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List+Choice of Gear Needed for HQ Home Tracking Condenser Microphones
Old 10th June 2012
  #1
Here for the gear
 

List+Choice of Gear Needed for HQ Home Tracking

Hello everyone.

My band is planning to invest into buying gear so that we can track our album ourselves and really make the takes as perfect as possible.

We plan on tracking -

Bass Guitar
Lead Guitar
Rhythm Guitar
Clean Vocals
Screaming Vocals

The drums will most likely be recorded elsewhere, for cost efficiency/room acoustics.

I would like to know what the list of equipment we would need to make a high quality tracking.. By high quality I mean that we are willing to pay 2-3 grand per mic preamp needed, and we are very willing to invest into high quality gear to get a good sound.

Budget is 10-15 grand for the tracking gear only.

How many mic pre-amps would we need to record all this? I imagine 1 for guitars, 1 for bass and 2 for vocals?

Converters needed?

Possibilities of mics that we can use for vocals, for bass, for guitar? (We will not be buying these but renting them - suggestions always welcome, though!)

We plan on re-amping, and we might not even re-amp on site, we may decide to do that elsewhere and really just track on site and do vocals.

We have a computer actually, it is an Intel i5, 16 gb RAM, with an RME Multiface 2 soundcard.

We also have a MixWizard console and a FocusRite mic pre-amp my singer uses for live applications (It's a hybrid analog/digital, single channel, I cannot remember the model, it's silver).

We do not have a full license DAW at the moment (but we do use Cubase)

It is important to note that we play extreme metal, so we are looking for gear that fits this style well.

If anyone is interested in getting a sample of the type of music we play to better assess what type of gear would fit us best, here's our demo song.

We are definitely looking for a much better, clearer, less "loud" recording, much better voicing definition than this, better effects, cleaner tracking.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAVbecFcbBo

*post edited for clarity*
Old 10th June 2012
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
FullCount's Avatar
 

What's your budget?
Old 10th June 2012
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Let's say our budget is 10-15 grand, without mics - we will most likely be renting microphones.
Old 11th June 2012
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
FullCount's Avatar
 

I don't think you'll be able to record "high-end" with only $15k, I'm afraid. A great console, AD/DA, a couple compressors, and we're pretty much already there. Room treatment alone will run into the thousands.
Old 11th June 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 
NYMo's Avatar
 

Don't buy a house... You havent even got a Daw !
(55 years of experience tells me this will end in tears !)

You've got no real recording gear, so why not spend your money in a decent studio if you are that well rehearsed ?

Also not sure why it's in hi end !!??
Old 11th June 2012
  #6
Modern metal is a hard genre to record to a pro standard. Do what you want regarding band finances/rehearsal space, but factor in 10-15years of learning to be able to use the gear to the required standard.

Best advice is to spend some of that cash on hiring someone local who can help you buy the required gear, and then operate it for you.

Or just rehearse and demo at home, record at a real studio like all the other successful metal bands...
Old 11th June 2012
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

+1 NYMo. You dont buy a house and invest in gear to that extent unless you want to either do recording 100% of the time as a professional career, or be with said band for the next 30 years... too risky and I think your money would be much better spent going to a studio that will know how to make you sound great.

Sent from my DROIDX using Gearslutz App
Old 11th June 2012
  #8
Here for the gear
 

We don't plan on mixing or mastering ourselves, just tracking... I don't see why we need a console if we're tracking to reamp, into a DAW, or why we even need a compressor.

I mean we have other gear like a BSS Audio OPAL noisegate, and Eventide H8000 and stuff like that but it's rather irrelevant to the question of just tracking before reamping isn't it?

And we do intend to use the services of a local who is very good at tracking, the person who did the tracking of our demo actually, and most likely mix it afterwards.

Also is it really that much of a loss to buy mic preamps used to track with, worst case scenario I imagine a good mic pre-amp can be resold for an equivalent or close price if you acquired it used?

On a side note I do intend to be in this band for 20 years... I mean of course life situations and bands are unpredictable but I wouldn't have invested heavily into any other project than this one, because I believe in the mentality, the work ethic, and the product.

Also being well rehearsed is one thing but we are perfectionists and our music is extremely complex (demo song is not indicative - not only the most mainstream, probably the simplest song), especially the guitar solos, it is for this reason we saw tracking in our own home as a worthy investment... Perhaps we are wrong but with my experience it is relatively hard to find someone who will be a stickler and a perfectionist when it comes to tracking unless you're paying a ****load of money per hour. We don't mind paying for mixing and mastering elsewhere, we know we are waaaaaay too under-qualified to do this on our own.
Old 11th June 2012
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Ben B's Avatar
 

Not trying to be condescending, but how old are you? Buying a house with your band sounds like a liability to me. Why don't you just rent a house if you want your own place to record?
Old 11th June 2012
  #10
Here for the gear
 

I don't really understand what the focus on the house is, I don't remember asking any questions about buying a house or anything of the sort. I don't see why anyone is even talking about this, my question was pertaining to gear needed to do home studio tracking, and what would fit for my style of music/budget.

I edited my original post in consequence of this.
Old 11th June 2012
  #11
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Arichlsss's Avatar
What gear did u record your demo with?
Old 11th June 2012
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by JazzDeath View Post
We don't plan on mixing or mastering ourselves, just tracking... I don't see why we need a console if we're tracking to reamp, into a DAW, or why we even need a compressor.
You don't need a console. If you're tracking with the aim to re-amp, you're not really looking at "high quality home tracking" - you're just looking for the cleanest options. Most tracking sessions for guitars etc at a "real" studio involve recording the actual amp, often with outboard processing (EQs, compressors etc), even if a totally clean DI signal is taken for safety.

Certainly when recording drums, vocals, bass and so on, the usual procedure is some compression on the way in.

Reamping has kind of become a trendy buzzword, but doesn't really happen half as much as you think. Most people seem to subscribe to the school of thought of "why not just record it right to start with?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by JazzDeath View Post
I mean we have other gear like a BSS Audio OPAL noisegate, and Eventide H8000 and stuff like that but it's rather irrelevant to the question of just tracking before reamping isn't it?
Noisegates really don't have much place in the studio at all these days, unless you're using them in more expander roles like the channel dynamics on an SSL - it's much more convenient to just edit the audio if you don't want spill, use automation, or just make sure there's no ambient noise! They'er much more of a live tool....the H8000 is very definitely a mix tool as well.
And we do intend to use the services of a local who is very good at tracking, the person who did the tracking of our demo actually, and most likely mix it afterwards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JazzDeath View Post
Also is it really that much of a loss to buy mic preamps used to track with, worst case scenario I imagine a good mic pre-amp can be resold for an equivalent or close price if you acquired it used?
Very true - purchase well 2nd hand, and you won't lose money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JazzDeath View Post
On a side note I do intend to be in this band for 20 years... I mean of course life situations and bands are unpredictable but I wouldn't have invested heavily into any other project than this one, because I believe in the mentality, the work ethic, and the product.
This is the sort of quote that has people questioning your age etc. Very very naive - YOu may intend being in this band for 20 years, but it's very unlikely all of you will be. Which gets complicated when you own things jointly. What happens if one guy wants to leave, and you can't afford to buy him out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JazzDeath View Post
Also being well rehearsed is one thing but we are perfectionists and our music is extremely complex (demo song is not indicative - not only the most mainstream, probably the simplest song), especially the guitar solos, it is for this reason we saw tracking in our own home as a worthy investment...
well, it can be, but only if you're good at recording yourselves - otherwise you end up with a load of well played, badly recorded material (you're probably going to want to get good at editing well too). Which can be charming in some styles, but not really in metal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JazzDeath View Post
Perhaps we are wrong but with my experience it is relatively hard to find someone who will be a stickler and a perfectionist when it comes to tracking unless you're paying a ****load of money per hour. We don't mind paying for mixing and mastering elsewhere, we know we are waaaaaay too under-qualified to do this on our own.
Well, hopefully you get the skills you pay for. Anyone on an hourly rate SHOULD be patient enough to spend as long as you want on something; how well it's recorded depends on who you're paying to do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JazzDeath View Post
I don't really understand what the focus on the house is, I don't remember asking any questions about buying a house or anything of the sort. I don't see why anyone is even talking about this, my question was pertaining to gear needed to do home studio tracking, and what would fit for my style of music/budget.

I edited my original post in consequence of this.
The trouble is, to anyone who has actually bought a house, especially without the help of rich parents, it looks like a pipe dream. Unless you have 4-5 guys in the band who are each either cash-rich and you can buy somewhere outright, or you all have amazing day jobs so can get mortgages, it's a non-starter. That's before you even consider personalities, if everyone is such good friends nothing will get in the way (kids? girlfriends/wives? family circumstances?)

Really, you shouldn't even have mentioned that aspect of things - get your mortgages approved in principle, then think about buying houses.

Back to the studio. If you're prepared to spend 2-3k per preamp, make that a budget of 24k minimum just on preamps. I wouldn't want to record a decent drum sound without 12 channels for metal, even if I didn't end up using all of them.

why would you rent mics? That's money down the drain right there...and puts you back on the clock for tracking time...rentals cost money per day.

IMO, you should get a couple of good mics, a couple of good mic pres, maybe a compressor, and build from there. Track your drums with a great engineer, spend your own time fiddling with guitars.

Leave the house purchase to another forum
Old 12th June 2012
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
You don't need a console. If you're tracking with the aim to re-amp, you're not really looking at "high quality home tracking" - you're just looking for the cleanest options. Most tracking sessions for guitars etc at a "real" studio involve recording the actual amp, often with outboard processing (EQs, compressors etc), even if a totally clean DI signal is taken for safety.

Certainly when recording drums, vocals, bass and so on, the usual procedure is some compression on the way in.

Reamping has kind of become a trendy buzzword, but doesn't really happen half as much as you think. Most mppeople seem to subscribe to the school of thought of "why not just record it right to start with?"



Noisegates really don't have much place in the studio at all these days, unless you're using them in more expander roles like the channel dynamics on an SSL - it's much more convenient to just edit the audio if you don't want spill, use automation, or just make sure there's no ambient noise! They'er much more of a live tool....the H8000 is very definitely a mix tool as well.
And we do intend to use the services of a local who is very good at tracking, the person who did the tracking of our demo actually, and most likely mix it afterwards.



Very true - purchase well 2nd hand, and you won't lose money.



This is the sort of quote that has people questioning your age etc. Very very naive - YOu may intend being in this band for 20 years, but it's very unlikely all of you will be. Which gets complicated when you own things jointly. What happens if one guy wants to leave, and you can't afford to buy him out?



well, it can be, but only if you're good at recording yourselves - otherwise you end up with a load of well played, badly recorded material (you're probably going to want to get good at editing well too). Which can be charming in some styles, but not really in metal.



Well, hopefully you get the skills you pay for. Anyone on an hourly rate SHOULD be patient enough to spend as long as you want on something; how well it's recorded depends on who you're paying to do it.



The trouble is, to anyone who has actually bought a house, especially without the help of rich parents, it looks like a pipe dream. Unless you have 4-5 guys in the band who are each either cash-rich and you can buy somewhere outright, or you all have amazing day jobs so can get mortgages, it's a non-starter. That's before you even consider personalities, if everyone is such good friends nothing will get in the way (kids? girlfriends/wives? family circumstances?)

Really, you shouldn't even have mentioned that aspect of things - get your mortgages approved in principle, then think about buying houses.

Back to the studio. If you're prepared to spend 2-3k per preamp, make that a budget of 24k minimum just on preamps. I wouldn't want to record a decent drum sound without 12 channels for metal, even if I didn't end up using all of them.

why would you rent mics? That's money down the drain right there...and puts you back on the clock for tracking time...rentals cost money per day.

IMO, you should get a couple of good mics, a couple of good mic pres, maybe a compressor, and build from there. Track your drums with a great engineer, spend your own time fiddling with guitars.

Leave the house purchase to another forum
+1
Old 13th June 2012
  #14
Lives for gear
 
sleepyhollos's Avatar
Buy a house? I guess that was part of the 'edited out for clarity' cull.

Personally I'd have said buy a house, but buy low, buy as much Thermionic Culture gear you can afford, put it in said house, record an album over the course of 5 years. Hopefully the house will have appreciated in value whilst the album you recorded to the best of your ability but probably not to the best standard will most likely not. Sell the house, sell the Thermionic gear, take the proceeds from both sales and book yourself into a studio with someone who has the experience and know how in recording your style of music, soak up the financial loss you make on the sales as a lesson, though feel positive that you bought the house low and sold high... Mortgage interest incl you'll probably still lose but hey... Sell the professional album you recorded with the experienced engineer, get loads of gigs, sell sh!t loads of albums and live happily ever after.

Bang On!!!
Old 13th June 2012
  #15
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AllBread's Avatar
 

Here, I'll actually answer your question instead of just lecturing you about something that's none of my business.

Converters- get a pro tops hd native system with a 16x16 hd I/o

Mic pres:
API 3124 - great for bass and guitars ( kind of optional if you go with 4 channels of chandler but it's nice to have options as you'll probably end up with the mics on each guitar cabinet)
Chandler tg channel x 2 (or tg-2 with API 5500 or two tone controls for eqing guitars)
Chandler germ pre x2 (guitars and or vocals)
Bae 1073 for vocals
Retrospect juice box for bass di (or straight into the API or chandler DI

Mics to have on hand;
Guitars: 57, 421, beyer m160, beyer m88 Royer 121
Vocals: sm7, u87 ( vintage if you can get I,of course)

Other:
Distressor for 1:1 vocal distortion
multiple amp heads and caninets - tons of tonal differences between different speakers
Old 15th June 2012
  #16
Lives for gear
 
FadersmakmeHappy's Avatar
 

Lessons learned.

Since you claim to have money to play with I will give you my advice along with a little of my personal experience having worked on dozens of projects covering many genres. At one time I had very elaborate home studio setup (24 channel board, tons of analog outboard). Now I record to a laptop with a solid front end chain, good monitoring, and a select mic collection. I also do most of my tracking and mixing at a local studio with great outboard, good rooms, and a engineer I like working with. Its money well spent.

I would recommend that you get a good basic recording setup for demo work and overdubs. You can probably get away with 5-6k for this. Practice your asses off until you are pretty happy with the sound. (my gear list is below)

Since you wisely have realized that you need a good room for drums to record anyway, do all your basic tracking as a band together in a studio. Find a local engineer who records your genre of music and who's work you dig. Pay him/her to produce your project, engineer, and mix it. Your money will be better spent this way and you will be happier.

Basic home studio

-Pro Tools or Logic w/Interface (Avid, RME, or Metric Halo) 2k ish. These will have some usable pres with them. 8 Channels will serve you well.
-Mics (SM7, SM57's, perhaps a Shure Drum pack which has a bunch of 57's)
-Adam A7's or comparable monitors.
-Great River ME 1NV Preamp (has a solid DI and works great on all sources)
-API 3124 or Sebatron 4 channel (Good on drums, guitars, vocals, etc)
Old 16th June 2012
  #17
Here for the gear
 
sudama108's Avatar
 

Your demo sounds good

Pro Tools 10

Metric Halo ULN-8 (check this one out! it has everything you need)

Tube Tech CL1B/ Purple Audio MC77 or both

Shure Sm7
Shure sm57
AKG 451
all 3 mics should be the vintage ones if you can get them.

A nice set of active monitors!

BeyerDynamic Dt770 pro 80 ohm headphones
Old 16th June 2012
  #18
Gear Addict
 
Fergies Watch's Avatar
cant offer any advice for the questions, and also I'm not into metal,

but....

I really liked your song, its well put together, interesting and sounds great.

keep up the good work !
Old 19th February 2016
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
Black Ninja's Avatar
 

Metric Halo LIO-8 Plus 4preamps card.
Chandler TG2
Great River MP2-NV
API The Channel Strip
1176 style compressor (you will need!)
Sm-7
2 Sm-57
Royer 121
Manley Reference Cardioid
U87
Ampeg DI or REDDI DI
Martech DI
APC UPS On-line Double-conversion.
Good cables!
Monitoring? You have to improve your acoustic before...
Record your Drums in a PRO Studio.
Master and Mix at the best place you can pay!
Of course, ou need have skill and experience with gear and recording!
One Band can have very passionate opinions about his music. Sometimes you need to have a producer or someone who has a more uncompromising vision to help you!
It's easy the band make wrong decisions... So much emotional involvement... Sometimes...

Good luck!!!!!!
Old 19th February 2016
  #20
Here for the gear
 

1. Acoustic Treatment - This can be done on a budget if you're willing to put in some time and work. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FI17E8TQqWw - Here's a DIY bass trap video I made recently. Build 10 of those and you'll be in decent shape.

2. Converters - PT native system, ssl alpha link, apogee symphony, etc.

3. Neve 1073 preamp

4. Api 3124 mb

5. 1176

6. Distressor

7. Kemper Profiling Amp - I know you'll be tracking your own amps, but re amping into the kemper with a HUGE selection of tones can be really useful, especially for layering.

8. Good drum samples for layering - Not exactly tracking, but a must have for this genre imo.
Old 19th February 2016
  #21
You don't actually need a bunch of mic pres, especially if you are only tracking guitar, bass, and vocals.

2 preamps: because you might want 2 mics on your cabinet.

Buy versatile gear... use one of those two for your vocals.

Buy a 500 series rack... buy a pair of something versatile and proven. You can't go wrong with a 1073 clone, grace, 512c... lots of good options.

You then need a good DI, if you plan on recording bass direct. The ACME MoTown is a solid buy. So is the Reddi.

Now, if you want a classic vocal chain, you might just want to track your vocals and bass with some sort of compression.

Warm Audio makes the wa76 and now the wa-2a... they are close enough to the originals that it shouldn't bother you. Saves you cash and gives you a world-class vocal chain. If you want to be a slut, go ahead and buy an la-2a, 1176, cl1b, retro 176, pete's place comp, opticom, api 525, etc... If you stay 500 series, it will be much easier to transport the gear and take up less space.

For re-amping, RADIAL makes a great 500 series module.

Mic suggestions: every voice is different. Screaming rock vocals? sm-7, re-20, oceanus, Valvet, u87, sm-57... I've found that for screamers, dynamics are better...

Actual singing? Flea 47 next, Oceanus, Brauner Valvet ... the Valvet would be the one I'd expect to work best on a huge variety of voices....

Guitars: Again, depends on lots of things. Classic set up? Buy a 57, a royer... call it a day.

Love the track. Brutal.
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