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Acoustic Drums > MBox > Macbook.. Tuff! Audio Interfaces
Old 28th December 2010
  #1
Gear Head
 

Acoustic Drums > MBox > Macbook.. Tuff!

My son records drums into his Macbook using an MBox. 1 overhead mic and the kick/snare Y'd (2 mic inputs). He's using PT8 LE, layering in keys, guitars, bass, etc.. making music.

He would like individual drums on seperate tracks, but with only 2 inputs its not happening. I'd like to set him up and heres what I'm thinking:

Use the MBox for stereo overheads, recorderman or whatever 2-mic technique. In addition, have a trigger setup on the toms, foot drum and snare.

Problem is, I don't have a clue when it comes to midi/computers etc.. I am thinking some DDrum Acoustic Pro Triggers > Alesis I/O > Macbook.

Hoping for suggestions, want some kind of trigger/interface/software setup that'll work good and let him record good sounding samples in PT. Hopefully with a shallow learning/setup curve!
Old 29th December 2010
  #2
SRS
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I'd go a different route for your boy. Get a cheap used basic mixer (Mackie 1604 comes immediately to mind). Pick up a few more used cheap mics (SM-57s come to mind). Then mic the kit appropriately and submix them with the mixer to 2 channels/tracks and input them into the Macbook via the Mbox.

Maybe a few hundred bucks or so and you will have a decent basic solid platform to record with, allowing some basic recording chops to be developed.

My 2cents

Quote:
Originally Posted by perryr View Post
My son records drums into his Macbook using an MBox. 1 overhead mic and the kick/snare Y'd (2 mic inputs). He's using PT8 LE, layering in keys, guitars, bass, etc.. making music.

He would like individual drums on seperate tracks, but with only 2 inputs its not happening. I'd like to set him up and heres what I'm thinking:

Use the MBox for stereo overheads, recorderman or whatever 2-mic technique. In addition, have a trigger setup on the toms, foot drum and snare.

Problem is, I don't have a clue when it comes to midi/computers etc.. I am thinking some DDrum Acoustic Pro Triggers > Alesis I/O > Macbook.

Hoping for suggestions, want some kind of trigger/interface/software setup that'll work good and let him record good sounding samples in PT. Hopefully with a shallow learning/setup curve!
Old 29th December 2010
  #3
Gear Head
 

We've got a bunch of analog gear with real knobs and cables, plenty of mics, just figured it would take a good chunk of gear to have more simultaneous channels. A friend recomended the Profire 2626.. on firewire and he's got 8 more tracks! I guess I need to sharpen up on whats going on in the digital ways. Hopefully the kid will teach me something!
Old 29th December 2010
  #4
SRS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perryr View Post
We've got a bunch of analog gear with real knobs and cables, plenty of mics, just figured it would take a good chunk of gear to have more simultaneous channels. A friend recomended the Profire 2626.. on firewire and he's got 8 more tracks! I guess I need to sharpen up on whats going on in the digital ways. Hopefully the kid will teach me something!
Yeah. More mics are not always better on a kit. But it's nice to have options. FireWire in with a simple interface can do wonders.
Old 29th December 2010
  #5
Registered User
Something you could consider using just two channels of OH ...

Investigate drum replacement software. (I think Protools already has something ... I use Cubase and have to use 3rd party plugins, but there are plenty to choose from.

Something you may not have considered is that the resonant frequency of the individual drums are unique, and you can separate them out with some savage eq. With drum replacement, the audio is used to trigger a sample of your choice, so the actual sound quality is irrelevant. You can clone mono tracks from the stereo OH track, and use a steep peak filter tuned to the resonant frequency of the drum you want to replace. Use a gate to reject all the other drum hits - set it right, and it will only open up for the specific drum you have tuned for. Don't worry what it sounds like - you are just trying to create a trigger impulse. Compress/limit if necessary - you just need a short sound for each drum hit. The sound replacement software will play a sample of your choice, and there are so many to choose from.

The idea is to use the triggered samples to augment the OH track. They will give some consistency and body to the OH sound, but the OH track will still be very prominent and keep it sounding real.

If you can afford a better interface with more channels, you can take this to another level: buy the cheapest mics you can get, and mic each drum, but just use them to trigger samples.

Of course you could try to get good sounds with multiple mics, but then the quality of the mics, preamps and converters and room (not to mention drums and player) become much more important. If you are making modern music, you are competing with the big name mix engineers who use a lot of samples ...

Check out the Stephen Slate stuff - for education at least ...
Old 29th December 2010
  #6
Lives for gear
M-Audio Profire 2626/Steinberg-Yamaha MR816x/Echo Audiofire Pre-8

I believe all three firewire interfaces will give you 8 pres/line ins to record drums and whatever else you can throw at it + digital connections to add channels down the line. None of them will allow you to use PTLE however. I have an MR816x myself and it sounds great. The profire drivers never played nice on my PC setup but was great on Mac. Echo was very stable. Soundwise, I much preferred the pres on the MR816 to the other units.

If he's set on using PTLE to mix, then maybe tracking in something like Reaper ($50) and moving the files into PTLE for mixing.

The other route would be getting a mixer, getting a decent drum mix going and taking the stereo sum into the mbox...might be more fun, might be more trouble, definitely less open ended.
Old 29th December 2010
  #7
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
You can clone mono tracks from the stereo OH track, and use a steep peak filter tuned to the resonant frequency of the drum you want to replace. Use a gate to reject all the other drum hits - set it right, and it will only open up for the specific drum you have tuned for.
Very cool! We have some older drum tracks with an OH/Foot that would be perfect for messing with this. We are getting Drumagog, just need to figure it out. Thanks!
Old 29th December 2010
  #8
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blacklion View Post
M-Audio Profire 2626/Steinberg-Yamaha MR816x/Echo Audiofire Pre-8

I believe all three firewire interfaces will give you 8 pres/line ins to record drums and whatever else you can throw at it + digital connections to add channels down the line. None of them will allow you to use PTLE however.
Man, I figured the M-Audio unit would work just like the MBox with PT8LE? So we'll need to track using the supplied software? That kinda sucks.
Old 30th December 2010
  #9
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by perryr View Post
Man, I figured the M-Audio unit would work just like the MBox with PT8LE? So we'll need to track using the supplied software? That kinda sucks.
M-audio stuff will work with Pro Tools M-Powered. All of it would work with Pro Tools 9, but not PT8LE.

As I mentioned, you could look into Reaper which is free to try out and a suggested $50 donation if you like it. Has all the functions of a full DAW and the cost is well worth it unless you have more $$$ to burn on recording software.
Old 1st January 2011
  #10
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blacklion View Post
M-audio stuff will work with Pro Tools M-Powered. All of it would work with Pro Tools 9, but not PT8LE
Thanks! The Profire 2626 came with Ableton Lite.

Could I use the Ableton Lite program to record tracks, then open them in PT-LE?

Or would you suggest skipping the Ableton Lite and getting reaper for this?

He will be using PTLE for mixing and composing, right now just needs something to record tracks with, and then be able to open those tracks in PTLE.

I guess one concern with whatever recording program is resource useage. He will need to record 8t simultaneously (full drums mic'd).

Appreciate the input!
Old 1st January 2011
  #11
Gear Nut
 
Loflyinjett's Avatar
 

I use REAPER to do full band demos that can go over 10+ inputs at once, Works perfect.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #12
Lives for gear
Not sure what Live lite is like for tracking. Reaper is fairly easy to learn, especially if it's for basic tracking and exporting tracks for mixing in PT. You basically create tracks, set the inputs correctly, record arm and go for it. If you haven't downloaded it already, give it a shot and see if it fits the bill (it's free to try afterall) thumbsup
Old 4th January 2011
  #13
Gear Head
 

So we loaded the Ableton Live Lite, fired up the 2626 and are up and recording.. but Live Lite only allows 2 simultaneous tracks! So we promptly deleted that and downloaded Reaper, fired up the 2626 and can record 8 simultaneous tracks.. perfect!

Our studio floor is being re-done, so all the gear is packed away in every open slot in the house. My son setup his kit (2 floor toms and an array of cymbals) in his bedroom, which amazes me that he could even get it to fit. He then setup 8 mics, shut the door and had a 15yo drummer fest, and it all recorded great into Reaper. He then opened the tracks in PTLE and is having a gas. Perfect!

Thanks for the help, we would have been totally lost without it!
Old 4th January 2011
  #14
Gear Addict
I give thumbs up for 2626 and Reaper!

A solid choice with lots of options.
Old 5th January 2011
  #15
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by perryr View Post
So we loaded the Ableton Live Lite, fired up the 2626 and are up and recording.. but Live Lite only allows 2 simultaneous tracks! So we promptly deleted that and downloaded Reaper, fired up the 2626 and can record 8 simultaneous tracks.. perfect!

Our studio floor is being re-done, so all the gear is packed away in every open slot in the house. My son setup his kit (2 floor toms and an array of cymbals) in his bedroom, which amazes me that he could even get it to fit. He then setup 8 mics, shut the door and had a 15yo drummer fest, and it all recorded great into Reaper. He then opened the tracks in PTLE and is having a gas. Perfect!

Thanks for the help, we would have been totally lost without it!
Awesome. Have a BANGING new year!
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