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Help With Recording Rig

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OK, so I've recently gotten interested in recording and recording studios but I'm also very new to all the gear. What in your opinion is the best recording studio rig under $1500? I have a Mac so I'm just thinking about getting some software and mics. What Rig (software, mics, ect.) would you recommend to some you wants to make beats, and record songs? [thumbup]

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Is $1500 your total budget? Hmmm, cannot buy much with that. I would spend the bulk of that on a nice large diaphragm condenser mic. Vocals and acoustic instruments will thank you. A Sennheiser md 421 is great to have for guitar amps and drums. Live, you can get away with a Sure SM57 on a guitar amp, but I wouldn't advise it for the studio.

 

The best advise I can give you is do not cut corners on microphones. $50k in the best outboard gear won't make a lick of difference if you use cheap, pedestrian microphones.

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I definately disagree. IMO mics are the only way to go for recording. Why have a "realistic" simulation when you can just as easily get the real thing. It's really not hard to record with a mic unless you have some problem with using an amp.

 

My old band used Cubase 5 and a presonus interface. We mainly used Shure sm57s to record guitar and it sounds great. I like to close mic and have another big mic sitting in the room.

 

All in all I have to say Cubase is very good but ProTools is definately the best. You should get a good interface with plenty of mic inputs (important for when you want to mic drums) and get some good mics. MF has some cool packs that have everything you need to start recording. Also my friend got these short little mic stands that are perfect for micing amps without being obtrusive.

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http://mobile.musiciansfriend.com/product/PreSonus-FireStudio-Project-Recording-Package?sku=482341

 

I'm pretty sure this is the pack that my buddy started out with. Works great. You will need more mics if you get it though. I like the Sennheiser e609 and Shure SM57 for some fairly inexpensive mics (still very good sounding IMO). I've used the SM57 a lot and it sounds really good. Of course you can go pretty big on mics. They have some really expensive incredible pro studio quality mics available. The SM57 is still pro quality IMO but better mics are out there.

 

Maybe evol can point you towards some mics. I like the SM57s just fine though and I'm sure you would too.

 

Also... Are you planning on recording drums too?

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I have to agree with dub-t about the interface with lots of inputs. I have a tascam control surface with 8 inputs and it's still not enough at times.

 

As far as software, I have been using Sonar 8 producer and am very pleased with it. Very simple to use. Also, like everyone else has mentioned, don't skimp on mics....especially for vocals or acoustic instruments. You will definitely regret it down the line. Just my opinion.

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Get a cubase 5 system from steinberg. Works wonderfuly and comes almost ready to use (software and hardware made by the same brand).

 

For mics, depends on what you are mic'in up. Drums? Just guitars and vocals?

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I'm recording real instruments so yeah I'm think I'm going to need to invest in a mic. Thank You for the link and to answer your question TG, I'm going to mainly record Vocals, and Guitars, and one reason why I really wanted a Software is so I could make beats and such to play with My Guitar and Vocals.

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Maybe evol can point you towards some mics. I like the SM57s just fine though and I'm sure you would too.

 

 

SM57s and 58s are nice microphones, but I prefer them for live settings. You start using them all over your recordings and everything starts sounding the same. A great upgrade for mic'ing drums and guitar amps is the Sennheiser md 421. The md 441 is a great snare mic. The Shure SM81 has a lot of applications, like overhead drum mic'ing. And, as I mentioned, a nice large diaphragm condenser mic. There are a lot out there. If you can afford a Neumann U87, you are golden. To me that is the standard of large diaphragm condenser mics. Transparency like no other. Color it by running it through a tube preamp and you ears will orgasm from the sweet sounds.

 

Other recommendations

 

Electro-Voice RE20 - great for anything low end like bass guitar or baritone voices.

Shure SM 7 - Good vocal mic for screamers and other loud singers. Does wonders to mellow out high/yipy female voices. James Hetfield uses this mic a lot.

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FYI I record real instruments also...

 

 

I thought you were into air guitar.[biggrin]

 

 

BTW, I think you once said you recorded with the variax, am I right? Does it offer extra features when using it with a line6 product? Like a pod or one of the vetta amps? It would be really cool if that was the case.

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I'm recording real instruments so yeah I'm think I'm going to need to invest in a mic. Thank You for the link and to answer your question TG' date=' I'm going to mainly record Vocals, and Guitars, and one reason why I really wanted a Software is so I could make beats and such to play with My Guitar and Vocals.[/quote']

 

 

If you already have a reliable computer, and you have 1500 to spend, I would suggest you go with a good, pro level DAW (recording, editing, mixing software) I have been using Nuendo and Cubase for years and couldn't be happier. Steinberg (the main brand behind both DAWs) offers now hardware to go with them. Easy to set up and easy to use.

 

My advice is to get as many inputs as you can, 8 to 10 prefferably, 'cause right now you might want to use only 2 but in the future you might find yourself wanting to record drums, or more than 2 things at once and an entry level soundcard/interface will prove useless.

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SM57s and 58s are nice microphones' date=' but I prefer them for live settings. You start using them all over your recordings and everything starts sounding the same. A great upgrade for mic'ing drums and guitar amps is the Sennheiser md 421. The md 441 is a great snare mic. The Shure SM81 has a lot of applications, like overhead drum mic'ing. And, as I mentioned, a nice large diaphragm condenser mic. There are a lot out there. If you can afford a Neumann U87, you are golden. To me that is the standard of large diaphragm condenser mics. Transparency like no other. Color it by running it through a tube preamp and you ears will orgasm from the sweet sounds.

 

Other recommendations

 

Electro-Voice RE20 - great for anything low end like bass guitar or baritone voices.

Shure SM 7 - Good vocal mic for screamers and other loud singers. Does wonders to mellow out high/yipy female voices. James Hetfield uses this mic a lot.[/quote']

 

Thanks a lot Evol! I know this thread is for helping G4life but that actually helps me out a lot. My band and I are really trying to do some good recording this summer and I'm definately going to look into the Neumann U87. I also just got a new job so I'll have some cash to drop on some quality gear. I've been wanting to get a tube preamp also. Any recommendations for one? I don't want to spend too much money but I'm open to check stuff out. Thanks again.

 

We record our entire band with that box and it has enough inputs for everything (for us at least). We do our recordings live so it would be a real problem if it didn't accomodate us and it works perfectly. Pretty good price too. Leaves you some room to get more mics.

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WOW I just looked up that Neumann and it is pricey! The only way I could pick up one of those is to get an amazing deal on a used one. I'm sure it's totally worth it though.

 

I might take some recording classes at a local community college (actually a really good school) so hopefully I can learn a lot about it and maybe get a job in the industry. I'm also hoping we can record using their gear. That would be sweet but a little unlikely.

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guitarest is right..you don't need all that expensive hardware....get good audio to usb and you are done. You can model all your amps and effects...no hassle...Native instruments make one with XLR input if you need to record vocals....everything else can go straight into your DAW.Guitars, keyboards, whatever. (Cubase is old hat imo) Try Ableton...I know most people think its just for dance music, but it can do everything Cubase can in half the time.

 

You will get far more professional sounding results than using 'real' mics to record.. You can spend tons on the mics but the space you record in is going to effect the sound massively....

 

Hope this helps...

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WOW I just looked up that Neumann and it is pricey! The only way I could pick up one of those is to get an amazing deal on a used one. I'm sure it's totally worth it though.

 

I might take some recording classes at a local community college (actually a really good school) so hopefully I can learn a lot about it and maybe get a job in the industry. I'm also hoping we can record using their gear. That would be sweet but a little unlikely.

 

Yeah, the U87 ain't cheap (which is why I'll probably never own one). Other companies make great condenser mics. I think some of the Audio Technica AT40xx series get high ratings and I have heard good things about the higher end MXLs, at least price vs quality.

 

In regards to tube preamps, I don't know much. At home I use a Bellari MP 105 if that tells you anything.

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