Couple equip. questions...

Hey guys… bands buying some equipment to start our own little studio.

First off…

Behringer D1 (I think that’s it…) Condenser for vocals… good idea? Priced out at about 149$ CN - tax included. (Any other suggestions?)

Yamaha MG124CX (12 channel), priced out at about 330$ CN… Good mixer for recording? (Any other suggestions?)

And finally… electric drum kit. I’m looking around on websites for deals… going anywhere from 300-600. If anyone’s got some ideas, lemme know.

Also, some other essential things for a studio. We’ve got most of it, but don’t want to miss anything!

Thanks, Daniel.

I found an Alesis USB electric kit… but I think that might be a problem with the fact that Audacity doesn’t support MIDI?

The Behringer D1 is a Direct Box/hum rejection filter.

You did leave out two really important items.

  1. The Computer. If you’re on a Mac, you’re good to go. If you’re on a laptop PC, there’s no way to connect the mixer to the computer.

  2. The Room. Have you ever tried to record live microphones before? You can buy the most expensive microphone on earth and it will sound terrible if you have a “live” room with echoes and street noises.

I lucked out. The guy before me in my house played drums and made the third bedroom into a sound proof room. I actually didn’t know this until I settled in. My moons and stars lined up.


We’re on a pc :confused: there was one mixer that was a usb mixer… would that be the way we need to go? And it’s a Behringer B-1… my bad.

Since you’re building up to music production, you probably want a USB connected sound mixer that has provision to mix the computer playback with your voice (for example). I see the newer ones come with a fader knob with Live Performance on one side and Computer Playback on the other, so you can overdub and create multi-tracks.

Audacity 1.3 comes with provision to adjust recording latency delays, but to get that to work, you need to be monitoring the mixer, not the computer.

No. Audacity has no MIDI management.

You may have blown right past what Audacity can do. It sounds to me like you’re in ProTools land. My version of Adobe Audition is old. They might have MIDI support.

Also, due to licensing problems, Audacity can’t offer ASIO computer sound management support and the others do.


I don’t know what you mean by the first little bit? I know what you’re talking about… i’m just confused where it fits in my problem, i’m sure it does though ahaha.

A big part of the question is how do you want to record? Do you want to record a “live” take of the entire band playing at the same time, or record each part separately one after another? If you want to record all at once, will you be happy to just record as a stereo mix, or do you want each instrument/vocal on its own track? (This last option is difficult and expensive but can provide excellent results.)

Do you want to record a “live” take of the entire band playing at the same time…

That’s generally how I do it. I’m set up to do a terrific job of recording once, pack up the car and go home.

do you want each instrument/vocal on its own track?

That’s how the grownups do it. It can even be as bad as the trumpet part is recorded perfectly in London to a backing and rhythm track recorded last week in Los Angeles. You can do that kind of thing, too, but the London computer needs to play the LA track perfectly into the headphones of the trumpet player at the same time she plays into her microphone.

That’s sometimes rough to do at home.

If you don’t play your cards exactly right, this process will kill you because of the computer delays. The forum is full of people complaining about, for example, the trumpet player unable to hear herself while she’s listening to the LA track. This is the cellphone “playing music into a black hole” problem. Worse, her solo is late in her headphones giving her a performance echo.

Even worse than that, the new track doesn’t match the old one – can you perceive the headaches at the end of the session when the trumpet part is several seconds longer than the backing track? That’s actually fairly common with cheap soundcards.

Even if you never want to do production like that, it’s good to have equipment competent to deal with it. Built-in computer sound services are usually pretty awful. The Windows ones are designed to do a video conference, not record Herbie Hancock. Modern USB mixers have provision to deal with many of these problems, and Audacity can usually deal with the rest.

That’s why it’s such a roll of the dice when somebody needs equipment recommendations. What, exactly, are you doing? Describe a show – down to instruments and composition of the performance. All can make a difference.


Actually, what we were doing is recording everything on to separate tracks. We were recording at a church, and were just overdubbing… it was working perfectly. Until the mixer broke… and we thought, we don’t want to rely on other people. But today, we had another thought. Instead of putting all of this money into a crappy sound… We’re going to use the guitarists laptop, get a program that supports MIDI, and use a USB mic, a USB electric set… and use the thing that is like a mixer sort of thing and plugs a bass/guitar into a laptop.

My question now, what kind of quality does that produce, and what is needed for that?

Midi drums have their own problems that we have not touched on at all.
Recording the audio output from an electronic kit is probably the easiest way to record drums - not the most natural sound, but most electronic drum kits have pretty good built in sound these days.

To record everything onto separate tracks at the same time you will be looking at quite a lot of money and hassle.
The least expensive option is to record on something like the Zoom R16, but where the problems start is that you can’t expect to get a good recording with this in a church. The sound from the instruments will spill over into the vocal microphones, setting up all of the levels correctly if you are playing as well is a nightmare (you’ll probably need someone that is not playing to operate the recorder), you will need enough microphones and cables to record everything at the same time, and the person that is setting up the recorder is not going to be able to hear what’s actually being recorded unless they are in a separate room, but then jou can’t easily communicate with them.

If your band gets a good sound when playing live, then the simplest method for recording is to use something like a Zoom H2. I use one of these for recording new songs at rehearsals and they have the enormous advantage that they are very quick and easy to set up, leaving the band free to concentrate on the music. The disadvantage of this approach is that if you are playing in an echoey empty hall, it’ll sound like you’re playing in an echoey empty hall, and if anyone plays a duff note, than that is forever in the recording and cannot be corrected. The other big advantage of this method is that it is relatively inexpensive.

The third method of recording each instrument separately (one at a time) is the way that recordings are often done in professional and home studios. If you are using an electronic kit you will only need a small mixer - 2 mic and 2 line channels is quite adequate. The mixer can either be a USB type (such as the Alesis MultiMix 4 USB Four-Channel USB Mixer, which can take up to 4 inputs and record a mix into 1 or 2 channels at the same time), or a conventional (non-USB) mixer and send the stereo mix output to the computer via a 2 channel USB pre-amp such as an “ART USB dual”. One general purpose microphone would be good to start off with (such as a “T-bone SC-140” or “T-bone MB 85 beta”). I’d recommend choosing a mixing desk that has “phantom power” so that you have the option of using condenser type microphones. Recording this way is not necessarily as much fun as recording the whole band live, and sometimes the recording can sound rigid and sterile. It takes some commitment and discipline to record this way, but a major advantage is that you do not need to get the whole band in the same place at the same time. Also, if you take this approach and you get a matched pair of microphones then you still have the option of making a live (stereo) recording.

The plan was to have an interface, record directly into that onto seperate tracks on Audacity, or something like Cubase. What do we have to do to make that work?