The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
What's the Cheapest Solution to Recording a Live Band Practice? Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 2nd August 2014
  #1
Gear Head
 

What's the Cheapest Solution to Recording a Live Band Practice?

Neither looking for anything high quality nor recording track by track. Want to record the practice live.

Instruments include two electric guitars and amps, one electric bass and amp, a MIDI keyboard, and an electronic drum kit/drum loops and amp.

I'd like to record everything through Mixcraft 6 on my pc, so I can send an mp3 to the rest of the band members at home for individual practice.

Is there some kind of hub everyone can plug into that will then input into Mixcraft on my computer? Sort of like a multi-Rocksmith USB-type cable?

If worse comes to worse, I'm considering just purchasing a computer microphone and recording into Audacity on my pc.
TIA
Old 2nd August 2014
  #2
Invest some money in a Behringer mixer with a USB output. Their cheaper gear has been improved a lot, and is well worth the money. An 8 channel mixer can be had for around $300, and this will plug directly into your computer via USB for recording.
Old 2nd August 2014
  #3
Gear Head
 

Thanks, but unfortunately we won't be able to pop for a $300 mixer (plus Mixcraft registration) at this time. :(

I'm starting to think I may just have to go with an external computer microphone for now and hope for the best.
Old 2nd August 2014
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
nazaroo2's Avatar
you can save money by simply recording with a combination of iphone for video, and an analog recorder. They used to have inexpensive ($40) wall mics you could get a surprisingly clean overhead/room recording from: They were flat plates with a small aperature, I forget what they were called. Two of those would give you a stereo image, and there is probably software somewhere to combine the two files (iphone video & analog recording) into a Youtube vid.

You may have to borrow a few items to take it from start to finish.

update: they are called PZM mics:

http://www.mediacollege.com/audio/microphones/pzm.html


Some are priced around $50 - $60 on Ebay as I look around.

What's the Cheapest Solution to Recording a Live Band Practice?http://www.ebay.ca/itm/PZM-Microphon...item2a40ac897d
Old 2nd August 2014
  #5
Gear Head
 

Just looked those PZM mics up on Amazon but couldn't find any for less than $117. (Woops! In before the edit, I see.)

Forgive my ignorance, but did you mention the iPhone just to video an image?
Old 2nd August 2014
  #6
Lives for gear
 
2N1305's Avatar
 

Hi Nazaroo2,

The way I see it, you can do two things:

Make due with you have + small amount of upgrades

or

Get a good deal on a used piece of gear that was worth a lot more when new, or that has many functions worthy of a more expensive piece of gear.

The first option depends on what you have now. I imagine, a computer with some sort of recording software, capable of multitracking. That's fine but you'll need an A/D unit. Which means you also need a couple mics... You're looking at used to get all this under 300$. Which is nearly impossible, even with cheapo gear.

But you say you want the cheapest solution. Well, this means going two-channel into a real cheap a/d converter, or heck, cheaper yet, just straight into your computer's soundcard (assuming it isn't a laptop, because they don't usually have any inputs) through a cheap preamp in order to convert XLR low-impedance microphones to line level like on a soundblaster/whatever card.

You'd only have to pay for the preamp (ebay or ads) and a decent condenser microphone pair like some behringers.

my 2 cents

2N
Old 2nd August 2014
  #7
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2N1305 View Post
just straight into your computer's soundcard (assuming it isn't a laptop, because they don't usually have any inputs) through a cheap preamp in order to convert XLR low-impedance microphones to line level like on a soundblaster/whatever card.

You'd only have to pay for the preamp (ebay or ads) and a decent condenser microphone pair like some behringers.

2N
How much $$$ do you figure this running?

We'll pop for something better down the road. For now we just want something to remember and play along with practices with.
Old 2nd August 2014
  #8
Lives for gear
 
2N1305's Avatar
 

Oops! first of all sorry to both of you I got your usernames mixed up! I meant hello Integralpix, well, same to you nazaroo2! (no rhyme intended!)

OK, back to the subject at hand. Like I said, what do you have now? the price of what you need depends on what you have...
Old 2nd August 2014
  #9
Gear Head
 

Pretty much just a laptop w/ Mixcraft 6 demo. 1 a/d usb cable. And all of our instruments and amps.
Old 2nd August 2014
  #10
There are many cheaper alternatives for doing basic mixing than mixcraft. Names like Audacity and Reaper come to mind. Another suggestion is a portable Zoom recorder. It would have better sound quality than an external computer mic, and would cost about the same if not less.
Old 2nd August 2014
  #11
Lives for gear
 
2N1305's Avatar
 

Okay well the more I think about it the more I think it would be in your best interest to get a little standalone recorder. I have a Zoom R16 and the possibilities make (well, made) me want to quit analog gear! It's so versatile, portable, but it's at least 200$. What's neat in it is that it has two AMAZING built-in condenser microphones, which kick so much a$$ on drums it makes my close-micing system seem almost puny in comparison!

What I'd recommend if you want to stay below 1004 mark is either a little Tascam DP-004 or dp-002, there's a dp-004 here: What's the Cheapest Solution to Recording a Live Band Practice?TASCAM DP-004 or maybe a zoom H2N. these all go (well) under 100$ on ebay, and depending on where you live you won't have to pay too much for shipping. If you want to buy these new, it will cost you about 100$ minimum.
Old 2nd August 2014
  #12
Lives for gear
 
2N1305's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OversizedBass View Post
There are many cheaper alternatives for doing basic mixing than mixcraft. Names like Audacity and Reaper come to mind. Another suggestion is a portable Zoom recorder. It would have better sound quality than an external computer mic, and would cost about the same if not less.
+1 on audacity, even the older versions. Free and amazingly versatile, easy to make music on. will convert to mp3s. Bravo Audacity team!

also, forget the computer mic, even though my friend does this and has had decent results. It has no stereo image or than the one artificially created by multitracking your channels.

Last edited by 2N1305; 2nd August 2014 at 04:49 AM.. Reason: forgot a word
Old 2nd August 2014
  #13
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2N1305 View Post
What I'd recommend if you want to stay below 1004 mark is either a little Tascam DP-004 or dp-002, there's a dp-004 here: What's the Cheapest Solution to Recording a Live Band Practice?TASCAM DP-004
So just run a line from our amps to the four-track recorder? Would I be able to convert the recording to an mp3 on my computer?

It's been so long since I've seen those stand-alone four-tracks!
Old 2nd August 2014
  #14
Lives for gear
 
2N1305's Avatar
 

Hi again, sorry I had to go record a drum pattern that entered my head...

Umh, well, it depends on what instruments you have. You can go direct on guitar amps, but I always found that sounded dreadful compared to even the cheapest microphone. Somehow going direct adds this high-end buzziness that just clutters up the sound, especially on distorted guitar. Anyway, I'd suggest just captruing everything with the two ambient microphones, getting the levels on each instrument will pretty much sound like that in the final "mix" (there isn't much to mix when you have a left and right track). Or you could use the mics on drums and still have the guitar and bass going direct, at least you'll be able to isolate them from the drums a little bit. If the unit can actually accept two other inputs... It depends on the unit, on what your instruments are, on your budget, the time of day, etc...

Hope this helps!

If you are going to buy new, then you could also ask the salesperson what they think you should do after you explain what you are trying to achieve.
Old 2nd August 2014
  #15
Lives for gear
 
RRCHON's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2N1305 View Post
Okay well the more I think about it the more I think it would be in your best interest to get a little standalone recorder. I have a Zoom R16 and the possibilities make (well, made) me want to quit analog gear! It's so versatile, portable, but it's at least 200$. What's neat in it is that it has two AMAZING built-in condenser microphones, which kick so much a$$ on drums it makes my close-micing system seem almost puny in comparison!
+1


If you can't even come up with that, I would skip the purchase of the DAW and make due with one of the free alternatives.


There plenty of free DAWs for people starting out such as yourself.

Presonnus has a free version of Studio One.

Magix has their Samplitude Silver which is also free.

DarkWave Studio is an open source DAW that's actually quite decenet.

Reaper is not free, but you are welcome to try it for as long as you need, and when you get a spare $60, you should get a license, it is the right thing to do.

Then

Behringer MicroMIX MX400 4-Channel Line Mixer is about $25
Behringer U-Control UCA222 USB Audio interface is about $30
You can buy some Pyle Professional Moving Coil Dynamic Handheld Microphones from Wal-Mart for about $3 each.

Some cabling, some broom handles and duct tape and you've got what you asked for. It's not going to sound awesome, but it will probably sound better than what $70 has a right to if you place everything correctly and it will be a million times better than what people recorded on in the in the early days of radio.

You should also check out your local pawn shop, though as of late those places are more and more a waste of time for local markets. They seem to be turning into eBay stores more so than brick and mortar scabs.
Old 2nd August 2014
  #16
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RRCHON View Post
+1

Behringer MicroMIX MX400 4-Channel Line Mixer is about $25
Behringer U-Control UCA222 USB Audio interface is about $30
So help me understand.

The MicroMIX is to run a line out from the amps into the mixer, right? Then I'd run a line out (a/d usb cord?) from the MicroMIX into a DAW?

What does the U-Control do?
Old 2nd August 2014
  #17
In this setup, you'd plug your line inputs into the MicroMIX, and you'd run a 1/4" to RCA cable (like this) into the UCA222. The UCA222 is your A/D converter.
Old 3rd August 2014
  #18
Gear Head
 

Quote:
In this setup, you'd plug your line inputs into the MicroMIX, and you'd run a 1/4" to RCA cable (like this) into the UCA222. The UCA222 is your A/D converter.
Ok, cool. Is it possible to bypass the UCA222 by running an a/d usb cord from a MicroMIX output into a pc?
Old 3rd August 2014
  #19
Well... no. The UCA222 is the a/d usb cord.
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump