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Home recording


rlajack1217

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Ok this maybe off topic for this forum. But I was wondering what you guys were using to record your music at home. My son plays the drums and he gets together with a couple of his friends and they jam. Well he now wants to mix/record their music. So with the holidays fast approching I was thinking of getting him setup with something. But Im not sure what. I don't want to spend a ton of dough but I'd like it to be decent.

 

Again sorry if this is off topic.

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Boss br 600 digital 8 track...onboard drum machine is nice for the drumless-they sound pretty damn good robot or not...I don't use the guitar effects, but the bass effects/simulators I do use...have a cheap Austin Bass but no amp, so I run right into the Boss and use a simulated bass amp....has easy mix down options too. I'm a novice with it, only 2 songs fully mixed down and mp3'd; I know it can sound better than I have made it sound by virtue of the demo and some stuff I've heard other guys do with it. It's not a bank breaker either. Maybe not going to get absolute top notch profesional level sound, but better than a mere audio "notebook" to help you formulate ideas, come up with very good demos and if you are a talented tonemeister, you might be able to get it to sound top notch-I don't know...I'm not a skilled producer, but I have a couple good sounding Mp3's (through good speakers or headphones) with it.

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I would be lost with out my Zoom 8 track recorder! I burn my own backing tracks of my songs' and now i'm a one man band. Buy all means get your kid one and it will open up all kinds of things for him to do. I really think he'll use it and love it !!! Stan.

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I'm using Garage Band on a Mac. The USB interface is a Pod XT Live for guitar & bass, M-Audio Mobile Pre for Microphones.

Not the least expensive route, however.

That Boss digital 8 track looks interesting though. When I used to do basement jams with my friends years ago, we had a cheap portable cassette recorder with a mic hanging from the ceiling! Primitive, but the sound quality was very good. We would listen to the playback afterwards and hear how awful we were.

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I've been into recording since the '70s, and, I tell you what, we're in the golden age for recorders and the dark ages for knowledge. A simple recorder is the best way to go...and then expect to spend a lot of time figuring out how to get a good sound.

 

My main setup is a PC running Adobe Audition with two digital mixers, a Mackie Control Surface Universal, a bunch of good mics, and a couple of preamps (including a Grace 101HG for the ribbon mic), but the truth is, I mostly record on location these days using a Korg D888.

 

The advantage of the D888 is that you can configure it to accept 8 mic or instrument inputs, then route the signal out the back into a sound mixer. This makes it ideal for recording live gigs: other digital recorders (assuming you don't have a fortune in splitter boxes etc) make you choose between recording off a stereo pair of outs from the mixer or recording multiple tracks but sending a stereo signal to the sound board.

 

It's easy to use, once you figure out a couple of quirks, and you can record for a couple of hours (actually, quite a bit more, but I've never had to) at a time, which is great for rehearsals or gigs.

 

It's lacking in editing finesse (like most relatively inexpensive digital recorders -- the Korg goes for $700US) but I import the songs into Audition and edit and mix on the computer.

 

As noted above, the real crux of the biscuit is "man, we played great! How come the recording sounds like crap?" Experience and experiment is the key to fixing that. No hardware will ever magically make your rehearsal sound like Sgt Pepper, but once you get the gear and learn to use it, the real part of the learning will begin.

 

Good luck. It's a lot of fun, and when you get to the point where you're consistently getting good results, you're gonna love it. I do.

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And another thing about the Boss BR-600, it's very easy to record a band practice...2 onboard condensor mic's that capture live sound nicely.

 

There is a draw back though; if you want to mic up EVERYONE w/ externals, you can only plug 2 in at a time and record 2 tracks simultaneously (the onboard condensors shut off when you plug externals in)

 

So, it can be slow...but for live, if you can get the room to sound good, it is really a nice asset. And also very small and easy to take out of the house to a show or gig.

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I've been using the Zoom H4 for the last few months. It also has two condenser mics built in. You can also plug in two external mics. A 24 and 48 volt phantom power supply (selectable) is built in. You can also run it in 4 track mode that allows you to record two tracks at a time then keep adding. Tons of effects built in as well as a tuner.

It comes with Cubase LE software that allows you to download your projects to your computer.

The software manual is available on line, around 500 pages.

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How do you interface with your computer?

 

I don't have any mics at the moment, but my amps have emulated direct line outs so I just go from that straight into the audio in on my computer. I found out I had to update the drivers for my soundcard though, because there was a bit of a lag in the signal. It's a free download though.

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I use the mixer from my PA system, running from the dedicated "Recording" output into my MacBook Pro, with GarageBand.

 

If I'm playing by myself, I record each separate track. When I'm recording with a group, I mix it on the mixer and record a single stereo track on the computer.

 

Fancier setups would allow recording each instrument separately, but that's very expensive and I'm rarely recording with a group, all at once.

 

Keyboard and digital drums I plug directly into the mixer, into the dedicated electronic instrument input.

 

I mic the amp for electric guitar.

 

For acoustic guitar, I mic the soundhole and run the pickup into the acoustic instruments input on the mixer, so it is a nice balance of electric and acoustic tones.

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Ditto on the BR600. I just got one a couple of days ago and I'm still figuring it out' date=' but it looks like just the ticket for me.[/quote']

 

Ditto again on the BR600.

Good little machine. Had it 6 months, still learning new tricks. A good mic has made all the difference.

 

I find the drums easier to use through the PC interface (can download from the Boss web site).

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