Help with recording setup

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by mateenj, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. mateenj macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2006
    Hello everyone, I'm new to these forums and thought maybe you all can help with a good recording setup for our band. It's a jazz trio, in essence, with acoustic piano, acoustic bass, electric bass and a drumset and our basisst recently bought a Macbook with Garageband. As far as I know, Garageband seems to be one of the top recording softwares and I've heard a lot of great work done with it. We want to get a Presonus Firepod for an interface and we have access to nice drum mics and some decent amp mics (so we can record the bass amp on the electric). Do you all have any suggestions on a different interface or how we should approach the whole process. I have very limited recording knowledge and know that it would take a while for us to adapt and fully apprehend the entirety of the process so I'm sure it would take a while before we can mix a raw track and make it sound somewhat professional.

    I appreciate any help, thanks a bunch.
  2. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    Well I have never done professional recording however I can tell you, that you should try and get a base amp that has a line out instead of a mic, it will sound much better. Second garage band is not a professional recording software it is designed for home use. It may work for your needs, I do not know.
  3. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    Here's what you want to do.

    Get a 4 in 4 out (or more) audio interface, like this one and Logic Express.

    If you run the drum kit mics through a mixing desk, mix it there, and then take a stereo out into the Line ins on the Audio Interface, and then a mic on the bass into the mic in on the interface, and a mic on the piano on the mic in on the interface, you have an entire recording setup.

    You can also record all the instruments at the same time, so you can play like a proper jazz band, and get all the instruments on their own seperate lines.

    For the piano, I'd recommend a C1000S microphone for the Piano and the Bass (they can take a lot of input, have a nice tonal balance and good frequency extension). For this you will have to press the +48v button located on the back of the unit.

    That's the entire setup, and seeing as the interface will have 2 inputs left over, you can get a pair of overheads for the drumkit (another pair of C1000s are great for this job), but only if funds allow. It will add quite a lot to the recording though!

    Hope this helps!

    If you have any more questions, then be sure to ask! :D
  4. zimv20 macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
  5. zimv20 macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
    that is true. think about what led you to the idea of doing your own recording vs. going into a studio. if it's pro results you're after, imo that's the way to go.

    otoh, if you're interested in the engineer aspects of it, that's another matter. but don't assume you can go cheap on the gear (not to mention the room) and get pro results.


    that said, and since you asked for a whole 'nother approach, i'll recommend one that i've used and like. what you'll need:

    1. a pair of small diaphragm, omni condenser mics (matched)
    2. a clean stereo preamp
    3. decent converters (and the computer and software to record, of course)
    4. a jecklin disc
    5. a treated room
    6. good ears and good monitoring (for the engineer, not the musicians)
    7. a mic stand and cables
    8. patience

    you don't mention a vocalist, so i'm leaving out consideration for one.

    this is a two-mic setup using spaced omnis around the jecklin disc. you'd position the disc in front of the band in such a way that provides good balance of instrument level and good balance side-to-side. there are other rules you can read about that provide info about how far away and how high to place the disc and mics.

    this requires that all the instruments make sounds acoustically. so for the electric bass, it'll be amped and its volume set to a good level relative to the other instruments.

    it also requires a Good Sounding Room. find something with high enough ceilings that you don't get a big slapback from them. purchase a liberal amount of bass traps (i like these, and don't bother with that auralex foam crap) and hang/place them in all the corners.

    unfortunately, my live room doesn't sound good enough, so i've done this only once in a live situation. my gear:

    1. that jecklin disc i linked above
    2. avenson sto-2 mics
    3. a pair of Brent Averill 312a mic pre's
    4. rosetta 800 converters
    5. ...via firewire to my ibook running digital performer

    the room (so important for such techniques) wasn't fantastic, but here is a sample mp3 of the raw tracks.
  6. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    Hmmm, with Jazz drums it's quite nice to have a more wet, live sound on the drums, so make sure whoever treats your room also makes sure there's a 'dead' end and a 'live' end. This is what's being designed into our studio at the moment, and when you stand in the middle (where all the mixing will be done from), there is almost zero colouration. When you stand at the very end (where it's entirely possible to place microphones), there is quite a nice 'roomy sound' (if that's how you say it)...
  7. cschreppel macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2006
    Boston, MA
    Well what are your goals?

    Are you looking for something you can release or something to listen to for sheer enjoyment?

    If it's the first, I would recommend a Pro Tools LE or M-Powered setup:

    PTLE - Digi002 rack (4 preamps, plus 4 line ins for other preamps, instruments, etc.) If you want faders, check out the Digi002 Console version. I have the console version and it makes mixing much easier.

    PTM-Powered - M-Audio has a few rack mounted interfaces that have 4 or more inputs with at least 4 outputs. I can't remember the model numbers off the top of my head though. If you want faders for mixing, check out the Project Mix I/O.

    The main thing that you need to consider is this: Are you looking to track everything into a mixer and run the stereo outs into a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) like Pro Tools or Logic or do you want to record everything to individual tracks (you can still record them at the same time, but they're all separated in the software)?

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