DOMINICI Forums => General Music Discussion => Topic started by: JLadino on December 16, 2009, 05:35:42 PM

Title: Recording equipment. Tell me the needs, not the wants. Please, Thank you.
Post by: JLadino on December 16, 2009, 05:35:42 PM
Lately I've been practicing with my friends for quite sometime and we want to record. Obviously we are going some where who has recording equipment to start off. Sooner or later we want to have our own recording studio, so that we don't have to spend so much money into somebody that can rip us off >:(. We record from the computer, but what do I require in order to have my music sound like pro? This is a question to anyone who is in a band and involved in recording music, including Charlie  :tup. Please tell the needs and not the wants, Thank You :) :angel

Title: Re: Recording equipment. Tell me the needs, not the wants. Please, Thank you.
Post by: Matt Gillis on January 30, 2010, 11:26:28 AM
Hey J,

         Unfortunately, you joined the forums at a pretty inopportune time--not much goes on around here anymore. So I'm sorry for the late reply, but even as the dedicated fan that I am, I rarely frequent these forums myself anymore! It's a shame because it was once such an awesome place. Maybe a new CD will revitalize the place, Charlie?  ;)

          That being said, this is a pretty broad topic. I go to college for music (performance more precisely), but part of the outcomes for the program are related to the recording technologies field. I'm very fortunate to go to a school that has, not one, but 2 multi-million dollar recording studios that I've gotten to use for free on occasion. We also have labs set up that are more likely what you'd find at home, so that's a more realistic perspective on recording I guess. So with that out there, just let me say that after having taken a few courses on the subject, I'm STILL no expert, nor do I recommend inquiring about how to go about recording on a forum like this one. With progressive metal being such a virtuosic genre, you'll find that plenty of the fans here will be musicians (just like on many other band forums), but the prime demographic isn't as concentrated as it could be for a forum aimed at a specific topic in particular. The topic here is Mr. Dominici (the man himself!) so we are all fans of Charlie, but any knowledge regarding recording or music in general is purely coincidental--I'd go ask at a recording forum, or even a forum of a particular company (such as an effects company like Eventide), since they have TONNES of tech gurus around.

But I'd like to help somewhat, so here is a set-up that seems to be pretty popular. In order to record music on you're computer, you need a program that will record. There might be one that came stock with your computer (such as garageband if you're on a mac), or you can buy one. There are also free ones such as Audacity, but if you want the best quality stuff I'd recommend the more expensive stuff like Protools, Cubase, etc.

You also need an interface though, so an mBox is something you'll require. If you buy an mBox, they are bundled with protools (LE to be exact, but I'd say 90% of people don't need more than the LE edition, including myself), and that should cost you roughly $500, depending on where you live. I live in Canada, so that is where my perspective is coming from. The interface you buy will have a limited number of inputs though, so if you're a drummer you might want to look into getting a mixing board so that you have more channels to record into before going to the mBox. Just as an example, drums usually have 4 or more mics to record them (if you want a decent sound), so that is why a mixing board is useful. If you are using four (the minimum I'd recommend) than you are typically using 2 overheads (one left and one right, an overhead is just a mic that is suspended about the whole drumkit to pick up ALL the sounds but mostly the symbols), a mic for the snare, and one for the bass drum. Anything after that is just icing on the cake, but 4 mics should give you enough "material" to work with while you're mixing.

By the look of you picture though, I'd say you play bass, which means things are less complicated. You can either run your bass direct into the interface and use the plug-ins in the program you have to get the sound you want, or you can mic your bass amp/cab and run the mic through the interface to capture the tone. Now, there have been books written on micing techniques, so I won't get into how many different ways you can do it. Educate yourself on it though, because micing an amp properly can make or break a recording.

And that is the basics for now I guess. The options out there are pretty daunting, and I get intimidated as well, particularly since (like I said) I am no expert. But I suggest saving up for the various things you need (mics, recording programs, etc) and then scouring the internet for tutorials once you get them. Learning the ins and outs of protools can take months in itself and it is REALLY complicated at times (at least for me), and so the likelihood that you'll get a good recording just by sheer probability of chance is pretty slim. So yeah, the internet is the holy grail of information, so get reading! Hope that helped somewhat, good to have you here  :tup

Title: Re: Recording equipment. Tell me the needs, not the wants. Please, Thank you.
Post by: JLadino on February 01, 2010, 11:25:53 AM
Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it a lot. :)

Title: Re: Recording equipment. Tell me the needs, not the wants. Please, Thank you.
Post by: charliedominici on February 09, 2010, 07:27:41 PM
Well said, Matt!


Title: Re: Recording equipment. Tell me the needs, not the wants. Please, Thank you.
Post by: JLadino on February 15, 2010, 01:59:06 PM
And actually I do vocals in my band, bass was my first instrument.