Bedroom recording setup?

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StevenO
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Bedroom recording setup?

Post by StevenO » Fri Jan 06, 2017 6:20 am

Looking to do a bit of recording, just mainly in bedrooms, living rooms, and basements. I have a MacBook Pro, a nice interface, and an SM57. That is all.

Where should I go from here? I'd like to be able to record just basic tracks. Nothing too glamorous. Vocals, guitar, bass, drums, keys (probably go direct for this).

I was thinking of picking up something like a Rode NT2A. Good idea? I really have no idea what I'm doing, yet I don't want to go too crazy with too expensive of gear.

Any help is appreciated!

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Re: Bedroom recording setup?

Post by soggy mittens » Fri Jan 06, 2017 6:41 am

How many inputs are there on the interface you have?

even for basic stuff if you want to record jams you'd be best with at least an 8 mic pre interface, I run an 8 pre with ADAT expansion that adds another 8pres and that covers all my needs so far).

kick mic, one overhead (to start and add a mic as you gain more mic pres)

sm57 on gtr

DI bass and keys

vocals

that is already six inputs.
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Re: Bedroom recording setup?

Post by marqueemoon » Fri Jan 06, 2017 6:44 am

No experience with that particular mic, but it seems pretty versatile. A large diaphragm condenser mic is a good next purchase, and switchable patterns, pad, and high pass are good options to have.

Don't overlook your monitoring setup. Even if you are mixing elsewhere you need to hear what you're doing accurately to capture the best sounds, and even to get the best performances.

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Re: Bedroom recording setup?

Post by Larry Mal » Fri Jan 06, 2017 6:46 am

The Rode is a good microphone, and a large diaphragm condenser would be a good complement (and a natural step forward) for what you plan to do.

And I'd agree, 8 inputs is the minimum if you plan on tracking drums.

But regardless, the large diaphragm Rode will work much better than the 57 for acoustic guitar and other acoustic instruments, and probably for vocals and such. Rode makes a good microphone for the money.
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Re: Bedroom recording setup?

Post by StevenO » Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:19 am

Thanks everyone. My interface has a has a total of 18 audio inputs and six audio outputs. Eight of the inputs are analogue, six being line level. The other two offer the option of mic, line or hi-impedance formats. So I think I'm OK for inputs for my uses.

I'm thinking the Rode might be a good choice. Any other recommendations for a similar mic, maybe even cheaper? :whistle:

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Re: Bedroom recording setup?

Post by Telliot » Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:27 am

If you're doing vocals in a particular harsh room, you might want to look into something like a Shure SM7b or EV RE-20. I would also recommend a decent preamp — I like the Warm Audio line quite a lot. Not cheap, but also not completely out of reach for the average person.
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Re: Bedroom recording setup?

Post by marqueemoon » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:16 am

Telliot wrote:If you're doing vocals in a particular harsh room, you might want to look into something like a Shure SM7b or EV RE-20. I would also recommend a decent preamp — I like the Warm Audio line quite a lot. Not cheap, but also not completely out of reach for the average person.
I own an RE-20, and while I love it it's not my first or even my third choice for vocals. Good for warming up shrill voices, and it has a pleasing sound for sure. My favorite use is kick drum. It's much more natural sounding than kick-specific
mics that exaggerate the beater click and low mids.

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Re: Bedroom recording setup?

Post by Larry Mal » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:32 am

I used to own a few of these Baby Bottles, which I always liked. I guess they are now discontinued or something and Sweetwater is clearing out the stock:

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/BabyBottle" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I'm not in a position to say that they are better than the Rode, though. Probably pretty similar quality.
So you have to ask from mother, "Who is my father?" And if she says, "This gentleman is your father," then it is all right. It is easy.

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Re: Bedroom recording setup?

Post by Telliot » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:34 am

marqueemoon wrote:
Telliot wrote:If you're doing vocals in a particular harsh room, you might want to look into something like a Shure SM7b or EV RE-20. I would also recommend a decent preamp — I like the Warm Audio line quite a lot. Not cheap, but also not completely out of reach for the average person.
I own an RE-20, and while I love it it's not my first or even my third choice for vocals. Good for warming up shrill voices, and it has a pleasing sound for sure. My favorite use is kick drum. It's much more natural sounding than kick-specific
mics that exaggerate the beater click and low mids.
Agreed 100%. I actually sold mine because it wasn't a good fit for my voice, neither is the SM7b for that matter, but they both do a good job of isolating the source material from the room around it, depending on the proximity. I know a lot of people swear by them for vocals, Thom Yorke, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, etc., but they both seem to accentuate the low-mid frequencies in my voice that I'm always trying to dial out.
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Re: Bedroom recording setup?

Post by Larry Mal » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:43 am

It's hard to really recommend microphones since they are so specific to the details of what is being recorded... what suits my voice and guitar in my environment will likely not be the perfect fit for your situation. Almost all microphones exaggerate some frequencies over others, and whether or not that works for what you are doing is where the skill, artistry and experience come in.

You'll probably waste a lot of time reading a lot of recommendations on the internet. I'd probably just recommend something that fits the budget, is reasonably well reviewed, and seems like it will be a good fit. Get to know the shit out of that microphone and how to record well with that, only then can you begin to get the understanding of how to improve your recordings. Even the most expensive microphones might not shine in your particular situations, so don't make too much about it now.
So you have to ask from mother, "Who is my father?" And if she says, "This gentleman is your father," then it is all right. It is easy.

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Re: Bedroom recording setup?

Post by Dok » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:14 pm

Telliot wrote: Agreed 100%. I actually sold mine because it wasn't a good fit for my voice, neither is the SM7b for that matter, but they both do a good job of isolating the source material from the room around it, depending on the proximity. I know a lot of people swear by them for vocals, Thom Yorke, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, etc., but they both seem to accentuate the low-mid frequencies in my voice that I'm always trying to dial out.
Me too, exactly this. Unfortunately with microphones it just takes a lot of experimentation until you find something that sounds right.
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Re: Bedroom recording setup?

Post by marqueemoon » Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:29 pm

Once you start really messing with mics it becomes apparent how much coloration they add, and that when applied correctly that can be a good thing.

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Re: Bedroom recording setup?

Post by StevenO » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:40 pm

I figured as much about mics having different flavours. I don't really care too much about having the best sound. I more so just want to something of decent quality to get ideas down. Hell, lots of the music I listen to sounds like it was recorded with the equivalent of RadioShack mics. :whistle:

I'll keep checking around and look for decent deals on stuff. The Rode is pricey, at around $500 CDN, but not outrageously so. We'll see!

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Re: Bedroom recording setup?

Post by mackerelmint » Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:24 pm

If you don't mind a wee bit of soldering, building a kit or modding a cheap Chinese LDC can get you a very nice mic for around 300 bucks.
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Re: Bedroom recording setup?

Post by soggy mittens » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:28 pm

StevenO wrote:[...]
I'm thinking the Rode might be a good choice. Any other recommendations for a similar mic, maybe even cheaper?
a very similar microphone, with the same options is the iSK BM-600, I can vouch for iSK, great budget microphones.

You should be able to find a shure beta 52a kick mic second hand and an sm58 or even better an sm58 beta, they have better spill rejection. If you're doing live recordings I'd be hesitant to use a LDC on vocals, but for vocal overdubs they are amazing, I'd use it for the drum overhead instead. ;)
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