Recording a Band - Where To Start?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by pearljammer64, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. pearljammer64 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    #1
    I need to organise a demo tape and video for a young 3-piece Blues band. Drums, Bass and Lead Vocal but I haven't go a clue where to start.

    We've got plenty of machines (17" MacBook Pro, MacMini, iMacs etc) but need to know where we start with recording.

    The band uses Drums, Bass uses Peavy Combo, Lead uses Marshall DSL50 and sings through a Shure SM58 Mic, which goes through a Peavy Combo guitar amp which sounds pretty pants.

    Using the Bounemouth Uni rehearsal rooms.
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    It sounds like you're in way over your head. However, you can use GB and I'd record each instrument separately in case you need to remix one more than the other. You'll probably want to mic the drums also, just a heads up.
     
  3. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #3
    You need to start at the beginning.

    You need

    1) A good quality mixing board with phantom power.

    2) At least 2 good quality professional microphones

    3) a good environment in which to record

    4) Pro software to mix and produce the finished article.

    I'm not knocking GarageBand, it's fine, but if you want a professional result, it is going to cost I'm afraid
     
  4. pearljammer64 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    #4
    Thanks for the vote of confidence Jessica:)
    OK, just to clarify, when I say demo I mean for a local Blues venue, not demo of a record label or anything.
    Also, something that would be ok on a You Tube channel
    Lets start small and if we have the next Joe Bonamassa we are all sorted.
    What sort of mics? What interface? what software?
    Lets assume Garage Band to get our heads around it then go from there
    Thanks people
     
  5. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #5
    Okay...How much is your budget...(This may shock you) A few links to stuff you will need.

    Mics:
    http://www.themicstore.co.uk/stereo-recording-mics/rode-nt1a-matched-studio-condenser-pair.html


    That's the bottom end of the range I use, and those are UK prices:

    Mixing boards:

    http://www.gak.co.uk/en/roland-computer-recording



    The very least you can get away with is on the page above.

    Buy a board that has Phantom power and a built in DVD burner if possible.


    Software:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/?ie=UTF8&...=aps&hvadid=6748674176&ref=pd_sl_8wesn0etnh_b

    Logic is expensive, but just check out Cubase high end stuff.

    Then consider how much you up and coming band might pay a pro to do the job for them....I love enthusiasm But good luck.
     
  6. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #6
    Depends what sort of thing you want to do. Do you want to have a proper recording session and capture each instrument/voice individually, then mix down? If so, there's a lot of stuff to learn, and you're going to need extra equipment (as has been mentioned above).

    I'd start out by searching the 'net... I'd particularly recommend searching YouTube for tutorials on miking drums, guitars etc. Some great stuff out there like: this tutorial on using two mics 'recorderman' style on drums

    Also get an account on 'gearslutz.com' which is a forum for music producers and recording enthusiasts. There's a load of information there.

    If your requirements are a bit less complicated (ie, just capture live sound in reasonable quality, mix a quick video) then your cheapest option would be to get hold of a dedicated stereo recorder like the ones Zoom make. Their H1 is a steal at £70, and it sounds great (I have one). Find a good sounding practice space without too much echo/boxiness and see if you can make a good direct recording. I'd also try and beg/borrow a better vocal amp than the Peavey (I guess the Marshall and the drums sound OK).

    Zoom H1

    If you get decent sound, you can use it to replace the soundtrack on any video you capture (most video cameras would just overload at that volume). You could try borrowing multiple cameras and setting up some static shots and then switch between them. It might be a good idea to have the drummer drum to a click track for better timing in case you need to overlay different edits.

    (Edit: I was typing and didn't see your reply... but I recon if you can get the basic live sound right, then capturing it on the Zoom might give you what you're looking for)

    ----------

    OK... here's someone putting a Zoom H1 on top of a Canon 550D DSLR and pointing it at a live band. Not too shabby... (switch vid to 720 for better fidelity... there's some boxiness from the room, but it's pretty clear and not too distorted - considering the simple capture method).

     
  7. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
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    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #7
    Firestarters advice is good. I wasn't trying to put you off the idea, it's just that Pro's (and I am one) already have the equipment, and can do a decent demo for far less than the cost of buying things you might never use again...:)
     
  8. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #8
    OP -- the reason you're getting such varied advice is because you haven't communicated what basic approach you want to take. perhaps you don't know. here's an overview:

    live 2-track take
    1. set up 2 mics
    2. have everyone play at once
    3. record to stereo recorder

    live 2-track take w/ live mixdown
    1. set up multiple mics
    2. have everyone play at once
    3. mix mics to stereo with mixer
    4. record to stereo recorder

    live multitrack take
    1. set up multiple mics
    2. have everyone play at once
    3. track each mic to its own track in the computer
    4. mix down to stereo later

    live multitrack take with overdubs
    1. set up multiple mics
    2. have everyone play at once
    3. track each mic to its own track in the computer
    4. record additional parts later, each to its own track in the computer
    5. mix down to stereo later

    overdub session
    1. set up mics for 1 or more players
    2. record them, tracking each mic to its own track in the computer. perhaps they're playing to previously rendered backing tracks, like something done in Reason.
    3. add parts one or more at a time, tracking each mic to its own track in the computer
    4. mix down to stereo later

    each approach is viable. each can result in excellent recordings. some approaches are more complicated, requiring different kinds of gear and engineering approaches.

    the approach you use is influenced by how the band plays together, what kinds of parts they want to play, what equipment is available, what recording rooms are available.

    in any case, you need mics. you need at least a stereo recorder, perhaps a full DAW with a multitrack a/d converter. you'll need to be able to hear what you're doing, whether that be headphones or a full monitoring setup in a control room.

    the final result is a combination of the skills of the players, the skills of the engineer, the viability of the approach chosen, and the quality of the gear. roughly in that order.

    iow, the presence/absence of GarageBand won't kill you. not having any mics, or not knowing what to do with them, will kill you.
     
  9. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #9
    Perfect answer! :)....NIce sound BTW.
     
  10. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #10
    thanks, especially for the 2nd part.
     
  11. PAPO macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #11
    you don't need a mixing board, just an interface, preferably one with 4 mic inputs and phantom power, all the "mixing" is done in software now

    condenser mics are common in studios, the Rode NT1-A is a good place to start, but you can get away with the SM58 (even though it's more of a live mic)

    you can use DI for the guitars some interfaces have this built in, otherwise you will need a DI box

    I would recommend recording each instrument on it's own, but you may need to record everyone together first so they have something to follow when they record each part

    if you want to move forward in the future with software pro tools is the industry standard but has a somewhat steep learning curve compared to garage band
     

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