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Best Audio Interfaces For MY Budget , and recording drums.....
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
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Thread Starter
Best Audio Interfaces For MY Budget , and recording drums.....

SO I am expanding my music production items and I am looking to get a new interface and some mics in order to record drums. First I want to address the interface though because I have heard that alot of the quality comes from the type of pre-amp that the interface has. Overall I was looking to achieve a warm colorful sound rather that just the clean sound I am getting from the Scarlett 2i2. My budget is relatively between $200-600 but I can budge if the sound difference is worth it.

Onto drums I was looking for some good economical mics to record drums with. Right now I have the AT-2035 and am about to purchase a nuemann but I was wonder if I should get whole drum mic set or a few good condenser mics. There is a lot of investing happening right now.
Old 1 week ago
  #2
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Old 1 week ago
  #3
Gear Head
 
Bedroom Studio's Avatar
There are some recording techniques for drums that require 2 mics (recorderman for example)
but you will always have limited choices when it comes to mixing.
As cicciosound suggested, you will need an interface with more inputs.
If you get a sound card with an ADAT input you can expand it with a multichannel preamp
(Behringer ADA 8200 is a popular choice) otherwise you'll have to go a little above your budget
and buy a more expensive interface with 8 inputs.

Also, there are some good microphone sets for drums (Beyerdynamic TG Drum Set PRO M is very good for its price)
but it depends on what you want to achieve and how you want to record drums.
If you want multi track recording you will need a full drum microphone set.
If you decide to record drums with other miking techniques you can do it with 2 condensers a kick and a snare mic.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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your budget is not going to cover enough preamps that are not of the simple clean type you already have. Transformer based pre's come in at around $400+ per channel.

The Slate VMR software would get you in the emulation ballpark, but thats as close as I reasonably think you can go on your budget.

If you don't mind doing self build you can almost half that cost. The link below is for some great API mic preamp clones that will give you more character than the Scarlett.

Classic Audio Products, Inc.

the VP26 is great for a first time build, and the VP28 is a more complex but IMO better channel which emulates the output fader stage of a console as well as the mic pre.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
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You should get yourself a multichannel interface, something with at least 4 to 8 channels. This way each mic get recorded to a track.

I also recommend getting a drum kit mic set that has a matched pair of overheads, kick, snare and tome mics.
I started off using a mixed bag of mics and had to work my ass off trying to get a good drum mix. I gradually upgraded and bought several individual pieces of a Audio Technica drum mic kit, three toms and a pair of small condenser overheads and the job of mixing got so much easier because I wasn't dealing with oddball frequencies from a mixed bag of vocal mics. I still need an actual kick mic. I currently use an SM57 or one of a couple of dozen other I have. I also use a sub kick so I can get it sounding deep.

You can search on line for full kits then shop for price. Its simply easier and you get good results.

As far as the interface goes, its not where you get the warmth or coloration you're talking about. Most of that comes from the actual drums, the mics and the way you mix. Other things like phase issues by improper mic placement and poor room acoustics can make any interface sound like tin pans and cardboard. The preamps play an extremely small part in that. If you cant get great sounds with a Focusrite, you have much bigger problems you have to solve first.

Having multi channels is the other thing. If you want up close modern sounding drums you have to mic drums separately and record each to independent tracks. This way you have some control over the frequencies and dynamics to make them blend. Back when I only had an 8 track and recorded the full band, I'd use a separate stereo mixer and put a full 8 mics on the set. I'd then pan the mics within the stereo field and EQ the mics to sound like a solid set, much like a sound man would do playing live. I'd record the mixer to two channels and I could so some things mixing like multiband compression, EQ and reverb. I got many a great drum recording that way. They key was the drums had to sound great through the mixer first then you have to evaluate the recording to see what's lacking then tweak it a little after every song till its sounding great.

With a multichannel interface you do all that tweaking when you mix. You want to capture everything the mic hears with no coloration so you have maximum flexibility mixing. If the sound is colored already and that coloration is wrong for the music they you're pretty much stuck with it whether it works for the music or not. You can only go so far removing what isn't supposed to be there in the first place and then you start loosing quality. EQ is very destructive to tracks so you want to do everything you can before the sound its the mics so you do less mixing and if you do use EQ you want it to be broad mild boosts and cuts so you don't crate additional phase issues.

For a decent multichannel interface, this ones tough to beat for the price. Product: US-1800 | TASCAM You have 16 channels and 8 have mic preamps. You get yourself a 7 piece drum mic set, like this Shure PGADRUMKIT7 PG ALTA 7 piece Drum Microphone Kit | Full Compass or this https://www.americanmusical.com/Item...SABEgJD5PD_BwE spend tome setting your mics properly, tuning the set, and treating the room there's no reason why you shouldn't get top quality recordings.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by wrgkmc View Post
spend tome setting your mics properly, tuning the set, and treating the room there's no reason why you shouldn't get top quality recordings.
And don't forget to check the phase relationships of your mics! If your mics are out of phase you'll get some frequency cancellation between them and end up with a thin, weak sounding recording
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Gear Head
 

I go by "Buy right, buy once." I'd rather have a little of good then a lot of garbage. None of the interfaces you will find in you're price range will have great mic pres, although probably all pretty good. I wouldn't be too concerned with the mic pres in the interface, and start saving for some really good ones. For drums, yeah... you'll need lotsa inputs, go for 8. Lotsa affordable mic choices these days. I'd stick with the standard AKG on kick, steal the guitarist's sm57 for snare and another for hats and buy yourself a nice set of condensers. Get into spot pics on toms later. Looking at the STAM mics myself. Don't forget, whatever you buy will likely do double duty on other sources. Don't forget a nice drum compressor. I hear the ART VLA II is pretty good value. Have fun.

:o)
Old 1 week ago
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilRoy View Post
I wouldn't be too concerned with the mic pres in the interface


How is that not the most important thing quality-wise in an AI?
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post


How is that not the most important thing quality-wise in an AI?
Outboard mic preamps. At some point you may want to try tube or transformer based mic pres for variety, bypassing the onboard pres... or not. The pres in my Focusrite pro 40 are just fine and may be all one needs.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post


How is that not the most important thing quality-wise in an AI?
Quite often with a "pre on a chip" which is what most interface pres are, the power supply circuit is more important, the Pcb layout and quality of traces is more important
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