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AT HOME OPTIONS?? GUITARS, BASS and VOCALS on your own?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

AT HOME OPTIONS?? GUITARS, BASS and VOCALS on your own?

Hey there Gearslutz!!

Not a very frequent poster here, but I have really appreciated ya'lls input in the past. Thank you...

I am at an interesting crossroads and I figured I would tap in here for some guidance:

I've written A LOT of material. I compose all the music myself (drum parts and all) and play all the instruments except the drums, which I hire a professional to do.

As we all know, studio time is expensive, and it's just such a pain "needing" someone else all the time. I have several nice mics and actually know a lot about gear. My goal as of right now, is to invest a little bit of time and money getting the right things so that I can record guitar, bass and vocals on my own and bypass the need of using other engineers and studios.

I am entertaining the idea of speaker IR's and digital emulations, Palmer units, etc., but at the end of the day, I am really am a "mic up the cab and play" kinda guy. REALLY, I am open to doing whatever does the song justice, but I have found that I have not been as satisfied with those options and I have been with actual mics and gear...

To give you an idea of what I'm working with currently:
Roland Quad Capture Interface
M Audio DMP3 Pre
DBX 163x Compressor

AKG d112 mic
shure sm57's
ADK condensors large diaphragm x2
SM7B

I'm thinking if I slide a nice API rack unit into the mix, I'll have pretty much the sound I'm looking for. Really, I'm thinking I could ditch most of it. I don't even use the SM7B for anything as I prefer singing into an SM57. I don't use the M-audio pre-amp either, but the DBX compressor actually works really well for vocals. I'd like to get something a little jazzier eventually. Perhaps an Avalon or something similar.

I play dynamic, "rock". JCM 800 into celestions and Fender Hot Rod deluxe distorted...

Again, my goal is to be able to record guitar, bass and vocals on my own and bypass the need to hire other engineers and rent studio space.

*Also, I suck at DAW's. Like, if I pretend they are a tape player I can kind of make it work, but otherwise, it's just not my realm. I do everything in Audacity -sorry I had to do that to ya'll. Haha!!

-T
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

Sounds like you are getting sounds you are decently happy with. Besides the obvious “treat your room” first response (which, if you haven’t done yet, start there), a nice pre could make a difference for you. Not sure exactly what you are looking for, but optimize your recording/tracking space first, and then maybe look at a nice outboard preamp.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 
bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjuxtable View Post
Sounds like you are getting sounds you are decently happy with. Besides the obvious “treat your room” first response (which, if you haven’t done yet, start there), a nice pre could make a difference for you. Not sure exactly what you are looking for, but optimize your recording/tracking space first, and then maybe look at a nice outboard preamp.
Yeah, pretty much what he said lol

If you have the bread to buy real API, do it... I recommend the warm audio tone beast a lot... it does a lot of different api flavors and is the boss on everything I run through it. Certainly holds it own with the couple of api preamps I have racked... but, no eq
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
bgood's Avatar
Let me add that I’m a one one man band except that I tend to do everything but most the gtr work...

I love running tube amps into a reactive load and into the Celestion made IRs... that sounds like a record all day. But, lately I’ve been splitting my signal with one end going into the tube amp and a separate feed into a Fender Mustang modeling amp that’s next to me in the control room... I’ll dial in the tube amp first and then get a close enough sound on the Mustang.. that way I can play with no latency and have that instant feedback of air getting pushed around when I’m playing... it’s great
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
Let me add that I’m a one one man band except that I tend to do everything but most the gtr work...

I love running tube amps into a reactive load and into the Celestion made IRs... that sounds like a record all day. But, lately I’ve been splitting my signal with one end going into the tube amp and a separate feed into a Fender Mustang modeling amp that’s next to me in the control room... I’ll dial in the tube amp first and then get a close enough sound on the Mustang.. that way I can play with no latency and have that instant feedback of air getting pushed around when I’m playing... it’s great
Whao... Say that again?? Haha! Sounds like a real stellar setup that you figured out through a lot of experience/ trial and error! I have a feeling that I will adopt a similar approach for this current album. The guy I'm working with now has a two note (?) or something loadbox/ speaker emulator which he pairs with his Plexi and then smashes IR's on it. That's what you're referring to the "reactive load", correct? The two note thing?? Is the tube amp which you are splitting the signal into in another room?? Like, a mic'd up amp, correct? He's encouraging me to purchase a few of the celestion IR's. Typically, I pair my JCM 800 with a G12 65 -Sounds fantastic, but the IR's of the 65 sound much different. Whatever, it's only $30. I'll just have to buy them and see...

The record we're working on currently has lot's of sections that start and stop and different levels of boosting for different levels of distortion etc. etc. So the versatility of the IR method would really play nicely. We're just recording in his basement and as you know, a cranked JCM 800 in a basement, well... yeah. -My thing is: I've got to be going through something real. I don't care if it's some ****ty fifteen watt amp mic'd up in a closet paired with an IR of sorts or some type of rack speaker emulator with a pre-set or whatever. I've just got to be playing through something real. I can't go just straight digital. F*cks with my head. You don't get the "weight". It's weird. I don't give a **** about shoot outs and people not being able to tell or whatever. All that matters is that I know what's going on with my own music and how it's supposed to feel to me. Ya know??

Thanks for the replies!!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
I've been a one man band for over two years now. I'm trying to think about what's most important for me.

First of all I would get some really good open back headphones. I use the HD6XX from Massdrop which are the same as the HD650. Previously I was using the AKG K702. You can hear what's going on in the room fairly well, as well as what's playing back in your cue mix. I even use them for singing, bleed is not really a problem.

I would suggest getting a "premium" direct box, but since you record live amps only I guess it's not needed. I've been going direct constantly since I got my Motown DI's built up. It's a quick and easy way to work for me. The lowest I would go would be a Radial J48. But if you spend a little more you can start to get things that are more toneful and rewarding, that you'll never get out of a standard $200 DI.

I would recommend to ditch the Roland and get a Tascam interface. The reason is, I think the Tascam interfaces have the best built in preamps of any of the big name interface brands. They may not have the lowest latency or the best software interfaces, but since you are not using virtual instruments, I would focus on the preamp quality.

I recorded a singer/songwriter friend of mine with the UH7000. The tracks sound as good as anything I've ever done with high end outboard preamps. These are under $300 on the used market when you can find them. If you need a ton of tracks for drums, check out the Celesonic or the 16 channel one. The price on these just came down also since Tascam is launching a new line of interfaces (with silver paint.)

Something like a UH7000 is also going to give you a really good DAC sound in your main monitor speakers, and a strong headphone amp.

If you need some preamps maybe grab a Lindell, API, or Heritage lunchbox. And get a pair of the Platinum VP312 that Jeff Steiger at CAPI has just priced down to the $400s. These preamps will most likely serve you for life.

I get bored with SM57s but they are fine. I would probably shop around for alternate guitar amp mics. Some usual suspects for me are the e906, 545SD, SM59, EV RE18, or something like an MD441, or into condensers and ribbon mics.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 
bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by T.M.A. View Post
Whao... Say that again?? Haha! Sounds like a real stellar setup that you figured out through a lot of experience/ trial and error! I have a feeling that I will adopt a similar approach for this current album. The guy I'm working with now has a two note (?) or something loadbox/ speaker emulator which he pairs with his Plexi and then smashes IR's on it. That's what you're referring to the "reactive load", correct? The two note thing?? Is the tube amp which you are splitting the signal into in another room?? Like, a mic'd up amp, correct? He's encouraging me to purchase a few of the celestion IR's. Typically, I pair my JCM 800 with a G12 65 -Sounds fantastic, but the IR's of the 65 sound much different. Whatever, it's only $30. I'll just have to buy them and see...

The record we're working on currently has lot's of sections that start and stop and different levels of boosting for different levels of distortion etc. etc. So the versatility of the IR method would really play nicely. We're just recording in his basement and as you know, a cranked JCM 800 in a basement, well... yeah. -My thing is: I've got to be going through something real. I don't care if it's some ****ty fifteen watt amp mic'd up in a closet paired with an IR of sorts or some type of rack speaker emulator with a pre-set or whatever. I've just got to be playing through something real. I can't go just straight digital. F*cks with my head. You don't get the "weight". It's weird. I don't give a **** about shoot outs and people not being able to tell or whatever. All that matters is that I know what's going on with my own music and how it's supposed to feel to me. Ya know??

Thanks for the replies!!
I use a cheap custom built reactive load box a guy on Reverb hand makes.... I could hear a difference between it and the Two Notes or Suhr so I got rid of those units and kept the Julius Music Box!

I keep the amp (a combo) in the room with me while I’m playing... the split that goes into the tube amp is silent into the DAW

As far as “premium” DI goes... Sure, get a good one like Radial... but REDD Or the Motown DI is completely and utterly not needed for your situation... waste of money.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
I've been a one man band for over two years now. I'm trying to think about what's most important for me.

First of all I would get some really good open back headphones. I use the HD6XX from Massdrop which are the same as the HD650. Previously I was using the AKG K702. You can hear what's going on in the room fairly well, as well as what's playing back in your cue mix. I even use them for singing, bleed is not really a problem.

I would suggest getting a "premium" direct box, but since you record live amps only I guess it's not needed. I've been going direct constantly since I got my Motown DI's built up. It's a quick and easy way to work for me. The lowest I would go would be a Radial J48. But if you spend a little more you can start to get things that are more toneful and rewarding, that you'll never get out of a standard $200 DI.

I would recommend to ditch the Roland and get a Tascam interface. The reason is, I think the Tascam interfaces have the best built in preamps of any of the big name interface brands. They may not have the lowest latency or the best software interfaces, but since you are not using virtual instruments, I would focus on the preamp quality.

I recorded a singer/songwriter friend of mine with the UH7000. The tracks sound as good as anything I've ever done with high end outboard preamps. These are under $300 on the used market when you can find them. If you need a ton of tracks for drums, check out the Celesonic or the 16 channel one. The price on these just came down also since Tascam is launching a new line of interfaces (with silver paint.)

Something like a UH7000 is also going to give you a really good DAC sound in your main monitor speakers, and a strong headphone amp.

If you need some preamps maybe grab a Lindell, API, or Heritage lunchbox. And get a pair of the Platinum VP312 that Jeff Steiger at CAPI has just priced down to the $400s. These preamps will most likely serve you for life.

I get bored with SM57s but they are fine. I would probably shop around for alternate guitar amp mics. Some usual suspects for me are the e906, 545SD, SM59, EV RE18, or something like an MD441, or into condensers and ribbon mics.
Nice! Thank you for the tips and experience! Yeah, I've always felt that something was a little weird about the Rolad pre-amps. Just a little bland and not really responsive in the way I like. I might look into other options...
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