging. He had a Pro Tools desk, good mixing gear, valve compressors, condenser mics and even an isolation room from which I played drums so the rest of the band could turn down.

    It was a brilliant setup for an original band - I'd tune the kit and mike it up as if I was doing a studio session, and we'd rehearse away. Then once the tunes started to solidify we'd plonk on a click track and play it through a few more times and all at once we'd have mix-ready drum tracks and guides from bass, guitars and vocals, easy to replace for a studio quality recording.

    Ideas very quickly became tracks.

    The trouble is - all that gear costs shitloads of money. A condenser mic alone is up around $700 to a grand for something remotely reasonable. Then, you need to develop expertise at running the desk, which takes literally years of serious focus, the tools and methods of getting a great mix are easy to learn but very difficult to master and it's easy to tell when a track was put together by a newbie.

    So it's a question of degrees. In the short term, if you're happy to produce dodgy demos you'll get a certain distance with the setup you're proposing. You'll be able to record and isolate tracks, overdub and produce audio tracks, but they'll sound cheap and amateur. Still, that might be all you need if you just wanna get gigs and put your tunes down for posterity.

    If you're serious about producing a quality disc that's suitable for airplay etc, a studio, an engineer and a producer (that you're willing to listen to when he tells you your ten verse song is too long :twisted:) are the way to go.

    I should add it's no good going into the studio if you don't have your songs well and truly written, or if you're not much chop on your instruments either. The results can be pretty embarrassing... :shock:
  6. I couldn't agree more, hence the suggestion of contacting SAE or the con. The engineers are learning too, you'll learn studio etiquette and how not to blow up at your lead guitarist on his 17th over-dub. Then when you start playing with the big boys that charge you big bucks, everything runs nice and smooth like.
  7. If $1500 is expensive for a Soundcard i guess your bikes made of cardboard then.

    you get what you pay for. I could debate the fact for hours but im out of action just now.

    look at it like this........you have a Bass therefore your a BASSIST..!
    You have a copy of SX and a recording interface.....your a producer !

    I have some band aids in the bathroom......am i then a doctor !

    I work in music industry, its my life. I see so many put 20% effort into every aspect of thier music,
    kind off play an instument, kind off use pirate software, kinda know about sound physics,mixing, mastering,EQ.
    And these guys tell me they are proffesional Studio guys.......pppppleeease.
    I been training in my field for many years and have worked hard to learn my craft, its not an overnight thing.......oo oo oo i have a guitar......im jimmy hendrix.
    Go to a studio.....A GOOD ONE...if you cant afford it.....SAVE UP.
    These guys will get you the sound you want if you can play at all.

    If you can play and your stuff is good get a REAL engineer to show that.

    Dont waste your time and your bands trying to be an engineer when it takes years of study to do.

    My mate can draw really well.......but id never trust him too tattoo me cos its not his job and it would turn out shit and ive just wasted money.

    O and another thing.....buy your software. The company that make Cubase where the biggest and now they been bust and sold 6 times in 4 years due to guys pirating. You might not see the effects of that yourself but i do.

    OK rant over.... :furious: :soapbox:
  8. a pair of headphones and a good equalizer will set you back $800, My speakers and amp cost more than your $1500 and aren't anything special in any sense of the word.

    My best advice?

    get V8 monitors
    get Sennheiser 595s or perhaps better. (i haven't heard better yet)
    get an awesome couch