Small home studio

The name says it all! Discuss Steve's studios, your studios and gear set-ups, amps and effects here. This is not for discussing guitars (Steve's or otherwise).
Post Reply
Jon Gunnar
Member
Member
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 5:35 am

Hi guys,

I want to be able to write and record rock music at my own home. I already have a Godin electric guitar, a Carvin tube amp, Line 6 Delay, a microphone (for singing) and I recently got myself Cubase.

What more equipment do I need in order to record music with? I want to record my guitar and my singing. Then I want to use samples to create the base line, drums and other instruments.

I'm thinking I might need a small mixer. Is that correct? And maybe I need some other equipment?
User avatar
Radio Ga Ga
Member
Member
Posts: 238
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 4:50 am

...maybe a digital HD recording :shock: :?: ...
User avatar
another virtuoso
Member
Member
Posts: 1229
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:23 pm

What's your budget?

you'll need some microphones. Studio Projects B1 is a great condenser for only about $100. this would be used for vocals, acoustic guitars, things of that nature. dont stick it on your guitar cabinet unless you want to destroy it. Shure SM57 and Sennheiser 421 are popular dynamic mics. just to throw a few names out there you may want to check out. the microphones you use play HUGE roles in your recording. as do your preamps and converters. you'll need phantom power if your using a condenser mic.

you'll need some type of interface to get the mic output to your computer. such as a Presonus Firebox or Firepod for example. i'm not telling you to go get one of these, you need to do a lot of good research and decide what is best for you.

you'll need a keyboard controller with MIDI OUT if your wanting to use samples. you'll need to be able to connect this to your interface to get it to the computer.

you may want a mixer, you may not. depends on your needs.

just to point out a couple things. i could go on and on.



there are infinite possibilities when it comes to a studio set up. if you go around asking on forums like this with guitar players - not recording engineers - what you need to buy, or GOD FORBID you walk into a damn Guitar Center and ask for help, you'll end up with a migraine and a very empty wallet. prepare to do a lot of reading.


www.Tweakheadz.com - go read The Guide a couple times until you fully understand every word. explorer the rest of the site as well and search his forums if you have a question. there is a lot to be learned for the aspiring recording engineer at this site.

http://www.ethanwiner.com/acoustics.html a good site on acoustics. if the room your in sounds like shit, so will your recording. very important stuff to learn on this website too.

the equipment is only half the battle (at best) to getting a great professional recording. theres so much more to it than you realize. mic placement, acoustics, mixing, your ears, quality of the samples you use, etc. etc.

check out Tweaks guide. feel free to pm me if you get too terribly confused with anything.
Jon Gunnar
Member
Member
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 5:35 am

Thanks a lot!
Chris99
Member
Member
Posts: 84
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 12:06 pm

The course I do we learned with EDIROL keyboards, 2 octave keyboard and you do all the MIDI and drums to saxophone through VST Intruments.... plus you can change the octave, down and up with a button!! So you can play bass!! Easy!which i don't know exactly where to download different VST Instruments, though they are FREE.... google it.

EDIROL-PCR1 is what I used, there may be some others BUT...to use it.

Devices
Device Setup
Click ''VST Multitrack''
Choose ''EDIROL PCR1'' or right>>
Click Switch.

Your input (for each track) will then be

Input: EDIROL-PCR1
Output: (w/e VST instrument you chose..eg. ''lm-7'')


That's all you need, and some Microphones to sing...duh.

SM-58....VERY common MIC, world renowned, the strat of the mic industry. You'll recognise the black handle and silver nob right away.
Condensers are good, but are a bit fancy and you are going to need phantom power, which is probably rattling your brain if your new to this stuff....phantom power in Condensers is like active pickups, they need their own power to function.

Last edited by Chris99 on Fri Nov 16, 2007 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Chris99
Member
Member
Posts: 84
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 12:06 pm

Also you may need a mixer or something similar, your only going to need several inputs, not like my 24 track....sorry, but thats what i would buy, reluctantly.



Theres so many possibilities, i cant really help with buying a mixer, but the guitar signal is going to have to go through a microphone instead. Not that bad, has its pros and its cons....
User avatar
another virtuoso
Member
Member
Posts: 1229
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:23 pm

unless your illegally downloading, pretty much any free samples your going to find out there are going to sound very mediocre. they'll work all the same, they just wont sound that convincing of a real instrument. unless your into that "i dont have the money to have a full orchestra perform my piece for this recording so i'm stuck using samples..." kind of sound....




There is nothing "fancy" about a condenser microphone. they do some jobs far better than any dynamic mic, while dynamic mics do other jobs a condenser isnt capable of handling.

i'd say a fair, general goal of a microphone is an instrument that can make an accurate representation of the sounds it's picking up. to get an accurate representation, all frequencies the mic picks up must be picked up at the same level. but you'll see how the frequency response graph of the 58 slope steeply off at the low end, and go a bit crazy on the high end. for a dynamic mic, it's not bad. drastically better than a $20 CAD. however compare this to a high end neumann condenser and the neumann's graph will be much much flatter than the 58's.

the construction of a dynamic microphone consists of a magnet and coil. the sound of your voice moves the coil and the coil changes the magnetic field between the magnets and that change is what comes out the end of your mic cable as electricity. because of its construction, it is very difficult to break, making it great for a live situation when crazy things can happen. however because it takes a certain amount of force to get that coil to move to begin with, it has a slow transient response (jargon meaning = its slow to actually start picking up the sound).

however a condenser's construction is two little plates and very very small piece of plastic. phantom power provides the charge in between these since there are no magnets here. since the plates are going to be changing a charge that is in this case predetermined, its response is going to be much more consistent (ie better frequency response). and since we're not having to move a metal coil, it takes a lot less force to get that condenser mic moving (ie much faster transient response). because of this faster transient response, it picks up that first split second of your cymbal (used as room mics of course, you dont want to mic a cymbal directly with a condenser), and picks up the "s" and "th" of your vocals a lot quicker, and for another example, would yield much higher results on a classical guitar. a dynamic mic would simply not pick up that first split second of sound that is so soft, and its clarity would suffer.

so if condensers are so much better than dynamic mics, why use dynamics at all?
well because if those two plates inside the condenser mic touch each other, the mic shorts out and breaks. its very fragile and sensitive to sound. also it takes a lot more to make a condenser, and they cost a lot more, generally speaking (ranging from $100 into the thousands... or tens of thousands if your looking at a vintage tube mic). you cant mic a cymbal or a kick drum or a guitar cabinet with a condenser mic or it will break. you cant scream into one while on stage either. this makes condensers impossible to use live in most cases.
however dynamic mics are very durable and can take a beating. you can literally hammer a nail with your sm57, its been done before. and they only cost from about $20-$300 ($20 being a reeeeealllllyyy crappy sounding mic that you do NOT want). but there are some great sounding dynamics mics out there for sure in the $100-300 range, and cheaper if you can get them 2nd hand.
Stephen Brown
Member
Member
Posts: 1774
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2005 10:04 am

I think that Reason is the best value for money now'a'days. For what ya get it's great.

As a side note you could buy some studio monitors also.

Just to add. There is some food for thought here on space's. It all helps.

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/dec04/a ... layout.htm
User avatar
leigh01
Member
Member
Posts: 907
Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2006 10:18 am

For drums I use EZdrummer (VST instrument) and I cant recommened it more.
User avatar
another virtuoso
Member
Member
Posts: 1229
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:23 pm

EZ Drummer is pretty bad ass.

of course everything is relative to your budget though. i'd take a decent mic over a pair of monitors if i was short on cash any day.
User avatar
lydian2000
Member
Member
Posts: 1508
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 5:43 am

It's all down to budget and you just have excellent advice from the previous posts but my very first advice is to get a good ASIO soundcard if you plan to record on your PC, it all starts from there IMO.

Ezdrummer is the best drums VST plugin ever, it requires a lot of RAM and some cpu but it's all worth it. Devin townsend used EZdrummer to record his last album "ziltoid the omniscient", and the least I can say is that the drums on this album are very impressive.

I just bookmarked that thread...tons of useful info in here!


:peace
adam525
Member
Member
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 10:07 am

Here's my 2 cents.

Like another guy above said, it comes down to budget. Like many other people have said, EZ Drummer is GREAT. I use it, and haven't found an application that was too much for it yet.

I use Ableton Live for a DAW, but that's just personal preference.

I've found that with the right production techniques, one can get a sound that's just as good as something done in a "professional" studio.

Depending on the sound card you get, you may not need a mixer. In Cubase, you have will have as many tracks as you need, so you can record your parts one at a time (which is what you'll need to do anyway).

So, I don't think you'll need a mixer necessarily.
User avatar
leigh01
Member
Member
Posts: 907
Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2006 10:18 am

On thing that would be cool to get is a line 6 "toneport", This is what I use, and its so piss easy. plus if you get the ux 2, I'm really not sure what more youll need. for a small home studio setup of course.
Post Reply