JPF Home Page
Posted By: tim houlihan recording equipment - 05/18/11 05:52 AM
i'm going to start building my own recording studio by july-i'll be buying one piece at at a time so it will take some time to do--
which piece would you start with if you were doing this?

tim
Posted By: Nigel Quin Re: recording equipment - 05/18/11 11:26 AM
Originally Posted by tim houlihan
one piece at at a time
Well Johnny Cash started with a lunch box full of gears wink

One thing eh? I would start with a book on studio acoustics and soundproofing. You have the luxury of starting from scratch, you may as well do it properly.

Good luck, Iíll be interested to hear how this goes.

Nige smile
Posted By: Andy Kemp Re: recording equipment - 05/18/11 01:53 PM
Nigel's spot on with the sound conditioning of the room. Then I would make a choice between recording to a PC or a standalone DAW like a AW1600 digital 16 track, it's what I use and it's cool. You can probably pic one up on ebay for about $250. You will also need a good set of headphones, good condenser mic plus a pair of nice studio monitors.
There's tons of things really and once you start down the path of buying studio gear it never ends.
Posted By: Ray E. Strode Re: recording equipment - 05/18/11 02:03 PM
Humm,
One source you can access is http://www.audio-recording-center.com/ If you are building a room to record in you can probably look at any number of studios by Googleing Recording Studios in Nashville for instance. Many have pictures posted of their Studios.
Posted By: Colin Ward Re: recording equipment - 05/18/11 02:36 PM
I am going to assume you are talking about a home studio at a modest cost. There are just a few items you need to be able to record at least something rough.

First would be a powerful computer with a fast processor and lots of RAM and hard drive capacity (assuming you are going computer based). If you don't already have it, get it first. Choose your recording software and load it up. I recommend downloading Reaper and trying it out for free for a month - then you can buy it inexpensively.

Next you will need an interface to convert analog to digital and connect a microphone to the computer.

And then you need a microphone/stand/cable to capture what you are recording.

With these items you are off and running and as Andy says, there is no limit to the stuff you can add later.
Posted By: Johnny Daubert Re: recording equipment - 05/18/11 04:16 PM
Originally Posted by tim houlihan
Which piece would you start with?

Peace with the wife!
Posted By: Patrick Bryant Re: recording equipment - 05/18/11 05:22 PM
Originally Posted by Johnny Daubert
Originally Posted by tim houlihan
Which piece would you start with?

Peace with the wife!

Ha! Yes, very important.
I would probably go for the monitor speaker system first.
This would allow me to play music through them and experiment with placement, adding sound absorbing/diffusing materials to the room, etc.
Posted By: tim houlihan Re: recording equipment - 05/18/11 07:27 PM
Okay- so I 'll soundproof first-and then go with the monitors--

awesome--thank you
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES Re: recording equipment - 05/20/11 03:23 AM
I hate to disagree.......FIRST you need to establish what and how you will be recording and what equipment you will need to do the job then work out costs and how this equipment will fit into the alotted space. Then set a budget.....then figure out necessities and priorities based on what you need and what you can afford. You may find that soundproofing could come way down the list both in practical and financial terms.
Posted By: tim houlihan Re: recording equipment - 05/24/11 06:57 PM
Jim-
sorry it took me so long to get back to this--you give sound advice--plannong will be essential here because I am doing this " a piece at a time". This is going to take alot of patience on my part--not only that, the wife has decided she wants to move to Ohio now!!!!!lololol-glad she let me know before I sound proofed anything, huh???/
This is going to be quite a ride I can tell!!!
Thanks for the good advice Jim--

Tim,
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES Re: recording equipment - 05/25/11 11:04 AM
Tim Soundproofing is great but IMO NOT a necessity. Certainly not the first thing one would buy or worry about. The basics for any recording system are
1. a decent mic (preferably a tube or condenser)
2. a DAW or computer (I would go with a pc)
3. recording software. (There are freebies like Audacity that will do the basic job)
4. Audio interface.
5. Good studio monitors.
6. Instruments (guitars and a midi keyboard)

Each part of the chain can be upgraded piece by piece and extras like soundproofing and software (plugins) can be added as needed and when affordable.
Of course learning to be a recording engineer is a long and steep learning curve so it is better to start simply. Once the basics have been mastered then you can progress to the next level and purchase more advanced pro equipment.

It is difficult to offer proper advice when you do not know the experience, skill levels, type of music and financial circumstances of the person asking.

Some people will spend more on a mic or a single piece of equipment than others spend in their whole recording outlay.
Posted By: Nigel Quin Re: recording equipment - 05/25/11 05:58 PM
don't confuse soundproofing with having a good acoustic environment. You could have a perfectly soundproofed room but it could still be a lousy recording environment.

I'm going to disagree with Jim here, I think environment is the most important thing. You could have the best mic, best recorder, best everything in the world but it can only ever be as good as your source. If your recording environment is poor your microphone recordings will reflect that and your monitored mixes will suffer too (the best monitors in the world will not compensate for bad acoustics). I accept that all the things mentioned are important but if I were starting from scratch I would be mindful of getting the room as good as I could.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman Re: recording equipment - 05/25/11 07:21 PM
Put it this way...if your room is filled with crazy sound reflections, your studio monitors will be rendered ineffective.

Personally, I'm digging the Virtual Reference Monitoring in this unit...makes my headphones a lot more useful! http://www.focusrite.com/products/audio_interfaces/saffire_pro_24_dsp/
Posted By: EmmitSycamore Two halves of my tracking room. - 05/26/11 02:20 AM
The part of my tracking room where my mics live looks
about like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CV5Rl-IK-eo

The part where I live, looks about like three of these:

http://www.palmcitystudios.com/timobrien/music/soundbooth/simplesoundbooth.html

joined in a 1/2 hexagon.

I hang 2' X 4' laminations of 2.5" foam (from here:

http://www.foambymail.com/Eggcrate.html )

layered with this:

http://www.farmandfleet.com/products/319626-rest_easy_pad.html?source=googleps

in the center, and this:

http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Grid-Non-slip-Rug-Pad-8-x-10/3962815/product.html?rcmndsrc=2

in between, for a total thickness of about 5.5".

For looks, mostly, I slip the laminated 2' x 4'
pieces in these:

http://www.acoustimac.com/index.php/diy-ez-wrap-acoustic-fabric-pre-made-wraps-2.html

I sit with the 1/2 hex wrapped around behind me,
and the mic enclosure in front.

I can record with a window air conditioner running,
six feet away, with no detectable noise recorded.

HTH,
Emmit Sycamore
Posted By: R&M Re: Two halves of my tracking room. - 07/31/11 12:01 AM
There is that basic .wav software, audacity, and sound card. After that it gets a bit more subjective and depends on what you are out to do with it.
I have nothing but the basics and at the most have upgraded to a makeshift mixing device. I am split on whether a condenser mic is going to benefit too much from the computer. A nice mixer would probably be the best for that. Doesn't have to be too spendy. I prefer the plug and play capabilities that I hear macs have. But I'm stuck with the Windows operating system for now. It has served me for the basics. I use a PC as a standalone and a laptop for the net.
Anyways, good luck.
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES Re: recording equipment - 08/05/11 08:04 PM
Originally Posted by Nigel Quin
don't confuse soundproofing with having a good acoustic environment. You could have a perfectly soundproofed room but it could still be a lousy recording environment.

I'm going to disagree with Jim here, I think environment is the most important thing. You could have the best mic, best recorder, best everything in the world but it can only ever be as good as your source. If your recording environment is poor your microphone recordings will reflect that and your monitored mixes will suffer too (the best monitors in the world will not compensate for bad acoustics). I accept that all the things mentioned are important but if I were starting from scratch I would be mindful of getting the room as good as I could.


So you would buy a Rolls Royce body and put a reconditioned Fiat Uno engine in it?
I stand by my original suggestion...learn the basics first. Start with mastering the use of the basic recording equipment and learn how to use the hardware and software then start working your way up by upgrading equipment and software.....once you have decent equipment and knowhow then maybe it is time to think about environment and sound reflection etc. The best sound environment is useless if you have only cheap basic gear and little knowhow in how to use it.
Did you hear about the guy who soundproofed his bedroom to turn it into a studio....he ran out of money before he could buy any recording equipment.....and he lost interest completely when he found out how expensive pro equipment was and how difficult the Cubase learning curve was..
Posted By: R&M Re: recording equipment - 08/07/11 10:54 AM
I grew up between the eighties acts and alt rock phase. It comes down to which audience that is out to be reached, not price of equipment. Contemporary musicians of 20 years ago were not beat out by who chose contemporary means. But for what is meant typically for the kind of music here then it would be best not to be in a bedroom playing on anything. I would prefer a studio with a trained engineer if I wanted something more A&R. Trying to be one's own engineer with that is like a layman trying to be their own attorney, of course in a lighthearted way since it is the joyous expression. Though there are exceptions that have broke through to the mainstream.
© Just Plain Folks Music Organization Message Boards